CLOSED: Tamarind Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 36 reviews )



80 Ma May Street (at Hang Bac), Hanoi, Vietnam,

Serves meat, vegan options available. Vegetarian friendly restaurant serving Hanoi since year 2000. Menu featuring both eastern as well as western cuisine. Also serving fresh fruit smoothies and coffee. Opens early for breakfast. Located in the Old Quarter, this cafe is a frequent hangout for foreign travelers and expats. Reported closed to HappyCow, Jan 2015.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, International, Organic, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

Reviews (36)

First Review by csbench

They Seem to Have Made Some Changes - Edit

Went here in November 2014 based on the Happy Cow listing and it appears to no longer be a vegetarian friendly restaurant. They must have changed the menu because there are hardly any vegetarian options. They did modify a dish from the menu to make it vegan for us but the food was sub-par and very overpriced. Definitely a tourist trap and would not recommend eating here vegetarian or not. Only plus is the staff was very friendly and it is in a easy to find location.
Updated from previous review on Monday December 01, 2014

Pros: Location, Friendly Staff

Cons: Overpriced, Bland Food, Lack of Veggie Options

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Overpriced poor quality food - Edit

We came here as it was convenient for lunch whilst in the old quarter. We had 2 drinks, sugar cane juice and pineapple juice, both were refreshing and sweet although not generous serves. The food was awful, we ordered tropical rice no egg and the mushroom steak/burger. The rice was nicely presented in a pineapple but tasted of nothing, it was greasy and bland. The mushroom burger was absolutely revolting, it's still repeating on me 4 hours later. The mushrooms weren't fully rehydrated and were gritty and tough, the sauce was garlicky slop and the veg had a distinctive burnt/smoked flavour. To add insult to injury, the bill came in at almost $25US!

Pros: Fresh juices, Loction

Cons: Poor quality food, Rip off

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good food, But be clear if your a vegan - Edit

Verry nice Clean place with vegetarian food. Only some is vegan and you need to ask. We hade a good meal there.

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Very yummy! - Edit

The staff is very polite and courteous. They do have a large variety in meals which are all very yummy! I just can say it's worth to go there!

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Decent food by overpriced - Edit

Not a bad venue, quiet clean. Menu choices are quite large.

Quality of food is ok too - I had a clay pot dish which was quite nice.

But the prices are very high - 6 times the price you'd pay for the same dishes in a more Vietnamese orientated place.

Pros: Nice venue, Good choices

Cons: Very expensive

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Moderate food, too expensive - Edit

Food was ok but nothing special. Very expansive comparing to other vegatarian restaurants in Hanoi. Atmosphere was ok.

Pros: Atmosphere

Cons: Expensive

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poor food - Edit

i never like to give bad reviews of vegetarian places, there has to be some credit given for at least trying to offer vegans a place to go! but this place was a typical lonely planet place, crap. Oily and just poor food. Even the Vietnamese rolls (summer rolls) were just not nice, terribly put together, more stem than actual coriander leaves... etc etc. The service was typical asia; four people busily attending my table (which i normally dont mind), but it didnt work well here at all. The staff were actually really nice, and the place itself was clean, but the food and "the dining experience" was really poor. For good vegan food you really have to get away from the old quarter.

Pros: only "vegetarian" place in old quarter

Cons: bad food, confusing service, way too much cheap oils

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Reviewer Avatar

Poor Service Happy Cow Map Is Wrong - Edit

Not many vegan options, the place is not vegetarian as it serves meat. Waited 30 mins for my food only to be told they had ran out.

Pros: Nice Setting

Cons: Too much hassle to order vegan, most food includes

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Good tasting but ridiculously overpriced - Edit

We went there once during our stay in Hanoi to "treat" ourselves to some high class dining.
We took the "Zen Pasta", Vegetable Skewers and a Salad.
Everything tasted good but the price was extremely high. The Pasta was one of the most expensive things on the menu but it was tiny. It came in an already small bowl which was only half full. It was good nonetheless, just not for that price.
If everything were like half the price or less, I would recommend it.

Pros: Good taste

Cons: Really expensive

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Highly overrated, rip-off - Edit

Firstly, this place should better be categorised as "veg-friendly", because it's a shared location with a meat serving Indian restaurant. Secondly, the service is poor: the waiter started to clean the table while we were still eating. Thirdly, most importantly, the food was nothing special, the mushroom steak, for example, almost tasteless, served with a ridiculous 2.5 spoons full of rice plus three beans. The gratin was ok, but not worth the +130'000 dong. We left the place still hungry after paying more than 600'000 VND (for 2 starters, 3 main dishes, 2 beers, 1 juice). If you still want to go there, try the (tiny and expensive) spring rolls.

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Nice Food But Costly - Edit

A nice clean place. menu in English and English speaking staff. Meat and vegetarian dishes, but on separate menus. Very nice food, but very expensive. Over 300,000 for three dishes and two juices.

Pros: Clean, Nice Food, English Speaking Staff And Menu

Cons: Very Expensive

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Good food but pricy for Vietnam - Edit

The Tamarinc Cafe is a good option in old town Ha Noi to enjoy food in a clean atmosphere. They offer two menus, one is vegetarian only. Vegan dishes are highlighted.
It is pricy for Ha Noi, but we liked the food very much, though it is not vietnamese, but indian

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Some interesting choices - Edit

I really liked Tamarind. We even went there twice while it was not as good the second time, just because the of dishes we chose (they were still good though) the mushroom steak and the sesame falafel were both really good. Excellent spring rolls as well. Good choice if you are for something a little different than the standard Vietnamese food.

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Nice Place Good Food - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow, and ate here at twice on my past trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Here's my Tamarind Cafe review.

Tamarind Cafe felt so different from the typical Vietnamese restaurants in town. The standards here were more "westernized" and felt "safer" to me. The space was clean and very beautifully decorated. The food was nicely presented and delicious (though not cheap). They even serve fresh squeezed juices, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Eating here made me feel like I was transported if for an hour from Vietnam to an international zone where people spoke multiple languages and enjoyed fine vegetarian cuisine.

Very good visit. Recommended.

Pros: good food, fresh pressed juices, nice ambiance

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Playing it safe - Edit

You can get a lot more for your money and a better understanding of Vietnamese cuisine. The food is so so and a bit on the pricey side. But the service is very good. The decor is nice, true what others said reminds you of being back in the West. Not that many vegan options, but those are clearly marked.

Pros: desserts, good service, good decor

Cons: few vegan options

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Healthiest vegetarian restaurant in Ha Noi - Edit

Nothing healthy by my standards and nothing organic, but by local standards it's a gem. Lots of juices and a pretty large, varied menu.

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expensive, but good food - Edit

We ended up eating twice at Tamarind, mostly because it was close to our hotel, and we were in Hanoi over a local holiday, so almost every other veg restaurant was closed.

While it's true that many of their dishes contain egg or milk, it's not too difficult to figure out which are vegan. (The ones containing egg are noted on the menu, so you just have to ask to confirm that there are no milk ingredients.)

The sushi plate was very good (they can substitute the cheese-containing roll with a vegan alternative), the pho is fine, the noodle dishes are good, banh mi is fine (get it without butter). Portions are generally pretty small. Juices are excellent. I really enjoyed my mango avocado shake.

Prices are outrageous when compared to any other veg restaurant in Vietnam, but are typical when compared to veg restaurants in North America.

There are virtually no vegan western breakfast options, which is kind of baffling to me, but if you don't mind eating savory food for breakfast there are plenty of other options.

Pros: Nice ambience, Friendly staff

Cons: Many non-vegan menu items, No vegan breakfast

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need more vegan options - Edit

I visited this restaurant in the morning after a very long bus journey, and I have to say I was a little disappointed with the 'vegan' options. The only thing that was available for breakfast was bread and jam at 30,000 dong. Everything else has cheese or egg.

Pros: friendly staff, central location

Cons: not enough vegan options

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