Travel is halfway about food, let’s be real. The best part of any good travel day is sitting down to a meal that’s both tasty and novel, a meal that you’re sure you can’t find at home.
But for vegetarians and vegans, finding food can also end up being one of the most difficult parts of a trip. What contains meat, what doesn’t, what secretly has two strips of meat hiding at the bottom or in the broth…
This is why we decided to ask the experts. The Internet is full of travel food bucket lists, but half of the entries are centered around meat. We wanted one of our own, featuring veggie foods only! So we asked 20 of the world’s top vegetarian and vegan travel bloggers the following question:
What’s the best vegetarian dish in the world, and where can you get it?
These bloggers know their stuff. They proposed twenty different vegan and vegetarian meals and dishes from fifteen different countries. This list is enough to guide our travel for years to come! Without further ado: the best vegetarian (and vegan!) food in the world!
(All photos and images are the property of the bloggers who participated unless otherwise noted.)
The best vegetarian food in EUROPE
Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
Favorite food: Pizza Marinara
Where to get it: Naples, Italy
Naples, Italy is where pizza was invented and continues to make pizza better than any other place in the world, including other cities in Italy. Did you know that the original pizza is not only vegetarian, but also vegan?
The pizza marinara is topped with just tomato sauce, garlic and oregano, and sometimes a few fresh basil leaves are thrown on for good measure. It’s incredibly simple, but when it’s prepared by a Neapolitan pizzaiolo with fresh, high-quality ingredients, it’s the best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth.
Neapolitans take their pizza-making very seriously. Locals undergo rigorous training to become a certified pizzaiolo, and pizzerias can also earn certification to prove that they serve authentic Neapolitan pizza. In order to receive this certification, they must follow the traditional recipe for their pizza dough, which calls for just flour, water, yeast and salt.
This means that, if a pizzeria displays an official sign saying they serve “verace pizza napoletana” (real Neapolitan pizza), you can be sure that there are no hidden animal ingredients in the dough, such as milk, eggs or lard.
These days, there are a growing number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Naples. While some of them are definitely worth a visit, you don’t need to seek out specialty veggie restaurants to get an amazing veggie meal in Naples. Just go into any pizzeria and order the most classic pizza on the menu, the pizza marinara.
Via Tribunali in the Spaccanapoli district has several contenders for the best pizzeria in the city. My personal favorite is Pizzeria di Matteo. Go early to get a table, as it fills up quickly!
Jane and Stephen of My Five Acres
Favorite food: Seitan Burger
Where to get it: London
As full-time travellers, we find ourselves craving different foods from around the world all the time. Entire conversations can centre around remembering vegetarian and vegan foods we have eaten in different locations around the world. Our favourites include hot bowls of savoury dumpling soup in Hong Kong, fresh pizzas straight from the wood-fired oven in Italy, and the incredible vegan donuts you can only get at Donut Friend in Los Angeles. But the one we keep coming back to is the amazing crunchy seitan burger at Temple of Seitan in London. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as sinking your teeth into the spicy encrusted burger — think KFC without the chicken! Every time we pass through London, we head straight for one of the Temple’s locations and satisfy our cravings.
Check out Stephen and Jane’s full post about East London vegan food here!
Sam and Veren of Alternative Travelers
Favorite food: Spanish Tortilla
Where to get it: Spain
One of the best vegetarian dishes in the world without a doubt has to be Spanish tortilla! For those from the Americas, you may be thinking of a Mexican wheat or corn tortilla. The Spanish tortilla is completely different and unrelated, more like an omelette (it’s often referred to as a Spanish omelette) than anything.
Traditionally, the recipe contains potatoes, onions, and egg used as a binder. The potatoes and onions are fried in a pan, the egg is added, the mass firms up in the pan, and then comes the most nerve-wracking part – flipping it! Making a good tortilla is the test of any chef worth their salt in Spain.
The Spanish tortilla is one of the most typical Spanish dishes, and you can find it in virtually any traditional bar or restaurant. Order a pincho de tortilla (slice of tortilla), usually just a couple of euros, and dive in! Tortilla is often served with some slices of bread and mayonnaise. You can also get a bocadillo de tortilla or tortilla sandwich.
While this dish is traditionally vegetarian, in major cities, vegan tortilla (like in the photo) can be found as well. Chickpea flour is used as a binder instead of egg, and it’s oh-so-delicious!
Ingrid of The Vegan Tourist
Favorite food: Vegan Ice Cream
Where to get it: Austria
Austria’s best vegan food? Ice cream! In 2014, sisters Cecilia Havmöller und Susanna Paller opened their first vegan ice cream parlor in Vienna, Austria, and today they own nine Veganista ice cream parlors and a vegan restaurant, The Lala. Eight of those ice cream parlors are located in Vienna.
Veganista uses many organic and locally sourced ingredients, and soy, oat, rice, and coconut milk to produce ice cream flavors like orange-saffron-olive oil, almond-coconut, blueberry-lavender, peanut butter, basil, lemongrass, matcha, or my personal favorite, the adults-only Doeblinger Kirsche (cherries, pieces of vegan brownies and chocolate, and an alcoholic cherry-rum sauce all mixed into one heavenly flavor of ice cream). There are many more traditional ice cream flavors available at Veganista, like poppyseed, hazelnut, strawberry-agave, raspberry-lemon, peach, mango, lychee, chocolate, or maracuja, to name but a few. However, not all flavors are available each day and at all the nine ice cream parlors at the same time.
Veganista sells a special treat, the Inbetweener, which is basically a huge ice cream cookie, and of which different kinds are sold at different parlors: Peach Cobbler is my favorite. Information about opening hours and available flavors are posted on Veganista’s Facebook page each day. I eat ice cream for lunch, whenever I am anywhere near a Veganista ice cream parlor, and I recommend you do the same during your next visit to Vienna.
Check out Ingrid’s full post about Veganista here!
Carolyn of The Healthy Voyager
Favorite food: Vegan Tasting Menu
Where to get it: Rutabega in Stockholm, Sweden
Rutabaga is an incredible, vegetarian, Michelin Star restaurant located at the base of a super luxurious hotel on the bay, flanked by 2 other high end eateries. Walking in, the gourmet vegetarian joint is modern meets stark so I knew I was in for a non-garden variety meal.
Offering a seasonal and surprising tasting menu, the vegan menu was almost 10 courses plus cocktails and each one that was brought out knocked my socks off. Despite the hefty price tag for one person, that I gladly paid, it was such a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not for the faint of heart. But holy crap was it worth every penny!
The best vegetarian food in the MIDDLE EAST
Dani of Globetrotter Girls
Favorite food: Shakshuka
Where to get it: Israel
My favorite vegetarian dish in the world is Shakshuka, an Israeli egg dish. Funnily enough I didn’t discover this dish in Israel, but years before my first trip to Israel. In 2010, when I was traveling around Central America, I quickly learned that restaurants run by Israeli expats always have great vegetarian options – think falafel, hummus and the likes. In a restaurant in the tiny village of San Pedro on the shores of Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, a dish with the weird-sounding name Shakshuka caught my eye. The description, “eggs poached in a spiced tomato stew with onions and garlic, served with a side of pita bread”. The pita bread is used to dip it into the sauce, and you can usually tell how good a shakshuka is by how well the cast-iron pan, in which it is usually served, was cleaned out with the pita bread.
My first shakshuka was a truly life-changing experience, because after this scrumptious meal at Lake Atitlan, I started to seek out Israeli restaurants on my travels – especially in countries that are known to be not very vegetarian-friendly (read: most of Latin America). I also discovered that this was a dish that I could easily make myself in a hostel kitchen, because it requires only few ingredients (tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, salt, paprika, eggs, bread).
Trying a shakshuka right ‘at the source’ in Israel was something I put on my travel bucket list early into my travels, and in 2014 I finally made it to Israel – and of course the shakshuka there was mouthwatering delicious. In Israel I also learned that it was perfectly fine to order shakshuka not just for breakfast, but for dinner or lunch, too. My love affair with this simple, yet amazing dish continues, as I travel around the globe and order shakshuka every time I spot it on a menu somewhere.
Anne of Anne Travel Foodie
Favorite food: Hummus
Where to get it: Tel Aviv, Israel
I personally love Tel Aviv as a vegetarian destination as there are so many vegetarian options in each restaurant. And the hummus in Israel is like nowhere else in the world. Did you know that original hummus in Tel Aviv is served lukewarm, and not cold as we often eat it on other countries.
Kaspi Hummus is one of my favorite spots for hummus in Tel Aviv. They have multiple restaurants in the city, so you can look up which one is closest to you.
You can read more about my Tel Aviv food tips here.
Iulia of Julia Something
Favorite food: Cigkofte
Where to get it: Turkey
Cigkofte ( Çiğ Köfte ) is one of my favourite veggie dishes and it comes from Turkey. I first discovered it in 2015 when I was living in Turkey and I fell in love with it. Çiğ Köfte is an Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish dish, but they mostly make it with meat. It would be translated as raw meatball, but in Turkey, they have the vegan version of it and they use bulgur to make it. To have an idea, it is made from onions, scallions, parsley, and usually green pepper and of course, bulgur. It looks like meat, but it is not. They serve in a meatball shape or in a sandwich, or better said, a wrap, with salad, mint leaves, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice. It can be spice or normal, so you can choose, but even the normal one is spicy if you are not used to eating spicy food. In Turkey, it is considered a snack, or street food, because you can eat it fast, as you go and it is prepared in front of you (talking about the sandwich, not the Çiğ Köfte itself)
The best vegetarian food in AUSTRALIA
Nic and Paul of The Roaming Renegades
Favorite food: Paneer Makani
Where to get it: Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne is an amazing city for the vegetarian traveller with such a variety of places to pick from and a seemingly never-ending choice of cuisines. Some of those that stand out are the all vegan “Lord of the Fries” serving up fast food all over the city, the hipster haven of “Smith & Daughter” and the up market Asian fusion restaurant “Shakahari” in the elegant Carlton area of the city plus too many others to mention including non vegetarian places that serve incredible veggie options.
However for us our favourite food is in the simple Indian Cafe, OM Vegetarian. Hidden away off the bustling Swanston Street inside an unassuming arcade this place serves up an all vegetarian menu in an authentic and inexpensive way. Melbourne whilst being an incredible city for meat free cuisine is also an expensive place to eat out. But at OM it’s not only the food, music and vibe that is authentically Indian, but the prices too!
Served on a simple metal tray the all you can eat Thali will set you back A$7.50, which is unbelievable in the centre of Melbourne. The menu is expansive and offers a depth of flavours that draw in much of the Indian population of the city, a sure sign of quality! From Jackfruit curries, to soy “chicken”, chickpeas, potato and eggplant varieties as well as speciality rotis.
Our personal favourite though. The Paneer Makani with freshly cooked garlic naan for the incredible price of A$10.90! The creamy but subtly spicy and rich sauce with a side of pickles and warm naan is irresistible and our go to meal pretty much every time we venture into the city! It’s hard to justify going somewhere twice as expensive and half as filling or delicious when OM is right there by Flinder’s Street Station!
The best vegetarian food in NORTH AMERICA
Tina of VegTravelBuddies
Favorite food: General Tso’s “Chicken”
Where to get it: Brooklyn, New York
This is one of the hardest questions to answer. There are just so many to choose from! But top of mind, I’d say the General Tso’s “Chicken” that we have at Amituofo Vegan in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a simple dish made with stir-fried soy protein, broccoli, and mixed vegetables in General Tso’s sauce. It’s delicious and filling and tastes like a home-cooked meal.
Sanna of Vegan Cruiser
Favorite food: Vegan Diner Classics
Where to get it: Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
My name is Sanna, and my blog is vegancruiser.co.uk , all about cruising and travelling the world as a vegan. I have dined in many a place in my time as a vegan but the best restaurant I want to share with you, is somewhere where my husband and I have an annual pilgrimage to each year. We live in Glasgow, Scotland and have amazing choice available to us – more so than London, our UK capital, if you consider the size difference of our two cities. Yet our annual trip takes us out to a US city that isn’t anywhere as vegan-friendly, but has ONE place that has captured our hearts.
Every winter for the last four years (as long as we have been vegan) we have made our way to Boston, Massachusetts. For our beloved Bruins (as we are huge NHL fans) and through that – to Veggie Galaxy. And technically, Veggie Galaxy isn’t even in Boston, but in Cambridge. But if you are staying in Boston, you can get to Veggie Galaxy easily by taking the red line T (subway) a few stops to Cambridge. So worth it, for everything Veggie Galaxy offers.
Veggie Galaxy is a vegetarian/vegan friendly classic diner serving amazing comfort food. All bakery items are vegan, some are gluten free, and the only thing making this diner vegetarian is optional dairy milk for coffees, or cheese or eggs for some meal options. All meals can be had vegan. And what meals they are. Great diner breakfasts, specials, coffees, frappes. Lunch plates, grilled sandwiches, burgers, wraps. And amazing doughnuts at the weekend, all vegan. I couldn’t just pick one dish though, I forever love them for the vegan Boston Creme doughnuts, vegan breakfast pancakes, cheesecakes and more. Meat-free comfort food, made fresh and guaranteed to fill your stomach and your hearts. And best of all, vegan, if you want them that way.
Staff are absolutely amazing. The diner quirky, space themed. Do not miss it if you visit Boston. We’ll be over soon again, I hope.
The best vegetarian food in CENTRAL AMERICA
Jub of Tiki Touring Kiwi
Favorite food: Baleadas
Where to get them: Honduras
I’m currently traveling through Central America, and have been enjoying some of the local foods in each country as they can usually be made vegan or vegetarian if you ask. At the moment, the best vegetarian dish for me is the traditional Honduras dish, Baleadas.
They’re super simple, a flour tortilla folded over with filling on the inside. In my experience, the three most popular ingredients on the inside were beans (frijol), cheese (queso), egg (huevo), and chicken (pollo). For vegetarians, ask for a baleada without any meat (sin carne), and for vegans, you’ll be limited to beans and an assortment of vegetables. Sometimes that meant I got avocado in mine! At worst, the restaurants will have chismol on hand, which is diced tomato, onion, and capsicum which is equally as nice. They’re always served warm, and don’t forget the hot sauce!
Most people tend to eat only one or two per serving (12-25 lempira each), but I preferred three or four.
Note, you’ll need to understand cheese, egg, and meat is in Spanish to ensure they don’t sneak any in your baleadas.
Not sure whether to believe my recommendation? Gordon Ramsey himself said that Baleadas are the best dish Latin American.
The best vegetarian food in ASIA
Charlie of Charlie on Travel
Favorite food: Egg Hoppers
Where to get them: Sri Lanka
It’s hard to choose a favourite, but one of my favourite vegetarian dishes would be egg hoppers from Sri Lanka. They’re like little pancake baskets made from fermented rice flour batter with an egg in the middle. Hoppers are cooked in a small wok-like pan. That’s what gives them distinctive crunchy edges and a softer middle. For breakfast, it’s common to have an egg cracked into the middle of a hopper and soft-boiled. You can get them plain though and load curry into them instead. It’s a great vegetarian Sri Lankan food!
Caitlin of The Vegan Word
Favorite food: Ma Jian Miang (sesame noodles)
Where to get it: Taiwan
When I arrived at my hostel in Taipei, the owners asked if I’d like a recommendation for dinner. I told them I was vegan, and they surprised me by replying “we love vegan food! Why don’t you check out the vegan restaurant across the street?” (This was merely a preview of how vegan-friendly Taipei is.) After putting my bags down, I wandered across the street to the vegan restaurant they had mentioned. A little hole-in-the-wall eatery, it had a cluster of seats on one side, and a kitchen on the other, with stairs leading up to what I presumed was the apartment the owner lived in. You were expected to bring your own drinks (they had nothing for sale, not even water), and collect your own food from the kitchen window and bring your plates/bowls back after finishing. I asked for the noodle dish, and watched as the owner expertly formed noodles with her hands and dropped them into a giant pot of boiling water. She dished up my food, and handed it to me.
My first bite of ma jiang mian was a revelation, and introduced me to the dish I’ve been trying to recreate since. This sesame noodle dish sums up Taiwan, for me. Available at pretty much every roadside stall in the country and even at 7-11 (but not always in its vegan form!), yet seemingly nowhere outside of Taiwan, it is savoury, moreish and addictive. Dark, roasted sesame paste is mixed with vinegar and soy sauce and served with noodles and at least at this restaurant, ground veggie mince. I ate it, along with dumplings, almost every day I was in Taiwan for nearly a month, and I’ve never forgotten the taste since. While the whole country is very vegetarian and vegan-friendly and there are many, many veggie restaurants and dishes to choose from, nothing beat a good bowl of Taiwanese ma jiang mian!
Shawn and Jess of North and South Nomads
Favorite food: Crispy Tofu Salad (and others!)
Where to get it: Chiang Mai, Thailand
The best vegetarian food you can get is from Anchan Vegetarian restaurant in the Nimmanheiman district in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It’s hard to pick one best dish from this place because all of the food is mind blowingly good as well as budget friendly. Sweet tamarind sauce and crispy tofu is the best combination of food, so I’d have to pick their crispy tofu salad if pressed for a favourite. It’s destroyed me for buying tofu anywhere else on this planet, because I haven’t found anything that lives up to this.
Klaudia of Do Less Get More Done
Favorite food: Vegan Ramen
Where to get it: Japan
Soup is my comfort food, enjoy it all year round. Searching for new flavors, from seasonal and natural ingredients is my number one gastronomic priority when I travel to a new country. The best soup for me is vegan Ramen in Japan. I would love to eat it every day.
Sarah of My Veggie Travels
Favorite food: Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
Where to get it: Thailand
Thai Papaya Salad (also known as Som Tam) probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when most people think about great veggie dishes from across the globe. The meal traditionally includes dried shrimp and fish sauce, meaning that most vegetarians and vegans would overlook it on a menu. However, the Thais are wonderful at substituting ingredients, and papaya salad is so packed full of flavour that the removal of the fishy ingredients makes little difference. I can’t get enough of it! The spicy salad is made from shredded unripe papaya, peanuts, juicy limes, cherry tomatoes and sweet palm sugar (added to soften the kick of the Thai chillies).
This is a great meal for veggie travellers. It’s often cheap, is served with sticky rice to fill you up, and is an amazing source of vitamins C, B and magnesium (to name a few).
Elizabeth of Everything Obsessed
Favorite food: Ca Ri Curry
Where to get it: Vietnam
I have to say my ultimate favourite vegetarian dish I’ve had while travelling is vegetarian / tofu Ca Ri curry in Vietnam. Ca Ri is a coconut curry that is so full of flavour and very tasty. It usually comes with rice and salad/veg on the side for you to put in. I’ve found it a few places outside of Vietnam in Vietnamese restaurants. I did try it in a restaurant called ‘Eden‘ in Berlin a few months ago and it was the best one I’ve had outside of Vietnam!
Top tip when travelling as a vegetarian, if in doubt, go to an Indian restaurant. They will 100% always have lots of veggie options.
Josh and Sarah of Veggie Vagabonds
Favorite food: Sri Lankan Breakfasts
Where to get them: Sri Lanka
Without a doubt, our favourite vegan dish from around the world has to be Sri Lankan breakfasts!
We spent 3 months on a culinary adventure around the island and were absolutely blown away. The people, the culture, the environment, the history and wildlife all amounted to such a breathtaking experience it’s something we’ll never forget.
But, above all of this, there was one thing that really stood out, and that was the food. Sri Lankan food for vegans is absolute bliss; a tantalising mix of exotic fruit, sizzling curries beautiful rice dishes and a variety of bread. We spent our 3 months wandering from meal to meal absorbing as much culture and eating as many dishes as possible.
Although it was tough picking a favourite out of this awesome cuisine we’re going for the breakfasts. Sri Lankan breakfasts for vegans usually consist of dhal (a coconuty, creamy lentil dish) with coconut sambol (a shredded mix of coconut, garlic, salt, chilli and lime) and a type of bread.
Though there are many bread dishes it can come with our favourites were coconut roti (shown in picture) or string hoppers which are almost like pancakes made from pressed rice flour noodles.
It really is a delicious breakfast and a great way to start the day. Normally this will all be accompanied by some fresh fruit (hopefully jackfruit) and some really sugary tea – we’re getting hungry just thinking about all this food!
Sara and Joao of No Footprint Nomads
Favorite food: Gaeng Hed soup
Where to get it: Happy Mushroom restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand
When Rebecca and Ethan, from Traveling with Sunscreen, asked us about our favorite out-of-this-world vegetarian dish, I immediately thought about a steaming bowl of Thai mushroom soup from one of our favorite places in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Seems like a simple and humble dish to be on the top of my list but the truth is that food is not just food, it’s a combination of sensory experience and the familiarity of tastes and smells that bring back memories you thought long forgotten.
I need to start from the beginning and tell you the story of this soup and the smiley chef that prepares it. When we first came to Thailand, we had this out-of-reality idea that it would be the place for vegetarian/vegan food, a safe haven for people with restrictive diets like ours. We were dreaming of noodles and marinated tofu before we even got there. But then, we landed and reality hit us like a high-speed train when we tried to order our first vegan meal from a Thai street food stall and the only vegan meal we ended up with was boring white rice and stir-fried water spinach. That was it, and we were starving. The thing is that traditional Thai food is all made with either meat stock or smelly fermented fish sauce.
To overcome this challenge, Joao started researching all vegetarian and vegan places in Chiang Mai, the city in the north where we would eventually spend most of our time in Thailand. We learned about the connection between vegetarianism and Buddhism and he compiled an extensive list and map of safe places to eat, which you can access here. We even found out that Chiang Mai is the city in the world with more vegan places per capita! This was exciting news for us and we wanted to try them all.
In one of our “field trips”, we ended up going to a small place called Happy Mushroom. The place couldn’t be better named because the specialty is, you guessed it, mushrooms! And happy is an understatement because the chef, a woman named Yupin, is a well of warmth and cheerfulness. I am a strong believer that food is not just ingredients and technique but it’s essentially that secret thing we all know as Love. With her experienced hands and a humble kitchen set up made up of a gas stove and a wok, this woman creates a variety of dishes that she always delivers with a smile. In her broken English, she tells us about her story and how she became vegan eight years ago. “I feel so healthy now. I just want all people to eat vegan so I cook for them”, she finishes with a crystalline giggle. It’s just impossible not be immediately captivated by her spirit. And that, I’m sure, is what made this experience so memorable.
On our first visit to her humble stand, nested inside a local market half an hour away from the city center, we asked her what she would recommend. “You need to eat Gaeng Hed soup!”, she exclaims. She immediately starts chopping a variety of mushrooms, each with their own fragrance and unique texture. She throws them into a wok, adds some water and lights the fire. The water starts boiling and soon after she adds a spoon of stinky bean sauce (I’ve learned to appreciate Thai’s favoritism for smelly ingredients), mushroom powder, salt and the omnipresent dry chili powder. The spatula twists and turns rapidly but delicately and the sweet and umami flavors of the mushrooms start filling the air around us. Some small round zucchini and herbs are added to the mixture and, suddenly, a pungent and sulfuric smell fills the air. My nose gets into a frenzy, trying to decipher this new information. “What’s this smell, Yupin?”. “It’s chak om”, she replies.
Chak om is like garlic and rotten eggs altogether in a plant. This bushy herb grows easily in Northern Thailand and it’s a characteristic of Northern Thai cuisine. You’ll see Thai people separating the leaves from the thorny stalk, making a little ball, and dumping it into a spicy tomato-based sauce normally made with ground pork meat, called nam prik om.
After a minute or two of adding the smelly herb and a more delicate mushroom to the soup, she pours the hot liquid into a bowl and serves it with brown rice on the side. At first, the smelly herb overpowers the senses but, after a while, you can taste the delicate umami flavors of the mushrooms and, at the end, you are so full and happy you cannot even think of eating anything else. We leave Yupin and her happy mushrooms as we smile and wave. We are full, bellies and soul.
You can find this magical little place inside the local market, next to Ruamchok Plaza, on 1001 highway, a 25- minute ride from the city center of Chiang Mai. Yupin also has a cooking school where you can learn to cook all these Northern Thai delicacies.
Hours of operation: always check her Facebook page for more accurate information. She is normally there 7 days a week until 7pm.
Average price/person/meal: 60 Baht
There it is, the best vegetarian food in the world! Did we miss something? Tell us about your favorite vegetarian/vegan food in the comments!