Vietnam is an amazing place to visit for so many reasons! The locals are incredibly warm and welcoming, the natural sights are breathtaking, and there are endless activities to enjoy. But what really takes the cake is the food. And even if you have specific dietary needs or restrictions, Vietnam has got your back. There are plenty of dishes that can be tailored to your preferences, or that are naturally gluten-free or vegan. This means that you don’t have to worry about requesting a special meal, you just need to know which dishes to order. This guide will help you navigate all of your options with ease!
Let’s start with the basics: get familiar with some important vocabulary.
How to say you’re vegan/vegetarian
Tôi ăn chay – I’m a vegan/vegetarian – Toy awn chaiii
How to find vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Hanoi/Vietnam?
Finding a vegan or vegetarian restaurant while traveling to Hanoi can be difficult, as most restaurants and street food places serve dishes with meat. However, you can ask the sellers to exclude meat from dishes such as banh mi and bun tron. Alternatively, you can check the Happy Cow app or search for “vegan restaurants near me” on Google Maps for better options.
Let’s move on to the next step: discovering some amazing dishes that are perfect for those who prefer vegan, or vegetarian food.
- Banh Mi Chay: a vegetarian version of the popular Vietnamese sandwich, usually filled with tofu, vegetables, and herbs.
You can find banh mi at every corner of the city, but my favorite ones are Vegan Banh Mi and Banh Mi 25.
- Pho Chay: a vegan version of the famous Vietnamese noodle soup, typically made with tofu and vegetables.
You can find vegan pho at many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Vietnam, such as Loving Hut in Ho Chi Minh City and Minh Chay in Hanoi. It’s also possible to ask for a vegan version of pho at non-vegetarian restaurants by requesting that the meat be removed and replaced with tofu or other vegetables.
- Goi Cuon: fresh spring rolls filled with vegetables, tofu, and sometimes noodles or vermicelli
- Nom Du Du – Vegan Papaya Salad
This dish is popular street food in Vietnam and is known for its healthy and refreshing properties.
The salad is made from shredded green papaya, mixed with a variety of vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes. The vegetables are then mixed with a tangy dressing made from lime juice, garlic, chili, and sugar. The salad is then topped with crushed peanuts and fresh herbs like mint and coriander.
What makes this dish unique is its texture and flavor. The combination of the crunchy papaya and vegetables, along with the tangy dressing, creates a refreshing taste that is perfect for a hot day. The peanuts and herbs add to the texture and flavor of the salad, making it a must-try dish in Hanoi.
- Banh Ran Chay
This sweet treat contains mung bean or yellow bean inside, with a sesame and honey coating. It is priced at just 3,000 VND per piece and is widely available in Hanoi.
>>> Reasons why OneTrip Vegan/Vegetarian street food tour In Hanoi is unique?
Veggie versions of the two most famous dishes from Hoi An:
- Mi Quang: noodles with prawn, pork, peanuts, quail eggs, and spring rolls
- Cao lầu: thick noodles with barbeque pork, crispy crackling, bean sprouts and stock.
Hoi An is a wonderful place to explore and experience Vietnamese cuisine. One of the highlights of the local food scene is the Cao Lau and My Quang dishes which are made with tofu and tomato broths as substitutes for meat. Despite the substitution, the taste remains as awesome as ever.
In addition to the delicious and unique dishes, Hoi An also offers a special treat for vegan travelers. At the beginning of the lunar month, many shops in the city switch to serving only vegan dishes. This not only offers a great opportunity for vegans but also sheds light on the city’s cultural traditions and practices, making it a truly unique destination for foodies and travelers alike.
Ho Chi Minh City
- Vegan cơm tấm
Cơm tấm is a Vietnamese dish made from rice and various other accompaniments. The vegan version of this dish is typically served with tofu, vegetables, and sometimes a vegan egg substitute.
- Vegan hotpot
This popular Vietnamese dish is a great option for those who prefer plant-based eating as it typically includes fresh vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms in a flavorful broth. Here are a few places to check out:
- Bo De Tam – Located in District 3, this restaurant is known for its vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Their vegan hotpot is a must-try, with a range of fresh vegetables and tofu in a savory broth.
- Com Chay Ha Thanh – This vegan restaurant in District 1 offers a variety of plant-based dishes, including a delicious hotpot with mushrooms, tofu, and noodles.
- Loving Hut Saigon – With multiple locations throughout the city, Loving Hut is a popular chain of vegan restaurants in Vietnam. Their hotpot is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, featuring a mix of vegetables, tofu, and vegan meat.
No matter where you choose to try a vegan hotpot in Ho Chi Minh City, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal. Bon appétit!
Vietnam vegan food FAQs
Is Vietnam vegetarian-friendly?
Many Vietnamese dishes can be made vegetarian, including hotpot, banh mi, pho, and salad. These dishes are perfect for vegetarians.
Is Vietnam vegan-friendly?
The variety of vegan dining places is much better in big cities, especially in the south, such as Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, or Hue. With a little effort, you can easily find the best vegan restaurants in Vietnam.
How many Vietnamese are vegan?
According to the data from Wikipedia, 10% of Vietnamese are vegetarian (about 9,000,000 people) as of 2011.
Why are so many Vietnamese vegan?
There are many reasons why people choose to eat plant-based diets full-time. In the Vietnamese community, the common perception is that people become vegan for spiritual and religious reasons. With the growth of social media and the information age over the last 10 years, the benefits of plant-centered diets have become more apparent.
If you are vegan or vegetarian and enjoy learning about history and culture while discovering Hanoi, you are welcome to join our Vegan Food Tour. Our lovely team will take care of you. We are the top-rated vegan food tour on Airbnb Experience and TripAdvisor.