You can now find vegan versions of your favorite dishes throughout Europe. Credit: Vegan Vacation

The Best Vegan Restaurants for Comfort Food

These five vegan restaurants create hearty, sustainable dishes that satisfy your winter cravings
Published 02/22/2022 by Jill Vanoncini

With more and more people eating a plant-based diet, European restaurants are stepping up to fill the gap—and your belly. Many vegan restaurants focus on fresh, crisp salads and old standbys like falafel and hummus, but we’ve found a few special places across the continent that offer warm, filling plant-based dishes to help sustain you through the cold winter months.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, opening hours for restaurants across Europe are still changing frequently. We’ve done our best to verify that these vegan and vegetarian restaurants are all open for business, but some places may close temporarily or switch to takeaway-only as local rules and regulations change. 

Vegan Vacation in Bergen, Norway

If you’re planning a trip to see the northern lights sparkling over the fjords this winter, you can warm up with a satisfying meal of vegan options at Vegan Vacation in Bergen. All their dishes are prepared without any animal products, and they serve their sandwiches on homemade bread.

The contemporary restaurant boasts an array of dishes not just for the vegan in your life but for anyone who has celiac. From a Beyond Meat burger to a vegan pulled-pork sandwich that will have you second guessing, Vegan Vacation serves filling cuisine with a twist for your plant-based diet.

Bergen

If you still have room for dessert, indulge in a slice of coconut-infused Raffaello vegan cheesecake, a scoop of peanut butter, chocolate and roasted peanut ice cream, or the house specialty: a decadent, chocolate-covered coffee, banana, and chocolate mousse.

L’Ov Osteria Vegetariana, Florence, Italy

While Tuscan food and wine are world-renowned, many traditional specialties rely heavily on meat or dairy. Florentine chef Simone Bernacchioni set out to change all that with L’Ov, his vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free restaurant in the Oltrarno district. Bernacchioni and his staff have created a place where everyone—even die-hard meat lovers who may be suspicious of vegan cuisine—can find dishes to enjoy together.  

Florence

The plant-based menu changes with the seasons, focusing on fresh local ingredients. For a hearty winter meal, you can try vegan versions of traditional Tuscan dishes like pumpkin lasagne with smoked scamorza, a delicate and slightly sweet regional cheese. For a big hit of umami, there’s a classic pasta with shaved black truffles, or peposo dell’impruneta, a warm stew made with soy and vegetables that’s richly spiced with black pepper and served with fried polenta. 

L’Ov is located in a historic building that was formerly Florence’s fish market, just a few minutes walk from the Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti. Today, the bright, modern interior filled with trailing plants makes it a great place to shake off the end-of-winter blues.

Madre, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This new plant-based restaurant in the popular Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam is close to the Anne Frank House and the Nine Streets shopping district. Serving traditional Mexican cuisine made with entirely plant-based ingredients, Madre also mixes up creative tequila and mezcal cocktails if you want to start your evening at the bar.

Amsterdam

The pozole, a traditional Mexican stew made with hominy, tofu, spicy ancho chiles, and seasonal vegetables, is a vegan meal that sticks to your ribs. Crisp radish slices, spring onions and shredded cabbage balance the rich, spicy flavors of the stew. 

The bar scene is lively at Madre, and the cocktail menu features top-shelf tequila and mezcal, along with specialty cocktails such as their refreshing Black Margarita with activated charcoal. If you’re cutting back on the booze, they also offer a range of alcohol-free mocktails, from the crisp, grapefruit-infused Paloma Spritz to a tart Pomegranate Mojito with mint and lime.

Bistrot Rasoterra, Barcelona, Spain

Rasoterra offers plant-based tapas, as well as a five-course seasonal tasting menu and an extensive list of sulphite-free wines from small, local producers—most of which are also organic. Since opening in 2013, Rasoterra has carefully sourced their ingredients, working exclusively with local, seasonal produce.

Barcelona

The best thing about tapas is trying a lot of different dishes, and there’s a range of delicious vegan options to choose from at Rasoterra. If you’re in the mood for traditional Catalan flavors, try the spinach croquettes with wasabi vegan mayo, which have a thich, crispy crust that you can sink your teeth into. The laksa, an Asian soup with rice noodles, tofu, mushrooms, pumpkin and fresh spinach, has a spicy, fragrant coconut broth to warm you up on a chilly day. And they serve the roasted pumpkin with an almond and date paté and fresh pomegranate seeds, for a mix of sweet and savory flavors.

The wine-poached pear with cardamom and saffron is the perfect warm, wintery dessert, with its smooth, velvety texture. It’s served with coffee ground sponge cake, pistachio cream, and sorbet for a rich variety of flavors. 

Mono, Glasgow, Scotland

Located in Glasgow’s Merchant City, Mono is a vegan Scottish pub with an entirely plant-based menu. After a satisfying pub dinner and a few pints, you can enjoy a burlesque performance or a couple of sets from influential acts like Kristin Hersh or Soft Machine. 

Glasgow

Bar snacks to share include baja-style tacos and deep-fried cauliflower with spicy Korean gochujang sauce. If you’re ready for a full meal, the deep-fried vegan black pudding supper is uniquely Scottish, with its earthy, nutty flavors. Hearty pub offerings like creamy mac n’ cheese—complete with a crispy crust of browned “cheese” on top—and the reuben sandwich with pastrami-spiced tofu, miso-pickled cabbage and smoked vegan cheese come with classic pub fries made with unpeeled potatoes. 

If you’re stopping by in the afternoon, check out the new and used vinyl and CDs from Monorail Music, the internationally renowned record shop that shares space with the pub.