Posted by: Antonia Ciccolo | September 19, 2010

Best Ethnic Cuisines

After being vegan for two and a half months now, and having experienced many different restaurants and cuisines, I’ve finally determined my favorite ethnic cuisines (or ones with the most vegan options). When someone asks me, “So what type of restaurant do you want to go to tonight?” My first reaction is usually, “do you like Middle Eastern?” Middle Eastern cuisine has so many vegan options, which might be because many Muslims are vegetarian. Typical vegan options on the menu include: Hummus, Baba Ganouch, Falafel, Israeli Salad, and Grape Leaves.

I’ve also always been able to find something to eat at restaurants with Mediterranean, Indian, or Asian cuisines. I find it hardest to find vegan options at American and Italian restaurants, which I am embarrassed to admit, considering I am an Italian American.

Here are some common vegan menu options by cuisine that I’ve tried:

  • Mexican: Veggie burrito or taco with black beans, Mexican rice, veggies, salsa, guacamole
  • Chinese: Broccoli and tofu with rice; bean curd (any style) with rice
  • Japanese: Edamame, vegetarian sushi rolls (asparagus, cucumber, avocado), ginger salad, seaweed salad, avocado salad
  • Thai: Pad thai (vegan), tofu stir fry
  • Indian: Aloo palak, chana masala, vegetable biryani
  • Greek: Dolmades, lentil soup, Greek salad (without feta)
  • Italian: Pasta (no egg) with marinara; salad with vinaigrette dressing or olive oil

I’ve noticed that most upscale restaurants can usually prepare something vegan, even if there isn’t anything on the menu. However, if you’d like to grab dinner someplace quick with a vegan and there aren’t any vegan or vegetarian-friendly restaurants around, definitely go for Middle Eastern or Asian cuisine.


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