Southeast Asian Vegan Food Run

The gorgeous beaches, the tropical humidity, the elaborate temples, and the constant tuk tuk’s are just some of the words I would use to describe my time in Southeast Asia (SEA). One of the things I loved the most about SEA is that the cuisine is centered around fruits and vegetables, making it easy for us vegans to have a tasty meal. Being able to taste the cuisine of other countries while visiting that country is an experience that I hope everybody can experience someday. In the mean time, if you can not get away anytime soon, maybe my review of all the food I tried may leave you thinking hmm, when can I get down to SEA.

Thailand

Bangkok

Mango Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant & Art Gallery

Asian, Thai fusion

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The Good: This authentic Thai restaurant offers creative, fresh, and delicious dishes. Located near Khao San Road which is the backpackers hub in Bangkok. They have great prices with most noodle dishes costing 90 baht.

The Bad: I know it’s part of the culture to remove your shoes but I didn’t like having to remove my shoes to eat at a restaurant. They have cats in the restaurant and I’m not a fan of cats. They cater to the average Westerns spice level so when the dish says spicy, it’s not.

The Yummy: A delicious bowl of mango noodles with a beautiful mix of vegetables and spices making this a unique dish. The spicy noodles with tofu, although very good but not the Thai spicy I was expecting; it was very mild which was disappointing. And you cannot visit Thailand without drinking some of the best Thai tea you will ever try.

Bonita Cafe and Social Club

Cafe, Armenian, European, Vegan Options

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The Good: A cozy cafe with plenty of reading material to keep you entertained as you wait for your food. The lady who owns the shop is very sweet and personable. Located near Silom Road and off the Si Lom train stop.

The Bad: There are cats that live in the cafe and once again I’m not a fan of cats. Cost for my meal plus drink was 295 baht which is on the high end for Thailand.

The Yummy: I ordered the cocoa drink which is chocolatey goodness and the owner made too much so I got free seconds. For my meal I ordered the delicious teriyaki burger which includes fried potatoes and small salad.

Koh Tao

Vegetabowl

Vegan

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The Good: The lady who owns the restaurant is very nice. She has her 2 dogs at the restaurant who greet the customers with a bark. The food is all fresh and gets picked daily. The salads are really big so trust me you can get quite full. The cost of the salads are around 180 baht which is reasonable because the food is picked locally and made fresh. The fresh fruit smoothie cost 80 baht.

The Bad: It’s a open room restaurant, meaning there are just 3 walls so there are mosquitoes that will attack you while you eat. It’s difficult to find even when using Google maps.

The Yummy: The Thai bowl with brown rice, tofu, and lettuce. Topped with sesame seeds and a vinaigrette dressing will definitely leave you wanting more. I got a strawberry smoothie which is a refreshing drink from the tropical heat.

Koh Phi Phi

The Mango Garden

Cafe, Thai, Fusion

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The Good: The restaurants decor is a chic island themed with it’s sandy colored wooden furnishing and tropical plants. It’s located near the docking port on this small tropical isle so it’s easily accessible. 

The Bad: The mango with sticky rice and smoothies are the only things that are vegan friendly on the menu. The prices are high; the mango sticky rice is 180 baht and a smoothie is 90 baht but everything is more expensive on the islands

The Yummy: The mouth watering mango with sticky rice which I had everyday while on the island. If you’re able to get it warm it’s the best. The rice comes in white and blue with gold squares and sesame seeds on top. It comes with 3 half mango slices and a side of sweeten coconut milk.

Phuket

Badsha Indian Food

Indian, Asian, Thai, Halal 

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The Good: Located in walking distance from Patong Beach vibrant day and night scene.

The Bad: The restaurant looked very dingy and in need of a update. I tried playing with a 500 baht bill which had a small hole in it and the owner refused to take it (I won’t eat here again). The garlic naan bread was dry and not flavorful.

The Yummy: The curry potato dish with it’s blend of Indian spices and additional veggies was satisfying.

Chiang Mai

Taste From Heaven Vegetarian

Vegan, Thai

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The Good: Easy to locate in the historic and religious city center of Chiang Mai. The restaurant offers both outdoor and indoor eating. The restaurant is styled in a traditional Thai decor and has free wifi.

The Bad: They advertise this restaurant as vegetarian when it’s vegan; that’s just confusing.

The Yummy: Going with a  traditional pad thai dish can never steer you wrong in this country because it’s always delicious. The vegan brownie with ice cream is real good and for 60 baht a great buy. The deep fried tofu with sweet and sour sauce makes a good appetizer. To top off your meal order a cold pineapple smoothie.

Elephant Nature Park

Vegan, Vegetarian

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The Good: It’s an elephant sanctuary that doesn’t serve any meat and a vegans dream destination. Located in the mountainous forrest of Chiang Mai makes it a gorgeous view for outdoor eating. Enjoy the buffet style meals while dining next to dogs and looking out over the park and watching the elephants play in the river. A completely outdoor dining experience, you can chose to eat sitting at a table or on a rug or a lounge chair. There is not one bad seat you can pick because this place is truly paradise.

The Bad: Absolutely nothing in this Utopia.

The Yummy: Every single dish they serve (minus one or two with a dairy based cream) and there are many dishes with tofu; it really is indescribable. Be sure to try the different types of drinks like Thai tea and butterfly pea juice.

Laos

Luang Prabang

Utopia

Asian, Bar, International, Fusion

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The Good: A tropical garden oasis beautifully situated over looking Nam Khan River. It has a lovely sitting and ambiance. Here you can take a yoga class in the morning, relax on the platform overlooking the river in the afternoon, and dance, eat, drink, and play volleyball in the evening. This is truly the place to be if you are in Luang Prabang.

The Bad: This place is hard to find; you have to get off the main street and do twists and turns through an alley to find your way to this little gem. The mango with sticky rice came with a lousy slice of mango.

The Yummy: It was my personal mission to have as much mango with sticky rice as I possible could while in SEA and this place made the dish warm and delicious. If you want a taste of home have some french fries or chips for my England mates. A really great refreshing treat, especially in the tropical heat, is the Oreo shake made with soy milk.

Night Market

Buffet Vegetarian

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The Good: A gorgeous layout of Asian food with plenty of options that will have your eyes bigger than your stomach. The food night market is located in a walk-way that has many tables set up from different owners so just pick the food that looks the best. Be sure not to be shy because the tables to eat on are shared by everyone, so pull up a seat and meet you neighbor. Cost is 35,000 – 40,000 kip including 1 refill.

The Bad: The food is just laying out on tables with no covers and many people walking by who could be coughing or sneezing…yikes. There is no telling how long the food has been sitting out and if sanitation practices were observed.

The Yummy: Most of the food that was vegan friendly; about 90% of the food. From the tofu dishes to the fresh fruit, made the night market a divine and interesting dining experience.

Vietnam

Hanoi

Jalus Vegan Kitchen & Cafe

Vietnamese, Cafe, European

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The Good: This cozy restaurant has a lovely decor and is very zen from the plants to the bamboo looking furniture. The atmosphere is friendly and laid back. Located on the second floor of a building near the Ho Hoan Kiem Lake.

The Bad: This place is on the pricer end, compared to how much cheaper it is to eat in other places in Vietnam. The total for my meal was 147,500 dong.

The Yummy: The pesto pizza with mushrooms, fresh mango juice, and chocolate cake. Although the chocolate cake wasn’t as sweet as I wanted it to be.

Minh Chay Vegan

Vietnamese

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The Good: An authentic Vietnamese restaurant conveniently located steps from St Joseph Cathedral and has a modern design. They offer a combined menu with sit down meal options and fast-food meal options which are made from organic sources.

The Bad: I think this is an occurring problem with following a vegan diet which is to always pay more for your meal even in SEA. The price for the patay plate cost 89,000 dong which is the average price for the meals on this menu, it’s expensive, and wasn’t fulfilling.

The Yummy: The vegan pan bread with sausage and pate and fries. Comes served in a black skillet and a few assorted vegetables. The pate has a interesting texture and flavor and tastes great smeared on some bread.

Hoi An

Karma Waters Vegan Restaurant

Vietnamese, Indian, Asian, International

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The Good: A cozy restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and in a great location. Just a short bike ride from the world renown Old Town Hoi An which is a UNESCO heritage site. Prices range from 40,000 dong for soup to 90,000 dong for an entree which is pretty decent for the amount of food that you get. Plus, free wifi.

The Bad: Staff could have been more personable and cheery.

The Yummy: The best dish in my opinion is the bean curry with roti and dahl which is an Indian dish. It also was fulfilling and super delicious with the different spices and textures; simply mouth watering. Also try the seaweed soup, veggie burger, and shredded tofu sandwich which I ate 3 different times.

Quan Chay

Vietnamese, Vegan

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The Good: They had a cute puppy here at this family ran establishment with a restaurant in the front and the family home in the back. I love when people have their homes attached to their place of business. They had an enthusiastic kid taking my order and he let me play with his puppy. I ordered two entrees and the bill was 65,000 dong which is really good. Located on one of the main roads: Cua Dai.

The Bad: none

The Yummy: I had the fried rice and noodle doh, both came with vegetables mixed into the dish and left me with an enteral craving for Vietnamese food.

Cambodia

Siem Reap

Chamkar

Asian, Cambodian, Vegan

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The Good: Located in a prime location near the Siem Reap night market. Designed in a modern decor and if you fancy to eat inside or outside, they offer both with a upscale feel. Compared to American prices this place is inexpensive but for SEA prices are on the pricer end. Prices ranging from $2 – $6 USD.

The Bad: The mellow treat which is a dessert but it wasn’t very good and had a jelly texture. I wouldn’t order this again.

The Yummy: The wedding day dip is honestly the best thing I tasted while in SEA. It was so good that I can’t even put it into words. Also, some items to try on the list is the pasta, secret Cambodian curry with brown rice, mango shake, and pineapple and mango shake.

Phnom Penh

Friends Creative Tapas

European, Asian, Cambodian

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The Good: The restaurant was established to build the futures of street kids and marginalized youth. It’s a creative blend of Asian and Western style tapas. A modern size restaurant with a boho decor and unique paintings. The prices are reasonable ($3 – $6 USD), considering the money is going towards helping the underprivileged youth.

The Bad: The food is good and they are helping the community so there’s nothing bad about that, right. Although my burger could have been bigger…just saying.

The Yummy: I don’t remember if I had to eliminate some items to make it vegan friendly or not but the falafel burger with lotus crisps was definitely a savory dish. For a drink try the pineapple mango juice with ginger which gives it an interesting twist to the standard pineapple mango juice.

Noodle House

Asian

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The Good: All noodles, all the time. The grandmother that works here is super sweet and adorable. Located a block away from the Mekong River with indoor or outdoor seating. The service was fast and the food was hot.

The Bad: The dim-sum tasted like it was slightly spoiled but I don’t know if that’s how dim-sum usually tastes or how it was prepared. Either way, it wasn’t good.

The Yummy: Thai noodles in Cambodia…why not. The Thai noodles was mixed with tofu and topped with bean sprouts and crushed peanuts; delish.

One thought on “Southeast Asian Vegan Food Run

  1. Shilpa

    Nice!!! Looks like you ate your way through SE Asia! I will definitely try some of the places in Bangkok, though I am not a fan of pets at eating establishments.

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