Top 10 Veggie-friendly Countries for Students

International scholarship trips and short-term internships have become the new reality. They are connected by a single goal – improving the quality of education, training valuable personnel, and developing international economic relations.

For any young person studying or traveling abroad, comfortable accommodation, an opportunity to lead a familiar lifestyle and eat familiar food are of great importance. That is why it is essential for vegetarian students, and even more so for vegans, to know the gastronomic features of the country they study.

veggie-friendly countries for students

Everyone knows that there are many so-called “meat-eating countries” where people consume a lot of meat and whose cuisine consists mainly of meat dishes. Such countries include, for example, the Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, the Scandinavian countries, and the countries of South America. Therefore, vegetarians in such countries expect a rather meager selection of delicious dishes and restaurants where you can taste these dishes. In addition, vegetarian and vegan food is usually expensive here.

Do you prefer vegetables and fruits to meat and fish? There is good news for you too! There are many countries where all conditions have been created for a comfortable life for vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarian food there is not only common but also affordable, even for the student budget. Wr1ter.com has gathered the top 10 veggie-friendly countries for students.

1. India

The undisputed leader of the list is India, which holds the record for the lowest level of meat consumption in the world. However, it is no secret that for this reason, many vegetarians and lacto-vegetarians come here from various countries.

In any state of India, delicious and very cheap vegetarian dishes, such as curry mixes, paneer cheese, dal dishes, and various vegetables, are sold everywhere. By the way, fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and rice are cheap here too!

2. Italy

In Italian cuisine, meat is not so much a must but an optional ingredient in most dishes. Pasta of all kinds, lasagna, salads, cheese dishes, and casseroles – in Italy, all this is widely prepared with and without meat.

You can truly enjoy delicious and varied vegetarian food here without overpaying for it. According to statistics, about 10% of the Italian population are vegetarians; this is the highest rate among the EU countries.

3. Thailand

If you are not only a vegetarian but also a lover of the exotic, you will enjoy life in Thailand. Just think, the local cuisine is more than 90% vegetarian!

Traditional noodles with vegetables and savory sauces, salads, nuts, vegetable soups, and desserts made from the healthiest and healthiest ingredients are everywhere. But, there is one more advantage – whether you cook at home or eat in cafes and restaurants, food in Thailand will be quite cheap.

4. The USA

The main gastronomic advantage of America is diversity. Of course, vegetarianism is not developed here in the same way as in many other countries, but all conditions have been created for vegetarians and vegans. Every state and city has many vegetarian shops and restaurants offering dishes of different cuisines and an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits.

At the same time, there are both expensive and quite budgetary vegetarian places. In a word, for every pocket. By the way, in the canteens of the vast majority of US universities, students are now offered a special vegetarian menu.

5. Israel

Israeli national dishes hummus, mujadara, and falafel are loved by vegetarians worldwide. At the same time, vegetarianism in Israel is developing rapidly. About 10% of the country’s inhabitants do not eat meat or limit its consumption.

Today, more vegetarian restaurants and fast-food outlets are springing up in Israel, and locals are discovering vegetarian and vegan options for familiar dishes, including burgers, pizza, and lasagna. Whether you prefer European or Israeli cuisine, here you will find a varied vegetarian and healthy diet and a wide and year-round selection of fruits and vegetables.

6. Switzerland

Switzerland is another European country with a high percentage of vegetarians. It even has an official vegetarian community, Swissveg, which has more and more people joining yearly.

The gastronomic selection of cheese-chocolate Switzerland will please any vegetarian. Firstly, there are many vegetarian dishes in the local cuisine – all kinds of potato dishes, vegetarian cheese fondue with vegetables, sweet chocolate fondue with fruits, delicious rosti, and raclette. Secondly, Switzerland is trying to create comfortable conditions for all its inhabitants, there are many vegetarian cafes and restaurants throughout the country, and vegetarian and vegan dishes are marked with a special icon in grocery stores.

7. Canada

Like the United States, Canada is known for its various cuisines and catering establishments. Canada is one of the countries that support ecology and environmental protection programs. Vegetarianism and raw food are developing rapidly here. Moreover, vegetarian festivals are regularly held in the country. Tens of thousands of people visit the festival in Toronto every year.

Vancouver leads the list of Canadian cities with the most vegetarian restaurants, followed by Toronto and Montreal. In addition, there are many vegetarian recipes in Canadian national cuisine. Quebec cuisine has even adopted several vegetarian French dishes.

8. Singapore

The vegetarian cuisine of Singapore is very diverse. It has incorporated all the best from the gastronomic traditions of Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. Plenty of noodles and rice dishes, hot and cold vegetable salads for every taste, exotic coconut milk soups – vegetarian food in Singapore can be very rich and not at all expensive.

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The availability of fresh vegetables and fruits, spices, nuts, and grains also allows vegetarians to cook at home, learning new recipes. In addition, there are more than 500 vegetarian shops and markets in the country and more than 300 vegetarian restaurants! By the way, it is in Singapore that the head office of the world’s first vegetarian fast-food chain VeganBurg is located.

9. Belgium

Few people know, but it was Belgium that became the first country in the world in which a weekly vegetarian day was legally approved. The Belgian city of Ghent was a pioneer in this direction, and now vegetarian days are held throughout the country. These days, restaurants and eateries offer exclusively vegetarian dishes.

The local catering boasts both world-class vegetarian dishes and traditional Belgian delicacies. Among them are the vegetarian version of the sulfur-potato witloof casserole, croquettes, stump puree, speculoos cookies, waffles, and all kinds of pastries.

10. England

England is one of the most vegetarian countries, and the number of meat-eaters here is decreasing with every generation. The British have been fond of vegetable dishes for a long time – since the days of the imperial colonies when vegetarian recipes were brought into the country from India. Today, England boasts the highest density of vegetarian restaurants in Europe.

Vegetarian food in England is available everywhere – in restaurants, pubs, cafes, hotels, and university canteens. England is not only fish and chips; Indian and Pakistani eateries and vegetarian shops are popular here, as well as national meat-free dishes, such as potato soup with leeks, pea soup, pies, baked cauliflower cabbage, crumble, baked stuffed potatoes, and more.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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