Eating out as vegetarian can come with its challenges, not least when you’re travelling abroad. Whether it’s lack of options or a simple misunderstanding of what a no-meat diet really is, fuelled by language barriers (ham is not a vegetable, no matter how many times it’s offered), being a veggie on tour can be tricky.
Which is exactly why blogger Jakub Marian (also a linguist, mathematician and artist) has set about creating the ultimate European travel guide for all veggies who may be planning a foodie break.
Using an estimate of the number of veggie restaurants in each European country, Marian has plotted his results on a map, which you can see below, to help guide all our food-fuelled adventures.
So where’s best for a meat-free feast? According to Marian’s calculations, Iceland is the most vegetarian-friendly nation in Europe, followed by Austria, Czech Republic and Lithuania.
Russia didn’t rank too well, landing close to the bottom of the scale with a scoring of 0.8 compared to Iceland’s 24.8, while France and Greece lingered behind the likes of Italy, Spain and Germany.
Explaining how he set about creating the guide, Marian writes: “The following map is based on the number of entries at HappyCow, the largest directory of vegetarian restaurants in the world, and shows the number of vegetarian restaurants per 1 million inhabitants.”
This method however, warns, the blogger, does mean that figures for smaller countries may be slightly off.
“It should be noted that the number can be somewhat misleading for tiny countries. For example, according to happycow.net, there is just one vegetarian restaurant in Andorra, but since it has only around 80,000 inhabitants, the figure shown here is ‘12.6 vegetarian restaurants per 1 million inhabitants’.”
Take a look at the guide below - the higher the ranking, the better the veggie eatery offering.
The map follows a study released earlier this year, which is thought to be the first offering precise figures on how vegetarian and vegan diets could positively affect global health and climate change.
According to the research, carried out by Oxford University’s Future of Food programme, adopting a vegetarian diet could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, saving millions of lives annually by 2050.
Switching to veggie eating habits could also avoid over £700 billion in costs linked to climate change and healthcare, say the researchers.
If you’re keen to go green, start with these crowd-pleasing vegetarian recipes from London's hottest restaurants.