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Thailand, the vegan paradise? - Local restaurants and specialities you should try

Do you know what it's like? You're on holiday and wandering around the city looking for local food that isn't half meat? I know the challenge and today, on IMPACKT's sustainable world travel blog, I'm sharing my tricks for having a delicious time in Thailand: from the Happy Cow app to my favourite vegan restaurants. Because after a month in Chiang Mai, I know the "best spots". 

Vegan food


While Thai cuisine is very meat-heavy, there are plenty of meat substitutes and vegan versions of dishes. So you don't have to take a supply of your favourite vegan snacks with you on holiday in your IMPACKT suitcase. You don't have to cook extra vegan meals either. At an average of 2-3 euros per dish, it's simply not worth it to get yourself into the kitchen. By the way, you can also order a vegan option of the authentic dishes in almost every street food restaurant. My tip: It's 2022, Thais even in the side street stalls know basic English and for hardship cases, Google Translator has become a faithful companion. 

But how do you find the best street food and the best vegan restaurant? Google is your first port of call. I can also recommend the app Happy Cow from the vegan community, which only lists vegan offers. If you'd rather order food, download the super apps Grab and Food Panda. For a small extra charge of around 50 cents, they will bring your snack to your door from any small stall. 




Top 5 spots in Chiang Mai 

But where are the best spots now? Here are 5 of my personal favourites. 


You can't beat the quality for the price. Selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, optionally even without oil. The classic Thai dishes are available with vegan meat substitutes. Apart from that, the people here have their hearts in the right place. Shortly before closing time, an old man in tattered clothes came in. They gave him a bag of rice and added biscuits. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. 


Charity is also a priority at this vegan cafe. 100% of the proceeds from the Free Bird Cafe, the Pre-Loaded Charity Shop and the my best life cnx zero waste store full of sustainable, local products are used to finance and support the Thai Freedom House, an educational centre for refugees. So the food here tastes twice as good. By the way, I recommend trying the vegan Snickers. But beware: they are really addictive. 


Curry fans have come to the right place. Anchan offers the best Green Curry Mixed Vegetables and Tofu. The Tom Khaa Galangal Coconut Milk is also delicious. All for about €3.20 each. More expensive, but still very good value. By the way, the green restaurant has beautifully painted walls and a planted balcony for the perfect ambience. 


This cafe is perfect for breakfast, brunch or just lunch. The salads are especially delicious. I recommend the Pumpkin Salad for about €3.65. You can also buy yoghurt and homemade sauces there. All organic. 

5. Every street food restaurant ever 

Here I would like to beat the drum again for the small street food vendors. Almost every restaurant has a selection of vegan spicy salads and the famous Holy Basil Rice, which you can order without meat. Or you can try Morning Glory, a popular green herb that you can find everywhere, and drink a fresh smoothie with it. Get creative and put together your own personal vegan menu. 


Healthy snack 


You're just a little hungry? Then I have just the thing for you. Treat yourself to a vegetable shake, which is offered at the night market. Or would you prefer a fried corn on the cob or a hot potato on the hand? Tastes like home. 

In between, I like to snack on fruits. From pineapple to passion fruit, you can find almost anything here. Instead of drinking coffee, my pick-me-up is a fresh smoothie. Or a fresh coconut. My tip: Bring your own straw, coffee mug or Tupperware when you grab a snack. This not only saves you money - you often get a small discount - but also plastic. 

By the way, you often get a mixture of chilli flakes and sugar with your meal. That's what people like here. The Thais dip the pieces of fruit in this mixture or sprinkle it on top of their curries. It's not mine, but if you like sweet and spicy, you should definitely try it. No matter what you order and say, always end your sentence with the polite ka - if you identify as female - or krap - if you identify as male. Then you are already integrated, so to speak. 


My conclusion 


Vegan and authentic food? Easy peasy in Thailand. As flexitarians - people who rarely consume meat and eat mainly vegan and vegetarian food - we like to eat a Tom Yum with shrimps or rice with chicken, but otherwise we eat vegan. We are particularly taken with the variety of options and flavours. All we really need is a cooking course to take the culinary diversity of Thailand home with us, or what do you think? 

Best regards, 
Your Franzi

Thailand, the vegan paradise? - Local restaurants and specialities you should try

Do you know what it's like? You're on holiday and wandering around the city looking for local food that isn't half meat? I know the challenge and today, on IMPACKT's sustainable world travel blog, I'm sharing my tricks for having a delicious time in Thailand: from the Happy Cow app to my favourite vegan restaurants. Because after a month in Chiang Mai, I know the "best spots". 

Vegan food


While Thai cuisine is very meat-heavy, there are plenty of meat substitutes and vegan versions of dishes. So you don't have to take a supply of your favourite vegan snacks with you on holiday in your IMPACKT suitcase. You don't have to cook extra vegan meals either. At an average of 2-3 euros per dish, it's simply not worth it to get yourself into the kitchen. By the way, you can also order a vegan option of the authentic dishes in almost every street food restaurant. My tip: It's 2022, Thais even in the side street stalls know basic English and for hardship cases, Google Translator has become a faithful companion. 

But how do you find the best street food and the best vegan restaurant? Google is your first port of call. I can also recommend the app Happy Cow from the vegan community, which only lists vegan offers. If you'd rather order food, download the super apps Grab and Food Panda. For a small extra charge of around 50 cents, they will bring your snack to your door from any small stall. 




Top 5 spots in Chiang Mai 

But where are the best spots now? Here are 5 of my personal favourites. 


You can't beat the quality for the price. Selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, optionally even without oil. The classic Thai dishes are available with vegan meat substitutes. Apart from that, the people here have their hearts in the right place. Shortly before closing time, an old man in tattered clothes came in. They gave him a bag of rice and added biscuits. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. 


Charity is also a priority at this vegan cafe. 100% of the proceeds from the Free Bird Cafe, the Pre-Loaded Charity Shop and the my best life cnx zero waste store full of sustainable, local products are used to finance and support the Thai Freedom House, an educational centre for refugees. So the food here tastes twice as good. By the way, I recommend trying the vegan Snickers. But beware: they are really addictive. 


Curry fans have come to the right place. Anchan offers the best Green Curry Mixed Vegetables and Tofu. The Tom Khaa Galangal Coconut Milk is also delicious. All for about €3.20 each. More expensive, but still very good value. By the way, the green restaurant has beautifully painted walls and a planted balcony for the perfect ambience. 


This cafe is perfect for breakfast, brunch or just lunch. The salads are especially delicious. I recommend the Pumpkin Salad for about €3.65. You can also buy yoghurt and homemade sauces there. All organic. 

5. Every street food restaurant ever 

Here I would like to beat the drum again for the small street food vendors. Almost every restaurant has a selection of vegan spicy salads and the famous Holy Basil Rice, which you can order without meat. Or you can try Morning Glory, a popular green herb that you can find everywhere, and drink a fresh smoothie with it. Get creative and put together your own personal vegan menu. 


Healthy snack 


You're just a little hungry? Then I have just the thing for you. Treat yourself to a vegetable shake, which is offered at the night market. Or would you prefer a fried corn on the cob or a hot potato on the hand? Tastes like home. 

In between, I like to snack on fruits. From pineapple to passion fruit, you can find almost anything here. Instead of drinking coffee, my pick-me-up is a fresh smoothie. Or a fresh coconut. My tip: Bring your own straw, coffee mug or Tupperware when you grab a snack. This not only saves you money - you often get a small discount - but also plastic. 

By the way, you often get a mixture of chilli flakes and sugar with your meal. That's what people like here. The Thais dip the pieces of fruit in this mixture or sprinkle it on top of their curries. It's not mine, but if you like sweet and spicy, you should definitely try it. No matter what you order and say, always end your sentence with the polite ka - if you identify as female - or krap - if you identify as male. Then you are already integrated, so to speak. 


My conclusion 


Vegan and authentic food? Easy peasy in Thailand. As flexitarians - people who rarely consume meat and eat mainly vegan and vegetarian food - we like to eat a Tom Yum with shrimps or rice with chicken, but otherwise we eat vegan. We are particularly taken with the variety of options and flavours. All we really need is a cooking course to take the culinary diversity of Thailand home with us, or what do you think? 

Best regards, 
Your Franzi

Discover IMPACKT IP1

Discover IMPACKT IP1

Suitcase L

Colour: polar white

Size: L

€159.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: glacier blue

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: iron grey

€69.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: deep sea green

€69.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: lava black

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: lava black

€39.95*
Wheel set

Colour: flora pink

€19.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: Spring Green

€39.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: sunset yellow

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: lava black

Size: L

€159.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: deep sea green

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: flora pink

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: polar white

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: deep sea green

€39.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: flora pink

Size: L

€159.95*
Wheel set

Colour: glacier blue

€19.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: Spring Green

€69.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Garden Apricot

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: glacier blue

Size: M

€149.95*
Wheel set

Colour: iron grey

€19.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: iron grey

€39.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: iron grey

Size: M

€149.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: lava black

€69.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: Garden Apricot

€69.95*
Wheel set

Colour: polar white

€19.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: iron grey

Size: L

€159.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Sunset Yellow LTD

Size: S

€139.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: polar white

€39.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Garden Apricot

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: sunset yellow

Size: M

€149.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: flora pink

€39.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: flora pink

€69.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Spring Green

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: polar white

Size: M

€149.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Lava Black LTD

Size: S

€139.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Spring Green

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: polar white

€69.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: deep sea green

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: Garden Apricot

€39.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: glacier blue

€39.95*