There’s a huge chance you will be stopping by Ho Chi Minh City if you’re travelling in Vietnam. Still called Saigon by some locals, the country has a never-ending stream of vegan and vegetarian options. While many travellers might use the city as a stopover for their next Vietnamese adventures, we’d say there is a lot of plant-based goodness to try out first! The vegan scene is ever growing, partly due to the persistence of traditional meat-free Buddhist practices. To save you time, we have curated the best plant-based and vegan-friendly places you in the streets of Saigon, from authentic pho to Instagram-worthy buddha bowls.
Ngoc Tho is a vegetarian Vietnamese casual eatery with plenty of vegan-friendly options. In addition to serving up classic Vietnamese dishes using plant-based mock meats, this restaurant also has Mexican-inspired food and International cuisine on offer. Visitors report that their roasted “pork” – made with only plant ingredients – is a must-try. It is located near the Bui Vien walking street, making it a convenient stop while you explore.
Address: Ngoc Tho, 175/9 Pha Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 8.00am – 10.30pm.
Nhà hàng chay SEN VEGAN HOUSE / Sen Quan Chay
Sen Quan Chay is a 100% vegan Vietnamese restaurant and part grocery shop with two locations. The most impressive thing on their menu has to be their Vegan Egg. They also offer authentic and simple Vietnamese noodles, soups and veggie stir fries. Sen Quan Chay is very popular for a late night pho fix, and also great place to stock up on plant-based food.
Address 1: Sen Quan Chay, 171 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 7.00am – 2.00pm; 4.00pm – 10.00pm.
Address 2: Sen Quan Chay, 93-95 Pho Duc Chinh St, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 7.00am – 2.00pm; 4.00pm – 10.00pm.
Herbivore in Ben Thanh Street Food Market
Opened in 2018, Herbivore is a completely plant-based restaurant serving veggie Western fare. Located within the Ben Thanh Street Food Market, they have the typical comfort dishes on offer, from Vegan Fried Chicken to Mac and Cheese and homemade waffles to top it off.
Address: Herbivore, 26-30 Thu Khoa Kuan, Phurong Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 9.00am – 12.00am (midnight).
A veggie gem in the middle of the Vietnamese capital, Hum Vegetarian has since its inception opened up 3 locations across the city. The popular veggie hotspot is fully vegetarian with plenty of vegan delights for plant-based folk. You can choose between different dining experiences from their more casual café, to the modern lounge or garden restaurant location.
Address: Hum Vegetarian, 32 Vo Van Tan Street (Café); 2 Thi Sach Street (Lounge); 32 D10 Street, W. Thao Dien, Ho Chi Minh City (Garden). Open daily: 10.00am – 10.00pm.
Bong Sung is a date-worthy vegetarian restaurant serving up veggie and vegan-friendly Vietnamese cuisine, healthy style. From Vegan Pate with Baguette to their Mushrooms in Tamarind and Stuffed Tofu, this place is a go-to eatery if you want to leave feeling satisfied. Plus, the staff are happy to recommend the best dishes, explain what ingredients are used and cater to vegan folk. Visitors have recommended pairing your Vietnamese meal with a local sweet-and-salty lemon drink.
Address: Bong Sung, 86 Nguyen Du, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 7.30am – 10.00pm.
In the middle of Bui Vien District, the capital’s infamous nightlife area, Bookworm’s Coffee mainly caters to plant-based tourists. But don’t be put off by the touristy vibe – their 100% vegan menu is seriously impressive. They have made all the Vietnamese classics-even the most difficult to veggi-fy- completely vegan-friendly, from Vegan Iced Vietnamese Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Plant Milk to Saigonese special Vegan Banh Knot (savoury mini pancakes). It doesn’t end there – Bookworm’s Coffee also serves a full English breakfast, chock full of faux meats and tofu scramble, perfect to start your day before you set out and explore the busy city.
Address: Bookworm’s Coffee, 4 Do Quang, Phurong Pham Ngu Lao, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 7.00am – 11.00pm.
Filthy Vegan, as the name suggests, is a completely plant-based restaurant serving up your food cravings! In the heart of Saigon, you can experience the best filthy British food – think fry-ups and burgers – from miles away. They also have the naughtiest desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth, like their Vegan Chocolate Chip Ice-cream Sundae and homemade Fresh Glazed Donuts. Another plus: they try their best to reduce waste by recycling and composting, sourcing ingredients locally and donate 10% of profit to a vegan charity!
Address: Filthy Vegan, 86 Co Bac, Ward Co Giang, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open Tuesday – Sunday: 11.00am – 10.00pm.
Healthy World – Healthy Farm
Another all-vegan restaurant is Healthy Farm. Outside of their daily a la carte menu which features now-common plant-based dishes like burgers and fries, this place lets you build your own hot pot or noodle bowl. They have an eclectic range of options such as vegan squid and vegan egg and what’s fun: the type of noodles can be customised to your liking.
Address: Healthy Farm, 120 Nguyen Trai, Phurong Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 10.30am – 10.30pm.
Pi Vegetarian Bistro
Pi Vegetarian Bistro is a vegetarian Asian restaurant with many fully plant-based dishes. Some of the highlights off their menu include the Homemade Black Garlic Tempeh Salad and Fried Rice Noodle Stir Fry. This is a more upmarket restaurant, if you want to take a break from side street-food stalls. Make sure to ask about the ingredients, as not everything on the menu is fully plant-based and might have egg or dairy.
Address: PI Bistro, 19 Vo Van Tan, Phurong 6, Quan 3, Ho Chi Minh City. Open daily: 10.00am – 3.00pm; 5.00pm – 9.30pm.
Phuc Quang Chay
Since its inception in 2016, Phuc Quang Chay has become vegan central for Ho Chi Minh’s plant-based community. The fully vegan restaurant serves up many of the classic Vietnamese dishes, such as steamed dumplings and chive cakes, as well as raw vegan options like rice paper summer rolls. They aim to use local organic ingredients whenever possible, and also have an extensive drinks list featuring tropical cold-pressed fruit juice blends made from guava, coconut water and passion fruit.
Address: Phuc Quang Chay, 41 Nguyen Van Trang, P. Ben Thanh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Open Monday – Saturday: 9.00am – 2.00pm, 4.00pm – 9.00pm; Sunday: 4.00pm – 9.30pm.
September 2019 Update: This article was updated to remove Green Around The Corner, who have recently informed us they are no longer in operation.
Lead image courtesy of Hum Vegetarian.