I’m sharing the 10 best vegetarian dishes in the world on this page.
If you are a vegetarian traveler like me, you surely understand it is so difficult to find good places or good dishes to eat around the world. The world can offer you endless meat and fish dishes, but for vegetarians, the options are so few. So what should we do? Forget about visiting the most amazing places in the world? No, you just need to go through this list of some of the most amazing vegetarian dishes available through the world that will make your plate look colorful and your tummy happy.
1. Youtiao – China
Chinese people love meat and the concept of vegetarianism or veganism is something they never will understand. However, it is a diverse country as far as food is concerned and you get almost everything here – oily, stodgy, spicy or healthy. According to me the best vegetarian dish you can find in China, something the non-vegetarians will also love is youtiao. These are basically deep fried breadsticks generally eaten for breakfast or as a snack. They are soft, slightly salted, and delicious and are served as an accompaniment for soy milk or rice congee. Sweet lovers can dip their youtiao in peanut butter or chocolate sauce and enjoy the amazing taste.
2. Bolon de Verde – Ecuador
Vegetarians prefer not to visit South America as they feel all they offer are meat-based food. Meat, however, can be luxury there, and there are many dishes that are vegetarian, particularly in Ecuador where the popular ceviche is available with many vegetarian options. If you need something more filling then you can try Bolon de Verde which is a big ball of fried plantain filled with fresh cheese. People generally eat it for breakfast but it is enough to not make you feel hungry until lunch.
3. Tartiflette au Reblochon – France
French people are attractive and so are their dishes, the vegetarian menu as well. Amongst these, the one I love the most is Tartiflette au Reblochon. It is a very simple preparation made with potatoes, onions, reblochon cheese, spices, and white wine. You will find it commonly prepared in most French restaurants. Some people, however, add bacon or ham to the dish, so make sure you verify this before placing your order.
4. Gado Gado – Indonesia
Gado Gado is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in Indonesia as you can have it made as spicy as you want and it will still taste great, and also because you can find it easily almost anywhere. It is basically a combination of potatoes, lontong cubes (Lontong is a dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf), tofu, hard-boiled egg, green beans, and carrots topped with delicious peanut sauce. On top of it is served krupuk which is fried crispy crackers and tastes great when you munch it in between the Gado Gado bites.
Click here for my vegan Gado Gado recipe.
5. Masala Dosa – India
India is one of the most amazing places in the world for vegetarians. Here you do not need to struggle to find the right dish. Every city in India offers great choices of vegetarian dishes, and you will go tired trying out the variety, but the choices never exhaust. However, masala dosa is amongst my favorite dishes in India. It is a South Indian specialty and is quite like a crepe but is made of black lentils and fermented rice batter. Curried peas and potatoes lie hidden inside the dosa, and it is served with various dips – chutneys (coconut and tomato are the popular ones) and sambar (a lentil stew that you can use as a dip or even spoon it into your mouth).
6. Pesto Trofie – Italy
Italy is known everywhere in the world for its pasta, and also the various sauces that come with it. Though there are many non-vegetarian popular sauces, pesto, originating from Northern Italy, is a treat for the vegetarians. It is made using crushed basil, salt, parmesan cheese and garlic and then a generous amount of olive oil is added to mix it with the pasta. The best thing about Italy is that it offers you so many different types of pasta, with Trofie being my favorite. A long strip of pasta is rolled and the string is then cut into small pieces, and this is how my favorite Trofie is made.
7. Doenjang Jjigae – South Korea
This is one of the most popular Korean national vegetarian dishes. Jjigae is a term used for stews and though it is brothy in nature it is still considered a stew. It is basically a soybean paste broth ideal for winters and is light and yummy. Mushrooms, bean sprouts, and tofu are added to the broth to give it body, and at times seafood may be added, so make sure to find that out before placing your order.
8. Vegetable momos and Dal Bhat – Nepal
If you have ever visited Nepal and have not tried eating Dal Bhat, then you have missed something. Dal is a yellow lentil soup and Bhat is boiled rice and this is the Nepal population’s daily staple. It is also commonly found eaten in Bangladesh and India. It is very filling and extremely delicious. You should also try some vegetable momos (dumplings). These dumplings are made fresh from the scratch every day and taste amazing. You surely never have even imagined that you can eat something so great that too at such inexpensive rates.
9. Vegetarian Tam Ponlamai – Thailand
Thailand can be a little tricky when you try searching for vegetarian dishes as most of the food here is cooked in fish sauce. So, it will be best to stick to a vegetarian only restaurant. One of their vegetarian dishes that I immediately fell in love with is a Thai fruit salad or Tam Ponlamai. This is a combination of fruits, usually rose apple, guava, watermelon, and dragon fruit is diced up and then dressed in lime juice, chilies, soy sauce, and peanuts. It is so delicious and so refreshing that words alone cannot describe.
You can find a recipe for vegan pad thai here.
10. Vinegret – Ukraine
Vinegret is a delicious salad made of potatoes, beetroots, chopped onions, carrots, brined pickles, and sauerkraut. It is very famous in the Soviet Union and now it is a well-known dish in the entire eastern European countries. It is the cheapest salad you can find on the menu, and thus is a great and delicious option for every budget vegetarian traveler.
So, the fact is vegetarians too have quite a few delicious options waiting for them all around the world, to suit every budget and to match every taste. So you can travel around the world in vegetarian dishes. There is absolutely nothing you need to worry about. Even if you plan to visit any other place, not mentioned in this list, a little bit of research will definitely help you find at least a few vegetarian dishes you can enjoy eating during your stay.