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How to Eat Healthy While Traveling:
Your Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling: <br />Your Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

Just because you're away from home doesn't mean you need to take a break from your plant-based diet. AtlasGuru contributors share vegan and vegetarian options to keep you healthy while traveling.

Here are just a few countries you can rely on to maintain your plant-based diet. Each comes with practical tips on how to eat healthy while traveling. We've assembled traveler recommendations on food preparation, local markets, and restaurants.

1. Canggu, Indonesia

1. Canggu, Indonesia

A resort village on the south coast of Bali, Canggu (pronounced "changoo") is known for its terraced rice paddies and beaches. This coastal town is dotted with several lava stone temples, central to Balinese culture.

Canggu offers many healthy food options, such as fresh, natural smoothies and vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Local Markets and Restaurants

  • OMA JAMU VEGAN: Travelers can expect to find raw cacao shakes, traditional turmeric drinks, and a vegan and vegetarian lunch buffet. 
  • Alive Wholefoods Store Canggu: Family owned, this whole food shop offers affordable and organic groceries you can take with you on your adventures. 
  • Pels Supershop: This vegan restaurant in Bali offers plenty of delicious options, such as vegan pizza, salads with seasonal vegetables, and vegan lasagna.

Food Prep

At your local market, find plant-based snacks you can take on the go, such as: 

  • Kacang Asin or salted peanuts
  • Brem or fermented sticky rice 
  • Sumping or rice flour with coconut, banana, or peanut filling

Restaurant Recommendations from the AtlasGuru Community

The restaurant, I am Vegan Babe in Canggu was amazing!

Courteney Michelle, The Best of Bali - 2 Week Itinerary.

2. Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, Malta

2. Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, Malta

Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, Malta, offers a majestic view of the Mediterranean sea and panoramic sights of the city.

Local Markets and Restaurants

Food Prep

Plant-based food to go includes:

  • Vegan Galletti biscuits: Perfect to pair with dips and spreads
  • Qassatat: A traditional Maltese pastry that comes with a variety of vegan fillings
  • Ftira: Similar to pizza, except instead of cheese, it’s potatoes

Restaurant Recommendations from the AtlasGuru Community

I had an incredible lunch at 'eeetwell,' which uses seasonal ingredients to [make] great fresh and healthy meals for around €8.
Cooli’s in Mdina was incredible and worth it for the quality and general experience.

– Nivek, Exploring Malta.

3. Cusco, Peru

3.  Cusco, Peru
Photo by Ashim D'Silva on Unsplash

One of Peru’s most beloved cities, Cusco is considered the country's tourist capital. Not to mention, it's the starting point for the most renowned Inca ruin—Machu Picchu. 

Cusco is home to many plant-based options, so find comfort knowing you can enjoy Peruvian cuisine and eat plant based.

Local Markets and Restaurants

Food Prep

  • Tarwi (Andean beans): Often served with potatoes, these local beans are a good source of protein and perfect for hiking trips. 
  • Fruits and vegetables: Due to its unique soil and climate, Cusco is home to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. You can find them at the local market or grocery store. 
  • Chocolate: Oh yeah. Cusco is home to cacao, which grows in the city’s jungle regions. You can find raw cacao and chocolate in many shops to make your adventures a bit sweeter. 

Restaurant Recommendations from the AtlasGuru Community

Green Point Restaurant has great vegan food. Organika has great healthy and vegetarian food options.

WishingOceans, Rainbow Mountains, Incan Ruins, Abundant Alpacas, Rich Indigenous Culture, and the Amazon Rainforest All Await in Cusco, Peru.

Green Point Restaurant was a great vegan restaurant in Cusco.

TZ, Exploring the Amazon and Machu Picchu.

4. Mexico City, Mexico

4. Mexico City, Mexico
Photo by Roberto Carlos Román Don on Unsplash

Mexico City, one of North America's oldest and largest cities, was founded in the once capital of the Aztec empire. It’s also home to beloved painter Frida Kahlo and over 100 museums. It’s also the ideal city to try a variety of dishes, many of which come with vegetarian and vegan options.

Local Markets and Restaurants

  • Central de Abasto: If you need to stock up on fruits and veggies, look no further than Central de Abasto. Considered one of the largest markets in the world, the Central de Abasto market houses 2,000 businesses spread across 810 acres.
  • Medellín Market: The Medellín Market offers a wide variety of dry goods like candied fruits from spice and seed vendors. They also offer the popular ice cream from Cuban heladería. 
  • Tuesday Tianguis: Tuesdays are meant for the farmers’ market in west Condesa. This market offers a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (wild mushrooms, farm-fresh eggs, avocados, and wild greens). 

Food Prep

Avocado, rice, tortilla, and beans…the list goes on. Mexico City is a vegan and vegetarian’s dream. You can find these plant-based ingredients and more around CDMX to keep your stomach happy. 

Restaurant Recommendations from the AtlasGuru Community

Someone who works at Casa Pepe gave us a list of vegan places in CDMX, and I was VERY happy with these recommendations (I recommend them even if you aren't vegan). Here are a few: Gatorta (my #1), Por siempre vegana 2, Pan D'Monium, Punto gozadero, A darle que es taco vegano.

– Saboozle, A week in Mexico City.

Baja Fish Taquito in San Miguel is super casual but had our favorite fish tacos. In Mexico City, my friends had a long lunch at Pujol which is a Michelin-starred restaurant and loved it. Lardo in the Condesa neighborhood was charming for our first breakfast in Mexico City. Also in Mexico City, we had dinner at Cedron which I would visit again. Casa Oaxaca is a special treat with beautiful views overlooking the main square in Oaxaca.

– KBennett, Eating Our Way through Mexico.

5. Jerusalem, Israel

5. Jerusalem, Israel
Photo by Delfina Iacub on Unsplash

Jerusalem holds major significance as the capital city for the three largest monotheistic religions—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Travelers can expect beautiful views of the holy sites and mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian meal options.

Local Markets and Restaurants

  • Machane Yehuda: On Fridays, this local market offers a colorful atmosphere filled with rich Israeli flavors and cuisine. The market provides group tours (day or night) that take you through premium dishes and desserts.

    ...lots of fruits and vegetables and at night lots of restaurants and street food.

    – Sagitravels, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - Food and Fun.
  • Emek Refaim Street: At the heart of Jerusalem’s German Colony, this street is lined with trendy restaurants, cafes, and boutique stores that offer diverse goods to keep your stomach and eyes happy.

Food Prep

Some great snack and meal prep options to take on your adventures include:

  • Falafel: Deep-fried fritter made from ground chickpeas and/or broad beans
  • Hummus: A delicious dip made from chickpeas mixed with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic
  • Sabich: Israeli sandwich made from pita or laffa bread, usually stuffed with fried eggplants, chopped salad, and amba and tahini sauce

Restaurant Recommendations from the AtlasGuru Community

Mona in Jerusalem was beautiful and the food was excellent. Uri Buri in Acre had good seafood and was located on the waterfront. The food in Israel is amazing and is a vegetarian dream-hummus, pita, lots of roasted and pickled vegetables.

KBennett, Israel Itinerary (10 Day Vacation).

6. Cochin, India

6. Cochin, India

Another heavily plant-based country. India offers an abundance of curries, stuffed bread, and spices, all of which fulfill vegan and vegetarian needs.

In Cochin, travelers can expect to see some of the finest harbors in the world and enjoy their time at the center of the world’s spice trade.

Local Markets and Restaurants

Cochin offers great local markets such as:

  • Broadway: This famous local market offers an abundance of spices and cashews for a reasonable price.
  • Royal Spice Market: Cochin is known as the capital of spices, so you’ll find good quality pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and more.

Food Prep

A few good journey-friendly snack options include:

  • Aloo tikki: Potato patties with a hint of spice and herbs
  • Onion pakoda: Crispy onion fritters that are a popular Indian street snack
  • Pani puri: Crispy fried dough balls stuffed with potatoes, sprouts, tangy water, and/or sweet chutney

Restaurant Recommendations from the AtlasGuru Community

We had an amazing meal at Grandma's cafe which has a great atmosphere, I would definitely recommend this.
In town we had breakfast at the Mango Tree Restaurant (delicious oatmeal and lassis!).
We had lunch at the White Elephant restaurant, which had delicious currys and huge portions.

– Aimee, India.

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