Category Archives: Com Chay
A truly awesome find hidden towards the end of District 1 and Binh Thanh district. Although a bit on the pricey end of the vegetarian spectrum, the service is excellent and the sesame seed deep fried mushrooms are spectacular. Despite the bright fluorescent lighting, it’s very clean and they have a comprehensive menu with a lot of dishes you probably won’t find elsewhere in Saigon. Also, if you’re a strict or new vegetarian that wants some encouragement, there’s a huge list of famous people who were vegetarian spanning Gautama Buddha all the way to Albert Shweitzer and Richard Gere.
Address of Loving Hut Hoa Đăng is:
38 Huynh Khuong Ninh, P DaKao, Q1
Âu Lạc 2 – 530 Huỳnh Tấn Phát Street ; District 7, Bình Thuận Ward
Âu Lạc 2 is our next Veggie Venue blog entry. This eatery is larger and more modern than most Com Chay eateries, yet cheaper and more informal than most vegetarian restaurants. We might say that this place is somewhere between eatery/cafeteria and restaurant. The prices are moderate to low — depending on what you are comparing them to. Probably most would consider these prices to be low, but in the world of veggie eateries in the city, we would probably classify it as moderate/affordable.
This place has modern, almost trendy, white tables and chairs. The venue has a clean and roomy environment. It is located on a large, busy street in east D7. The menu had many pages. Therefore, I didn’t bother to take pics of the whole menu. Also, I chose not to order from the menu, instead taking the standard Com Chay dish with soup… only adding the vegan version of “those thingies” that they wrap in banana leaves. (Sorry, I forgot the name of this — it’s Banh-something.) The menu did not have an English translation at the time of the writing of this blog entry. As you find in most Com Chay eateries, the “buffet” here is not self-service but you can often point at what you want and don’t want.
I can recommend this cafeteria-restaurant for people who are already passing through the area (eastern district 7 near the Nguyen Van Quy Highway).
Here is a little map of D4-Saigon and its Cơm Chay eateries. There might be a few left that I haven’t discovered, but there can’t be many more than this (July 2011), because I have really searched hard by foot, bicycle, xe om — you name it. I have not included the cafes and restaurants that have some veggie items (or even veggie pages). For sake of map clarity, only the true vegan/veggie places of the vietnamese variety have been included. More info about these eateries are in the “Veggie Venue” list tab.
Tiệm Cơm Chay “Âu Lạc”
60 Tân Vĩnh Street; District 4, Ward 6.
I’m kicking myself for overlooking this place for three months! This is a spacious, clean, friendly and affordable little place that I can easily recommend to all you vedge-heads. It is just over the Ong Lanh Bridge from D1. I was pretty much passing it almost every day when riding into D1. If you are on a bike or in a car coming over the bridge (Cau Ong Lanh), you will need to double back because the street that brings you from the bridge to Tan Vinh street is divided.
Not only was the food good and fresh in this roomy relaxing cafeteria, but they also have large amounts of vegan products that you can buy and take home.
They have , just as examples:
- Vegan fish sauce
- Vegan deer meat, fish, squid, pork, chicken, shredded meat, etc etc
- Vegan hot dogs
- Vegan canned products
This is a new place that just opened in May 2011. You should try it. Menu still in Vietnamese only right now, but they may add an english one. You should be able to find a waiter to help you though. Moderate/very reasonable pricing. Good food and friendly owner and waiters. Room for larger groups.
There are various things on the menu including Thai dishes, etc. It is a Vegan Restaurant. This place is very new and clean. The prices are under control and when we went as a group with people from Couchsurfing.org , there was still a 20% discount going on back then as well. If you decide to go with a group, consider calling a reservation and maybe they might be ready to give you a group discount. They even have vietnamese beer.
- 124-126 Nguyễn Cư Trinh; District 1, Nguyễn Cư Trinh Ward
(August 2011): Now they have delivery! You can even order by the net: http://www.eat.vn/en/hoakhai (Districts 1,3,4, and 5 at the moment) from 7:15 am to 22:00 pm everyday
Some vegetarians and veggie-loving folk from the Saigon Couchsurfers group have planned a meeting for dinner in a new veggie place in District 1 on Tuesday.
The place/time is:
Hao Khai – 124-6 Nguyen Cu Trinh, Dist 1.
|Date:||May 31st, 2011 – 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm|
Here are the Couchsurfing threads about this meeting:
and here is the event: http://www.couchsurfing.org/meetings.html?mid=116973
Also, a new subgroup of the SaiGon group on CouchSurfers has formed. It is “SaiGon Vegetarians”: http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=42390
Veggie Venue 5 – “Ngoc Tho” ; 175/9 Pham Ngu Lao, district 1
This place has been reviewed by a lot of travelers. I suggest you do a search on “Ngoc Tho, 175/9 Pham Ngu Lao”, and read some of the blogs and reviews. A pretty good one to help give you an idea is: http://ilovemyveg.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html
When I took my table, there was only one other table with diners. By the time I finished, all the tables were full — I suspect with people on their way home from work. The service was friendly, and the food was middle-priced and very tasty. I wanted to try so many things, but stuck to bean tacos and a small clay-pot of steamed/fried vegetables. I am sure I will be stopping by this place pretty often. The location is right in there on a drivable side-alley off of Pham Ngu Lao. That’s the same alley that has Le Pub and another veggie spot. “Ngoc Tho” is the one that is NOT across from Le Pub, but rather a bit closer to Pham Ngu Lao Street proper.
I plan to try the fried mushrooms next time! I heard good things about them.
The pics of what I ate will be added here shortly.
Veggie Venue 4 – Quan An “Thien Tan” ; 17-19 Ton Dan Street, district 4, ward 13
This eatery is at the top of Ton Dan street in D4. To give you an idea, the closest bridge (cau) is Khanh Hoi, which connects D1 with D4 at the Vung Tao ferry port. This is not a strictly veggie place but the vegetarian section is big and has plenty of choices, so i decided to tell you about this place.
I have eaten here 2 times so far and I plan to eat here often. It isn’t too far from my place, the portions are big, the prices are good, the selection is big, and the staff is friendly. They have a menu translated into english, but for some reason, they didnt includ the Chay section, so I have sort of translated it for you here below. (prices are from now — May 2011). Sorry for the lack of diacritical marks, but you can see them in the photo.
Cac Mon Chay (Vegetarian Dishes)
- hu tiu xao 35,000
- stirred-fried big rice noodles
- mi xao gion 35,000
- stir-fried deep-fried-noodles with mushrooms & vegetables
- mi xao mem 35,000
- stir-fried noodles with mushrooms & vegetables
- bun gao xao thap cam 35,000
- stir-fried thin-dry-rice noodles
- mien xao thap cam 40,000
- stir-fried thin-dry-rice noodle jumble
- com chien duong chao 33,000
- Chinese fried rice 1
- com xao thap cam 35,000
- Chinese fried rice 2
- do xao thap cam 35,000
- stir-fried mixed vegetables (no noodle) – would have meat on a normal menu
- cai thia xao 16,000
- stir-fried Chinese cabbage
- bong cai xao 22,000
- stir-fried Vietnamese cauliflower
- rau muong xao 16,000
- stir-fried water spinach
- nam thap cam xao 35,000
- stir-fried mushroom
Here are the condiments they have out on all the tables. The tables and condiments are kept clean. There is an air-conditioned room too. Sometimes the A/C room is open and sometimes it isn’t. You may be surprised as you entrer the eatery, that you walk through the kitchen to get inside. Below, are pics of the first 2 dishes that I ate here (2nd and 5th on the Chay page of the menu), and the other pic is the “Rau” (vegetables) page.
Phap Quang: 31 Ton That Thuyet; District 4, Ward 18
I found another veggie spot (Com Chay) in district 4. This one, called Phap Quang, is in the southeast corner of this triangular-island district of SaiGon that we call simply “District 4” (Quan.4/Q.4). This street is the southern border of the district – running the full length of the canal along the longest side of the D4 triangle. This locale is quite close to the southeast corner… just a bit before the bridge in the corner and the 2 little parks found there.
This was the second time I have eaten here. The first time I was here, I didn’t have my phone with me (and therefore no camera). This place is really cheap (15,000 dong for a nice sized plate and a small soup). The first time I came here, it was midday and she must have given me 3 cold Vietnamese teas. This time, I was there at dusk and it was much cooler. She didn’t bring any tea and she must have seen that I was kinda in a rush and I had all of my dogs with me, so they set up a table for me on the sidewalk. If I had asked for a tea, of course I would have gotten one. This place isn’t the cleanest and the food mostly tastes average, but it is Com Chay and it is cheap (and I felt good after both meals). The fake meat reminds me of real meat so much, that I don’t like it too much… but I tell myself it isn’t meat and surely it doesn’t have meat broth added to it. surely they would do that.
Overall, I recommend it for the price, the soup, the tea, the serving size, and the fast service. Weak points: main courses are, let’s say “average” and this locale might be a BIT “ghetto” for some. The Com Chay in D4 that you can find in an earlier entry on SaiGon Vegetarian (located on Huang Dieu Street), seems to have a little bigger selection, is less “ghetto”, and is only a bit more expensive (still very cheap). That place on Huang Dieu Street is also pretty much in the middle of D4 and not far from the bridges to D1. I plan on frequent both of these eateries.
The order of these eateries are not in any order. If anything, the order is semi-chronological (in the sense of the order in which I went to the place and gathered info and photos, etc).
This isn’t the first eatery with vegetarian food that i have tried, but it is the most recent one, so I will start with it.
NAME: “Sai Gon – The Spiritual Vegetarian”
LOCATION: 138 Bui Vien Street;
(Pham Ngu Lao (backpacker’s) area of District 1)
This place, in fact, isn’t strictly veggie. That doesn’t bother me so much, so I tried the veggie spring-rolls. I really liked them. I didn’t try anything more because of a lack of time and wasn’t all that hungry. Below is a pic of the dish after i had already eaten a bit. After the pic, I devoured the whole plate.
I imagine that I will be trying more dishes here in the future. I might add info here after that. If you have eaten here and want to add anything, please add a comment or mail me. Thanks!
Below is the veggie part of the menu. There are plenty of other meatless offerings outside of the veggie section as well (like pasta and pizza just as an example).