Vegan banh mi
Ok, lets not mess around here, when you go to Nha Trang you MUST head straight to the ‘banh mi chay’ stall on Hung Vuong Street. We were in Nha Trang previously and didn’t know about this gem of vegan goodness but having followed JoJo of ‘Vegan in Brighton’ on her travels through Vietnam we just knew we had to visit because , as she says, “I fell in love with this sandwich and ate it for every single meal until I left”. It was good, really good; a delightful fresh baguette packed with a selection of mock meat, salad, picked vegetables, Vietnamese herbs and spicy dressing that hit the spot. During our short stay in town we honestly lost count of how many we ate but we were definitely well into double figures. At 10,000 VND each (30 pence or 45 cents) they are a bargain and rival our previous favourite vegan banh mi found in Hoi An from the shop that Anthony Bourdain said made “the best sandwich in the world” which was also pretty damn fine! Banh mi chay is situated opposite Mai Huy Hotel on Hung Vuong Street and is also listed on Happy Cow with a helpful map so you have no excuse not to visit (many times).
Vegan street food
As usual with our exploring we managed to find some decent street food that was suitable for vegans; this street cart (situated near the junction of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Hung Vuong) sells a cross between a fried pitta bread and a donut coated in sesame called ‘banh tieu’ – very tasty but certainly not a healthy option! They are very similar to the ‘nom heng’ found in Cambodia that we included in our Vegan Cambodian Street Food Guide. These are sold everywhere so keep your eyes peeled…
More vegan street food love was exclaimed when we found these badboys every evening from a small street seller situated on the corner of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Tran Phu. They are steamed rice flour dumplings coated with freshly grated coconut and served with a peanut and sugar sprinkle. We have no idea what they are called in Vietnam but loved them and went back for more, in Cambodia the same vegan street food is called nom pla eye and we included them in our vegan guide to Cambodian street food.
Get up early and visit the local market to buy your fruit for the day; we headed to Cho Dam which is just North of the city centre and well worth exploring; you may need to haggle to get the best price but that’s all part of the fun!
Quan chay restaurants
One of the highlights of Vietnam are the local ‘quan chay’ restaurants and street stalls serving local vegetarian food that is mainly vegan; a delicious plate of rice or noodles with a variety of vegetables, tofu and mock meat will usually cost just 20,000 VND (60 pence or 90 cents). We found a lovely quan chay stall next to Cho Dam market and enjoyed tasty vegan food including mock ‘fish’ cakes with vegetables and rice.