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An Lac Chay

  • Vegetarian
    ( 13 reviews )
Contact 08-8377751
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175/1 Pham Ngu Lao St, District 1 (at btwn De Tham and Nguyen Thai Hoc), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,

Sits above restaurant Margherita. Extensive menu in English includes noodles, mockmeats, international cuisine, and many vegan options. Popular with local families and travelers.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, International, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Vietnamese

Reviews (13)

First Review by rach

Nothing special... - Edit

I only ate here because I was in the area and really hungry, so I used Happy Cow to find the nearest veg place. The place doesn't stand out, it's pretty dingy and dirty, but I suppose it's reasonably priced for a place in the backpacker's area.

I had a pretty underwhelming veg burrito (possibly the limpest and plainest burrito I've ever had). However, there was quite a lot on offer for vegans/vegetarians and it's true that I didn't get to sample more than the burrito, so I can't judge how the other food is (perhaps the Viet food is better).

I guess if you're in the area and want something cheap by D1 standards it's okay, but seriously, vegans/vegetarians, get out of Pham Ngu Lao and see what great veg food the city has to offer!!

Pros: Okay prices for Pham Ngu Lao area, Seems to have reasonable choice for vege, tarians

Cons: Dingy, dirty, Burritos aren't great


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Decent Food, Reasonable Price - Edit

A great little spot. Make sure you go up the stairs to the second floor. The downstairs part is meat as well as vego.

English speaking staff. Tasty, interesting food. Pretty cheap overall. Worth the visit for sure.

Pros: Tasty, Cheap, English Speaking Staff

Cons: A Bit Squished


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Never again! - Edit

Vegan/vegetarian community, this place received a big D minus from the moment I walked in.I will skip those details and just describe the food. Disappointing... My order was supposed to have vegan shrimp but when the salad arrived there were no shrimps at all in my salad. I questioned the waiter but his English was limited to a few words- none of which were helpful. My coconut juice I ordered turned out to be some sugary kool aid with some ominous green stuff lurking around on glass. My efforts were futile when I tried to change it or even know what it was as it certainly wasn't coconut water. I would not recommend this place.


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If you're desperate and living in the backpackers' - Edit

Very disappointing, poor hygiene ( saw a rat in the toilets which apparently is normal in saigon, even in posh places...), very not attractive restaurant, i'm afraid, I sat downstairs, but the upstairs didn't even look that much better...
Marguerita's and an lac chay are the same owner, so same kitchen, same toilets, same rats...
Really don't bother going there, unless you have no choice...

Pros: cheap, in backpackers area, convenient for backpackers

Cons: Not very clean , nothing special, too sugary


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great first meal in HCMC - Edit

We arrived at An Lac Chay after over 22 hours of travel from the east coast of the US. I had researched vegetarian friendly places extensively prior to our trip (thank you, Happycow.net!!!) as I wanted to be somewhat prepared prior to hitting up four different southeast asian countries.

Imagine our surprise when I was told by the manager of our guesthouse (the amazing Chan of the Bich Duyen Hotel) that An Lac Chay was just a short walk away.

It's location is a bit unusual as it's upstairs above a pizza place. You literally walk through Margherita and up a very steep staircase (it's more like a ladder). We got there around 8 or 9 in the evening and managed to score a nice table on the balcony overlooking the busy street below.

Our food was an excellent selection of mock-meats and vegetables. A small bowl of bird's eye chili's was offered as a condiment and nearly ended the entire vacation as my husband and friend crumpled under the heat. We washed our meal down with plenty of Tiger beer before bar hopping late into the evening.

On another note: we returned to the mexican-cantina style place next door for lunch the next day following a tour and they were offering essentially the same An Lac Chay menu (probably from the same kitchen) as well as Mexican food and pizza from Margherita.

Pros: fresh, fast food, authentic, friendly staff

Cons: not accessible (mobility), not a ton of seating


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Fair eatery in the hostel district - Edit

Not a place for something fancy, but it is a decent enough restaurant to grab a bite. Quite easy to find as long as you follow the direction. Huge menu, very cheap. No air-conditioning, but they do have enough fans to keep you cool... or you can just order a cold drink. Food was tasty, just nothing stood out.

Pros: cheap, selection

Cons: no air con


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Decent Veggie Fare - Edit

I went there with great expectations! It did not live upto it. But my fault, my expectations were too high. There is barely any veggies Vietnamese items on the menu. All their veggie items are Pastas and Mexican food. I ordered vegetarian friend rice and yellow curry. They were fairly good. This was my first night in HCMC, so I cannot compare this with other vegetarian places in town. I will be out and about in the days to come and hopefully will have more to share.

Pros: Easy to find

Cons: Not all items are veggie


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International food in Saigon - Edit

Great place on 1st floor above a meat restaurant on the ground in tourist district. Inexpensive food and grog (rum with fresh lemon juice D12000). Good pizza & pasta. Tasty Sheppard's Pie made with vegs & lots of onion with potatoe and cheese crust served in hot ramekin. Ate there often

Pros: good food, good price, good service

Cons: noisy street, limited cooling


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Very yom! - Edit

We had this as our first meal in the city - great! We got the lemongrass/chili tofu (cut in small pieces rather than big slab), the fried spring rolls w/ mock pork, and the pho. We were very happy and cleaned our plates! Extremely reasonable prices and huge menu. Friendly service, chilled-out seating. Will go again!

Pros: Tasty, Cheap, Huge menu

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Great Place for a Quick Casual Meal - Edit

This budget friendly place has an enormous menu, spanning a wide variety of cuisines - I'm really not sure how the kitchen manages it all. The food is better than average and is really good value. The service is rapid and friendly, and the location couldn't be more convenient - right in the heart of the backpacker district. Note that An Lac is upstairs! The downstairs restaurant with street frontage is something completely different (Italian from memory). When we first walked by, we suspected that An Lac had closed down - we could see the An Lac sign, but the restaurant clearly wasn't a vegetarian one. You actually have to enter the downstairs restaurant and go upstairs to reach An Lac. Well worth a visit if you're in the area

Pros: Budget friendly, Huge variety, Central location

Cons: Easy to miss

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A sane place to eat / sit in Saigon - Edit

A "home from home" for me. 60% vegan options. Basic English spoken. Friendly family atmosphere. Better than anything in Kaosan Rd. / Pahar Ganj. Food for life. Good value. Few frills. Clean enough. Safe salads. Tasty noodle bar at the front. 170+ item menu of quite good attempts at Italian / Mexican / Thai / Chinese. The usual MSG containing sauces on the tables BUT! ! ! genuine "H.P. Sauce" & great Mexican Chilli Sauce by request - the bottles are partly hidden on the counter of Margherita's. An Lac Chay is owned & run in parallel with "Margherita's" directly opposite - you can sit in either place / order from both menu's / bar's at the same time - so ideal if you are entertaining carnivores. The owner is the vibrant Hoang (nickname Mang) the staff are mostly his extended family members & some of their student friends who work a few hours each day to help pay their college fee's. Customer are local's, backpackers, foreigners working in Saigon, "homesick" overseas Vietnamese. Open 365 days a year. Rooms available to rent. Located in a street of bars & cafe's. Excellent for Viet Nam.


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Great-tasting fresh Vietnamese food - Edit

This place is a good find for tasty vegie Vietnamese food. The fresh spring rolls (with some kind of mock meat) served with a brown peanut, carrot and chilli sauce were delicious. The Lotus salad was also fresh and tasty. We tried also the tofu with chilli and lemongrass which was different to the usual stir fried tofu dishes and came out as a slab of tofu with a flavoursome spices. Went back a second time and tried the Pho which was ok, a little bland but a bargin at 10,000 dong. This place was packed with locals and had trouble finding a table at dinner. Lunchtime was a little easier. Definatley worth a visit and very cheap.

Pros: Good fresh food, Large selection, Well priced/ Cheap

Cons: Lacks ambiance


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