Today is my birthday and so I’ve decided to do something a bit different with my Tuesday post. I just got home from a trip around Europe (more about that in the future) and I wanted to share the amazing culinary journey this has been for me with you.
I traveled through Germany, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands and, to be completely truthful, being vegan is not always easy in these countries.
I only decided to have breakfast in two hotels, Waldhotel Hohberg in Switzerland and Hotel Aviva in Germany, since I usually end up rather disappointed anyways. My hotel breakfasts usually include a cup of expresso, some fresh orange juice, and different varieties of breads with jam, fresh fruits and veggies.
However, the breakfast at hotel Aviva in Karlsruhe blew my mind. There were so many options and I felt like a kid in a candy store. They even had tiny packages of peanut butter, along with an endless choice of fresh jam. No to mention the awesome selection of fresh fruits, which included watermelon, kiwi fruit, grapes, melons, oranges and even pineapple.
My go-to choice for breakfasts and even lunches, when everything else fails, is always fresh fruit and salads, and there is plenty of that in many different food markets in all the countries I visited.
In my experience, German and Belgium restaurants are not particularly vegetarian, let alone vegan, friendly, but there is always at least one nice salad option. And of course, their endless supply of French (Belgium, I guess) fries. Not very healthy, I know, but I was on vacation.
One of my most awesome food experiences was in Zurich, where I visited the first vegetarian restaurant in the world, Hiltl, established in 1898. I grabbed a quick lunch to go.
If you know anything about me, you know I love Italy and, above all, I love Italian food. And Amsterdam in overflowing with Italian restaurants, so I simply had to visit one – La Madonnina. As always, Italians did not let me down. I got a beautiful vegetarian pizza with no cheese and, honestly, it was the best meal I had on the entire trip. I know, I know, I visited Northern Europe and found myself a little piece of Italy again.
I did find a restaurant in Amsterdam with vegan options and I had this wonderful dish of baked sweet potatoes.
All in all, I am pretty happy with the meal choices I made on this trip. While I have to admit I was a tad disappointed at the lack of vegan or even vegetarian options in some restaurants, there were also many places, moments and people along the way that pleasantly surprised me and made this trip even more enjoyable.