20 World-Famous Dishes You Can Finally Eat as a Vegetarian
Global cuisine has many iconic dishes, but rarely are they something a vegetarian can eat. We scoured the planet to find national dishes that veggie globetrotters can tuck into on their next trip. Feast your eyes on these mouthwatering, nonmeat menu items—some of them found in surprising places.
Courtesy Carlton George
Scotland is known for its famous haggis dish, which contains sheep’s organs with spices and minced onion stuffed inside the casing of the animal’s stomach. Fear not; if you really want that experience (and not everyone does), there’s a vegetarian version served at the Carlton George Hotel in Glasgow that features beans, lentils, oats, and vegetables topped with a poached egg and gravy. The best way to find veggie haggis (among other local dishes) in Scottish cities is to go through a guided vacations company like Brendan Vacations that specializes in individual tours and knows where to find the highest-quality vegetarian and vegan Scottish dishes.
Traditional Irish stew
Courtesy Dromoland Castle
In County Clare, Ireland, Dromoland Castle is known for its fine cuisine. Chef David McCann even makes a vegetarian version of traditional Irish stew. His creation comes chock-full of hearty produce like Rooster potatoes, leeks, onions, carrots, and pearl barley prepared in a vegetable stock. Read about 8 nutrients you may be missing if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Courtesy Manta at The Cape
Spend one evening at Manta—the Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant at the Cape, a Thompson Hotel, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico—and you will be hooked on this black bean–infused ramen bowl. Chef Enrique Olvera’s take on it features mushrooms, epazote, beans, and pasilla mixe chili. The spices combined with the earthy and herbal notes give this vegetarian ramen a strong kick of flavor.
Courtesy The Westin Lima
Peruvian cuisine is all the rage these days, but if you are vegetarian you may miss out on some of its famous dishes while traveling in Peru. Not so if you dine at Maras, a foodie haven at the Westin Lima Hotel and Convention Center, where the vegan ceviche is served with artichoke, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes all marinated in the famous “milk of the tiger” (otherwise known as ceviche sauce). The sauce includes cilantro, lime, ginger, onion, and yellow pepper sauce. Check out why Peru is on the list of top South American destinations.
Chinese Peking duck
Courtesy Breeze Bangkok/Dome at lebua
A visit to the Dome at lebua in Bangkok, Thailand, a venue featuring first-rate rooftop restaurants, means you’ll be treated like royalty. Vegetarians get even more attention at lebua’s Breeze restaurant, where the chef prepares a special version of traditional Peking duck by using tofu instead of duck meat. The taste and texture are surprisingly authentic, especially when you use the dipping sauces. If lebua’s beautiful rooftop setting looks familiar, it’s probably because you saw it in the movie The Hangover Part II, which was filmed here. Ask to try the “Hangovertini” cocktail, inspired by one of the movie’s directors, at the famous Sky Bar.
American barbecue ribs
American pit master and author of nine cookbooks Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe will debut a new restaurant, Dr. BBQ, this fall in St. Petersburg, Florida. The latest venture from Roger and Suzanne Perry, co-owners of the Datz Group, it will include traditional American barbecue favorites, plus a veggie barbecue-ribs dish made from portobello mushrooms, which feature a meaty texture and plenty of smoky flavor. Check out these 14 delectable vegetarian dinner recipes.
French Riviera fruits de mer
Celebrating its fifth anniversary, Crossroads in Los Angeles, a celebrity favorite, has been a strong proponent of plant-based dining. Pretend you are in the South of France with a traditional fruits de mer platter—except that this seafood tower is stacked with kelp caviar, hearts of palm calamari, tempura-battered lobster mushrooms, signature artichoke oysters, and shiitake oyster shooters.
Southern pulled pork sandwich
Courtesy Inna Shnayder for The Assemblage
This iconic Southern dish is as close as it gets to the real thing without meat. At the Assemblage NoMad in New York City, the Pulled Porkcini Sandwich is vegan and gluten-free: It’s made with house-smoked enoki and porcini mushrooms, barbecue sauce, Carolina slaw, gluten-free sourdough, and maple-balsamic mixed greens. Find out why these 18 vegan appetizers aren’t just for vegans.
Courtesy The Westin Jekyll Island
At the Westin Jekyll Island Resort and Spa in Georgia, paella does not have to be off-limits for vegetarians. The chef makes a superfood version of the classic Spanish dish using quinoa and vegetables and even manages to perfect the art of “socarrat,” in which the quinoa (traditionally rice) on the bottom becomes slightly crunchy.
Italian pasta alla gricia
Courtesy The First Hotel Roma
Forget the traditional version of pasta alla gricia (the famous Roman pasta dish with cured pork jowl, otherwise known as guanciale in Italian). At the First Hotel Roma by the Pavilions in Rome, guests can sample a vegetarian version that uses caramelized onions instead of pork to mimic the same texture. If you’re looking for pasta alternatives, check out these options.