Fruit and vegetable market Hanoi Vietnam

Vegan in Vietnam

A detailed vegan guide helping ethical eaters enjoy every mouthful in this awesome country!

There’s not much that can prepare you for how exciting Vietnam is to travel, with new sights, experiences, encounters and aromas around every single corner. For vegan travellers you’ll find an unbelievable variety of delicious vegan dishes, an enviable culture of veganism and even locals who go vegan two days a month. Altogether this makes for a beautiful travel experience!

The food isn’t as good as the reputation… it’s better!

From aromatic noodles, world famous soups, hearty rice dishes and finger-licking street food – vegan nom in Vietnam is colourful, fresh and really damn tasty. On top of this markets are filled with a rainbow of tropical fruits, you’ll find dedicated vegan shops with a baffling variety of meat-free products and everything is dirt cheap. 

Unfortunately it ain’t all blue skies and whilst there are fantastic vegan options on the other end of the spectrum things aren’t so great. The Vietnamese eat a LOT of meat, they eat a ridiculous variety of it in almost every meal and it has a nasty habit of ending up in your food if you’re not prepared.

Before we moved to Vietnam we heard horror stories of the country’s meaty reputation and had to think hard whether it was the right country to move to. Boy are we glad we did but you really do need to be careful as a vegan traveller and do your research. This guide has all the info you’ll need to make the most of the country, find all the vegan dishes on offer and avoid everything else!

 

Villager working in paddy field Vietnam
A local villager working the paddy fields in Northern Vietnam

 

In this guide you’ll find;

 

Ethical Eater’s Score 7/10

Vietnam is a hard one to score because it’s a country of stark contrasts, with rural life very different to the cities, and vegan restaurants VERY different to regular eateries. We’ll give an average score but make sure you keep reading to find out why it ain’t so simple.

  • Vegan options 7/10
  • Variety 7/10
  • Taste 9/10
  • Value 8/10

 

Why listen to us?

For 10 mouth-watering months we lived, worked and travelled in Vietnam, continuously foraging our way through all of the vegan food possible. Instead of just shooting through the country we spent time teaching English and this gave us a deeper insight into the culture. It gave us time to join vegan groups, make local friends, befriend eateries and learn about the culinary culture.

Altogether we’re pretty damn clued up about being a vegan in Vietnam!

And, it’s a country where you do need to be clued up to enjoy your travels because boy do the Vietnamese love their meat.

If you love the outdoor life, check out our Vegan Adventures section

 

Vietnamese sweets
A whole load of vegan goodies in a traditional Vietnamese shop

 

Quick questions answered

Is Vietnam vegan friendly?

Overall Vietnam is a vegan friendly country, especially in more developed areas. You’ll find plenty of completely vegan restaurants and regular eateries have lots of options for you to try.

Unfortunately outside of the vegan establishments you do need to be very careful and this is made harder if you don’t speak Vietnamese. It’s also a pretty tricky language to pick up but I’ll get into that a bit later on.

As you move towards less developed parts food options become increasingly sparse and the beautiful variety from the cities starts to disappear. If you like fried vegetables, rice and tofu then you’re in for a treat, if you don’t then better pack some snacks. 

Vietnam also has a pretty poor track record with animal welfare and you’ll likely see some pretty shocking sights through your travels. More info on this further down. 

 

What kind of foods can I expect

The famous dishes are Phở (noodle soup), Gỏi cuốn (summer rolls), Bánh mì (Vietnamese baguette) and exotic fruits, but there is so, so much more than that. There are a crazy variety of noodle soups and broths varying up and down the country, many fried rice and noodle specialities, fresh salads and colourful desserts named Chè, to name just a few. 

Though a lot of food is fried you’ll still be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables so overall it’s quite a healthy cuisine.

There are also lots of mock meats so you can try nearly all of the traditional favourites with vegan alternatives which is great. We’re talking Bún bò Huế (beef and pork noodles), Bún chả giò (deconstructed noodle soup with spring rolls) and Lao chay (vegan hotpot).

 

Is it expensive for vegan food in Vietnam

Vegan food is enjoyably cheap, though some of the vegan restaurants aimed at tourists have much higher prices. For an average meal in a local place you’re looking at roughly 25,000 VND to 75,000 VND and a local beer will cost around 15,000 VND. Touristy restaurants can charge a lot more and in our opinion often aren’t worth the extra money due to being less authentic.

If you’re on a tight budget look out for set menus which can be a good way of trying few different dishes on the cheap. Local restaurants ALWAYS have a variety of vegetable and tofu dishes which are also cheap and very tasty – just make sure they don’t use fish sauce!

If, like us, you’ve got a big appetite then make sure you find a vegan buffet. They can be found in all cities and are awesome for filling your boots on a budget. Our old favourite in Hanoi was Dieu Tam, 30,000 VND for a delicious buffet topped with soups, salads and desserts. It’s nothing fancy to look out but we think it’s one of the best vegan restaurants in Vietnam!

At the time of writing this £1 = roughly 30,000 VND.

 

vegan in Vietnam meal
Enjoying a set menu vegan meal, part of of a Buddhist temple. This cost 40,000 VND!

 

Don’t they eat dogs in Vietnam?

Yes they do, and if you leave touristy areas you’ll likely see it firsthand. Vietnam’s opinion towards dog meat is slowly changing but it’s still considered a delicacy, particularly by older generations.

As well as dogs you will see plenty of other animals on the menu which you’re unlikely to see in other parts of the world. It’s not nice but it don’t let it put you off, there’s more information on this below. 

 

I have allergies (nut, gluten, shellfish etc) will I be okay?

Be extremely careful, especially if you don’t speak Vietnamese. Even if you do speak Vietnamese you still need to be careful!

Food contamination standards are fairly… flexible, so if you have a serious allergy then it’s advisable to stick to established restaurants or accommodation where you can properly explain your requirements. This is particularly important for nut or fish/seafood allergies as both are used a lot in Vietnamese cooking.

If you have a gluten intolerance then you’ll be just fine in Vietnam. Most dishes are based around rice, rice flour or rice rice noodles- enjoy!

 

Do you have to be careful about food hygiene?

As with many other countries, as a vegan you’re cutting out a lot of the food that could cause you problems. Most of the vegan food in Vietnam is fresh and often cooked to order so food hygiene isn’t something you need to be particularly worried about. Standards aren’t as high as some Western countries but they are definitely better than some neighbouring countries.

Because many dishes are fried the high temperatures kill a lot of bacteria but you do need to be careful about the water and ice. Most of Vietnam, particularly the bigger cities, have very dirty water so have a bit more caution with salads and potentially ice in drinks.

Looking for a reliable pair of vegan shoes for every adventure?

 

Man on Vietnamese boat Ba Be Lake
Taking a canoe trip on Ba Be Lake, Vietnam

 

Food, culture and what it’s like as a vegan in Vietnam

The food culture in Vietnam is unique and fascinating, influenced by the different cultures, traditions and religion within the country. When you visit you’ll see that everything is modernising and progressing remarkably quickly but locals still stick to their core values and principles. And, all of this culture will have a big influence on your time as a vegan so it’s good to know about!

 

Food Culture in Vietnam

Firstly, it’s very obvious to see how much the Vietnamese love their food – it has become world famous and rightly so. Typically food is eaten with chopsticks and possibly a spoon, each person has their own bowl and dishes are shared between everyone in the centre of the table. In most cases everyone helps themselves and the meal is turned into a big communal occasion. 

Mealtimes are very important for the family, often including grandparents and relatives, and everyone bonds and eats together. Even in very rural parts people still enjoy varied dishes and take pride in their cooking. For a culinary traveller this is amazing to see firsthand!

As with many other Asian countries rice plays a huge part in Vietnamese cuisine and you’ll see rice paddies everywhere. Rice is served as an accompaniment to most meals (especially cheaper ones), rice porridge and steamed rice are popular and the famous savoury cake Bánh chưng is also made from rice. On top of this many noodle varieties are made from, you guessed it: rice!

This is all good news for vegan travellers as you don’t need to worry about egg in noodles. Unless you don’t like rice…

Rice aside, although the Vietnamese don’t like to admit it, their food has influences from their northern neighbour China and the French colonial period. You’ll notice this with congee, a Chinese favourite that’s popular in Vietnam for breakfast and the baguettes used for Bánh mì are thanks to the French. You can find can vegan options for both!

Vietnam produces a bountiful amount of fresh products so most of the dishes are a combination of noodles or rice variations mixed with colourful veggies, fragrant herbs, spices and tofu. If you’re a fruit and veg lover then this is a great place to be!

Food styles vary depending on the origins and each region has their own specialities, celebrations and customs. The North has older history and civilisations and is where many of the famous dishes like Phở and Bún chả come from. In central areas you’ll find spicier recipes like Hue style noodles; in the South sugar is regularly used in savoury dishes and there is a stronger influence from neighbouring countries like Thailand.

Planning on backpacking Vietnam? This guide has lots of helpful traveller’s tips and info

 

Two street fruit sellers in Vietnam
Make sure you haggle properly and you can grab a bargain from roadside sellers.

 

The Vietnamese and Meat

All sounds pretty good right? Unfortunately the situation is far from perfect and that’s because the Vietnamese love their meat. They really do eat a shocking variety of it so you need to be very careful eating outside of vegan establishments.

Although I hugely recommend visiting Vietnam it would be unfair if I didn’t also highlight the darker side of things. As a vegan you will almost definitely see some unpleasant sights during your travels. Animals are sold and killed in street-side markets and they’re often kept in horrible living conditions.

This is on top of the horrific track record Vietnam has with exotic wildlife trade and the consumption of endangered animals. Many restaurants have almost a butcher’s quantity of meat in the windows and yes, they do eat dogs.

Don’t let this stop your visit but I think as a vegan guide it’s important to warn prospective vegan travellers. Overall it’s massively important to visit Vietnam and support the vegan community. Times are changing and people do seem to be taking a step in the right direction.

If you want to find out more this article of ours goes into more detail: What Two Vegans Learned After a Year Living in Hanoi

 

Religious culture and its influence on vegan food

Vietnamese culture places a lot of emphasis on balance and this is curiously incorporated into food. Dishes focus on fragrance, taste and colour, traditionally having five flavour elements: spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet which are matched with the different elements found on Earth. Not all dishes have all flavours but it’s something which would have been considered in the cooking process.

And, most enjoyably, thanks to the Buddhist origins Vietnam has a long history of veganism. Buddhist teachings encourage followers to avoid animal products and in stricter cases even some root vegetables like onion and garlic.

Within Vietnam you’ll find a small percentage of people who are chay trường and commit to a lifetime free of animal products. Unfortunately this isn’t that common and most follow the chay ky principle of not eating meat on specific days of the lunar calendar, most commonly the 1st and 15th. This dietary choice is sometimes known as a ‘strict vegetarian’ diet rather than vegan. 

Because of these Buddhist traditions there is a widespread understanding of dietary restrictions and vegan morals – it’s probably why you’ll find such a great selection of vegan restaurants across the country. On the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar many regular eateries only serve plant-based foods and lots of vegan eateries will have buffets – be prepared they get busy!

If you’re going to be travelling in Vietnam during the holiday Tét then make sure you check out this article!

 

Incense in vietnam buddhist temple
Incense burning at a Buddhist temple in Southern Vietnam

 

Travelling as a vegan in Vietnam

Overall it’s a great country for vegan travellers, as long as you’re not put off by what other people are eating.

Some of best things about travelling as a vegan in Vietnam are;

  • There is an incredible amount of exciting foods to try
  • The food is fresh, tasty and healthy
  • You’ll find many vegan products you’ve probably never seen before
  • Lots of restaurants and stalls are clearly labelled as vegan-friendly
  • The Buddhist origins means you’ll likely encounter vegan-friendly community events and celebrations
  • The Vietnamese have so many mock-meat products you can try all of the traditional favourites just with vegan alternatives

 

Some of the worst things;

  • Seeing such visible displays of meat and poor animal welfare
  • Rural areas can be more difficult and lack variety (lots of veggies, tofu and rice)
  • Communication can be very difficult because of language barriers
  • Because of the language barrier it can be hard to get 100% vegan dishes in regular eateries

Looking for some extra plant-based knowledge? Check out The Veganary – expert vegan travel tips for countless countries around the world!

 

Traditional shop in Vietnam
Local shops are good for picking up Vietnamese snacks, just make sure you check the ingredients!

 

Vietnamese language for vegans

If you’re travelling to Vietnam you’ll have a much better time by learning some of the language. For vegans most problems you encounter are likely because of issues with communication rather than just being given the wrong food. 

First of all I will say that Vietnamese is VERY hard. Grammatically it’s fairly simple and it has Roman script (with added accents) but as a tonal language it makes speaking and listening a nightmare. 

Another issue is, as in many other countries, the Vietnamese often won’t say if they don’t understand something. If you order food and they don’t understand your requests, instead of asking you to repeat it they’ll often bring you a dish they think the average customer would like. As us vegans are in the minority it’s normally not something you’re going to enjoy.

The Vietnamese also use the same word for vegan and for vegetarian which can cause some confusion. Fortunately they don’t use a whole load of dairy or eggs in cooking but you’ll need to explain with the phrases below.

 

Our language advice

  • Learn the most important phrases and practice them with locals
  • Write the phrases down and make sure you also show them to eateries so there are no mistakes
  • Use Google Translate or language learning apps to practice the accents
  • Take your time and have patience 

 

Vietnamese language basics 

Chay – vegan/vegetarian (pronounced chai, like the tea)

This is the most important word you can learn, it will be added to dishes and restaurants if they’re vegan/vegetarian. You can also add it to the end of dishes to ask for the vegan versions e.g. Phở chay = vegetarian pho, Bánh mì chay = vegetarian baguettes

Tôi là ăn chay – I’m a vegan/vegetarian

After saying this it’s also good to remind them the things you don’t eat using the phrases below

Không có thịt – no meat

Không có cá – no fish

Không có hải sản – no seafood

Không có nước mắm – no fish sauce 

Không có trứng – no eggs

Không có sữa – no milk 

Không có mật ong – no honey

Không bơ – no butter

Không có phô mai – no cheese 

Xin chào – hello

Cam on – thank you 

 

*PLEASE REMEMBER*

During your travels if you’re brought the wrong food or a dish contains meat be respectful with your response. Remember that it is extremely unlikely it was done intentionally and is probably because you weren’t able to communicate properly.

Particularly in more rural parts remember that what might seem like a cheap meal to you is likely a lot more expensive to them. See if anyone in your party will eat it or try to come to another solution first of all. 

Trying to work out your Vietnam travel costs? 

 

Vegan food in Vietnam
Bún chả giò, Pho and a big bowl o delicious noodles!

 

What Vegan Food to Eat in Vietnam

 

Phở Chay

Probably the most famous dish in Vietnam and rightly so. Phở is a delicious noodle soup that comes in a variety of different styles and variations throughout the country.

VEGAN TIP – normal Phở uses animal stock so make sure you order Phở chay or try it in a vegan eatery. 

 

Rau muống

Vietnamese water spinach and a very popular dish. It’s normally fried or boiled and seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, salt and sometimes chilli. You can find this dish everywhere!

VEGAN TIP – make sure it’s not cooked with fish sauce

 

vegan Tofu water spinach vietnam
Rice, fried tofu (Đậu), Rau Moung and Kai Lan – super cheap and real tasty!

 

Đậu sốt cà chua

Đậu means tofu and this dish is tofu in tomato sauce. It’s incredibly tasty and easy to find. You’ll also see plenty of other fried tofu dishes, like tofu with lemongrass which you should look out for.

VEGAN TIP – watch out for fish sauce and meat toppings

 

Bánh chưng 

A traditional Vietnamese rice cake made from glutinous rice, cooked in banana leaf and typically eaten around Lunar New Year. It can have many different fillings, normally meaty, so try and find one in a vegan restaurant because they’re delicious!

VEGAN TIP – this is normally a meat dish so make sure you buy it from a vegan eatery.

 

Bánh xèo

A sizzling pancake dish made from rice flour and water. The pancake is vegan but it can be filled with meat fillings so ask for Bánh xèo chay and enjoy!

VEGAN TIP – make sure it’s not served with a meaty filling, ask for Bánh xèo chay

 

Nộm đu đủ

A young papaya salad, dressed with a fragrant, sweat and spicy sauce and crunchy texture. It’s normally fairly cheap for a big plate and a great accompaniment to heavier dishes. 

VEGAN TIP – say no to the fish sauce!

 

Vietnamese papaya salad
A traditional papaya salad in Southern Vietnam

 

Bánh mì chay

The famous Vietnamese baguette is eaten everywhere and is popular with locals and travellers. Vegan versions often have strips of fried tofu and vegetables whilst vegan restaurants may also include mock meats. It’s often seen as a late night fast food option and is great to soak up all that Bia Hoi beer.

VEGAN TIP – the vegetarian version is normally served with a fried egg, make sure you explain no meat and no eggs

 

Gỏi cuốn chay

Beautifully refreshing rice paper rolls (summer rolls) filled with vegetables, sometimes tofu and served with dipping sauces.

VEGAN TIP – the traditional dish can have meaty fillings so make sure you ask for Gỏi cuốn chay

 

Lẩu chay

A traditional Vietnamese hot pot is a must-try during your travels. You’ll be given a selection of different vegetables, tofu, noodles and possible fake meats if you’re in a vegan restaurant

VEGAN TIP – the stock from regular hotpots will contain meat so make sure you’re given a vegan soup base, not just the regular soup base and then vegan ingredients to add

 

Girl eating vegan hot pot in Vietnam
Vegan hotpot on the streets of Hanoi, washed down with some local beer

 

Chè

A very traditional and colourful dessert, a favourite among kids but also served late at night for adults wanting a sweet treat. Warning, they’re seriously sugary! 

VEGAN TIP – There are many different types of Chè so it’s best to double check it doesn’t contain any milk products

 

Vegan snacks

As a vegan traveller it’s always important to carry snacks, particularly if you’re in rural areas. Some easy snacks you’ll be able to find are;

  • Nuts are plentiful and they sell very tasty packs of cashews 
  • Fresh fruits are always available
  • You can find lots of vegan crisp varieties, seaweed was one of our favourites!

Have you found any other convenient vegan snacks in Vietnam? Tell us in the comments so we can add it to the list for other vegan travellers!

 

Where to find the best vegan food in Vietnam 

In bigger cities expect to come across all of places listed below, in rural parts you’ll have less options but still enough to find at least one or two choices.

Unless it’s a touristy restaurant most eateries have menus written in Vietnamese, many also have pictures which you can point to. In less developed areas you’re unlikely to find menus so you’ll need to ask for dishes. This is when it helps to have some Vietnamese phrases and foods you’d like to try written down!

 

Local restaurants

Almost every local restaurant will offer some tasty vegan dishes and normally for a good price. Restaurants often have a speciality, for example a hot pot restaurant or a Phở restaurant but will also offer tofu or vegetable dishes as sides. If none of the mains are vegan then you can ask for these instead.

Look for the words Cơm Chay or just Chay on restaurant signs or menus to see if they food available for you. 

VEGAN TIP – make sure you’re clear in communicating your vegan preferences and watch out for fish sauce!

 

Vegan in Vietnam
Look for the words Com Chay and you’ll be a happy vegan!

 

Vegan restaurants

Paradise for vegan travellers, in developed areas you’ll find plenty of vegan restaurants offering whole menus filled with traditional foods. Because of the big range of fake meat products menus may be the same as a regular restaurants but just with meat alternatives. If you’re not a fan of fake meats you’ll also be able to find plant-based, wholefood options. 

You might like this article of ours: The Best Vegan Restaurants in Hanoi

 

Vegan buffets

You have to visit at least one vegan buffet during your time in Vietnam – it’s an awesome experience! Some restaurants will always offer buffet food, others will on weekends and many vegan restaurants will have buffets on Buddhist holy days. You can find them in most cities and even in some more rural areas.

Unlike other countries the food can be very good quality food and they’re normally quite well priced.

 

Buddhist temples

Buddhist temples are a huge part of Vietnamese culture and regularly have vegan restaurants in or close by them. If it’s a big temple in a big city then there will probably be some type of eatery or vegan shop within a short walk.

Temples also have community events which sometimes involve giving out vegan food to the public. This is something worth experiencing in its own right, plus you get traditional vegan food!

 

A traditional Buddhist temple in Vietnam
A traditional Buddhist temple in Vietnam

 

Com binh danh *

If you want to eat with locals and try lots of different dishes then this is the place to come. A Com Binh Danh will serve you a large portion of rice and then you can choose from a selection of dishes in front of you. Typically you’ll find a few different vegetables, a few types of tofu and maybe something noodle based.

VEGAN TIP – there will be a lot of meat dishes so make sure you ask for vegan dishes and watch out for fish sauce

 

Bia Hoi *

These are almost like the Vietnamese equivalent to pubs, serving cheap beer and cheap food, cooked with lots of MSG and often filled with drunken men. Most dishes are friend and for vegans you’ll find lots of tofu, noodle and vegetable varieties. They also sell dirt cheap, watery beer – perfect to wash down big plates of vegan nom!

VEGAN TIP – you guessed it, fish sauce and also check for any other meaty toppings

Need some vegan inspiration? These are 9 awesome reasons to be vegan

 

Girl eating and drinking in Bia Hoi Vietnam
If you like beer and cheap, tasty food then you’re going to like Bia Hois in Vietnam!

 

Markets

Vietnam is filled with markets that sell all the tropical fruits you could dream of. You do need to haggle hard to get a good price but this can be a great place to pick up lunch or ingredients if you’re cooking food in your accommodation.

VEGAN TIP – haggle hard! Try to find out rough prices per kilo from a local before you go to make sure you don’t get ripped off

 

Street food (stalls/hawkers) *

Vietnam is famous for street food and although it is harder for vegans it’s something you can still enjoy. Some dishes to look out for on the street are;

  • Chè
  • Nộm đu đủ
  • Bánh mì chay
  • Juices
  • Friend tofu dishes
  • Congee 

Sometimes you can also find completely vegan street food stalls. Look out for Chay and Com Chay to spot them.

VEGAN TIP – be careful with street foods and make sure you properly explain your dietary needs

If you’ve found any other awesome vegan street food in Vietnam then tell us in the comments!

 

Roadside/bicycle food sellers*

Similar to the street food sellers but either stationed on the side of the road or with a mobile cart pulled along by bike. You can find some great bargains here and it’s an awesome travel experience negotiating with the traders.

We used to eat with a tofu selling women outside our apartment at least 3 x a week. Fried tofu, fresh mint, soy sauce, garlic and chilli – perfect!

 

tofu seller street food Vietnam Hanoi

 

International restaurants

There is a good selection of international restaurants in most of the bigger cities varying from Thai and Indian to pizzas and typical western fast food – some offer a fairly good selection for vegans. The Indian and Thai restaurants are actually pretty good but cost more than Vietnamese spots. 

Our advice, particularly if you’re only in Vietnam for a short period, is to embrace the Vietnamese cuisine!

 

Accommodation

For vegan travellers it’s always a good idea to pick accommodation which has cooking facilities. This way if you can’t find many eating options you can always pick up some ingredients and cook yourself.

If you’re in a busy area I’d definitely advise going and finding local restaurants or eateries. Hostels and hotels in cities generally charge much higher prices for food which probably won’t be as good as the vendor next door. 

In more remote parts your accommodation may be your only option for food, so let’s hope they’re good cooks! 

 

Bars and coffee shops

Go here for snacky foods, interesting Vietnamese drinks and possibly vegetable and tofu sides. They generally don’t have a huge selection for food but Hanoi particularly has a great coffee shop culture with many interesting places to check out. 

VEGAN TIP – watch out for milk products added to drinks like smoothies, coffees and teas

 

Vegan shops and supermarkets

In Hanoi, HCMC, Hoi An, Danag etc. there are whole vegan shops catering to Buddhist communities. Expect to find typical things like soya chunks along with whole vegan chickens, whole vegan fish and even meat fluff. Don’t know what vegan meat fluff is? No neither do we but they sell it!

 

*Pay particular attention to the places with stars*

(street food, com binh danh, roadside sellers and bia hoi)

They can be the most difficult for vegans. They’re all very traditional, serving lots of meat and English is less likely to be spoken so communication can be difficult.

On top of this, as you may have realised, they use a lot of fish sauce in cooking and this is something you will have to be vigilant of. But, it’s definitely worth having some patience and trying to find vegan options, the key is communication!

 

A simple but very tasty dinner staying near the Lao border

 

When to eat (like the locals do!)

The Vietnamese get up super early and go to bed fairly early too so it’s good to know the eating schedule!

 

Breakfast is normally eaten before 8 am and popular food options are noodle soup varieties, congee or sometimes Bánh mì. Many larger restaurants won’t be open and it will be smaller vendors or street food sellers providing breakfast dishes. Quite a number of these street sellers will only be around during the morning period and then finish by 10 am.

You can occasionally find street vendors selling vegan congee in the morning, you’ll also be able to find vegan Bánh mì but many vegan restaurants won’t be open. For vegan travellers this is a good meal to prepare yourself. 

 

Lunch is eaten around midday often served with rice and is typically smaller and quicker than the evening meal. By lunchtime most eateries will be open and you’ll have a full selection of dishes and vegan option. 

 

Dinner is normally from 6-7 pm and really is the main meal of the day. Families come together and you’ll quite often see restaurant owners eating with their family at the back. Eateries will be busy from 6-8 pm so make sure you’re clear explaining meal requests even if you’re in a rush.

 

Vegan Travel Tips for Vietnam

  • learn the Vietnamese vegan phrases and make sure you write them down
  • Ask lots of questions to make sure the food is suitable
  • Be confident and firm when explaining your vegan requirements!
  • Embrace local food and customs
  • Visit Buddhist temples and try traditional vegan foods
  • Watch out for fish sauce – it’s in everything
  • Have some snacks just in case you can’t find food options
  • Write a checklist to try as many foods as possible
  • Be careful of milk powder added to packaged foods

If you want some more vegan travel tips for Vietnam then this article is really helpful

 

Girl overlooking mountains Cat Ba National Park
Overlooking Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam

 

Vegan travel resources

Once you’ve arrived a great way of scoping out the best vegan restaurants is on Happy Cow. They show all vegan eateries and places with options on a convenient map. They also have a forum which can be useful for asking other vegan travellers’ opinions.

TripAdvisor is also be a good way to locate places with vegan food, though this is more useful in bigger cities.

To speak with locals and expats living in Vietnam take a look on this vegan Facebook group from Hanoi. Though it’s based in the capital you’ll find loads of friendly faces happy to give advice and suggestions.

 

Ready to go? Here’s some useful information

Visa – 30 & 90 days visas are available for most nationalities – you can find out more here

Vaccinations – Tetanus, Hep A and Typhoid required. Heb B, Rabies and Cholera optional. Malaria not present. 

Accommodation – Vietnam has a huge range of accommodation options, with some very beautiful guest house options. The widest variety are found through Hostel World, Booking.com and Airbnb (£35 off your first booking with this code). If you want to see what other travellers think TripAdvisor is a good source.  

Guidebooks – Can be very useful, especially if you won’t have internet. Lonely Planet and Rough Guides are the two most popular options.

 

Pin me or share me below!

 

Vegan in Vietnam – a Vegan Guide

If you’re searching for a diverse country with a vibrant culture and delicious vegan foods then you have to visit Vietnam. You can’t beat the experience of tucking into a big bowl of steaming Phở Chay surrounded by locals or practising your language skills to discover a world of vegan street foods. With so many new dishes, interesting encounters and memorable experiences it really is an adventure for a vegan traveller!

Vietnam isn’t without its faults and it does have a long way to go in terms of animal welfare – don’t let this put you off! It really is an unforgettable country to visit with some of the best vegan food around the world. To help make a positive change it’s important to visit, support the vegan community and help the country keep taking steps in the right direction!

If you want to ask any other questions about vegan travel in Vietnam then reach out on the comments box below!

 

Get our latest articles, adventures and insider news by signing up below - you'll also receive our Ethical Adventure Planning Guide!

2 Responses

  • Thank you so much for your sharing. Your article is very useful and helps me in my next vacation in Da Nang – Vietnam. Hopefully, we have a fantastic experience there. I have a question: Do you know where the vegan restaurant is?

    • Glad it’s been helpful, I’m sure you’ll have a beautiful holiday in Da Nang – how long are you going for? I can’t recommend any restaurants specifically as we didn’t visit Da Nang but you could use the platform Happy Cow, have you used it before? If not it’s a great resource for finding vegan restaurants all over the world. Having just searched it says there are 35 options, so I’m sure you’ll have plenty to pick from. Here’s the URL: https://www.happycow.net/asia/vietnam/da_nang/?filters=vegan

      Are you just visiting Da Nang or other parts of Vietnam too?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *