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Where To Find The Best Vegan Food In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It may not be common knowledge but a fair number of Buddhist practitioners in Vietnam go vegan twice a month as part of their particular belief system. Because of this a surprising number of vegan restaurants can be found throughout bustling Vietnam, especially near Buddhist temples.

So whether you eat meat or not you can experience local Ho Chi Minh food favorites but street food and sit down. You can watch the video above and read on for some of my favorite spots.

Sit Down Secrets

  • Vegan Family Restaurant – Located in a quiet corner outside of a Buddhist temple, for starters try the gỏi củ hủ dừa (crunchy pickled coconut, pickled carrots with daikon, fresh herbs, and mint. Topped with vegan fish sauce vinaigrette (fermented pinapple juice) and crispy fried shallots. Main course, try the cà ri dê (curry made from shiitake mushroom, bell pepper, and coconut milk.)
  • Bột chiên Bàn Cờ – By the side of the road but sit down and enjoy bột chiên (Vegetarian option with eggs, fried rice flour cake, marinated in soy sauce and rice vinegar. Topped with chopped turnips and green onions with shredded papaya.)
  • Chè Hiển Khánh – It’s never too late for cold sweet soup, a Ho Chi Minh favorite. Chè hạt sen (iced lotus seed soup with longan, lychee, shredded white mushrooms, chestnuts, and tapioca).

Where To Find The Best Vegan Food In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

On The Streets

  • Mrs Diep Che Dessert – Amazing street food stall serving dessert. Order the chè khoai môn (taro with tapioca and coconut milk) and be happy.
  • Vo Van Tan – Pick a short stool to sit on and order some amazing noodles. Bún thịt nướng (Grilled marinated seitan served atop vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, carrots, seasoning and a savory vegan fish sauce.) To drink, try nước mía (sugarcane with durian).
  • Cao Thang – Incredible sticky rice selection not to be missed. Must order bánh tráng kẹp xôi đậu xanh (grilled rice paper filled with sticky rice and mung bean paste (đậu xanh). Served with shredded coconut and sesame seeds).

ho chi minh city noodles

At many of these vegan places you can mix and match dishes, ingredients, and tweak to your particular preferences. For those of you heading north, be sure to check out Hanoi’s best vegetarian restaurants.

Where To Find The Best Vegetarian Food In Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam is a paradise of food and its capital city, Hanoi, is famous for a number of dishes and drinks. Although meat is an important part of Vietnamese cuisine for various cultural reasons finding vegetarian and vegan local foods isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Many dishes are vegetarian in their traditional form while some require substitution.

You can take a tour of Hanoi’s vegetarian food in the video above or read on.

The Word To Know

For those of you looking to order food in Hanoi or elsewhere in Vietnam, the word to know is “chay.” Pronounced like the word tea (you can hear it in the video here) this means without meat. By saying “chay” at the end of your order (for example bahn mi chay) is asking for a vegetarian version of the famous Vietnamese sandwich. Anytime you see the word chay on a menu it’s a strong indication that the dish is meatless (though not necessarily vegan).

hanoi vegetarian food vietnam

Vegetarian Food Spots To Try – Old Quarter

  • Xôi xéo – Sticky rice and corn with mung bean. It’s not for everyone, some may find it bland, but ended up being one of my favorite foods in Hanoi. Play around with different toppings, like eggs, get a picked cucumber salad, and cold beer. https://g.co/kgs/LqVnTN8
  • Bánh mỳ chay – Vietnamese sandwich with egg omelette, green papaya, cucumber, carrots, coriander, chilly, and mushrooms sauce. Long lines throughout the day but worth the wait. https://g.co/kgs/Xmw3msZ

A Taste Of Sweets

  • Cốm and Côm xào – The former is sticky green rice with lotus seeds and coconut. It’s like a little ball of sweetness something I can describe as a coconut gummy bear flavor. Served underneath is green rice stir fry with coconut and coconut dipping sauce. https://maps.app.goo.gl/evgaMJbkcp5QpM3W6
  • Che chuoi nuong – Grilled banana inside sticky rice with coconut milk, fresh coconut, peanut, and tapioca. There are several versions of this warm winter soup served year round. https://g.co/kgs/8EApbS9
  • Che khuc bach – Sugar water cold soup cooked with jasmine flower, condensed milk, chocolate, green tea jelly , and almonds can be found at the same spot as che chuoi nuong.
  • Coconut ice cream – Fresh coconut water, condensed milk with coconut cream. Served on the street, perfect for the hottest days. https://maps.app.goo.gl/At6HAQ8mahUP1G4JA

vietnamese sweet soups

Classic Hanoi Dishes

  • Bánh xèo chay – Crispy pancake made of wheat, turmeric, coconut milk , green onions, mung bean filled with bean sprouts, eggs, and tofu. One of those foods perfect before or after a night. https://maps.app.goo.gl/LnYK9j4jKtE9scNEA
  • Banh cuôn chay – Rice roll with shallots and soy dipping sauce with chilly and lime. One of the most unique flavors and consistencies of food I’ve tried, one of my favorites in Hanoi. https://g.co/kgs/JGwNazA

Best Coffee I’ve Had

Egg coffee is a uniquely Hanoi beverage. Strong Robusta coffee with cream and egg yolk, C.O.C. serves the best coffee I’ve had anywhere. The ambiance is helped by its hiding spot you get to through some alleyways and narrow stairs (https://g.co/kgs/VdeXBjM).

Like many other places such as Turkey where you wouldn’t expect to find vegetarian food Vietnam’s broad use of fresh ingredients as a base makes omitting meat in common dishes possible. Remember to make sure the sauces aren’t meat or fish based if you’re a strict vegetarian and enjoy eating in one of the best places to travel.

Suriname Travel Advice: Your Questions Answered!

paramaribo suriname markets

Tucked away in South America’s northeast, Suriname is a unique travel destination not a lot of people know as a, well, know. The country doesn’t have much of a tourism industry but for those who know, you might be asking these questions. And for those who don’t know, these answers might just have you asking, should I visit Suriname?

Is Suriname Safe?

Personally, I like to ask the question “why would you want to visit” a place before considering security concerns because both a more related than it might seem. Most people though want to know if a place is safe first, so let’s start with that. Like any country or city, safety varies with geography. Paramaribo, the capital city and primary point of exploration for most visitors, is relatively safe. During the daylight hours many of the parts of Paramaribo you would want to visit are accessible by bike or on foot and generally the city is fairly calm.

suriname rain forest

Wandering around is relaxed and as a foreigner you’re not a spectacle or tend to draw any extra attention. After sunset, most of the streets become very quiet as offices and shops close, so walking is generally not advised. A taxi is your best option from point A to B and there are some local ride sharing apps that make arranging transportation easier.

Outside of Paramaribo, the same advice applies in many towns and other cities. Visits to the rain forest are a bit different – the concerns are more typical with being in a jungle environment. The highways that stretch across Suriname and link French Guyana and Guyana are considered risky, so be sure to put extra consideration into any potential car or bus rides toward the borders.

Why Would You Want To Visit Suriname?

Food. I mean, there are a lot of fun things to see and do in Suriname but it must be said and said again: Paramaribo is one of the best cities in the world to eat. The variety of cuisine which is hard to generalize but there are centuries of local east Asian and Pacific foods than have been imported to Suriname. Blending with the indigenous foods and ingredients that have slowly diverged into a unique culinary landscape, not entirely Asian or South American, but something all its own.

Not to mention the creole food or the countless Sunday markets that pop up with all kinds of street foods, snacks, and other treats. Really, Paramaribo is a foodie paradise. You can also head out to the nearby forests and see wildlife, including pink dolphins, monkeys, and caimans. There are local plantations and tours describing the history of Suriname, giving you more insight into the variation of people, food, and culture that exists here.

Two Questions In

Suriname might not be the top of your travel list if you’re not an adventurous traveler. That’s not to say Suriname is a difficult place but if you’re an experienced beginner or beyond, Suriname might be the next destination to put on your travel list. Though if you have any other questions, feel free to drop those in the comments below.

A Beginner’s Guide To Visiting Suriname

Suriname is a country that sees roughly 250,000 visitors per year putting it in the bottom half of all countries in terms of tourism. (Compare that to Chile’s 2 million in 2022.) The relatively small number of tourists to Suriname is not because there isn’t much to see, do, and eat here – it’s just that not a lot of people have found out about it.

Consider this short guide your introduction and invitation to South America’s diverse northern nation whose capital city might be one of the best foodie destinations worldwide.

Starting In Paramaribo

Suriname tends to be a warm, humid place most of the year, with a rainy season between April and September. Arriving around those months should keep you less wet (Suriname is 95% rain forest). Otherwise the weather is warm (30C+ highs) throughout the year due to its equatorial location. Most people arrive in Paramaribo by air and note that if you’re coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever, you will need a completed vaccination card.

paramaribo sunset

There are some good hotels in Paramaribo and they’ll run you about $75 a night. That gets you a large room and breakfast, not to mention central location.

Please Eat Here

Paramaribo might be one of the best cities in the world to eat. To get started, try some of the local roti – a flat lentil patty topped with a variety of vegetarian and meat options to your liking. For the ultra-local, make your way to Carili’s Roti Shop located in a quiet neighborhood in the center of town. Nearby there’s Jairoop and Roopram both competing roti shops if you can’t get enough of the dish.

suriname indonesian food

Another local favorite for breakfast (the smallest meal in Suriname) are the sausage and sandwiches from De Gadri. For dinner, there’s Martin House of Indian Food, and Lee’s Korean Restaurant which might be the best you’ll find outside of the Korean Peninsula. Mirosso for Indonesia flavors which might have you wondering: why am I pointing out Asian foods? The answer is these are not so much international restaurants as they are local restaurants run by generations of populations from Southeast Asia who arrived over 100 years ago.

Markets And More Street Food

Sunday is market day in Paramaribo and there’s plenty to choose from. The Chinese market is a good place to get produce and located close to De Gadri. Another, nearby market is the Kwatta Indonesian market, with more street food than you could ask for. There are also refreshing drinks like dawet, a cold coconut-based juice that’s loaded with sugar and tapioca. When you’re planning a visit to Paramaribo, try to plan your trip over at least one Sunday so you don’t miss the markets.

To get out of the city, there’s New Amsterdam, about a 45 minute drive outside of town. There you’ll see where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Suriname River, where old fort canons over look the horizon. Take a boat out on to the river to catch a glimpse of the local pink dolphins and tour the plantations to learn about Suriname’s colonial past.

This is just the beginning of all the things there are to see and do in Suriname. This short guide is more of an introduction to the country rather than a complete to do list. Remember, food, nature, and off the beaten path, Suriname has a lot to offer travelers.

The Best Places To Eat In Georgetown, Guyana

georgetown guyana cuisine

The capital of Guyana is known to be one of those places tourists need spend little time in. Although Georgetown doesn’t have the big sites of places like London or Berlin, what it does offer is a quiet culinary experience. The quality of the food in Georgetown is exceptional with a variety of creole, southeast Asian, and Caribbean flavors.

Here are some of the best places to eat in Georgetown, Guyana in no particular order.

1. Bettencourt

A local place serving up traditional Guyanese cuisine. The lines start forming during the busy lunch hour where you can order pepperpot (a cassava-based beef stew) and another local favorite, cook-up. Rice mashed with vegetables in coconut milk, topped typically with chicken or fish, service is fast even during the rush. Keep in mind there are few places to sit, it’s mostly takeout. Prices are average for Georgetown.

2. Fireside Grill

Part of the Fireside Suites, one of the best places to stay in Guyana, there’s good seafood on the barbecue and a daily menu that varies with common home foods. Swing by the early evening hours and take a look at all the hot pots, deserts, and stay for the atmosphere. Prices are above average for Georgetown.

3. Aagman

This is one of the first Indian restaurants in Guyana (which has a large local diaspora) and the preparation of the dishes are exceptional. The broths, stews, spices, and bases for the foods are made right before your meal and you can taste it. Flavors you may have only tastes hints of show their true textures at Aagman. Prices are above average for Georgetown.

4. Shanta’s Puri Shop

You don’t have to look further than the simple but staple dish, roti. Brought over from southeast Asia, there’s a little bit of a twist in the Guyanese version with no better place to try it than Shanta’s. A local favorite, it will be one of yours as well. Prices below average for Georgetown.

Just A Taste

I’ve left out other places like Oasis, a more Western cafe with good breakfast options as well as Backyard Cafe. What Georgetown lacks in things to see, it more than makes up for with street food, barbecue, and a mashup or two.

The Best Photos Of Caye Caulker Belize

caye caulker photos

The small island a few kilometers off the coast of Belize, Caye Caulker has many reputations. One for backpackers, divers, and slow travelers. In other words, there’s a little bit of something for everyone on this tiny tropical island. Although it’s only 8 kilometers long and an eighth that wide, Caye Caulker provides variety for those who come to visit.

Similarly, throughout the day Caye Caulker shines in all sorts of light. These are some of the best photos of Caye Caulker, Belize.

caye caulker pics

The view from a hammock at sunrise. Life on Caye Caulker tends to get a late start but if you’re up early, the orange skies are worth it.

great blue hole

A short plane ride away, views of the Great Blue Hole. Here’s how you can visit the Great Blue Hole too.

caye caulker pictures

Some ceviche to start the day at one of the best places to eat on Caye Caulker.

caye caulker

Getting to Caye Caulker from Belize City isn’t difficult but knowing the process beforehand makes it much easier.

caye caulker food

Breakfast on Caye Caulker.

caye caulker sunset

So many sunsets on Caye Caulker.

caye caulker sunrise

As well as sunrises.

caye caulker sunset

Perhaps you’re interested in buying your own private island nearby or just want to hang out on Caye Caulker. It’s there for you, all hours, for any type of traveler.

 

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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