Hoi An for Vegetarians/Veggie Lovers

It feels weird to introduce the options for vegetarian restaurants in Hoi An after a blog post with recipe of 4-kilo smoked beef. But then again we thought the beginning of the year would be the perfect time to try to lead a healthy lifestyle and explore something different. Among all the culinary varieties that Hoi An has to offer, our guests are often quite interested in the many vegetarian places around town. We cannot write a better guide for you than our friends over at Hoi An Now, so here it is, all the amazing vegetarian options for your taste buds.

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In general Vietnam is a great place for vegetarians. Vietnamese cuisine offers many meat-free options and, in Hoi An, most international menus have a vegetarian section. Indian, Mexican, Japanese and Italian are favored by local vegetarians in particular but there are several dedicated vegetarian restaurants as well that are so good that vegetarians and omnivores visit in equal measure. From strictly vegan to mouth-watering cream and cheese sauces; from soups and steaming hotpots to deep-fried delights and incomparable desserts – and it’s all often for a fraction of the prices elsewhere. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you’re not a vegetarian then dedicated veggie restaurants aren’t for you!

 

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Roughly-hewn wooden furniture and wafting ‘Om’ mantras humming in the air immediately soothe the soul. The whole space is a design triumph, more befitting New York or Paris in a funky Buddhist way. With mains around 40,000 VND Am is the classiest, cheap setting in town.

Mushrooms, tofu, salads, soups and hotpot dishes with ever so fresh ingredients are deftly spiced revealing intriguing combinations of flavor and texture. For many, Hoi An’s premier Vegetarian Restaurant.

33D Ly Thai To; +84 (0)902 763 717; 9am-9pm 

 

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Annen’s laid-back outdoor style invites you to relax. Incredibly this comfortable setting has nothing on the menu over 45,000 VND! Standouts include the refreshing and light, Sup An Niem (Annen soup) and Cha Gio – incredibly moreish, fried spring rolls.

The ubiquitous stir-fried noodles with vegetables and tofu is one of the tastiest anywhere in Vietnam – a colorful concoction of fresh, crunchy carrots, green beans, red cabbage, onion, bean sprouts and button mushrooms packed together with lightly crisped tofu and soft noodles laced with soy sauce.

320 Nguyen Duy Hieu; +84 (0)510 3861 919

Co Dam

Vegan restaurant, Co Dam, is one of the cheapest in Hoi An. No names or menus, just choose from the six or so dishes of the day.  Favored by Vietnamese locals not just for price (between 15,000 and 30,000 VND!) but also for authenticity. Many dishes resemble meat counterparts mirroring pork belly or chicken legs for example, in time-honored Vietnamese tradition.

The setting may be basic but this is the real taste of Vietnam – piquant and moderately spicy.

20, 71 Phan Chu Trinh; (close 8pm)

Jack's Cat Cafe, Hoi An. Ginger cat descending. _opt (14)

You share Jack’s Cafe with 70+ rescued cats who roam freely over an exquisite garden courtyard and even through ‘runs’ in the kitchen and other indoor areas. With so many cats its ideal for children. The menu changes regularly running from snacks like guacamole on rye, egg curry salad and crispy tofu and coleslaw wrap. Great coffee and fruit juices.

Small donation requested for cat welfare center. See http://www.vietnamcatwelfare.org/jacks-cat-cafe/ for availablity.

Take lane opposite 12 Le Hong Phong (not far from corner on the right); +84 (0)97 583 25 15

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In addition to local fare the menu has a large selection of Indian and International cuisine and plenty of healthy juices. The Karma Waters’ Veggie Burger’s one of the best-value meals in Hoi An and many seasoned expats rate Karma Waters among their favorites.

No MSG, no sugar, no alcohol, no smoking. All dishes are vegan and home delivery is available. Note: closes 8pm

213 Nguyen Duy Hieu; +84 (0)510 3927 632; 10am-8pm

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Minh Hien with its indoor, outdoor feel is a nifty place to ogle passers-by on Tran Cao Van. Delicate pumpkin slices, firm yet succulent; pork-free Cau Lau noodles swimming alongside fresh mint, salad vegetables and mushrooms; and sweet and sour straw mushrooms, moderately fired up with chili set the scene.

Vegetarian or otherwise, Minh Hien’s place as one of Hoi An’s leading value-for-money restaurants, is assured.

50 Tran Cao Van; +84 (0)932 403 905; 9am-10pm

A kissing cousin of the original Minh Hien on Tran Cao Van – this inexpensive vegetarian restaurant is great value for money. The lightly curried pumpkin and the wonton soups are favorites and the very spicy salad of green banana, mushroom, various greens, bean sprouts and chili is a knockout – literally.

At Minh Hien 2 the owners’ gentle spirituality permeates the service and is part of a package that’ll make you want to return.

30A Dinh Tien Hoang; +84 (0) 932 403 905; 9am-9.30pm

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Frenchman Julien Prete brings European class to Nomad Cafe with scrumptious salads drizzled with zesty dressings and pastas with unique, homemade sauces. Other parts of the menu change weekly following Mediterranean or East Asian traditions always retaining Julien’s trademark flair.

Perhaps Hoi An’s closest to urban chic cafe foodwise. From Thai green curry to chapazza and focaccia; from empanadillas stuffed with fetta and mixed salad to penne with roast vegetables. Unique juice blends also highly recommended.

6 Le hong Phong; +84 (0) 907 489 129

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Two 4-course set-menus lead the way (exceptional value starting from 70,000 VND). P & B is at the yummy, some might say naughty, end of vegetarian cuisine. Think deep-fried okra, spaghetti with a cream and mushroom sauce, cheese garnishes and lightly seasoned, fried potato medallions.

Stay away  if in a hurry but, if you have the time, it’s one of the best value-for-money feasts going. So, what’s keeping you?

An Bang Beach; +84 (0)905 159 567

Holiday Season ’16

We often joke how funny it is that we hospitality people only start our holiday once our guests have gone back to work. This year, our holiday feels so much different though. As we hugged our new year groups good bye and slowly took down the holiday decorations, we all felt a slight holiday hangover. As if our holiday has been over too. As if we are sending our friends off after such a fun party and not really sure when would be the next time we meet.

For us here at Heron House, this holiday season was truly about reunions. It was a father and daughter visiting his other beloved daughter and son-in-law in Vietnam from Africa and Europe. It was a high school reunion of three friends with their wives and kids who were living all over the world. It was a long-overdue family vacation with a lot of board games and laughter. It was exploring new places and making new friends for a pilot’s family. And for us as well, we got to welcome our two Greek friends into our home after meeting them at their home in Leros in our last summer vacation.

It was a special time for all of us. We hugged and drank and laughed and shared stories. I know Loic felt quite sad for not being with his family and friends for yet another Christmas so it was comforting to realize the number of friends we have made over the holiday.

The weather was not so kind to us over the holiday and we apologize for any hiccups you might feel during your time in Hoi An. We would like to thank you again for being a part of our holiday season and spreading the laughter and love. 2016 was a year full of challenges and difficulties but it marked a special chapter in our lives and we are happy we got to welcome the exciting new 2017 with you!

And here are some photos from our Christmas BBQ in the villa. Sorry we were so busy cooking and drinking and laughing that we did not have time for more pictures with the other groups. And thank you Quyen for stepping in and capturing these precious moments.

Our little Christmas tree with decorations from our little guests

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Delicious mulled wine to start off the nightdsc_0449

 

Clara is making special cookies for Santa Clausdsc_0464

Loic’s signature mushroom soup with truffle saucedsc_0507

Slicing open the present, our 4-kilo smoked beefdsc_0509

Our lovely guestsdsc_0529

… with Santa’s little helpersdsc_0532