A Vegetarian Guide To China

It can be difficult to be a vegetarian in China, but it isn’t impossible. Chinese dishes are delicious, but it can be extremely difficult to articulate to restaurants that your diet doesn’t include fish, meat garnish or pork stock. Here is Vegefied’s guide to China.

Katie Anderton

Katie Anderton

Updated: 17 January 2019

That being said, Chinese culture has a strong Buddhist history, which basically means, vegetarian and vegan cuisine does exist…and it’s delicious. Put it this way, if you spend the entire trip eating at Starbucks, you’re really missing out.

 

We’ve listed the best vegetarian restaurants in the most popular places in China; Shanghai, Beijing and Xian.

Wugan Tang

Click above for details, directions, images and reviews.

This is a peaceful, elegant restaurant that is highly experienced with the vegetarian scene. We love that their menu is handwritten and changes every season.
The whole space is extremely intimate with dark wood accents and low ceilings plus the food is insanely good.

 

Photo Credit: Wugan Tang

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Godly Vegetarian Restaurant

Click above for details, directions, images and reviews.

This is an iconic vegetarian restaurant in Shanghai, if not the most iconic and historical restaurant. It opened up in 1922 and has always incorporated Buddhist influences into their menu, our favourite has to be the wheat gluten cooked with black wood ear mushrooms dish. Obsessed.

Photo Credit: Smart Shanghai

King Joys

Click above for details, directions, images and reviews.

This is for anybody who’s willing to splash a bit more cash on a meal, trust us, it is worth it. King Joys is completely meat free but has some of the best tastes and most creative, diverse menu you could find. Honestly, you could take your meat-eating friend to this restaurant, and they wouldn’t know the difference. It actually got voted as the Best Vegetarian in 2015.

King Joys atmosphere is refined, contemporary and, strangely enough, also vintage. You’ll be treated to a harpist playing in the main dining area whilst you indulge yourself in amazing food.

Photo Credit: The Beijinger

Tianchu Miaoxiang

Click above for details, directions, images and reviews.

Located right in the centre (which means you might get stuck behind a queue of office workers on lunch break), the Tianchu Miaoxiang is a delightful vegetarian restaurant. The atmosphere is wonderful and their menu is so extensive, you’ll never get bored.
They even serve a variety of dishes from all over the world, like fish and chips and steaks…meat-free of course.

Photo Credit: Time Out

Xian

Shangdao Vegetarian

Click above for details, directions, images and reviews.

As you can probably imagine in Xian, you will have many vegetarian dishes to choose from. Shangdao Vegetarian is super special, it’s not only right near the temple, it serves the most wonderful traditional Chinese dishes.
The atmosphere is super peaceful, as you can probably expect from being so close to the temple. We love it.

Photo Credit: Happy Cow

Click above for details, directions, images and reviews.

This delightful restaurant surpasses being vegetarian – it’s vegan too. The restaurant itself is gorgeous, would you understand us if we said it felt like a massage parlour?


The menu is in Chinese, but the pictures next to it makes it easy for you to understand, and the waiting staff are super helpful too. The food here is just amazing, you need to give it a try.

Photo Credit: Happy Cow
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