This is not an extensive list of restaurants. Most places can easily cook vegan food for you if they understand what it is. The word “vegan” has no equivalent translation in Thai. They understand “J” (or “Jay”) and sometimes “vegetarian” but not vegan. “J” is a diet that is almost vegan but they use oyster sauce. Ask for “Jay” food if they don’t understand “vegetarian”, however, tell them no oyster sauce (No “Naam Mon Hoi” or “Mai Ou (=No) Naam Mon Hoi”). Don’t bother trying to say “vegetarian” in Thai, it’s “mung sa vi raj”, because a lot of people don’t understand it. It’s like a big word that’s derived from Sanskrit language. And if they understand that word, they usually understand “vegetarian”.
Okay… here are several places I would recommend in the center of Bangkok. Chances are you’ll be visiting the popular shopping area in Bangkok (Siam Square, MBK, Paragon) which are all around the Siam sky train station. You’ll know these shopping malls if you’re in Bangkok and I say this because Bangkok is known for its shopping scenes.
*MBK *(near both Siam & National Stadium sky train stations) has 2 food courts on the 5th and 6th floors. The international food court on the 5th floor has a vegetarian/vegan place called Tamarind. It’s actually owned by a famous upscale Thai restaurant called Bann Kanitha. They have both Thai and international options. On the 6th floor, it’s the cheaper food court, which consists mostly of Thai foods. They also have a vegetarian/vegan place. Don’t remember the name because they changed recently due to a political reason, but it says “Vegetarian Food” right in front. (The former Bangkok governor is famously known for his vegetarianism and they used his name (or it belongs to him?), but since he became a leader of the “yellow shirt” group, they had to change the name to avoid any possible conflicts.)
*Paragon* (or Siam Paragon, next to Siam sky train station) also has a food court at the ground level, while they don’t have all-vegetarian places, they have many vegetarian options and brown rice. They also have a lot of restaurants in there. I like MK Sukiyaki because they have a nice vegetarian set. (Sukiyaki is a like a hot pot.)
*Siam Square* This one isn’t a mall but a big shopping area spanning several streets. They have a bunch of little shops, usually popular among Thai teenagers and younger crowds. They have MK Sukiyaki too but it’s call MK Trendi. There’s also a good Thai/vegetarian restaurant called “Ko Ko”. I believe it’s close to Scala movie theater, either on that “Soi” (=small street) or the one next to it. They have a lot vegetarian/vegan dishes on the menu including a bunch of fake meat. I like the “Mee Prik Pao Kai”, it’s the vermicelli noodle, fake chicken with tom yum chilli sauce and chinese kale.
While there won’t be a lot of varieties when it comes to vegan proteins unless you count the different types of prepared soy foods, you can easily find vegetarian/vegan food here. Find a place with English menu if you can, they usually have a vegetable section. This doesn’t mean those are all vegetarian, but some of them are. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the vegetarian section in there. Just remember “Jay” and “Mai Ou Naam Mon Hoi” (No oyster sauce) and you should be alright…