By Evelyn Kim and Thomas Truong, Volunteers at The Yard Hostel
If you travel and eat a vegan diet like us (E and Thom), you likely understand the challenge of finding places to eat. Here are descriptions of five vegan restaurants you can enjoy, no matter what your diet preference is.
We may often associate vegan food with western cuisine, but we can also enjoy vegan Thai food from a local’s perspective. Eating at Raan Ahaan Jai– Chaiyo (RAJ in this article) provides this viewpoint.
Walking from the Yard Hostel to RAJ provides a preview of the eatery’s serene atmosphere. During my 30-minute walk there, I (Evelyn / E) noticed that the noise of Thanon Phahon Yothin, Ari’s main street, disappeared. The sight of students walking and biking on the streets replaced that.
You cannot miss RAJ’s brightly-colored entrance: there are two rows of yellow flags on the top of the eatery’s entrance. Those flags contain red text that say เจ, pronounced JAY, which means vegan food. There is a visible living space in the back of the eatery, with statues of three deities on top of the living space entrance.
Since the menus are written in Thai, the staff member and I collaborated as I placed my order. I pointed to the dishes in the glass display case. We used Google Translate to clarify our words. The staff member kindly allowed me to smell their hearty pickled “fish” dish on display.
After about 7 minutes, the staff member approached our table with our meal: two dishes of their vegan ผัดกะเพรา (phat ka-phrao), or basil pork stir fry, topped with chili pepper. This dish also includes marinated okra, and a generous serving of white rice. The entire dish tastes sweet from the okra, salty and spicy from the “pork”. It is a spicy, flavorful dish that kept me full for several hours.
For an English speaker, going to international restaurants that offer English-language menus feels comfortable. However, we can enjoy tasty food by supporting local eateries, like RAJ, whose signage is completely in Thai.
Raan Ahaan Jay Chaiyo
343 Sutthisan Winitchai Rd, between Inthamara 27 and 29
(30 minute walk from The Yard Hostel)
E, my partner, and I (Thom) came across Makai Acai & Superfood Bar, after a long commute from Hà Nội, Vietnam and our arrival at The Yard. Feeling fatigued from the travel and Bangkok’s heat, we tried the smoothie bowls at Makai Acai Bar. Here is what we experienced there.
Wisarut Mahitiwanicha, the founder of Makai Acai Bar, created the acai bowl bar to offer a variety of healthy and delicious food in Thailand. Starting with açaí berries made perfect sense to Wisarut, who knew their health benefits. Since açaí contains many plant compounds, it benefits our brain health, heart health, and overall wellbeing. It is a satisfying sweet, vegan treat for a hot day.
Wisarut mentions that Makai welcomes all types of people who search for healthier food choices or for refreshment that will re-energize them during the day. If you are looking for a place to feel refreshed and consume some healthy fats and fiber, then Makai should be on your list.
Makai’s interior space is beautiful and inviting. E and I forgot that we were so close to the city, because we felt like we were at a beach resort. There was plenty of space to sit at the bar. The room felt very cool and the music playlist had us bobbin’. If you’re the type of person who enjoys chillin’ out, eating delicious & natural superfoods, then we would recommend you stop by and grab an açaí bowl. Please note that the alcohol bar, called Pakololo Bar, and the açaí bar are not related. They are two separate businesses.
Now for the fun part: the bowl that I tried, called Tickle My Berries, was delicious. The different ingredients were blended evenly, and all the toppings complemented each other. It was like a match made in heaven. The goji berries, which I had never tried with a smoothie, surprised me. I appreciated that the bowl was not overly sweet.
(From Evelyn) The bowl that I tried was called Berry Bliss, whose base is made with their original formula: Açaí, strawberry, and banana. This is different from their signature formula bowls, including Tickle My Berries, which come with a unique açaí smoothie blend. The toppings in my bowl were strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, and their vegan granola.
The texture of my smoothie bowl was surprising, because it was dense, like ice cream. Though the muggy, hot afternoon took away my energy, the bowl’s flavor was tart and sharp, which refreshed me.
If you are traveling to Ari in Bangkok and are looking for a boost that is healthy and also delicious, then you should make a trip to Makai Açaí.
Makai Acai & Superfood Bar
Ari 4 Fang Nua Alley, Khwaeng Samsen Nai,
Khet Phaya Thai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
(7-10 minute walk from The Yard Hostel)
With four locations in Bangkok, Veganerie is a can’t-miss eatery that offers only vegan food that specializes in western cuisine.
Veganerie has a food stand at EmQuartier, one of many shopping centers in Bangkok. Although there is no seating area at this location, you can enjoy a sit-down meal at Veganerie’s three other locations.
I (E) ordered the matcha and chocolate chip cookies. All the cookies were firm to the touch, yet soft enough to easily bite. The sweet taste of cocoa was the standout in the chocolate chip cookie. But its taste was not as sharp in the matcha cookie, because it balanced the green tea flavor.
After the cookies, I also enjoyed Veganerie’s Cinnamon Roll, which was covered with a lot of frosting. The roll has a cushion-like texture that melts in your mouth. Since the roll maintains this texture, the dessert ingredients Veganerie have strong quality.
I was lucky to sit down at this eatery’s location in Siam Paragon, a shopping center that is five train stops away from Ari, the Yard Hostel’s closest train stop. I ate their Vegan Banana and Butterscotch Hotcakes dessert. Thom and I agreed that this is the most delicious vegan dessert we have eaten. It is in a pan and includes vanilla hotcakes, vanilla ice cream, and coconut whipped cream. The toppings are mint leaves, almonds, and cookie crumble.
This dessert satisfied us, because it had many different textures. We enjoyed the temperature difference in the cold ice cream and hot cakes, just like we would enjoy a hot brownie with vanilla ice cream.
For desserts that are comforting to eat and light to digest, Veganerie is the place to go.
Veganerie at Siam Paragon
991/1 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan
(next to the BTS Siam station)
May Veggie Home is a 100% vegan restaurant established in Bangkok since 2011. Their pride is serving “Fresh Homemade Food” with quality materials and ingredients. They also serve Homemade Vegan Bakery items and vegan ice cream to complete your pleasure meal.
The restaurant is buzzing on any given week day evening and can be quite busy on the weekend evenings. Since it is a spacious restaurant with long windows, a lot of natural light comes into the restaurant during the daytime. In the afternoon, there are plenty of empty seats. The atmosphere is quite relaxed: it’s not too loud in here and the energy is communal and positive. We highly recommend you visit May Veggie Home if you are eating by yourself, with 1 friend, or a group.
The drink menu is large here for vegans. If you are looking for a fresh coconut, coconut juice with cereal milk, or a fresh juice, then you will find those options here. But I (Thom) would encourage you to try the Thai Ice Tea with Rice Milk. It was amazing and I never imagined being able to drink a vegan Thai Ice Tea. I also would recommend the Ice Chocolate Tea with Rice Milk if you are feeling some chocolate.
This place is perfect for vegans who want to experience Thai dishes through mock meats. Also, the curries are not too spicy– the chefs probably chose this, possibly to satisfy the tastes of western travelers. I tried the red curry dish and enjoyed the tofu. The Pad Thai was also well-seasoned and not too heavy.
However, the best part must be the dessert menu. We (E and I) tried the ice cream here and went with the Thai Ice Tea and the Black Sesame. Both were generous scoops and I couldn’t believe how perfectly they were created. Not too sweet but just satisfying enough. If you want a treat and experience Thai Ice Tea Ice Cream or Black Sesame, I’m not sure there’s another place to do so. So this is a must! We also had the Tiramisu, but admit it was too heavy for 1 person. This is great dessert to share with someone.
All in all, May Veggie Home, with a 4.4/5 star rating across 800 reviews, is a must if you are staying at the Yard Hostel or in Bangkok.
May Veggie Home
8/3 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei,
Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110
(a 5 minute walk from the BTS Asok station)
Walee, which is a food stall in the Siam Paragon Mall, offers many spicy dishes. Although their formal name includes “vegetarian”, their food is actually vegan.
Although the menu at Walee is limited, their food contains many spices and flavors. That’s why it is possible to eat a small dish from here, and feel full for several hours afterwards. At this eatery, you can enjoy a customizable dish including rice, or you can enjoy a noodle dish with fixed ingredients that you cannot change. Both Thom and I (E) often get a dish including rice and two side dishes. We often enjoy Walee’s mock pork and green beans dish, and the vegetable soup with tofu.
Walee Vegetarian at Siam Paragon’s Food Court
991/1 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan
(next to the BTS Siam station)
We hope you get out there and enjoy some vegan food in Bangkok, and that you find these descriptions helpful!
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