Top 5 Best Vegan Friendly Cities to Visit on a Budget in 2019

LA, Berlin, London, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Melbourne or Amsterdam? Fat chance, unless you have a fat bank account. Here is a list of 5 vegan destinations you can actually afford to visit this year. 

The Rise of Vegan Cities

The rise in veganism over the last few years has seen an upsurge of lists on the internet talking about vegan travel ‘havens’ & ‘the best vegan cities’ that are brimming with vegan bars, restaurants and even vegan hotels! They all sound so amazing but there is one small issue…they are also some of the most expensive cities on the planet to visit!

So, why not list the most affordable vegan destinations to go visit this year? Well, we did! Here’s our top 5 best vegan friendly cities to visit on a budget in 2019.


1. Chennai, India

vegan-city-chennai

In late 2018, Chennai was crowned India’s most vegan-friendly city by PETA India. Chennai has turned itself into a hotbed not just for vegan food but for vegan living too. The food includes much of the traditional Indian food and some purpose made vegan restaurants.

You will find yourself enjoying an array of vegan Indian food such as Biryani, Dosa, Vada & Momo. There is even a vegan butcher that goes by the name Vegetagold that sells a number of plant-based meats made with mushrooms and soy. 

Most notable of the vegan restaurants in Chennai are Ashvita Nirvanafor plant-based meat dishes, Soul Garden Bistro for BBQ tofu and Mezze for falafel.

Chennai is also home to a vegan lifestyle store, a number of vegan fashion companies and even some of the local schools are vegan. 

“PETA India is honouring this special city for its wealth of cruelty-free clothing and food options and encouraging all residents and visitors to take full advantage of them.”

If you’re vegan and love Indian food then this is the only city you need to visit this year.

Average Costs for Chennai

Meal$1.09
Coffee$0.36
Hostel$10.30
Hotel$26
AirBnB$31

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

vegan-city-chiang-mai

Not only will you find much of the local food vegan, but it’s also very easy to ‘veganize’ most food here and it’s delicious. Some would argue the Thai cuisine is one the best in the world. Red curry, green curry and pad Thai being the most famous dishes of the local cuisine. All of which can be ‘veganized’ very easily. Vegan Thai food is easily some of the best vegan food around

Each year, Chiang Mai is flooded with an ever-increasing amount of young and ethical backpackers. It’s no wonder then that the city has met the demand and is now home to over 20 vegan restaurants.

Most notable being Pun Pun, which serves only fresh, local and organic food including a ‘fermented mushroom sausage served with lime, red onion, ginger, chilli, spring onion, cilantro and cashew nuts’

Also, be sure to check out Good Souls Kitchen for the best vegan burger in town!

Whilst in Chiang Mai, make sure you leave time to jump in a van and head to the small town of Pai just 3 hours North. Pai also has a small but thriving vegan scene that should not be missed! More details at the end of this article.

Average Costs for Chiang Mai

Meal$1.89
Coffee$2.34
Hostel$8.20
Hotel$26
AirBnB$36

3. Hanoi, Vietnam

vegan-city-hanoi

Vietnam’s capital is currently experiencing an explosion in their vegan scene. Fuelled by a high number of young expat teachers and Vietnam’s poor standard of meat. Even non-vegans are eating at the vegan restaurants in this city. This is all great news for vegans visiting Hanoi as it also happens to be one of the cheapest and most interesting cities you could visit in 2019. 

The vegan scene starts at the local vegan buffets such as Peace Vegan or La Grace where you can stuff your face with as much vegan food as you like for just $1! These places are run by friendly local Vietnamese people and are great places to meet local expats and fellow travellers.

On the flip side, Hanoi also has some great vegan restaurants such as Minh Chay, Jalus Vegan Kitchen and LA Studio. It’s also worth mentioning Maison de Tet, which serves a fantastic vegan breakfast using local and organic food, which is a rare treat in Hanoi.

Believe it or not, Hanoi is also home to some pretty amazing vegan cashew cheese! Just get in contact with Kashew Cheese on Facebook for delivery anywhere in the city!

Also worth noting, Hanoi is one of the best places in the world for tofu! It is unlike any tofu you will have had anywhere else in the world!

You can find MeManMeVegan’s full vegan guide to Vietnam over at our friends The Nomadic Vegan.

Average Costs in Hanoi

Meal$2.16
Coffee $0.72
Hostel$7.30
Hotel$29
AirBnB$28

4. Krakow, Poland

vegan-city-krakow

Poland is a country famous for it’s traditional cuisine of pork, sausage, cheese, and beef dishes. It is, therefore, odd to find a vegan scene in the city of Krakow, Poland. It’s a growing vegan scene too with vegan delights you won’t find in the Asian cities in this list.

The most notable places to enjoy vegan food are Vegab for some tasty vegan kebabs, Mihiderka for burgers and stews, Veganic for pierogi (tofu dumplings) and Farma Burgerownia Roślinna for the vegan version of traditional Polish street food zapiekanka

Average Costs in Krakow

Meal$5.27
Coffee $1.76
Hostel$13.80
Hotel$37
AirBnB$34

5. Taipei, Taiwan

vegan-city-taipei

Frequently named as the vegan capital of Asia, we had to include Taipei. For a 1st world modern city, Taipei is still very affordable. Due to the high population of Buddhist’s living in the country, who eat strict vegetarian, you are never too far away from a vegan eatery. Much like Hanoi in Vietnam, you will find many Buddhist vegan buffet type restaurants. Make sure you take advantage of all the different varieties of tofu dishes and fresh green veggies available. You might want to avoid the ‘stinky tofu’!!

Taipei is also home to many amazing vegan restaurants that are really pushing the boundaries of vegan cuisine. Most notably, Ooh Cha Cha for vegan bacon cheeseburgers, Soul R. Vegan Cafe for matcha and walnut vegan waffles, About Animals for vegan wasabi burgers, Vege Creek for make-your-own Taiwanese soup and Vegan Heaven for macaroon and salted caramel tart! 

Average Costs in Taipei

Meal$3.65
Coffee $3.89
Hostel$15
Hotel$41
AirBnB$46

Other Cheap Vegan-Friendly Cities to Consider

Pune, India

PETA India named Pune as the most vegan-friendly city in India 2017. Pune has be known to have it’s very own vegan festival, vegan food delivery service and a number of quality vegan restaurants.

Bangaluru, India

The city formerly know as Bangalore has been a hotbed for vegan food for a while now and very nearly made the top 5 list above if it wasn’t for Chennai. Here you will find a lot of traditional food is vegan including dosa, vada, biryani, momo and a number of Punjabi dishes.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh has a lot to offer for vegan travelers, it just missed the top 5 because it’s more expensive than the capital Hanoi. Like Hanoi, you will be sure to find many strict vegetarian (vegan) eateries, as well as, some purpose vegan restaurants such as Saigon Vegan and Sen Quan Chay.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is one of the most interesting and exciting cities you could visit. The Thai capital has a thriving street food scene and you don’t have to look too hard for vegan options. Dig into a traditional Thai green or red curry (minus the fish sauce) for around $1!

There are some vegan restaurants worth checking out too, including Broccoli Revolution, Talalask and Veganerie Concept.

Pai, Thailand

Just 3 hours North of Chiang Mai is the beautiful remote little town of Pai. Think hippies, buskers, street food and clean living. Pai is awesome and definitely worth a visit if you are in Chiang Mai. Each night on the main road in town there are food trucks lining the streets with lots of vegan goodies including traditional Thai cuisine, Indian savoury treats and even a woman selling incredible falafel wraps!

The most notable restaurant for vegan food in Pai is the Earth Tone Vegetarian Cafe. Here you can munch on seitan sandwiches and vegan cake! Make sure you also check out Boomelicious Cafe and Bom Bowls.

Kandy, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka probably isn’t the top of many people’s places to visit for vegan food. The ‘gem’ island is currently seeing a huge rise in the number of visitors and for good reason. Not only is it home to many beautiful beaches and mountainous towns, but it’s also very affordable! Kandy, the central mountainous town, is where you will find the bets vegan food in the country.

You should visit Kandy for the Balaji Dosai restaurants alone! Serving amazing mushroom dosas. Also check out Secret Alley Cafe and The Empire Cafe for great vegan options.

You can find our FULL vegan guide to Sri Lanka here.