You know, it’s not easy being vegan in a world full of cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We set out on a mission to uncover some of the tastiest and most mouthwatering vegan foods from around the globe so you can get your nom on. From creamy cashew cheese in Italy to spicy jackfruit tacos in Mexico, your taste buds are about to go on an international adventure. Get ready to rediscover what it means to eat plant-based as we explore 7 of the best vegan food in the world. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just looking to add more meat-free meals into your rotation, this roundup of cruelty-free cuisine is sure to satisfy any appetite.
What Makes a Dish Truly Vegan?
For a dish to truly be vegan, it needs to exclude all animal products. That means no meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, honey, or other byproducts.
When checking ingredients, look out for hidden animal derivatives like:
- Casein or whey – milk proteins
- Albumin – egg whites
- Carmine or cochineal – red food color from insects
- L-cysteine – an amino acid often derived from human hair or duck feathers
Double check that all ingredients are 100% plant-based. Some common vegan staples include:
- Beans, lentils, and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Grains like rice, oats, and quinoa
- Plant-based milks (almond, soy, coconut, oat, etc.)
- Plant-based butters (coconut oil, nut butters, etc.)
- Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
- Herbs and spices to enhance flavor
Some food processing methods also use animal products, so choose vegan options when buying processed foods. Watch out for:
- Cheese or whey in chips, crackers, and other snacks
- Honey in cereals, granola bars, and baked goods
- Eggs as a binding agent in veggie burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf
By carefully checking labels and ingredients and choosing whole, plant-based foods, you can discover amazing vegan dishes from around the world. A balanced vegan diet can be healthy, humane, and absolutely delicious. Go explore all the options and bon appetit!
1. Top Vegan Foods From Asia
When it comes to vegan cuisine, Asia is a treasure trove of delicious options. Here are some of the tastiest vegan foods the continent has to offer:
Tofu has been a staple of Asian cooking for centuries. Made from soybeans, tofu comes in many textures, from silky soft to crispy. It’s a great meat substitute and absorbs flavors well. Try mapo tofu, braised tofu, or crispy tofu dishes.
Spring rolls are wrapped delights filled with fresh veggies and herbs. Thai spring rolls are wrapped in rice paper and served fresh, while Vietnamese spring rolls are fried. Either way, they’re crunchy, healthy, and satisfying.
From udon to ramen, noodles are central to many Asian meals. Many varieties are vegan, made from ingredients like rice, wheat, buckwheat, or mung beans. A bowl of noodles, broth, and veggies makes a simple but hearty meal. Popular options include pad thai, chow fun, and sesame noodles.
Curry is a staple of Indian cooking, and many popular curries are vegan. Lentil curry, potato curry, and mixed veggie curry are delicious and filling. Thai curries made with coconut milk also offer lots of vegan varieties like red curry, green curry, and massaman curry. Serve over rice or with naan bread.
With so many plant-based whole foods and flavors to explore, Asia is a vegan paradise. Next time you’re craving exotic cuisine, try whipping up one of these vegan specialties for a meal you won’t forget.
2. Best Vegan Dishes in Europe
Vegan food in Europe has come a long way. Many traditional dishes have been veganized, and plant-based cuisine is blossoming across the continent. Here are some of the tastiest vegan dishes Europe has to offer.
This cold Spanish tomato soup is naturally vegan and perfect for hot summer days. Made from tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, and olive oil, gazpacho is creamy and full of flavor. Many recipes also add bread to give it a thicker consistency. For extra nutrition, top your bowl with avocado, chopped almonds or vegan croutons.
Penne Arrabbiata (Italy)
Spicy tomato sauce, or arrabbiata, is a staple of Italian cuisine. To make it vegan, simply leave out the parmesan cheese. Sauté garlic and chili peppers in olive oil, then simmer in crushed tomatoes. Toss with penne pasta and fresh basil for a simple, satisfying dish. For extra protein add white beans or lentils to the sauce.
Hummus and Pita (Greece)
Hummus, made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon and spices, has been a vegan staple in Greece for centuries. Pair it with warm pita bread, fresh vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes, and kalamata olives for a classic Greek meze.
Borscht (Eastern Europe)
This ruby-red beetroot soup is popular in many Eastern European countries like Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Romania. The basic ingredients of beets, broth and onions are all vegan. Some recipes also add potatoes, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Borscht is usually served with a dollop of plant-based sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh dill.
Paper-thin crepes can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert or any time in between. The traditional ingredients of flour, plant-based milk, and sugar are all vegan. Fill your crepes with lemon juice and sugar, fresh fruit, chocolate spread, or whipped coconut cream. Top with a drizzle of maple syrup for extra decadence.
From refreshing gazpacho to comforting borscht, vegan cuisine in Europe is diverse, delicious and steeped in history. Expand your palate and try recreating some of these classic plant-based dishes at home.
3. Most Iconic Vegan Meals in the Americas
Some of the most iconic vegan meals can be found throughout the Americas. Here are four of the best:
Tacos de Hongos (Mushroom Tacos)
Mexico City is a vegan paradise, with many meatless options on menus. Tacos de Hongos, or mushroom tacos, are a popular favorite. Corn tortillas are filled with sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic and chili peppers. Top them with salsa, guacamole, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Simple but bursting with flavor.
Arepas are cornmeal flatbreads popular in Venezuela and Colombia. They’re usually stuffed with fillings like beans, plantains or cheese. Vegan arepas can be filled with mashed black beans, fried plantains and fresh salsa. Arepas are gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, keeping you full for hours.
Pupusas are thick corn tortillas from El Salvador, stuffed with vegan fillings like mashed beans, spinach and zucchini. They’re cooked on a griddle until the filling melts into the tortilla. Top them with curtido, a spicy cabbage slaw, and salsa. Pupusas are delicious any time of day.
Bolinhos de Bacalhau (Salt Cod Fritters)
Despite the name, Bolinhos de Bacalhau from Brazil contain no fish. Mashed chickpeas, onions, parsley and spices are formed into fritters and fried until crispy. They’re usually served with a tomato and chili sauce for dipping. These fritters are creamy on the inside with a crunchy exterior.
The cuisines of Latin America offer some of the most flavorful and satisfying vegan meals. With fresh ingredients, spices and cultural fusion, these iconic dishes should be on every vegan foodie’s bucket list. The bold flavors of Mexico, zesty spices of Venezuela, hearty corn tortillas of El Salvador and crispy fritters of Brazil are just a taste of the variety found in the Americas.
4. African Cuisine’s Unique Vegan Offerings
African cuisine offers some truly unique vegan delights. While meat-based dishes are common in many African cultures, plant-based foods have always been staples and the foundation of African diets. Here are a few vegan African specialties worth discovering:
This spongy Ethiopian flatbread is made from teff flour, a gluten-free grain, and water. It has a slightly sour taste and is used to scoop up delicious vegan stews and salads. Teff is a complete protein and high in fiber, manganese, and iron.
This vibrant one-pot rice dish from West Africa gets its color from tomato paste, chili peppers, and turmeric. It’s usually made with basmati rice, onions, garlic, ginger, and a variety of spices like coriander and curry. Jollof rice is often vegan but sometimes contains meat or seafood – just check that the recipe uses vegetable stock and excludes animal products.
Triangular pastry pockets stuffed with spiced potatoes, lentils, or vegetables, samosas are popular in many African countries. The filling varies but is usually vegan, while the pastry wrapper is made from flour, water, and oil. Samosas are fried or baked and served with fresh chutneys for dipping.
Black-eyed pea pudding, or moin moin, is a protein-rich Nigerian dish. Black-eyed peas are steamed in banana leaves with onions, chili, and spices until thick and custardy. It has an earthy, savory flavor and satisfying texture. Black-eyed peas provide fiber, folate, thiamine, and several B vitamins.
A starchy porridge made from maize flour (cornmeal), ugali is a staple side dish in Kenya and Tanzania. It has a dense, doughy texture and is usually eaten by hand, used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews, though it can also be flavored and enjoyed on its own. Maize is a good source of carbohydrates, niacin, and phosphorus.
From hearty grains and legumes to flavorful sauces and stews, African cuisine offers wholesome vegan options for any palate. Which will you try first? Let me know if you have any other questions!
5. Australia and New Zealand’s Plant-Based Specialties
Australia and New Zealand are home to some incredibly delicious vegan cuisine. Here are a few plant-based specialties you must try:
This classic Kiwi dessert gets a vegan makeover with aquafaba (chickpea liquid) instead of egg whites. The sweet meringue base is topped with fresh fruit like kiwis, strawberries and passionfruit. Light, fruity and not too sweet, pavlova is the perfect ending to any meal.
Comfort food at its best, mushroom pie features meaty mushrooms like portobello and shiitake simmered in a creamy gravy, then topped with a flaky pastry crust. Hearty, savory and satisfying, mushroom pie is pure comfort on a plate.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
A New Zealand staple, hokey pokey ice cream is vanilla ice cream studded with crunchy honeycomb toffee pieces. Dairy-free hokey pokey is made with a coconut- or nut-based ice cream and vegan honeycomb. Sweet, cold and crunchy – everything you want in an ice cream.
A popular snack or party food, sausage rolls are meatless sausages wrapped in puff pastry. Made from TVP, nuts or mushrooms and spices, the vegan sausage provides a savory filling for the buttery pastry. Baked until golden brown, sausage rolls are always a crowd pleaser.
New Zealanders and Australians alike start their day with a flat white, a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. For a vegan version, use your favorite non-dairy milk like soy, coconut or oat milk. Strong, creamy and not too milky, a flat white is the perfect morning pick-me-up.
With innovative vegan versions of classic dishes and plant-based specialties found nowhere else, Australia and New Zealand offer some of the most exciting vegan cuisine in the world. Satisfying, comforting and full of flavor, these dishes highlight the very best of each country’s local produce and culinary creativity.
6. Middle Eastern Vegan Classics Not to Miss
The Middle East is home to some of the world’s oldest and most delicious vegan fare. Here are a few classics not to miss:
These fried orbs of chickpea and spice are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Falafel is usually served in pita bread with tahini sauce, hummus, and fresh veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers. Whether you prefer falafel as a snack, appetizer or in a salad, it’s always delicious.
The key ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and spices to create a rich and creamy dip. Hummus is usually eaten with pita bread, crackers, or fresh cut veggies. The variations are endless, from roasted red pepper to pumpkin spice. Hummus makes a great snack, appetizer or condiment.
This light and lemony salad is made of chopped parsley, mint, onion, bulgur wheat and tomatoes. Tabbouleh is usually dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings. It’s a refreshing accompaniment to meze spreads, or eaten on its own. Tabbouleh is a nutritious salad that’s high in iron, fiber and antioxidants.
A spicy and tangy red pepper dip made from roasted red peppers, walnuts, garlic and spices. Muhammara is usually served as a meze with pita bread, crackers or fresh cut veggies for dipping. It has a texture similar to hummus but with a kick of heat from Aleppo peppers. Muhammara is high in protein, healthy fats and antioxidants.
A smoky eggplant dip made from roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Baba ghanoush is usually eaten as a meze dip with pita bread, crackers or fresh cut veggies. It has a creamy texture and smoky, savory flavor from the roasted eggplant. Baba ghanoush is high in fiber, protein and various nutrients.
Grape leaves stuffed with a rice and herb filling, usually including pine nuts or currants. Dolmas can be steamed, boiled or baked. They are usually served cold or at room temperature, topped with lemon juice or yogurt. Dolmas make a great appetizer or snack and are high in iron, vitamin C and antioxidants.
7. Creative Vegan Versions of Comfort Foods
Creative vegan cooks have come up with some amazing plant-based versions of classic comfort foods. Here are a few of the tastiest vegan comfort foods:
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Who says you need cheese to make mac and cheese creamy and satisfying? Vegan mac uses plant-based milks, nutritional yeast, and spices to create a cheesy sauce for elbow pasta. Some recipes also add ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and turmeric to boost nutrition and color.
Meatloaf doesn’t require meat to be delicious and filling. Vegan meatloaf uses plant-based proteins like lentils, beans, and veggie crumbles combined with breadcrumbs, ketchup or tomato sauce, and savory spices. Mushrooms, shredded zucchini or carrots also work great as binders and add moisture. Bake as you would a traditional meatloaf.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes are comfort food at its finest. Vegan mashed potatoes use plant-based milks or broths in place of dairy milk and butter. Starchy potatoes, non-dairy milk, olive oil or coconut oil, and salt are the basics. For extra flavor add nutritional yeast, garlic, chives or caramelized onions.
Hearty chili is always satisfying. Vegan chili combines plant-based crumbles or diced veggies, beans like pinto or black beans, and a tomato base flavored with chili spices like cumin, oregano, garlic and onion. Serve your vegan chili with rice, cornbread, tortilla chips or avocado toast.
Fluffy pancakes are a breakfast favorite, and it’s easy to make vegan versions. Use plant-based milk, egg replacer or mashed banana in place of eggs, and oil instead of butter. Add extras like berries, nuts or chocolate chips for a hearty stack of pancakes. Top with maple syrup, fruit compote or coconut whipped cream.
Discover delicious plant-based comfort food with these vegan versions of familiar favorites. Get creative and add your own twist to classic recipes—your taste buds will thank you.
FAQ: Answering Common Questions About the Best Vegan Food In The World
So you’ve decided to go veganen and want to know more about the best plant-based foods the world has to offer. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the tastiest vegan fare:
What are some of the healthiest vegan foods?
Some of the healthiest veganen foods include:
- Legumes like beans, lentils, and peas which are high in protein and fiber.
- Nuts and seeds which provide healthy fats, protein, and various minerals.
- Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa that are high in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.
- Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens which are loaded with vitamins A, C, and K as well as folate and magnesium.
- Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts that are high in compounds that may help reduce the risk of some cancers.
- Berries which provide antioxidants and help fight inflammation.
- Avocados that contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
What are some delicious vegan snacks?
Some tasty vegan snack options include:
- Hummus and veggie sticks
- Trail mix made with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips
- Rice cakes topped with nut butter and banana slices
- Fresh or dried fruit like dates, figs, raisins, and apricots
- Guacamole and pita chips or veggie chips
- Roasted chickpeas
- Peanut butter and fruit preserves sandwich
- Smoothies made with fruit, leafy greens, plant-based milk, and protein powder
Where can I find vegan recipes?
There are many resources for veganen recipes:
- Websites like Oh She Glows, Vegan Richa, and The Full Helping feature hundreds of plant-based recipes.
- Bestselling vegan cookbooks from authors like Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Angela Liddon, and Miyoko Schinner.
- Food blogs like Vegan Yack Attack, The Vegan 8, and Connoisseurus Veg provide lots of recipe inspiration.
- YouTube channels such as Avant-Garde Vegan, The Happy Pear, and Vegan Black Metal Chef offer video tutorials for making delicious vegan dishes.
So there you have it, the 7 best vegan foods in the world that are worth discovering and trying. Whether you’re veganen, vegetarian, or just want to eat more plant-based for your health or the planet, these foods won’t disappoint. Expand your palate, support sustainable food sources, and make more compassionate choices – one delicious meal at a time. Now get out there and start cooking, eating, and enjoying the amazing vegan fare this world has to offer! Life’s too short to miss out on these culinary adventures. Bon appetit!