I did not expect an abundance of vegetarian and vegan food in Hoi An – but I was wrong!
In fact, there are lots of vegetarian restaurants in Hoi An. I have eaten in a lot of them now, partly because of the group of friends I made here, most of whom are vegetarians or vegans. For a city with traditional meat cuisine, I was even more surprised to find a growing number of vegan restaurants in Hoi An, ranging from inexpensive restaurants to beach bars and food tours.
It’s so tasty that I decided to create a guide (what also Where Goes Rose, no?) Hoi An’s best vegetarian and vegan dishes. I had the chance to team up with the charming Backstreet Academy who helped me to discover it. I hope this blog will be a useful resource for plant eaters coming to Vietnam, as well as for those who just need a break in fish and pork sauce
In this guide I will describe what we have eaten while learning about all my other favorite vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Hoi An …
Tam Quang Minh (vegetarian versions of the famous Hoi An dishes)
My favorite vegetarian restaurant on the Backstreet Academy tour was Tam Quang Minh, a restaurant with only 5 * reviews. We tried vegetarian versions of Hoi An’s two most famous dishes:
Mi Quang: shrimp noodles, pork, peanuts, quail eggs and spring rolls
Cao lầu: thick noodles with barbecue pork, crispy crackers, bean sprouts and broth.
Both were tasty, but I particularly liked the cao lầu noodles. This dish is only found in Hoi An because it contains ashes from a tree and water from a well. In addition, only one woman seems to know how to prepare it!
The fisherman, An Bang beach
I think The Fisherman is the first fully vegan restaurant in Hoi An. It is run by a local family and its name goes back to a time when they served seafood before becoming greener.
The vegan dishes on the menu are very creative. I like Buddha bowl with avocado, brown rice, black beans, Satay sauce, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. It is very rich but also healthy and not too expensive at 90 000 VND (£ 3). The chickpea curry and the Mexican wrap are other highlights … The fact that you are in a beach bar a few meters from the ocean is not bad either!
Ám Vegetarian Restaurant
I am interested in vegetarian food in Hoi An! From fresh spring rolls to Thai pad, you’ll never notice the lack of meat. Most dishes can be vegan, for example Thai pad can be cooked without egg.
The interior could be the highlight, though. You can dine on fluffy sofas while admiring the colorful lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Would it be more Hoi An?
Tam Quang Minh (another!)
With the same name as the first place on my list, this vegetarian restaurant is located at 63-65 Phan Dinh Phung. This Tam Quang Minh is not mapped to Google (type it and you will be redirected to the first), so it’s a local gem.
Here they serve one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes, bánh cuốn. Soft, sticky rice paper wrapped around the ingredients, but I had only eaten meat before. Here it is served as a fresh and tasty vegan dish with tofu and salad. I liked the flavor and have eaten it without meat since.
Minh Hien (do not miss the garden!)
Minh Hien is probably the most famous place for vegetarian food in Hoi An, but few people know the secret garden of the new branch. In the heart of the bustling old town, you would never have guessed it was there. Venture indoors and you want to spend the whole day!
The pretty garden includes a brook and a bridge, and the food is just as natural. I love eggplant cooked in a banana leaf for 60,000 VND (£ 2), which makes it a main dish served with rice. You can also try vegetarian versions of Hoi An’s signature dishes, such as dumplings of white roses.
Note that there are three branches of Minh Hien. The downtown garden restaurant is located on Phan Chu Trinh.
Ba Dam – a good vegetarian buffet
I must say that the cheapest vegetarian restaurant in Hoi An is probably my favorite. The food at Ba Dam is buffet-style: show what you want and prepare it from morning to morning, including jackfruit, sweet corn fritters, fresh spring rolls and sautéed vegetables. I paid 30,000 VND (£ 1) for the largest vegetarian treat platter, which made me feel healthy even though I was drunk!