Vegetarian eating in China is not as complicated as it may seem, as many Buddhists have a full vegetarian diet. This means that most vegetarian restaurants are Buddhist in nature. The only difference between vegetarian food in China and in the west is that vegetarian dishes in China often are made to pretend to be meat and/or fish dishes, even though they are not. For example, a good vegetarian restaurant in China can serve you meat that looks and tastes like meat but is actually tofu. Read on for our suggestions.
Twin Lotus Vegetarian Guild Hall
This restaurant focuses on pure and natural meals in a quiet and secluded area. The atmosphere is set with Buddhist music and decorations, and the staff are very kind and sincere making visits comfortable and pleasant.
Chinese name: 并蒂莲素食会馆Bingdilian Sushi Huiguan
Recommended dishes: dry-fried fungus (干烧三菌), stewed dried mushrooms, bean curd, and rape (吉祥三宝), fried “fish” in sugar and vinegar (糖醋手工鱼), baked bean curd in tinfoil (无名火豆腐), spicy boiled “fish” (水煮鱼), roast “duck” (烤鸭), pan-fried “eel” (香煎鳗鱼)
Kind reminder: All of the vegetarian dishes at this restaurant look like or even taste like meat or fish, but actually contain vegetarian ingredients only.
Average price per person: 87 yuan
Address: Block B, 68 Changde Road, Heping District 和平区常德道68号B座
Opening hours: 11.30am – 10pm
Transportation: Take Bus 831, 845, 902, 951 or Sightseeing 2 and get off at the gymnasium, and then walk about 190 meters.
Special services: Parking is free, a swiping card facility is available, and delivery is also a possibilty.
Seven Pattra Leaves Vegetarian Restaurant
All of the food served at Seven Pattra Leaves is vegetarian. The environment is peaceful and quiet, filled with a Buddhist atmosphere set by music and decorations. There are also a lot of Buddhist books for those interested in learning more. This restaurant is non-smoking.
Chinese name: 七贝叶素餐厅Qi Beiye Sushi Canting
Recommended dishes: steamed “beef steak” (牛排), twice-cooked “pork” (回锅肉), five-colored boiled dumplings (五色水饺), Johnnycake (玉米饼)，noodles with gravy (打卤面), covered tureen ( 一品锅), boiled “fish” with pickled cabbage and chili (酸菜鱼), stir-fried “sausage” ( 蝶恋花), braised “chicken” with curry sauce (咖喱素鸡)
Kind reminder: Maybe sometimes you will see what appears to be meat or fish, but actually many of the dishes are purely vegetarian but made to resemble the shape or taste of meat or fish. Many of the dishes actually taste better than meat and fish, due to the excellent craftsmanship of the cooks. Even if you are vegetarian, you can rest assured that you can eat everything served at this restaurant.
The most popular foods in this restaurant are vanilla cookies, Johnnycakes (corn flatbread), noodles made using various fresh ingredients, and rice made using five different types of cereals. The taste of the food here is amazing, and plate set-up is also pleasing to the eye. Some guests have mentioned that some of the dishes contain too much oil and that serving is done slowly, so keep that in mind.
The restaurant itself is quiet and secluded for a relaxing dining experience, whether you sit inside or outside with the peach blossom trees. In addition, if you are Buddhist the restaurant also provides teaching material. Remember that although some dishes may look like they are made using meat or fish, everything is actually made using vegetarian ingredients only.
Chinese name: 赏桃源素餐厅 Shang Taoyuan Su Canting
Recommended dishes: porridge made from yam (山药粥), roast “fish” (烤鱼), spicy diced “chicken” with peanuts (宫保鸡丁), curry “chicken” (咖喱鸡肉), sweet and sour “spare ribs” (糖醋排骨)
Average price per person: 45 yuan
Address: Unit 6, 470 Jiefangnan Road, Hexi District(河西区解放南路470号增6号)
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
Transportation: Take Bus 628, 659, 682, 688 or 705 and get off at Auto Components City, and then walk about 80 meters.
Special services: Parking is free, you can pay by card, and wireless internet is provided.
Satisfactory Vegetarian Restaurant
All food served at this restaurant is vegetarian, albeit much of it is made to look like meat dishes. The dishes are served up quickly, although the restaurant is small and has some odd decorations.
The restaurant looks classical with wooden tables and chairs, and is decorated with many Buddhist features, including statues of Buddha. The music and decorations give it a relaxing atmosphere for a pleasant dining experience even if the prices here are a bit higher than some other restaurants. If you want, you can even read Buddhist scriptures.
Chinese name: 圆满素食林 Yuanman Sushi Lin
Recommended dishes: baked bean curd with the taste of slices of meat, sea cucumber and bamboo shoots (烧三丝), braised “ribbonfish” (红烧带鱼), bean curd with bamboo and a meat flavor (竹香小方玉), spicy “chicken” (辣子鸡), sweet and sour “hairtail” (糖醋带鱼)
Kind reminder: The “meat” and “fish” are all made from vegetarian ingredients.
Average price per person: 48 yuan
Address: 112 Suzhou Road, Hexi District 河西区苏州道112号
Tel: 022-24931496 Transportation: Take Bus 619, 632, 657, 678, 706, 826 or 953 and get off at Honghua Village, and then walk about 80 meters.
Special service: A swiping card facility is available, and takeaway dishes can be sent.
Qing Lai Yue Vegetarian Pavilion
This restaurant is a shrine to vegetarianism, emphasizing vegetarian ideals to healthy living, as well as advertising fashionable and green meals. It aims to provide a nutritional and balanced diet, and uses only the finest ingredients.
The inside of the restaurant is spacious and clean, and everything is very tidy and orderly. The only drawback is the serving speed, which is sometimes on the slow side.
In addition to being a good choice for a vegetarian meal, this restaurant also promises to donate 1% of the total amount of your bill to supporting the Buddhist culture and Buddhist charities, including meals for monks.
Transportation: Take Bus 13, 511, 608, 619, 628, 668, 675, 677, 682, 685, 686, 835, 857, 859, 866 or 870 and get off at Binshui Bridge, and then walk about 50 meters.
Shu He Xvan Tea Art and Health Maintenance Vegetarian Restaurant
This restaurant has devoted itself to propagating the Buddhist lifestyle and food culture, and cherishes the idea of respecting every life and people, as well as teaching people to live a healthy lifestyle according to Buddhist ideals.
It advocates environmentally friendly, low carbon and sustainable vegetarianism in a pleasant setting with kind staff. People from all walks of life dine here.
Chinese name: 殊和轩茶艺养生素斋 Shu He Xvan Chayi Yangsheng Su Zhai
Average price per person: 87 yuan
Address: Floors 1 and 2 of Green Tree Inn Chain, 298 Sanma Road, Hebei District天津市河北区三马路298号格林豪泰酒店底商
Opening hours: 10am – 9:30pm
Transportation: Take Bus 1, 177, 609, 610, 619, 646, 670, 818, 878 or K1 and get off at Jingang Bridge, then walk to the Great Mercy Yard Branch of the Green Tree Inn Chain, and the restaurant will be seen；or take Bus 4, 34, 516 (west line), 607, 611, 611 (direct bus), 632, 659, 802, 863, 869, 878, 904 or Tanggu Special Line and get off at Hebeisanma Road.