Vegan travel in Vietnam


Vietnam is a remarkable country offering intrepid travellers nature, history, countryside, beaches and some wonderful vegan food if you know where to look. There is a very good understanding of vegetarian and vegan food in Vietnam due to many of the Buddhist population choosing to eat plant based food on auspicious days in line with the lunar calender. This makes vegan travel in Vietnam an absolute pleasure with everything from street food to fine dining available. Whether you travel independently, with a tour company or book your own luxury hotels you can enjoy an amazing plant based adventure in Vietnam.

Grasshoppper Adventures

Our recent trip to Vietnam commenced in Hoi An where we joined a countryside tour with Grasshopper Adventures who are the leading mountain bike tour company in the region. We set off from their Hoi An HQ with our Refill not Landfill water botttles (no single use plastic bottles on this tour) excited for our latest 2 wheeled adventure. Their website said we would “discover family farms, artisans, hidden sights and tasty treats” on our tour and we can say that we discovered all of this and more. Tranquil riverside views? Check. Picturesque rice paddy views? Check. Village life? Check. When you join a tour with Grasshopper Adventures be prepared to take 100’s of photos as you meander your way through your chosen location. Also expect an excellent and knowledgeable guide who will answer all of your questions and make sure you don’t go hungry. You will pick up snacks and tasty treats along the way and don’t worry, your guide will ensure that anything you eat will be 100% vegan and delicious!

We made rice milk and rice paper with a family who had been doing so for generations; suffice to say that they were uber proficient at this labour intensive task and we were rather substandard. None the less we got to eat the rice paper both steamed and toasted with a soy sauce and chilli dip and they were not bad indeed. However, it was the banh beo which stole the show, delicious steamed rice cakes topped with a turmeric rice custard and deep fried shallots that we could have eaten all day long.

Art Space at Anantara Resort Hoi An

Hoi An has an incredible amount of vegan options available but there was one that stood out for us. As pizza lovers we didn’t expect to find vegan pizza with vegan cheese in Hoi An so were excited to discover Art Space, the creative gallery and restaurant at Anantara Resort Hoi An that features vegan pizza on their menu! We ordered 2 pizzas, one from the menu with creamy cashew cheese, white beans and vegetables and the other ‘off menu’ with the addition of tomato sauce. They were both superb, some of the tastiest vegan pizzas we’ve ever had.

Anantara Hoi An Resort offers multiple vegan and plant based dishes throughout the resort. These include vegan wines on the wine list, a dedicated vegan section on the ‘Riverside’ menu and even plant based burgers, a mushroom wellington and vegan ‘chicken’ leg at their monthly pizza, BBQ and wine events. They certainly go above and beyond to ensure their vegan guests are very well catered for and we can’t wait to return!

Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort

Next stop on our vegan tour of Vietnam saw us heading to the beach. The recently opened Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort invites guests to “experience the essence of Mediterranean luxury” and is located just a 2 hour taxi from the hustle and bustle of Saigon presenting the perfect weekend escape. We checked into one of the super stylish The Level villas complete with private pool, concierge and access to The Level Lounge which offers all day refreshments and evening cocktails. The hardest thing during our stay was deciding where to spend our time. The beach? The stunning main pool? Our own private pool? Or head off and search for some delicious vegan food…

We went searching for vegan food of course and we are happy say there was plenty available at Meliá Ho Tram. During breakfast at SASA there were vegan options on the extensive buffet and helpful staff who were happy to create ‘off menu’ vegan dishes including these healthy and nutritious smoothie bowls. In fact, we were served different smoothie bowls every day and they were all excellent.

We loved the selection of fresh juices available all day from Elyxr where there were also baguettes, wraps and salads on offer which could be easily veganised. Our ‘Sunny Morning’ and ‘Immune Booster’ were packed with goodness and as with all outlets at Meliá Ho Tram, were served with a bamboo straw which made us smile.

As ‘The Level’ guests we could also choose to have breakfast at Breeza Beach Club which boasted an enviable beachside location. It was not just the location that impressed us, our vegan ‘full English’ breakfast which was created by Chef Mehdi and his team was outstanding. Preceeded by one of the superb smoothie bowls and accompanied by an almond milk cappuccino we were in vegan breakfast heaven.

Lunch at Breeza Beach Club was a veritable vegan extravaganza which included this mezze platter from the main menu. We were also served an equally vibrant bruschetta platter, a vegan burger and a vegan tofu wrap for us to savour which were all created by the chef and his team to ensure our vegan lunch was memorable.

MUÔI is the signature restaurant at Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort and offers guests a Vietnamese dining experience during their stay. We enjoyed a plant based meal that featured items from the main menu including this stir fried rice noodles with vegetables and tofu and ended with a classic dessert with roots firmly in Thailand. Mango sticky rice is a sure fire crowd pleaser and this refined version of a street food classic presented the perfect finale.

Le Méridien Saigon

Le Méridien Saigon is a luxury hotel in the heart of Saigon boasting contemporary interiors, exclusive artwork and a location that is perfect for exploring everything that this vibrant city has to offer. Enjoy Saigon River views from your room or suite then head to the ‘Explore Spa’ for some pampering or the 24 hour fitness centre for a workout safe in the knowledge that when it comes to dining, Le Méridien Saigon offers a number of vegan and plant based options.

We enjoyed vegan options in the Club Lounge and also at breakfast which is served in Latest Recipe, the all day dining restaurant on the ground floor. Dishes included specially prepared vegan dim sum in the Club Lounge and a selection of fried noodles and vegetables from the breakfast buffet at Latest Recipe. Staff in both locations were super helpful explaining which items were suitable for vegans and arranging ‘off menu’ dishes also. These included a delcious chia seed and fresh coconut water drink at breakfast and vegan sushi in the Club Lounge.

Bamboo Chic

Bamboo Chic serves modern Vietnamese cuisine and we were lucky enough to enjoy a vegan dining experience that was truly memorable. This open plan restaurant with far reaching views of the Saigon River was the perfect spot for a lazy lunch after a busy morning exploring. Each day they offer a ‘Discovery’ vegetarian set menu which was 100% vegan on the day that we dined. In addition to this there area variety of vegetarian side dishes which are also vegan. The food was fresh, flavourful and combined with the excellent service provided us with one of the most enjoyable meals we enjoyed during our trip.

We have visited Vietnam multiple times over the years and it never fails to amaze us. Our never ending vegan travel adventure will see us return to this Southeast Asian country very soon. Watch this space to read all about it!

Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest have become luxury vegan travel specialists as they continue to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.


Comments (18)

  1. Jennifer Madison says:

    The vegan lifestyle seems to be getting increasingly popular. I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian but I have significantly cut back on the meat I eat so I’ll still look for vegan options on occasion when eating out. Good to know there’s plenty of choice in Vietnam and it’s not all bland and boring either. You can’t quite beat fresh fruit and veg and locally sourced and produced foods. I’m yet to try a good vegan pizza but sadly Hoi An is a bit far away to sample one. The other options sound pretty tempting, hadn’t come across vegan BBQ before. Mmm this has made me hungry.

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Thank you for your comment Jennifer. where are you based? we might be able to suggest a good vegan pizz near you you live :) Vietnma has always been a favourite vegan travel destination for us and the new options make it even more exciting than it was already!

  2. Bryan Myers says:

    This was excellent! I’m currently living as an expat in Vietnam and I was just in Hoi An. I was able to find a vegan place downtown but this really opened my eyes to other options I didn’t know anything about. The food down in Saigon made me want to visit! I’m in Da Nang and there’s a vegan place I go to a lot, nearly once or twice a week. And you’re right, it’s clear that eating healthier is becoming more popular here in Vietnam. And I can say that I am looking to make sure I do that more often after getting a little too comfortable with the local foods. Eating healthier is definitely on my mind lately and this was an encouraging post to that end. Gonna check out the website too!

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Hey Bryan thank you for commenting.

      We love Vietnam and visit as often as possible which is super easy being based in Cambodia. The options keep increasing on every visit which is so exciting!

      Which is the vegan restaurant you go to Danang? We can put it on our list for next time…

      Check out the other vegan articles we’ve written here on A Luxury Travel Blog, many of them include other spots in Vietnam. Also on Vegan Food Quest there are guides to many Vietnam locations. Not Danang yet though, we will have to make that happen!

  3. Georgia says:

    Very insightful and plane ticket tempting!

    I would love to experience this, from the luxurious locations to the incredibly presented vegan dining. I am very envious of your experience and would love to taste ALL of this myself.

    It’s always exiting when I see vegan options expanding in choice. Its often a worry for new plant based eating backpackers/luxury travellers… IF and where
    they will find appealing options for them to eat.

    I set out on my travels two year ago. What I found, left me pleasently surprised. There were options and I didn’t have to go without. Some days I did, depending on the location. But the choice was more than I could ever of expected.

    Depending on the location and destination, nine times out of ten.. I would find something I enjoyed by either being advertised as vegan OR accidentally vegan. Either way, you shouldn’t have to eat a boring meal often!

    Now I live in Siem Reap Cambodia where I am spoilt for choice with vegan options. I have visited just Ho Chi Minh last year and found many delicious meals.

    Guides like these are SO important for people to seek out these places that you wouldn’t ever nessercarily know about. By far out of my travel budget… But a trip I would definitely book to look forward to for a special occasion.

    Thank you for sharing these experinces.

    ♥️

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Hi Georgia,

      Many thanks for your comment. We also get very excited when we find vegan optiosn on our travels. In fact, it’s what we base all of our travel around, vegan food!

  4. Sam San Dals says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. It’s been 12 years since I travelled up the length of Vietnam. The Rough Guide might’ve listed a few veggie spots, but nothing like this.

    I loved the country and its people, but dodging fish sauce was tricky. This guide makes me want to head back right this minute!

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Hi Sam

      Dodging fish sauce can still be tricky if you don’t go to the veg / vegan spots. There will be many travellers who order a ‘vegetarian’ dish and it will be laced with Nuoc Cham…

      Thank you for your comment!

  5. eileen says:

    What a fantastic insight into vegan food in Vietnam. I agree with Sam’s comments above, having first visited Vietnam 20 years ago, I can honestly say, I had problems finding anything to eat without the addition of ‘nuoc mam’. Things have certainly changed (or else I simply wasn’t looking in the right places) Which is where your guide is so valuable. You’ve taken the time and energy required to identify some amazing eating options. From the street food you enjoyed on your bicycle tour, to the more specials dishes in luxury resorts and hotels. All of the food looked and sounded delicious. Even the more familiar dishes, ie. full english breakfast, pizza, and mango sticky rice, take on a whole new experience. Many thanks for your guide which will save me time and energy next time I visit Vietnam.

    • Paul Eyers says:

      thank you for commenting

      indeed, nuoc mam or nuoc cham can still be ahrd to avoid so you need to do your research. that’s why we love writing these guides in the hope they can help other travellers…

  6. Terry Wilkinson says:

    Having spent the last 7 years in Cambodia and also travelled extensively in other parts of SE Asia the one place I have still to venture into is Vietnam.
    Reading this and seeing the amazing photos of what looks like delicious food is inspiring me to rectify this in the very near future. I’ve only been vegan for a year – after many years a a vegetarian – and I am loving discovering some of the amazing plant based food I’m seeing.
    Keep up the great work guys.

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Hi Terry

      Love hearing from people who have transitioned from veggie to vegan as to us it seems like the natural progression. living in Cambodia you have no excuse not to visit Vietnam. it is far more vegan friednly than Cambodia for sure…

  7. Ian says:

    Stunning photos!
    Planning a trip to Vietnam soon. Really appreciate the tips here. I’m a huge foodie and loved the food there last time! I may be slumming it a bit more than this but will definitely check out some of the recommended spots!

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Thank you for commenting Ian. I think you would be pleasantly surprised at the price point of both of the hotels featured as we found them to be very reasonable. Luxury hotels and resorts in Vietnam do not compare to the pricing in nearby Hong Kong or Singapore for example…

  8. R. Lopez says:

    Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its use of different vegetables and exotic spices, making every dish tasty. Common ingredients in a Vietnamese dish are rice, herbs, fruits, and vegetables so it really is a must-try for vegans and because of the spices not bland at all as some would expect of veggie dishes. I’ve also visited Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort a while back and just like in the article, they never disappoint. The food is spot-on, very delicious, and also prepared with finesse. The accommodations are also quite nice and the whole resort gives a relaxing vibe. I would greatly recommend it for making my visit worthwile. Hoping to visit the country soon!

    • Paul Eyers says:

      many thanks for taking the time to reply. your comment is so true about Vietnamese cuisine, it is very often packed with flavour making it one of our favouriter ‘foodie’ destinations. great to hear you have also been to Melia Ho Tram and loved it just as much as we did!

  9. Isabella Harrington says:

    Grasshopper Adventure stood out to me since it’s not only a vegan tour of beautiful Hoi An but also eco-friendly. Plus, I can see myself going through all those rice paddies and quaint villages. I’m amazed that you can also get vegan snacks when I’ve mostly and normally make these at home. I’m curious to know if Vietnam also has vegan street foods. It’s something I believe represents the local flavor of a country.

    • Paul Eyers says:

      Thank you for commenting Isabella

      Just to be clear, Grasshopper do not offer exclusive vegan tours but they are very happy to adapt excisitng tour accordingly if you contact team in advance. We’ve been on single day tours and multi day tours in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar and each time they catered for us very well as vegans.

      There are vegan street foods in Vietnam for sure, it’s just good to have a guide or a friendly local who speaks the language to helpm you find them!

      Paul

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