Where To Go For The Best Plant-Based Dining Experiences

Healthy, plant-based eating on vacation is no longer mutually exclusive. Haute veggies are here to stay, while Michelin-starred chefs and award-winning resorts offer inspirational offerings leading the way out of the boring vegetarian wilderness. Think of refined vegan menus, special vegan kitchens and vegetarian/vegan cooking courses with ingredients from our own farm. Botany has never tasted so good; here it goes now:

Alaska, Inside the wilderness: Owned and operated by the Owned by the Dixon family, who have two trained chefs and cookbook authors, this collection of resorts specializes in locally inspired cuisine. With her family Tutka Bay Lodge, nestled in a private bay within a rugged 14 km long ancient glacial fjord, you will find a cooking school and a menu based on wild food ingredients (from the lodge’s private jungle). Guests also enjoy personalized plant-based cooking classes, where they learn techniques, recipes, and seasonal flavor combinations.

India, Ananda in the Himalayas offers Ayurvedic cooking classes (vegetable using dairy products) twice a week for in-house guests. Cooking classes focus on foods that are unprocessed or less processed, consumed just before harvest, and grown organically or biodynamically. They also focus on the nutritional aspect of food, using plant-based ingredients to develop high protein, diabetic, vegan, hypertension and active fitness menus. According to the resort’s Executive Chef, Diwaker Balodi, about 75% of what’s on offer across the menu is plant-based.

st lucia, Anse Chastanet is home to the popular Emeralds Restaurant, a vegan restaurant featuring cuisine prepared with ingredients from the resort’s Emerald Estates Regenerative Farm. Chocolate lovers should note that the farm is home to over 1000 cacao trees and guests are invited to participate in the bean-to-bar harvest where they learn how to make vegan chocolate. At the farm, guests can also take part in Rastafarian Vegan Creole cooking classes, led by the resort’s dedicated vegan chef, Frank Faucher.

Thailand, Soneva Kiri, specializes in plant-based dining experiences inspired by the resort’s expansive organic garden. Chef Samantha Haeberli has designed a menu that offers guests nutritious, colorful dishes that can be paired with natural wines. You can also take a cocktail class in medicinal mixology with the Botanical Bartender for wellness-focused cocktails.

Georgia, That Four Seasons Atlanta Whether traveling for business or pleasure, this Midtown hotel serves an intriguing plant-based menu at its sumptuous Bar Margot Restaurant and Lounge. Executive Chef Edgar Kano and Sous Chef Chad “Sosa” Hester crafted the plant-based dining experience by taking inspiration from Atlanta’s diverse cultural heritage. Offerings like their spice-laced vegan Jollof rice topped with grilled king trumpet mushroom slices or their crispy mushroom sandwich with fried oyster mushrooms topped with a homemade vegan aioli make for satisfying dishes. Everything is homemade, from scratch using raw ingredients and produce from local farms in the Southeast.

Mexico, Palmaïa – The house of AïA on the coast of Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, is a retreat focused on unique, immersive jungle and beach experiences. Founder, Alex Ferri, is vegan and has created the resort’s culinary program, vegan-friendly suites and custom programs that invite guests to explore vegan culinary farming practices off-site. All guests enjoy complimentary access to 24-hour room service and unlimited access to the four on-site restaurantsAll offer 100% plant-based menus with optional protein supplements.

Maldives, JOALI BEINGS opened last November with dedicated vegan cuisine, bespoke menus and plant-based cooking classes. Guests can expect fresh, locally harvested food that supports small farms and is sustainably sourced, and all culinary offerings at the resort are crafted in conjunction with the retreat’s nutritionists. The Plantae restaurant offers a full menu of vegetarian and vegan dishes around the four pillars of well-being: mind, skin, microbiome and energy. Interactive nutritional cooking classes at the retreat’s Culinary Learning Center are also an option if you want to delve deeper into plant-based cooking.

Costa Rica, Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa is home to two restaurants that blend local flavors, traditional recipes and international cuisine with plant-based ingredients. Both restaurants, Tucanes and AVE, offer numerous vegan and vegetarian options on their menus, and AVE offers an exclusive vegan and gluten-free menu for guests with dietary restrictions. The resort also offers Pura Vida cooking classes that can be adapted to accommodate vegetarian diets.

Barbados, Sandals Royal Barbados opened in 2021 The Greenhouse, a rustic farm-to-table restaurant featuring elegant cuisine prepared with farm-to-table, locally sourced foods that include multiple plant-based options. Better yet, guests can consult with Sandals’ Culinary Concierge to create a special menu for all dietary needs — including vegan, halal, kosher, and gluten-free diets.

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