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Joia, run by renowned chef Pietro Leemann, is Europe’s only purely vegetarian Michelin-starred restaurant. Leemann has proven that taking vegetarian cuisine to the top is possible, and although a meal here might set you back a pretty penny, this is truly the kind of experience that will forever change the way you think about meat-free food.
Vegetarian travelers are always on the lookout for restaurants that can truly capture the essence of a spectacular city. Millennium is perhaps one of the best examples of this in the world. Diners get all of the glam of upscale, creative, foodie San Francisco, without the meat.
It’s rare for anyone in any part of the world (Britain included) to utter “Oh! I’m in the mood for British food!” It has long been a cuisine with a poor reputation, but that’s changing. Mildreds is not only riding the wave of the British food Renaissance, but also helping pioneer it, by making spectacular versions of classics like bangers and mash and ale pie and turning them into something not just creative and inspiring, but also completely vegetarian.
The over-the-top upscale Zest serves the kinds of dishes you can’t pronounce (even when they are translated into English), filled with ingredients you would have never in a million years thought to put together. Pineapple, mint, bok choi, and habanero sauce? Yes, that’s a thing. So is dandelion tempura, which comes with papaya jelly. This restaurant is inspiring not just for the reputation of creative vegetarian food, but also for your taste buds -- they’ll have no idea what hit them.
This restaurant is inspiring for a number of reasons. For one: the location. There is nothing quite like grabbing a meal in the shadow of one of the world’s most well-known cathedrals, in a neighborhood that is so fantastically, quintessentially Parisian. It’s also inspiring because it has been around since the 1970s, proving that even in one of the world’s most snobby food cities, vegetarian grub is here to stay.
Often called the best vegetarian restaurant in a seriously pro-vegetarian city, Natural Selection challenges meat eaters to think that maybe they are the abnormal ones. This prix fixe locale also makes a resounding (and important) point: that vegetarian fare can be elegant, upscale, and decidedly not hippy, even in a place like Portland.
Remember the diners of your youth and all of the bottomless mugs of coffee, root beer floats, and piles of pancakes that came with them? Veggie Galaxy is a perfect dose of meat-free nostalgia, and what makes it truly inspiring is the fact that it manages to capture that feeling for vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Counter Culture fits right in to Austin’s “I’m going to do things my own way” attitude. And that rebellion means taking the foods that make your mouth water -- like mac & cheese, pad thai, and creamy baked artichoke dip -- and making them vegan. And healthy. And still just as fantastically mouth-watering.
Watercourse Foods’ fully vegan menu, which is stuffed with comfort food and all-day breakfast options like biscuits and gravy, “chicken” and waffles, and breakfast burritos, is an antidote to the notion that vegetarian food isn’t satisfying. And as if you didn’t feel good enough that no animal had to die for your meal, this Denver restaurant also has Non-Profit Mondays, when a portion of the cost of your meal goes to charity.
The 1980s were not a great decade for this Central American nation. With a corrupt military regime, a U.S. invasion, and urban displacement on its plate, little energy went into developing a tourism market. Today, a relatively transparent democracy is in place and Panama’s economy has become one of the most competitive in Latin America, a fact that is evidenced in the rate at which Panama City is practically sprouting high rise apartments, skyscraper office buildings, and luxury shopping centers. Now visitors pour in to relax on white-sand beaches, explore the country’s spectacular biodiversity, and dive wallet-first into the world-class entertainment scene in the cosmopolitan capital.
The people of Cambodia have suffered through not one but many devastating conflicts throughout their history, but despite centuries of hardships, they continue to spring back to life with verve. In addition to the fabled temples of Angkor, the country is also home to a tropical coastline, a swiftly developing eco-friendly adventurer’s paradise in the mountains, and a capital city in the midst of a culinary and cultural renaissance.
One of Peru’s most devastating civil conflicts had its roots in Ayacucho, a city high up in the mountains. For decades the area wasn’t safe for locals, much less for visitors, but the city has spent the better part of this millennium recovering from its violent scars. Now, tourists will find a tranquil Andean city with beautiful colonial architecture, highly skilled textile and handicraft producers, and the county’s -- and perhaps one of the world’s -- best Holy Week festivals, all with an authenticity that its isolated location has helped to preserve.
Medellin used to make headlines more for its connection to one of the world’s most infamous drug cartels than for its beautiful climate and thriving cultural scene. Today, the “City of Eternal Spring” delights visitors with stunning views, friendly locals, bustling parks and museums, and dance-till-your-feet-fall-off nightlife.