Vegan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Vegan food in Saigon – tips and options.

How to find vegan food in the city, info on coffee options, hotel breakfast and ordering vegan food with Grab.

Traveling as a vegan is often not as straightforward as it should be – especially when you do not speak the language. The only words we knew in Vietnamese were “hello” and “thank you” which seems to be enough for most things but not nearly enough to figure out how to read the menu in most restaurants and food joints. Also definitely not enough when you are trying to read the ingredients in the supermarket. Being vegan in Vietnam is a bit complicated due to the language barrier.

Vegan Food in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

When you visit Ho Chi Minh, you will find that most food in the supermarket has labels only in Vietnamese (with some exceptions). Because of this, the best you can do is download the Vietnamese dictionary (Google Translate) on your phone and hover over the word with your camera to translate. Unfortunately, that rarely works well but it can be enough to help you figure out some of the basic ingredients you may be wondering about like milk, egg or butter. There will be some vegan snacks (chips, Oreos) in most shops, but you should try not to rely on supermarket food as it is quite difficult to figure out if you only have limited time.

Of course, buying fruit is always a safe option and Vietnam has plenty of it! You should enjoy all the dragon fruit and jackfruit while you can – if you can handle the jackfruit smell that is. 

Vegan coffee and milk options in Saigon

My advice is – do not expect to find soy or other plant milk options in most establishments. Some do offer soy milk but most only have regular cow milk. However, every coffee you can get hot, you can usually order a cold version of – my go to order for this trip has been a cold black Vietnamese coffee – it is so good. They will melt your sugar so that you can add it to the coffee if you want and unless you are on a strict diet, you need to try it with sugar – it is ten times better.

Keep in mind – Vietnamese coffee is super good! They are actually second in coffee production in the world (or first according to some sources) – and you can tell. I have enjoyed every single cup of coffee I got on this trip. I took a couple of bags home and I plan on ordering online for the future. 

vegan popcorn coffee

The most popular coffee option is Trung Nguyen – and for a good reason, the coffee is amazing and full of flavor. You can try finding the package with the ship on it if you like a hint of chocolate in your coffee – the chocolate flavor is so intense that adding plant milk to your coffee will not hide it. It is especially good as iced coffee as it is hot all year around in Saigon and most people drink it cold.

Hotel Breakfast in Saigon

tropical fruit and a cup of coffee

As a general rule, most hotels do not offer many vegan options for breakfast. Maybe it is different if you go to a five star hotel but for the rest don’t expect a large variety.

We stayed in two different hotels during our visit – 8B Hotel and Au Lac Legend Hotel. The first one was probably one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in. I won’t get into it here but there were a lot of fake advertisements and the breakfast was not a buffet but only one option – which was with meat every day. We asked for something vegan and received 2 pieces of bread with jam. 

In Au Lac Legend Hotel – the buffet was large but still with very few vegan options. You will find a lot of dragon fruit and passion fruit which was 70% of my breakfast each morning. On top of that you can have some bread with jam (2 types) and if you are brave enough you can try the cereal with some juice instead of milk. However, make sure to ask what is in the cereal first. There are also some cucumbers, tomatoes and salad options if you like salad for breakfast. Some mornings you can get the bean cake which is usually vegan but again, you have to ask since nothing is labeled.

The cool thing about Au Lac Legend Hotel was that between 14:30 and 17:00, they had afternoon tea which is a great option for the rainy days or when you need to take an afternoon break from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can enjoy some tea, as well as a variety of fruit options with it.

If you are looking for a large variety of vegan options in the morning – make sure to look explicitly for a hotel which offers vegan breakfast since most of them don’t. 

L’uisine’s Vegan Buddha Bowl

L’usine is a cool and modern place in District 1 which offers international food options so if you want to try some Vietnamese food, it is not a good choice.

We went there because it was listed as vegan friendly on Happy Cow, but it actually did not have anything vegan except the Buddha Bowl. It was tasty and filling + you can get soy milk there. I have been having a really hard time finding soy milk or any plant milk at all in coffee shops so this was a pleasant surprise. 

buddha bowl vegan

Using Grab to order vegan food in Saigon

Grab is an app like Uber which offers a combination of services such as rides and food delivery. If you can’t find vegan options near you, you can always use it to order some. You can type “vegan” in the search and explore some options or try typing the name of a restaurant you already know. As you keep using Grab, you will also unlock a lot of discounts so it is extremely affordable. Usually we pay a maximum of 9$ for two people and we have leftovers because there is a lot of food. 

Grab has literally been a lifesaver for us and allowed us to try a lot of different Vietnamese meals without having to travel around the city.

Keep in mind that when using Grab you will likely have to order with cash every time. I tried using my card but restaurants do not accept it as a payment on Grab. However, you can use your card when ordering cars and scooters through app – very useful if you are getting low on physical cash. 

Here are some vegan options we tried in Saigon through Grab:

Bep Nha 38

vegan banh mi

This was one of our favorite Grab options. We ordered from this restaurant around 4-5 times and had the vegan noodles with tofu and 2 spring rolls most of the time. My partner had the Vietnamese sandwich “banh mi” and loved it but I personally can’t stand that herb smell. I think it is coriander but I am not sure – it is a very strong herb which always seems to be present in the traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. 

En’s kitchen – Pizza, Healthy Food and More 

We tried one pizza in Da Nang and it was quite bad. This time we scored! We had the vegan sausage pizza and the sundried tomato pizza and they were both juicy and absolutely delicious. We actually ended up ordering one more time from this place and I got to try the aubergine (eggplant) pizza which was probably the best of all three.  

Curry house CoCo ICHIBANYA

If you are looking for some good curry and rice – you should try this place. We had the best curry there at an affordable price and you have quite a few options as a vegan. I had the tofu curry, while my partner tried the kimchi one. We both loved it – just be careful how spicy you order it if you are not so good at tolerating spicy food. Also the sauce is quite a lot so don’t choose the smallest rice option.

Xanh Vegan and Vegetarian – our last vegan meal in Saigon

It was our last lunch in Saigon and we wanted to order again by Bep Nha 38 but for some reason they were not working that day. That is how we ended up ordering some of the best food we had on our trip. I am usually not that much into noodles but these were amazing – full of flavor, the sauce was great and the veggies were varied and cooked really well. The best part were the sweet potato fries – first I actually thought I was ordering regural french fries but this was way better. I think I have never had better fries than this to be honest. Definitely a must try!

The Veganbox – Vegan Chocolate Cake 

It was my boyfriend’s birthday and after a long day on the Mekong Delta river I wanted to surprise him a bit more so I ordered the vegan chocolate cake by the Veganbox. We both got a large piece which was so tasty and full of flavor. I definitely recommend trying their chocolate cake if you have the time and a sweet tooth.

Xanh Salad Keto – Diet Low Carb

We wanted to try the tempeh sandwich which seemed to have a lot of positive reviews but we were quite disappointed by it. The sandwich was huge but it was incredibly dry and hard to eat. I do not recommend it unless you are nearby and need something quick.

Mang’s Mania – vegan restaurant

Mang’s mania is a restaurant which is centrally located next to the town square where you will likely spend a lot of time. The restaurant seems nice but when we went there around 6pm, it was completely empty and the mood was kind of weird. In any case, they have a nice vegan selection of dinners. I had the rice with veggie balls and tomato sauce and my boyfriend had a potato chickpea curry with rice – both were amazing. However, keep in mind that the options are quite small – we were still hungry after our meals and I ended up making a peanut butter sandwich at home. I also tried the jelly dessert but I don’t recommend it to be honest – it just tastes like jellied sugar.

I tried to find the vegan dessert online but I could not, however, this looks like it a lot so it is a good example of what the jelly was.

Man Tu Vegan – District 1

We visited this place, which has a lot of positive reviews, with the hope of trying a vegan buffet. However, at 12:50 there was no more food left. If you go, make sure to be there at 11 or right after opening. The place is donation based so you can pay around 50k dong for a buffet meal. Of course, if you can afford it you can pay a bit more to help the place run. I hope to try it next time – please let me know how it was if you managed to try it out.

Even though there was no more food left, the people were very nice and explained to us to try to come back at opening time next time if we want to try the buffet. Unfortunately it was our last day in the city so we didn’t get to try it out.

Got any questions?

If you have any questions about finding vegan food in Saigon, feel free to contact me! Remember you can use Happy Cow to find many options. Hope my experience has helped you out!

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