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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats


Updated: Apr 3, 2023

If you've been following our blogs you'll know that we landed in Ho Chi Minh City a little earlier than expected, after we had to flee the path of Typhoon Noru. This meant that we arrived a little more flustered and stressed than planned - and also very hungry! Once we relaxed into Ho Chi Minh City we really enjoyed exploring the sights of the city - including the unexpected beauty of the Central Post Office!

Eating Vegan in Ho Chi Minh City

"My ultimate getaway is Vietnam. It has a little bit of everything when it comes to culture, amazing food, beautiful people, exotic sights, sounds and profound history of love, bravery and resilience." - Jeannie Mai

If you've read our Top Places to Eat Vegan in Hanoi blog, you'll know that we were pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of plant-based food available in Hanoi. Of course as the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is at the forefront of food culture in the country; as we travelled through Huế, too though, we continued to be impressed at the vegan food options we could find. So we had high hopes when it came to plant-based cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City... and even though the range wasn't quite as great as in Hanoi, we were not disappointed in the food options available to us. Read on, then watch our video at the bottom of the page, to find out our top places to eat vegan in Hanoi, Vietnam.

1st: Nhà Hàng Chay (Vegan Family Restaurant)

41 Nguyễn Văn Tráng, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

We headed to Nhà Hàng Chay (Vegan Family Restaurant) in the middle of a very dramatic rainstorm that turned the roads into rivers: so we're pleased to say that the welcome and service we received was warm and very much worth it! If you've read our vegan summer rolls blog you'll know that we specifically chose to visit Vegan Family for their summer rolls... but we couldn't resist having a full meal while we were there too!

The summer rolls were delicious, really fresh and tasty with a slightly spicy peanut dip, and the very welcome addition of plant-based sausage. But the real thing we'd like to tell you about - and the reason that Vegan Family ranks first on this list - is the really tasty main courses that we ordered (specifically Mike's incredible dish). I chose the Mì xào giòn (crispy fried noodles), having absolutely no idea what to expect, having never tried crispy fried noodles before. I was pleasantly surprised - though I still prefer soft noodles (these had a little too much crunch for me) the flavour of the sauces, as well as the pile of loads of different fresh vegetables on top, really made this dish something special.

But wow, the pièce de résistance of Vegan Family's menu has to be the Bún đậu mắm tôm (vermicelli noodles with tofu and soybean paste) that Mike ordered. This dish was honestly really exciting, like an adult pick'n'mix for savoury food! There were so many different types of plant-based meat all on one plate: crispy crunchy tofu, vegan sausage, and some classic, chewy, fried Asian mushrooms. The dish felt really healthy with its pile of greens, noodles, and the super cute little carrot crown! Of all the aspects of this dish, our favourite was the small shredded mushrooms: packed with flavour, they had a crispy crunchiness to them that meant Mike really didn't want them to end!

Nhà Hàng Chay (Vegan Family Restaurant) is a really lovely place, with very friendly staff, slightly off the beaten tourist track. It's hidden down a small side street, so make sure to keep an eye out for signs overhead pointing you in the right direction! We were really impressed by Vegan Family's prices: it's no wonder this restaurant is so popular! Our summer rolls cost us ₫20,000 for two (approx. £0.70, €0.79 or $0.84), while my crispy noodles were ₫65,000 (approx. £2.27, €2.58 or $2.73), and Mike's Bún đậu mắm tôm cost ₫75,000 (approx. £2.62, €2.97 or $3.15). I'm sure you'll agree with us that these prices, for such beautiful and hearty homemade vegan dishes, are excellent!

2nd: Nhà Hàng Chay 365

26 Đ. Đặng Thị Nhu, Phường Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 71010, Vietnam

When we got back to Ho Chi Minh City after visiting the Củ Chi Tunnels, we were super hungry - and we knew exactly what we were hungry for. Top of our list was the Vietnamese classic, the bánh mì. This baguette, filled with pickled vegetables, salad, and proteins was one of our favourite things to eat while we were in Vietnam - and we really miss them now!

Having seen their incredible-looking bánh mì online, we headed to Chay 365 - a vegan cafe with a small but great quality range of soup, bánh mì and coffee. We chose two bánh mì from the menu: one with spicy tofu, and another with slices of plant-based chicken and sausage. And oh yes! They tasted so incredible, and were exactly what we needed after a long morning on a bus. The bread was crunchy but also really soft: the spicy tofu, mock chicken and sausage were delicious, drizzled with really flavoursome sauces and served with a crisp and crunchy salad. The pickled vegetables were a punchy, tasty highlight too! We were so, so happy with our choices of bánh mì (even though the tofu one was a little messy!)

Service here was super fast, and the staff were really friendly and helpful as we tried to decide which bánh mì to choose. We paid ₫36,000 per bánh mì (approx. £1.25, €1.42 or $1.52). We thought this was really reasonable for these beautifully-prepared sandwiches, which were filled with fresh and wholesome ingredients - including that incredible plant-based meat. Their menu is fairly small, but everything that they served looked incredible, it's an incredible place to go for lunch or even a light evening meal.

3rd: SEN Vegan

171 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam

There are plenty of reasons to visit SEN Vegan but there was one reason in particular that was top of our list: we were beyond excited by their innovative vegan egg that is served on their fried rice dish!

We were really excited to try some traditional Vietnamese food at a fully plant-based restaurant and honestly we were so taken aback by the choice: there were so many dishes that we were desperate to try, it was so hard to narrow it down to two! In the end, we picked the vegan egg fried rice (of course!) and the tofu fried with lemongrass and chilli, with some fried spring rolls on the side. The beauty of eating here is that the food is for sharing: we were presented with the hearty portions of each dish, alongside two empty bowls with chopsticks, for us to decant our own selection of the dishes we'd ordered. This was perfect, and a really sociable way to enjoy SEN Vegan's incredible plant-based cuisine, from our floor-seated position around the table.

So what do we say about the vegan egg? It was SO GOOD! The fried rice itself was standard, with some tasty veggies in; it was that vegan egg that really took this dish to the next level. SEN Vegan have somehow perfected the crispiness of a fried egg, with the softness of a yolk, with wholly plant-based ingredients. And the flavour was so accurate too... I have no idea how they've done it, but it really needs to be tried to be believed! The tofu dish that we shared actually went really well alongside our rice, adding plenty of texture and an intense pop of flavour. The tofu was really crispy, tender and delicious, with a tasty kick of chilli. With both the tofu and the rice, you would definitely want to share these dishes (they are designed this way!) to avoid them getting a bit samey - variety is absolutely the spice of life here and we can't recommend it highly enough!

We found SEN Vegan to be a really pleasant and welcoming place to spend our time. Though Mike was a little uncomfortable towards the end of our meal with the floor seating (he is very tall and not so flexible!) it was a brilliant experience enjoying this full plant-based yet authentic cuisine. Overall, we found the prices great for such excellent quality food: the vegan egg fried rice cost ₫69,000 (approx. £2.41, €2.74 or $2.90). The tofu fried with lemongrass and chilli was even cheaper, at ₫65,000 (approx. £2.27, €2.58 or $2.73). I would pay that for the vegan egg alone!

4th: Filthy Vegan

86 Đ. Cô Bắc, Ward, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Massively craving some Western food, we headed to Filthy Vegan, a 100% vegan cafe very close to the hub of Ho Chi Minh City's incredible nightlife. We'd heard great things about Filthy Vegan's burgers - and in hindsight we really wish we hadn't left the city without giving them a try!

The cafe is very popular, and its British owner was very keen to chat. As you go up the stairs, you'll find the cafe to have a very welcoming atmosphere: there are books on the shelves, a range of seating options, and a dispenser of free mineral water that they are more than happy for you to help yourself to. You will be absolutely blown away by the massive menu of Western classics too: from pizzas and hot dogs to vegan fish and chips, pies, and full roast dinners, we're sure you'll be as overwhelmed as we were with what to choose!

In the end, we picked the dishes that we'd really been missing from home: for Mike this was bangers and mash; for me it was pie and chips. As big dessert fans, we followed this up with a chocolate brownie each. It's always tricky ordering British grub outside of Britain, and as far from the UK as Vietnam of course many of the ingredients will be different or wholly unavailable, so we were really impressed to actually be able to order these classics - let alone for them to be vegan! As Brits ourselves, we have extremely high standards for British food, which led to us being a little disappointed by the food we chose. The bangers and the brownies didn't have much flavour, the gravy was almost gelatinous and my pie crust was very hard; it was a real treat to find some baked beans, though I would have liked more of them on my plate! Again, in hindsight, we wish we had chosen Filthy Vegan's burgers which we are sure would have been as spectacular as the reviews lead us to believe!

Though it's amazing to see such an incredible range of local and Western food in Ho Chi Minh City, Filthy Vegan was absolutely the most expensive place we ate there. Maybe because this is such a unique place, the prices were actually higher than almost anything else we ate in Vietnam! Mike's bangers'n'mash cost ₫125,000 (approx. £4.37, €4.96 or $5.25), while my seitan chicken and mushroom pie was ₫130,000 (approx. £4.55, €5.16 or $5.46). The chocolate brownie was cheaper, at ₫30,000 each (approx. £1.05, €1.19 or $1.26).

Where is your favourite place to get plant-based food in Ho Chi Minh City? Are there any new places or old favourites that we've missed? Leave us a comment to let us know (and others who might be visiting too!)


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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
Ho Chi Minh is full of architectural surprises

Where should I stay?

For a modern and funky hostel with clean dorm and private rooms, and a fun vibe (they even have a slide!) check out Meander Saigon, a popular place to stay in HCMC's District 1.

For a quieter option, that is still not too far from the action, Home Away Homestay is a clean and comfortable independent hotel with four different room types. The rooms have modern furnishings, and are designed to be a restful place for you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city!

Tours & Experiences

There's a lot to see in Ho Chi Minh City, so if you're limited on time, a private tour like this one will whisk you around the city via US Army Jeep, making sure that you see all the sights efficiently.

If this isn't for you, or you'd prefer to see more in and around Ho Chi Minh City, why not check out the top rated Viator trips below.

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