I love to travel, but traveling as a vegan, especially in a foreign country, can be a challenge. A trip I took through Southern Germany in March was a lot of fun, but vegan options were at times hard to come by. Germany is a meat heavy country, with wurst (sausages) pervasive in many meals.
Hunger inspired a few desperate moments of creativity. At a hotel in Munich, I used the hot water kettle in the hotel room to boil some broccoli and ramen noodles, which I then drenched in soy sauce. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve made by far, but when you’re hungry after a long day of few food options, it tastes pretty good.
Luckily, I did find one vegan restaurant in Munich that was a haven. It’s called Max Pett. The menu is all in German and the waitstaff spoke little English. I was able to muddle through with the German I learned in high school to figure out roughly what the menu items were. Since everything was vegan, it didn’t matter. Whatever I ended up with would be a hot meal and a far cry from my boiled broccoli and ramen noodles. What I got was called “Spinatcurry mit Tofu, Pilzen, Kirschtomaten und Basmatireis”, roughly translated to Spinach Curry with Tofu, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basmati Rice. It was very tasty and a welcome relief from scrounging for meals in grocery stores. I ended up going back to Max Pett again even though I only stayed in Munich for two days.
Since I went during the spring, I was able to visit the Viktualienmarkt in Munich. This was one of my favorite destinations on the trip. They had beautiful displays of fruits and veggies, flowers, and cute little straw animals.
What helped me through the trip was planning ahead and doing research. Peanut butter and jelly and protein packed granola bars were a staple. Look up vegan or vegetarian restaurants before you go and bring addresses and phone numbers so you can get there easily. Find out the words for vegan, vegetarian, meat, eggs, and dairy in the language of the country you’re visiting so you can decipher menus. Check to see if your hotel has a microwave and refrigerator, which makes buying food and saving leftovers easier.
Though international travel as a vegan can be tricky, it’s doable if you plan ahead. I made it through, albeit slightly hungry some days, but happy and well-fed others.