From Bangkok 101 Magazine
Pickings for herbivores may be slim here, but they are out there. Meat-free snacks abound in Little India, or Pahurat, and most restaurants that aren’t cheap hole-in-the-walls have at least a few items on the menu. Here are six joints where we promise you won’t be palmed off with a bowl of MSG slosh.
Ask a Bangkokian to suggest a good vegetarian restaurant, and they’ll usually name this tiny place in an otherwise uninteresting northeast suburb. Thais and the odd foreigner in the know come to feast on the innovative pan-Asian dishes created by the owner, who grows her veggies on the family farm. Many, including desserts, are vegan. Try the cookies and butterfly Pea Tea.
976/17 Soi Praram 9 Hospital, Huay Kwang | 02-641-5366 | Thu-Tue 10am-9:30pm | no credit cards | $
From paneer pakora (deep-fried cottage cheese, B70), to samosas (B10 each) and papri chaat (puri covered with yoghurt and sweet tamarind chutney, B50), this simple joint with red tablecloths and artworks on the walls serves a broad smorgasbord of veggie Indian street snacks, or chaat. Don’t miss the lassis or glass display cabinet where traditional sweets are kept.
Bangkok’s only branch of Chiang Mai’s famous vegetarian restaurant may be missing the garden setting (it’s on the soulless ground floor of a health mall) and daily lunchtime buffet. However, you can still enjoy the same inventive interpretations of Thai dishes, from tangy mushroom salads, to faux-meat mains like tofu-laden red duck curry and one-meal dishes like khao soy.
Ground floor, Bangkok Mediplex, Sukhumvit Soi 42 | BTS Ekamai | 02-713-6599 | $
The devout vegetarian behind this gorgeous hotel restaurant, David Lees, knows a thing or two about Thai food’s medicinal properties and loves to mix things up. Pad thai malakor (stir-fried papaya instead of noodles) may appear on the menu one month; homemade quiches, khao chae sets and rhubarb and apple crumbles the next. Some fish dishes are also available.
Serving Indian fast food, all of it 100% vegetarian, Saras is a utilitarian canteen with solid wood furniture and a food court-like ordering system. Over 350 dishes of pan-Indian sit on the menu and nearly all come in well under B150. If deciding what to choose off it proves tricky (and it might do until Saras replaces it with a picture-based one), go for one of their regional thali sets.
The partners behind wholefood home-delivery service Birds in A Row opened up this tiny, veg-friendly shophouse restaurant on the edge of Ratchadamnoen back in August. Simple yet sumptuous, the international and Med influenced meals made using mostly organic produce are worth crossing town for, but call ahead to avoid disappointment (there are only three tables).
211 Chakkrapatipong Road (corner of Lan Luang and Chakkrapatipong Rd) | 084-539-1819 or 02-628-4588 | http://sevenspoonsbkk.wordpress.com