When I was first working as a tour guide more than a decade ago, some travelers came to Hanoi and went to a vegetarian restaurant in the Old Quarter. The next day, they told me how stunned they were as there weren’t any mushroom or tofu on the menu. Yes, being a vegetarian used to be a challenge in Hanoi, but it’s not anymore! As the vegetarian dining scene has blossomed in the last decade, and there are more vegetarian (and vegan) places in Hanoi than ever.
Although the city is still a meat and noodle soup lover’s paradise, there are pockets of places that are vegan-friendly, or are completely vegetarian. And I am neither a vegan nor vegetarian, but I love tasty foods as well as fresh vegan food experiences with friends. So here are my 5 best vegan restaurants in Hanoi for dining out and getting by, hope you can find one to try.
#1. Vegan Uu Dam
Located on Hang Bai Street, a few minute walk toward the south from Hoan Kiem Lake, Vegan Uu Dam is an all vegan restaurant with multiple floors and a green garden. What I really like about this place, beside their beautiful nutritious foods, is the creativity, presentation and tranquil ambience in a zen kind of way.
The menu is daunting with options spreading over 20-page booklet, but every dish is beautifully presented. One of my friend told me that if all vegan food was as well cooked and presented as those, it would be an easy transition. My favorite dishes are pomelo salad, avocado and mango salad, Mexican taco, fried lotus root, cabbage rolls, vegan seaweed sashimi and the durian fritters with the cream.
Though being a non-vegetarian, l do love the symphony of flavors and textures of the foods here. When I recommended my food tour’s clients to Vegan Uu Dam, they texted me back to say it’s a vegan paradise in Hanoi.
Vegan Uu Dam: 34 Hang Bai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Opening hours: 10h30 to 21h30
Tel: (+84) 98 134 9898
#2. Vi Lai Vegan Restaurant
Nested on a lane off the Ly Thuong Kiet street in the French Quarter of Hanoi, Vi Lai Vegan is among the most well-known vegan restaurants for veggies in the city. Diners will be impressed with the peaceful setting at the restaurant, highlighted with lovely koi ponds and lily pads.
There are tables in the koi pond area with the best views in the restaurant, as well as upstairs surrounded by plants. With the beautiful surrounding, their menu is various with tasty well-decorated vegan foods and attentive service. There is some fine dining, European vibe in style, and the food is not imitating 'meaty' food like they usually do in pagodas.
Like Uu Dam and many other vegan restaurants in Hanoi, there are many local diners who are very much into vegan food, especially on some special days of the lunar month due to some spiritual reasons.
Vi Lai Vegan Restaurant: 67 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Opening hours: 9h30 to 22h00
Tel: (+84) 853 535 656
#3. Sadhu Vegetarian Restaurant
I recently got lunch here with my clients after visiting the nearly Hoa Lo Prison, the restaurant showed an extensive and tasty vegetarian foods. Vegans are also well catered to, just be sure to explain to the staff (better careful than sorry). As my travelers were vegetarians, so we enjoyed the red pumpkin soup with cream, fried eggplant, spring rolls, banana ice cream, sticky rice soup, mushroom pate, and we ate almost everything.
Sadhu is not really a spacious place comparing to other restaurant of the same type, but the Japanese kind of setting makes us feel comfortable, serene and relaxed. Staffs spoke good English and they were very helpful trying to show us the dishes they want us to try.
My fellow travelers said that vegetarian or not, this place is good and definitely worth a try, and best regards to the owner and chef cook - they should go on an international expansion! For me, though being a huge carnivore I loved every dish that was brought to the table. The drinks, especially the cinnamon-lemon is a must try!
Sadhu Vegetarian Restaurant: 87 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Opening hours: 10h30 to 22h00
Tel: (+84) 98 199 5586
#4. Aummee Vegetarian Restaurant
Located on a small street nearby Truc Bach Lake, Aummee is also one of the well-known vegetarian restaurants in the city. The restaurant looks a bit small on the outside, but it’s bigger inside with Buddhist theme decorations, providing a great atmosphere.
I sometimes have vegetarian clients staying at the Pan Pacific Hanoi or Intercontinental Hanoi Hotel, this vegetarian restaurant is a good recommendation for them to have some fresh local food. It seem to work really well for them. Comments back saying positive things about this little place, staff were welcoming and service was excellent.
This restaurant can be visited after seeing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which is about 20 minute-walk away.
Aummee Vegetarian Restaurant: 26 Chau Long Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
Opening hours: 10h00 to 14h00, 16h30 to 22h00
Tel: (+84) 243 716 9696
#5. Om Vegan Garden
Om Vegan Garden is a vegan restaurant set in a spacious garden in the northern part of the city. On the map, it’s located between the West Lake and Red River. It serves an abundant variety of local vegan dishes with decent service, there I was enjoying lunch being surrounded by green grass, plants, flowers and butterflies.
I ordered some traditional options, the banana flower salad, spring rolls with rice noodles and a bow of pho. They were all delicious. If you have the habit of having a coffee after meal, you may find that they only serve teas and other drinks, but no coffee. Come with a mosquito repellant if coming for dinner, as there are some aggressive mosquitos in the garden.
Om Vegan Garden: 63 on Road 9, F361 Block, An Duong, Tay Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam
Opening hours: 10h00 to 22h00
Tel: (+84) 91 323 39 59
Those are my top 5 ‘best’ vegan restaurants in Hanoi, understanding that many standard restaurants in the city have become more vegan and vegetarian-friendly and often have options on the menus that don’t include meat or animal products. But if you are searching for a local vegan restaurant, hope this help.