Vegan Food Guide in Chiang Mai (Part 1: Top 5 Favourites - Vegan/Vegan-Friendly Restaurants)

Hello everyone! I am back from yet another hiatus. Sometimes I wonder if there is anyone who is still keeping up with my blog. It's been months and I miss writing content on here and thought it's about time that I share my 'Vegan food guide in Chiang Mai' for those who are interested (or travelling there soon and would love to have some recommendations)

I was in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks in June this year. It was a really memorable trip, making new friends and forging unforgettable memories. I also went to a few different cafes to eat hence this guide would be in 2 parts.

Part 1 would be my Top 5 favourites and Part 2 would just consist of the other places that I went to.

 

1. Imm Aim Vegetarian & Bike Cafe

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This is one restaurant where you will see huge groups of Vegans dining together. With large portions of food at affordable pricing, there is no doubt this restaurant is on everyone's 'List of Favourite Cafes in Chiang Mai'. My favourite is the 'Pad thai' and 'avocado sandwich'. In the entire trip, I probably visited this place three to four times. With so many items on their menu, you can't visit only once. Not to mention, the owner is really friendly too, so say hi when you are there!

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Address: 7/3 Santirak Road [Near Santitham Temple] Chiang Mai 50300
Opening Hours: 10AM - 8PM

 

2. Happy Green

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Now this is indeed every high carb vegan's favourite hangout especially during dinner. It's a buffet which also means free flow of carbs(!!!!) I can't remember the exact amount I paid for the meal... probably 200 or 250baht and it was so worth it. However, we went during lunch time so the selection of food was not so great but still decent (as above image) - the potato salad and Green Curry was my favourite. In my opinion, it is better if you head over during dinner time. You may also be able to meet new people and have a chat with them.

I heard you also get a discount when you come on a push bike!

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Address:  4/3, Soi 3, Pa Daet, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: 9AM - 7PM (Close on Mondays)

 

3. Blue Diamond

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The most visited cafe this trip has got to be Blue Diamond. Quite regularly, the girls and I will get breakfast here before starting our day. You cannot say no to the cinnamon rolls because they are SO good! Honestly the best ones I have tried! 

Blue Diamond is not a Vegan or Vegetarian cafe but they have tons of Vegan options especially for their desserts.

I also tried the Pad Thai and Khao Soi over at Blue Diamond and it is not too bad. It is within the old city so you will be bound to see other cafes while walking here. By Hand Pizza is also a walking distance from Blue Diamond.

They offer Free Wifi so you can sit in and chill with your smoothie ;)

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Address: 35/1 MoonMuang Road, Soi 9, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Opening Hours: 7AM - 8:30 PM
*Do note that this is not a completely Vegan restaurant

 

4. Street Pizza and The Wine Houzz

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Another Non-Vegan/Vegetarian place, but if you are a pizza lover you got to check this place out. I love the crust of the pizza as it's not too thick. Plus they use a stone oven to cook their pizza - Bonus! Simply request for no cheese and ask them to top your pizza with more veg! The staff are more than willing to do so :)

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Address: 7-15 Thapae Rd. | Close to SCB Bank, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Opening Hours: 11:30AM - 11PM
*Do note that this is not a completely Vegan restaurant 

 

5. Aum Vegetarian

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At Aum, there is such a wide variety of food that you will be spoiled for choice. Not to mention that the prices are rather affordable as well. Hearing how good the dumplings at Aum were, I decided to give it a try. I also ordered a Pineapple fried rice and Avocado Maki. The Pineapple fried rice was so-so and so was the Avocado Maki. But I do have to give it to the dumplings this time round. 

Perhaps I still prefer my sushi with white rice instead of brown and same goes for my fried rice. The food at Aum however, were cooked really healthily, no oil and not very salty too.

Great for those who are oil-free and salt-free, as well as the health conscious ones :) They have a cozy second floor sitting, great for hanging out with large groups.

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Address: Tailandia, 319 Mun Mueang Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100 Opening Hours: 10.30AM - 8.30PM

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These are my Top 5 favourite Vegan/Vegan-friendly cafes in Chiang Mai! More reviews of the other cafes I went coming up in Part 2 :) If you have been to Chiang Mai, let me know which are your favourites, and if you plan to visit Chiang Mai, I hope this will be helpful to you!

You can also check out my Youtube Channel where I vlogged everyday in Chiang Mai :)

Ling Zhi Vegetarian (Hotpot Buffet)

'What a Vegan Eats' is originally 'Hearty Vegan Food Finds in Singapore' - a series I decided to start writing on for my blog where I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants in this humble red dot.

I have not been updating for a while because of my full time job, but I have decided to put aside excuses and start prioritizing things. So, be sure to stay tune for more 'What a Vegan Eats' and videos/vlogs on my Youtube channel!

Ling Zhi Vegetarian does not seem foreign among the locals. My parents mentioned they've brought me here while I was younger. For a few weeks before my birthday, my parents were bugging me to search for a vegan buffet where the entire family can dine at to celebrate the joyous occasion. I'm really touched that they're so supportive of my lifestyle!

I stumbled across a blog post, sharing the top 10 vegetarian buffets to try out in Singapore, thanks to my best friend - Google. #1 on the list was Ling Zhi Vegetarian. An Indian buffet was also on the list and I have intentions of heading there soon (so look out for a review!)

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Ling Zhi Vegetarian is owned by renowned Chinese restaurant, Tunglok - which explains the Chinese gourmet cuisine. They do not believe in preparing dishes with gluten, mock meats, artificial coloring and additives. Vegetables were also organic, with a large selection to choose from. My family and I headed there on a Saturday afternoon and paid $24.80++/pax. On weekdays there serve lunch and dinner. While on weekends, they do lunch, Hi-tea and dinner - both ala carte and buffet option available.

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Unfortunately, we were there rather late (130pm) and Hi-tea starts at 3pm. Customers who come in for the lunch buffet had to finish eating by 245pm. Thankfully, there were still tons of vegetables left, but very small selection of Dim Sum.

We got to choose 2 soup bases for the hotpot buffet and went ahead for mushroom and tom yum, but had to pay an additional $2/head the for mushroom soup. Now you may think why did we bother paying extra money for the mushroom soup when we had an array of mushrooms to choose from. Beats me too, we only figured out that we made a silly decision after the first round.

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The vegetables were fresh and I lost count of the number of times my sister and I went to take more of them to fill up the hotpot. Go there early so you have ample time to complete your meal. We rushed our entire meal because we only had less than one hour to eat since we arrive really really late.

As mentioned earlier, we did not get a wide array of dim sum to choose from. But I was contented with what we tried. I had the vegetable dumpling, siew mai, beancurd skin, pork buns and another type of vegetable dumpling that was in circle form. They were comparable to the dim sum you have at Michelin star restaurants, but this involved no animal killing and slaughtering :)

There was also curry puff, yam pastry and carrot cake for those who fancy the fried goodies. The char siew sou (pork pastry) however, is not vegan. Before I reserved a table, I called the restaurant to check which pastry/dim sum is not vegan friendly :) So always check before you eat to make sure you don't do slip ups unintentionally. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

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Since I'm Chinese (and Asian), I have grown up eating fried kway tiao and bee hoon for breakfast/lunch, and it never fails to leave me feeling contented. This definitely hit the spot for me. It's not exactly the healthiest since there's oil and salt involved, but we are only human and sometimes just a teeny weeny bit would be okay :)

Not forgetting the vegetable curry I took as well! Fragant and tasted like home-cooked curry. My dad couldn't resist and had 2 bowls!

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Overall, It was a pleasant experience at Ling Zhi. A wide variety of organic fresh vegetables, and a cozy place to dine in. The price, however, might be slightly steep for some. Personally, I did not think it was worth it to get the mushroom soup since there was additional charges (which did not make sense to me)

It would also be great if they could label which pastries are vegan to make it easier for many. The staffs are mainly Chinese speaking, so they may not be able to understand the terms of 'Vegan' if you can't converse well in Mandrain. Nonetheless, no harm giving them a try. If you have been to Ling Zhi, I would love to hear your opinions on them.

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Ling Zhi Vegetarian
Velocity@Novena Square #03-09/10
238 Thomson Road Singapore 307683

Opening Hours :
Lunch : 11:30am - 3:00pm (Last order at 2:30PM)
Dinner : 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Last order at 9:30PM)

Tel: +65 6538 2992

Brownice Italian Bistro (Part 1)

When you head back to the same restaurant for the fourth time in four weeks, there's only one thing that you can be certain of. With the most delicious food, amazing ambiance and cheerful staffs, there's nothing unsatisfactory about this eatery.

Vegans are also able to dine here without having to worry if their dishes would contain egg or dairy because at Brownice, they serve only 100% animal-product-free meals. Being a vegan myself, I always tend to be worry if my food will contain any animal products when dining at a restaurant that is not completely vegan.

Especially in Singapore, not many would be familiar with the term 'vegan', but 'vegetarian' is easily understood among many. The only downside is the fact that vegetarians consume eggs and dairy, so when dining out, most waiter/waitress tend to turn a blind eye on these ingredients, unless you specifically tell them that you don't take eggs or dairy.

At Brownice, you will be spoilt for choice. Even for someone like me, who has scanned through their menu a thousand times, I will still end up taking a long time to decide on what to eat. Whenever I head back, I would order a dish that I have never tried before (just to make sure I tried every single item on their menu)

On the bright side, I get to write this lengthy review and show you what Brownice has to offer :)

For starters, I tried their Truffle Mushroom Bruschetta. I have never tried truffled-anything except for truffle fries, so this was a really good combination to me :) 

Pizzas - who hates them? This was their Sicilian 'tuna' pizza, which was filled with tomatoes, olives, red capsicums, chick pea 'tuna' and vegan cheese. I love that Brownice's pizzas are thin crust and does not have a greasy feel to it. Most pizza joints have really greasy pizza and makes you feel heavy after, but I managed to finish one whole pizza at Brownice myself.

I have also tried their Verdure pizza, which is basically tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, capers, red capsicum and vegan cheese. Slightly similar to the Sicilian tuna, except without the 'tuna'. Just all vegetables.

My mum hates the taste and smell of cheese and she will always count herself out if there is pizza on the table. When I told her that vegan cheese does not have such a strong and distinct taste like regular cheese, she did not regret giving it a try :) See, even non-vegans can enjoy vegan food too!

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Next up - Pumpkin Fusilli (My mum ordered this that night) A rather simple dish combining both the pasta and pumpkin sauce together. Not creamy, rather light taste to it. Does not have a distinct pumpkin taste, so non-pumpkin-lovers can also give this a try.

This is pictured on another day when I headed to Brownice with Ning (@chocolatexdiaries) during the Singapore Election weekend. The store was rather empty that night, and we managed to talk and have a lovely night. A few months ago, Ning asked me if I knew of any healthy cafes that she could work at.

At that point, I have yet to give Brownice a try, but I still recommended her to give the interview a shot. Glad she did because she's not loving her job :) That was also when I decided to push myself to head to Brownice and try it for once. Glad we both made the right decisions ;)

Pictured here: Regular fries - the name tells you all, nothing special.

Creamy Tomato Gnocchi - This was Ning's dish. She did not like the garlic in it (silly her told the waitress that she's okay with garlic when she isn't....). I tried a little bit of it, and I didn't really fancy it. I just thought it was pretty okay.

Penne Norma - Again, another simple dish. Pasta tossed with black olives, button mushroom, red capsicums and chick peas. Tasted like home cooked pasta. Rather satisfying and was perfect for me since I didn't want to have anything 'fancy' that night.

For dessert, I had Mudpie Ice Cream Cake. Ning told me the base is made up of nuts and date. It has a really thin base with 2 different ice cream layered on top of another. If you are a chocolate lover, you will love this. I found it a bit too rich after a while.. Probably because I had it alone, so I will recommend you to share this with someone.

The week after, I headed down to Brownice again with my entire family (sharing the love of vegan food hehe) and I shall write it down in another post else, this would be too lengthy! Watch this space xx

Brownice Italian Bistro
53 East Coast Road

Loving Hut

When I came across 'Loving Hut' at Joo Chiat, I was really excited to try it out. Finally a vegan cafe in the East!! No need to travel all the way to living cafe or real foods, located at the other end of Singapore!

I was surprised to see that they have joined the 'Healthier Dinning Programme' by the Health Promotion Board, encouraging customers to consume lower calorie foods. Not saying that we should not be aware of what we eat, after all, you are what you eat. But, counting calories isn't healthy. Stay clear of animal produce and you are safe :) Moving on..

I really love the cafe layout and concept. It's nicely furnished and decorated, giving off the cosy vibe. A great place to chill and hang out with your friends.

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And when you step into the cafe...

All of the dishes in Loving Hut restaurants are purely plant-based (vegan), lovingly prepared, and served in a beautiful, friendly and tranquil atmosphere.

Yup, purely plant-based. THIS IS LIFE. I don't even have to worry if my food contains any egg or dairy!

Rose Lemon Water

Refreshing and lemon-y! Perfect drink for Singapore's humid weather and of course, you can never forget...

Thai Young Coconut

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I can't recall what this dish is called... but I remember a 'three' and a 'chicken' in it (yikes, short term memory) :P Bascially the 'chicken' is made from mock meat. It was well marinated, wasn't too salty, but nothing fancy.

And of course, my dad had to go for his favourite nyonalaksa. This dish is under the healthier dining programme if I didn't remember wrongly. From what it tasted like, it's probably made from coconut milk/cream. It's quite a huge portion as well. Really great tasting laksa. Tastes like the laksa bowls you can get easily from the hawker! You won't even realise it's vegetarian :)

Since I'm on a high carb low fat vegan diet, the only dish that would suit me is the red kidney bean quinoa burger. It was rather interesting how they combined the two together. Tasted great too! Slightly spicy tho.. might be from the herbs they put inside the patty. There was also a cheeky onion ring smashed between the bun and patty ;)

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Not really a fan of fries (unless i make my own potato fries), so I shared it with my Dad.

Near the cashier, there's this huge shelve stocked with vegetarian and vegan snack options. There were also vegan beer and beauty products that are not easily found in your local supermarkets.

Overall, it was a great experience at Loving Hut. It's a fusion of peranakan and western cuisine. I wouldn't say it's the healthiest, but Loving Hut proves that being vegan/vegetarian is not all about eating fruits and vegetables. Vegans are also able to enjoy western cusines, but of course eat all food in moderation :)

If you're vegan and always have trouble finding a place to dine at with your friends, bring them over to Loving Hut. Their impression of a vegan lifestyle will change :)

Loving Hut

229 Joo Chiat Road #01-01 Singapore 427489

Tel: +65 6348 6318 (Reservation Mon-Thur / Takeaway order)

Opens Daily  11am – 9:15pm

(No reservations on Fri/Sat/Sun/PH)

Cash / Visa Card / Master card are accepted in restaurant

Hearty Vegan Finds in Singapore

A vegan, let alone a vegetarian cafe along the streets of Singapore is such a rare sight as compared to countries such as Thailand and Taiwan. It will be easier to find vegetarian stores in hawker centres or coffee shops, but I can guarantee that the food sold there will be dumped in oil, and most of the time reeeeally salty. It's like your typical economic mixed rice store where you choose 3 dishes with rice/noodles. And I hate how I'm unable to request for "less oil and salt" because they cook the food in bulk. Therefore, such stores are a no-go for me. Therefore, I decided to start this 'series' on my blog, where I'll be blogging/reviewing the various vegan/vegetarian restaurants that I've been to. I thought it'll be a great way to spread the vegan message here in Singapore :)

If you've any recommendations/suggestions of places for me to try, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email. It'll be my pleasure to head down and give me honest thoughts and reviews hehe.

The first place that i'd be blogging about is....

Stay tuned ;)