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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats


Updated: Apr 2, 2023

We're in Vietnam! Hooray! Welcome! Xin chào!

Vietnam is somewhere we were super excited to go when we were planning our trip around Southeast Asia, and Hanoi was absolutely top of our list. We were so excited to immerse ourselves in Vietnamese culture, learn about the country's history, try not to get run over by motorbikes and, of course, eat lots of amazing plant-based Vietnamese food! Top of our list, obviously, was Phở - the traditional Vietnamese soup that has taken the world by storm. Read on, and watch the video below, to see how we did on our quest to find vegan pho in Hanoi (spoiler alert: we found it, and it was even better than we imagined!)

For those of us who aren't familiar with the dish, what exactly is Phở?

In the simplest terms, Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup dish. It was invented in the north of Vietnam over one hundred years ago, and spread worldwide after the Vietnam war. The dish is served hot, and its broth is packed with rice noodles, herbs, and usually meat (generally beef or chicken, but lots of other varieties exist now, as recipes modernise and experiment). The dish can be slightly different to place to place; there is some variations between the pho served in the north of Vietnam and that in the south. As Phở originated in the north of the country, we decided what better place to a vegan version than in Hanoi?

The front of a restaurant with wooden signage and counter and the words 'greendot: eat green, feel good' illuminated in green and white
Hương Việt, home to our pho!

Where did we try vegan Phở in Hanoi?

There were a few places offering plant-based Phở options in Hanoi, but we chose Hương Việt (which translates as Vietnamese Taste). This relatively central traditional Vietnamese restaurants offers both meat and vegan options - but their vegan choices were super extensive, with mock-meat versions of almost every dish on their comprehensive menu!

The restaurant was cosy and full of life - it seemed to be really popular among tourists and locals alike, and most of the orders I heard were for items from their vegan menus. The staff were really lovely, even though the restaurant was busy, it still felt like they had loads of time for us. We were really impressed, too, that the full ingredients of the vegan beef, vegan chicken, and vegan shrimp were printed in the menu: this kind of transparency can be rare and it's really great to know what is actually going into our imitation meats. Suffice to say, even before we'd tried the Phở we were already impressed by Hương Việt!

So come on - tell us all about the Phở! How did it taste?

So, we told you that the most common versions of traditional Phở contain beef or chicken. So we thought that it was only right to try both the vegan beef and vegan chicken Phở dishes on offer at Hương Việt. Mike chose the plant-based beef; I chose the vegan chicken... and they were both amazing! Both had the traditional thin yet flavoursome broth - it's really great to get so much flavour packed into a broth that contains no meat! It was a light and tasty thing to eat, despite the dish being larger than my face! We were really impressed by the way that the Phở was absolutely packed full of textures and flavours: from the soft rice noodles and fresh vegetables, to the tofu and mock meat, there was no shortage of things going on in this bowl, and so much to continue to be excited about until the very last drop!

We ordered some traditional fried spring rolls on the side, which perfectly complemented the Phở. Just like Vietnamese summer rolls, these are wrapped in rice paper; unlike summer rolls, they are deep fried, so they're really crispy and delicious. They were very flavoursome, and even more so after being dunked liberally in the dark soy sauce that they were served with. Despite being given what seemed like an unending number of them, and their crispy, fried, gluttonous appearance, they were surprisingly light. Ahhh, Vietnamese food. How we love you.

How much did this Phở cost - and was it worth it?

Yes, yes, yes, we recommend it so highly!! Hương Việt really put so much thought into making a plant-based version of traditional tasty, wholesome Phở. The end result is delicious, everything you'd want from Phở (light, flavoursome, packed full of different components, yet still somehow quite filling) with the added perk of knowing that it is entirely free from any meat or dairy products. From the atmosphere in the restaurant to those crispy spring rolls, we rate Hương Việt so highly and will absolutely be heading back for another bowl of that spectacular Phở next time we're in Hanoi!

A box with sticky rice, mangoes, mung beans and coconut milk
These spring rolls really were something else!

We paid ₫65,000 per portion of vegan Phở. This is approximately £2.29, €2.57 or $2.75. We thought that this was a really reasonable price for a Phở that was packed with nutritious, tasty ingredients - including that homemade mock meat! The fried spring rolls, which were an excellent addition on the side of our Phở, cost ₫55,000 (approximately £1.94, €2.18 or $2.33). Again, what a great price for such a big plate of hearty, homemade spring rolls!

Hương Việt is located at 13 P. Hàng Cá, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam. The restaurant is open from 7am to 8:45pm every day of the week.

Have you tried vegan Phở in Vietnam? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.


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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
The Water Puppet Theatre is so much fun!

Where should I stay?

Hanoi has so many places to stay, but if you want to be close to the action we'd recommend staying in the Old Quarter, where you'll find loads of choice regardless of the accommodation type you prefer.

Hanoi Little Town Hotel is situated in the heart of the city, with a beautiful French Colonial style of decoration, and friendly service that gets consistently high reviews from its guests. If you'd prefer the atmosphere and vibe of a hostel, Hanoi Buffalo Hostel offer both privates and dorm rooms - with a pool, free walking tours and the occasional free beer on offer too!

Tours & Experiences

My absolute highlight of our trip to Hanoi was the Water Puppet Theatre. If you're short on time, this Viator ticket allows you to secure your ticket online, so that you don't have to queue with the masses waiting to choose their seats.

If that's not quite for you, or if you want to explore Vietnam a bit more widely, why not try one of the top-rated Viator tours below?

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