As a vegan of over eight years, I’ve spent my fair share of time eating lettuce and beans at restaurants before the days of endless smartphone apps to find restaurants or scan products.
That’s why I decided it was high time to put together the ULTIMATE list of the best vegan travel apps that every vegan and cruelty-free enthusiast needs to download.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
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Vegan Food and Drink Finding Apps
I won't lie, there are probably a hundred different apps to help you find vegan food near you. While we love to see the initiative, there are a few apps that clearly dominate the vegan food-finding space. We won't clog this article with vegan apps specific to different areas, but instead, these are the best vegan apps that vegans around the world should download.
abillion easily tops this list as one of the best vegan apps available today. It has a similar premise to the hundreds of other apps that find vegan restaurants or product options, but with a twist that helps keep the community alive, a problem that many vegan apps face. With abillion (previously abillionveg), for every review of a restaurant or product that a user makes, they get $1 to donate to a vegan charity of their choice. Users can save up their dollars to make one big donation, or donate each dollar as they wish. Abillion's nonprofit partners include farm sanctuaries, tree planting, children's education, and more!
Abillion is completely free to download and use. You get to donate to your charity of choice without paying a dime.
Our amazing community has donated almost $1000 to various charities. Our goal by the end of 2022 is $5000 dollars and we would love your help!
Download the app here and be sure to use the abillion referral code VoyagingHerbivore so we can see how much our community donates.
We Love: Ability to make donations and support charities without paying
Could Improve: Motivation to interact on the app - right now it's mostly people coming in to review products/food, but not to interact with the community
Happy Cow is the original vegan restaurant finder app and has a huge community. It's an essential app for vegans, especially when heading to a new city or country. The interactive map is definitely one of the app's best features and it's easy to use the filters to find places that fit the type of meal you're looking for.
The Happy Cow website is also a fantastic resource and I particularly love that they have the same features available for free on the website as they do on the paid in-app version. It's the perfect solution for planners who enjoy planning on their computer and then having the option to research in-app and look at saved lists.
Cost: Free to download but $4 in-app to use most features (lifetime cost)
We Love: Map of places near you and filters
Could Improve: Sometimes places get added to the map that are just grocery stores with standard options that haven't really earned a place on the map
Barnivore: Vegan Booze
It was only a few years ago that we learned that not all alcohol is vegan. Sigh. It's always the good stuff.
While not exactly an app, this website is definitely one that you should have saved on your phone home screen. Barnivore is a website that lets you search for alcohol, everything from wine, beer, and cider to liquor, and learn if it's vegan. The website isn't anything special, but it's community-supported through email inquiries, and new information on vegan booze is added and updated frequently.
We Love: Over 54,000 different types of alcohol in the database and constantly growing
Could Improve: Website is a bit outdated, but it does its job so why complain
Is It Vegan? Scanner Apps
Vegan scanner apps are such a great idea in theory: the simple premise that you can scan the barcode of an item and see whether or not it's vegan. In reality, it's a bit more complicated. There are dozens of these apps, but few actually work and none is perfect. Here are a few of the best vegan apps that do an okay if not decent job as a vegan scanner app.
Soosee - Allergy & Vegan Food Scanner
While most vegan scanner apps use a product's barcode to determine ingredients, Soosee takes a different approach by using similar features to Google Translate to scan the ingredient list for words that match your filters. It doesn't really work on curved ingredients labels and sometimes pulls words that are part of a larger work such as "butter" from "cocoa butter" and therefore labels the product as not vegan.
However, I do see this app as having a lot of potential. You can set your filters to include different dietary options (vegan, gluten-free, eggs, etc), environmental (microplastics, palm oil), and other allergies. The app also includes travel cards with different phrases which can be played aloud in the translated language of your choice.
Cost: $1.99/month; $14.49/year; $19.99 lifetime
We Love: Travel cards, filters beyond vegan diet
Could Improve: Scanning on curved surfaces
Vegan Pocket - Is it Vegan?
The goal of Vegan Pocket is to make it easy to scan product barcodes and determine if a product is vegan or not.
On the free version of this vegan app, after four scans you have to wait an hour before scanning products again. This is the case even when the products are not in the database in which case you can add them yourself. I scanned four products that I knew were vegan (they have the vegan certification) but only two were found in the database and two I added myself. For the items that were found in the database, I was able to vote that it was vegan. It seems that you're relying on other people doing their research, rather than vegan certifications of products.
Overall, this is probably one of the best vegan apps for scanning products, but it would be much stronger if more people used it and were able to contribute to the database.
Cost: $19.99/year for unlimited scans
We Love: Easy and fast scanning
Could Improve: Number of products in the database, not counting items that aren't found as searches
Is It Cruelty Free? Scanner Apps
Ingredients might be vegan, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a product is cruelty-free. This is especially true within the beauty industry. Checking to make sure that something is cruelty-free (not tested on animals) is just as important as making sure that the products are not animal-derived.
Some of these apps provide scanners (which aren't always super reliable) but they also provide lists of brands that are cruelty-free and vegan, making them essential vegan apps!
The Cruelty Cutter app is one of the best vegan apps to determine whether or not a product and company tests on animals. The app is free to use and download but you do need to make an account. It's a pretty basic app, but the scanner works well and the history section is useful when you need to go back and see what brands you've scanned in the past. Overall, this is an essential app for vegans and those looking to purchase only cruelty-free products.
What We Love: Quick to scan and easy app to navigate
Could Improve: More comprehensive list of companies that do and do not test on animals
Bunny Free App | PETA
The Bunny Free by PETA is a vegan app that allows users to search the database of over 4000 brands to see what brands are cruelty-free. Upon searching results show if a company is cruelty-free, vegan and if it uses the PETA logo. Within a brand, you can tap a dropdown menu to see what products and availability they have, however, this area could use some updating as all you get are categories like "Body Care" and available in "Department Stores".
The app is unique in that it also lets you find new cruelty-free products by browsing different categories. For example, you can go into the bathroom category and find brands that offer cruelty-free dental floss. You can also browse companies that are both cruelty-free and vegan.
Overall, the Bunny Free app is very comprehensive and is easily one of the best vegan apps.
What We Love: Option to search by products, brands, and browse new products
Could Improve: Details on products and availability under specific brands
Cares: Go Cruelty-Free
The Cares app is virtually the same as the Bunny Free app with options to search for a brand and see if it's vegan and cruelty-free. Their list of brands does not seem to be quite as comprehensive as Bunny Free, however they make it easy to share a card on social media asking the brand to stop testing on animals. As a note, the card reads "Please stop killing animals, there are more human ways to test your products" and it should read humane.
That being said, the app is beautifully designed and is more modern than Bunny Free but it does need some work before it's really ready to go.
What We Love: Ability to share content on social media
Could Improve: Spelling and grammar; buttons to see different brand websites and socials don't work
Vegan Recipe Apps
I have yet to meet a picky vegan. Most of us seem to be very keen to try new foods and that includes cooking and baking things for ourselves. You can veganize pretty much anything and having great apps to scroll through and meal plan with can make meal times that much more exciting. Here are a few of the best vegan apps for finding recipes.
Forks Over Knives Vegan Recipe App
Forks Over Knives is easily one of the best vegan apps for those wanting an easy system to find and save recipes. Everything. in the app is vegan and comes from a team that has been dominating the vegan scene for a while. They have a wide variety of recipe options including breakfasts, desserts, soups, salads, sides, snacks, appetizers, and more. The app is incredibly easy to use and makes it easy to use while cooking and in meal prepping.
There's also a sister app called the Forks Meal Plan which allows you to meal plan and create grocery lists within the app using the Forks Over Knives recipes. While it is a great app, an account does not come cheaply at $119.99 per year or $19.99 per month.
If you want a hard copy, be sure to check out the Forks Over Knives recipe book.
Cost: $4.99 (Yep, we actually paid to try this out!)
We Love: Built-in grocery list, easy to use while cooking
Could Improve: More filters for time required and number of ingredients
Tasty: Recipes, Cooking Videos
Although not explicitly vegan, the Tasty app is probably one of the largest food apps in the world. The brand itself which is owned by Buzzfeed puts out recipes, but community members can also add recipes. It's easy to filter and find vegan recipes. The app has a partnership with Walmart so you can easily add ingredients to your basket and get them sent to the nearest Walmart with pickup services.
We Love: Thousands of vegan recipes to browse, dozens of filters
Could Improve: Ability to add items to grocery list without having to use Walmart
Apps to Help You Go Vegan
The trickiest part of the journey is often committing to sticking to a vegan diet. These apps provide great resources for committing to a vegan diet and lifestyle and for new vegans are a great place to start.
21-Day Vegan Kickstart
If you want to go vegan but find yourself struggling without accountability, the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program (available in English and Spanish) in a convenient app format is for you. The app is free to use and is very well designed. It includes three weeks of recipes, an in-app grocery list that you can check off as you go, daily meal plans, nutrition info, and reminders.
The only downside of the app is that all of the recipes are really healthy. If you're going vegan for health reasons this is great, but for those who are more in the animal rights and environmental camps, something a little more unhealthy that shows the great vegan alternatives to typical products (mayo, ice cream, cheese, etc) would probably make the transition easier.
We Love: Comprehensive app designed to make the journey as easy as possible
Could Improve: Recipe variations and dessert options
Veggie Alternatives is an app that provides vegan alternatives to a wide variety of products that new vegans may struggle to give up. The vegan app is easy to use and very basic. For those who are new to a vegan or vegetarian diet, the app is a great way to explore new brands and find staples within your price range. The app provides links that take you directly to the product website but this could be improved by having links that take visitors to the product on Amazon or a vegan supermarket site where products can be ordered together instead of individually.
We Love: Easy navigation, price comparison
Could Improve: Links Amazon or GreenBay Supermarket where multiple products from different brands can be ordered together
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I’m so excited for this list! I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half and I’ve found so many great vegan apps. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these!
I’m so glad it was useful! Thanks for your comment 🙂