Anyway, back to the main point: where might a vegan eat in Hanoi, Vietnam?
Fortunately, in Hanoi, we have Loving Hut restaurants. YES, we do! Loving Hut is definitely a safe haven for vegans around the world. It's a one sure place where vegans can enjoy their meal without having to be suspicious about the food brought to the table haha (or maybe it's just me heh)
And this beautiful, welcoming sign:
Ok so, the word "chay" is translated literally as "vegetarian" in English. "Vegan" means "thuần chay" in Vietnamese. I don't think the word "thuần chay" is even a common word in Vietnam because I only knew it when I'm vegan and in Vietnam haha. A piece of advice here, if you travel to Vietnam and go to eat somewhere, you should say "Tôi ăn chay" literally meaning "I eat vegetarian food" in English and then explain further about what you cannot eat by saying "I cannot eat eggs and dairy products" which means "Tôi không ăn được trứng và các đồ ăn làm từ sữa" in Vietnamese.
Now, I understand that you will probably not be able to speak Vietnamese, so just copy and paste this onto Note on your iPhone or whatever application you may have on your phone and show it to the person you talk to.
I was only in England for about five years, but since I rarely spoke to any Vietnamese students, my Vietnamese is quite bad right now.. Especially because I think in English, so it's like I'm translating it back to Vietnamese sometimes. However, at least I can help you guys with some simple translations. Hence, if you are coming to Vietnam and need a bad translator, hit me up haha.
Here comes the exciting part: food!
I think there are two Loving Hut restaurants in Hanoi, but I have only been to the one on Quán Thánh Street. Love that place. There are many things to choose from on the menu: all kind of Vietnamese noodles, rice and a variety of dishes to have to rice.
|Mom bought bún riêu from Loving Hut home for me hehe|
You must try the "bún riêu" - I do not know how to translate this to English, so just go with the Vietnamese name, ok? - which is a Vietnamese rice vermicelli soup that should have crab paste, tofu and other fresh herbs on top and the broth has sort of a nice tangy or sour taste, but at Loving Hut, this was veganised and the crab paste is made out of tofu. The plate of fresh salad leaves and bean sprouts on the side is for you to put into this noodle dish as you eat. Highly recommend this noodle dish if you want to have a taste of Vietnamese street food.
|Bún thịt nướng (the one at both end of the photo, not one in the middle)|
Also, I would recommend trying "bún thịt nướng" as well, which is also a Vietnamese street food that has "grilled meat" (made of bean curd I think) served with fresh salad leaves and bean sprouts, of course you cannot not have this dish without the special "fish sauce".
The day after I came back, my mom and I went to Loving Hut and I have this rice dish which was served in a pot, it has "chicken" (made of bean curd) and lemongrass.
I love lemongrass in food. It brings out a fresh scent and taste to the dish.
Yesterday, my mom bought me bún riêu and also some delicious spring rolls from Loving Hut for me. Best mom!
Look at how much much stuffing there is in the spring rolls! Delicious! With Vietnamese spring rolls, you also eat them with "fish sauce". Yeah, we Vietnamese are obsessed with fish sauce, we put it in almost everything. Not for me though. For me, it's a take-it-or-leave-it kind of thing.. However, there are certain Vietnamese dishes that fish sauce is of the essence. Fortunately, there is veggie fish sauce. I do not have this at home because it would be a waste on me, but it is nice to have it with your favourite food when you are out.
As I mentioned earlier, there are more than one Loving Hut restaurants in Hanoi, so here are the restaurant names (in bold), addresses (in italic) and opening hours:
- Loving Hut Thế Giới Chay Số 4 Ngõ 192 Quán Thánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội _ Opening hours 07:30 - 21:30
- Loving Hut Nguồn Cội Số 3 Ngách 10 Ngõ 121 Phố Chùa Láng, Đống Đa, Hà Nội _ Opening hours 10:00 - 14:00 & 17:00 - 21:00
Click on this website here if you would like more information about Loving Hut restaurants not only in Hanoi, but also other cities n Vietnam.
Like I said, I have only been to the first one on the address list - the one on Quán Thánh Street. Also, you can see that the names and addresses are in Vietnamese because I think it will be much easier to just show these addresses to someone, rather than trying to explain them in English.
Further information: at the Loving Hut on Quán Thánh Street, they do buffet on the 1st and 15th of every month according to the Lunar calendar. I have never tried their buffet, but I do not see why not. You will have a chance to try at least 24 dishes. The price is 100,000VND per person which is equivalent to about £3 (I just checked this. Shockingly cheap!)
This is the end of this lengthy post featuring only one restaurant haha More to come if I'm not lazy.
Hope you find this post helpful and happy travelling!
*If you are coming to Hanoi or just Vietnam in general, let me know if you need any help. Not that I know much (yet), but I will try to help*
.All photos are mine.