Eating vegetarian isn’t always easy in Saigon. Luckily, the Backpacker District encompassing Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien caters to HCMC’s herbivorous visitors. Here are some of the best spots to eat an chi.
Zen: from stir fried to braised, Indian to Mexican, Zen offers the largest slate of cheap non-meat cuisine around above Bui Vien. The Vietnamese dishes are tasty, but Zen also offers creative takes on Western dishes, like stir-fried macaroni and cheese (penne noodles in cheese sauce with tofu, onions and mushroom). Between Chua An Lac and De Tham.
Chi’s Cafe: Chi’s isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, but it does have the best 30,000 VND veggie burger around. For pescetarians, Chi’s also has a delicious basa fillet with lemongrass and chili served with rice. Between Chua An Lac and De Tham.
Le Pub: Two of Le Pub‘s managers are strict vegetarians, so extra care is taken to use vegan products and keep separate cookware and surfaces for meat dishes. The food is pricier than most Backpacker District fare, but the quality is also far superior. The spicy chickpea patty should be first on your list of dishes to try. Chua An Lac.
Vegetarian Restaurant: For great homestyle and comfort food-style vegetarian, this aptly named spot serves clay pot concoctions like spaghetti with soya balls and meatless shepherd’s pie mashed potatoes, cheese, tomato sauce and various vegetables (it’s a day-to-day surprise what greens make their way in). Chua An Lac.
Margherita: The vegetable pizza is pretty delicious, but the vegetarian Mexican food steals the show. This is no authentic Mexican, but Margherita’s spin on quesadillas, tacos, chimichangas, enchiladas and burritos are all worth trying. Chua An Lac.
New Delhi: Not only does New Delhi win the prize for best Engrish sign (Thunder price the competition!), it also has the best cheap Indian fare on Bui Vien. Your favorite Indian staples cost about 20,000 VND and the beer is dirt cheap, as well. Bui Vien, near Do Quang Dau.
Coriander: The vegetarian pad thai is always a safe bet, but the tempura-style vegetables with plum sauce is a must try. The fried and breaded mussels with plum sauce are a great treat for pescetarians. Bui Vien, near Do Quang Dau.
Chua An Lac is an alleyway between Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien. It’s identifiable by the ornate gateway on Pham Ngu Lao.