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Revealed: The World’s Top Cities for Dietary Needs


Dietary needs should never stand in the way of exploring local food on your travels. From vegan to keto, our research reveals the best destinations for specialist diet.

Discovering authentic local cuisine is one of the highlights of travelling. Whether wandering the cobblestones of Porto or taking in Melbourne’s fabled cultural scene, thoughts routinely return to food – so it’s good to know that a meal that meets your dietary needs is never far away.

But which destinations can you turn to for food freedom? To find out, we analysed TripAdvisor restaurant listings in 100 cities around the world to determine the most accommodating (and least accommodating) for travellers on specialist diets. 

Using an index, we’ve ranked all 100 cities top to bottom overall for travellers following specialist diets (More about our method*):

In gathering our research, we broke down the destinations best suited for travellers with six specific dietary needs – based on the number of restaurants in each city catering to these:

Vegetarian

Vegan

Gluten-Free

Keto

Kosher

Halal

Below, we’ve created a guide to help you find the places that best meet your dietary restrictions – so you can travel with confidence, and the promise of a tempting local plate.

Vegetarian

When it comes to meat-free fare, vegetarians are well catered to in every corner of the globe – with thousands of restaurants offering vibrant veggie cuisine. Here, we take a closer look at the most and least accommodating cities for vegetarian food.

Vegetarians take note: London is by far the most accommodating city for veggie food, outstripping every other city in the world with its collection of some 8,533 vegetarian restaurants. That’s 3,868 more than Rome, and 4,235 more than the Big Apple – a city which prides itself on its progressive, forward-thinking cuisine.

Elsewhere in the top 10 cities ranked best for vegetarian food, Europe’s vibrant capitals fared well, with Madrid, Berlin and Amsterdam all claiming a high standing. Indeed, the only cities beyond Europe were New York, Mumbai and Dubai – proving that European cities are among the very best for vegetarian diners.

Meanwhile, on the list of cities least accommodating of vegetarians, Japan didn’t fare well, with three of its bustling metropolises coming top of the list for the least accommodating for vegetarian food. Between them, these cities have just 120 vegetarian restaurants according to our data – a far cry from the likes of London, Rome and New York City.

Vegan

A vegan lifestyle is now more accessible than ever, with countless restaurants and brands offering animal-free food, cosmetics and services. Here, we explore the cities best suited for vegan food, so you can enjoy sustainable, ethical cuisine on your travels.

Vegans will feel as at home in London, Rome and New York City as vegetarians, offering over 9,000 vegan eateries between them. Elsewhere in the top 10, Barcelona pipped Paris to fourth place, while Dubai took the seventh-place spot with its generous collection of some 1,318 vegan restaurants.

Things weren’t so rosy for Fukuoka, Yokohama and Osaka once more, while other destinations in the east, including Seoul and Macau, also disappointed with their slim pick of vegan establishments.

Meanwhile, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the French city of Lyon also making the top 10 list of the least accommodating cities for vegans, offering just 150 options. Located on the banks of the Rhône, this historic city is known for its no-nonsense approach to fine French food – its fabled bouchons offering up such plates as pork jaw, blood sausage and pig’s head terrine. Perhaps not one for a vegan appetite.

Gluten-Free

Awareness of the importance of a gluten-free diet for specific health reasons has grown in recent years. Whether you suffer from coeliac disease or prefer not to eat gluten for other health reasons, finding gluten-free options is important while travelling – and our guide can help you get it right.

If you’re off gluten: London, New York City and Rome are your best bets for plenty of dining options, while the Spanish wonders of Barcelona and Madrid are also excellent – offering over 2,600 gluten-free options between them. The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, also claims a spot in the top 10, with 712 reasons why those on a gluten-free diet will love eating in Auld Reekie.

Elsewhere in the top 10, health-conscious Sydney proved it’s a good option for those who’ve gone gluten-free, offering over 100 more gluten-free options than neighbouring Melbourne (763 to Melbourne’s 637). Amsterdam also slipped into the top 10, with the beautiful Dutch capital providing some 667 gluten-free options.

Sadly, the cities of Japan and Southeast Asia once again fell short when it came to gluten-free alternatives. The Japanese cities of Fukuoka, Osaka, Yokohama and Kyoto offer just 75 gluten-free options between them according to our data – with Fukuoka offering very few gluten-free restaurants.

Keto

The low-carb, high-fat keto diet has grown more popular in recent years, but it can be tricky to stick to while travelling. To help you stay on track, take a look at the most and least accommodating destinations for keto-friendly restaurants.

Those sticking to a ketogenic diet will find plenty to enjoy in some of the world’s foremost capital cities, with London, Tokyo, Madrid, Paris, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok and Berlin all ranked highly for keto cuisine. London alone affords over 700 ketogenic options, while Barcelona has 416 places where you can cut the carbs and stay true to your diet.

Over on the list of the least accommodating cities for a ketogenic diet, the pasta and pizza-loving destinations of Venice and Palermo came out on top, offering just 6 and 13 keto options respectively. Other destinations where bread plays a key part in local gastronomy also made the list, including Marrakech (16), Rhodes (20) and Cairo (22).

In the 10th spot of the least accommodating cities for a ketogenic diet was Zagreb, Croatia’s historic and charming capital. Unlike neighbouring Hungary, whose capital, Budapest, offers 163 keto dining options, Zagreb provides just 27 – proof, perhaps, of Italy’s enduring influence on the local cuisine of Croatia.

Kosher

Adhering to a kosher diet is an important facet of the Jewish faith, and it can be difficult to find restaurants whose menus fall wholly within the kosher remit. Here, we explore the global cities that excel when it comes to kosher dining options.

Aside from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – the majority of whose eateries are all kosher – the best cities for a kosher diet ranged from US metropolises like New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, to European destinations like London, Moscow, Rome and Paris. Indeed, Paris proved Europe’s safest bet for kosher restaurants, providing 59 dedicated options.

Meanwhile, among the least accommodating cities for a kosher diet were destinations not known for their large Jewish communities, particularly Bangkok, New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur, which, despite being vast and multi-cultured, offer very little for kosher diets. More surprisingly, however, was Lisbon’s appearance in the number two spot – one of very few European cities to overlook kosher diets as part of its vibrant restaurant scene.

Halal

If you adhere to a halal diet, finding restaurants which offer such cuisine can prove prohibitive, limiting your choice in unfamiliar destinations. To help, here are the cities ranked most and least accommodating for offering halal-friendly restaurants.

Given its association with the Islamic faith, halal cuisine is prevalent in major cities around the world, from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta to Cairo. What’s more interesting, however, is that London was ranked the second-best city in the world for halal cuisine, with 917 options. Paris also made the top 10 with 139 halal restaurants, cementing these great European capitals as two of the most cosmopolitan and diverse destinations in the world.

Sadly, there were plenty of destinations that didn’t make the cut when it came to halal-friendly dining, the most surprising of which being Rio de Janeiro. Despite its population of over 6.32 million people (4 million more than Paris), Brazil’s sprawling second city offers very little for the halal diet.



So, there you have it, the most and least accommodating cities in the world for those with dietary requirements. We truly hope this helps you pick the places that best accommodate your special dietary needs, so you can enjoy the best that a region has to offer, without fear of slipping up or falling off the wagon.

Whatever your dietary needs, Scenic is here to ensure you enjoy the perfect holiday. Across our luxury river cruises, ocean cruises and escorted tours, our team will do all they can to accommodate your requirements, so you can make the most of our signature all-inclusive service.

For more information or to find out more about our luxury dining options, visit the homepage or call us today on 0808 149 7108.

Notes on Research

  1. We selected the cities for this study using Euromonitor’s Top City Destinations 2019 as a starting point, expanding this with worldwide cities famous for gastronomy, capital cities, and those with high international visitor numbers.
  2. For each city destination, we analysed TripAdvisor listings to ascertain the number of restaurants within those cities marked as catering to each specialist diet (vegetarian, vegan, keto, gluten-free, Kosher and Halal).
  3. We then ranked each of these cities from top to bottom (places 1 to 100), based on how well they cater to specialist diets (calculated by the average number of restaurants across each different catering to dietary needs.)
  4. Where no conclusive diet for a specific diet could be found, this value was marked as with a ‘-’ on our index.
  5. We then used our dataset to determine the most and least accommodating cities around the world for each individual diet.