The Vegan Option: Hội An

We had a unforgettable time in Hội An but the food in the South was better from what we experienced. However, we did visit many delicious restaurants in Hội An. Here are a few of them!

1. Karma Waters 

Menu board at Karma Waters!

We rode our bikes to Karma Waters one night to try their cuisine. Karma Waters is more than just a vegan restaurant. They use sustainable practices & promote eco-tourism of many kinds. The founders & most employees are vegan. Their philosophy is, "We are creating sustainable communities by providing & promoting a healthy organic vegan lifestyle". They use no sugar or MSG. They serve vegan meals to the homeless and provide vegan education to children in the community.

We had the vegetable thali, which has an assortment of the daily curries and dahls, & we tried the stir-fried vegetables with noodles. We really enjoyed the food. I wish we stayed in Hoi An longer because you can order whole cakes from Karma Waters to take home!

Next time. We will definitely return to Hội An!

2. Am Vegetarian Restaurant

We stumbled upon this place accidentally while looking for another vegan restaurant. Am is new (opened shortly before we went) and we are glad we found it! It has an elegant & comforting vibe. The staff is lovely and attentive. The owner came out to talk with us. She and her husband lived in Northern California for awhile and she opened the restaurant in Hoi An recently because of her love for vegan food and vegan living. We wish we could've tried more dishes!

Món gỏi đu đủ - Green Papaya Salad from a food stall in Hoi An.

During the day, the streets are lined with markets of all kinds selling fresh produce and foods. There's an indoor food market that hosts 100s of various food vendors selling local, fresh cuisine and we read on Happy Cow that one of the vendors is vegan-friendly, so we tried it out.

This is true local dining. As soon as you walk in, your business is being sought after by vendors that compete for business all day long. We sifted through the crowd to find the Miss Thuy sign and sat at the counter for service.

I wasn't feeling well so I ordered a green papaya salad (Món gỏi đu đủ) and Pete ordered a large vegetable soup with tofu. Both were prepared fresh in front of us. The salad was unreal - various textures (crunchy, my favorite!) and the flavors were fresh and varied. I ordered a second!

If you don't mind the possible cross-contamination with animal products, this was a nice way to experience a true local experience & to get fresh-made local cuisine.

 Pete's yummy veggie soap with tofu from Miss Thuy's Vegetable Food Stall in Hoi An.

Pete's yummy veggie soap with tofu from Miss Thuy's Vegetable Food Stall in Hoi An.

4. Minh Hien Quan Chay Vegetarian

Minh Hien is a hip spot for vegetarian food. It was packed! We had to wait for a table and there was a wait the whole time we dined. The restaurant is lined with shelves of books and the tables have glass tabletops. Customers can slide photos, notes, business cards and more under each table. 

One of our favorite parts is that they serve pints of cold local beer which is served for 3000 Vietnamese dong (about $0.10). And it's delicious! The food is amazing too! We tried the Pho and Pete had some tofu dish that I didn't pay attention to because I don't like tofu. The dish looked like it could've used some veggies though. Overall, the place had a great vibe and we enjoyed our visit.

Com Chay

 I loved getting a fresh late-night snack from the corn street vendors!

I loved getting a fresh late-night snack from the corn street vendors!

We went to a couple of other local com chay (vegetarian food) restaurants that were okay... nothing too spectacular. Having just left Saigon and Vung Tau, where the food is to die for, Hoi An was mediocre in comparison. It was great to have so many options, though. There are a lot of small, traditional restaurants that we tried that aren't mentioned here.

I enjoyed getting corn on the cob from vendors on the streets selling it freshly roasted... it's delicious and a perfect late-night snack!

When we return to Vietnam, we'll definitely have to start in Saigon to get our fill of vegan pho before spending time in Hội An, enjoying the beaches, ambience, people & Ancient Town.

Rima Danielle Jomaa

Rima is an entrepreneur, psychotherapist & yoga teacher from LA. She hosts the "The Rima the Jungle Girl" podcast from her jungle house in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, where she lives the life of her dreams every single day. You can find her or on Instagram @rima_danielle.