Being a vegan traveler in Langkawi, Malaysia just got tastier

Vegan Langkawi

Tokiyoo is a traditional Asian sweet pancake with coconut filling inside. Source: Shutterstock

MALAYSIA is home to a wealth of stunning islands which until recently were only inhabited by farmers.

One of these islands is Langkawi, the main island in the Langkawi archipelago, made up of 99 Malaysian islands located in the Andaman Sea.

Langkawi is widely admired as the “Jewel of Kedah” (a northern Malaysian state) and offers diverse landscapes to all that visit.

From the unblemished beaches that escort eager snorkelers into an ocean full of colorful marine life to the jungle-covered, monkey-filled mountains that descend into mysterious mangrove wetlands, there’s an element of beauty to inspire everyone.

Alongside the island’s diverse landscapes, Langkawi’s duty-free status has helped to develop its ever-growing tourism industry.

The expansion of the Langkawi International Airport and investment from luxury brands such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has also drawn in more tourists to the paradise island.

And it’s often these luxury brands that those with dietary requirements gravitate towards to eliminate the risk of eating something they can’t. After all, these brands get their reputations from continuously offering the best of the best.

But you don’t need to spend a fortune to try the best food in Langkawi or order fries or a salad everywhere you go because Langkawi is full of amazing restaurants, many of which cater to specific dietary requirements, especially veganism.

We’ve scouted out the most delicious vegan-option-offering restaurants so you can feast while staying true to a worthy cause.

Pizza on Fire

After trying one of Pizza on Fire’s thin crust delights, you’ll likely declare it one of the tastiest pizzas you’ve ever had.

This little pizzeria is located behind Joe’s Barber Shop just off Langkawi’s most popular hangout spot, Pantai Cenang.

The hole-in-the-wall-style pizza shop offers all the standard pizza combinations but the vegan magic happens on the design-it-yourself menu.

Start by requesting no cheese and then choose from a variety of free toppings such as basil, onion, and capsicum, then add more veggies such as peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and olives.

Also, if you buy four pizzas, you get one free.

  • Average spend per person: US$6 (per pizza)
  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12pm-12am

Red Tomato

If you’re looking for a fun and casual setting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, head to Red Tomato along Pantai Cenang.

Red Tomato is the brainchild of German-born, long-term Langkawi resident Tanya. Her extensive menu offers everything from omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, pasta, pizza and many more western favorites.

Vegetarian and vegan options are indicated on the menu, alongside a wide range of gluten-free items.

And if you ask the staff to make a non-vegan dish vegan, they will gladly try and almost certainly succeed.

For example, the scrambled egg can be replaced with tofu, coconut milk can be used in pasta sauces instead of dairy cream, and not forgetting possibly the world’s best veganaise (vegan mayo).

There are also 12 cats that roam the restaurant. Look out for a black cat named Shadow. He’s always up for a cuddle.

  • Average spend per person: US$15 (meal and drink)
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9am-11:30pm

Yasmin Syrian Restaurant

It doesn’t get much fresher than Yasmin Syrian Restaurant.

As you walk into the fully air-conditioned restaurant, you’ll pass a guy making khubz (Syrian flatbread). It’s served warm with a variety of dips including thick hummus.

We recommend ordering the falafel wrap with hummus to replace the yogurt and a side of tabbouleh.

The freshly fried falafel balls melt in your mouth and the zing from the tabbouleh balances the creaminess of the hummus.

  • Average spend per person: US$6 (meal and drink)
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30am-12am

Xin An Vegetarian Cafe

Everything at Xin An Vegetarian Cafe in Kuah, Langkawi’s capital, tastes amazing.

From the vegetable-stuffed spring rolls to the mock fish cutlets drizzled in soy and garlic sauce.

Then there’s the mock chicken drenched in sweet and sour sauce and traditional Malaysian satay accompanied by a homemade peanut sauce.

  • Average spend per person: US$10 (meal and drink)
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 10:30am-3pm and 6:30pm-9pm

These are our favorites but there are undoubtedly more vegan-friendly restaurants in Langkawi. It’s always worth asking what vegan options a restaurant has, especially in a tourist area.

Happy eating!