While Ulaanbaatar is not typically known for its vegetarian options, the city has been undergoing a subtle food revolution. Discover the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar.
As an expat living in Ulaanbaatar, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the growing number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city. While Ulaanbaatar is not typically known for its meatless meal options, the city has been undergoing a subtle food revolution in recent years. Because of this, I’ve set out on a quest to discover the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar.
These restaurants are not only changing the culinary landscape, but also contributing to a more sustainable and conscious way of living. Whether you’re a vegan traveler, an adventurous foodie, or someone just looking to explore the local culture while making healthy eating choices, Ulaanbaatar will surprise you.
While Mongolia may not be the first place that comes to mind for vegan cuisine, the restaurants I’ve listed below are proof that it’s possible to find delicious meat-free options in the heart of the city. So, if you find yourself in Ulaanbaatar, don’t hesitate to explore these hidden gems and embark on your own vegan culinary adventure.
Mongolians primarily eat a diet that is based on meat, dairy products, and grains.
Traditional Mongolian dishes are heavily focused on animal products, especially mutton (sheep) and beef, due to the abundant livestock in the country. Some of the popular traditional Mongolian foods include “Buuz” (steamed dumplings filled with minced meat), “Khorkhog” (a meat and vegetable stew cooked with hot stones), and “Tsuivan” (noodles with meat and vegetables).
Dairy products also feature prominently, with fermented mare’s milk called “airag,” and dried cheese curds known as “aaruul” being common components of the Mongolian diet.
While meat is a primary protein source, grains like wheat and barley are used in dishes like “tsuivan” and “bansh,” a flatbread. It’s important to note that the traditional Mongolian diet is not typically vegetarian or vegan, making it essential for travelers with dietary restrictions to plan their meals accordingly.
Vegetarian and vegan options can be limited when you’re traveling in the countryside. Let your guide know ahead of time so they can communicate your food preferences with host families and restaurants ahead of time.
Agnista is a hidden gem for vegans and anyone looking for plant-based dishes.
The restaurant gained in popularity for its dedication to offering a diverse range of vegan dishes that fuses international and Mongolian flavors. Agnista takes traditional Mongolian cuisine and reimagines it in a vegan-friendly manner.
From vegan khuushuur (Mongolian fried pastry) to hearty vegan tsuivan (noodles with vegetables), Agnista gives travelers the chance to enjoy authentic Mongolian flavors without compromising their dietary preferences.
The welcoming ambiance and attentive staff create a warm and inviting atmosphere, making Agnista a must-visit destination for both local vegans and adventurous food enthusiasts exploring Ulaanbaatar.
Open at a few different locations around the city, Foody is a well-established vegan restaurant chain that has left its mark on Ulaanbaatar.
With a commitment to serving entirely plant-based dishes, Foody has become the go-to destination for vegans and health-conscious eaters.
Foody’s extensive menu offers a diverse selection of vegan dishes. I especially like their vegan khuushuur and green buuz. On certain nights they also operate as a mocktail-serving sober bar.
Located just behind Sukhbaatar Square and the Parliament Building, the Oneness Fountain Heart Vegetarian Café is a great lunch spot in the center of the city. Offering light and vegetarian soup options, as well as udon, the café is always buzzing with people.
With reasonable prices (most dishes are under 10,000 Mongolian tugrik), the café is also a great restaurant if you’re on a budget.
The Vegan House is a relatively new addition to Ulaanbaatar’s vegan dining scene, and it has quickly become a favorite of mine.
Besides vegan pizzas, pastas, and meatless burgers, they also serve vegan ice cream and cakes. I usually like to keep it light with a soup, which makes for the perfect lunch on a cold Mongolian day.
Near the Wrestling Palace in Sansar neighborhood, Hazara stands out for its exquisite blend of Indian and Middle Eastern flavors.
While this restaurant caters to a variety of tastes, it particularly appeals to vegetarians and vegans. From rich and creamy curries to lentil dishes, the restaurant serves vegetarian dishes that are as satisfying as they are aromatic.
The open and inviting ambiance and friendly staff make Hazara not only one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, but one of the best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, altogether.
Focusing on fresh juices, smoothies, and well-rounded plant-based dishes, Greeno is one of the best restaurants for eating healthy in Ulaanbaatar.
I find myself stopping into Greeno often to grab a juice, especially when I’m already on Tourist Street, where they’re located. If I have time, I’ll also grab a Buddha Bowl to go. You can’t go wrong with their Sweet potato curry or ginger cauliflower soup, you won’t find a vegetarian restaurant in Ulaanbaatar that offers as many diverse eating options.
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