Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sat February 06 2016

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | February 6, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Bangkok: The Veggie Edition

    Bangkok: The Veggie Edition

    PHOTO: This vegan cold Tom Yam Soup was one of my favorite dishes to date! (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    Thailand is the land of street food. No matter where you turn, you will have a plethora of options for less than $1.50 a meal. However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may find eating street food to be more of a challenge. But just because you have restrictions doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Thai cuisine.

    As I’ve expressed quite often in this blog, I’m a huge foodie and despite my chosen non-meat lifestyle, I have never let it hinder me. Thai food has and will remain in my top list of favorite foods despite it being heavily meat based.

    I’m going to be honest though — as a vegan your options are practically non-existent for street stalls besides fried bananas, coconuts, freshly squeezed pomegranate and orange juice along with some amazing fruit stands, since you can’t guarantee your meal hasn’t been cross-contaminated.

    READ MORE: Exploring Culture in Cooking Classes

    But fear not. Luckily, you can still eat a huge, cheap and delicious meal for under $2 at Terminal 21 on the 5th floor, a handful of restaurants listed below and buy cheap and unique produce from Klong Toey Market!

    As for vegetarians, your street food can consist of Vegetarian Pad Thai, Mango Sticky Rice, Roti, various noodles, fruits galore, fried rice and everything listed above for vegans.

    Important information for street food:

    • You can ask street vendors if their food is “jay” — meaning “vegetarian.”

    • All soups use beef or chicken stock.

    • If you order fried rice, make sure to ask if it’s without chicken.

    • Pad Thai is typically made with fish sauce and dried shrimp, so you will need to verify with the chef that it can be made vegetarian.

    • Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) is made with a fish sauce. Heartbreaking, I know.

    Now, for all you vegans and vegetarians, there is still hope for having a true Thai food experience. I had stumbled across a place called May Kaidee’s just off of the notorious Khao San Road and found that not only do they make traditional Thai dishes for vegetarians, vegans and raw-vegans but they also hold cooking classes daily!

    Once I saw their raw vegan course, I quickly jumped on board, excited to make dragon fruit-mango smoothies, Thai inspired salsas, peanut sauces, chili paste, raw Pad Thai, raw spring rolls, coconut ice cream and my two favorites: Som Tam Fruit Salad and Cold Tom Yam Soup with coconut “meat.”

    PHOTO: From Veg friendly Pad Thai to salads and snacks – the flavors were out of this world!

    The raw-vegan course was a full day (five hours) with easy to follow, mouthwatering dishes actually taught by the owner, May, who took great pride in teaching us how to create healthy and enjoyable meals in a meat-based country.

    READ MORE: Cambodia Grows and Links Up with Thailand

    The courses range in price from 1,000-4,200 baht ($28-$105), include a small recipe book at the end and was a great introduction to raw “cooking” Thailand style. On top of it all, our small class was also taught how to do a traditional Thai dance between courses for some added fun.

    PHOTO: No cooking class at May Kaidee’s is over until you’ve partaken in a traditional Thai dance; taught by the owner!

    If cooking is not your thing and you’d rather go to a restaurant, below are the names of Bangkok’s veggie friendly options as seen on

    Arawy Thai Vegetarian Restaurant 

    Soi Convent Vegetarian Restaurant 

    Baan Suan Pi Vegetarian Food Court

    Chamlong’s Asoke Vegetarian Food 

    Deep Fried Vegetarian Snacks on Wheels 

    Khun Churn Buffet

    Lan Bay Boon

    Suki Jeh Ruyi


    Loving Hut

More Bangkok


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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