Following a vegetarian or vegan diet (or any other special diet) can pose its necessary challenges. But in your own country, you know exactly where to get all the food that you can eat and of course you have had your own kitchen to prepare those food whenever you feel like it.
When you are traveling, however, these challenges can become serious because you simply don’t know where to get your food to start with. It does indeed pose even more challenges, when you are eurorailing/interrailing becaue you are constantly on the move from one city to the other, from one country to the other.
And when you stay in a particular city for a few days, then you’ll have to make sure that you know where to get your food. Believe me, it’s not at all as easy as I would like it to be. I regrettably couldn’t fully follow my vegan diet but I thankfully managed to follow a vegetarian diet for the whole 3 weeks interrailing across 12 European countries. The followings are how to stay vegetarian while I was interrailing:
1. Take your own food
Taking your own food can keep you going for at least 2 – 3 days. Cashew, almond, other nuts and various dried food are ideal healthy food because they are rich in protein and vitamines. Buy some more of these (dried) food wherever you find them and take them with you wherever you go with the trains.
2. Do your homework up front
Doing your homework up front to find out where the vegetarian or vegan restaurants are before you arrive at your destinations, can make all the difference. Keep in mind though, that the definition of vegetarian or vegan can be slightly different than what you have known. In that case, ask them kindly to include or exclude something in your meal. As I did at Baraka Cafe and Restaurant, Thessaloniki, Greece and they’re more than happy to accommodate my request.
3. Find the (super)markets
This is by far the best option because you can just ask the staff of your hotel or hostel where the nearby (super)markets are. You can also use the Foursquare app on your smartphone and hit the keyword “grocery” to find where they actually are. It’s easy and practical because at a (super)market, you can find (almost) everything that you want/need, from food to toiletries and so on.
4. Don’t forget the malls
Wherever you are, by all means, don’t forget to visit the malls. The bigger the malls the bigger your chance to find various of food, vegetarian and vegan included. I was at one of the biggest malls in Lisbon, Armazens do Chiado, and was looking for a t’shirt when I came across this small vegetarian court called, Vitaminos. This meal salad (see photo above) contains some pasta, lettuce, vegetarian balls, spinach, corn, mushrooms and black olives. Yummy! And do you know what? I even forgot buying the t’shirt:-)
5. Go to any restaurant
Finding vegetarian or vegan restaurants in unfamilar cities (or countries) can be a little bit tricky though, especially if you are in hurry or you’re just too hungry to keep on looking or you’re out of options. Just go to any restaurant where vegetarian menu’s are also more likely to be served, like for example: Japanese restaurants. I enjoyed some Miso soup at Sasau in Munich and other vegetarian dishes at Sushi Circle, Postdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany.
Despite the necessary challenges, there’re so many options to keeping up with your vegetarian or vegan diet. Be challenged and be creative are the right keywords for staying vegetarian or vegan while you are eurorailing/interrailing.
Now, it’s your turn. How do you stay vegetarian or vegan while you’re eurorailing/interrailing? Share your experience with us in the comment section below. Thank you.