Can you be a Vegan in China?

The simple answer is – yes you can. The convoluted answer is – can you believe you can get delicious vegetarian food in Beijing?

I have lived more than 12 years in Hong Kong and had the hardest time explaining vegetarianism in the best of restaurants – there was always pork, or pork bone broth in lieu of pork, or some form fish in the dumpling even though it said “vegetable dumpling” or bacon bits to top off a salad and if you say you are a vegetarian, you’d be sure to get the same bowl back just the bits of bacon removed.

I sort of expected the same here in Beijing. Instead, I am surprised to find so many vegetarian restaurants and food options. Baihe Restaurant – another priceless discovery of a vegetarian restaurant here in Beijing, reinforces my belief that Beijing can be a treasure trove for vegetarians like me.

Finding Baihe is part of the fun. Located in an off-beat part of Dongzhimen hutong, the courtyard restaurant offers a menu of organic vegetable cooked in the most delectable manner. Cooking mock meat in China is considered a form of art as chefs find innovative ways to try and come as close to the original flavour and appeal of meat or fish. I am not much of a fan of mock meat so I stayed with the classic versions and I was not disappointed.


The place is delightful and the service impeccable. They even returned the tip I had left behind.

Do check out my earlier post about King’s Joy, another vegetarian restaurant I chanced upon. And do check out a wonderful article by China Icons: Can you be a Vegan in China? | China Icons – your guide to life, work and travel in China


The traditional courtyard


A gem of a discovery


Friendly waitresses



My meal of smoked bamboo shoots with assorted mushrooms, chilli eggplant and dumplings (missing from the pic)


Entrance to the restaurant


A different view of the restaurant


A friend who kept me company during my meal


Located in quiet alley of the Dongzhimen hutong, Baihe means lily bud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s