The Vegetarian Traveller: What I Eat During My Trips + AirAsia's Farm-to-Air Inflight Meals & Vegetarian Options!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I usually get questions on what I (as a vegetarian) eat during my trips, most especially in countries where most of their main dishes are heavy on meat. Since I usually travel in Japan and Korea, I listed some of my usual orders whenever I visit two of my favorites countries in the world!

My Favorite Vegetarian Foods in Korea:

1) Bibimbap, no meat
2) Vegetable Gimbap
3) Vegetable Mandou (Dumplings)
4) Spicy Cheese Ramyeun
5) Sweet Pancakes (street food)
6) Strawberry Mochi (street food)

My Favorite Vegetarian Foods in Japan:

1) Tamago sushi or sashimi
2) Ramen
3) Vegetable or Cheese Tempura
4) Tofu dishes (agedashi, fried, etc.)
5) Soba (noodles)
6) Shabu Shabu

Here are some tips for fellow vegetarian travellers:

1) Download the Happy Cow App

I love that this app is available (so far) everywhere that I went to. With Happy Cow app, you can easily locate nearby and recommended vegan, vegetarian, or veg-options while you're travelling!

2) Groceries / Convenience Stores

I think it's pretty obvious that every time I go to Korea or Japan, you'll see my Instagram stories of daily CU or Lawson visits! Haha! Most of my meals are in their convenience stores, other than for budget reasons, they always offer fresh produce selections--from fruits, vegetables, corns, and egg or cheese sandwiches!

I super love this tray of grapes and cherry tomatoes in a CU store in Daegu! Iba yun cherry tomatoes nila super sweet, and their fruits are so juicy!

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll find vegetable kimbap in convenience stores in Korea!

3) Coffee Shops

My next alternative to convenience stores, or whenever I want to dine in a quiet and solo-traveler friendly place, I always enter a cafe. Most coffee shops have sandwiches in their menu. If you're lucky, they will even have pasta or solo pizza!! If not, eat a slice of cake first and if you're still hungry, take out something from the nearest convenience store from your accommodation.

When left with no choice, I dine in cafes whenever I'm in Korea. My favorite is Paris Baguette because they have wide selections, hot meals, and a cute cup of good coffee.

4) Look for Italian, Indian, or Mexican restaurants, Subway (sandwich place), or if you have the budget and big appetite, a buffet! 

These cuisines usually have vegetarian and even vegan options. I also love buffets in group tours because there will always be a salad and fruits bar, vegetable viands, and lots of carbs options from rice, potatoes, or salads. 

A last option for me is ordering side dishes in fast food chains (mashed potatoes, fries, corn and carrots, etc). 

5) Pre-Order Your Meals Before Your Flight

Whenever I book for flights that already have inclusive meals, I make sure to indicate that I am a vegetarian with all the specific details of my food restrictions (lacto ovo, I don't eat any meat nor seafoods, but I still consume animal by-products including eggs and dairies). I am always fascinated by what food they will serve to me, and most of the time I get my tray before everyone else on the plane! 😁

Vegetarian Sandwich from an AirAsia domestic flight. A tip is if you're sure to eat during your flight, make sure to prebook your vegetarian meal para hindi maubusan.

 Vegan Tofu meal from one of my flights with AirAsia:

Yesterday, I went to Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay for the launch of the newest "Santan" inflight menu. Named after the much-loved coconut milk, AirAsia's Santan menu offers a wide selection of Asean, international and even VEGETARIAN options for everyone.

We first went to a farm tour and discovered that Salad Time! brand that I love buying in groceries is actually a local brand and their farm is just in Tagaytay! 

This is in-line with AirAsia's farm-to-air campaign, a commitment to offer a variety of inflight meals using only fresh harvests and ingredients directly sourced from farmers across the country. This makes me so happy! 

After that, we went back to Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay to try the new AirAsia Santan menu food selections.

My face when I finally see vegetarian options in menus! Hallelujah! 

For the vegetarians, AirAsia is now offering Caesar Salad (Php 120) on all AirAsia flights with Z2 code to and from the Philippines in partnership Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay!

Here are some of the other vegetarian options included in AirAsia's new Santan menu are:

Vegetable Stew with Rice Pilaf
Cheesy Pesto and Tomato Bun
Creamy Spinach Sandwich

Vegetable Rice Bowl with Sunset Bursts drink (a two-layered strawberry and lychee drink with coconut jelly sinkers):

Brazo de Mercedes
Cookies and Cream Parfait 
Butterscotch Bars

Just a little side kwento, I've been a vegetarian since 2005, and although it's a bit of a challenge especially since I am always away from home, I still have no regrets on becoming one! Ever since I was a kid, my heart was already telling me that someday I won't be eating animals. In my many years of traveling as a vegetarian, I have learned that it is difficult BUT doable. I had moments when left with no choice and had to eat pepperoni pizza after meticulously taking out the meat, or burgers stuffed with fries and minus the patty (and still paying for same price!). I learned from experience that to some, a vegetarian might mean I still eat seafoods or even chicken!--so be clear about what you can and cannot eat whenever you order. Ang daming beses ko na nag chew ng vegetable lumpia before realizing na hala may meat sya! 😣 And lastly, be respectful! We all have different preferences, cultures, and beliefs. 

Narealize ko lang na my favorite food destination as a vegetarian is Europe. I never felt deprived! They always have a vegetarian or vegan option on their menu--side by side with their best-seller is its alternative meatless version! 

Most of my eating photos with Ate during this trip makikita mo na we're eating almost same food, but mine's just meatless. ❤

My conversion into having a meatless diet is a long story, so maybe I'll save it for another blog post! Let me know if you're interested on how I started to become one and why.

Follow the AirAsia Santan journey through the hashtag #AirAsiaSantan and get the latest AirAsia news, activities and promotions on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Yes Miss Ana I wanna know the story behind it!!! Why did you choose to become a vegetarian!!! Me kc not a vegan but I can only eat meat, chicken & some fish like tilapia, bangus but I cannot eat hito,or other kind of fish coz my stomach became weak when I was in highschool.. I could'nt eat any type of dishes that was cooked in a way that my appetite would'nt please me.Kumbaga piling pili lng din ung nakakain ko kc hndi tlaga kaya ng sikmura ko.. I really wonder how you
    Manage to change your lifestyle when it comes to food.!

    1. Thank you so much! Will try to write about it then! :)

  2. I believe so its difficult pero doable. part of my advocacy is animal welfare, dapat hindi lang dogs pero lahat ng animal kingdom. I remember may gi travel na pig and super kawawa siya kasi nakatali siya lahat ng feet habang naka sampay lang sa jeep. Super sad. Yes they can be consume naman pero grabe ang treatment sa kanila. Here in our place unnie, gulay is life :) We have alot of malunggay, talbos ng kamote na super fresh. Hay if pwd lang I can send some. Do u eat those mga pang ulam?

  3. Unnie, you will surely love Israel aside they are non pork (tho they have lamb and chicken) there salads are great! at super fresh, I can still remember di nawawala ang gulay before and after the main course :) Hope u can try it soon God bless

  4. Yes, abang po ako kung bakit mas pinili nyong maging vegetarian. Mas lalo po akong bumibilib sa inyo. Feeling ko kapag vegetarian ka dapat may pera ka talaga kasi minsa mas mahal pa ang gulay sa karne 😂

  5. oh next time will include meal narin hehhe . Just came back from our Bohol vacation and wd AirAsia din. Grabe kahit i admit i can't live without meat, those food are tempting and delicious. I tried removing meat late last year and mabilis progress of losing weight . Kaya pala sexy nyo hehe at ganda sa mga ootd👏 Hope to read more on how you became vegetarian para magkaidea din hehe.

  6. Yes pls! I've been really curious about vegan life and it would be fun to know your journey. :)


Your turn! Always excited to read your comments! :)