• Pranay Maloo

How I found my way to veg food in Europe

What can be more joyful than the idea of packing your bags and running far off to an unknown destination. The mere thought of roaming across the streets of Paris, being amongst the beautiful Alps in Switzerland, or cycling on the streets of Amsterdam can bring insurmountable joy in an otherwise boring day. However, that feeling is short lived as soon enough, the same thought takes a back seat when you think of food, especially if you are a vegetarian like me. More often than not when we think of food outside our country, we get second thoughts about whether we would get a good quality vegetarian meal. Also even if we manage to find a good place there, we think twice to try another restaurant for the lack of choices and end up adjusting with the same meal almost every day. And then there are few of us who don't like to take the risk with food and carry their own meal when they are on a vacation. Believe it or not, but food can be one of the biggest reasons that can ruin your otherwise good vacation. And if you aren't the explorer type who would roam across the city streets to find that perfect restaurant, then knowing which place serves your preferred cuisine can really save your day. I've been in similar situations before and it can get frustrating after a while. But, thanks to the explorer in me, I was able to find restaurants with a good and delicious vegetarian meal options at various places that I visited in Europe over the last few years. Here's a list of these restaurants for you to try. I’ve tried to cover the cost aspect as well keeping a budget traveler in mind. While there are a lot more, these are my personal recommendation.

Amsterdam, Netherlands Maoz Vegetarian A complete veg restaurant that serves falafels, salads, sandwich, and fresh juices. It also gives an option to customize the meal from various choices on the menu. A good thing is that they are present in Paris and Barcelona too!!! - One more reason to visit these places. Cost - On the moderate side The Catharina Hoeve Cheese Farm A visit to Amsterdam is incomplete without having a cheeseburger. And what better place to have it than here - a place filled with freshly made cheese. Its situated in Zaanse Saans or Windmill Village. The place is filled with a variety of cheese such as Gouda, goats and herb cheese, smoked cheese and what not. While there isn't a lot to offer in terms of food option but a fresh cheeseburger and hot chocolate can make your day even better. Though I may warn you, only one won't be enough for you! Cost - On the moderate side Madrid, Spain La Biotika This has been a magnificent discovery for me. A place that not only serves veg but also vegan and macrobiotic diet. I had a three-course meal of macrobiotic diet with a sweet dish to end my day. You can get burgers, sandwich, hummus, nachos, and many other items to suit your preference and tummy. This place surely gets a recommendation from me. Cost - On the higher side Chocolatería San Ginés While this place isn't a proper restaurant but it has its own charm. Where else in Madrid will you get the famous and delicious churros with hot chocolate to relish. They are one of a kind and have been in business since 1894. Now that's some sweet legend, isn't it! Cost - On the moderate side



Lisbon, Portugal Pasteis de Belém For those who don't mind eggs in their sweets, this is a like a finding a jewel. The custard tarts are simply delicious and the cinnamon and icing sugar adds to the taste. Take a bit of it and it would just melt in your mouth. Cost - On the moderate side

Reykjavik, Iceland Eldofninn Pizza Now, this may not be your ideal pizza parlour but it does have some veg options on its menu. The portions are big and a pizza for one would definitely leave you with no room to desire for anything else. Get a glass of wine, a beer or maybe soft drink to go with it and you are all set. Cost - On the higher side

Vik, Iceland Black Beach Restaurant Imagine sitting in a restaurant that's situated near one of the most beautiful beaches in the world where you can enjoy your meal as the roaring Atlantic waves conquer your heart. Well, you can get it all at the Black Beach Restaurant, which is situated at Reynisfjara beach in a short walking distance from a small town at South of Iceland called Vik. Veg items at this restaurant include soup, some finger food, burger, and pasta. You can also get desserts and drinks here. While the prices are bit high, but the food portion justifies it. Also, with the kind of view this place offers, it surely calls for a visit to this uniquely placed restaurant. Cost - On the higher side



Baden Baden, Germany Cafe Am Rathaus We had our Christmas Eve dinner at this cafe and it was by far one of the best meals I've ever had and the one I'm going to remember for a long time. Big portions, good taste, and delicious dessert are some of the highlights of this place. They have good veg options to choose from and the best part is the desserts. The service was a bit slow as it was Christmas Eve and it was packed with people. This cafe is situated at a popular pedestrian precinct in this Germany's spa town giving you access to many other restaurants close by. Cost - Between the moderate and higher side Interlaken, Switzerland Restaurante Mercato This place was a lucky find as we were tired looking for one and just when we were about to give up, we found it tucked in the corner. Compared to others, its a moderately priced restaurant. This place serves Italian food and has options for local wine in their menu. Portions are good enough for two and the staff is friendly. They have plenty of veg options to choose from. We liked it so much that we ended up going there twice and didn't regret our decision either time. Make sure you try their local wine as it really compliments the food. And guess what, they don't charge extra for splitting your portion, something which most of the other restaurants do in Switzerland. That gives one more reason to try this place. Cost - Between the moderate and higher side

Zurich, Switzerland Holy Cow Don't get confused by the name, this place has an amazing menu with a variety of veg options to choose from. It mainly serves burgers and salads with fries as a side option. It also has meal options which club a burger with fries and a drink. Prices are economical and they do justice to the portions served. It's a funky place with ample space to sit. While the taste of veg burger may vary accordingly to your preference but its all about letting the foodie in you take charge and enjoy a good vegetarian meal in the beautiful city of Zurich. Cost - Between the moderate and higher side This was about my food adventures in Europe so far. There are many more but I don't want to overburden you with them. Instead, I want you to go out and discover the food scenes in the city you visit. I want you to try that dish which you have second thoughts about and maybe like it or laugh over it later. I want you to shun your favorites for a while and go with an open heart whenever you visit a new place. After all, if you are still looking for that similar food that in a city miles away from your home, are you actually traveling in the true sense or merely being a tourist? By the way, which one is your favourite restaurant in a country away from home?

(Disclaimer - The above-mentioned places are my recommendations and I have personally tried them all. I am in no manner affiliated with any of them and haven't been paid to promote these places)

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