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A Vegan Tour of Europe

Vegan eats might be trending hard in Sydney and LA, but going animal product-free ain’t always easy in other parts of the world, particularly in the traditionally meat-centric cities of Europe. 

Plant-based globestrutter Chelsea Diehm spent her summer pounding the cobblestones and gobbling her way across the continent all for the sake of research, and here are the fruits (and veg) of that labour – her top picks for vegan dining in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome. For more lean and green restaurants (and more) around Europe, nab yourself some LUXE.

Amsterdam: Vegan Junk Food Bar

Like it says on the tin, this lively bunker flips burgers, fries, tacos and other comfort-food morsels that are all completely meat free. Buzzy, busy and with plenty of in/out seating, this joint’s so good even your non-vegan friends will be clamouring for an invite. We feasted on the loaded sweet potato fries, chick’n tacos, truffle fries, kombucha and fresh coconut, rounded off with Ben and Jerry’s vegan ice cream, all of which was delicious.

Staringplein 22 (+ branches), 

Barcelona: Restaurante Salamanca

Of all the cities, pork-loving Barcelona proved the hardest nut to crack when seeking meat-free meals, and on first glance this beachside terrace restaurant at Barceloneta looked just like all the others lining the boardwalk. Except for one important detail – they serve an AMAZING (and huge) veggie paella. Staff were super friendly and accommodating of dietary needs, so this restaurant gets a special shout out for catering for the vegans as well as the regular meat-eating clientele. 

Carrer de l’Almirall Cervera, 34,

Berlin: 1990 Vegan Living

This vibey Berlin eatery in Friedrichshain channels the warmer temps and tantalising flavour raves of Vietnam; it was hands down my favourite restaurant in the city. Across the Asian-inflected menu there were so many options available in both small and large serving sizes – you could honestly go a dozen times and still manage not try everything. A Berlin institution, 1990 is always rammed so you may have to wait for a table, but it’s worth it. 

Krossener Str. 19,

London: Redemption Bar & Restaurant

With its white n’ grey minimalist meets Mid-Century decor and funky atmos, Redemption is pure Shoreditch. But unlike its hedonistic neighbours, this is a champion of not just meat-free eating, but sugar, wheat and alcohol-free offerings too. Should you be imagining a crusty den of earnest hemp wearers, the vibe is anything but: put aside your preconceptions and dive on in – the Med-leaning food is super fresh and tasty, while the crafted fruit juice and smoothie concoctions (try the caramel crack shake) will soon have you hooked. 

320 Old St, EC1V (+ branch in Notting Hill)

Paris: VG Patisserie

I’d been wanting to eat at this all-vegan patisserie for a long time and fell in love from the moment I walked inside. Heaving with sweet and savoury delicacies, from humble croissants and pain au chocolate to only-in-France delectables, VG’s lemon tart was up there with one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. To this day I dream of VG Patisserie often… if only I lived closer! Or perhaps they could open an outpost in Australia? 

123 Boulevard Voltaire,

Rome: Rifugio Romano

Rifugio Romano was recommended to me by a friend because although it’s not strictly meat-free, it has an large vegan menu section spanning starters to desserts. With its traditional pasta-cream-cheese-meat tendencies, Italian cuisine is notoriously difficult to navigate as a non-gluten eating vegan, but these guys nailed it. Go for the mushroom pasta and house salad. 

39/41, Via Volturno,

For a smorgasbord of dining options in 30 cities…

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