Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities in Asia
We’ve scoured Asia and selected the most vegan-friendly cities. Did your favorite city make the cut?
1. TAIPEI, TAIWAN
This year, Taipei takes the top spot on PETA’s list, thanks in part to its array of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants.
Included among Taipei’s all-vegan eateries are Ooh Cha Cha—where compassionate diners can get everything from a “bacon and cheese” burger and Caesar salad to Vietnamese bánh mì, among other delicious dishes—and Soul R. Vegan Café, which offers matcha-and-walnut waffles drizzled with chocolate sauce, black pepper vegan sirloin steak, Italian fried “prawns,” and even nondairy caramel crème brûlée. Foodies can also hit up About Animals—which serves vegan burgers with wasabi mayo as well as “hot dogs” and “bacon” sandwiches—and Vege Creek, which makes a customizable Taiwanese-style soup. Loving Hut offers kimchi hot pots, mixed-grill skewers, and a variety of nondairy cheesecakes, while VegeTable prepares meat-free Japanese-style dishes.
Looking for vegan guilty pleasures? Check out Fresh Bakery & Cafe Taipei—the city’s first vegan bakery, which creates scrumptious Black Forest gâteau and coffee cakes and even “cheese”-stuffed breads and red-bean mooncakes—and at Vegan Heaven, which stuns visitors with its macaroons, lemon-and-salted-caramel chocolate tarts, raspberry mousse, and veganized version of Taiwan’s famous pineapple cake. The sweet treats continue with vegan biscuits and brownies at Green Bakery and cupcakes galore at Mianto.
Thanks to its roaring vegan scene, “The Lion City” has earned the number two spot on PETA’s list of the Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities in Asia.
Included among Singapore’s all-vegan eateries are VeganBurg, which features an impressive variety of “meaty” plant-based burgers slathered with dairy-free mayonnaise and sweet smoky barbecue sauce, while Genesis Vegan Restaurant prepares “fish head” vermicelli, “chicken” rice and vegan cheesecake. Diners can find meat-free versions of traditional dishes such as nyonya laksa, mee pok, and orh nee at Loving Hut and vegan char kway teow and tofu goreng at VegCafe. Among the standout dishes at fast-food joint nomVnom is the QQ Cheezy burger, and Brownice Italian Vegan Ice Cream & Kitchen is famous for its vegan barbecue chicken pizza, waffles, brownies, ice cream, and more. Compassionate diners can also feed their hunger for nutty buah keluak at Whole Earth Vegetarian, Singapore’s only Peranakan-Thai vegetarian restaurant, or they can fill up on clay-pot “chicken” curry at Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant or grab a falafel at Fill a Pita – and don’t miss out on the vegan durian cake at HotCakes!
3. CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
Chiang Mai tops PETA’s list, thanks to its plethora of creative dishes that are as delicious as they are kind to animals.
Among Chiang Mai’s unique eateries is Taste From Heaven, with its crispy morning glory salad, panang curry, and vegan brownies for dessert, among other options. Happy Greenand Chiang Mai Vegetarian Society both offer 100 per cent vegan all-you-can-eat buffets, during which you can gorge on traditional Thai foods. Anchan serves up everything from coconut palmheart thai basil stirfry to green curry chayote, while Pun Pun prepares nam hed song kreung, a fermented meatless sausage. Chiang Mai diners can also treat themselves to Free Bird Cafe‘s vegan pancakes and cheesecake. Even Thailand’s famous street food khanom khrok – a delicious pancake made with rice flour and coconut milk – is vegan.
4. MAKATI, PHILIPPINES
There’s no doubt about it – Makati, the Philippines’ financial district, is a vegan hub.
Its all-vegan restaurants include Greenery Kitchen, which serves meat-free traditional Pinoy dishes, from sisig and adobo to bopis and pares. Juicesabel prepares vegan cheeseburgers, mac ‘n’ cheese, longganisa, and dairy-free cakes, and nearby Wabi-Sabi ladles out a ramen with meatless meats alongside its famous “meaty” banh mi sandwich. Green Bar serves everything from vegan roast beef sandwiches and popcorn “chicken” tacos to dairy-free grilled cheese and doughnuts, and even 101 Hawker Food House offers veggie meat in the dishes in the vegan section of its menu. The Kismet Café now offers vegan cinnamon rolls and stacks of pancakes and waffles served with vegan butter and all the maple syrup you can ask for. Newcomer Charlie Does Manila pairs “fish” and “beef” tacos with local beers, and Corner Tree Café—a veteran of Makati’s vegan scene—has an extensive menu full of hearty plant-based dishes and desserts.
There’s even an Instagram account called Good Eats Asia featuring pictures of all the vegan-friendly items you can find in Makati’s restaurants.
Makati’s all-vegan enterprises offer vegan cheese, lechon, ice cream, cakes, cookies, and brownies for those looking for more options.
5. BANGALORE, INDIA
Thanks to local all-vegan restaurants such as Paradigm Shift and Carrots; popular hotels and restaurants, including The Park, Alila, The Glass House and 100ft, which will soon launch vegan menus; Bengaluru-based Café Coffee Day’s decision to create and sell its Vegan Shake as well as numerous other vegan-friendly initiatives, Bangalore places fifth on PETA’s list.
In addition to vegan, vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants, Vegania – a self-described “virtual vegan country” that provides a forum for and campaigns on animal rights issues – is active in the city, as is the group Vegan Bengaluru, which organises monthly potlucks and outreach activities and offers tips on vegan eating. There’s even a 161-page guide – My Vegan Bangalore – to vegan restaurants, shops and cafés, which is available from Amazon.in.
6. HONG KONG
The vegan dining scene in Hong Kong has exploded, from the 100 per cent vegan menu at the famous LockCha Tea House to restaurants that offer everything from meat-free “chicken” satay skewers to vegan fried eggs.
Included among Hong Kong’s all-vegan eateries are Veggie SF – where compassionate diners can get “meaty” burgers with vegan mayonnaise, dairy-free milkshakes, and chocolate molten cake, among other tasty dishes – and Loving Hut, home of sweet “egg” tarts, deep-fried “eel” cutlet, “cheese and fried egg” sandwiches, and dairy-free cheesecake. Pure Veggie Houseserves a variety of meat-free dim sum alongside traditional “shark fin” soup, while LN Fortunate Coffee prepares standout waffles, “hot dogs”, and pasta with “meatballs”.
Diners can hit up vegan-friendly Cali-Mex for its Venice Beach burrito, loaded with shredded soy “chicken” and dairy-free cheese and sour cream, and then visit nearby Mana! – which serves peanut-butter chocolate cake and coconut and chocolate truffles – for dessert. Home – Eat to Live creates dishes such as melty dairy-free grilled cheese sandwiches and coconut-and-strawberry cake.
Hong Kong is also home to Green Common, an all-vegetarian supermarket that sells everything from vegan meats such as Gardein and Beyond Meat to Miyoko Schinner’s line of dairy-free cheeses.
7. BANGKOK, THAILAND
Bangkok’s bustling vegan scene supplies hungry diners with everything from pizza topped with dairy-free cheese to meatless tom yam kung – and that’s why the Thailand capital has landed the number-seven spot on PETA’s list.
Among the city’s best vegan-friendly spots is May Veggie Home, which serves up meatless grilled bacon and fried “fish” as well as traditional meals such as panaeng curry and pad Thai. Rasayana Raw Food Cafe prepares quirky standouts such as Mexican Taco Cups and Thai Pasta made with coconut and zucchini noodles. Decadent vegan desserts such as strawberry cheesecake frappes and waffles with ice cream abound at Veganerie – the city’s first and only vegan bakery. May Kaidee’s offers tom kha soup and mango sticky rice, and at Suananda, you can dine on everything from pak wan salad to Burmese khao soy. Thailand’s famous street food khanom khrok – a delicious pancake made with rice flour and coconut milk – is vegan and can be enjoyed throughout the country.
8. BALI, INDONESIA