In general Vietnam is a great place for vegetarians. Vietnamese cuisine offers many meat-free options and, in Hoi An, most international menus have a vegetarian section. Indian, Mexican, Japanese and Italian are favored by local vegetarians in particular but there are several dedicated vegetarian restaurants as well that are so good that vegetarians and omnivores visit in equal measure. From strictly vegan to mouth-watering cream and cheese sauces; from soups and steaming hotpots to deep-fried delights and incomparable desserts – and it’s all often for a fraction of the prices elsewhere. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you’re not a vegetarian then dedicated veggie restaurants aren’t for you!
Roughly-hewn wooden furniture and wafting ‘Om’ mantras humming in the air immediately soothe the soul. The whole space is a design triumph, more befitting New York or Paris in a funky Buddhist way. With mains around 40,000 VND Am is the classiest, cheap setting in town.
Mushrooms, tofu, salads, soups and hotpot dishes with ever so fresh ingredients are deftly spiced revealing intriguing combinations of flavor and texture. For many, Hoi An’s premier Vegetarian Restaurant.
33D Ly Thai To; +84 (0)902 763 717; 9am-9pm
Annen’s laid-back outdoor style invites you to relax. Incredibly this comfortable setting has nothing on the menu over 45,000 VND! Standouts include the refreshing and light, Sup An Niem (Annen soup) and Cha Gio – incredibly moreish, fried spring rolls.
The ubiquitous stir-fried noodles with vegetables and tofu is one of the tastiest anywhere in Vietnam – a colorful concoction of fresh, crunchy carrots, green beans, red cabbage, onion, bean sprouts and button mushrooms packed together with lightly crisped tofu and soft noodles laced with soy sauce.
465 Cua Dai; +84 (0)235 3861 919
Vegan restaurant, Co Dam, is one of the cheapest in Hoi An. No names or menus, just choose from the six or so dishes of the day. Favored by Vietnamese locals not just for price (between 15,000 and 30,000 VND!) but also for authenticity. Many dishes resemble meat counterparts mirroring pork belly or chicken legs for example, in time-honored Vietnamese tradition.
The setting may be basic but this is the real taste of Vietnam – piquant and moderately spicy.
20, 71 Phan Chu Trinh; (close 8pm)
You share Jack’s Cat Cafe with 60+ rescued cats who roam freely over an exquisite garden courtyard and even through ‘runs’ in the kitchen and other indoor areas. With so many cats its ideal for children. The menu changes regularly running from snacks like guacamole on rye, egg curry salad and crispy tofu and coleslaw wrap. Great coffee and fruit juices.
Small donation requested for cat welfare center. See http://www.vietnamcatwelfare.org/jacks-cat-cafe/ for availablity.
Take lane opposite 12 Le Hong Phong (not far from corner on the right); +84 (0)97 583 25 15
In addition to local fare the menu has a large selection of Indian and International cuisine and plenty of healthy juices. The Karma Waters’ Veggie Burger’s one of the best-value meals in Hoi An and many seasoned expats rate Karma Waters among their favorites.
No MSG, no sugar, no alcohol, no smoking. All dishes are vegan and home delivery is available. Note: closes 8pm
213 Nguyen Duy Hieu; +84 (0)235 3927 632; 10am-8pm
Minh Hien with its indoor, outdoor feel is a nifty place to ogle passers-by on Tran Cao Van. Delicate pumpkin slices, firm yet succulent; pork-free Cau Lau noodles swimming alongside fresh mint, salad vegetables and mushrooms; and sweet and sour straw mushrooms, moderately fired up with chili set the scene.
Vegetarian or otherwise, Minh Hien’s place as one of Hoi An’s leading value-for-money restaurants, is assured.
50 Tran Cao Van; +84 (0)932 403 905; 9am-10pm
A kissing cousin of the original Minh Hien on Tran Cao Van – this inexpensive vegetarian restaurant is great value for money. The lightly curried pumpkin and the wonton soups are favorites and the very spicy salad of green banana, mushroom, various greens, bean sprouts and chili is a knockout – literally.
At Minh Hien 2 the owners’ gentle spirituality permeates the service and is part of a package that’ll make you want to return.
30A Dinh Tien Hoang; +84 (0) 932 403 905; 9am-9.30pm
Frenchman Julien Prete brings European class to Nomad Cafe with scrumptious salads drizzled with zesty dressings and pastas with unique, homemade sauces. Other parts of the menu change weekly following Mediterranean or East Asian traditions always retaining Julien’s trademark flair.
Perhaps Hoi An’s closest to urban chic cafe foodwise. From Thai green curry to chapazza and focaccia; from empanadillas stuffed with fetta and mixed salad to penne with roast vegetables. Unique juice blends also highly recommended.
6 Le hong Phong; +84 (0) 907 489 129