Bangkok is more than just a meat eater's paradise. While vegetables get its fair share of menu love, it's about time we shined a bit more light on how delicious, not to mention versatile, they can truly be when given proper attention. We spread the glory of greens and round up the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city, from bohemian granola-peddling haunts, to meat-free Italian institutions, to cafes touting the possibilities of broccoli. Let's Vote for the restaurants that deserve the title of Time Out Bangkok Love Award for The Best Vegetarian Restaurant.
Vote for your favourite vegetarian restaurants
For more than two decades, Anothai has been a trusted friend to discerning vegetarians who demand more than stir-fried tofu. Its inventive, globetrotting menu – inspirations look to Thai, Italian, Indonesian and Japanese cuisine – finds success even with omnivores and guilt-ridden carnivores looking to improve their karma. Creative starters include stir-fried coconut sprouts with chili and kaffir lime leaves, and nori-wrapped tofu with wasabi mayo; to follow, the fried rice with pineapple and cashews, tempeh tempura, and spinach and mushroom lasagna are all flavorful treats. Finish off with freshly baked goodies from their in-house bakery – the pumpkin muffins and chocolate cake with sherry sauce are downright delicious.
Broccoli Revolution is leading the surge against the earthy-crunchy reputation usually associated with meatless places. Located a few hundred meters from the Thonglor BTS station, this casual spot features bench seating along one wall, a communal table in the center, and smaller tables along the periphery. The plant-based, vegan menu consists of hearty salads, sandwiches with cashew cheese, Thai dishes with a modern, vegan flair, and a bestselling broccoli and quinoa burger slapped in between charcoal buns. It would be in your best interest to stay for dessert – the banoffee pie and homemade soy ice cream are guiltlessly indulgent.
Its location in the Bangkok Mediplex Building on Sukhumvit Soi 42 might be uninspired, but the meat-free Thai menu does more than enough to pull in the local veggie crowd. Start with something raw (fresh spring rolls or mixed veggies salad with peanut sauce) before trying one of the hearty mains such as red “duck” curry with tofu or kanom jeen gaeng het (soft rice noodles covered in mushroom curry) To finish, the Banana Cereal Cream (grilled banana with sweet gravy and coconut milk) is a guaranteed sugar high. As you’d expect, there are plenty of smoothies and fruit juices to drink.
Long-standing Italian restaurant Govinda silences detractors of vegetarianism by proving that meat-free dining can also be filling, flavorful and oh-so-indulgent. Many classic Italian dishes are present and accounted for: ravioli, melanzane parmigiana, minestrone, insalata cappricciosa and pizza salami (with soy sausage, of course). Pastas are homemade and egg-free, and the gnocchi and risotto gluten-free. Mozzarella cheese is abundant and liberally tops the thin-crust pizzas, although soy-cheese substitutes are also available.
Bangkok’s bohemian contingent and hippie tourists love this vibrant venue and its worn-in, carefree look. The massive menu is a creative, colorful ensemble of vegetarian and vegan world dishes with pitch-perfect flavoring – aloo gobi with dal and rice, for instance, or tempeh veggie burgers with a piquant mustard sauce, or herby falafel. Come for breakfast and dig into gluten-free pancakes or fresh muesli. Everything is best taken with one of their decadent lassis, dairy-free fruit shakes (try the chai coconut masala) or sips of warm kombucha.
Unlike new-wave herbivore hangouts, this mature Asoke spot makes no attempt to cloak tofu and meat substitutes in elaborate disguises. Instead, May Veggie Home makes a virtue of modest ambitions with vegan takes on old-school Thai and Western comfort food. The mock meat dishes like yum tuna foo (crispy vegetarian tuna with sweet and sour mango dressing) and vegetarian tonkotsu are convincing, although the straight vegetarian fare, the signature bean burger and mieng bai cha (tea leaf salad with crunchy beans and herbs in signature dressing) in particular, hold a bit more superiority. Don’t forget to try the rice milk shakes.
There’s a raw food solution to any craving at Rasayana. Pasta? Check, in the form of chewy and satisfying zucchini noodles topped with a fresh and spicy marinara sauce. Pizza? Oh yes. The mushroom pizza has a flaxseed and mushroom base and is topped with sauce and vegetables. One of the tastiest entrees is the nut loaf made with almonds, fresh vegetables, herbs and spice. While the savories are satisfying enough, the ambrosial after-meal treats should not be ignored. Try the lemon tart, a treat hinging on macadamia, lime, and coconut or the banoffee pie with nuts, dates, banana and cacao. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
This humble-looking Indian eatery is renowned for its spicy curries, amazing thali specials and authentic Indian sweets. The food is purely vegetarian and the prices are low enough to inspire greedy ordering. A starter of raj kachori (fried flour ball filled with baked lentils and spices, and topped with yogurt and tangy sauces) comes highly recommended; otherwise, sample uttapam (rice and black lentil pancake) or paneer pakora. Main courses range from familiar muttar paneer and daal Makhani through to paneer haryali tikka (cottage cheese cubes marinated in green sauce and cooked in a tandoor). Wash it all down with a mango lassi or a masala Pepsi.