Being vegetarian in Taiwan proves to have its difficulties if you don’t speak Mandarin and can’t ask for other options. If you’re experiencing the language barrier and shopping with your eyes, you may find the majority of street vendors are focused around meat. Sure, there are plenty of egg dishes and stinky tofu, but if you like variety like we do, these options get old pretty fast.
Luckily, Eric and I are pescetarian, which opens up some doors. Unluckily, I still don’t like eating something that’s looking at me (like shrimp with the head still on), so I’ve been having trouble finding protein-filled eats in a country that doesn’t serve cheese, beans, or much soy. That is, until we stumbled upon Vonny’s Garden Vegetarian Restaurant. All is saved and beyond delicious!
Vonny’s is a street front eatery, but the beautiful garden out front invites you in and makes you quickly forget the noisy scooters. Inside, you’ll be greeted by the kind owner, Lin, and the handsome man who will be cooking your food, Lin’s son. You can take a look at the vegan meats or chose to pick from the large assortment offered on the English menu. There are many creative options including soup, sandwiches, rices, vegan chinese meats and hot pots, and even vegan sashimi!
We opted for sweet and sour vegan pork and chili chicken, around a very reasonable 100NTD each. We also ordered pie-topped corn soup, vegetable fried rice, and eel noodles. Like the hungry hippos we are, we ordered more than we could eat; two could be happily satisfied with two mains, a rice, and a soup for a budget restaurant cost.
Everything we ordered was scrumptious and one of the best meals we’ve yet to have in Tainan. The vegan meats tasted like the real deal. The sweet and sour sauce had the perfect combination of candied and tangy. The pie adorned corn soup was divine – so good that I wish Vonny’s served fruit pies with that flaky, pastry topping! We also tried the zesy lemon yogurt and refreshing iced rose tea that are served with homemade sugar syrup.
The meal was fresh and an incredible change from ordering the usual scrambled eggs or squid. One can tell that Vonny’s puts thought, creativity, and love into every dish they serve. Even if you’re on a cheeseburger diet or, like my younger brother, you just don’t trust vegan meats, give Vonny’s Garden Vegetarian Restaurant a try. I’d put money down that you’d think you were eating real meat – or at least that you’d want to go back for more.
Have you tried a new restaurant lately that you felt was super creative in their dishes?
Vonny’s Garden Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 95 Linsen Rd, East Dist, Tainan, Taiwan 701
Cost: Budget for a restaurant