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Cheap Vegetarian Eats in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A pleasant surprise I’ve come to realize on this trip is that it really isn’t that hard to maintain a vegetarian diet while traveling. You can always find yummy vegetable dishes or salads, and you can always ask people to omit the meat in your Phad Thai or replace it with veg-friendly tofu.

I’ve also found that vegetarian dining can be the easiest to your pocket, and that was especially true for me in Chiang Mai.

Clean food, dirt cheap

As mentioned in my post about my guesthouse in Chiang Mai, there was a ridiculously cheap Chinese vegetarian resto located literally a minute away (along Prapokklao Rd.), selling real cheap food.

How cheap?
20THB — 1 viand + 1 rice ~ yep, that’s $0.66 or 26PHP
25THB — 2 viands + 1 rice ~ WTF

But even before I found that, I actually accidentally discovered this other Chinese vegetarian resto (located along Rachadamnoen Rd.) right before meditation with Tiko at Wat Sri Gerd. 

And yup, they sell their food at the same price as Tein Seng (resto in 1st photo). And both establishments provide free water to diners. Honestly, I don’t know how they still make money.

Clever take on salad

When you’re feeling a little fancy, you can also shuffle on down to Nimmanhaemin Rd. on the west side of Chiang Mai and pay a visit to Salad Concept.

For only 50THB — 65PHP or $1.66 (and this is also relatively cheap in Thai standards considering the ambiance of the place), you get a base of greens along with 5 free toppings and your choice of salad dressing. They also have more premium toppings that you have to pay a little extra for, but still.

It was hard to decide but I wound up getting a salad of 1) tomato, 2) broccoli, 3) asparagus, 4) grilled mushroom (yum!), 5) red bean (for protein), and got and add-on of tofu (20THB ~ 26PHP or $0.66), all to be enjoyed with my delicious tamarind sesame dressing (though I would have loved to try the passion fruit dressing too!).

I also decided to go all out and order a shiitake mushroom soup (69THB ~ 91PHP or $2.33 — ironically more expensive than the salad), which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Stevie approved of my order too. It really wasn’t one of those tiny, tiny salads you might get in the Philippines for the same price.

I loved the restaurant design as well, both indoors…

…and outdoors.

It always adds extra pogi points when a business cares about the earth, and uses funky wall decals too.

I was later joined by Ro, the Thai guy I met on the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and his friend Jane, who would both unexpectedly take me to one of the prettiest places near Chiang Mai. But more on that in a succeeding post.

But yeah, bottom line, traveling as a vegetarian is fun! 🙂

Leafy greens,

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