Is it possible to find any good vegetarian food in Saigon?
The good news for vegans and vegetarians is that US travel website When On Earth has listed Ho Chi Minh City among the ideal cities worldwide for vegans and vegetarians. The city is named one of the ten destinations that “tickle veggie-loving taste buds” as it offers a wide range of veggie-friendly and vegan options. This is due to the dominated religion Buddhism and the tropical geographic location of the country.
See more: Vegan Food Tour on back of the bikes
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“Ca tim nuong” – Photo: pxhere.com
On the first and the fifteenth day of each month in the lunar cycle, Buddhists eat vegetarian. This can lead to restaurants being closed on these days if they don’t serve vegetarian food. Since the main religion is Buddhism, quite a lot of local eateries have vegan option from reasonable price to high-end restaurants.
Below is some basic helpful phrases for your vegan guide:
Now time for the vegan food hunting. Below is a list of 10 best vegetarian restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city you can easily find
Ngoc Tho is a vegetarian restaurant that serves the all-veggie take of your typical Vietnamese cuisines such as Pho, Spring roll or Bun Thit Nuong. They have the mock meat that tastes really like real. Thus, if you are vegan or non-vegan, the place worth a try.
Bong Sung is a great place for a healthy dinner with great service. From a personal perspective, the restaurant is more suitable for meeting a friend or celebrating an occasion than a quick meal. I went there a few times and the staffs speaks really good English, patient in explaining what ingredients behind every dishes.
This place is a rustic vegan restaurant with an extensive menu of over 100 healthy food at moderate prices. The restaurant also serves coffee and other drinks with a preference of soya milk over cow milk for white coffee. Kids menu available.
Mandala Restaurant is inspired by Tibet Buddhist. There are intricate paintings hang across the walls and multi-colored stones pave the walking path. Although staffs of the restaurant does not receive much compliments from old guests but the food is quite good and is a mix between Tibetan and vegan Vietnamese.
Pho Chay – Photo: Alpha via Flickr
Pho and Banh Mi is the symbolic dish of Viet cuisine. Fortunately, you can also try those tasty ones throughout Vietnam. Pho Nhu serves the best vegan Pho in town with a budget price. With the very local atmosphere, simple plastic chair and inox table and a complex broth with flat noodle, mushrooms, carrots, onion, ginger, v.v… I can’t tell them all, you have the perfect bowl of legendary Pho.
Lien Huong is an alley vegan restaurant. The place is special because it’s run by a group of Eastern medicine doctors and the cooking philosophy here follows Yin and Yang theory to bring the balanced and good health for those who eat.
Tib is worth-a-try restaurant in a traditional setting. The place is considered “expensive” for local standards but for Westerners I think it’s very reasonable. Good service, very delicious vegan food and simply decor space. 10 minutes away from the Jade Emperor Pagoda by walk. If I can suggest you, pick Pineapple Rice Ca Tim Nuong (Grilled Eggplant), stuffed tomatoes, Che Mon (taros gruel) as dessert. The service is good with warm staffs.
Veggie bar – Photo: diadiemanuong.com
This is “build your own meal” vegan restaurant. Basically, you have your own basket then fill it up with goodies like veggie, noodle, mock meat and the dressing, check out then you cook it up for you. The food here is tasty, not greasy or salty. In addition, they also have a grocery area with wide selection of Au Lac vegan food that you can buy home.
Hum Vegetarian is a tranquil and spacious luxury vegan restaurant. The food, decor and all details is set up with great care to give guests great dining experience. The places are suitable for private talks, business meeting or if you want a bit high-end vegan meals, Hum is a good choice.
Vegan Food Tour with Saigon Kiss Tours. Photo: Saigonkisstours.com
I listed many places above for you to try Banh Mi as I honestly think that this is the most delicious sandwich you might ever eat. Thanks to the influence of the French colonists, the local adopted the sandwich and very soon turned it into the local specialty by making the great filling. The recipe for the filling is normally the cucumbers, pickles, herbs, fish or meat, soya bean, special sauce. With the vegan Banh Mi, they go with the mushrooms, tofu and some other alternative ingredients.
If you read until this, I hope that you have helpful vegan guide in Ho Chi Minh city of Vietnam. For more info, please check out our Vietnam travel guide
Having a limited time? Or don’t want to miss all the great Vietnamese cuisine, a food feast on bikes with local drivers can be what you need, check Vegan Food Tour