Traveling with dietary requirements is often tough, especially in a country where you will face language barriers. In Vietnam, spotting vegan food is easy—just look for the world “chay” in shop banners. If you’re too lazy to do that, we’ve done the work for you. Here are six vegan restaurants that deliver time and time again.
Restaurant, Vietnamese, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Finding vegetarian food in Ho Chi Minh City is not difficult, as you have a plethora of “Quan Chay” (vegetarian) options to choose from. Saigon Vegan is a gift to you from the Vegan Gods—extensive menu, generous portions, central location, cozy and casual ambiance, friendly staff and cheap prices. What more could you want?
Try the fresh spring rolls, clay pot seaweed and the all-veggie version of bun cha—a favorite and popular meaty dish of Vietnam. You’ll find yourself returning here time and time again, as it will check off all your vegan needs.
Ngoc Tho is a vegetarian restaurant that serves the all-veggie take of your typical Vietnamese favorites such as pho and bun thit nuong. Their “fake” meat is fantastic—just as juicy with different textures in its layers, and tastes almost like the real thing. It’s hard to believe it’s all made out of plants. If you are a vegan and are sad that you will miss out on the delicious cuisine of Vietnam, don’t be, as this place will cater to your curiosity. Try the jackfruit tempura. It’s a favorite among diners. Interestingly, there are some Mexican items as well.
The service is also great, and the prices barely affect the weight of your wallet.
Sen Quan Chay (Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant) is a little more upmarket, and the menu here is purely vegan, so you can dine here without a worry. The menu spreads its pages between Vietnamese favorites, but you must try the bun bo Hue, as it is phenomenal. Other favorites are the mango salad and the vegan egg, that actually tastes better than your typical egg. We’re not sure what it’s made out of though, but you’re more than welcome to ask your friendly server.
Also, if dining on tables and chairs is too mainstream for ya, upstairs has an even more cosy seating area where people dine on the floor.
Bong Sung is a great place for a healthy dinner with a bunch of friends. This restaurant is better if you’re celebrating an occasion, rather than heading there for a quick meal. The staff behind this place are lovely; they speak excellent English and are always helpful with recommending dishes and explaining the ingredients. Be wary though, if you’re going for the vegetable curry, do ask for the vegan version, as the dish is normally made with milk!
Bong Sung consistently delivers quality, and the meals are priced fairly.
Hum is often the first recommended when asking around for a good vegetarian restaurant. Not only is the menu here outstanding, with a sophisticated and innovative take on local cuisine, but the subtle green and brown décor and the mood lighting of the place also perfectly sets the tone for your evening. It will feel as if you are dining in an urban garden patio.
Pho is the quintessential must-try dish of Vietnam, and is essentially Vietnam in a bowl—all the great flavors and textures of the country come together in one delicious noodly dish. At Pho Nhu Vegan, you will find the vegan take on this dish, and you’re guaranteed a big bowl full of broth and noodles with plenty of greens to mix in as you please. Even the fish sauce is vegan! Try figuring that one out.To order, you don’t need to know much Vietnamese. Just say “mot pho chay,” which means “one vegetarian pho.”