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vegan food guide vietnam

Vietnam, like most other South East Asian countries, is known for its meaty delicacies all across the globe. But in the hordes of frog legs, snails, pork, dog meat etc. We forget that a lot of people here follow Buddhism. Moreover, veganism is becoming more and more popular as a result we can see Vietnam’s landscape dotted with quite a few vegetarian restaurants. In my vegetarian food guide to Vietnam, I’ll take you through some of my favourite vegan restaurants in Vietnam, popular Vietnamese dishes that are either inherently vegetarian or are easy to make a vegetarian version of

Hop on & let’s go on a culinary journey to Vietnam.


Pro Tip for Being a Vegetarian or Vegan in Vietnam


It is very easy to figure out the vegetarian section in a menu card since most of the menus are in the English language. If you still may have difficulty your word is- Chay, meaning vegetarian. So all you got to do is spot that word or ask the vendor if it’s chay\vegeterian. Vietnamese love to cook with fish oil. If you aren’t at an all-vegan restaurant, always check if it’s made in fish oil before ordering.

When looking for Vegan/Vegetarian restaurants I always use the app Happy Cow, check it out!

Best Vegan Places in Vietnam

  1. Vegan Bánh mì, Hanoi: A vegan food cart based in Hanoi. They don’t only sell Banh Mi but also a few other popular dishes like noodle salad, spring rolls & pho. The cost range from 30000 – 40000 VDN.
  2. Vegan Family Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh: Located in the very popular District 1, this restaurant offers a variety of traditional & western options to choose from. The menu is all organic & super affordable. Hot pot is a must-try here.
  3. Veggie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh: One of the highest-rated vegan restaurants in Ho Chi Minh & for the right reasons. A tastefully designed traditional Vietnamese menu with affordable prices. You also get a discount if you bring your own cutlery!
  4. The Fisherman, Hoi An: Once a seafood restaurant now turned into a vegan haven! The name is misleading, but that’s that. The menu is all vegan & if the food doesn’t take your breath the view from the cafe sure will. Try their smoothie bowls for the perfect start of the day.
  5. Ans Vegetarian Cuisine, Da Nang: This one’s not a fully vegan restaurant but offers a variety of options on the menu. Do try them out while in Da Nang.
  6. Au Lac Chay, Nha Trang: This one is an experience! They offer only a daily special menu with each item just about $1, pick from an array of dishes at this homestyle place.
  7. Filthy Vegan, Ho Chi Minh: A fun vegan take on western delicacies. Located in the heart of District 1, Filthy vegan takes zero waste seriously. They also have an all-vegan bakery to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.
  8. Banh My Chay, Da Nang: A food stall serving the best of Banh Mi that Da Nang has to offer, all vegan of course!
  9. Chickpea Eatery, Da Nang: A cute cafe serving homestyle meals from fried rice, pho, and noodles to buddha bowls. Name it, they have it.
  10. Nhat Da, Hoi An: A daily buffet-style eatery. They are known for their mock meat & bamboo dishes. A wonderful place for a simple wholesome meal.

Popular Vegetarian Dishes in Vietnam


Pho:
I believe Pho is at the top of everyone’s list who travels to Vietnam. For those who do not know what Pho is- it is a noodle soup with bean sprouts, herbs and chicken\beef. As far as I am concerned every other street food corner or restaurant I went to had Pho Chay (What a delight!) Do you know what is better about Pho apart from being a whole meal? You can get it in as less as $ 1. Yes! You read it right, but it is true for most of the street food in Vietnam.

Banana flower salad:
Vietnam has a variety of salad options. This one was unique of them all. The blossom/flower of the banana is a delicate treat. Together with bean sprouts, onion, some spices, and peanuts, it makes a great salad.

Bánh mì:
This is nothing but a lot of salad, cheese and some meat stuffed in a baguette. If you don’t find a vegan option, simply ask the vendor to just put salad and cheese and get it for a lesser price. No matter where you are in Vietnam you will definitely find a stall selling Bánh mì and it easily became my soul food throughout the trip.

Sticky Rice:
You will come across Vietnamese ladies selling sticky rice with different flavours, I spotted them generally early morning. While I did not try all the variants, sticky rice with mango was my favourite.

Bánh Xeo Chay:
Crispy rice flour pancake, filled with sprouts, mushrooms, and other veggies. You roll your Banh Xeo pancake in salad leaves or rice paper in some places, which results in a huge tasty roll.

Morning glory with garlic:
An essential dish served with most Vietnamese meals. It is a simple dish of water spinach, and garlic served with rice, but oh so delicious.

Braised tofu, mushroom, or eggplant:
As the name suggests. This one is piping hot and best had with a side of rice.

Summer rolls:
Fresh rice paper rolls loaded with vegetables and sometimes even mock meats. They are light & hearty.

Fruit Salad:
Vietnam is home to a variety of tropical fruits and as a fruit lover, I just could not get enough of it! From the rare dragon fruits, rambutans, and peaches to mangoes, pineapples, and watermelons name it they have it

Apart from the few street foods mentioned above, you will find fried rice, fried noodles, stir-fried vegetables and whatnot. There are a number of Indian and Buddhist restaurants serving vegetarian food. I did not try the Indian food in Vietnam but from what I hear it is pretty nice. The variety of vegetarian food may be lesser than the meaty delights that they have to offer but that should not stop you from tasting some amazing flavours of Vietnam.

Check out my 1-week Vietnam itinerary & top 10 things to do in Ho Chi Minh city.

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