For years, veganism has been steadily gaining popularity around the world. And as more people embrace a plant-based lifestyle, restaurants are taking note and offering an array of vegan options. In particular, vegan Asia restaurants are leading the charge, with innovative chefs redefining traditional dishes and creating new ones that are both delicious and cruelty-free.
From vegan ramen and sushi to dumplings and curry, these restaurants offer a variety of mouthwatering options that are sure to please vegans and non-vegans alike. Here are some of the top vegan Asian and Asian-owned brick-and-mortars across the United States that you have to try.
MANEATINGPLANT’s Garlic Chile Noods and Fried Shroom Bao
Canoga Park, CA
Owners Candice Tzeng and Phil Kwan helm this vegan pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar that draws throngs of crowds with the flavors of their Chinese and Taiwanese roots. Street food favorites like crispy mushroom bao buns, garlic chile noodles, and Singaporean crab cakes have helped MEP amass a loyal following (that includes VegNews editors), while elegant supper clubs and intimate eight-course dinners showcase their tremendous skill.
Pow Pow’s Korean BBQ’d Jackfruit on Trolley Fries
2 Pow Pow
An all-vegan, fast-casual eatery featuring Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flavors? It’s a delicious reality at Pow Pow in the Near Northeast neighborhood of Washington, DC. Spearheaded by Stephen Cheung, John Yamashita, and Shaun Sharkey, Pow Pow’s fun and creative brand of “New Asian” cuisine includes dishes like Taiwanese fried chicken parmesan, gigantic pineapple kimchi-chicken egg rolls, and a sweet-and-sour Natalie Porkman bowl.
Bodhi Kosher’s Vegan Steamed Green Jade Dumplings
3 Bodhi Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant
New York, NY
One of the most beloved spots in New York, Bodhi Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant’s entirely vegan take on traditional dim sum attracts diners from all around the country. Expect authentic plant-based bites like soup dumplings, fried shrimp dumplings, and even vegan shark fin soup—an animal-free version of the infamously popular Chinese dish that owner Kent Zhang makes to illustrate how traditional meals can be enjoyed without animals or destruction of the environment.
Spicy Moon’s Dry Pot
4 Spicy Moon
New York, NY
With locations in both the East and West Village (and soon, the Bowery), New York’s buzzy vegan Szechuan spot is making its mark with bright, bold, Instagrammable dishes. Traditionalists flock to classic fare like dan dan noodles, vegetable fried rice with Beyond beef, and spicy mapo tofu, while fun bites like cumin-dusted French fries, fried pickles with Szechuan sauce, and crispy mountain yam puffs stuffed with vegan cheese lure more modern gourmands.
Kenshō’s Vegan Sushi Rolls
5 Kenshō Vegan Sushi
Kenshō brings vegan sushi galore to Orange County, much to the delight of its Southern California fans. You can’t go wrong with its appetizers (tempura squash blossoms, anyone?), ramen, and dim sum, but the eatery’s innovative rolls like the I Lava You (a California roll with baked oyster scallop, dynamite sauce, spicy mayo, and unagi sauce); Ninja (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, shiitake, and cucumber); and Da’Kine (crab, cream cheese, and avocado with torched spam and crunchy tempura flakes) are stellar must-trys.
Lion Dance Cafe’s Shaobing Sandwich
6 Lion Dance Cafe
CY Chia and Shane Stanbridge head this plant-based wine bar hangout in San Francisco’s East Bay, wowing patrons with inventive and perfected small plates inspired by their Teochew-Singaporean and Italian roots. Find their one-of-a-kind food at Lion Dance Cafe, where you can enjoy an LDC Laksa (spicy coconut soup with rice noodles, tofu, pulled yuba, pumpkin, and laksa leaf) or a pistachio and pea tendril cavatelli with salt-preserved sour plums.
Hangawi’s Sesame Leaf Tofu
New York, NY
This NYC institution owned by Seoul native Terri Choi aims to share with the western world the innate beauty and vibrance of Korean cuisine, artfully veganized with the help of ancient mountain greens and roots, sea vegetables, and wild mushrooms. Choi and her team approach food adhering to the tenet of um and yang (Korean for yin and yang), or balance. Find that inner balance for yourself with not one, but two spicy kimchi stone bowls.
Mama Dut’s Bao Buns
8 Mama Dut
This Southeast Portland hotspot opened in 2021 to much fanfare thanks to chef Thuy Pham. During the pandemic, Pham learned how to make mock pork belly from Buddhist monks on YouTube and soon, orders began rolling in through Instagram. Expect veganized Vietnamese eats like pillowy bao buns with chick’n fried oyster mushrooms, flavorful bánh mì featuring housemade five-spice ribs, and pork-less jackfruit kimchi rolls. Pro tip: don’t skip the special daily desserts like Pandan Whoopie Pies, Strawberry Rose Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches, and Ube Cinnamon Rolls.
Jade Rabbit’s Chili Oil Wontons
9 Jade Rabbit
A standout among Portland’s excellent vegan eats, the cozy restaurant Jade Rabbit, forermly Ichiza Kitchen, boasts an impressive menu of carefully curated teas and an assortment of small plates and bowls that are available for delivery and pick-up. Owner Cyrus Ichiza, a former drag queen and traveling body piercer, draws upon his backgrounds in Filipinx and Taiwanese cuisine for pan-Asian dishes like Cantonese Cheung Fun (wide rice noodles filled with vegan shrimp, bacon, pork, and fried garlic) and chicken adobo marinated in coconut vinegar and black soy sauce on rice with calamansi dressing.
Chef Kenny’s Vegan Asian Restaurant’s assorted vegan sushi
10 Chef Kenny’s Vegan Asian Restaurant
Las Vegas, NV
Local Vegas legend Chef Kenny Chye brings his brand of approachable, hearty Chinese-style food at this strip mall favorite just west of the Las Vegas Strip. Expect to find takeout classics like General Tzo Chicken, Kung Pao Beef, and Orange Chicken. But a refined menu of vegan sushi—including plant recreations of salmon, eel, and tuna—is what makes the place special. For a one-of-a-kind, vegan dim sum experience, don’t miss Chef Kenny’s Vegan Dim Sum.
Âu Lạc’s Lemongrass Fish
11 Âu Lạc
Fountain Valley, CA
After a plant-based diet helped her to overcome a serious illness in 1997, Mai Nguyen set out to share her story with the world by way of her tasty, meat-free twists on Vietnamese food. Since then, Nguyen and her longtime partner Chef Ito have helped this stunning restaurant to be a long-lasting institution, garnering praise for its delightfully healthful, full-flavored cuisine.
Fat Choi’s Chili Wontons
12 Fat Choi
When Lauren and Johnny Soo started adopting a more plant-based diet, they knew their traditional Malaysian restaurant would have to soon follow. So in 2018, their über-popular, family-run eatery Soos began operating as a completely vegan kitchen two nights out of the week as Fat Choi, where customers can’t get enough of dishes like its crowd-favorite Mushroom Rendang, and Indonesian Opor Sayur with rice noodle squares, okra, long bean, tomato, cabbage, and pea shoots in a kaffir lime coconut sauce with calamansi. Stuffed Roti, Mushroom Rendang, and Sago Sago are on regular rotation and diners can’t get enough.
Wild Chive’s Tempura Banh Mi Bowl
Long Beach, CA
With years of working in vegan kitchens and super-successful pop-ups under her belt, Long Beach-resident Soozee Nguyen is preparing for her comfort food eatery’s first brick-and-mortar location this year. Known for its epic vegan Sunday brunches, towering sandwiches, and riffs on international cuisine, Wild Chive’s leagues of fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of its takeout menu, hoping menu favorites like grilled ham and cheese sandwiches nestled between caramelized potatoes make the cut.
The Herbivorous Butcher’s Korean BBQ Ribs
14 The Herbivorous Butcher
Growing up with a meat-heavy diet in Guam, Aubry Walch decided to follow a vegan diet, spending years perfecting meatless alternatives with the same flavors that she grew up with. After a few years watching Aubry thrive on a vegan diet, her brother Kale followed in her footsteps and the two later opened up Minneapolis’s first-and-only vegan butcher shop. From vegan jerky and filet mignon to Korean BBQ ribs, The Herbivorous Butcher’s vegan meats have reached high acclaim with features in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and stints at Coachella feeding hungry festival-goers.
Shojin’s Shojin Gyoza
Los Angeles, CA
Tucked away inside a shopping mall lies a hidden vegan oasis owned by Tsuguhiro Morishima. A favorite among Hollywood celebs, Shojin draws from shojin ryō—a vegan/vegetarian Buddhist devotion diet that aims to purify the body and mind. The extensive menu features carefully crafted dishes such as Kabocha Pumpkin Croquette, Garlic Maitake Steak, and a generous selection of sushi. Pro tip: save room for the tempura banana and chocolate mousse cake.
Kati Vegan Thai’s Kati’s Green Curry with Thai Eggplant
16Kati Vegan Thai
Focusing on fresh, healthy fare, Seattle’s Kati—“coconut milk” in Thai—uses fresh ingredients and spices for its vast selection of curry, noodle, and rice dishes. Kati crafts mouthwatering Thai staples such as popular street food-favorite Kuay Tiew Kua Gai (stir-fried wide noodles, housemade tofu eggs, napa cabbage leaves, and pickled radish, served with chili sauce) and Northern Thai classics like the Khao Soi featuring rice noodles in a rich curry broth topped with pickled cabbage, fried tofu, and red onions.
Shizen’s Surprise Ending Sushi
San Francisco, CA
The Bay Area mainstay attracts long lines and wait times with diners coming from far and near to try a taste of Chef Kin Lui’s innovative, fish-free creations. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Hawaii, Lui brings plant-based sushi to the masses as a way to do his part for his first love, the ocean. And it shows through the cult-favorite sushi bar’s main mission: to conserve the ocean through responsible yet delectable dining. Savor vegan tempura rolls, ramen, and fish-less nigiri and never look back.
Amitabul’s Cold Buckwheat Noodle Salad
Founded by Chef Bill Choi, this Chicago mainstay has cranked out vegan dishes that marry traditional Korean techniques with Western flavors since 1995, and it’s all thanks to Buddhist monks. After monks at Choi’s Buddhist temple brought fresh produce for vegan Bi Bim Bop to the chef’s omnivorous restaurant, the dish was such a hit that he was moved to open an all-vegan restaurant. Don’t miss Choi’s vegan dumplings, grilled tofu stir fry, or spicy noodle soup.
Chef Reina’s Ube Pancakes With Bacon
Ten years after building a career in corporate America, Reina Montenegro walked away from the life she knew to follow her passion for food and cooking. After launching Nick’s Kitchen, the San Francisco Bay Area’s first Filipinx restaurant, Montenegro built the Nick empire, successfully running three locations. Today, the Philippine-born chef has pivoted to her own brand, Chef Reina, where she whips up fluffy ube pancakes, savory chick’n adobo, and Omnipork lumpia.
Gokoku Vegetarian Ramen & Sushi’s Caterpillar Roll
20Gokoku Vegetarian Ramen & Sushi
Studio City, CA
Tucked away in Studio City, this all-vegan sushi and ramen shop offers over 20 different specialty rolls and fragrant bowls of creamy ramen made with more than 20 bold, natural ingredients for an explosion of flavor. Founded in 2016 by Shanshan Liu Estacio, Gokoku is a must-stop for its spicy Mayu Garlic Jalapeño Ramen, crunchy vegan shrimp rolls, and bento boxes.
Golden Era Vegan’s Mama’s Claypot
21Golden Era Vegan
San Francisco, CA
For a taste of Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai cuisines, look no further than downtown San Francisco’s Golden Era Vegan. This plant-based institution has been feeding the masses since 1999 with its Asian fusion menu. Golden-fried egg rolls, fresh green papaya salads, and pan-fried chow fun keep customers coming back for more. Don’t forget the organic Vietnamese iced coffee perfect for busy work days.
Minty Z’s Cuban Corn Wontons
Husband-and-wife team Alex Falco and Huimin Zhu are bringing a fusion of Asian flavors with a plant-based twist to Miami. On the dim sum menu, classic bao buns, avocado spring rolls, and Cuban Corn Wontons can’t be missed. But if you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, the five-spice dusted bao beignets, chocolate ganache dumplings, and matcha crème brûlée are out of this world.
Mirisata’s Deviled Pork
Although mirisata loosely translates to spicy curry, there’s more to be explored on the menu at this employee-owned Sri Lankan eatery. The co-operative taps into its owner-workers’ family traditions and recipes to whip up jackfruit-stuffed croquettes, fishless patties with a side of hot green chili sauce, and crispy fried rolls filled with Impossible beef and potato curry. For dessert, don’t skip the flan-like watalappan made from a blend of cashews, creamy coconut milk, and thick kithul jaggery syrup.
The Sudra’s Jackfruit Vindaloo Bowl
This chain of plant-based Indian restaurants founded by prolific chef and restaurateur Sanjay Chandrasekaran has called the PNW home for nearly a decade. And with a menu that blends the chef’s Indian heritage with the Southwestern flavors of his childhood in New Mexico, it’s no surprise patrons can’t get enough of this vegan grub. Opt for the soy chicken drumsticks lathered in creamy South Indian poppy seed curry, and wash it all down with an ice cold TLC cocktail made with tequila, lime, orange juice, and tamarind.
Tane Vegan Izakaya’s Asparagus and Avocado Nigiri
25Tane Vegan Izakaya
From the founders of San Francisco’s Shizen comes Tane Vegan Izakaya, Honolulu’s first plant-based Japanese restaurant. On an island where fish reigns supreme, Tane’s vegan sushi, specialty rolls, ramen, and shared plates are guaranteed to satisfy. Cozy up with a bowl of spicy garlic miso ramen or choose between tofu-stuffed shiitake mushrooms, eggplant nigiri, and vegan tuna rolls.