Finding vegan food on google maps in Vietnam might seem a little tricky since a lot of places only cater to locals and they don't have listings in English. It's essential to know the basic term to find the best vegan restaurant. The word 'chay' means vegetarian, this is a keyword to find veggie places all around Ho Chi Minh or formerly known as Saigon.
Specifically, you can also say 'an chay' that means you eat vegetarian food the same way as Vietnamese Buddhists do, which is usually vegan. Here are some more useful terms used when picking out a place to eat:
- Quan Chay: a small restaurant, usually air-conditioned that serves vegan food on a budget price. Sometimes a restaurant can also be Quan Com Chay, meaning they serve a menu, as well as pre-made dishes.
- Nha Hang Chay: A nicer (sometimes can be fine dining) and a more expensive restaurant.
- Com Chay: literally means 'rice vegetarian' which usually means a vegan place that serves rice with many selections of pre-made dishes.
The good news is, almost every vegetarian restaurant is also vegan or can easily be veganized. Vietnamese food is not just vegan, but oftentimes also really healthy as it includes quite a lot of leafy greens and other raw veggies.
1. Nha Hang Chay Quan Man Tu
This restaurant is a hidden gem, located down in an alley, with a small neon sign that says Vegan. It is an all-you-can-eat Vietnamese-style buffet with a great selection of rice, noodles, soups, salads, mock meats, mushrooms, beans, and other traditional dishes, as well as dipping sauces. Man Tu is usually packed with monks and locals during rush hours. There is no fixed price, so you pay as much as you wish.
2. Nha Hang Chay Au Lac Healthy World
This place is a vegan's Disneyland. It has a huge buffet, food court, supermarket, and kids playground all in one building. The buffet offers a huge selection of vegan food, from soups to stir-fries to sushi to banh mi and dessert. It is likely the only place in Asia where a robot will roll up to your table to serve you a vegan egg. The supermarket sells vegan supplies, name any kind of mock meat or mushrooms pate and you'll find it here.
3. Mang's Mania Vegan
Located in the center of District 1, Mang's Mania is a cozy place to grab yummy vegan food. The location may be a little bit tricky to find, it's located on the 2nd floor of a bakery shop. This small cafe is popular amongst Vietnamese workers, you can expect the cafe to be busy during lunch break. They serve different menus every day, offering noodle soups and rice bowls, such as wonton soup, bun noodle with spring rolls, brown rice with fennel balls, etc. They use all-natural ingredients and no cheap processed mock meats.
4. Com Chay Mani
Mani is located in District 3, about a 15-minute walk from the heart of Bui Vien walking street. It is a great place to sample a wide variety of vegan food, such as mock meats, mushrooms, rice, and soup dishes. Their most popular dish is Ban Xeo which is a Vietnamese pancake stuffed with bean sprouts, mushrooms, and tofu. It comes in with rice papers and a huge pile of fresh greens and herbs. Don't worry if you can't wrap them in rice papers yourself, the staff will be happy to show you how. They have a versatile, daily special menu.
5. Veggie Saigon
A modern vegan restaurant located in Sense market. The restaurant may not be very spacious but the seats are neatly arranged. The interior has a strong Buddhist vibe, with colorful Tibetan prayer flags hanging around and a buddha statue sitting atop of a bookcase filled with books about veganism. You also need to take off your shoes at the door before entering. They serve Vietnamese and Eurasian food. From savory rice and noodle dishes, hotpots, and spring rolls to appetizers like fried tofu with fresh basil and fried oyster mushroom. They also offer coffee, healthy juices, and cold beer. The staff speaks good English, and they have an English menu.
6. Bong Sung Vegetarian
Bong Sung is a fine dining restaurant, a little bit more upscale than other restaurants on this list. It can be hard to find, so once you arrive at the address, go down in a little alley that's packed with local street food, then you will see a staircase with the Restaurantís sign. The interior space is decorated with lotus and Buddha statues, while the exterior is more lively with green plants and fresh air. They offer a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes, such as noodle soups, rice, hotpots, rolls, etc. The staff speaks excellent English and would be happy to explain and recommend some dishes for you.
7. Phuc Quang Chay
One of the best-rated vegan restaurants on this list. Phuc Quang Chay is a homey little place hidden in the alley away from the busy street. They offer a large menu of Vietnamese vegan food, with raw and organic options. They give a generous portion with Pad Thai as their best-selling dish. The interior is cute and modern with air conditioning, you also need to leave your shoes in a little shoe rack outside the door. They also have small booklets about the benefits of veganism on each table. The staff is probably one of the friendliest staff there is!
8. Quan Chay 103
Local hole-in-the-wall restaurant around the corner of Central Market. They offer inexpensive authentic Vietnamese traditional dishes. The food is all vegan, with the exception of dairy in some beverages. They serve noodle soups, rice dishes, rolls, and banh mi. This place is most famous for its soups. Their bun Rieu is out of this world! It has a refreshing acidic, tomato-y taste and comes in huge portions. Beware though, that they definitely add MSG to their dishes. The staff doesn't speak English, but the menu has an English description and a picture of the dish.
9. SEN Vegan House
Located near the backpacker area, SEN is a romantic, classy vegan restaurant serving Vietnamese and Asian fusion food. The interior is very calm with relaxing piano music playing in the background. You can choose to either sit on the cushion on the floor with low tables or on the normal chairs and tables. Known for its vegan egg and unique mock meats, they serve up other dishes such as fresh salads, noodles, soups, stews, rolls, dumplings, and more. Their specialty is Thit Kho Trung, which is a traditional Vietnamese food with a mock pork belly and vegan egg.
10. Loving Hut
Loving Hut is a fully organic non-GMO vegan franchise restaurant tucked away in a small street. The location may be off the beaten path, but it's easy to find with Uber or Grab. They serve an extensive menu of vegan food with many different kinds of mock meats. So if you're into mock meats, this is a great place for you! They have a little shop upstairs selling local and imported organic products. The restaurant is well decorated, and the price is slightly higher than compared to other nearby restaurants.