The 10-day vegetarian festival is back this year, starting Sunday, October 15, and lasting until Monday, October 23. During this time, both hotels and upscale restaurants are gearing up to offer exclusive meat-free meals for dedicated and occasional vegetarians.
However, turning vegetarian doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag. Even though certain creative ingredients might be pricier than meat, and vegetables tend to be more expensive during the festival, it can still be affordable.
Ahead of the upcoming vegetarian festival, here’s a guide to some of Bangkok’s spots where you can indulge in delicious vegetarian options without breaking the bank.
Yaowarat Old Market (Yaowarat 6 – Soi Itsaranuphap)
Bangkok’s Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat Old Market, is a prime spot for vegetarian delights. During the vegetarian festival, the area comes alive, marked by yellow flags featuring a red Chinese symbol.
Each year, the streets here are not only filled with ready-to-consume meals but also ingredients for vegetarian cooking. This includes items like mock duck, mock chicken, mock seafood, dried mushrooms, wheat gluten, vegetarian condiments, and many more.
Alongside scrumptious dishes, there will be special spiritual ceremonies for blessings and prosperity, and a unique parade at specified times.
A standout dish titled “Heavenly Noodles” will be masterfully prepared in a massive pan by a top chef from the Grand China Hotel Yaowarat, and will be shared with 1,000 attendees during the festival’s inauguration on Sunday.
The Vegetarian Society of Thailand, (Chatuchak Branch)
Tucked away behind Chatuchak Market and right across Or Tor Kor Market on Kamphaeng Phet Road, this vegetarian food hall resembles a cafeteria. It offers affordable vegetarian dishes throughout the year.
Inside the Vegetarian Society, about 20 stalls serve diverse meals, from pizza to local favourites such as som tum, larb, nam tok, nor mai, and more. They also have noodles, khanom jeen, mock chicken rice, khao soi, an assortment of chili pastes, fresh fruits, and desserts.
They open early at around 6am and close by 2pm. However, food often sells out early, sometimes even before 1pm.
Boonniyom Santi Asoke Market (Soi Nawamin 46)
Much like the Vegetarian Society of Thailand located on Kamphaeng Phet Road, Boonniyom Santi Asoke Market offers affordable vegetarian options throughout the year.
The selection here is vast, from noodles and curry rice bowls to Indian dishes, phad Thai, baked goods, Thai sweets, and much more.
Additionally, the market offers fresh, organic produce, as well as vegetarian cooking ingredients and eco-friendly household items like shampoo, dish soap, regular soap, and insect repellent.
Parking spaces are very limited, so using public transport to visit these venues is recommended.