Food around the world

10 Must-Try Local Vegetarian Foods in Thailand Last Updated: June 12, 2023

Ever since I started exploring the world, I have never looked back. And being a vegetarian has been an experience in itself during this time.

My love for exploration has made me try different lifestyles but I never compromised on one thing – My food habits.

As a vegetarian in Thailand, I have always experienced the struggle of finding the right choice of meal in the middle of meat-based dishes. It’s like discovering a hidden treasure amidst the chaos.

In Thailand’s vibrant streets, I eagerly anticipated discovering local vegetarian delights. Unfortunately, my journey turned into a bittersweet symphony of sorrows when I realized this land is full of carnivorous delights. However, I had taken up the challenge of decoding menus, searching for the elusive ‘jay’ symbol, which signifies vegetarian dining. 

It was finally time for me to unlock the secrets of vegetarian paradise.

Now without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the popular vegetarian Thai cuisines available, that I have picked out for you. 

1. Pad Thai Jay

Thailand’s Pad Thai Jay is a popular stir-fried noodle dish and one of the most accessible and affordable cuisines. You can find it at local restaurants, street food stalls, and even at night markets.

Pad Thai Jay
Pad Thai Jay
2. Som Tum Jay:

An unripe papaya salad with cherry tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, and lime juice. This salad is typically affordable and readily accessible with many vendors specializing in it. You can find it at street food markets, local eateries, and even food courts.

Som Tum Jay
Som Tum Jay
3. Tom Yum Jay

A hot and sour soup with aromatic herbs, mushrooms, tofu, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and lime juice. Thai menus include vegetarian versions, which are available and reasonably priced.

Tom Yum Jay
Tom Yum Jay
4. Khao Pad Jay

Thailand’s vegetarian fried rice is common and affordable. It can be found at local restaurants, food stalls, and even in some fast food chains. Due to its simplicity and popularity, it’s readily accessible and budget-friendly.

Khao Pad Jay - Vegetarian Food in Thailand
Khao Pad Jay
5. Pad See Ew Jay

A stir-fry dish of wide rice noodles, dark soy sauce, tofu, and leafy greens. Soft, chewy noodles complement the smoky flavor of this dish. Again a widely popular option that is easily accessible and affordable.

Pad See Ew Jay  - Vegetarian Food in Thailand
Pad See Ew Jay
6. Green Curry Jay

A vibrant and spicy curry made with coconut milk, green curry paste, vegetables, and tofu. It’s known for its aromatic blend of flavors. You can find it in local restaurants, food courts, and even some convenience stores.

Green Curry Jay - Vegetarian food in Thailand
Green Curry Jay
7. Pad Kra Pao Jay

A savory stir-fry made with holy basil, tofu, and vegetables. It’s a quick and flavorful dish often served with jasmine rice and a fried egg (optional for vegans). It is a popular street food dish that’s both affordable and accessible at local food stalls, street vendors, and small restaurants.

Pad Kra Pao Jay
Pad Kra Pao Jay
8. Vegetable Spring Rolls

Veggie spring rolls are filled with noodles, spices, and crispiness. Just dip them in sweet chili sauce and enjoy. You can find them in a variety of settings, including street vendors, local restaurants, food courts, and vegetarian/vegan establishments.

Vegetable Spring Rolls
Veggie Spring Rolls
9. Fried Tofu with Sweet Chili Sauce

Crispy fried tofu served with a side of sweet chili sauce. It’s a simple and flavorful appetizer. It is actually a favorite dish among us vegetarians and vegans for its savory flavors and satisfying texture.

Fried Tofu With Sweet Chilli Sauce
Fried Tofu with Sweet Chilli Sauce
10. Vegetable Green Curry Puffs

Flaky pastry filled with delicious vegetables and aromatic herbs. They are bite-sized pastries filled with a mixture of vegetables and aromatic green curry paste. 

Vegetable green curry puffs - vegetarian food in Thailand
Vegetable Green Curry Puffs

This brings an end to the popular vegetarian Thai dishes that everyone should try. Now, you don’t have to struggle for vegetarian food, at least in Thailand. Let me know in the comments if you have ever tried any of these dishes or would like to give them a try.

Disclaimer: Images shown are just for pictorial reference, the look and presentation of the dish might be different in real

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Meet Aahuti

Hi, I am Aahuti Sejpal. You will probably see me on Instagram posting about travel and vegetarian food or in restaurants trying new (and sometimes weird) food items or simply ...

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