"Being a Vegetarian in..." Europe Local Custom Tip by caithurley
Europe Local Customs: 188 reviews and 202 photos
Being a Vegetarian in Europe:
I'm tempted to say 'forget it' but it's doable. Ish. Here's where I've been thus far, with a difficulty rating. If I'm allowed to edit this, I'll come back and add to it.
You can get away with it, particularly if you eat eggs (tortilla or omelette). Other than that like all southern european countries they make goats cheese, and eat a hell of a lot of salad. You might be able to find a traditiional place that sells stuff like chickpeas in tomato/olive oil/chilli - but I wouldn't count on it.
France: Learn to love Goats Cheese salad! That's it. That is your diet for the next N days. You can't trust things like rataoille completey unless you can speak French and ask if it's cooked in huile d'olive. You will also be able to eat omelettes and uniquitous 'frites' obviously but if you're a vegan, you're really pushing it - although you will be able to pick up delicious local nuts from supermarkets so you could supplement your invariably salad based diet with them. I'm more used to the Languedoc region, and Catalonia where you can also get gallettes, which are poteitially great (spinach and hazelenets or pine nuts in a large buckwheat pancake - delicious)
Central Europe and pushing towards Northern european nations, you're really pushing it. In Prague because it's so cosmopolitan you'll be able to find for example American bagel houses that do veggie food, or the English language bookshop that has a cafe attached. *However* - you wan to eat local food, right?
If you're a vegan you're going to have a very difficult time getting proper nutrition. You're looking at heavy duty carbs all the way (fried potato cakes, fried in god-know what with vinegared vegetables - hmm, lovely). In Prague, you'll be able to go to the Budweiser owned 'Little Bear' bar where I had a quite nice 'Vegetable plate' that was about the most palatable thing I had while I was there! However,take some extra provisions with you if I were you, or shop at 'Tescos' supermarket which is near the Little Bear to get some nuts etc.
If you're a veggie, then content yourself with the most delicious rye bread you'll have in your life and 'cheese plate' (I kid you not) which just about does what it says on the tin. In Prague, again, you'll be able to find some half way decent Italian places (I got served a risotto with *smoked cheese* once!!) but I'm warning you about the countryside. It's 'cheese plate' all the way!
Where we stayed we managed to get together omelette and chips. Anything more sohpisticated than than I'd beware.
One more note though - interestingly, because of Prague/Czech's past, tourism within Communist coun tries or going to study within communist countries was positively encouraged - therefore you'll find quite a few good Chinese and Korean restaurants who do have tofu stuff. But whatever you do, don't go to anu Czech Indian restaurants if you really like Indian food.
Is pretty much ok actually, although it does suffer from slight Northern-European-itis ie: lots of carbs and meat. When in Amesterdam you'll have absolutely no problems finding really lovely food - very cosmopolitan and good Chinese restaurants etc (though Indian again not exactly a speciality). Once outside it's slightly more of a struggle but thanks to Holland's once burgeoning empire, there are many Indonesian restaurants knocking around - which means tempeh - a lifesavour (as it were)!
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