Vegetarian China

Introduction

Vegetarians and vegans planning trips to China often have questions about how to find acceptable cuisine.

This page aims to answer your questions by familiarising you with the historical, cultural and practical implications of being vegetarian in this fascinating part of the world.

Although this site is based upon my own experience as a vegetarian, information for vegans is also provided.

First of all, don't be discouraged from travel. It is possible to travel widely in China and find vegetarian or vegan food. It just takes some effort and a bit of flexibility.

Most foreign vegetarians arrive in greater China with no local language skills, which was exactly the case for me.

I'll present some basic Chinese phrases for you that allow you to explain your dietary preference, and also give you a list of common dishes as a 'safe menu'.

The Chinese characters on this page are in simplified Chinese, the pronunciation is Mandarin (standard Chinese) and the romanization given here is pinyin.

How to say you're vegetarian

??? (wo chi su)

Unfortunately there is no simple way to say you're vegetarian that will be understood clearly in all situations.

But don't panic! ... there's some easy to remember phrases that come close.

The standard strategy is to get the gist of the message across with the Chinese phrase wo chi su (literally "I eat vegetables"), or one of its slightly more complex variant.

This phrase, combined with being vigilant against contaminants (little pieces of meat, meat-based soup stocks, sprinklings of dry shrimps, etc.) is a practical and easily achievable solution to the core problem of getting fed.

Indeed, they are three powerful characters - whether you print them out and point at them, or try to learn the pronunciation and repeat it yourself, you'll be dashing in to random restaurants and discovering new vegetarian delicacies in no time!

Of course, repeating this phrase has its limitations and there are is a more elevated phrases that you might also want to learn about.

Bonus Phrase for Budding Linguists

English Chinese Pinyin Notes
I'm vegetarian ??? (wo chi zhai) wo chi zhai This variant is a more religious-oriented way to say that you are vegetarian.
It is less likely to be understood and may cause confusion.


While it may not be so useful in the mainland since almost nobody will understand, in Hong Kong and Taiwan you might be able to explain the concept of a 'vegan' (纯素食者 chun su shi zhe).

How to say you don't eat something

??? (wo bu chi)

Since vegans and many vegetarians have particular (dis)affinities for foods, it helps to know how to say that you don't eat something.

The phrase for this is wo bu chi... followed by the food in question.

For instance, wo bu chi ji dan means "I don't eat (chicken) eggs."

Two other useful foods to remember with this phrase are yu (fish) and hai xian (seafood).

Vegetarianism in Chinese history

Chinese-style bird-pattern design.

China was a major center of Buddhism and the founding state of Taoism, two nature-oriented philosophies that promote vegetarianism and low-impact living.

However, the situation in modern China is quite different.

In recent history many Chinese people were too poor to afford meat, and today they have grown up and/or had children of their own.

Back with a vengeance, they are almost literally munching on any little critter they can get their hands on.

This explains the lack of overt vegetarianism and the quizzical looks you may garner when you finally get your message across.

Methods of preparation

The following are the most common phrases used to describe methods of food preparation.

ChinesePinyinEnglishNotes
chaoStir-fryThe most common method.
zhaFryA 'seared' fry - crispy on the outside.
zhuBoilDescribes soups, dumplings, etc.
干煸gan bianDry fried (seared)For fried cakes, seared beans, etc.
zhengSteamedLike 'baozi' breakfast buns.

List of Chinese vegetarian dishes

Here is a list of common Chinese vegetarian dishes and/or street food, including names in Chinese and English, ingredients and vegetarian/vegan status.

English Name & Image
Chinese
Pinyin
Vegan
Description/Comments
Breads and Pastries


bing
Some
Chinese Pinyin Description
窝头
窝窝头
wo tou
wo wo tou

North-eastern steamed corn bread.
煎油饼
jian you bing
Folded fried pancake.
锅贴
guo tie
Lightly salted baked pancake.
煎饼
jian bing
Fried pancake. (Pictured left.)
春卷
chun juan
Pancake roll, sometimes with filling.
油炸饼
you zha bing
Fried pancake with filling.
葱油饼
cong you bing
Fried spring onion pancake.
Cabbage and Mushrooms
白菜木耳
bai cai mu er
Yes
Stir fried cabbage with wood ear mushrooms, and a few other vegetables such as carrot.
Candied Vegetables
挂浆
gua jiang
Yes
North-eastern dishes of candied vegetables, usually pumpkin. Very sticky and difficult to eat after they set!  When hot, really hot - some restaurants provide dipping water to cool the pieces down.
Chinese
Pinyin
Description
南瓜挂浆
nan gua gua jiang
Pumpkin candy. (most common)
土豆挂浆 tu dou gua jiang
Potato candy. (also common)
香蕉挂浆 xiang jiao gua jiang
Banana candy. (uncommon)
苹果挂浆 ping guo gua jiang
Apple candy. (uncommon)

Chinese Buns
包子
bao zi
Yes
Breakfast buns filled with all sorts of tasty goodies.  You can acquire these from streetside vendors - just look for steaming piles of round, bamboo containers.  Most buns are lightly salted.
Chinese
Pinyin
Description
花卷
hua juan
Salted flour bun with diced spring onion throughout.
菜包 *
cai bao
Catch all name for buns with vegetable mix inside.
*Watch out, some 菜包 contain a small amount of diced meat, so remember to ask before buying!
香菇菜包
xiang gu cai bao Salted bun with mushroom and vegetable mix inside.
豆沙包
dou sha bao
Sweet bun with red bean paste inside.

Cold Cucumber Salad
凉拌黄瓜
liang ban huang gua
Yes
A lightly salted cucumber salad with chilli, served cold.
Crispy-Skin Tofu

脆皮豆腐
cui pi dou fu
Yes
Blocks of tofu served sweet red sauce.
Dumplings
菜饺子
cai jiao zi
Yes
These are little, boiled, flour-wrapped packages with various veggies inside, usually served in a soup, with additional sauces such as vinegar and soy for flavouring.
Warning: Many places serve these in soups which include chicken stock.  Some places may include small amounts of meat.  Ask using the phrases listed above, or inspect before ordering.

Egg and Tomato Soup
番茄蛋汤
fan qie dan tang
No
A simple soup made of eggs and tomato.  Salty, and available country-wide.
Eggplant with Chilli and Potato
地三鲜
di san xian
Yes
Stir fried eggplant, chilli and potato braised with soy sauce.  Northern dish.
Fried Beansprouts

炒豆芽
chao dou ya
Yes
Stir fried beansprouts, lightly salted.  Sometimes accompanied with carrot or cucumber.  Sometimes served cold.
Garlic Fried Chinese Spinach 蒜泥菠菜
suan ni bo cai
Yes
Garlic stir-fried Chinese spinach.
Golden Needle Mushrooms & Cucumber (cold)

金针菇拌黄瓜
jin zhen gu ban huang gua
Yes
A cold dish: mixed golden needle mushrooms (long, thin, white ones), shredded cucumber, coriander and garlic.  Northern dish.
Green Chilli & Potato Shreds

青椒土豆丝
qing jiao tu dou si
Yes
Northern dish. Shredded green chilli and potato, lightly salted and fried with oil.  The chillis are not usually very hot.  Sometimes includes onion.
Green Chilli & Dried Tofu
青椒干豆腐
qing jiao gan dou fu
Yes
Northern dish. Green chilli slices and piles of thinly cut dried tofu sheets.  The chillis are not usually hot.
Homestyle Tofu
家常豆腐
jia chang dou fu
Yes
A mild, slightly sweet and chewy tofu dish with a tomato-based sauce and veggies.
Warning: Sometimes has meat. 
Ask using the phrases listed above, or inspect before ordering.
Hot & Sour Soup
酸辣汤
suan la tang
Yes
A hot and sour soup, usually very thick, with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, carrots and chilli.
Warning: Sometimes has meat. 
Ask using the phrases listed above, or inspect before ordering.
Hot Pepper Tofu

麻辣豆腐
ma la dou fu
Yes
Not to be confused with ma po do fu, which has meat, this is a hot, stir-fried tofu dish which goes well with rice and can be eaten right across the country.
Hot Pot

火锅
huo guo
Yes
Most parts of China have 'hot pot' restaurants, which provide respite from endless rice or noodle dishes.  The basic idea is that you get a pot, with boiling water or soup, and then order various things to put in.  Because this is entirely voluntary (opt in on each ingredient) it's entirely safe for vegetarians and vegans.  The only problem is the soup - use the phrase list above to ensure you have hot water instead of a meat stock to start with.  The hotpot pictured on the left is a 'yuan yang guo', which features two soups - often one hot and one watery.
Ice Cream
冰淇淋
bing qi lin
Some
There's a huge array of ice creams available across China, which usually vary a lot more in texture, material, taste and price than those available in western countries, which are mostly dominated by the products two or three ice cream companies.  Vegans can probably safely try the green or red bean flavoured ice poles.
Milk
牛奶
niu nai
No
In some cities milk can be found on the street at special vendors.  In many places, however, you will have to go to a store.
Mushroom & Gluten Clay Pot
香菇面筋煲
xiang gu mian jing bao
Yes
A hot clay pot containing a soup with fragrant mushrooms, green veggies and gluten balls.  One of my favourites.  Southern dish.
Warning: Sometimes the soup may contain chicken stock.  Ask using the phrases listed above, or inspect before ordering.
Mushroom & Veggie Hearts

香菇菜心
香菇青菜
xiang gu cai xin
xiang gu qing cai

Yes
Mushrooms in a thick, strong, salty sauce, with green vegetables.  Occasionally includes additional vegetables such as carrot.  Some restaurants will lay the dish out in a quaint flower pattern.
Naan
(Moslem Bread)
新疆大饼 馕
xin jiang da bing
nang

Yes
If you miss bread, as I sure did, just find a moslem restaurant.  A great many of these will have 'Xinjiang' (the name of China's westernmost province) in the name.  The phrase I have heard used is 'xinjiang da bing' (Xinjiang big bread/biscuit), however you can say naan instead (the name for bread in the Turkic languages of Central Asia).
Oyster Mushrooms
蚝油双菇
hao you shuang gu
No
Various mushrooms stir fried with oyster sauce.  Not particularly common.
Porridges (Congees)

zhou
Some
Chinese
Pinyin
Description
红豆粥
hong dou zhou
Red bean porridge (sweet).
大米粥
da mi zhou
White rice porridge (sometimes sweet).
黑米粥
hei mi zhou
Black rice porridge with jujubes (sweet).
八宝粥
ba bao zhou
Eight ingredient porridge (sweet).
小米粥
xiao mi zhou
Millet congee.
玉米粥
yu mi zhou
Corn / maize porridge.
绿豆粥
lv dou zhou
Green bean porridge (sometimes sweet).
Shredded Kelp
凉拌海带丝
liang ban hai dai si
Yes
Just what it sounds like - kelp.  Reportedly good with vinegar.
Sour Spicy Cabbage
酸辣白菜
suan la bai cai
Yes
Cabbage dish made from chilli, salt, garlic and cabbage, sometimes with  pepper added.
Soya milk
豆浆
dou jiang
Yes
Soy milk, often found boiling at breakfast time.  Plain, sweet or salty versions are available.  Usually if you have a bowl of this at breakfast, you can also eat various munchies alongside.
Chinese
Pinyin
Description
油条
you tiao
Deep fried doughstick. Long, munchy things hard to handle with chopsticks. These soften up once you give them a good bathing in soy milk. (Pictured left)

Stir-fried Cabbage
炒白菜
chao bai cai
Yes
Stir fried cabbage, usually with a little bit of chilli and salt.  See also Sour Spicy Cabbage.
Tiger Salad
老虎菜
lao hu cai
Yes
There are two main variants of this.  North-eastern (dong bei) and North-western (xi bei).  Both dishes are essentially a mix of onion and chilli strips tossed with vinegar and usually coriander.  The xi bei variant, which I prefer, also includes tomato.  Goes great with breads.
Tofu Brains


豆腐脑
dou fu nao
Yes
Great breakfast-time soup dish made from tofu, woodear musrooms, coriander and chilli.
Warning: Watch out for dried shrimps - some places will sprinkle them on top.
Yoghurt

酸奶
suan nai
No
In many places you can buy yoghurt in glass bottles with tinfoil or paper lids from street vendors. These are most active in the morning.  Also, in other areas you can often buy yoghurt in larger food stores or convenience stores.

Fruits and Nuts

Common and recognisable fruits include pineapples, mangoes and bananas (especially in the southwest, where they are grown, or in the east, where they are shipped from the Philippines), watermelons (grown in the west and north of the country) and apples (for which Shandong province is famous).

A host of extra, unrecognisable fruits are also available in to the melon category, and in tropical climes to the south.

Prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are very low - though rising - and you can still find numerous small fruit and vegetable markets in even the largest cities.

Nuts such as peanuts (hua sheng), cashews (yao guo) and pistachios (kai xin guo) are also readily available. They come fresh in the market, salted, packaged, fried or even coated.

Western Food

Although most 'western' food in China is of terrible quality with an inversely proportional price tag, there are some gems available.

Firstly, many cities in China now have cheap French breadsticks available through Walmart or Carrefour supermarkets.

More expensive imported goods such as cheese and wine are also available.

Pizza is usually a safe option for non-vegans intending to eat 'western' anywhere in China - it's hard to do badly, but do be careful of the toppings since Chinese have a strange fondness for corn on pizza!

Vegetarian food on Chinese buses / trains / planes

Flower design.

The sleeper trains across China are very convenient but do not provide vegetarian fare. Although there is a dining cart which, as a side dish, usually will have something edible, don't bet on it.

You would be best to bring your own fruit, biscuits or vegetarian instant noodles to have on the train. (Hot water is available in large thermoses and is constantly refilled by attendants.)

You can hop off the trains during longer stops and acquire various vegetarian munchies such as peanuts, packaged and spiced preserved tofu (but be careful! some flavoured tofu packs contain meat flavouring!), biscuits, etc.

The same munchies can be procured for long bus journeys.

Reportedly some Chinese airlines now provide vegetarian meals if you book them in advance.

Vegetarian Restaurants

Chinese fan in peacock design.

Here are some vegetarian restaurants throughout China. If you know of any more, please let me know!

Beijing / 北京

Baihe Vegetarian (Summer Palace Location) / 百合素餐厅(颐和园店)


Open 11AM-10PM. No egg, alcohol or onions. Seats 70 people, with 5 private rooms. Accepts international credit cards.
50 Kunming Hu Lu, Haidian District (map)
北京市海淀区昆明湖路50号 (běijīngshì hǎidiànqū kūnmínghú lù 50 hào)
(75m southeast of the Summer Palace Xingongmen Gate / 颐和园新宫门东南50米)
Buses: 374,374支,704,905,992 to Summer Palace southern Gate (颐和园南门)
+86 10 62878726
+86 10 64052081
www.vbaihe.com

Baihe Vegetarian (Dongcheng Caoyuan Hutong Location) / 百合素食香草园店

Renovated courtyard-style house in a traditional hutong neighbourhood. Includes both indoor and outdoor seating. Open 10:30AM-10:30PM. Accepts international credit cards.

Caoyuan Hutong No. Jia 23, Bei Xiaojie, Dongzhimen Nei, Dongcheng District (map)
东城区北小街草园胡同23号
+86 10 64052082
+86 10 64052084

Bodhi-Sake / 菩提缘素食斋

Just north of Taoranting park in an old temple courtyard complex. No smoking. Open daily 11AM-10PM.
10-16 Heiyaochang Jie, Xuanwu District (map)
宣武区黑窑厂街10号
+86 10 63542889
+86 10 63546155
+86 10 63557348
www.3puti.com

Elaine's

Featuring a courtyard and a rooftop deck overlooking the lake.
Luo Ma Hu, Shunyi
+86 10 80485088

Love Vegetarian Restaurant / 北京素势代祥茹蔬食餐厅

50m north of the east side of the Pan Jiayuan Bridge, Chaoyang District (map)
朝阳区 潘家园桥东50米路北
+86 10 67312168
blog.sina.com.cn/ssdaxssct

Don't miss...

Cat's Cradle

Smallish restaurant with English-speaking staff, good service but basic decor. No alcohol or smoking. Open daily 11am-9pm.
66 Meishuguanhoujie, Dongcheng District (map)
东城区美术馆后街66号
dōngchéngqū měishùguǎn hòu jiē liùshí liùhào
+86 133 6622 1228

Enlightened Love of Vegetables / 彼岸爱之素

33 Xueyuan Nan Lu, Haidian District (Beside Yihai Business Hotel) (map)
海淀区学院南路33号 (艺海商务酒店旁)
hǎidiànqū xuéyuàn nán lù sānshí sānhào (yì hǎi shāngwù jiǔdiàn páng)
Buses: 16, 849, 601, 645, 651 to 皂君庙东站/明光村西站/金五星总站/艺海总站 (zào jūn miào dōngzhàn/míng guāng cūn xīzhàn/jīn wǔxīng zǒngzhàn/yì hǎi zǒngzhàn)
+86 10 62116389
+86 10 86356269
无蛋无奶
aizhisu@126.com

Bowei Tang / 博味堂

9-14, Area 1, Anhuili, Chaoyang District (Near Jiali Building) (map)
朝阳区安慧里1区14-9号 (近加利大厦)
cháoyángqū An1 Huì lǐ yī qū shí sì-jiǔ hào (jìn jiālì dàshà)
+86 10 64927559

Sea of Mercy / 慈海素心

Reasonable prices and good food in a comfortable setting, but with unremarkable service. Open 10AM-11PM.
103 Di'anmen Xi Da Jie, Xicheng District (Inside rear of Jilu Fandian) (map)
西城区地安门西大街103号,齐鲁饭店后院内
Bus: 111,107,118,810,850,204,13 to Dongguan Fang Zhan (东官房站)
+86 10 66571898
+86 1330 1259 664

Caomujian / 草木间

2nd Floor, Huateng Building, 302 Jinsong Area #3, Chaoyang District (map)
朝阳区劲松三区甲302号华腾大厦二层
cháoyángqū jìn sōng sān qū jiǎ sānbǎi èrhào huá téng dàshà èrcéng
Subway: Jinsong Station (劲松站)
+86 10 87730135
+86 10 87730136

Temple of Enlightenment Vegetarian / 大觉寺素食

Inside the Temple of Enlightenment (map)
北京西部旸台山(在颐和园乘346路汽车,到北安河南口下车,大觉寺内)
Bus: Take 346 from the Summer Palace (颐和园) to Bei'an He Nankou (北安河南口)

Deng Pin Vegetarian / 登品素食

Features 10 private rooms and capacity for 150 simultaneous diners. Egg used.
26 Guozijian Jie Jia, Dongcheng District (Opposite the Confucian Temple, 80m from Yonghegong) (map)
东城区国子监大街甲26号 (孔庙对面,距离雍和宫80米)
dōngchéngqū guó zǐ jiān dàjiē jiǎ èrshí liùhào (kǒng miào duìmiàn, jùlí yōng hé gōng bāshí mǐ)
+86 10 64046568

Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant / 功德林素饭庄

Open from 6:30AM to 8PM. Seating for 300. 4 private rooms. Egg used. Alcohol served. No onion.
158 Qianmen Nan Da Jie ()
前门南大街158号
qián ménnándàjiē yībǎi wǔshí bāhào
Bus: 110,120,20,15,59,17,54 to Zhushikou (珠市口)
+86 10 67020867
+86 10 65112542

Lily Pond Moonlight / 荷塘月色

Open since 2000, with seating for 200. No egg, onion or alcohol is served. Electronic payment by China Unipay card and international credit cards are accepted. Rumoured to be a bit pricey, and too heavy on fake meat dishes.
Building 12, Liu Fang Nan Li, Chaoyang District (map)
朝阳区柳芳南里12号楼
Bus: 104 to Liu Fang Dong Kou (柳芳东口) or 18 to Zuo Jia Zhuang (左家庄)
+86 10 64653299
+86 10 64663114
www.hetangyuese.com.cn
www.brightsea.net

Lily Pond Moonlight (Zhongguan Village Location) / 荷塘月色(中关村店)

No egg or onion. Alcohol is served.
3rd Floor, #3 Cultural Center, 66 Number Four Ring Road (East of Haidian Bridge), Haidian District (map)
海淀区北四环西路66号 第三极文化中心3层
hǎidiànqū běi sì huán xīlù liùshí liùhào dì sān jí wénhuà zhōngxīn sāncéng
+86 10 62680848
+86 10 62681318
www.hetangyuese.com.cn

He She Vegetarian / 荷舍素食

东城区东单路口北(王府半岛饭店东)
+86 10 65239747

Jiaheyuan Vegetarian / 嘉禾园素食

德胜门西大街甲5号(积水潭桥西360米路北地铁集团院内)
+86 10 62261846

Homestyle Vegetarian / 家乡素食

朝阳公园路6号SOLANA蓝色港湾商业区SMM98号
+86 10 59056301
+86 10 59056306
注意:这是家乡连锁餐饮的唯一一家素食店

Jiangnan Garden Meishijie / 江南花园美食街

Over 1500 meters squared. Seats 450 people. Divided in to self-service buffet, and fast food sections. Private rooms available.
Opposite Beijing Station (to the North-east) (map)
北京站前马路斜对面(东北方位)
běijīngzhàn qián mǎlù xié duìmiàn (dōngběifāng wèi)
Subway or bus: Beijing Station (北京站 / běijīngzhàn)
+86 10 65596136
+86 10 65598001

Jingfun Cafe / 净饭咖啡

Western food. Ground Floor, Bishuiyuntian Building, Wanliu Zhong Lu, Haidian District (map)
海淀区万柳中路碧水云天底商1号楼
+86 10 82567293
+86 10 82565205

Still Thoughts Vegetarian (Da Fo Temple Location) / 静思素食坊 (大佛寺分店 )

Large menu, popular and cheap. Open 10AM-10PM. Non smoking area.
北大佛寺东街甲18号育群胡同口
+86 1064008941

Still Thoughts Vegetarian (Meiyuan Hotel Location) / 静思素食坊 (梅苑饭店分店)

Large menu, popular and cheap. Open 10AM-10PM.
北京市梅苑饭店高粱桥斜街甲30号
大学南门梅园饭店1-2层
+86 10 62255792

Tranquil Lotus (Pure Lotus) / 净心莲

Set in Chaoyang park, this restaurant serves no egg, alcohol or onion. Acclaimed decor and bilingual staff with excellent English. Seating for 60, plus one private room. International credit cards are accepted. Pricing is reasonable.
农展南里10号中国文联院内(东三环长虹桥东北角350/707/特3路)
+86 10 87036669
+86 10 65923627

Tranquil Lotus (Holiday Inn Lidu) / 净心莲 (丽都假日饭店分店)

Fairly exclusive vegetarian restaurant set in the Holiday Inn. No egg, alcohol or onion. Receives good reviews, but pricey!
3rd Floor, Holiday Inn Lidu, 6 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District (map)
朝阳区将台路6号丽都假日饭店3层
+86 10 87036668
+86 10 64376288

Tranquility Vegetarian / 净心素食居

Opened 2005. 150 seats, 5 private rooms.
丰台区方庄芳古园一区28号蒲方路物美大卖场东(37、39路芳古园站)
+86 10 67623159

Sea of Lotus Vegetarian / 莲花海素食

Open 10AM-10PM. No egg, alcohol, or onion.
Opposite Hebei Fandian, Cheniandian Hutong, Andingmen Nei Da Jie (map)
安定门内大街车辇店胡同 (河北饭店对面) Bus: 104,108 to Andingmen Nei (安定门内)
+86 10 64036169

Liuhe Vegetarian / 六和斋

Southeast Corner of Xisanqi Bridge, Haidian District
海淀区西三旗立交桥东南角
+86 10 86490060
+86 10 86394733

Ma Niang Niang Fan Zhuang / 马娘酿饭庄

Not exclusively vegetarian, but vegetarian food is prepared in a seperate kitchen.
Section 2, Badachu Park, Shijingshan District (map)
石景山区八大处公园二处
+86 10 88964661
+86 10 88962017

Miaoshan Vegetarian / 妙膳素食

Opened April 2005.
76 Gulouxidajie, Xicheng District (map)
北京西城区鼓楼西大街76号
Subway: Guloudajie (鼓楼大街) exit B, turn right and keep walking. Turn right at Guluoxidajie (鼓楼西大街), then keep walking for 15-20 minutes.
Bus: 5,815,819,834 to Ganshui Qiao (甘水桥)
+86 10 84045899

Banruo Vegetarian / 般若素食

No smoking, alcohol, meat, eggs or onion.
33 Guloudongjie, Changping District (map)
昌平区鼓楼东街33号
Bus: 21 to Changping #2 Middle School (昌平二中), then walk north for five minutes.
+86 10 69700208
+86 10 86694425

Pu Ti Yuan / 菩提缘

Open 10:30AM-10:30PM. No egg or onion.
10-16 Heiyaochang Jie, Xuanwu District (200m east of Taoranting Park's north gate) (map)
宣武区黑窑场街10号-16号 (陶然亭公园北门正对进来200米路东)
Bus: 40,59,613 to Taoranting Gongyuan (陶然亭公园)
+86 10 63546155
+86 10 63557348
+86 10 63542889

Bodhisattva Garden Vegetarian / 菩园斋

Open 10:30AM-10:30PM.
East Wall of Lianhe University, 93 North Number Four Ring Road (map)
北四环东路93号计生委,惠新东桥联合大学东侧
Bus: 840,740,753,944,939 to Shaoyao Ju (芍药居)
+86 10 84643248
+86 10 84643246

Seven Treasures Pool Vegetarian Garden / 七宝池蔬食花园

No egg, onion or smoking.
101 Yuanyang World, Building 67, 1 Ba Li Zhuang Xi Li (map)
八里庄西里1号远洋天地67号楼101
+86 10 85860026

Total Vegetarian / 全素斋

Serves vegetarian meat dishes, some include meat flavours (ask for pure!).
213 Wangfujing Da Jie, Dongcheng District (map)
东城区王府井大街213号
Bus: 104
+86 10 65250741

Sushang Healthy Vegetarian / 素尚健康素食

No egg or onion.
Da Tun Bei Zhan, Beifan Lu, Chaoyang Distrct (50m North of the Sinopec Gas Station) (map)
朝阳区北苑路大屯北站“家和物美大卖场”南200米路东(中石化北苑路加油站北50米)
+86 10 52020978

Vegetarian Place / 素食居

28, Section 1, Fangzhuangfang Guyuan, Fengtai District (East of Wumei Shopping Center) (map)
丰台区方庄芳古园一区28号(物美大卖场东)
+86 10 67623159

Veggie Love Kitchen / 素势代爱心厨房

Opened 2008. No egg or alcohol.
24 Baiguang Lu Jia (map)
宣武区白广路甲24号南
+86 10 63513517

Vegetarian Dining Hall / 素势代祥茹蔬食餐厅

Opened 2006. No egg or alcohol.
Building 5, Jinli Dasha, Song Yu Bei Lu, Chaoyang District (map)
朝阳区松榆北路5号楼金利大厦
+86 10 67312168

Veggie Flavour Lifetime Vegetarian / 素味人生素菜馆

Opened 2008. No egg or onion.
Inside #9 Pufang Lu, Puhuangyu Area (South of Fangguyuan Elementary School) (map)
蒲黄榆蒲方路9号院内(方古园小学正南)
Bus: 39,43,122,705,723,800外,813,957,986 to Puhuangyu (蒲黄榆), then walk 100m east.
+86 10 58070038
suweirensheng@sina.com

Vegetarian Heart / 素心小筑

Opened 2006.
Luoma Lakefront, Shayu Village, rear of Shunyi District (Turn left 100m north of Luoma Huandao, proceed 800m)
顺义后沙峪镇罗马湖畔(罗马环岛向北100米左转沿罗马湖畔800米)
+86 10 80485088
+86 10 80485566

Fragrance of Heaven's Kitchen (Qinghua Location) / 天厨妙香 (清华店)

Opened 2005, seats 100 people with four private rooms. No smoking, alcohol, egg or onion.
Western side, Level 1, Incubator Building, Qinghua Science and Technology Park (Opposite Qinghua Main Gate), Wudaokou (map)
清华正门外,清华科技园,创业大厦一层西侧
Subway: Line 5
Bus: To Qinghuayuan (清华园) or Shuangqinglu (双清路) - 小5路,小67路,小71路,运通110,307,320支,331,355,355支,375,375支,628,726,731,732支,743,749,825,913,951.
+86 10 62797078
+86 10 62780859
+86 10 64052084
http://www.liaofan.com/

Vegan Hut / 维根小屋

The first vegan center in China, open daily 11am-10pm (since 2008).
0912, Building 9, 2nd Floor, Jianwai, SOHO (map)
国贸建外SOHO东区9号楼西南角0912
+86 400 700 4258
+86 1058699856
Take Subway Line 1 or 10 to Guomao Station, take Exit C, walk 50m west, turn left at the CITC building, go south 50m. You want the white building (#9).
veganhut.eggplantdigital.cn

Wo Xing Wo Su / 我行我素茶食坊

Opened 2004, hours 10:30AM-2PM and 5PM-9:30PM. Basic, pleasant and quiet interior. No smoking, alcohol or eggs.
61 Di'anmen Dong Da Jie, Beidongcheng District (Near Ping An Da Dao, opposite the park) (map)
北东城区地安门东大街61号 (在平安大道霞光街口, 皇城根遗址公园对面)
+86 10 84011287
woxingwosu@hotmail.com

Reclining Buddha Vegetarian / 卧佛山庄素菜馆

Inside Beijing Botanical Gardens, Wofo Si Lu, Haiding District (Near Xiangshan Huandao) (map)
海淀区卧佛寺路北京植物园内 (近香山环岛)
+86 10 82599110
+86 10 82599300

Xiang Ji Vegetarian Garden / 香积素苑

14 Maliandao, Xuanwu District (near Chaye Yi Tiao Jie) (map)
宣武区马连道14号 (近茶叶一条街)
+86 10 63368090

Xiangyang Vegetarian (Dazhong Temple Location) / 香阳小筑

Opened 2005. No smoking, alcohol, egg or MSG.
20m West of Guzhong Museum Main Gate, Dazhong Temple, Number Three Ring Road, Haidian District (map)
海淀区北三环路大钟寺古钟博物馆大门西侧20米
+86 10 82112104
+86 10 64051405

Xiangyang Vegetarian (Tower Location) / 香阳小筑(鼓楼店)

Opened 2005. No smoking, alcohol, egg or MSG.
Xicheng District (South of the subway bridge) (map)
西城区旧鼓楼大街大石桥胡同口 (地铁鼓楼桥南)
+86 10 84040518

Yi Xin Vegetarian / 怡新素食

No smoking, alcohol, onion or egg.
Level 2, Anyuan Building 8, Anhui Bei Li
安慧北里安园八号楼二楼
Bus: 358,803,417支,758,858 to Datun (大屯) or Xiuyuan (秀园)
+86 10 64890229
+86 10 64898350
www.yixinsushi.com
yxkf.bj@gmail.com

Ying Zi Man Yuan Veggie Bar

D104, Section C, Yingdou Building, 48 Zhichun Lu Jia (map)
海淀区知春路甲48号盈都大厦C座D104
Subway: to Zhichunlu (知春路)
+86 10 58732373

Yunwei Vegetarian / 云为素食

No smoking, alcohol, egg or onion.
B1-107 Fenghui Shidai Building, Taipingqiao Da Jie, Xicheng District (map)
西城区太平桥大街丰汇时代大厦B1-107
+86 10 58362560
+86 10 58362570
blog.sina.com.cn/u/1145960261

Tibetan Vegetarian Restaurant / 藏素风格餐厅

Also prepares meat dishes, but preparation is done separately.
14 ...., Huang Cun Hua Da Jie, Da Xing District (map)
大兴区黄村新华大街三中西巷14号
+86 10 69251515

Zhenjue Fan / 真觉苑

Baishi Qiao, 24 Wuta Si Cun, inside Zhenjue Si Temple, Haidian District (map)
海淀区白石桥五塔寺村24号真觉寺内
+86 10 62186698

Zhenlong Whole Vegetarian Foods / 正隆斋全素食品西单店

3 Xin Wenhua Jie, Xicheng District (map)
西城区新文化街3号
+86 10 66031053

Ziputishan Vegetarian / 紫菩提膳斋坊

No smoking, eggs or onion.
300m South of the lights, intersection opposite Aoti Dong Men, Yayuan Cun, Chaoyang District (map)
朝阳区亚运村奥体东门正对路口向东第一个红绿灯向南300米路西
+86 10 64945266
www.ziputi.cn



Jinan / 济南

Go Go Creative

30C Quanle Fang, No. 9, Xian Xi Xiang, Li Xia District
山东济南历下区泉乐坊30c, 很像书店
Vegan.



Shanghai / 上海

Anna Maya Vegetarian Cafe

3 Taojiang Lu (near Hengshan Lu), French Concession
桃江路3号 (近衡山路)
+86 21 64334602
Open: 10am-10pm

Blissful Butterfly / 心樂蝶舞

6/F, Expo Culture Center, 1200 Expo Avenue, Shanghai Expo Site
世博大道1200号世博文化中心6楼
+86 21 20251080
Open: 10:30am-9:00pm

Chunfeng Songyue Lou

Chenghuang Temple, 23 Bailin Road
+86 21 63553630

Ganyezi Cha Liaoli / 干叶子茶料理

359 Xinhua Lu (near Dingxi Lu),
新华路359号 (近定西路)
+86 21 62813695 Open: 5:30pm-9:30pm

Gong De Lin / 功德林

445 Nanjing Xi Lu (near Chengdu Bei Lu), Jing An District
南京西路445号 (近成都北路)
+86 21 63270218
Open: 10am-9pm

Gong De Lin / 功德林

97 Wukang Lu (near Wuyuan Lu), Xuhui District
武康97号 (近五原路)
+86 21 64718909
Open: 7:30am-8pm

Jade Buddha Temple Vegetarian Restaurant

999 Jiangning Lu (near Anyuan Lu), Jing An District
江宁路999号 (近安远路)
+86 21 62665596

Ji Xiang Cao

2/F, 428 Madang Lu (near Hefei Lu), Xintiandi
马当路428号2楼 (近合肥路)
+86 21 63730288
Open: 10am-9:30pm

L'Abre de Provence / 普罗旺斯的树

4/F Metro City, 1111 Zhaojiabang Lu, Xujiahui
肇家浜路1111号徐家汇美罗城4楼 (近漕溪北路, 地铁1号线徐家汇站)
(Near Caoxi Bei Lu, Metro Line 1 Xujiahui Station
+86 21 64267698 Open: 10am-10pm

Lotus

143-145 Huanghe Lu, near People's Square
黄河路143-145号
Open: 9:30am-9pm

Ordinary Veggie / 普素

565 Shunchang Lu (near Xujiahui Lu)
顺昌路565号 (近徐家汇路)
+86 21 63289938
Open: 11am-9pm

Peony (aka. 'Jendow') / 人道素菜

2787 Longhua Lu (near Tianyaoqiao Lu), Xuhui District
龙华路2787号 (近天钥桥路)
+86 21 64572299
+86 21 64577821
+86 21 64570570
Open: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm
Accepts international credit cards.

Lucky Zen & Veg Restaurant / 吉祥草素食馆

2nd Floor, 428 Madang Lu (near Hefei Lu), Luwan District
+86 21 63730288
Open: 10am-9:30pm

New Age Veggie / 新素代

5/F Super Brand Mall, 168 Lujiazui Xi Lu (near Fucheng Lu), Pudong
陆家嘴西路168号正大广场5楼20A/B (近富城路, 地铁2号线陆家嘴路站)
(Metro Line 2 Lujiazui Lu Station)
+86 21 50471880
Open: 10am-10pm
Accepts international credit cards. Wifi available.

The Vegeatery / 艺素馆

381 Huaihai Zhong Lu (near Madang Lu), Luwan
淮海中路381号 (近马当路, 地铁1号线黄陂南路站)
(Metro Line 1, Huangpi Nan Lu Station)
+86 21 63915589
Open: 11am-10pm

Tian Ran Natural Health / 天然居素食

8/F, 450-E Nanjing Dong Lu (near Jiujiang Lu)
南京东路450-E 8楼 (近九江路, 地铁 2号线南京东路站)
(Metro Line 2, Nanjing Dong Lu Station)
+86 21 63612059
Open: 10am-10pm

Vegetarian Lifestyle (Jing An) / 枣子树

258 Fengxian Lu (near Jiangning Lu), Jing An District
奉贤路258号 (近江宁路)
(Between Beijing Xi Lu and Nanjing Xi Lu to the north and south,
and Jiangning Lu and Changhua Lu to the east and west.)
+86 21 62157566
Open: 11am-9pm

Vegetarian Lifestyle (Gubei/Hongqiao) / 枣子树

848 Huangjincheng Dao (near Shuicheng Nan Lu), Gubei/Hongqiao
黄金城道848号 (近水城南路)
+86 21 62751798
Open: 11am-9pm

Vegetarian Lifestyle (Luwan) / 枣子树

77 Songshan Lu (near Huaihai Lu), Luwan District
嵩山路77号 (近淮海路)
+86 21 63848000
Open: 11am-9pm

Wu Guan Tang / 五观堂素食

349 Xinhua Lu (near Ding Xi Lu), Changning District (map)
新华路349号 (近定西路)
+86 21 62813695
Open: 11am-10pm



Shenzhen

SQ-SS Vegetarian

Online menu.
漳州市芗城区天下美食广场C2-D05 (map)
+86 596 2926292
www.sq-ss.com

Hong Kong

Ah Sin Vegetarian
M/F 71 Chatham Road S. Oriental Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon(Hong Kong), 11-11pm Tel: 23660067
The decor and atmosphere looked great.  Lunch buffet offered at reasonable price.  Cordial wait staff/greeters.

Bo Kong Vegetarian Restaurant 寶光素食
1203 Food Forum, Times Square, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2506-3377
Although not that cheap, the food is highly recommended as there is a wide variety and it's not as greasy as usual.
The staff are also very friendly. This and the restaurant of the same name in Vancouver are owned by the same Hong Kong star.

Bo Lin Vegetarian Kitchen 寶蓮齋廚
G/F, 81 Chung On Street, Tsuen Wan, Tel: 2492-2009

Dai Yat Vegetarian Restaurant V
G/F, 470 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2302-0236

Fantasy Vegetarian Restaurant 蓬莱素食館
G/F, 66 Electric Road, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2887-3886

Fat Heung Lam 佛香林素菜館
Wellington Street, HK, Tel: 2543-0404
Noodles, congee, etc.

Feun Kong Vegetarian V
1 New Market Street, Sheung Wan, HK, Tel: 2581-1121

Fook Lam Kok Healthy Vegetarian Restaurant V
G/F, 15D Shai Kei Wan Road, Sai Wan Ho, HK, Tel: ?

Healthy Vegetarian Restaurant 雅苑合記餐廳
9? Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, HK, Tel: 2363-5723

The Higher Taste Taste Vegetarian Dining Club
http://members.tripod.com/food_vg
6/F, 27 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Tel: 2723-0260
Part of the Hong Kong Hare Krishna Society. A lunch buffet is available as well as courses in yoga
and other related subjects.  I had a wonderful experience!  A lunch (not buffet as such) was 
served but they would like people to call ahead.  Call by 10am. 27396818. Their website is very 
nice: iskconkh.org.  Price was 40 Hong Kong dollars (very reasonable!)
They have veg cooking classes every Mon. evening and still have yoga classes.  There is a temple there
in the building and they are on the 6th floor.  The door off the street has a guard so simply explain 
where you're going.


Kam Heung Chai V
Shop A2, G/F, 254 Electric Road, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2806-2055

Kam Gong Vegetarian Restaurant V
G/F, 321 Shai Kei Wan Road, Shau Kei Wan, Tel: 2568-7531

Kung Tak Lam Shanghai Vegetarian Cuisine 功德林上海素食
31 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2890-3127
45-47 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Tel: 2367-7881
No MSG is used in the food. On weekdays and Saturdays, there are very cheap set lunches which include soup.

Light Vegetarian Restaurant 普光齋
Shop H & I G/F & Shop I M/F, New Lucky House, 13 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Tel: 2384-2833, Fax: 2332-7378
1/F, Kiu Fai Mansion, 413-421 King's Road, North Point, HK, Tel: 2561-8123, Fax: 2561-8981
Large menu consisting of lots of dishes, rice noodles, ho-fun, udon, noodles in soup, congee. 
Dim sum is available for take-away.
Buffet starts from 6pm - $98 for adults at the Jordan branch, and $70 ($80 at weekends and on 
public holidays) at the North Point branch. An even cheaper buffet (about $35) starts at 3pm - 
very cheap, but make sure you're there on time as the more popular food like the steamed 
dumplings disappears within seconds.

Ling Zhi Vegetarian Restaurant V
G/F, 951 King's Road, Quarry Bay, HK, Tel: 2880-0883

Miu Fat Chai Vegetarian Restaurant 妙法齊
G/F, 79 Ho Pui Street, Tsuen Wan, Tel: 2412-0301

Nice Fragrance Vegetarian Kitchen 悅滿齋廚
105 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, HK, Tel: 2838-3608

Po Lin Monastery 寶蓮禪寺
http://www.fare.com.hk/visa/hongkong/polin/polin2.htm
Lantau Island
You can purchase a ticket which will allow you to enter the gigantic Buddha statue and to enjoy a vegetarian meal.
Good value for money.

Po Lin Yuen 寶蓮苑
26 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, HK, Tel: 2543-0823

Tak Bo Vegetarian Restaurant 德寶齋廚
106 Austin Road, TST, Tel: 2723-2770

Tin Heng Vegetarian Food Association V
2/F, 524 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2572-8022

Tung Fong Siu Kee Yuen Vegetarian 東方小祇園有限公司
241 Hennessey Road, Wan Chai, HK, Tel: 2507-4839
It's easy to miss walking by!  Look for a poster advertisement of it to 
the left of a hall opening next to what looks like a little bakery 
there off the sidewalk. Go to the top of the stairs.  The menu was 
EXTENSIVE and all looked good.  Reasonable pricing and nice decor.  
They were so packed that you might find yourself seated with others 
at the same table!  Fun! (Better if you speak Cantonese!)

Vegi Food Kitchen 香齋廚素菜館
Flat B, G/F, Highland Mansion, 13 Cleveland Street, Causeway Bay
2890-6660

Vegi-Table V
1 Tun Wo Lane, Central, HK, Tel: 2877-0901

Wah Ha Vegetarian Restaurant V
G/F, 37 Shop Street, Wan Chai, HK, Tel: 2529-8222 


Indian and related restaurants

Branto Indian Pure Vegetarian Food Branto印度素食餐廳
1/F, 9 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Tel: 2366-8171
Quite easy to miss the entrance. Lunchtime buffet on Tuesdays for only $60.

The Higher Taste Vegetarian Dining Club 品味高國際素食曾
http://members.tripod.com/food_vg
6/F, 27 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Tel: 2723-0260
Part of the Hong Kong Hare Krishna Society. A lunch buffet is available as well as courses in yoga 
and other related subjects.

Woodlands 活蘭印度素食
Room 5-6, G/F, Mirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Tel: 2369-3718/2366-1945
Noon-3.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm
With the exception of desserts, vegans will find lots to choose from.

Western and other restaurants
Bookworm Cafe 農舍
Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma Island, Tel: 2982-4838, Fax: 2982-0627
Email: bobsy@bookwormcafe.org
More than half the food served is vegan and organic.

Fortune Vegetarian Restaurant V R
50 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Central, HK, Tel: 2881-1697
Japanese vegetarian cuisine. The restaurant has more of a Chinese atmosphere, but the food
is certainly a change. A few dishes do contain eggs. Do try the evening buffet which costs 
about $138 and includes sushi, sashimi, tofu, fried rice and grilled food amongst other goodies.

Food and other shops
Adventist Vege Food 時兆素食品
G/F, 57 Fuk Lo Tsun Road, Kowloon City, Tel: 2382-1413
Sells both Western and Chinese health food. Products range from grains and pasta to chewy 
cereal bars and drinks. In the chiller cabinets are a varied selection of meat balls and 
ham for slicing. Imported goods from Japan can also be found, as can food made from konnyaku.

The Body Shop
http://www.bodyshop.com
Refer to the above homepage for a complete list of all Hong Kong branches.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, HK, Tel: 2537-7072
Times Square, Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2506-1210
33A Carnarvon Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Tel: 2369-4777
Shop C & D, 51 Sai Yeung Choi St, Mongkok, Kowloon, Tel: 2380-7134
308 A, New Town Plaza Phase 1, Shatin, NT, Tel: 2584-1519
A highly successful, international company originating from Britain, the Body Shop sells 
skin and hair care products and offers recycling and refilling facilities for its bottles.
The Body Shop says:
We are committed to animal protection, environmental protection and respect for human 
rights. We never have and never will test our products or ingredients on animals, nor 
do we commission others to do so.

Green Cottage
15A Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, Tel: 2982-6934, fax: 2982-2330
Health food store and sandwich bar. Sells organic produce, including vegetables, rice, 
soya milk and imported foodstuff, etc. Staff are vegan-friendly and knowledgeable.

Harmonious Workshop
Peng Chau. Does anybody know the address and telephone number?

Health Gate 健源健康食品
8/F, Hung Tak Building, 106 Des Voeux Road, Central, HK, Tel: 2545-2286
9:30am-6:30pm (Mon-Fri), 9:30am-5:30pm (Sat)
Definitely one of the best health food shops and one which comes anywhere near those found 
in UK, USA. There's a huge variety of imported foodstuffs and toiletries suitable for 
vegans. It's a shame that this shop is hidden upstairs in an inconspicuous building. 
Located halfway between Sheung Wan and Central MTR stations.

Nutrition Centre 健康堡
Shop 117, 1/F, Paliburg Plaza, 68 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, Tel: 2577-3663
Shop 118, Kowloon City Plaza, 128 Carpenter Road, Kowloon City, Tel: 2383-9383
A health food store.

Oliver's Food Stores
Prince's Building, 6 Chater Road, Central, HK
Ocean Centre, 5 Canton Road, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Repulse Bay Shopping Arcade
Has many foodstuffs from Europe and US. For vegans, there is one brand of soya yoghurts 
but, like many other products, doesn't come cheap. The shops are associated with the 
sandwich chains which also sell salads and baked potatoes.

Organic Gardens 慈康農圃
Central main shop: 1/F, 38 Cochrane Street, Central, HK, Tel: 2815-3642
10am-7pm (Mon-Fri), 10am-3pm (Sat)
Causeway Bay shop: 10/F, Hang Seng Causeway Bay Bldg, 28 Yee Wo Street,
Causeway Bay, HK, Tel: 2894-9565
9am-6pm (Mon-Fri), 9am-1pm (Sat)
This group of small shops sells some of the usual health foods like pasta, grains, 
condiments, fruit juices and bread. Look out for the range of dairy-free cookies.
There is also a branch within City Super in Times Square which sells organic fruit 
and vegetables.

Vegetarian 'Meat' Suppliers

The Taiwanese-style vegetarian 'meat' production is dominated by Whole Perfect Foods, operating out of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. If you want to start a Chinese vegetarian restaurant or food distribution in your home country, you may wish to check out their website at: wpvege.com.cn

Links

Books

It can be hard to find good books about Chinese cooking in English. Most of them are published by Cantonese who have emigrated to the west and there is, therefore, a definite bias toward those types of dishes most commonly found in Guangdong. Watch out for oyster sauce ... you can get vegetarian versions at all good vegetarian shops, often with mushrooms substituted for oyster essence. Another substitute you can use is thicker soy sauce or bean pastes with the addition of some sugar and/or cornflour, or a condensed form any strong vegetable stock.

Connect with Others

If you're a member of Facebook then consider joining our Facebook Group. This is a great way to make contact with other vegetarians living or travelling through China, and can will also bolster our numbers and spread the word about being Veg in China!

Also consider lending your support with a +1 on Google Plus!

Contact

Vegetarian China