Vegetarian Food in Maldives - 10 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants

Fish and coconut being the staple diet of Maldivians, there's plenty in-store for vegetarian foodies as well who are worried about their survival in Maldives. While most of the restaurants and guesthouses offer typical vegetarian delicacies like vegetable curry or dal & rice, there are resorts providing exceptional western cuisines. There are guesthouses offering continental as well as vegetarian versions of traditional Maldivian breakfast that is made of potato and pumpkin instead of fish along with coconut and is served with flatbreads called 'roshi'.

Being a vegetarian, even if one faces a lack of options in the main course, there's a multitude of options to choose from the range of exceptional Maldivian desserts. Visiting a local bakery will expose you to varieties like Foni Boakiba, Foni Kaajaa, Dhonkeyo Kajuru and unless you are allergic to coconut, these delicacies are something you cannot resist taking home.

Read further to know about the restaurants that make survival pretty easy for a vegetarian in Maldives.

1. Tandoori Flames

Tandoori Flames for vegetarian food in Maldives
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Known for its status as North America's largest Indian Buffet, the restaurant features a great selection of the Indian delicacies offering numerous vegetarian-friendly options.  A Buffet meal begins with starters - vegetarian soups and tandoori pizzas accompanied by some snacks like vegetable pakoras and french fries. Followed by mouth-watering delicacies like Grilled veggies, palak paneer and Aloo Tikkis, the journey of the buffet ends with some exceptional traditional Indian desserts, fresh juicy fruits and pastries.  

Location: Ahigas Magu

Must Try: Paneer Butter Masala, Palak Paneer

2.  Bombay Darbar

Bombay Darbar for vegetarian food in Maldives
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With the name 'Bombay Darbar' originating from a city in Maharashtra, India known as Mumbai today, the restaurant perfectly captures the taste of North Indian cuisine in their menu. Apart from the Indian cuisine, the restaurant is also known to serve a variety of vegetarian-friendly Chinese and Continental options. Being a favourite amongst locals, early arrival is always recommended to avoid the queue.

Location: Nirolhu Magu, Hulhumale

Must Try: Shahi Veg Korma, Mushroom Makhani

3.  Just Veg by Atmosphere - Kanifushi

Just Veg by Atmosphere - Kanifushi, A vegetarian restaurant in Maldives
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Maldives' first pure vegetarian restaurant with a sole dedication to cater the vegetarians, Just Veg by Atmosphere is located within the all-inclusive luxury resort, Atmosphere Kanifushi. This is a speciality restaurant serving cuisines from Arabic, Mediterranean and Indian regions along with a menu specifically designed for Jain Hindus. From main-course delicacies like Shahi vegetable Biryani, Paneer Butter Masala and Tofu Curry Laksa, the meal marks its end by delectable desserts like Gulab Jamun and Mascarpone Tiramisu.

Location: Kanifushi, Lhaviyani Atoll

Must Try: Carrot Halwa, Paneer Butter Masala

4.  Pizza Mia

Pizza Mia Maldives
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When in Maldives, Pizza lovers hardly have to sacrifice their cravings as this archipelago of coral islands has something in the bag for them as well. Pizza preparation in Maldives has a more English touch than Italian with an appropriate blend of sauces and besides the exceptional pizza offerings. As the name suggests, Pizza Mia is also known for its beverages like mojitos and ice cream fudges. Experience the grandeur of freshly cooked, seemingly wood fired oven styled pizza at this spotless clean, cafeteria style restaurant when in Maldives for a diving holiday.

Location: Kalhuhuraa Magu, Male, Maldives

Must Try: Bologna

5. Calorie Counter

Calorie Counter is a perfect place for vegetarian food in Maldives
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Watch your intake of calories at this quality food restaurant offering exquisite delicacies for every kind of taste bud. Regardless of what the name suggests, the restaurant is highly considerate of health, as well as fitness freaks, and besides the various offerings, Calorie Counter is exceptionally known for its desserts - the reason why one can hardly resist his revisit once been here.  

Location: H. Silver Oak, Abadhah Ufaa, Magu Male
 
Must Try: Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Melt, Smoothies

6. Baraabaru

Baraabaru in Maldives is famous for vegetarian food
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An Indian restaurant within Four Seasons Resort of Maldives, Baraabaru is known for its speciality in Indian cuisine. Inspired by the architecture of Kerala, this restaurant believes in the philosophy of serving food that is not only a feast to taste buds but also eyes. The place is indeed a paradise for vegetarian food in Maldives with 100+ vegetarian dishes on the menu and also welcomes off-menu requests enabling an elevated level of customisation by guests as per their own preferences. One can even enjoy a half day cooking class by a renowned chef at Baraabaru.

Location: North, Kuda Huraa

Must Try: Biryanis, Curries, Kebabs

7. Farivalhu Restaurant

Farivalhu Vegetarian Restaurant in Maldives
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The restaurant offers a fine dining experience with delightful evenings surrounded by soft music and moonlit oceans which makes it ideal for a dinner date with your loved one. It is known for its enticing flavours of food from Asian specialities to ingenious fusion and is definitely a go-to for vegetarian food in Maldives. You can spend a soulful evening without having to compromise on the food of your choice. Surroundings are a perfect blend of modernity and traditional Maldivian aesthetics.

Location: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Vaadhoo, Kaafu Atoll

Must Try: Cakes

8. Maalan Restaurant

Maalan Restaurant is known for vegetarian food in Maldives
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With the dining area been divided into three separate portions, each offering a unique ambience and a spacious seating for its guests, Maalan offers a range of food options for vegetarians from international, as well as regional cuisines. From salad and pasta choices to local Maldivian and other international dishes, the buffet offers a wide selection of food, a variety of drinks and allows you to eat as much as you feel like without any limitations with its 'all you can eat' buffet style which makes this experience one of a kind.

Location: Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Must Try: Hot chocolate churros

9. Lemongrass Fifth Restaurant

Lemongrass Restaurant in Maldives
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Lemongrass Fifth restaurant is popular among locals for scrumptious vegetarian food in Maldives. If Chinese is what your taste buds crave, this place is indeed meant for you. Besides its extensive mouth-watering range of quality Thai, Indian vegetarian, Asian and Western fare in A la Carte and Buffet which is reasonably priced to not burn a hole in your pocket, the place offers a choice of seating to its guests, from covered open-air part upstairs to laying back at the slightly air conditioned ground floor. In all, the place is quiet and offers the perfect ambience for an enjoyable meal.

Location: Fareedhee Magu, Male

Must Try: Mango Lassi, Thai cuisine

10. Ravin's

Raavin's is known for South Indian food in Maldives
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Ravin's is an authentic destination for anyone and everyone willing to know what the best South Indian food in Maldives tastes like. Located by the beachside, this place is even appreciated by younger locals as the place never ceases to elevate their appreciation for international dishes from Indian curries to rice & noodles. Also known for its decent coffee, Ravin's has hardly disappointed anyone considerate of the food quality.

Location: Nirolhu Magu, Hulhumale

Must Try:
Garlic Naan, Coffees, Biryani

Guide to the Maldivian Language

Despite of 'Dhivehi' being the official language, Maldivians have an excellent command over English - the most widely spoken language which hardly makes it difficult to ask for food when holidaying in Maldives. However, getting familiar to some basic Maldivian phrases is never a pain and allows you to befriend anyone in no time; like 'hello' is translated to 'assalamu alaikum', 'please' to 'adhes kohfa', 'thank you' to 'shukriya' and when it comes to asking the price, 'Agu Kihaavareh' is used. There are numerous other phrases which can help you to dine like a pro when in Maldives:

  • "Ahannakee evves kahala janavaaru maheh nukaa meeheh" which means "I am a vegetarian"

  • "Khaasa dhivehi kaanaa eh ebahuri tha'" can be used to ask about a local speciality

  • "Waitaru?" for "excuse me, waiter?"

  • "Dhe mehunah mayzeh libidhaane tha" to request a table for two

  • "Ahanna coffee thatteh libidhaane tha'" is used to ask for a cup of coffee

  • "Thashi thah nagaa dheefaanantha" to request clearing of plates

  • "Varah meeru" which translates to "the meal was delicious"

  • "Bill genes dheebala" is used to request the bill

Availability of a multitude of options makes even vegetarians fall in love with Maldives. If you are staying at a resort, just make sure you let the resort staff know about your choices before hand and you will never have to face a problem - after all, Maldivians are known for their hospitality and generous nature. Also, don't miss out on the groovy nightlife in Maldives and thank us later!

This post was published by Neha Nagpal

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