Da Nang is famed for beaches and nightlife, so it may come as a surprise to hear that the town is also deeply religious. Most residents are Buddhists, which means there are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in town. Here are some great places for wonderful Vietnamese meat-free fare.
Lien Hoa is a family-run, wheelchair-accessible restaurant, which offers more than 120 vegetarian dishes. Must-try dishes include banh nam (rice flour and mushroom dumplings), vegetarian pho (made with vegetable broth, tofu, and seitan, instead of meat), and their selection of che cung dinh (sweet soup) desserts. There is an English menu, but only 20 dishes have been translated into English.
A vegan restaurant that not only serves food but also organizes homestays and delivers homemade, organic, vegan, products, Karma Waters is one of the better-known eateries in Da Nang. Founded by a small group of like-minded vegans, the restaurant has been around for 10 years and serves dishes like turmeric rice, seaweed soup, spicy rice cracker salads, and dragonfruit smoothies.
Hy Lac’s speciality is mi Quang, a type of rice noodle cooked with turmeric. The vegetarian version is served in a bowl with peanuts, crispy slices of fried tofu, vegetables, and lime juice. The dish is usually served on special occasions in Vietnam, but at Hy Lac it is so affordable and addictive that it deserves to be a daily staple.
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Thuy serves the usual rice, noodle, vegetable, and pastry dishes, but it is their Cao lau that really stands out. Cao lau is a noodle dish characterized by a unique, springy texture that is allegedly caused by the unique qualities of the water in Hoi An (a nearby town). The noodles are usually served with pork, but at Thuy, customers get to enjoy their Cao lau with fried tofu, red chilli, and bean sprouts.
Situated in the city center, this spacious restaurant has arguably the best atmosphere out of Da Nang’s many vegetarian restaurants. There is less of a hole-in-the-wall feel, which might disappoint some diners looking for an “authentic” experience, but on the whole this restaurant is ideal for large groups or families.