Monday 9th April 2012

Eating vegetarian food in a restaurant

As more and more people start to recognize the importance of healthy eating the number of vegetarian restaurants throughout the world is growing on a daily basis. Here’s our lowdown on some of the best cities in the world for vegetarian expats.

1. Mumbai, India

Given the fact that Mumbai has the largest vegetarian population in the world, it is only fitting that this city features first in any list of great vegetarian cities. The proliferation of vegetarian restaurants throughout the city is primarily the result of the religious beliefs of the people who live there and the dominant Hindu population entails that you can pretty much find great vegetarian options in every single restaurant and food stall in the city.

Where to eat:

  • Exotic Flavors: Vegetarian food served in a pleasant environment at moderate prices.
  • Oven Fresh: A good choice for people who are seeking an alternative to curry. The restaurant serves a range of different foods including bakery items, pasta, pizza, pastries, snacks, bread and burgers.

2. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore has a large mix of different cultures living side by side and one of the upshots of this is that a wide variety of food is on offer. The large Indian and Chinese population entails that vegetarian food is readily available in many food courts and hawker centers as well as being on offer in vegetarian restaurants.

Where to eat:


3. London, England

London has one of the longest traditions of vegetarianism in the world and the most number of self-named “vegetarians” in the world after India. In January it was named the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world by PETA as a result of the large number of vegetarian restaurants on offer in the city.

Where to eat:

  • The Gate: A converted church in Hammersmith
  • inSpiral Lounge: A great vegetarian restaurant on Camden High Street.

4. Hong Kong, China

Thanks to Hong Kong’s Buddhist traditions there are many vegetarian restaurants available throughout the city that are not only Chinese food, but also Indian or Western inspired.

Where to eat:

  • Soland
Not content with being just a vegetarian restaurant, Soland is vegan friendly as well.
  • World Peace Café
 Run by monks and volunteers. Advanced reservations are required.

5. New York, America

Of course New York has it all, including vegetarian restaurants. According to online vegetarian restaurant directory HappyCow.com, there are over 327 vegetarian restaurant listings in New York, offering a mix of pure vegetarian, vegan, or veg-friendly restaurants in the Big Apple.

Where to eat:


6. Taipei, Taiwan

The initially shocking reverse swastika signs that are prevalent throughout Taipei actually symbolize Buddhist or Taoist vegetarian food (along with the Chinese character su). There are hundreds of vegetarian restaurants throughout the city and vegetarian food in Taiwan has developed into a separate cuisine, in which chefs form their own versions of meat using textured soy protein.

Where to eat:

  • Ever Green Vegetarian Restaurant, No. 38, Section 2 Xīnshēng North Road, Zhōngshān District. Offers high quality dining at relatively low prices.

7. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai offers a large choice of open-air vegetarian and vegan eateries that can usually be identified by yellow banners bearing a single Chinese character (‘jay’ or vegetarian).

Where to eat:

  • Taste of Heaven: 100% vegetarian restaurant that offers a wide choice of local dishes.
  • The Vegetarian Society: A popular, non-profit, lunchtime canteen, providing cheap organic food (adjacent to Bang Jak Gas station).

8. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is a city whose residents are extremely health conscious and, as such, more and more vegetarian restaurants are springing up throughout the area. There are many different options to choose from.

Where to eat:

  • Jamaican Pizza Jerk: Serves vegan pizza.
  • The Naam: Busy vegetarian full-service restaurant located in the heart of Vancouver's Kitsilano district. Open 24/7.

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