By Lindsay Geller
Chocolate and waffles and fries, oh my! Sorry for the corny intro, but that was my first reaction when I went to Bruges, Belgium this weekend. While the scenery was as beautiful as the land of Oz, vegan food was almost as elusive as the Wizard himself. Luckily, I found my Emerald City in Royal Frituur & Veggie Eetboetiek. This was a tiny, but amazing, vegan restaurant with a hazelnut burger that was heel-click worthy. Topped with apple slices, lettuce, and tomato, this burger was the foodie highlight of the trip.
Even as it was delicious, the hazelnut burger was obviously processed, as is most Belgian food. For some reason, the Belgians have an ongoing love affair with the deep fryer. So Belgium is great for junk food vegans but may not be the best country for traveling healthy-vegans. Womp, womp. Of course, another Belgian staple, the waffle, I drooled over them – a Belgian waffle in Belgium! I can’t eat (grrr). OK, what else can’t I eat? I always thought that french fries, although unhealthy were at least vegan – not in Belgium. Most are made with animal fat here. Thanks, Mcdonald’s.
Finally, if Belgium is known for anything, it’s chocolate. Obviously, because of chocolate’s milk content, we vegans need to find another way to get our fix. Dark chocolate all day! so this trip got me to thinking: I wish I could eat everything that “normal” people eat; just make it vegan and we can all skip down a yellow brick… oh, sorry this is reality. So, my wiz is Google and thanks to him I made you a nifty list below.
Here are my top 5 Belgium faves you can easily veganize:
- Hazelnut Burger (a more healthy version)
- Gluten Free Belgian Waffles!
- (Vegan) French Fries
- Avocado Fries - If you love avocado like me!
- All things Chocolate! Chocolate Covered Katie to the rescue.
If you’re not into baking, a list of vegan chocolate suppliers and products can be found here.
Although my trip to Belgium was amazing, when it comes to vegan food there sometimes really is no place like home.