There’s a dish that automatically springs to mind when people think of Thailand: Pad Thai! It also happens to be one of my favourite dishes in the world and when I first visited Thailand in 2012 I ate Pad Thai almost everyday. Back then I wasn’t vegan, so chicken, prawns or eggs weren’t an issue and I could order whatever I wanted from the menu. This time though, with my stricter requirements it was still as easy to find amazing meals!
You might be concerned about visiting Bangkok as a vegan, but you really shouldn’t be, I’ve put together this vegan guide to Bangkok to show you just how easy it is to maintain your lifestyle.
Dairy products are not as common in Asia as the rest of the world––90% of East Asian adults are lactose intolerant for example.
How to be vegan in Bangkok:
- There are vegetable dishes on almost every menu in every restaurant. These are a great starting point.
- Vegetable dishes include: steamed vegetables, vegetable rice, vegetable noodles, vegetable Pad Thai and vegetable curries.
- Many of these dishes are already vegan––happy days! For those that aren’t––for example vegetable Pad Thai, which traditionally has fried egg mixed through it, you can simply ask for “no egg” and you will almost always be understood. You can also double check that they won’t include any shrimp paste or fish sauce (most places won’t, but it’s always good to be sure).
- For curries it’s good to check that the curry is made from coconut milk (not dairy), and that there is no egg, or shrimp paste or fish sauce used.
Dishes to try:
- Vegan Pad Thai (request vegetable Pad Thai with no egg).
- Garlic steamed vegetables (super healthy and very yum, order some brown rice on the side if you like something more filling).
- Vegetable noodles (request no egg and make sure the noodles are made from rice).
- Vegetable curries (curries in Thailand are almost always made with coconut milk and if they’re vegetarian they shouldn’t include any shrimp paste).
- Tofu curries (one thing I love about Asia is how much tofu they eat! Tofu curries have to be one of my favourite options in Bangkok).
- Tofu stir-fry (just double-check there’s no fish sauce)
According to HappyCow there are 361 vegan, vegetarian and vegetarian friendly restaurants in Bangkok! This means that if you have the option to pick where you eat, you have an abundance of options!
We were only in town for four days, so I didn’t get a chance to even scratch the surface when it came to Bangkok’s vegan scene, we did however munch our way through some amazing food. Check below for where I ate while in BKK.
Where I ate:
This place was located super close to our accomodation and made for a convenient first meal. They were more than happy to remove the egg from their vegetarian noodles. I also ordered some steamed vegetables with garlic to share with George.
The food was high quality, tasty and so good that we went back again before leaving. It’s a little costlier than other places in the area, but certainly worth it.
Being located beside Wat Po and near the Grand Palace means this little cafe gets rather busy in the day. Expect a wait if you come right on lunch time, but fortunately the wait is absolutely worth it.
The food comes out fast and it’s delicious. They were more than happy to keep the egg out of their vegetarian Pad Thai and it was one of the best I had while in Thailand.
Lauded as the “best Pad Thai in Bangkok” we though we’d better give this place a try.
We arrived early as we’d been visiting nearby Wat Po and figured it would be easier to eat then and head home to our hotel after. We arrived at 5:30pm and there was already a huge line snaking out the door! When we finally got to our seats our expectations were pretty high, and perhaps that’s why we left a little disappointed.
They were happy to do a vegan Pad Thai for us and while it was certainly good, it didn’t blow us away. Honestly we’ve eaten better Pad Thai in Cambodia.
George found this 100% vegan restaurant for us to try on our final evening in Bangkok. I was super excited to be able to order absolutely anything off the menu. May Veggie Home is a great restaurant with a huge variety of dishes including all the Thai meat-based dishes you could ever want. Neither of us were blown away by the food––we visit vegan restaurants so often that our standards have gotten quite high, however we still both had very tasty, healthy meals.
There are so many tropical fruit stalls in Bangkok––we were even lucky enough to have a market very close to our apartment. We bought and ate plenty of tropical fruit: pineapple, mango, dragonfruit and passionfruit. I love to eat a big fruit salad for breakfast, sometimes for lunch and certainly love fruit for snacks, so having those fruit stalls helps a lot!
I really just scratched the surface when it came to Bangkok, but fortunately I discovered that eating plant-based wasn’t an issue at all.
If you want to learn more about vegan options in Bangkok, I highly recommend checking out Vegan Food Quest’s information article.