Situated at the end of a quiet wooded soi (lane) off Nimmanhaemin Road in the trendy shopping area west of the Old City in Chiang Mai, Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant displays its sign proudly advertising that their vegetarian menu is “so delicious you won’t miss the meat” and it’s true. Anchan occupies the second floor with a narrow balcony overlooking the soi, and its open kitchen allows you to watch the chef and owner, Aye, create your meal.
Local, organic and made from scratch – The Trifecta!
Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant offers 55 menu items, including soups, salads, curries, omelets and pastas. Some Western dishes, such as pesto, are also available. In addition, be sure to look at the colorful menu board for their specials and fruit smoothies, which are updated based on what local produce is in season.
Anchan is proud to buy organic ingredients from local farms. By not adding MSG, fish sauce or shrimp pastes, Anchan has created a flavorful, chemical-free menu. Since its grand opening in October of 2012, the restaurant has been quickly gaining in popularity, with its dozen or so tables consistently full with a variety of tourists, expats and Thais. The secret, says Aye, is in the sauce. Unlike curries and sauces in many other restaurants that are made from a pre-purchased paste from the market, Anchan’s curries are made completely from scratch.
It’s easy to eat vegan at Anchan as they cater to and understand the vegan diet. If you say you are vegan, they will automatically substitute glass noodles for egg noodles and regular tofu for egg tofu. In addition, they gladly adjust levels of salt, sugar and spice. Animal free products, such as soap, shampoo and spices, are also sold at Anchan.
As an appetizer we recommend Deep Fried Tofu with Tamarind Sauce which is a combination of sweet, tangy and a touch of spice. We have often ordered this starter with friends and it is always enjoyed by all. Ligeia enjoys the Tom Yam Noodle, but be sure to tell them that you are vegan so they change the egg noodles to glass ones. It’s both flavorful and spicy. One of Mindy’s favorites is the Sweet and Sour Veggies as the colorful vegetables are perfectly cooked and the sauce is delicious. Be sure to order brown rice with this dish! All of Anchan’s curry dishes are spectacular and again, this is because the curry is made from scratch. We particularly enjoy the Massaman and Pumpkin Curry.