In short, Mongolia was epic, the landscapes, driving, people, missions and of course the company I had were awesome. The Mongol food however doesn’t have the best reputation, fair enough too. Does dried mutton and noodles sound appetising sound good to you? Yea, nah I’ll pass aye. As a vegan I figured I would be doing a lot of fasting, but thanks to Sunpath Tours I was fed good as gold.

Day 1

Breakfast: Jam on toast at hostel before leaving Ulaanbaatar
Lunch: Noodles, potatoes and carrots
Dinner: Pasta, onion and potato fries

vegan in mongolia

Rice and vegetables, the Mongolian standard

Day 2

Breakfast: Peanut butter and jam on toast
Lunch: Pickles, sushi, capsicum slices and an apple
Dinner: Potato dumplings

Day 3

Breakfast: Jam on toast
Lunch: Rice, peas and mixed veges
Dinner: Mongolian BBQ’ed carrots, spuds and rice

Mongolian BBQ night

Mongolian BBQ night…

Day 4

Breakfast: Jam on toast and fruit
Lunch: Veges and rice
Dinner: Pasta (onion sauce)

Day 5

Breakfast: Jam on toast
Lunch: Rice and coleslaw
Dinner: Homemade dumplings

Day 6

Breakfast: Jam on toast
Lunch: Rice, veges, potato fries and coleslaw
Dinner: Vegetable soup (onion, potato, carrot)

Day 7

Breakfast: Jam on toast
Lunch: Noodles and capsicum

Of course, water and beer were included in their throughout.

Snacks on the road

  • Tea, lots and lots of tea (green, black, pu’ur, fruit, white, Mongolian wild herb, jasmine and herbal from what I recall).
  • Biscuits, dark chocolate, raisins and crackers, a combination of ones we bought and our guides bought.
  • Pickles, we had a glass jar of them for the group on most days.


  1. The dumplings on day 5 were cooked in animal fat
  2. The BBQ vegetables on day 3 were cooked with the meat and meat stock
  3. The biscuits from the guides
vegan mongolia fail

Vegan gone wrong, oops

Yea so not 100% vegan in Mongolia, naughty me. Frankly I was fine with it. Originally I made the switch to vegan for health reasons. Seven days out in the desert was never going to be healthy. I do care about the animals and the environment, the scene is a little different out in the Gobi. Getting vegetables to grow is damn difficult and they love their animals.

Talk about free range, the domestic animals ranged from goats, camels, sheep, cows, horses and likely others I can’t think of but they can wander off wherever they like in the day. At the end of the day, the Shepard of the family will go round them up and herd them back towards the ger for the night. They rely on their animals for survival, good on’em.

One of the reasons that we chose Sunpath Tours for the Gobi Desert Tour was their price (including hostel accommodation in UB), but they also acknowledge vegans and vegetarians on their website. I mentioned I was vegan and twas told our local Mongolian guide will accommodate me. That was awesome, and I probably got the better end of the stick compared to my friends (they loved the BBQ though). The mutton isn’t the same you might see out west and the guide noticed the rest of the crew snagging some of my veges with their plates often not finished. The legend he was started adding more veges to their plate and all was well.

Pro tip: Check out Lover’s Hut in Ulaanbaatar, there are a couple stores at least. The meals there are big and cheap and you can get plenty of vegan snacks to take on your trip there too (noodles etc).