OCTOBER 2022: Due to COVID we were unable to travel for nearly two years, which means it’s been impossible to update our vegan travel guides. Therefore we cannot be sure if the below restaurants are still open, so please contact them directly to check. As travel has now restarted we will be updating guides accordingly, but in the meantime please check out the excellent HappyCow, which you can find via the link at the bottom of this vegan guide.
Updated January 2020
Ah beautiful Hoi An! If you like wandering pretty streets, air fragrant with spices and incense, riverside life with lanterns and a hefty dose of heritage and culture then this place is for you. Sure, it’s touristy and the old town is mainly filled with shops selling fridge magnets, windchimes, coconut shell bowls or coffee but it still retains a huge amount of charm. There’s a bustling market (best seen in the morning) where local life carries on regardless of the tourists taking pictures of the ladies sat in the middle piles of green herbs and fresh vegetables wearing their traditional nón lá conical hats. And with the increase of tourism there has also been an increase of cool bars selling craft beer and serious cocktails as well as small coffee shops (some of which are actually really good) and vegan restaurants which cater to the local population and come which are aimed more at tourists or expats.
As soon as we walked in we felt sure that the food would be good; it was bright, inviting, busy and the staff who served us were happy. We ordered spring rolls, eggplant crepe, curry and lemongrass tofu. The food arrived and the fried spring rolls were tasty but quite oily, our eggplant crepes included one which was almost burnt and the other was kind of under cooked. They were tasty but not cooked properly. Our veg curry was packed with veg, very flavourful but too sweet for us and the lemongrass tofu was excellent. All in all we would recommend Vegan Zone as the staff were great and it was busy meaning they must be doing something right. It’s just a shame that some of our dishes were not quite right.
The best banh mi we’ve ever had. Simple. Lovely owner serving banh mi made with tofu, pate, peanuts, salad and chilli sauce in the freshest of baguettes. Sit on the road side and watch the world go by whilst enjoying possibly the best sandwich you’ve ever eaten. We’ve eaten a lot of banh mi over the years and these were seriously good. Do not settle for any less exciting option that you might spot, these are the real deal on every level and so cheap at just 15,000 VND each.
Weve visited Karma Waters on all of our previous trips to Hoi An but never been super excited by the food. However, we always return in the hope that something on the menu will excite is. This time we ordered a hot dog which was average but also turmeric rice and crispy tofu, 2 dishes that didn’t sound amazing but we were intrigued by. They were excellent. The turmeric rice was like Vietnamese ‘com ga chay’ or vegan chicken and rice, with the ‘chicken’ made from tofu skin. It was delicious and accompanied by the crispy tofu which was served as 3 ‘breaded chicken drumsticks’ made the perfect pairing. The description on the menu does neither of these dishes justice, trust us when we say that together they made an awesome meal.
So good that there’s an all vegan option on An Bang beach now as during our previous trip we always struggled to find something to eat. They offer an extensive menu with lots of breakfast options including smoothie bowls and pancakes. We enjoyed a ‘Choco Coco‘ smoothie with coconut milk and avocado, also a coconut coffee both of which were served with non plastic straws which was good to see, our drinks were excellent. The tofu mushroom clay pot wasn’t good and we sent it back. It lacked any flavour and certainly wasn’t rich like other hot pots we’ve eaten. The French fries were served with homemade vegan mayo which was pleasing. We have to say that the food was a little disappointing as was the fact that the staff allowed guests to eat their own (non vegan) food in the restaurant as one of the things that’s nice about an all vegan restaurant is not being surrounded by people eating flesh. Our visit to The Fisherman was a pleasant experience, the drinks were good and there are plenty of comfortable seats (including sun loungers on the beach) making it the perfect spot to chill.
With a similar menu to other quan chay restaurants this place sets itself apart from the others with a lovely setting and ambiance. Lots of effort has gone into making this restaurant feel just that extra bit special. We ordered spring rolls, pineapple rice, tofu in tomato sauce and broccoli sautéed in sesame oil and vegan oyster sauce. The food was just ok. Not great, just okay. The surroundings and staff were excellent but if we’re totally honest the food was uninspiring.
With a new location since we were last in Hoi An we were keen to check out Annen where we enjoyed excellent food and inspiring yoga with the wonderful Jyoti during our last extended stay in Hoi An. Our expectations were high and we are happy to report that the food was superb, the best tofu dish and the best spring rolls we had during this recent trip. We loved the space and would highly recommend Annen.
We were excited to check out this recent addition to the veggie scene in Hoi An and weren’t disappointed. They opened at their current location during November 2019 having previously operated near Cua Dai beach. From the inviting exterior to the bright and open interior this is a lovely space; this vibe was further enhanced by the friendly staff and the menu that read very well. We ordered the ‘Falafel Pita’ and the ‘Mango Chutney Salad’ which we’re both very good indeed. The wholemeal pita was packed with a crunchy Middle East salad, pickled red cabbage, tofu feta cheese and served with homemade falafels, hummus and tahini dressing (which was superb). We loved the mango chutney that accompanied the quinoa and chickpea salad, this was an excellent fresh and healthy option that worked so well. Also, don’t miss out on the insane ‘Raw Vegan Cheesecake’ OMG it was so, so good. We are in big fans of Nourish Eatery and if we lived here would be regular customers.
This was our ‘go to’ spot back in 2015 when we stayed in Hoi An for 6 weeks so of course it was top of the list on our return. It didn’t disappoint and we remember why we ate there most days when last in town. The cao lao noodle salad was fresh and flavoursome and the tamarind tofu which we enjoyed with garlic rice was exceptional. It is clear why Minh Hien continues to be busy with both expats and tourists in Hoi An.
Having opened 4 years ago, Minh Hien 2 is hardly new but it was new to us. We enjoyed a quick lunch when passing to allow us to add it to our Vegan Guide to Hoi An. One of our favourite dishes, white rose were delicious as always and the tofu skin salad was excellent. Fresh, tasty and packed with herbs it is something we will eat next time for sure.
Their newest opening, Minh Hien 3 (which opened in 2018) was tucked away up an alley in the old town when we visited early December. However, we were told due to rising rents it would be the last couple of days before they moved location to the brand new address that we’ve listed above, just over the road from Minh Hien 2. We ordered white rose (again), passion fruit tofu and tamarind eggplant. The flavours were great, although all a little similar but our selections were to blame for that. Considering no MSG is used at Minh Hien they were all packed with flavour and delicious meaning our love for Minh Hien continues. Please note that Minh Hien offer the same menu at each of their 3 locations.
This family run buffet style veggie restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike. With an excellent location right next to the old town it offers an all day buffet where you pay between 20,000 VND and 35,000 VND depending on how many selections you make. They also have an a la carte menu from which we ordered cau lau and com ga, unfortunately the com ga was finished but our cao lau and buffet selection were both good.
The original Tam Quang Minh was in our guide prior to this update but it had closed down since our last visit so we went to check out the new location. Typical chay buffet which as always is better earlier in the day. The items we tried to order from the board were unavailable we we had a selection from the buffet for just 20,000 VND. With so many other options in Hoi An we wouldn’t rush back here but if we were in the area early in the day we may check it out again.
This place is an institution. Since the late, great Anthony Bourdain said they served the best sandwich in the world Banh Mi Phoung has had ever growing queues all day and every day. On our recent visit you could barely get in the front door and there were 16, yes 16 staff working at a breakneck speed to get the sandwiches out the front door. During our first visit more than 5 years it took some effort to get a vegan banh mi with tofu and meant one of the staff going out the back to the kitchen and frying up some tofu with chilli sauce to order. Last time, maybe 3 years ago there was a ‘banh mi chay’ on the menu and now a tofu and avocado option is on the board with all of the others. How times are changing. Was it any good? Yes, but having your sandwich preapred amongst masses of meat and meat pate is pretty off putting to be honest.
OK so this isn’t a restaurant but it’s a cool little coffee spot that you never find unless someone tells you and that’s what we’re doing. A local friend brought us here 4 years ago and we always had fond memories. No worrying about ‘Is Vietnamese coffee vegan‘ here as they only use the finest beans that aren’t roasted in butter or any other non vegan ingredients as is commonplace in Vietnam. When we visited this time they had oat milk as the choice of non dairy milk and we enjoyed a ‘Mocha Viennese’ and a ‘Iced Pink Latte’ made with beetroot. Both were delicious and we enjoyed chilling in this cool Hoi An coffee spot for sure.
Art Space Ananatara Hoi An Resort Pham Hong Thai Street
Opening Times: 7am-10.30pm every day
We were walking past Anantara Hoi An Resort and spotted Art Space, a funky cafe space with a wood fired pizza oven, art gallery and craft beers. We fancied a pizza so prepared ourselves to order ‘vegan pizza no cheese’ as is the usual offering for those of us that love to eat plant based food. Therefore, imagine our amazement when the menu not only listed a vegan pizza but the vegan pizza at Art Space included vegan cheese! We kind of couldn’t believe it was true but it was, so we sat down and ordered. In fact we ended up having two pizzas as they were so good. One, exactly as listed on the menu with a creamy cashew cheese with white beans and vegetables, the other with an addition of tomato sauce. They were both served on a sour dough crust and were superb, one of the best vegan pizzas we’ve ever had. A side of fries (with BBQ sauce instead of mayo) and garden salad completed our meal which we enjoyed during happy hour (5pm-7pm daily) including cocktails and beers. Upon speaking with the friendly staff it transpires there are vegan options throughout the Anantara Hoi An Resort including a breakfast burrito at Art Space and classic Vietnamese cuisine at Riverside making it a vegan friendly luxury resort for sure!
What to do in Hoi An?
Mountain Bike Tour with Grasshopper Adventures
Join a mountain bike tour with Grasshopper Adventures who are the leading responsible mountain bike tour company in the region. They work hard to ensure that their tours are not only very enjoyable but that local communities benefit and that they make as little impact as possible. They partner with the excellent Refill not Landfill meaning you wont find single use plastic bottles on your tour but will be given a reusable bottle, which we love. Our ‘Countryside Tour’ was so much fun as we were guided expertly by Mr Quàn who was a credit to the company. Highlights were making rice milk and rice paper, which we got to enjoy with a chilli and shallot sauce (perfectly vegan) and meeting inspirational locals. One gentleman who at 85 years old had lived a remarkable life, he showed us his family temple and answered questions about his time as a prisoner of war in Con Dao. Truly humbled. Also, a wonderful mother and daughter team who were making bamboo mats, the mother at 96 years old had been producing these mats from her home for more than 80 years. Wow.
Visit the excellent Vinh Lien Tailors
Hoi An is famous for it’s tailors and practically every 2nd shop is dedicated to making you a made to measure outfit to take home with you. On our previous visit (as long term travellers with bulging bags) we were limited in what we could buy but our favourite tailor of choice fixed some of our clothes, copied some of our worn out items, made us a pair of smart shorts and a pair of yoga pants and we were really pleased with the products. We went back on this trip and had a number of quite complex dresses copied with simply excellent results. You can find our favourite tailors at ‘Vinh Lien Tailors’ on 323 Nguyen Duy Hieu.
Practice yoga with Jyoti
One of us loves yoga and has practiced it for many years in many different countries. The other one isn’t a big fan. But on our previous trip we both signed up for a month of yoga, the fact that we found possibly the loveliest yoga teacher in the world helped alot. Jyoti is both knowledgeable, passionate, talented and has a kind heart meaning we got to experience a month of yogic bliss at her classes. Sadly she wasn’t in town on our recent trip but she can still be found at Annen (see review of the vegan food above) and we would strongly recommend that if you are in town pop along to experience her unique Sivananda classes…
HappyCow in Hoi An
Of course, no vegan travel adventure would be complete without using the excellent HappyCow website or app. Their Vegan Hoi An page currently lists 14 all vegan and many vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants for you to choose from, these are the top 10 vegan friendly restaurants in Hoi An according to HappyCow user reviews.