Vegan Pho in Vietnam

If there’s one thing that people associate with Vietnamese food it’s ‘pho’ and quite rightly so in our book. This noodle soup, eaten everywhere throughout the country, can easily be made vegan and believe us when we say that there aren’t many things as satisfying as a good bowl of vegan pho. Beware that ‘pho with vegetables’ may well not be vegan or even vegetarian for that matter as meat stock would normally be used. Therefore, eating in a vegetarian or vegan restaurant is preferable unless you manage to master the language!

First things first, you have to learn to pronounce it properly – we tried asking for vegan pho with an ‘f’ sound (like “faux”) and at best we got polite looks from people who thought we were clearly idiots and at worst we got mystified or blank stares. The correct pronunciation should have you asking for “furh” (only the ‘rh’ is very short at the end).

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Vegan pho at The Nam Hai

Once you’ve nailed the pronunciation (with an added “an chay” – meaning vegetarian / vegan) at the end, you should be well on your way to receiving one of the nicest noodle soups you’ll ever eat. You can eat vegan pho at any time of the day, there are no rules here and it’s a very common dish to be offered at breakfast (fine by us!)

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Vegan pho in Saigon

A light broth, filled with rice noodles and delicious vegetables like amazing mushrooms, asian greens, beansprouts, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Sometimes you might get tofu – fried or just cubed and floating around in the yummy soup. There’s always herbs (lots of them) like Vietnamese basil, Chinese corriander and mint, and you can spice up your vegan pho with chilli, soy sauce and lime.

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Vegan pho at An Lam Villas

Now to develop our own vegan pho recipe so we can continue our love affair with this noodly vegan goodness once we have left Vietnam…

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Check out a selection of other vegan travel blog posts…

2019-03-05T07:24:34+00:00

10 Comments

  1. Shannon September 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    This makes me want a big bowl of noodly soup right now! May need to make some for lunch today.

    • VeganMush September 30, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      if you do then please send us a picture 🙂

      BTW Khanom Krok are back on the menu – 2 days in Thailand and 2 portions consumed

      #MayThereBeManyMore

  2. jess September 30, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    They look so delicious. You know, I had no idea about the pronunciation of pho. In Australia, we’ve all been saying pho like “faux” as you mentioned first! I know now 🙂

    • VeganMush October 1, 2014 at 7:21 am - Reply

      Which would be a ‘pho pas’ right? (sorry!)

  3. Tara March 29, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I heard that 99% Of the time, these soups contain bones. I hope that’s not true. 🙁

    • Caryl March 30, 2015 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Tara,
      If you eat pho from the street it’s never vegan because of the stock but luckily Vietnam has a lot of vegetarian and vegan restaurants where you can get a vegan version. I’d stick to those restaurants if you’re visiting, they take animal-free eating seriously because they are often set up for religious purposes.
      Have you been to Vietnam? We lived it there!

  4. Cory January 7, 2019 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I’m in Vietnam at the moment, have tried 7 bowls from multiple different restaurants in multiple cities

    Vegan pho in Vietnam is bullshit. No spice, no care, no nothing.

    Only one I tried, in Hoi An, was delicious, the rest have been so boring.

    It’s gut wrenching as it was one of the things I was most keen about for my travels. Get way better vegan pho back home in Adelaide, Australia.

    • Vegan Food Quest January 8, 2019 at 12:00 am - Reply

      Hello Cory

      1 from 7 is pretty poor i would agree, sorry to hear your enjoyment of pho has been somewhat lacking! Since writing this post a few years back we have visited Vietnam many times and whilst every bowl of vegan pho is not amazing we’ve certainly had a fair few more decent bowls. Out of interest, where was the delcious vegan pho in Hoi An from?

  5. Erik February 28, 2019 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Hey guys, I just arrived in Vietnam at the moment and I’m starting reading up on what’s there available locally which is safe to eat ( loved your Cambodian street food guide by the way!).
    I strongly believe that you should clearly mention in the article above and in the overview article about food in Vietnam that Pho is safe to eat only in vegetarian/vegan restaurants and not from food stalls, some less travel savvy vegans could be tricked by it, I fear
    Thanks!
    Also, it would be great to know which place in Hanoi has that amazing Photos that Cory mentioned!!

    • Vegan Food Quest March 1, 2019 at 5:27 am - Reply

      thanks for your comment Erik. the great thing about comments is that people read them so hopefully they will pick up on your tip! we will put a little note in the article too though. thanks again! please feel free to leave other commments as these always help as they are up to date, first hand experiences….

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