10 Best Vietnamese Vegetarian Dishes You Must Try

Shaped like a letter S on the world map, Vietnam is the home of 54 ethnicities and 63 provinces in the Central part of  Southeast Asia. This country is unique with its rich diversity of languages, cultures, and cuisine.

It is a big fault not to mention how famous its cuisine is with a mixed flavor of sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and sometimes, a little bitter. Tourists can feel a balance in each type of  Vietnamese food, a combination of green herbs, meat, and spices based on the Yin and Yang concept; in particular, the opposite characteristics of heat and coldness. As a result, the food is healthy and easy to digest.

You will never feel too full; it is like a harmony of your body and soul when you have even the first taste.

Besides, being a vegetarian in Vietnam is not a big deal. With the popularity of vegan food varying from  North to South, you can enjoy your meal at every corner of the country, either in a luxurious restaurant or a small stall on the street. The word “vegetarian†is translated into Vietnamese as “chay†– a simple and not so complicated word to remember. Why is Vietnam the perfect destination for foreign vegetarians? It is cheap but safe, diverse in types, and more than that, it is surprisingly good! Here is the list of  the 10 Best Vietnamese vegetarian dishes in Vietnam. 

Best 10 Vietnamese Vegetarian Dishes You Must Try

1. Vegetarian Vietnamese spring rolls

You might or might not have heard about it before –  Vietnamese Vegetarian Spring rolls, served as snacks or a dish for your lunch or dinner. With the mixture of yummy-looking elements inside, you can freely utilize your creation and imagination to change and add more flavors to your taste. Normally, this food is made of herbs, glass noodles or rice noodles, mushrooms, fungus, cucumber, tomatoes, or carrots to add colors, and crispy fried tofu. Never forget to dip this white and full roll into a creamy nut-based sauce. You will fall for these full rolls because they are fresh, healthy, and satisfying!

2. Vegan Vietnamese Pho (Pho chay)

Never miss this second dish on your must-try list:  Pho chay or Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho. Pho is the most widely known food in Vietnam and does not sound so exotic. Instead of traditional Pho with beef and bone-steamed soup, this veggie version brings you into the world of beans, rice noodles or Pho, tofu (if any), green herbs, young onion, and all of these fancy ingredients swimming in the broth or a special soup, which is the soul of this Pho.

3.  Banh xeo

Banh xeo  or Crispy & Savory Vietnamese Crêpes is the third recommended Vietnamese vegetarian food. Crispy outside and inside, there is everything you can find: glass noodles, bean sprouts, fungus, carrot, egg, and coconut juice. This yellow crepe looks like an omelet and is so yummy! You can eat it with vinegar-based sauce and, of course, herbs.

4. Vegan Steamed Buns (Banh bao chay)

Having been affected by the cultures of Chinese in the past, Vietnamese people nowadays also enjoy  Banh bao or Steamed dumplings/ buns  as one of their favorites. This is served as breakfast or brunch or even snacks after work. Hidden inside the white and soft wrapper, there are tiny ingredients as you make it, including glass noodles, minced fungus, diced carrots, diced jicama, and young onion. Everything is good for your health!

5. Vietnamese curry vegetarian for Indian

According to a recent survey by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the number of Indian visitors to Vietnam increased 3.5-fold or 344 percent, from over 16,000 in 2010 to more than 60,000 people in 2015 and 85,000 people in 2016. When you are in Vietnam, they offer you  Vietnamese vegetarian curry. With the mixture of chopped tofu, chopped mushroom, chili flakes, Chinese eggplants, potato/ sweet potato/ taro, lemongrass, minced ginger, green beans, lime leaves, and curry powder, you will never feel disappointed since this tastes wonderful and exactly applies the Yin and Yang concept.

6.  Vegan Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Tomatoes (Dau sot ca chua)

Next on the list of Vietnamese vegetarian dishes is  Vegan Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Tomatoes  or  Dau sot ca chua. This dish is perfect for a cold day if it is served hot. Moreover, this looks delightful and attractive since it has the red color of tomatoes, the green color of young onions, and the yellow color of fried tofu. At the same time, the minced or chopped onion will be a great added flavor, together with the pasty broth. You may be enchanted by the feeling it creates on the first try. 

7.  Vegan Egg Fried Rice

Com rang is another popular dish in Vietnam, not only for vegetarians but also for others. Here we are talking about  Com rang chay  or  Vegan Egg Fried Rice,  especially for vegetarians. This is served both as your breakfast or lunch, or dinner. It can be served the whole day. Since they are always together, you can find this type of Vietnamese vegetarian food in a Pho restaurant. The taste of crispy fried rice, the good smell of fried egg, and a lot of tiny vegetables such as corn, beans, and diced carrots fill your life with colors!

8.  Lau Chay – Vegan Hot Pot

Vietnam is a place that can offer you various types of food in the whole four seasons of the year. If you visit the country under the cool weather of Autumn or in the cold days of winter, or you are staying there during the wintertime, you can try  Vegan Hot pot  or  Lau chay. This one is truly delicious since it is everything you need for a full, tasty, but also healthy meal. The soup is extraordinary and the key to the tastiness of this dish. Imagine it is breezing so heavily outdoors; inside the restaurant, you are sitting with the good smell mixing into the air and the slurp of drinking the hot soup. 

9.  Vegan Banh mi

For those who have not come to Vietnam yet or are considering visiting it one day, please bear in mind one food – typical for everyone, from older adults, adults, teenagers, or kids. This is called “Banh miâ€. And  Banh mi chay  is for vegetarians. It is a different world inside it: green herbs, cucumber, carrot, chili sauce, mayonnaise, and a kind of fake meat from vegetables. Banh mi should be eaten when it is hot so that you can feel the crispy wrapper. It contains high nutrition.rition.

10. Garlic Bok Choy (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Last but not least, Garlic Bok Choy (Vegan & Gluten-Free)! It is very healthy since it is merely bok choy (cai thia) – a lot of vegetables and added garlic flavor. Making it is very simple: stir your Bok choy with minced garlic, adding salt, broth mix, and pepper if you like hot food. It helps to boost your immune system capacity, reduces cold symptoms, and is good for digestion.

Top Vietnamese Vegetarian Restaurants from North to South

Its shape is “narrow in width and extended in length, which is a perfect route for you to enjoy and experience Vietnamese cuisine from North to South. You can find the top restaurants for Vietnamese Vegetarian Food below.

Hanoi

The most recommended one in  Hanoi  is the  Aummee Vegan restaurant  (traditional VN vegan food). It is located near the famous West Lake. You can enjoy your food at the same time, sightseeing the view. The price there is mind-blowingly reasonable, sometimes very cheap. The space is gracious, the atmosphere is elegant, and the service is highly professional, with a rich diversity of fancy veggie dishes.

Hue

Located in  Central Vietnam, Hue used to be an old capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty since 1802. Beautiful in landscapes, gorgeous in palaces, and tasty in food, especially vegan. The best vegan restaurant here is  Ngu Ha Garden restaurant. This one has a great view since its compartments are built of wood and brick, surrounded by various plants and trees. You will be amazed when seeing its ancient architecture. Besides, a small bamboo bridge is in the middle of the restaurant. The food here is processed in a vegan and frugal style, satisfying many guests.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a place you should never miss when coming to Vietnam. The best recommended here is  Am Vegetarian Restaurant. A rustic, artistic, and retro interior is what you can imagine and feel in this delicious restaurant! “Am†means  warm, which describes the atmosphere that will greet you with cozy and open arms. You can either sit outdoors to enjoy your veggie meal in their open-air garden or relax in the artistic interior inside it. This restaurant provides a wide range of traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food. 

Check out:  Hanoi to Hoi An Motorcycle Tour in  7 days

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Coming to Ho Chi Minh city, you should never skip a chay meal at Hum Restaurant. Located on Vo Van Tan street, the restaurant’s name contains the word ‘Hum’ belonging to the popular Sanskrit mantra: ‘Om mani padme hum’, which symbolizes the jewel in the lotus. Therefore, the name reveals why the layout of Hum restaurant is decorated around a lotus theme. You will be lost inside the spectacular architecture while enjoying luscious food.

Check out: Hanoi to Saigon Motorcycle Tour in 12 days

Once again, Vietnam brings us from surprise to surprise with the variety of delicious vegetarian culinary cultures. It is not exaggerated when you say this is a paradise for vegetarians worldwide. If you ever think of coming to this country and trying some of the best  Vietnamese vegetarian dishes, why not?  Check our VietNam Motorbike tours with Street Food with us:

  • Hanoi Easy Riders 
  • Sai Gon Easy Riders 

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