World Vegetarian Day is the international celebration of "the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism". Established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977, it is a day for all, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, to unite and rejoice around a table of delicious, vegetable-centric foods. A vegetarian diet promotes not only a healthy body but a healthy planet and allows for a sustainable, wholesome lifestyle.
Whether you’re meat-free or not, these eateries offer delicious food, packed with interesting flavours and health benefits.
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Vegetarian dining is seldom so glamorous. Grassroots offers an Instagram-worthy dining experience, with its minimalist, New-York-loft vibe. Their menu features Sunday brunch favourites such as trendy acai bowls, as well as inventive mains which combine Asian and Western flavours. The selection is sure to convince some meat-lovers to rethink their diets; for example, the "Kebab Plate" dish will satisfy anyone with a craving for that street-food classic, with vegetable-based imitation meat which tastes better than the real thing.
Shop 2096B, L2/F, IFC, Central
Genie Juicery makes the best cold-pressed juices in the city. The colourful, healthy juices are perfect for on the go (let's face it, the state most of us are in, most of the time), and there is also a selection of salads and wraps. Drinks are made from all-natural, vegan ingredients including cashew milk, dates, kale, and smoothie classics such as berries and coconut. Personal favourites include the ‘Crazy for Coconuts’ and ‘Sweet Dreams’, paired with a chia pudding. If you have time to spare, take your juice up to the IFC roof, and enjoy it with the stunning view of the harbour as a backdrop.
Fast Slow Food: 92 Wellington Street, Central
Cafe: 8 Tai On Terrace, Sheung Wan
Mana is the epitome of wholesome dining which doesn’t hurt the planet. They serve 100 per cent organic veggie burgers, wraps and salads, all served in biodegradable, compostable packaging. Mana! is best known for their “build it yourself” menu style by which customers can create their own wraps with their favourite ingredients - halloumi, veggies, hummus, avocado, and much more. There are also vegan mains and desserts. Both locations are little oases in the metropolitan madness, with very quaint, picturesque terraces with wooden decking and lots of refreshing greenery.
1/F, Dannies House, 20 Luard Road, Wan Chai
Khana Khazana is a Wan Chai institution. The lion’s share of the menu is dedicated to dishes featuring palak, the succulent Indian cottage cheese. But there are plenty of other choices from both North and South India on the extensive menu. Add to this the luxurious setting, delicious flavours, and mouth-watering aromas, and this is a plac not to be missed.
Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping Road, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island
Part of the unique experience of climbing up to Hong Kong’s Big Buddha, is the almost compulsory stop at one of Po Lin Monastery’s world famous vegan/vegetarian restaurants. This eatery promotes a balanced, Buddhist diet which is good for body and soul. You will be offered a set menu of home-grown veggies, tofu and nuts in all the possible combinations - soups, snacks, mains, rice, noodles and desserts - in a feast of Cantonese favours.
Once you have finished licking your plate clean (we particularly recommend the fried bean curd sheet with lemon, the best in town), you can leave feeling satisfied that you have supported the monastery business to boot.
G/F, The K. S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty
Lock Cha Tea House is truly a unique Hong Kong restaurant. It combines the ancient art of tea drinking, Hong Kong’s finest architecture, and the best that Chinese vegetarian cuisine has to offer. The decor is very reminiscent of traditional, Canton-style tea houses, with the added bonus (and beauty) of being set in the heart of Hong Kong park. The menu comprises more than 100 different types of teas and an array of vegetarian dim sum. Perfect for vegans and vegetarians seeking an authentic, Chinese dining experience which is usually laden with pork and beef.
Ground Floor, Shop 6, 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
This place used to be tucked in a Causeway Bay back alley known to only a small crowd of aficionados, but moved into bigger premises in a luxury business building in Wan Chai, while retaining its authenticity. Traditional Cantonese vegetarian cuisine sits next to the spicier accents of Sichuan to make for a medley of tastes packed in the delicious, all-veggie dishes. It's highly recommend to go with a big group to sample as many of the wonderful, contrasting flavours and textures as possible.