Vietnam's capital Hanoi caters to vegetarians with its diverse cuisine influenced by various cultures. Its food offers a wide range of flavours, and its Buddhist roots make vegetarian options abundant with fresh herbs and vegetables. If you are a vegetarian exploring Hanoi, the culinary scene here won't disappoint. Remember to say "tôi Än chay" to let restaurants know you're vegetarian. Here are seven must-try vegetarian dishes and their recommended places to try them:
Rau muong xao toi is a beloved Hanoi staple. It features freshwater spinach stir-fried with garlic and seasonings, creating a flavourful dish. The simplicity highlights the quality of local produce. Enjoy it alone or as a tasty side with a main course.
Where to eat: Try the dish at Hanoi's popular eateries like Quan An Ngon, Nha Hang Ngon, Highway 4, Home Hanoi Restaurant.
Nom hoa chuoi is a salad made of tender banana flowers and a tangy dressing. It's accompanied by fresh ingredients like bean sprouts, green papaya, carrots, and coriander, creating a refreshing and flavourful dish. A touch of lime juice or vinegar balances the slight bitterness of the salad.
Where to eat: Try the dish at popular eateries like Nha Hang Ngon, Quan An Ngon, and Highway 4.
Enjoy the tangy flavours of Dau Sot Ca Chua, a nostalgic Vietnamese dish featuring deep-fried tofu in homemade tomato sauce. Pair it with steamed rice to savour the sweet, tangy, and spicy tastes enhanced by vibrant herbs.
Where to eat: Try the dish at Hanoi's popular eateries like Green Tangerine, La Verticale, Highway4, Apron Up restaurant.
Che chuoi is a popular Vietnamese dessert that combines ripe bananas, chewy tapioca pearls, creamy coconut milk, and a hint of aromatic pandan leaves. It's a comforting treat, especially on a cool day in Hanoi.
Where to eat: Head to Quan Che Loc Tai in the Hoàn Kiám district to try Che chuoi and a variety of other desserts.
This Hanoi culinary creation remains popular even today. It's a flavourful, soup poured over vermicelli noodles and herbs, served with sweet and sour sauce. While traditionally meat-based, it's equally delicious for vegetarians.
Where to eat: Visit the Bun Chả Huong Lien eatery to enjoy the soup.
Bánh xeo's batter is a mix of rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk. Cooked in a sizzling skillet, the pancake crackles, creating anticipation. Once crispy, it's folded over a filling of abalone mushrooms, bean sprouts, and your preferred proteins, topped with aromatic herbs like mint and perilla leaves.
Where to eat: Try the dish at popular eateries like Highway4, Bánh Xèo Zon and Banh Xeo Gia Truyen.
Xoi is a versatile Vietnamese dish made from glutinous rice with a sticky, chewy texture. It can be served savoury or sweet and is often enjoyed with pickled vegetables and toppings like mung beans, fried shallots, or roasted peanuts. It's a popular breakfast, lunch, or snack option and represents Vietnamese comfort food.
Where to eat: In Hanoi, you can find Xoi at street food stalls and vegetarian eateries like Uu Dam Chay.