Soy to the World: Eating Vegetarian in Qingdao

Soy to the World: Eating Vegetarian in Qingdao
By Derek McGuire ,

Vegetarianism isn’t afforded the same importance in Qingdao as in China’s more prominent cities, but vegetarians can still eat out happily in a number of venues without surviving entirely on tofu, though vegans will find their options limited. While there’s a broad restaurant scene for carnivores, dedicated vegetarian venues simply haven’t taken off in Qingdao. So imagination and patience are required by those who don’t eat meat.

For those of you who are pescatarians, a few places offer the breadth and quality of seafood menus that are found in Qingdao. From the fishing village of Shazikou in the east of the city, to Taidong in the west, Chinese restaurants throughout the city offer incredible seafood, often displayed in buckets or tanks at the entrance. The seafood is typically fresh, the prices are typically low, and the diner is typically very satisfying indeed.

1)  Tairyo Teppanyaki’s大渔铁板烧
For a Japanese take on seafood, be it grilled before your eyes on the teppanyaki hotplate, or served raw as sushi and sashimi, Qingdao has a number of options. Among them, Tairyo Teppanyaki’s branches at Polar Ocean World - overlooking the ocean - and their newer branch at the Olympic Marina, stand out from the crowd. At the time of writing, they offer 150RMB all-you-can-eat options, while their teppanyaki competitors typically offer something a little more expensive. Most Japanese restaurants across the city offer very good seafood.

Tairyo Beef & Seafood Teppanyaki Restaurant (Fushan Bay Branch)View In Map
Add: 1F, Darling Harbour, 1 Yan'erdao Lu, ShiNan District, Fushan Bay Area, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市燕儿岛路1号心海广场1楼

Tel: 0532 6867 8585/6867 8586

Tairyo Beef & Seafood Teppanyaki Restaurant (Polar Ocean Branch)View In Map
Add: 201, Building E, 58 DongHai  Donglu, Laoshan District, Polar Ocean World Area, Qingdao
地址: 青岛东海东路58号E座201极地金岸娱乐港
Tel: 0532 6688 9366/ 6688 9368

2)  Trattoria Verde北绿岛意大利名菜餐厅
Aside from the Japanese options, and the Chinese restaurants where seafood is ubiquitous, an alternative take on seafood can be found at Trattoria Verde. With its blackboard full of daily seafood specials prepared in authentic, Italian fashion, by a Japanese head chef, Trattoria Verde also offers Qingdao’s best pizzas and some pasta dishes which will satisfy normal vegetarian requirements (though not vegan).

Trattoria VerdeView In Map
Add: 67A ZhangZhou Lu, ShiNan District, Fushan Bay Area, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市漳州路67号甲
Tel: 0532 8589 8530

3)  Fatema Indian Restaurant法蒂玛印度餐厅
Those who like Indian food would be well advised to try the vegetarian curries offered by Fatema, in Hong Kong garden. Of the precious few Indian restaurant options in the city, Fatema is the most authentic and offers the broadest menu, including many vegetarian options.

Fatema Indian RestaurantView In Map
Add: 10D GuTian Lu, Shinan District, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市市南区古田路10号丁
Tel: 0532 8696 2015

4)  Crystal Lotus Vegetarian Diet and Tea House清水莲素膳茗坊
Of course, Indian food isn’t everyone’s tastes, and some vegetarians do not eat fish, nor the dairy products used in pasta and pizza toppings. Unfortunately, there is only one known notable restaurant dedicated to vegetarianism in Qingdao.

Qing Shui Lian Vegetarian, otherwise known as Crystal Lotus Vegetarian Diet and Tea House, boasts a stylish setting, and is conveniently located in the CBD. With a broad menu mercifully offered in English, prices are fairly average and the food quality is good.

Crystal Lotus Vegetarian Diet and Tea HouseView In Map
Add: 6, Yanerdao  Lu, Shinan District, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市市南区燕儿岛路6号(眼科医院对面)
Tel: 0532 8077 9116

It’s likely that vegetarianism and veganism aren’t as common in Qingdao as in first tier cities, and it’s clear that vegetarianism in the city isn’t as appreciated as it could be. Perhaps the best illustration of this is that anew café/diner (which will remain nameless to protect its identity), offers a vegetarian omelette for breakfast that comes served with sausages and bacon. While it’s surely only a matter of time before this is highlighted to the well-intentioned new owners, it could be some time before Qingdao adopts a vegetarian-friendly mentality; or before some new venues open to exploit a market which, though small, is currently barely serviced at all.

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Keywords: Qingdao vegetarian restaurants Qingdao dinging Qingdao vegetarian


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Is Crystal Lotus even open anymore? It's sad that there are so few options for vegetarians in Qingdao. I'm sure it will change soon.

Jun 02, 2014 22:39 Report Abuse