Posted By : Threeland Travel / Food and Drink Travel Tips
Vietnamese kitchens are always known for its balanced, flavorful, and healthy cooking with liberal use of a plenty of vegetables and herbs. If you are a vegetarian, there are a lot for you to look forward to in your Vietnam tour package. No matter which food you want to try throughout the country, there are always mouth-watering meat-free versions on offer. Here we would love to share with you this easy-peasy guide to vegetarian food in Vietnam.
Vietnamese food – Overview
For all foodie fans, Vietnamese food needs no introduction. Take a gastronomic tour throughout the country, sample everything from tasty street foods to the fine-dining fusion dishes and you will make sense of the country’s comprehensive culinary scene. Northern food is known for its well-balanced recipes, the dishes in the central Vietnam is generous for its spice, and Southern people like to add sugar in their food.
Wherever you travel in Vietnam, you are surely treated with mouth-watering morsels. Though Vietnamese cuisine varies from north to south, but you should expect something popular that remains everywhere such as noodle soups, banh mi sandwiches, rice paper rolls, and Vietnamese coffee. And wherever you end up in, a street food vendor or a fine-dining restaurant, vegetarian versions are incredibly plentiful.
Photo: Boiled eggplant stuffed with tofu
Photo: Vegetarian Vietnamese Pancake
What to order for a vegetarian?
There is really no danger of going hungry as a vegetarian in Vietnam. Quickly google and you can find a bunch of vegetarian eateries near your location. Look for the words ‘quán chay’ or ‘cơm chay’ to locate a vegetarian place to eat, or to find veggie options on a regular menu. Or our tour guide are much delighted to offer some tips for you to find a suitable vegetarian restaurant during your Vietnam holiday packages.
If you go to a regular restaurant, some few “magic words” to attract the staff’s attention is “toi an chay” (literally means I’m a vegetarian) or “khong thit” (no meat) to ask for no meat in your dishes. As most of Vietnamese food goes with fish sauce, remember to say “khong nuoc mam” which means “no fish sauce” when placing your orders.
Photo: A vegetarian dish with meatless fish served with scallions
Actually, it’s not too difficult to place a vegetarian order, just have a look through the menu and look for the keyword “chay” – literally means “vegetarian”. Normally, the word “chay” will be added just after the regular dish name to specify the vegetarian version.
Pho chay = vegetarian pho (noodle soup)
Nem chay = vegetarian spring rolls
Banh mi chay = vegetarian baguettes
Banh xeo chay = vegetarian rice pancake
Mi xao chay = stir-fried vegetarian noodles
Sup chay = vegetarian soup
Photo: A bowl of vegetarian pho with meatless beef and seasonal vegetables
Photo: A vegetarian banh mi cut in 3 with meatless pork and picked salad
There is another pool of vegetarian options without the world “chay” because the original dish itself is already meat-free:
Nom hoa chuoi: banana leaf salad
Sa lat dau dam: cucumber and tomato salad with flavorful vinegar sauce
Dau sot ca chua: braised tofu with tomato sauce
Dau hu chien sa ot: Tofu fried with shredded lemongrass and chili
Rau muong xao toi: stir-fried morning glory with garlic
…………and so many more!
Photo: Vegetarian banana leaf salad
Photo: Fried tofu with Mushroom sauce
Best vegetarian restaurants in Vietnam
There is a wide selection of excellent vegetarian restaurants in all major destinations in Vietnam.
In Hanoi, make sure you check it out Uu Dam Chay – an elegant vegetarian restaurant located right at the heart of the city center. Or have a stop by at Veggie Castle where they serve decent vegetarian buffet with very reasonable price. Another choice could be the quiet one Aummee – a popular place for local monks so you can be guaranteed authentic set of vegetarian menus.
Photo: Uu Dam Chay Restaurant food display
Photo: Uu Dam Chay Restaurant interior view
Hoi An is also a destination that offers countless delicious vegetarian restaurants. You can’t go wrong at Karma Waters which serves 100% organic and vegan Vietnamese food and drink. Try few more meat-free restaurants options at Am Restaurant or Annen Hoi An, and rest assured that the chefs there will feed you well.
Photo: Fried tofu at Am Restaurent Hoi An
In Ho Chi Minh City, among the various vegetarian restaurants, Hum Restaurants and Pi Bistro seem to stand out from the crowds thanks to their cozy Vietnamese traditional design as well as the amazing menu with plentiful green, healthy, and incredibly delicious options to choose from.
Photo: Vegetarian dish at Pi Vegetarian Bistro, Ho Chi Minh City
12 days Vietnamese Culinary Journey: https://threeland.com/tour/vietnamese-culinary-journey.html