Within the context of a largely carnivorous country, Vietnam’s unstoppable growth also comes an influx of plant friendly venues to accommodate a wider range of dietary choices up and down the country.
Here’s a list of Hanoi’s best restaurants serving up delicious vegan meals that don’t involve soggy boiled leaves or mystery mock meats.
Zenith Cafe & Restaurant
Recently opened in a new location, Zenith is the oasis for those looking for some peace and quiet and some wholesome food. The serenity of the yoga studio upstairs spills out into the venue’s lower cafe and restaurant, making it feel like a home away from home. Everything on the menu is made from scratch, from their burger bread to their vegan cakes.
To slow down and chomp down on their homemade creations head to 99b Ngo 275 Au Co, Tay Ho, Hanoi.
A relatively unknown yet longstanding jewel on Dang Thai Mai’s ever enlarging culinary crown, this Vietnamese run restaurant offers a widespread range of authentic local dishes each with its own personal twist. The banana hotpot, seaweed wrapped mushrooms and classic veggie noodles are all mouth watering options, but don’t leave without trying the mustard leaf wrapped rolls packed with their homemade peanut butter.
For a taste of Sesame, head to 12 Dang Thai Mai, Hanoi.
The popular co-working space and café tucked away in one of the maze-like alleys of Tay Ho is this listicle’s unlikely veggie ally. Although not all of its menu is meat free, the herbivore options are packed with serious flavour. Their hummus zucchini fritters, red rice nourish bowl and tofu and aubergine clay pot are all sure fire options to fuel your brain cells, not to mention its location in a quiet converted villa makes it the perfect place to knuckle down and get some work done.
Find Clickspace at Villa 15, Lane 76, To Ngoc Van, Quang An, Tay Ho, Hanoi.
Lovegan is one of the city’s hidden treasures. Serving up what is arguably one of the best veggie banh mi’s in town (replacing the commonplace omelette with tempeh or lentils), this vegan haunt also offers a small selection of exceptional dishes such as their tapioca dumplings, hummus and vegan pesto pizzas.
For those that prefer cooking up a vegan storm at home, Lovegan stocks a variety of raw ingredients, on top of their best selling homemade kombucha.
To visit the recently revamped cafe, dive into the back alley of 186 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
Uu Dam Chay
Uu Dam Chay isn’t your everyday local haunt, but rather a hedonistic treat. The awe-striking venue is inspired by Buddhism beliefs, and its multilevel floors represent the religion’s three crucial periods: the past, the present and the future. The restaurant’s extensive menu draws inspiration from culinary scenes all over the world, ranging from Mexico, Japan, and of course, Vietnam.
To retreat from the flurry of everyday Hanoian life, go to 34 Hang Bai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Minh Chay Vegan Restaurant
For those wanting to experience an authentic taste of Vietnam sans meat, Minh Chay replicates traditional local dishes to perfection without compromising flavour. Their vegan Hanoi pho is a hit among carnivores and herbivores alike, as well as their Minh Chay spring rolls and oyster fried (totally vegan) mushrooms.
If your palette needs a spice-infused shock to the system, P.K Spice is the place to go. Specialising in Pakistani and Indian cuisine, their extensive menu is filled with dozens of veggie curries, samosas and pakoras to choose from. Best to visit the restaurant on an empty stomach, for every dish (especially their naan breads on their own) makes a hearty feast.
P.K Spice is at 10 Hang Manh, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Last but not least, the recently opened Veggie Castle. This Ba Dinh based buffet has got everyone talking with its cheap and cheerful vegan-friendly selection that has vegans and their allies lining up. The food is as bright and varied like the restaurant’s multi-coloured interior. The option of fresh salads is simply a novelty for a buffet of its kind.
Be sure to check out Veggie Castle’s zingy tofu options every day between between 11am-2pm and 6pm-9pm at 7 Pho Yen Ninh, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.