Did you know Chiang Mai is the vegan capital of Asia? We didn't either but upon arrival we quickly saw the abundance of vegan and vegetarian eateries dotting the streets of the historical city. Although we aren't a vegan family, we decided it would be a unique experience to sample all the veggie delights on offer. Some of you may think vegan food must be boring, but that is far from the truth especially in Chiang Mai. The cuisines range from traditional Thai to Chinese, Burmese, and even Western. Whether you are in search of a heaping plate of pancakes, healthy brown rice and mixed vegetables, or a hearty burger, you'll find an option. We even found local specialities recreated with vegan meat and the textures had us second guessing if the tofu was actually chicken. Here are 9 of our favourite spots to eat veggie fare in Chiang Mai.
Morganic, located in the luxurious Away Resort Chiang Mai, is an award winning vegan restaurant serving creative and mouthwating vegan fare. We loved the Lanna Colonial decor and elegant marble tables perfect for a date night or intimate lunch. The menu is brimming with mouthwatering flavours and plenty of Thai influence. We loved their breakfasts with generous gourmet portions of French Toast and Waffles as well as healthy mushroom adorned congee and fragrant noodle broth. Their lunch dishes including pineapple fried rice and the regions signature Khao Soi are so flavourful you won't miss the meat component and their imitation meat created using layers of tofu almost fooled us as slices of chicken. A must dine spot for everyone, even if you aren't usually into vegetarian food.
Free Bird Cafe
This vibrant and friendly cafe is a spot you'll find yourself going again and again. We loved grabbing a corner table by the window and sitting for hours, relaxing and enjoying the delicious fare. The smoothie bowls are almost too pretty to eat and you can't miss the fragrant and unique Burmese Tea Leaf Salad. Free Bird isn't just a restaurant, it also houses a charity shop. All their proceeds go to a school which teaches refugee children, so you know you're doing two good deeds by eating vegan and helping a charity.
Pure Vegan Heaven
Born out of a passion for cruelty free food, Pure Vegan Heaven serves one of the most extensive and mouthwatering menus in Chiang Mai. We actually first ordered a few dishes for delivery and were so blown away by the flavours we decided to visit the restaurant to try more. The falafels are reliably moist and flavourful and every salad comes with veggies that are both colourful and delicious. You'll find tacos, som tum, and a range of desserts on offer so there's something for everyone. They don't use any hydrogenated oils, refined sugars or flours so you know that your meal is both mouthwatering and great for your body.
Hummus Chiang Mai
If you love Lebanese fare, this is the ideal stop for you. We can't get enough of their hummus platters, vibrant salads, delectable baba ganoush, and authentic falafel pitas. The Middle Eastern flavours will definitely satisfy your craving and the huge portions make it an easy sharing option. All their pita breads are also homemade. They aren't strictly vegan so let them know if you are and they'll ensure your requirements are met.
The Salad Concept
Two of my favourite combinations are salad and tofu and this spot does the best grilled tofu in the city. Their variety of salads are huge and flavourful, full of pulses, greens, and quinoa. They have vegan dressing that can be ordered on the side and platters with tofu steak and fragrant riceberry for heartier options. There are a huge number of carb free options if you are looking to do atkins or keto and it's not a strictly vegan restaurant so your companion can order salmon or feta on their salad. Everything is insanely healthy and flavourful and it's one of our go to lunch spots if you want to fuel up before sightseeing.
The beautiful garden is the true highlight of this vegan spot and a perfect place for a breezy evenings. Their menu is brimming with Japanese influence and they serve microbiotic, probiotic and organic fare. Unique additions to the menu include Japanese specialities such as natto beans and Japanese pickles, and our kids always devour the warming soba noodles. We love sharing the variety of hummus and pastes made with ingredients such as beetroot, mung beans, cashew and basil and their burgers are great if you are craving something more filling. The selection of vegan cheeses is a true treat and all made in house. An ideal option if you want to chill and have a few bites and drinks with family or friends.
This fun and lively spot is a great place to eat vegan, meet like minded people, and join in local events. They have the best mushroom burger in town and definitely plenty of salads to keep you trying new things every time you go. Check out their website for activities such as yoga, live music, or workshops that take place each week.
If you're looking for good vegan Thai food, Aum is a must stop spot. Chiang Mai is known for their khao soi and the one at Aum is both flavourful and authentic in its execution. Their curries with fragrant rice are also a delicious choice and we loved the veggie sushi rolls. The spot is very rustic and just next to the The Pae Gate so you can check out the Sunday Night Market after grabbing a bite.
V-Secret Homemade Vegetarian
Indulge in spicy tom yum, creamy curries, chickpea croquettes, and tempeh filled salads at this honest and humble joint. The ingredients are always fresh and reliably delicious and we loved the fiery chili sauce. They are located in a night market so you wont find many seats but it's an amazing spot to grab a quick meal. The dishes all come in at around 65 baht so a very affordable price point for vegan fare.
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