Maldives is a gorgeous country made up of over 1,000 islands. From the stunning beaches to the lively culture to the flavorful food, it’s hard not to fall in love with this country. While visiting, you’ll want to try the traditional foods, as they’re a staple of the local culture and represent what makes the country unique and special. What food options are there? Are there Maldives vegan food choices? Let’s find out!
If you’re a vegan, or you’re simply wondering if Maldives serves vegan options, you’ve come to the right place. Luckily, the Maldives is known for a variety of food choices, from traditional dishes to European cuisine.
They certainly try to be mindful of varying needs and diets, which means they offer both vegan and vegetarian options at most places.
Since many people are turning to a plant-based lifestyle or one with added greens, it’s a relief to know that Maldives offers plenty of Maldives vegan food choices.
Table of Contents
Is All Maldives Food Vegan?
While it’s true that Maldivian food is not all vegan, it doesn’t mean you can’t find plenty of options. As a general rule, fresh fish and seafood are what make up most meals in the Maldives.
However, there are also many traditional dishes like curries or dal (lentil soup) that happen to be vegan. Most Maldivians eat meat and fish, which is a large part of the traditional foods of the region.
However, there are still some Maldivians who choose not to eat any animal products at all. You will find a wide variety of food choices, and almost any dish can be altered so that you can continue to eat in the way that you are accustomed to.
Vegan food is being introduced more and more into the country, especially at resorts that try to accommodate all guests, no matter their lifestyle or eating habits. Resorts and hotels are beginning to be inclusive, and they’re hoping to reach a wider audience through what they offer.
So, while not all Maldivian food is vegan, you’re guaranteed to still find many options throughout the island and on private resorts to suit your individual needs.
What Vegan Ingredients Are Used?
In essence, vegan food is simply plant-based food that doesn’t use any animal products. The Maldivians love their plant-based ingredients and use many fresh fruits, local vegetables, and flavorful spices in their meals.
Coconut is a popular fruit that’s a favorite in many traditional Maldivian meals. They also add lime, onions, and garlic to many dishes and eat meals with flatbread and black tea.
Even without animal products or meat, Maldivians can make a traditional meal out of vegan ingredients. Adding popular spices such as turmeric and rampa leaves can flavor a meal to be tasteful without the addition of unwanted meat and animal products.
You’ll find a variety of delicious foods such as raw mango, coconut milk, dried banana leaves, slow-cooked coconuts, and traditional Maldivian sugar made from coconut sap.
Mango, coconut, and pineapple are three of the most popular flavors in Maldivian food. Vegetables such as okra, eggplant, and spinach are featured heavily on many menus.
The addition of lentils and other legumes like chickpeas that add extra protein to a meal is necessary for a healthy meal but often difficult to find in vegan dishes.
Rice is also an important part of any Maldivian meal and is often served alongside curries or stews made from vegetables such as pumpkin and beans.
Best Maldivian Vegan Dishes
This vegan guide wouldn’t be complete without covering the favorite Maldives vegan food dishes found in the country. These dishes are all traditional cuisine and can be found all over the islands.
From curries to breads, the locals certainly know how to make a delicious meal. When visiting the Maldives, be sure to try each of these.
You won’t be disappointed!
- Roshi: This traditional Maldivian flatbread is a simple combination of wheat flour, salt, and water. It’s often served as a side with vegetables and curries.
- Huni Roshi: Similar to simple roshi, huni roshi is a flatbread made with the same ingredients and the inclusion of grated coconut for extra flavor.
- Tharukaaree Riha: This vegan vegetable curry is a traditional Maldivian meal that contains curry leaves, potatoes, green beans, carrots, coconut milk, and spices. It’s also served with rice or Roshi.
- Banbukeyo Riha: This breadfruit curry is created using fresh coconut milk, garlic, turmeric, mango, rampa leaves, and ginger.
- Addu bondi: Golden syrup mixed with slow-cooked grated coconut and wrapped in dried banana leaves.
Top Vegan Maldives Restaurants
Now that you have an understanding of the favorite vegan meals of the country let’s talk about where you can find them!
Most restaurants serve the list of dishes we provided above, but there are some vegan and vegetarian restaurants that you should try in particular.
Let’s check them out.
Chef Matthew Kenny has created a special vegetarian restaurant that focuses on serving delicious meals that keep a traditional style and flavor. The guests sit under the open sky and enjoy meals made from spices, herbs, and vegetables from the local gardens. You can try cauliflower soup, avocado tikka, butternut ravioli, fire-roasted beetroot, and more.
Location: One&Only Reethi Rah
2. Just Veg
You can find this pure vegetarian restaurant as one of the dining options at Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts. It’s not just vegan food that they offer, but also great views and a convenient location.
Location: Atmosphere Kanifushi
3. Kurumba Maldives
Another great resort option, Kurumba Maldives caters to vegan guests through 8 restaurants that feature vegan and vegetarian options on each menu. They are flexible with your eating preferences, and even offer a Beyond Burger!
Location: Kurumba Maldives
Enjoy a Maldives Vegan Meal
If you’re a vegan or if you just love vegan food, the Maldives is a perfect place to visit. Maldivian people are very friendly and accommodating, so you’re guaranteed to either find great vegan dishes or be able to turn a non-vegan dish into one without animal products. You’d be surprised what’s possible when it comes to food in the Maldives.
We know it can be hard to find quality vegan restaurants when visiting other countries, so we hope this article has helped you locate an eatery that you’d like to visit.
There are many great options, so you won’t feel a lack of tasty vegan options while exploring the islands. Think of us when you try the best vegan meals in the Maldives!
Does Maldives have vegan food?
Yes! Though Maldives is known for its seafood, there are many vegetarian and vegan options offered at resorts and hotels. You’ll even have the option to turn non-vegan meals into vegan dishes with accommodations.
Is pure vegetarian food available in Maldives?
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’re in luck because Maldivians make a lot of vegan dishes. You can enjoy a variety of vegetable curries or traditional flatbreads.
Are Maldivians vegetarians?
No, Maldivians aren’t a vegetarian culture. They love seafood, which makes sense due to the country being an island nation. The Maldives is an Islamic country though, so most locals don’t eat pork.
What are the popular Maldivian vegan meals?
Tharukaaree Riha is a popular vegetable curry served with rice or roshi. Banbukeyo Riha, which is a breadfruit curry, is another common dish.
Which resorts and restaurants serve Maldives vegan food?
Some of our favorites include Bontanica restaurant and Kurumba resort, but you can find vegan food and vegan options at most resorts around Maldives.