The vegetarian festival is here, and if you’ve spent quite some time circling around town looking for the best venue to celebrate the 9-day festival, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places to eat those veggie-centric dining options.
Whilst the markets start to bring out the yellow flags and the restaurants start to serve with vegetarian dishes, here are our editors’ picks for where the best outlets for both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Prepare to stuff your belly with the best jay and vegan-food options, and more meatless and plant-based choices.
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Who said you couldn’t enjoy vegan food in a finer dining setting? For those looking for a really special experience this Vegetarian Festival, I’d suggest lunch or dinner at the Mandarin Oriental. Besides its elegant setting, this year (for the first time!) the chefs at the riverside icon worked hard to put together a menu that really manages to interpret jay food in a modern and contemporary form. Joining forces, Executive Chef Dominique Bugnand, Chef Martin Benson, and Chef Nick Gannaway have put together a really great selection of dishes, from Grilled Baby with Corn Dip, Shiso Celery, and Passion Fruit, over to Marinated Tender Tofu served with Mixed Grains, Organic Beetroot, Cucumber, and Carrot with Spiced Dressing. Pasta lovers will adore the Vegan Capellini Pasta served with a Ragout of Forgotten Root Vegetable (yup) and Japanese Kombu, and will also be happy to know that it comes in a generous serving size, so you won’t leave hungry either. Use the excuse that it’s healthy and that it’s all vegetables, and then definitely order one of the vegan bitter chocolate desserts, too.
The special Jay and vegan menu will be available from 17 October to 25 October for lunch at The Verandah and Lord Jim’s, and for dinner at Lord Jim’s. — Lisa Gries, Managing Editor
More info: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
When talking about VIVIN Grocery, the first thing that pops up in my head is the drool-inducing Classic Fluffy Omelette and the ultra-ducky Double Duck Sandwich. But with the vegetarian festival taking over the city this week, and switching things up to be more vegan, it’s also a great time to look after your health. Instead of ordering the usuals at VIVIN Grocery, diners can now tuck into the scrumptious Vegan Artisanal Sandwich, a product that came from the collab of VIVIN and Barefood Bangkok. The sourdough roll comes stuffed with a layer of goodies such as roasted eggplants, tomato, lettuce, and organic olives. The star of the bun, though? Barefood Bangkok nut cheese. Just the sound of it is just downright delicious. It’s available for dine-in, delivery, and takeaway now until 25 October. — Kankanit Wichiantanon, Dining & Interiors Writer
More info: VIVIN Grocery
Bangkok City Diner
Bangkok City Diner opened earlier this year with a sweet retro interior and a bright pink neon sign to announce its arrival. It’s really close to one of my favourite coffee spots on Narathiwas at Analox, and a short walking distance from our office, too. Yet despite the influencers that crowd its entrance for the ‘gram, more than anything, Bangkok City Diner actually serves really good, soul-satisfying, vegan dishes — and not the annoyingly healthy types, either. I love the Tom Yum Mac & Cheese which comes with a generous helping of coriander for garnish, and the broth for the Laksa is really, really addicting. They also boast a strong dessert game, what with a vegan tiramisu on the menu, and a killer cinnamon roll, too. It’s refreshing to find an outlet that knows vegan food isn’t just about a steak knife stabbed into a cauliflower head, especially when it sits in a neighbourhood that was really missing it. — LG
More info: Bangkok City Diner
When it comes to dining out, Indus tops my top ten list. I go the full mile and eat fully vegan every day during the jay festival, but I also like heading out to a nice restaurant for a change from home-cooked meals. From 17-23 October, Indus is serving special dishes curated just for the occasion. The Vegetable Seekh Kebab, which is spice-packed skewer made from minced vegetables and plant-based meat, is by far my favourite. A nice meat substitute can also be found in the Mock Duck Curry and Khatal Biryani made with jackfruit, for when you crave a curry but want to hold back on the meat. — Alisha Pawa, Culture Writer
More info: Indus Bangkok
For 100% plant-based meals without fail, my move is Vistro Bangkok. Here you can be sure your diet for the vegetarian festival is free from meat and full of deliciousness. The vegan haunt offers healthy yet substantial food that proves to be more than just a trend or fad. For this very special occasion, Vistro is churning out ten new dishes, transforming our favourite Thai street food into plant-based comforts to amp up our meals during the festival. A must-try. — KW
More info: Vistro Bangkok
Root The Future Festival
This isn’t strictly a restaurant, but it’s a great event to check out if you’re plant-based, looking to be plant-based, or just curious about everything plant-based. As my team knows, I’m big on sustainability (use a plastic straw at our lunches and I’ll give you evil eyes), so I’m excited to see Root The Future return for a second edition. The list of vendors joining the festival this time is really lengthy and lovely, so its definitely worth checking out — doubly so, because it’s taking place at Sansiri’s new Sansiri Backyard, too. Whether it’s to sample raw chocolate brownies or stock up on soy candles, I’m excited to see what it’s store. It’s perhaps a lesser-traditional way to celebrate the Jay Festival, but one very apt to the times as well. It takes place at the very beginning of the festival on 17 and 18 October. — LG
More info: Root The Future