At first glance, Ho Chi Minh City's food scene appears to be geared toward the meat lover. Dig a little deeper, however, and you will find a myriad of vegetarian options. With its abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, Vietnam plates up vegetarian cuisine that puts other countries to shame. Many of the best-known dishes such as pho have meat-free versions and there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants in Saigon that offer faux meat along with dishes packed with tofu. Other options include noodle-rice shacks, vegetable soups, sweet-and-sour cauliflower, stir-fried noodles and countless green vegetable options such as stir fried morning glory with garlic.
HCMC's local markets are fun places to shop for fruits and vegetables. You'll be surprised at the sheer amount of veggies you can get for just a few dollars. In the grocery stores, look for fresh herbs from Dalat. With its cooler mountain climate, Dalat is perfect for growing vegetables and herbs such as fresh basil, thyme and sage. Dalat is also the only region where strawberries are grown. In Southeast Asia, where Buddhism accounts for roughly 85 percent of the population, vegetarians need not fear going hungry. Read on dear herbivores, to find out where to start your quest for a bang-up vegetarian feast in Saigon.