Whether you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, finding things to order when you eat out can be difficult and there usually isn’t much variety either. At least you can go home and whip something up to make you happy. Unfortunately, when you’re traveling, it can be even more inconvenient to find something healthy and tasty several times a day to satisfy your hunger that still sticks to your food ethics. You aren’t the only one that has problems finding dining resources. There are also those with food allergies, gluten allergies, lactose intolerance…and those that just plain don’t like certain things. Restaurants are beginning to branch out and make a broader range of food selections that can satisfy more food restrictions, all while being a bit healthier.
The first time we talked about traveling as a vegetarian, I was learning the basics, as I am not a vegetarian myself and wasn’t really aware that there were so many obstacles to being a non-meat eater and packing your bags to see the world. I found a lot of articles written by vegetarians and vegans that suggested you pack your own food, like peanut butter and soy milk products. Happily, you can get specialty food items in almost all destinations, so you can save room in your travel bag for things you actually WANT to pack, like clothes. You also save checked baggage fees, because you don’t need to bring those items at all. With a little more education on the subject, and chatting with a few vegetarian friends, I’ve now learned quite a bit about what you can and can’t eat and the different vegan substitute products on the market. I’ve even purchased some myself, in an effort to save money and eat better. And yes, you can save money by buying and using some of these products, like egg substitute, which you can use in your baking. It saves you money, because it last so much longer than a carton of eggs and it doesn’t go bad. But enough of my frugal shopping habits.
As a vegetarian, you aren’t just looking for foods to eat at your destination, but on the way as well. I found a great list of dining establishments found in most airports that cater to your needs, so you can eat before your flights and on layovers without having to live on the baggie of carrot sticks you packed in your carry-on.
On the Ground
- Chickpea Salad (vegan)
- Garden Lentil Salad (vegan)
- Parfaits: Acai Banana, Green Tea, Mixed Berry
- Ruggelah: Apricot Pecan, Raspberry Almond
- Signature Muffins: Banana Nut, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Lemon Poppyseed
- Spinach Tomato Pesto Panini
- Tea Bite: Roasted Tomato Cheddar
- Tomato Garden Vegetable Salad
Au Bon Pain
- Apple Strudel (vegan)
- Black Bean Soup (vegan)
- Chickpea & Tomato Cucumber Salad (vegan without cheese)
- Curried Rice & Lentil Soup (vegan)
- French Moroccan Tomato Lentil Soup (vegan)
- Green Bean & Beet Salad (vegan without cheese)
- Portabello & Goat Cheese sandwich (vegan without cheese)
- Vegetarian Chili (vegan)
- Vegetarian Lentil Soup (vegan)
- Pretzels: Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic, Glazin’ Raisin, Jalapeño, Original, Whole Wheat (vegan without butter)
- Delight Grilled Vegetable Plate
- Philly Veggie (vegan without cheese or mayo)
- Bagels: Cinnamon Raisin, Multi Grain
- Banana Bread – reduced fat
- Chewy Granola Bar
- Cinnamon Coffeecake
- Oatmeal: Classic, 7-Grain (vegan)
- Muffin: Better Morning, Blueberry, Cinnamon Streusel, Double Chocolate Chip, French Toast, Mountain Berry
- Pumpkin Pecan Bread
- Scone: Cinnamon Chip, Cranberry, Cranberry Orange, Lemon Blueberry, Maple Oatmeal
- Southwestern Black Bean Salad (vegan)
- Veggie Daybreaker Breakfast Sandwich
- Yogurt Parfait – low-fat
Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Bagel: Sundried Tomato (vegan)
- Bistro Salad (vegan without cheese)
- Chipotle Salad (vegan without cheese)
- Fruit Salad (vegan)
- Kettle Chips Classic (vegan)
- Any Drink
Moe’s Southwest Grill
- Burritos: Made to Order (can be vegan)
- Chips (vegan)
- Personal Trainer Salad (vegan without cheese)
- Tacos: Made to Order (can be vegan)
National Coney Island
- Hummus Veggie Sandwich/Wrap
- Vegetarian Pita with Fries
- Vegetarian Tuna
- Bagels: Blueberry, Everything, Plain, Sesame, Sweet Onion Poppy Seed, Whole Grain (vegan)
- Classic Café Salad (vegan)
- Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (vegan)
- Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (vegan without cheese)
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (vegan)
- Sourdough Bread Bowl (vegan)
- Cranberry Flax Muffin (vegan)
- Fruit Cup (vegan)
- Hummus Plate (vegan)
- Multigrain Bagel
- Oatmeal (vegan)
- Organic Fruit Scone with Pecans (vegan)
- Plain Bagel
- Protein Plate
- Raspberry Bran Scone (vegan)
- Ratatouille Sandwich/Roasted Vegetable Panini
- Veggie Artisan Breakfast Sandwich
|Stuffed poblano pepper|
In the Air
Cibo Express offers over 1,000 packaged, ready-to-go menu items that you can grab to eat on the plane. Many are vegetarian or vegan and are fresh and organic.
Most airlines don’t serve real meals anymore, but they do offer snack boxes. The airlines that offer vegan/vegetarian options are as follows:
American Airlines (vegan)
Continental Airlines (vegan)
Delta Airlines (vegan)
United Airlines (vegan)
US Airways (vegan)
Aer Lingus (vegan)
Air Malta (vegan)
Qantas Airways (vegan)
Air New Zealand (vegan)
Cathay Pacific (vegan)
Malaysia Airlines (vegan)
Qatar Airways (vegan)
Vietnam Airlines (vegan)
Unless you’re on an international flight, chances are you’ll be paying for these in-flight meals and snacks, so you may be better off bringing your own to begin with from Cibo Express or from one of the many other dining establishments above. If you don’t mind paying for a meal, make sure you request a vegetarian or vegan entrée well ahead of your flight to ensure the meal actually makes it onboard for you. Usually, you can choose food options when you book your flights. If that is a choice when booking, make sure you order it then, because some airlines will not let you change it later once your reservation is in the system.
|Chocolate layer cake with vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce|
There is so much more I want to get to regarding vegetarian and vegan travel, once you get off the plane, so check back on Saturday for my next installment of this topic. I had such great response to the first post I did, I hope this will further help you take better vacations and eat more things at different places. On Saturday, we’ll look at the top travel destinations for veg-heads, where you can find places to eat and how to order off a foreign menu when you aren’t fluent in the language. Sure, we’ve covered this before, but this will be totally different information!
Are you a traveling vegetarian? Have you found other food options at popular airport restaurants and delis? Had a good or bad experience with the meals on airlines? Let us know, so you can help your fellow trip-takers have smoother and more delicious travels!
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