Hi! It’s Lizzy here. If you know me a little bit you know by now that I love two things: one is the coastal city Hoi An, in the center of Vietnam. Second is vegetarian or vegan food that is healthy and tasty. If you are like me, then I have good news for you: Hoi An is a little oasis for vegetarians and vegans. It’s not Bali, but it does have lots of restaurants that serve refreshing and healthy food.
This is one of the reasons I spent quite some time in this little town. After backpacking for two weeks from Hanoi to Hoi An – and eating lots of local (good) food – you appreciate your healthy bite even more. In HoI An I felt that I can charge my batteries by eating delicious vegetarian and vegan food that is not only good for your tastebuds but also for your soul.
If you are new to Hoi An you should definitely check out my blog about my favorite things to do in Hoi An. You won’t regret it! It’s full of good tips on what you can do in Hoi An and how you can make the most of it.
One disclaimer: although I love health conscious food and also love to visit vegetarian and vegan restaurants I’m not restricted to only vegetarian and vegan food. I just love eating and also try out all kinds of local dishes that are a huge part of the culture. If you are like me and love the good things of both (vegetarian / vegan restaurants and restaurants serving meat) don’t forget to check out my favorite restaurants in Hoi An for both local and foreign food.
Also, here I share my favorite things to do in Hoi An.
Vegan vietnamese food vs. vegan western food
Of course, I get you, after traveling for some time it’s nice to have your avocado on toast, vegan burger or your delicious smoothie bowls again. Especially smoothie bowls are a great beat against the heat in Vietnam. I’ve good news if you love Vietnamese food. In Hoi An you find a lot of restaurants that offer traditional Vietnamese dishes vegetarian or vegan.
Why is that? Most of the locals are buddhist so they don’t eat meat during the full moon. During the full moon you see a lot of restaurants adjusting their menu. It’s great, because it means: more extremely delicious dishes.
1. Nourish Eatery – the best vegetarian or vegan restaurant
Fabulous food, nutritious vegetarian dishes but overall very tasty. Great place to work from as well!
Together with my boyfriend I went with high expectations to nourish eatery. a hipster cafe near the old town. My boyfriend is the typical “meat kind of guy” (yes, sometimes I regret dating him ;-)), but I didn’t need to convince him to come to nourish for the second time. That was not only for the special local craft beers he enjoys, but mainly because of how tasty the food is here.
To be honest: I’ve been to quite some vegetarian restaurants or vegan restaurants where they spent a lot of time on the presentation of the food, but then the food is a bit bland. At nourish it was different: the vegan burger, the smoothie bowls, the falafel bowl, the tacos.. it all tasted so incredibly delicious!
Also a big plus, they serve affordable big glasses of tasty fruit drinks (cold pressed juices and delicious fresh smoothies) that aren’t watered down with ice.
Also the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about the food. I overheard a conversation between a staff member and a customer and they seem to know about all diet restrictions. By the way, if you are like me and like to get some work done at a cafe then nourish is your place to go. They have plugs, great table heights and a quiet place upstairs where you can get some work done.
Oh yeah, good to know: on their “build your own salad” menu they do offer some meat options like chicken but their main menu is completely vegetarian and all options here can be made vegan too.
2. Minh Hien vegetarian restaurant in Hoi An
Great prices, great Vietnamese vegetarian dishes.
From lemongrass tofu to a vegan banh mi: you can get it all here. Minh Hien is a popular destination for vegetarian food from the Vietnamese cuisine. By now they have multiple branches in Hoi An. I went to the one in Tran Cao Van, but also tried the one in the heart of the busy ancient town. The garden is lovely and peaceful, although the menu is quite the same compared to the one in Tran Cao van. The prices are slightly higher which I can live with as I know the rent in the Ancient town is really high.
Minh Hien is a perfect vegetarian restaurant for lunch or for dinner. Personally I love western food for breakfast, so you won’t really see me eating rice or a noodle soup for breakfast. The location on Tran Cao Van is on the way from An Bang beach to the Old Town. There are plenty of good hostels around this area which you should definitely checkout.
Good to know: they also offer a vegetarian cooking class. I haven’t tried it myself, but I saw them advertising it. If you want to learn how to make vegetarian Vietnamese dishes then this is a great opportunity.
3. Fisherman Vegan restaurant
Best vegan restaurant on An Bang.
After strolling around Hoi An old town, it’s great to spend some time on the beach. If you have a peel skin like me, then you won’t enjoy spending too much time in the sun on the beach. Fisherman restaurant has a great venue with shadow and overlooking the beach.
The name is a bit confusing, I keep on wondering why you would call a vegan restaurant “fisherman”, but maybe it’s just me. Nevertheless, this restaurant is pretty good. It offers plenty of western vegan food like avo on toast or smoothie bowls. There are some dishes I loved, but there were also some dishes I’d order twice.
If you like a good breeze then the Fisherman can be a good place to get some work done. It’s not a place to spend the whole day (at least, not for me), but it’s great to get some work done for a couple of hours.
4. Hoi An Banh My Chay
Food stall, cheap prices, great vegan banh mi.
Listen, I’ve tried real banh mi with meat so I think I know what a good banh mi should taste like. If you want to find the real deal for a good vegan banh mi then this is your place to try. It’s incredibly cheap and it offers great prices. I am not quite sure how they make the meat (maybe from seitan?), but it had a great texture that just tasted like meat. Not only the texture, they also knew how to season the banh mi. Don’t skip this place!
5. Chickpea Eatery Thuan Chay
Great vegan food, traditional Vietnamese dishes.
For a Vietnamese restaurant Chickpea Eatery is a bit more expensive, but very much worth it. I enjoyed most of the food here, especially the “beef” noodle soup. Not sure what they made the beef of, but it tasted very good and I will definitely order it again.
By the way, they have opened their second location. First they only had a place in Da Nang (I didn’t make it there because I just loved Hoi An so much), but if you don’t make it here you can still visit the one in Da Nang. This is a 100% vegan restaurant near the old town. It looks very cute as the interior is just like the building in Hoi An.
Overview vegetarian restaurants & vegan food
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit all the vegetarian or vegan restaurants in Hoi An, but I hope to return one day and visit them all. So there might be some good vegetarian restaurants or vegan restaurants missing in my list, please forgive me for this. Also, there are constantly new vegan restaurants opening in Hoi An that it’s hard to keep this article up-to-date.
Please note that I only recommend restaurants for a vegetarian or vegan meal where I actually have been too.. Here are my 5 favorites again:
- Nourish eatery. – tasty vegetarian dishes, my favorite!
- Minh Hien – best for local dishes
- Fisherman vegan restaurant – best near the beach
- Hoi An Banh My Chay – best for vegan bahn mi
- Chickpea Eatery Thuan Chay – best for vegan noodle bowls
By the way, I also heard that Vegan zone is gorgeous for vegetarian and vegan dishes. Someone recommended me to eat the fried spring rolls at Vegan zone. Unfortunately I had to find out that Vegan zone is temporarily closed. Maybe it didn’t survive during covid. I hope the Vegan zone will open again though as I was a great addition to the vegan scene. At least, people told me so. If you happen to visit Hoi An to try all their gorgeous vegan dishes please let me know if you find Vegan zone to be open again!
In general I’d say that Vietnam is very vegan friendly in the cities and touristic areas, but in very local or remote places it’s harder. Luckily you can find banh mi (vegetarian) everywhere and also peanut butter is easy to buy if you prefer to eat your banh mi vegan.Not ideal, but with a jar of peanut butter you’ll survive the rural areas in Vietnam that are definitely worth visiting.
Yes it is, especially in the bigger cities. In rural areas it’s a bit harder. But since a big part of the population of Vietnam is Buddhist, almost every town does have a vegetarian restaurant where you can order healthy vegan meals and one of the best vegetarian food.
If you compare Vietnam to other places in Asia then it’s doing pretty well. In recent years you see more vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening, but it really depends where you are. If you are in rural areas it might be harder to find vegan food. Also the language can become a barrier, so it might be helpful to learn some Vietnamese words. This is no difference to other parts of Asia.
Yes, you can easily find tofu in Vietnam. Just remember that Tofu is not seen as a replacement of meat in Vietnam, it’s served next to it. You find tofu in noodle soups but also fried tofu for beer snacks.