Finding vegan food when traveling: HappyCow

When we are traveling to different places I usually like to look up the available vegan and vegetarian restaurants before we go. If I can eat in a vegetarian environment, why wouldn’t I? Plus I like to try out different kind of vegan foods in different places.

happycow logo

To find the restaurants I usually use the site happycow.net, where you easily can search for vegan, vegetarian and vegetarian friendly restaurants, as well as stores, in a city or area that you are interested in, pretty much anywhere in the world. You just type in the city you are looking for in the “search”-field and click the search button. The different alternatives will show up on a list as well as on a map, distinguishing between the different types of places (vegan, vegetarian etc.). You can also filter the results according to the type of restaurant, price class and distance.

When you click on the restaurant’s name it will show you a short description of the place, its address and opening hours and its price class. It will also show you where it is located on a map. Most places also have reviews and pictures from people who have been there, which can be really helpful in choosing if you want to visit the place or not.

I suggest you try it out for your next trip, or even for finding new places in your own city! I have found a lot of places here in Helsinki through HappyCow, that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

A visit to Copenhagen: Food

Something that we always do when we travel is to check out the vegan (and sometimes vegetarian) restaurants or cafes in the city or town where we go. Copenhagen has quite a lot of vegetarian places, and we did not visit all of them, but we did visit all the vegan ones (that I knew about), so here’s a post about vegan restaurants in Copenhagen. Enjoy.

Simple Raw Simple Raw

Simple Raw, Oehlenschlaegersgade 12
The place is quite small and truly simple looking. They serve raw food, juices and smoothies. Their menus were very inviting with nice pictures of the food, but text only in Danish (the guy working there – who turned out to also be the owner – was happy to translate for us, though). R had a plate of zucchini pasta, I had a tapas plate with different salads, hummus, crackers and some patties. We also had a smoothie each. The food was good, I do really like raw food and since I don’t have much experience of preparing it myself it’s nice to eat it in restaurants. The place was also calm and relaxing, not many guests at the time when we were there. The price was in the upper end, we ended up paying around 50 € for the food that we had.

 42 Degrees Raw 42 Degrees Raw

42 Degrees Raw

42 Degrees Raw, Pilestaede 32
Another raw place, located in the city center. We went there around lunch time and it was very busy, full of people and quite noisy. We waited in line for quite some time before we could order, and after that it still took quite long before our food arrived. R had a raw lasagna, I had pizza with a salad. For dessert we shared a chocolate cake. All together it cost around 26 €. The food was alright, it didn’t look that presentable but it tasted fine. Nothing special though. Eating in the restaurant was not that pleasant because of the amount of people and the noise from blenders and other equipment, but they also offer take-out, which I would recommend if you are planning to eat their food during rush hour.

Astrid och Aporna

Astrid och Aporna, Jaegersborggade 39
This is a small vegan fast-food place with a few options of mainly burgers and hot-dogs. We had a burger each and paid around 13 €. I liked the burger, the amount of times I have had a burger that I didn’t make myself since I became a vegetarian ten years ago can be counted on one hand, so it was nice. The place has both indoors and outdoors seating, we tried sitting indoors at first because all the places outside were taken, but it was just too uncomfortable, so as soon some quests left we transferred outdoors.

Woodah Café, Abel Cathrines Gade 1-3
Our hostel, Woodah, also has a cafe, like I mentioned in the earlier post. They serve breakfast, which is the same as the one for the hostel guests. When we were there it consisted of home-made bread with hummus, jam, butter or cheese, home-made muesli (with yoghurt if you wanted), fresh fruit and coffee or tea. Apart from breakfast they also serve snacks and a warm meal, as well as different kind of drinks.

Botaniq, Frederiksborggade 26
I had read good things about this place before we went to Copenhagen, so I really wanted to eat here. Unfortunately they were closed for renovation and don’t open again before in August. Thought I would mention the place here anyway, in case someone will visit Copenhagen in the future and would like to go there. If you do, please tell me about it!

Café Veganissimo, Helsinki

Yesterday we visited the vegan restaurant Café Veganissimo here in Helsinki. It is located at Kulmavuorenkatu 2 and is the only fully vegan restaurant in Helsinki (that I know of at least – please tell me if I’m wrong!).

The restaurant only serves lunch, in weekdays you can choose between a soup lunch that includes salad, or a buffet lunch with warm food, salad and soup. Both choices include coffee or tea and bread made at the restaurant. On Saturdays they serve a buffet brunch or other themed buffet.

Since it was Saturday we came there for the brunch buffet which costs 15 euros. What it consisted of can be seen in the pictures below (even though the quality of the pictures is not the best). Apart from what you can see in the pictures there were also cereals, a smoothie, coffee and tea.

Vegan buffet at Café Veganissimo Vegan buffet at Café Veganissimo

I enjoyed going out to eat and not having to ask if dishes are vegan, that I could just eat anything I liked in the buffet. The food itself was fine, it was nothing amazing and part of it had already gotten cold, but I was full and satisfied when we left. I especially liked the rice with black beans, the potato salad and the Karelian pasty (even though it would have been better served warm and not cold like this one) as well as the pancakes that we had for dessert.

The guy working in the restaurant was nice, he went around and talked to the people and asked if the food was alright. We had a chat with him about if they make cakes, since we saw boxes for cakes on their counter, and it turns out they do cater different types of cakes. As I understood by their website you can also book the restaurant for private parties outside lunch hours.

I also liked the relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant, I felt like you can just come as you are and you don’t either have to hurry. People were sitting and talking and the restaurant even had board games that you could play if you wanted.

I will probably go back sometimes – not because the food was great, but because the place is all vegan and it feels so much better to eat in such a place than a place that serves dairy and eggs – or even meat. Reading through their menu from this past week on their website I also got the feeling that maybe we went there on the wrong day, since a lot of the dishes mentioned on other days seemed more interesting than what we had – so it’s probably worth another visit also just to try what else they have to offer.

Eating at Vegana

A few days ago we finally had time to visit Vegana here in Vaasa and taste their food.

They serve a lunch buffet that costs 9,50 € (includes a salad buffet, warm food, bread, water and tea). For one euro extra you can also have soup. You can also have take-out from the buffet table, you just pick what you want to have into a box and pay by weight.

When we came there I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of food, because I’m so used to being able to eat just a few dishes in a buffet. Most of the food was different types of fresh vegetables and salads. The warm food of the day was oven roasted vegetables and a creamy spaghetti with pieces of soy protein. They also had several different types of bread as well as three types of vegetarian salami.

vegana lunch

I had a little scare when we read the ingredients of the different salamis and one of them had eggs, since I had got the understanding that the place was completely vegan. We had to ask about it and make sure that the rest of the food was vegan, which it fortunately was. So if you go there as a vegan, check twice and ask if you’re not sure about the ingredients!

Apart from the restaurant, they also sell food stuffs. I did not have time to check so closely what exactly they were selling, but at least different types of lentils and beans, soy milk and yoghurt, vegan cheese, bread etc.

The food was good – simple and fresh – and I’m curious what else they have to offer, so I will definitely go back some other day.

New vegan restaurant in Vaasa

Next week a new vegan restaurant will open in the town where I live. With a population of around 60 000 Vaasa is definitely a small town and far from any vegan paradise. Sure, you can find a whole bunch of vegan food stuffs and other products here, but nothing compared to other cities here in Finland (not to talk about other countries). A vegan restaurant is really something I’ve only been able to dream about. Until now.

The lunch restaurant Vegana will open on July 30, and will be open around lunch time every day except Saturday (weekdays 10am – 2 pm, Sundays 12 noon – 4 pm). It is located 0n Vaasanpuistikko 17. I don’t know much about the type of food they will serve or the price range yet, but it will be interesting to go there try it out. I promise to write something about it once I’ve had time to go there!

The restaurant’s website is not yet finished, but the menu and other information is supposed to come up there in a near future.