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Our must-see European destinations for vegans and vegetarians

Written on : 26 September 2019
By : Jake Varga

Many reasons we escape on holiday is to have everything taken care for you. Having someone organise your villa, flights, cleaning and entertainment is a dream come true. However, when it comes to finding the perfect place to eat and drink, we can even take that off your hands. There may be a worry when it comes to food options when eating out on vegan holidays. However, as 1 in 20 people follow a vegetarian diet across the whole of Europe (Statista, 2016), finding some plant-based food hotspots shouldn’t be a bother.

While we are leaving out some great vegan holiday destinations from our guide such as Amsterdam and Berlin, we are looking towards the Mediterranean to soak up some sun and enjoy some European luxury. Take a look at our picks of the best vegan eateries in a few of our favourite districts

Paris, France

Paris, France

While Parisian cuisine is largely associated with plentiful amounts of meat and fish, vegan food in France is in abundance - you definitely don’t have to miss out on pastries and cakes when visiting as there are many independent vegan patisseries or other patisseries with plant-based options. For your croissant cravings head to cloud cakes!

If you fancy trying out exactly how the French attempt the vegan junk food, try out Hank Vegan Burger, Le Tricycle or Super Vegan.

Paris is known for its fine dining, and while you may love to indulge in a juicy vegan burger, venues such as Le Potager de Marais will be sure to offer the most exquisite menus, check out the crème brûlée! 42 Degrees is also an excellent choice if you are looking for a raw menu. If you are staying for a little while, check out Chateau de Candice and live in French luxury.

>>> Discover our luxury villas in France

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Madrid may have a few more vegan restaurants in total. However, Barcelona is a well-known vegan hub. From morning to night, the capital of Catalunya has everything covered. For a breakfast outing, head to Santoni cafe for the most stunning pastries, Equilibrium café offers the most amazing pancakes and vegan omelette, and Odacova for some other irresistible breakfast goodies.

Moving on to brunch/lunch, Flax & Kale is one of the most well-known vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona - developed by the renowned chef, Teresa Carles. If you are on the go, head to their more casual venue within the H&M flagship store on Passeig de Gracia, you might just want to try their vegan cheese and bacon bagel - vegan food in Spain is to die for!

In the evening, we recommend going to Vacka in the north of the city for some truly amazing savoury waffles or relax by the beach and enjoy some paella (with vegan prawns!) at Bar-celoneta. Moreover, as nights in this wonderful city can often stretch out quite late, consider staying in the centre of Barcelona - somewhere like Passeig de Gracia 1.

>>> Barcelona: the Great Enchantress

Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Milan is the perfect escape for a short break, especially with partners or friends. As there are so many things to see, you may only grant yourself a bit of time for lunch. For those instances, Panini Durini is perfect! It is a popular chain restaurant, but it doesn’t feel like a copy and pasted venue at all. While this place isn’t strictly vegan, a panini, waffled potatoes and refreshing drinks in glass bottles is the best way to recharge on your city adventures.

Universo Vegana is also a very popular chain restaurant for on-the-go food. But if you fancy taking things slower, head to Palmetto Piazza Vetra. It is a quaint veggie place down the side streets of Milan, an intimate space with some incredible pasta. Although, in many non-plant-based restaurants, asking the chef to hold the cheese will often make the dish suitable for vegans. 

One of the most amazing areas of the city is ‘Milano Duomo’, the central cathedral of Milan. Just on the foot of the square, you can find a traditional-looking café called Caffe Portioli, there you will find the most amazing croissants and authentic Italian coffee while looking out to the Duomo.

It is completely possible to see everything you want in Milan in a couple of days, therefore, if you are staying in one of our luxury villas in Lake Como, you can drive back within a couple of hours. Although Villa Piedra definitely does not feel like it is only a short way away from the city.

Naples, Italy

If you head further down in Italia, you will find Naples, a surprisingly excellent location for a vegan European vacation. You will find eateries such as Sbuccia e Bevi, a place balancing between traditional and modern vegan cuisine. On the other hand, if you are looking for a change from all of the pizza and pasta, consider visiting Officiana Vegana, a place with the most delicious Italian iterations of tofu and seitan.

Are you after something sweet? Of course, many gelaterias have 'accidentally' vegan ice creams. However, visiting Milkaway is an absolute must for their modern twist on cannolis with chocolate and cream. After you are done for the day in this wondrous city, head to the port and jump across to the island of Ischia where Villa Sibilia will look after you. Or carry on further south and stay nearby on the Amalfi coast.

>>> Travel tips to know before you go to Italy

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

The Portuguese astonishingly know exactly how to pull off plant-based dishes. If you fancy burgers and sandwiches, check out Ao 23, a vegan concept project restaurant. Or spend some time in Café Galleria, a multi-zone venue with an all-vegan buffet downstairs and a spectacular roof terrace with individually composed plates to enjoy in the sun.

You may struggle at The Food For Real, as there are too many items to choose from - the mushroom stroganoff is truly magnificent. However, having a luxury villa round the corner for your favourite restaurant can be perfect after trying all the delicious food.

>>> Rent your luxury villa in Lisbon

The Greek Islands

The Greek Islands

While you can find copious amounts of vegan options in the capital, sometimes Athens is on the intense side for the tranquil holiday to Greece that you deserve. However, when escaping to an exotic Mediterranean island, the concern for a lack of food choices can become apparent.

You will happy to discover that you can find vegan options anywhere by simply holding off from the feta in the gorgeous salads and enjoy traditional Greek dishes like the stuffed vine leaves aswell. While you will rarely find menus with vegan labelling, restaurant owners seem to take pride in their menus and know it back to front - simply state your dietary requirements and you find a list of everything you could want.

In Crete, you will find picturesque cafes like Crumb in Heraklion, who serve a variety from pastries, sandwiches and cake. While in Mykonos, you can find plentiful amounts of hotspots with smoothie and buddha bowls to enjoy on the sun terraces. While this does sound slightly healthier when compared to the Italian cannolis and the French croissants, having something refreshing and light does just the trick in the Greek sun.

>>> Greece: Which island to choose for your holidays?