Remember that time I ate a horse in Slovenia? Well, this blog post is to make it up to all you great citizens of the world who are vegetarian or vegan. I won’t eat any more horses, promise.
I’m a carnivore at heart; a Brazilian, churrasco eating, meat lover. Yes, I’ve had my rendez-vous with vegetarianism in the past; twice to be exact. My first time not eating meat was when I was in Paris. My host mother came home with a freshly murdered chicken, and let the blood drain in the kitchen sink without warning me. I was scarred for so long that I had a nightmare, there was a chicken killing factory in the walls of my homestay’s apartment; couldn’t eat meat for at least two weeks.
Then I went back to my old carnivore ways, that was until Costa Rica, where meat was randomly so damn expensive, I couldn’t even afford the cheapest slices of ham at the deli. Island prices are no joke, beware. For some reason, I developed a motto while there, that if I could control what I put into my body, I could control the negative energy around me; great in theory, but the food part of it only lasted about six months. I got back to New York, met with my foodie friend who convinced me I should give into the urge to eating a big fat burger. I half regretted the first bite, but continued eating to make up for lost time.
And now, in present day, while I eat almost everything, I’ve stopped buying anything other than fish and fake meat. My new motto: I don’t buy it at the grocery store, I don’t eat it. I’ve grown a powerful bond with fake kielbasa, and fake smoked deli sandwich meat, who knew those were so tasty.
As a carnivore who travels with a vegetarian, it’s become such a habit to ask before even really entering the restaurant, “Excuse me, do you have any vegetarian options?” Fully knowing that even though I can eat anything, I need to make sure Damon’s not going to just be weak and hungry watching me eat a massive steak dinner, while he eats a piece of lettuce. If I’m feelin’ myself, I even order all vegetarian, the human body really doesn’t digest meat in a way that makes me feel so hot, so I never regret eating meat-free. The reason most carnivores are reluctant to eating all vegetarian is because of the bland food they imagine. Which, if we’re being real, is a real risk you take by eating Tofu and soy protein cooked by people who don’t know what Adobo, or other seasonings are.
Luckily, this isn’t something you’ll ever worry about if you visit Chiang Mai. Welcome to the vegetarian food city you’ve always dreamed of.
Address: Prapokkloa Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand – more info
It doesn’t take many vegetables to make you feel replenished after backpacking for two months, which is why Morning Glory was already a brilliant place to eat. Throw in great seasonings, and the heartiest brown rice you’ve ever tasted, plus a completely meat-free menu, you’ll be in Veagen. Get it!? I really think carnivores are turned off by not having a hearty source of protein in their meals, but when there are soy protein chicken flavored chunks floating around in a decadent coconut based curry, who’s really losing? Just the meat eaters who are too stubborn to give something like this a serious try.
Taste from Heaven
Address: 34/1 Ratmakka road (opposite soi 1) Prasing Muang Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand – more info
Speaking of Veagen, aka vegetarian heaven, this place tells no lies with its name. Despite the cheesy logo on the outside, you’ll enter into a little slice of paradise. Quirky quotes from famous vegetarians will keep you company while you wait for your meal, not to mention the adorable staff that says “ka” after everything – a word that women say at the end of Thai phrases to show their respect. By the end of our second meal at Taste From Heaven, Damon and I were both chanting, “thank you, ka.” Make sure you get the egg rolls, even if you come here for a delicious breakfast.
Address: 34/1 Ratvithi Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand – more info
You can easily walk past one of the greatest culinary experiences of your lifetime, sans meat. Bamboo café is a major gem in the tiniest shack looking location. With only one person cooking, work the floor, and accept payments, there is no lack of quality; impressive right? We didn’t think much at first, since this one woman team was about to pull off two fake chicken plates, and organic mojitos, which led us to experience the greatest surprise of all. The mojitos were Pinterest worthy (if I gave a damn about Pinterest), and tasted delicious before either of us were buzzed. Don’t get me started on the fake chicken; this food could end wars, and safe chickens from possible extinction – so damn delicious. If you put any place on your list, it’s Bamboo café.
The point is, traveling has opened my culinary palate to the potential of cutting out meat cold turkey – so necessary. And while I do enjoy a good chicken and rice plate, there’s nothing wrong with exploring your inner veggie side, and giving your body a break from all those hormones animals consume, which you later consume. Who knows, maybe I’ll do six months of vegetarianism and document what happens with my body. Now that’s an idea.
There were even more that were equally delicious vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai you can check out here.
Have any other amazing recommendations? Comment below.