5 Great Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing + All The Vocabulary You Need
If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you can imagine that sometimes it can be very difficult to find restaurants catering to vegetarians.
Yes, Chinese love their meat, but in China you can also find a lot of dishes with vegetables.
So that means that you don’t have to go to a “vegetarian” restaurant, but can order meatless dishes.
And they have some yummy vegetarian dishes!
Don’t believe us… check out Hannah and Evelyn’s story
What do I mean by that?
That people usually associate meat consumption with wealth. Unfortunately. Because meat (production) is a huge strain on the environment.
But don’t fret! You can find really tasty veggie dishes in China, eat less meat and do some good for the environment.
Some regions and provinces are known for their yummy veggie dishes, so Jiangsu uses a lot of fish-based sauces (so obviously, you need to eat fish for these) and fish in their dishes and you can find a lot of spicy veggie dishes in Sichuan province, for example.
You can also find really, really tasty vegetarian dishes at Buddhist temples/monasteries all over China, because Chinese Buddhist cuisine is mostly vegan.
It very often contains “mock meats” made from seitan, soy beans and mushrooms.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing – Key Vocabulary
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing – Additional Vocabulary
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing – Common Veggie Dishes
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing – The Best Restaurants
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Vegetarian in Beijing – Some Basic Vocab
First you need to know all the important vocabulary regarding this topic, so we are going to start with this.
So, you will obviously have to tell people that you are a vegetarian (素食主义者 – sù shí zhǔ yì zhě).
This is a good word, albeit a bit long, so you can used other words/sentences, such as:
- I eat vegetables/I’m a vegetarian. (我吃素 – wǒ chī sù)
- I don’t eat meat. (我不吃肉 – wǒ bù chī ròu)
OK, now you know your basics. But sometimes there’s a dish that seemingly does not contain meat, but there’s ground meat in it. So it’s best to ask if the dish contains meat, just to be sure.
- Does this have meat? (这个有肉吗? – zhè ge yǒu ròu ma)
Vegetarian in Beijing – Additional Vocab
Let’s dig a little deeper
- I do not eat fish: 我不吃魚 (Wǒ bù chī yú.)
- I do not consume dairy products: 我不吃乳製品 (Wǒ bù chī rǔ zhìpǐn.)
- I eat only products of plant origin: 我只吃植物性食品 (Wǒ zhǐ chī zhíwù xìng shípǐn.)
- I am vegan: 我是纯素食者 (Wǒ shì chún sùshí zhě)
Common Vegetarian Dishes
There are some common vegetarian dishes you just can’t go wrong with, like scrambled eggs and tomato or potato, eggplant and peppers dish.
So let’s see which dishes you can ordered without fear.
If you’re worried that your dish might contain ground meat, just go ahead and order these dishes!
西红柿炒鸡蛋 – xī hóng shì chǎo jī dàn (scrambled eggs and tomatoes)
地三鲜 – dì sān xiān (potatoes, eggplant, and peppers)
拍黄瓜 – pāi huáng guā (smashed cucumber with garlic)
干煸四季豆 – gān biān sì jì dòu (stir-fried green beans)
土豆丝 – tǔ dòu sī (shredded potatoes)
鱼香茄子 – yú xiāng qié zi (fish-scented eggplant)
麻婆豆腐 – má pó dòu fu (Mapo tofu)
香菇油菜 – xiāng gū yóu cài (sauteed cabbage with mushrooms)
清炒西兰花 – qīng chǎo xī lán huā (stir-fried broccoli)
蒜泥菠菜 – suàn ní bō cài (spinach with garlic)
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Since mapo tofu and stir-fried green beans usually come with minced meat, you have to tell the waiter you don’t want any meat in it.
What can we say, the Chinese love their meat!
It is also always always possible to order staples like rice, noodles and dumplings in a vegetarian style.
Order up some egg-fried rice (蛋炒饭 – dàn chǎo fàn) or some cold noodles (冷面 – lěng miàn) and neither will contain meat.
Where to Eat Good Vegetarian Food in Beijing
We urge you to explore.
Ordering food in restaurant can be a great way to practice Chinese, but we also understand that coming to a restaurant and ordering food not knowing if it will contain meat can be really stressful.
So we prepared a couple of restaurant recommendations you can try out.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing #1 – Vegetiger (素虎)
VegeTiger serves vegetarian versions of a range of Chinese cuisines.
This is a restaurant where you can try vegetarian versions of dumplings, spicy Sichuan food and a range of other famous Chinese dishes.
They are well known for their fake meat dishes, including “lamb” chuan’r, Sichuan boiled “pork” slices, Chinese-style soups and noodles. They have several branches.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing #2 – Fu Hui Ci Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant
As is written on the Happy Cow website, the Fu Hui Ci Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant is a “spacious restaurant with fine dining ambiance and is associated with a Buddhist organization.
No onion or garlic used in the food. Also caters to the mass vegetarian office workers by having weekday lunchtime pack meal.
Large menu with all kinds of dishes, such as old Beijing style tofu, savoury pancakes, steamed buns with vegetable stuffing, steamed dumplings, pan-fried dumplings, and many kinds of vegetables in different sauces”.
Check out the restaurant’s TripAdvisor page with photos and review.
The photos are truly mouth-watering and one happy customer wrote the following: “This place is a must-try when in Beijing whether you are vegetarian or not. The food is amazing, and the menu is so large that you could keep coming back and order completely different items.”
If that’s not a rave review, I don’t know what is.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing #3 – Chīsù De (Veggie Table)
Veggie Table is a vegetarian restaurant in the Wudaoying Hutong, a very tidy (albeit a bit gentrified) hutong in the very centre of Beijing.
The Wudaoying Hutong is a place where you can have a nice cup of coffee, but also a nice vegetarian dish.
Veggie Table offers mostly Western-style vegetarian dishes, such as falafel, hummus, soups and salads.
They also serve sweets, such as carrot cake. You can sit there, have a nice veggie meal and people-watch. Enjoy!
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing #4 – Pure Lotus Vegetarian
Pure Lotus Vegetarian offers equisite versions of vegetarian dishes, as well as meatless incarnations of classic Chinese dishes.
Veggies and tofu in all its forms abound. You can’t go wrong with Pure Lotus Vegetarian.
Check out their TripAdvisor page for photos, price range and reviews, but I think you can’t go wrong with veggie sausages.
It was voted “Best Vegetarian” in the Beijinger’s Reader Restaurant Awards and people really like the ambience of the restaurant.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing #5 – Best Ease
Best Ease is a relatively newly opened restaurant located not far from Chao Yang Men metro station (shown on the map below). Depart from Exit A and the walk is no more than 8-10 minutes.
Best Ease was recently re-branded and has a number of excellent and delightful veggie options for good value.
Staff are friendly, service is speedy and it never feels overly busy given that it’s located in a fairly quiet neighbourhood, despite actually being right in the heart of Beijing.
The noodles are flavoursome, the crispy-filled lotus roots are exquisite, and the little sugary red-bean buns are a great way to end your meal.
Note, Google maps doesn’t have the restaurant listed so we found the one next door… head this direction and you’ll see a big sign for BESTEASE.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Beijing – FAQ’s
There are plenty of choices but our favourite five are:
Fu Hui Ci Yuan
Yes, it’s not as scary or as hard as you might think. There are plenty of options throughout the city.
I eat vegetables/I’m a vegetarian is (我吃素 – wǒ chī sù).
I don’t eat meat is(我不吃肉 – wǒ bù chī ròu).
I do not consume dairy products is 我不吃乳製品 (Wǒ bù chī rǔ zhìpǐn).
I am vegan in Chinese is 我是纯素食者 (wǒ shì chún sùshí zhě).
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