Thai cuisine can be quite meat heavy and can focus a lot on chicken, pork and fish – which might make you think that it is difficult to find vegetarian food while in Bangkok. However, the good news is that this is not true – Bangkok is actually a great place to be a vegetarian and there are plenty of delicious dishes you can enjoy.
A wide range of Thai restaurants will have dishes for vegetarians and there are plenty of international restaurants with lots of choice too. However, before you go you should know a few things – here are some important tips for vegetarians in Bangkok.
How Thai People Define Vegetarianism
It is important to know that the definition of "vegetarian" in Thailand might be different than in your home country. The term "MangSaWirat" loosely translates to mean that you don't eat any pieces of meat or seafood. However, it doesn't apply to meat stock or fish sauce. You might find that a dish labelled as vegetarian will include sauce or stock made from animals, so be aware of this.
If you really want to avoid the sauces and stocks and make it clear that you don't eat any animal products, you might want to use the term "Jay" which means vegan. This is a person who eats no meat, seafood or any animal by-products. This is the term you should use if you want to play it safe and make sure that no animals were harmed in the making of your lunch.
Also, when you are ordering your food you can say "Mai Gin Neua Sat", which means that you want your food to contain no meat whatsoever. If there is fish sauce, you can say "no fish sauce please" by asking for "Mai Ow Nam Bplaa".
The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Bangkok
While many of the popular dishes can be ordered without meat, it is nice to go to a dedicated vegetarian restaurant once in a while so that you know that you can eat everything on the menu. There are plenty of great vegetarian restaurants to choose from in Bangkok, so if you are looking for somewhere to go here are a few ideas to get you started:
Ariya Organic Café
This Bangkok wellness centre has a lovely café that serves a range of tasty vegan organic food, including veggie sushi, smoothies, fresh juices, raw crackers and desserts. They offer fresh and all natural ingredients and many of the dishes are raw, so that they offer even more health benefits.
May Veggie Home
This restaurant is conveniently located close to Terminal 21 and it was reported to be all vegan by the Happy Cow vegetarian guide. The dishes served include tofu green curry, masaman king oyster curry, veggie burgers, fried rice with tom yum soup, fresh fruit, and soya milk and herbal drinks.
Tikki South Indian Restaurant
A lot of Indian food is naturally vegetarian, so if you want to feast on soft and warm naan bread, delicious curries and fluffy pilau rice you will find it here. Located in Bangrak, Tikki is a well-known and very high quality Indian restaurant.
Arawy Thai Vegetarian Restaurant
Here you will find an overflowing buffet of food, offering you plenty of mouth-watering selection. Try the red brown rice, the stir fried bamboo shoots or the pickled mustard greens with eggs... all delightfully flavourful and very healthy.
Kob Chai 1
If you are looking for a cheap and friendly spot to grab a quick lunch, check out this vegan Thai restaurant. It offers a range of dishes including rice soup, red curry, green curry, noodles, savory mushrooms, tofu and much more. You can wash it down with a selection of Thai herbal drinks.
If you are hungry for a great vegetarian meal in Bangkok, these are a few of the places where you will find delicious meat-free dishes. Sticking with a vegetarian diet can be difficult when you travel, but luckily Bangkok offers plenty of options for healthy and tasty food.
Have you discovered any great vegetarian spots in Bangkok? Let us know your tips in the comments below!