In early 2019, as I started living (for a project) in Ho Chi Minh city, I was very excited to explore the local cuisine. And very soon, I was overwhelmed by the variety and the tastes offered by the land. As I continued exploring, I started having my favorites in the city, more like go-to places, where I would head (almost sub-consciously) when hungry.
Eventually, as the months went by I was obviously missing my own food, my Indian food. And I was very grateful that in terms of Indian food, Ho Chi Minh had a lot to offer. There were plenty of Indian restaurants in the city, like Saigon Indian restaurant, Ganesh, Tandoor, Baba’s kitchen, Dahi Handi, Benaras, Ganges etc., which took care of my craving for Indian food. Apart from that, I would also cook for myself sometimes, when I wanted something cooked a certain way.
However, slowly my food experiences started becoming commonplace and I was very keen on trying something new and unique. And thankfully then, Lan, my colleague and friend, came to my rescue. She introduced me to some amazing places, where one could find authentic and delicious Vietnamese food. One such escapade, lead me to this restaurant which became my favourite for vegetarian Vietnamese food.
The best Vegetarian Vietnamese food in Ho Chi Minh City
So according to me, “3 La Vegetarian” (3 La Chay) is the restaurant which offers the best vegetarian Vietnamese food in Ho Chi Minh city. There were several other restaurants which I visited, in district 1, 2, and 3 which offered great vegetarian cuisine (like Hum vegetarian), however, I liked 3 La Chay, the most.
The restaurant is located in a quiet locality, of the very happening District 1. Obviously, with google maps it is easy to locate and you can directly take a cab (Vinasun, Grab, Mai Linh etc.) or a grab bike to reach the location.
On the inside, 3 La Vegetarian, is very humbly decorated with a predominance of traditional Vietnamese cultural elements, like bamboo furniture, Vietnamese hats, agricultural produce (decorative pieces), floor seating etc. (don’t worry, the places also provides chair seating). I would certainly recommend the floor seating, as it gives you a very traditional feeling (Also because I loved the cute seat cushions with kiwi fruit print on them :P)
As you settle down, you realise, one of the best things about the place is that, they play very soothing music (mostly flute based), which soothes your mind and prepares you for the meal. In fact, if you are travelling solo, you can also carry a book with you and quietly read it while waiting for the food.
The staff at the restaurant is quite friendly, they calmly take the orders and do their best to make you feel comfortable. Not all the staff understand English, but some of them certainly do, so ordering food is not a challenge. Also, every dish on the menu is numbered, so even if you cannot pronounce the name, you can mention the serial no. of the dish. Names/description of all the items, are also there in English, along with an image of the dish. So you can just point at the food/serial number and finish ordering.
What to have at 3 LA VEGETARIAN
On every ocassion that I visited the place, I ordered a rice dish along with a curry and fruit juice. The curries which I chose were either mushroom or Jackfruit based. And all the dishes I tried, were excellent. Do not worry, if you are not a fan of Jackfruit, the taste is impeccable and will certainly make you like jackfruit. There are many other dishes that the restaurant offers, which you can check out on their website before visiting. I am sharing my favourites below:
The favourite rice dishes were:
- Bamboo fried rice (Cơm chiên ống tre)
- Rice in lotus leaf (made with lotus seeds, Cơm lá sen)
The favourite main course dishes were:
- Stewed mushrooms with turmeric (Chân nấm kho nghệ)
- Mushroom with oyster sauce (Nấm rơm kho dầu hào)
- Stewed mushrooms with ginger (Chân nấm kho gừng)
- Sorry have forgotten the names of the Jackfruit dish 😛
- Also, one dish was made out of 5 types of mushrooms, which you can ask for as well (sorry for missing the name)
Each of these dishes (rice and main course) cost about 55.000 Dongs which is approx. 2.5 USD. So 5 USD for a rice and curry. If you throw in a drink as well, the complete meal can be done in less than 10 USD.
I was extremely satisfied with the food and the service at the 3 La Vegetarian. In Vietnam, it can be tough to find vegetarian food, however, that does not mean that the country doesn’t have amazing vegetarian food. And this place, just exemplifies that. So for all those of you (especially from India :P), who are scared of travelling to the country or the city, please feel free to remove all inhibitions. Contact me for any help required. And do keep the google translator handy! 😊
Address of 3 La Vegetarian
32A Cao Ba Nha | District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Cảm ơn! Thank you!
Keep travelling, Keep exploring 🙂