Anyone who has lived in Tianjin for even a short while will surely have noticed that it is not the most vegetarian-friendly of places. With the city’s signature dish being pork filled dumplings and meat making up a significant proportion of every menu, it could be easy for a vegetarian to lose hope. However, as vegetarianism slowly grows in popularity in China, so too do the number of places solely dedicated to providing meat-free alternatives. Although change is slow there are currently a few glimmers of hope for those not wanting to give up the cause quite yet.
Vegetarian beef steak
Seven Leaves Vegetarian Restaurant 七贝叶素餐厅
Probably the best known of these glimmers is Seven Leaves vegetarian restaurant. Popular with those wanting to try something new and vegetarians alike, Seven Leaves serves a variety of interesting and flavourful dishes to suit many a palate. Most of the dishes follow a suit of many vegetarian restaurants of serving meat-imitation dishes rather than trying to create uniquely vegetarian cuisine. Although it is not merely Chinese vegetarian restaurants that do this, there does seem to be a greater emphasis on meat-substitutes than in some other places. This is possibly due to trying to appeal to a Chinese clientele still new to the idea of vegetarianism. However, the use of tofu, bean curd and soy protein to create these dishes does sometimes create tasty alternatives to the real thing.
Seven Leaves offers vegetarian alternatives to Beijing ‘duck’, ‘beef steak’, and a variety of ‘pork’ dishes that all offer tasty versions of their meat-counterparts for the customer wanting to retain some of the flavour of meat. However, there are also a variety of dishes based on nuts, vegetables and tofu that are interesting and unique dishes in their own right and can actually be a tastier option than the meat-imitators. Although at about 50 RMB per person, the price is comparatively high, but there is a lot of variety of meat-free goodies and a pleasant atmosphere while you eat. Just for a change from the usual meat-filled dumplings, famed in Tianjin, and for vegetarians to get their fix, Seven Leaves comes recommended.
Seven Leaves Restaurant 七贝叶素餐厅 View In Map
Address: 2F, Yuanyang Building, Xinkai Lu, Hedong District, Tianjin
地址: 天津市 河东区新开路远洋大厦2层
Tel: 022 2337 1479
Kind Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant 并蒂莲素食餐厅
Located in the trendy Wudadao area, this vegetarian restaurant promotes not only a meat-free diet but also a healthy-living philosophy. Decorated with drapes of coloured fabric and with candles and ornaments lining the stairs, the restaurant has a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere. Seemingly inspired by Buddhist teachings, crystal lamps and incense burners are placed on every table, with the promise of encouraging good health.
The food itself follows the same theme as most vegetarian food in China, mainly centred on imitations of meat dishes. Although it may sometimes seem like quite a contrived way of promoting vegetarianism some of these dishes taste pretty good, although imitations of pork fat in some of the dishes seem quite bizarre. If these kinds of dishes are not your thing there are also plenty of tasty dishes to choose that are based on tofu, vegetables, nuts and noodles rather than meat-imitations. At over 60 RMB per person the price tag is comparatively steep and due to encouraging healthy-lifestyles the restaurant only serves alcohol-free beer. However, with welcoming staff who speak some English, a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of meat-free choices to fill you up it is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking to escape from meat-obsessed restaurants in Tianjin.
Kind Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant 并蒂莲素食餐厅View In Map
Address: 68, the junction of Kunming Lu and Changde Dao, Heping District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2331 8629
Yuanman Vegetarian Restaurant
Yuanman Vegetarian Restaurant 圆满素食饭馆
Having been established quite a while ago, Yuanman Vegetarian restaurant has established itself as not only a decent Vegetarian restaurant but as a formidable contender to all those meat-serving venues. Receiving well-deserved awards nationally as well as picking up honourable mentions in various expat surveys has built upon the restaurant’s reputation and added to its clientele. With a Chinese Buddhist ethos, similar to the Kind Lotus, healthy living is encouraged and a calm and relaxing atmosphere greets you when you enter.
Providing customers with pretty much every meat dish you can think of but made with a variety of meat-free ingredients, Yuanman’s follows the ideal of trying to satisfy meat-eaters by recreating well-known dishes. However, the dishes do taste excellent and there is an array of dishes that do not consist of meat-substitutes but more wholesome vegetarian fare. Also, with the prices comparatively cheap, at about 35 RMB per person, depending on what you decide to order, it is understandable how it has built such a fan base.
Yuanman Vegetarian Restaurant圆满素食饭馆View In Map
Address: 112 Suzhou Dao, Hexi District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2302 2618
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Keywords: Vegetarian restaurants Tianjin meat imitation restaurants Tianjin meat-free restaurants Tianjin how to be vegetarian Tianjin
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