The Vegetarian and Vegan Food Street in Can Tho, Vietnam
This was one of those ‘Eureka’ moments for me when I discovered this heaven for vegetarians and vegans in Can Tho. I call it the ‘Veg Food Street of Can Tho’ and the local name for it is ‘Đề Thám, Ninh Kiều, Cần Thơ.’
Of course, I got to know subsequently that it’s no secret to the locals.
But if this is the first time you’re visiting Can Tho, and you’re vegan or vegetarian, then this is a really useful tip for you.
Before you read further, don’t miss the article on ‘Vietnam: Local Food Guide for Vegetarians and Vegans’ where I’ve listed the very basic tips to help you navigate your way through the street meat sellers & slaughter shops to find cruelty-free vegan and vegetation means to fulfill your caloric requirements for the day, while enjoying the flavors of the amazing veg options Vietnam has to offer.
So, here’s the secret: If you’re looking for vegetarian and vegan food in Can Tho, all you need to do is head to the Veg Food Street of Can Tho. This street is easily approachable and recognizable as it’s very close to the ‘Ho xang thoi’ lake. The correct name of the lake is
Hồ Xáng Thổi.
Here’s the exact location of the veg street in Can Tho.
You can see it highlighted in red (ironically) on the map below:
Here’s a zoomed-in version of the street highlighting some chay restaurants (chay is the Vietnamese word for vegetarian in case you didn’t read the Guide I linked to above!) on the street:
Okay, so now that you know where you’re headed. It’s time to expand your vocabulary. Let’s see the words you need to know:
Vietnamese Glossary for Vegetarians
- Chay — Vegetarian
- Mì — Noodles (usually yellow noodles)
- Cơm — Rice
- Cơm Chay — Vegetarian Rice
- Cơm Chiên — Fried Rice
- Bún — Rice Noodles
- Bún Gỏi Cuốn — Rice Noodles with Spring roll
- Miến — Vermicelli
- Bánh Canh — Think noodles made from tapioca flour
- Phở — A type of traditional Vietnamese soup with herbs
- Phở Chay — Vegetarian Phở
- Bánh Mì — Baguette (bread)
- Bún riêu: Bún is noodles and “riêu” is crab meat and the bowl comes with soup and lots of vegetables. In the vegan version of the same dish, you can expect it with tofu skin and vegetables.
- Bún Huế: “Huế” is a city in the central of Vietnam, to tell the origin of the dish. It will still be served with soup in the vegetarian version. Just use ‘Chay Bún Huế’ and you’re sorted
- Bún chả giò: deep-fried spring rolls with noodles. Style of serving will be dry.
- Bún nước lèo: Style of serving will be like a soup
You can find these terms in most menus of these chay restaurants. Before you start struggling with this, check if they have an English version of the menu.
Even the most local places do.
P.S. I’ll keep updating these terms from time-to-time during my stay in Vietnam. If you have any specific terms you would like to add to this list, feel free to leave a comment on this post.
Here’s how much you’ll spend:
I’m not going to share menus of restaurants with you but if you go to a local chay restaurant, expect to pay around $1 for a full meal per person.
That’s correct, 22k VND is a good amount for one Bánh canh with a piece of spring roll or one Vegetarian (Chay) Phở.
Footnote for the uninitiated: 1 USD is approximately 22,000 Vietnamese Dong. So $1 = 22k VND.
It sounds like a steal — and it is!
So go ahead and enjoy your next Cơm Chay!