When we arrived in Lijiang, we were expecting to find the two vegetarian restaurants listed in Happy Cow. However, we were unable to contact one, and the other was closing down for two months for the Christmas holidays. Fortunately, the Hanyuan Restaurant linked to the Yi Bang Residence accommodated our vegetarian needs. On the first night, we ate plain tofu, some steamed greens and white rice. By the second day, however, the manager had created for us a vegetarian menu with 10 different options. The tofu and mushrooms in red curry sauce was fantastic. Later, we also enjoyed the deep-fired vegetables served with Thai hot sauce. The manager has informed us that she is going to add on some new options after five days of our visit, so they are extremely flexible and going out of their way to please us. We have walked all around the Old Town and the New City in search of other restaurants that might be as nice or offer comparable vegetarian options, but, so far, we have not found any. The atmosphere is clean, serene with a lovely Chinese ambience. Highly recommended and, for confirmed vegetarians, depending on the season, may be the only show in town. In the warmer season, Hanyuan has a beautiful outdoor courtyard with client seating.
Cons: Moderately expensive, Not all staff speak English