Vegans may feel frustrated in Beijing
, where there is a sea of delicious food but it is made from meat, meat and meat. All is not lost, with this list you can try the best vegetable dishes on offer in the city
Ye Ye Bodhi Restaurant
Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Chinese, $$$
Ye Ye Bodhi is the must-go restaurant for vegans in Beijing. With its name taken from the Sutra
“A world is seen in a flower; a Bodhi (universe) is seen in a leaf”, the dishes at this restaurant were made to echo certain Buddhist meanings: the fruit served before dinner made from cherry tomatoes, grapes and pitaya
is called “Causal Destiny (Yin Guo Zi Zai)”, taking liberties with the character “Guo” as a polysemy (meaning both “effect” and “fruit”); the appetizer composed of four small dishes of four flavors – sour, spicy, spiced and sweet – is named “Life of A Hundred Flavors”. The restaurant is especially famous for its quinoa dishes.
Kings Joy Beijing
Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Chinese, none
Located right beside the Yonghegong Lama Temple, Kings Joy Beijing has a natural advantage as a vegan restaurant. Stepping inside the restaurant is like accidentally intruding into heaven, with a fog made of negative oxygen ion curling up from the bamboo forest in the traditional Chinese courtyard. Remember to try sweet and sour Lotus Root Ribs (it is of course not real ribs), Emery Tofu (tofu wrapped in crushed peanuts and other spices) and Mung Bean Cake. Don’t worry if you hear the chirping of cicadas while dining – they are just a recording designed to create an ambience. The restaurant offers vegan high tea as well.
Restaurant, Healthy, European, $$$
The founders of Zerogo have a simple dream: to let the guests taste the best vegan meal in the world. People who dine at Zerogo are sharing the same physical space, but they are also elsewhere, perhaps thousands of miles away from each other according to the courses they order: the soba noodles from north China; the vegan burger from Melbourne or the grilled vegetables from Paris.
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
Vege Tiger faithfully honors the traditional belief that food should only be cooked and consumed in season, and that’s how it designs its menu. It is like most of the Chinese vegan restaurants, presenting Chinese dishes made of vegetables but taste like meat, only the Tiger’s taste is said to be better than the rest. It would be a crime to eat at Vege Tiger without ordering the Pea Paste with Nuts. The salad sauce is a Tiger classic.
Restaurant, Healthy, $$$
Unlike most of the vegan restaurants in China which feature Chinese cuisine, the Root Pop has dishes from all over the world ranging from Japanese Soup Ramen to Mexican Burgers. It has coffee, cider, sodas made from fresh hibiscus and lemon, and home-made Macha Avacado Ice Cream. And of course it has Caesar Salad that no vegan is stranger to.
Yi Liang Fan
Diner, Chinese, Healthy, $$$
Yi Liang Fan is small but homey diner. The two lunch sets available at 18 RMB (2.7 USD) per set are popular among white collars. The green vegetables and rice in the set can be refilled if you still feel like more. On one hand, Yi Liang Fan tries their best to preserve the original taste of vegetables in their dishes, and uses as little oil and salt as possible; on the other hand, it has dishes with strong flavors too – You could enjoy the vegan spicy hot pot for only 30 RMB (4.6 USD).
Yi Liang Fan’s lunch set | © Shikamaru_Nara / Dianping.com
Restaurant, Chinese, Healthy, $$$
If you are a noodle lover, then Xiaomuyu Somen should be your top choice. It has Chinese noodles such as Eggplant Noodles, which loyally keep the original smell and taste of eggplants; and the Beijing Noodles with Fried Bean Sauce. The Hawthorn Pitaya, a fruit dish made of pitayas covered in hawthorn fruit paste, tastes so fresh that it would make a perfect companion to a main dish.
Xian He Tang
Restaurant, Chinese, Contemporary, Healthy, $$$
There are vegan restaurants that feature in rice and noodles, and there is also a restaurant that specializes in soup. Xian He Tang’s vegetable soups, named after the Taoist Five Elements, are each made of a mixture of vegetables under the instructions of dieticians and doctors of traditional Chinese medicine. If you are under the weather or put on liquid diet by the doctor, then there’s probably no better restaurant for you than Xian He Tang, where you can have nutritious and delicious food guilt-free.
Xian He Tang | © dpuser_67269822112 / Dianping.com