The Bookworm

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 5 reviews )

Yujie East Road, 2-7 (at Ren Min South), Chengdu, China

Serves meat, vegan options available. This place has several clearly marked veg options, with an English menu. It is easy to find, just west of the metro stop. Also has a English bookstore on premise, and English website.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Chinese, Western, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

5 Reviews

First Review by Freegan Reich

Few vegan options - Edit

UPDATE: (September 2017) I returned and was pleasantly surprised to see that not only were the vegan AND vegetarian options coded, there were more of them! I had the hummus plate and it was absolutely grand! I'm increasing my starred rating and leaving a very happy customer!

I came here with a group of friends before I was back to a full plant-based diet in China. When I walked in, I could tell it was a haven for Westerners and Chinese people looking to meet Western people. The setup reminds me of Busboys and Poets in DC if B&P weren't a chain. It's essentially a limited English bookstore with a cafe.

The vegan and vegetarian options are lacking substantially, and like many places in Chengdu, asking for something without meat may actually result in an upcharge, like my vegetarian friend's quesadilla that he asked for without chicken and they charged him for that "luxury." The prices are already super high as is all western food in Chengdu.

The food is edible western food, but there really aren't many available options for vegans and if you are looking for something that isn't fried but still vegan, you won't find it here. As the other reviewer stated, you are pretty much limited to French Fries.

When my SOS-free vegan parents come to visit, we won't be visiting The Bookworm unless one of them wants a cup of coffee!

Updated from previous review on 2017-04-30

Pros: Cute bookstore vibe, Labels

Cons: Pricing

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Minimal options, cool place to hang out - Edit

Their vegan food is limited, as of this writing, to a hummus platter, tofu curry, and a quinoa salad. Skip the salad as it is not filling and costs more than the other two. The hummus and curry are both good. Veg and vegan items are marked on the menu. They have a lot of events here as well as books for sale and a library you can subscribe to. The staff are friendly and speak English but are not very attentive. It's a nice place to study, and popular with both foreigbers and Chinese.

Pros: Fresh pita bread, Relaxing atmosphere, Books!

Cons: Limited menu, Service is not great

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Veg-Friendly Spot Your Friends will Like - Edit

This is about the best you can expect from a veg-friendly place in Chengdu or really most of China. Vegan and vegetarian options are labeled (but limited), so there isn't really any guess work or need for translations. Plus, as a veg friendly spot with a bar, it's a good place to go with friends who aren't quite hopping on the veg train, and not end up left out of eating. I've been there a few times, the food is good. The atmosphere is nice and you can buy books there too which makes it a unique spot in Chengdu. Only con was as a vegan, I asked to make sure I didn't get mayo with the fries, and of course, they came out with a side of mayo.

Pros: Vegan options are labeled, Handful of options , Good place for mixed dietary company

Cons: Mayo comes with the fries

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Not worth it for vegans - Edit

I've been here a few times for events, and while the atmosphere is nice if you're into hanging out with expats, the vegan options on the menu are VERY limited. As in, the only properly vegan thing is the french fries, which are served with garlic mayo (staff understands English well so you can ask for extra ketchup instead). So don't go here thinking you'll get a vegan meal. You won't. Also, prices are ridiculously high.

That said, those french fries? You get a basket full and they are AMAZING. Hands down the best french fries I've eaten in my entire life. They're thick and the texture is great and the flavor is to die for. They use wonderful herbs and whole cloves of garlic in them and BOY OH BOY is the end result delectable. (My husband tells me the garlic mayo they come with is also very good.)

If you're a vegetarian and you want a Western place to hang out and eat and get a drink, go for it. If you're vegan, don't bother.

Pros: amazing French fries, nice atmosphere for a Western evening

Cons: essentially no vegan options, expensive

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If in the need for "Western" food - Edit

This kind of place is all over China- if you feel like you absolutely *must* spend 50 RMB for a plate of fries or whatever and be surrounded by other English-speakers on your laptop, then come here. Sure, there is veg. food, and the place is nice, but there are many other places that do serve authentic veg. Chinese food that are going to be much cheaper than the Bookworm. With that said, it's not a bad place. There is internet and it is a good place to sit and read. Enjoy!

Pros: ambience, beautifully prepared dishes, respite

Cons: drunk New Zealanders, pricey , foreigner ghetto

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