It’s not always easy to find vegetarian food in Da Nang. Most restaurants specialize in a couple of things, and those one or two dishes aren’t always very veggie-friendly. The easiest way is to get vegetarian food in Da Nang is to go to a specifically vegetarian restaurant. Here’s how the whole veggie thing works here, plus I’ll show you one of my favorites.
What Kind of Veggie?
Most vegetarian restaurants here are Buddhist vegetarian, which not only means no meat but also no eggs, onions or garlic (these last two cause the body to get hot & bothered apparently). So even if you’re happy to eat something like noodles from a regular shop and just hold the meat, they might tell you they can’t make it truly “veggie” if it’s already seasoned with garlic or onions.
The Veggie Schedule
If you’re a monk or a nun, of course you eat vegetarian food every day. But most people eat vegetarian a few days a month. These aren’t just any random days though; the 1st and 15th of the lunar month (new and full moon) are the most popular days to eat vegetarian food in Da Nang, and all over Vietnam. On these days, some shops change their menu to serve veggie food, other shops close completely, and some places are only open on those days.
My Favorite Veggie Spot
My pick for vegetarian food in Da Nang is in the last category, a sort of pop-up place that’s only available on the 1st and 15th of the lunar month. They only sell one thing, called mỳ quảng (pictured above), which is a bowl of wide rice noodles in a mild broth. It’s also specific to this region of Vietnam, so it’s worth trying while you’re here. Although there’s no meat, the mỳ quảng here is super hearty with different kinds of tofu, pumpkin and mushrooms. Squeeze in a wedge of lime and toss in some chili. I also like to add a dollop of chao, which is a whitish fermented bean curd typical of many veggie spots. The flavor isn’t for everyone and it’s quite strong so try a bit on the side before you commit.
This stall is next to Milano Cafe at 123 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai in the city center. On this particular day I was here just after 6 am. Although I was the first customer of the day (very lucky!), they were ready to do business when I pulled up. You may balk at the idea of getting up that early, but I’ve come just before 9 am only to find them sold out. Today I took no chances.
We can do veggie food tours as well. Just let me know in the special requests box when you book.