Welcome to Tel Aviv- a beautiful city filled with love, life, and adventure- and a whole universe of veganism! Yep- Welcome to the Vegan capital of the world- a title previously held by Berlin, now by Tel Aviv, a city in Israel filled with the unique flavors that are signature to the vegan world, with farm to table a literal reality. Tel Aviv boasts more than 400 vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants, serving the ever-growing number of 200,000 vegans which has blossomed over the last 6 years. Vega eating in Tel Aviv is a chance to taste some of the best food in the country.
Why in Israel?
The Vegan lifestyle, although not a new concept, has gained increasing popularity amongst the new-age and open-minded youth. Whether people adopt veganism due to health or idealistic reasons, it takes a city with the future in mind to accommodate this lifestyle and actively seek to make it part of their culture. Israeli’s are known to be liberal-minded and the government has welcomed this new lifestyle and encouraged its growth. Tel Aviv is also unique in that the whole country is accessible in 2 hours making ‘farm to table’ a way of life.- It also doesn’t hurt that 2 popular Israeli staples- hummus and falafel are completely vegan.
Israeli Vegans in numbers
- 1-in-10 Tel Aviv residents are either vegan or vegetarian
- At an estimated 5% of the population, Tel Aviv has the highest vegans per capita in the world
- 15,000 vegan supporters pre-ordered tickets to the VeganFest.
- 8%) of the city's residents report eating a vegan meal at least twice a week.
- IDF is the most vegan army in the world, with 1 out of 18 soldiers declaring themselves vegan,
Farm to Table
Perhaps the most unique element to Tel Aviv’s vegan culture is its proximity to fresh produce. The open market or ‘shuk’ – besides being an integral part of Israeli society, is overflowing with fresh produce daily due to its easy access to all corners of the country. Operating daily, this allows restaurant owners to shop in the morning and cook in the afternoon, a concept uniquely important to vegan catering as it relies on grown produce for its taste and texture.
Veganism and Food Allergies
Vegan restaurants are great options for people with allergies to any animal products such as chicken, meat, fish, or dairy. However, extreme caution should be taken for anyone allergic to nuts or legumes- as these ingredients are in almost all vegan recipes. Since the diet doesn’t allow any poultry or dairy products, for example, the vegan diet relies heavily on nuts and legumes for nutrients in their food and even if it’s not part of the recipe of a menu item, chances of cross-contamination are high.
Vegan Culture in Tel Aviv
Veganism is alive and well throughout the city. Not only are there a myriad of restaurants and eateries, but it’s also visible all over- from the graffiti on street walls, protests, and festivals! Vegan options are available in all different kinds of cuisines, such as; Persian, Ethiopian, and Indian. The trend gained so much momentum that the Israeli Domino pizza chain became the first pizza company the add vegan options to their menu worldwide. 2020 has also been named, “the year of plant-based ‘meat’, attracting not only consumer attention, but also large-scale investor attention.”
So if you’re in the neighborhood, drop in, enjoy a journey of both the heart and mind and spend a moment experiencing guilt-free living.