Vegetarianism in Thailand – Was It A Challenge ?

Thailand is known for their spicy fragrant dishes with many vegetables, herbs and meats/seafood. From Tom Yum Goong(spicy shrimp soup) to Tom Khai Kai(chicken in coconut soup) to Gaeng Keow Wan Kai(chicken green curry). So many delicious options, and YUM! can’t wait to eat it all, but one problem for a vegetarian… they all contain meat ! Yikes. How does one survive ? Well let me tell you.

Did you know there are actually many vegetarian options on a lot of Thai menus ? I didn’t. And I was quite surprised to find this out. You got your Pad Thai with tofu(Thai style noodles), Khao Pad with just vegetables & egg(Thai fried rice) and even Gaeng Daeng with rice & tofu(red curry). Shoot, you can even have some Thai spring rolls with your side of blue rice … and fries. That’s what I did, haha. Check out the picture below from the vegetarian restaurant called Aum.

Vegetarian Only Restaurants

I didn’t think this would be a thing in Thailand for some reason… but there are actual veg only restaurants all over the place ! One of my favorite places is called Taste From Heaven in the old city of Chiang Mai. They have so many veg options, it’s crazy ! They even have a large assortment of western dishes too if you’re missing something from home, like grilled cheese or a chocolate brownie. I ordered soup even though it was almost 90 something degrees outside, but it was so damn good. It was also right down the street from my hotel which was super convenient to walk to.

The Fruits of Thailand

And if all else fails, eat lots and lots of fruit ! Thailand has some of the best fruit I have ever had ever ever ever, from green skinned oranges that are great in a orange shake, to the most flavorful watermelon I’ve ever had, to many tropical fruits like lychee, mangosteen, rambutan, jackfruit, mango & pineapple !

 

Hotel Breakfast Buffets

Some of our hotels had breakfast buffets included with our stay with endless vegetarian options ! Every buffet we visited had such a large assortment of fruits. We had fresh fruit almost every morning and I truly miss that. There was also Thai fried rice, thai style noodles with no meat, breads, juices, pancakes, waffles, etc. One of our hotels even had a omelet station and you can add so many veggies to your omelet !

Resources

I wanted to give a quick shout out to HappyCow because it’s such a wonderful website that came in handy in Thailand. It lists all the vegan/vegetarian restaurants near you. So if you’re hanging out in a specific city, you can use this website to search where the closest veg restaurant is closest to you !

Another great website is TripAdvisor – you’re able to do the same thing as HappyCow, just search by location and choose a cuisine and/or dietary restriction

-Alicia !