I would like Pho Please

My favorite part of civilization is the food.

I am lucky I get to live in a growing city that has everything from Australian Thai to Nigerian. I get to start my day with a breakfast taco and end it with Indian Dosas if I want.

One of my most favorite cuisines is Vietnamese and in Austin we have plenty of options. I love the tofu bun from LuLu B’s and the Bahn xeo from Sunflower but good pho is hard to find. I bet I’ve tried every vegan version in town (and a couple I thought were vegan until I tasted a spoonful YUK!) and none of them have been remarkable. My go-to has been the pho chay from Phonatic and not because the broth was great but because there are enough delicious fresh fixin’s to have a good enough experience. When I read that one of the chefs from Phonatic was opening his own modern pho spot with a vegetarian section I was thrilled! Pho Please is on east Riverside which is a lot easier for me to get to than north Austin or Southpark meadows. The inside is super-modern fast-casual style.25868616332_46b33a57ee_z

You order at the counter and they give you a number. I didn’t try the vermicelli or the banh mi but we loaded up on apps. We loved the Bao but will know to order it with no mayo next time! The dumpling was fluffy and light, the tofu was well seasoned and the vegetables were crisp and flavorful.


The spring rolls weren’t as good although they weren’t rubbery and old like so many places in town and they had a good amount of tofu. The sad part was the lack of herbs! No basil, mint or cilantro. We liked the unique dipping sauce though.25868650252_3fabb0926c_n

The most exciting part, of course, was the pho chay. I tried the broth before adding any condiments and was pleasantly surprised by the depth of flavor. It wasn’t the most intensely flavored broth I’ve had but it was more delicate and tasty. Definitely the best I’ve had in town. I loved that there was a variety of vegetables and that the tofu was fried instead of just thrown in there raw like some places. 25868568922_5ced6527f4_o

Will for sure be back on the next rainy day.

Pho Please
1920 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741.
Phone: (512) 354-9779
Sunday – Thursday, 11AM – 10PM
Friday – Saturday, 11AM – 11PM


10 thoughts on “I would like Pho Please

  1. Austin

    Fried tofu is a deal-breaker for me, so the good news for those who feel the same way, is that they can add steamed tofu! Thanks for posting, Lazy Smurf!

  2. Kittee Bee

    Hopefully one day we can grab a bowl of pho together, although I might grab bun chay, because I sorta have to have it. But, I feel the same way about banh xeo, too. I think I don’t feel this way about pho, because you’re right–most vegan pho broth is just really lacking.

    Have you tried the pho at Hanoi Kitchen in PDX? I think it’s the most flavorful here, they put ginseng in the broth!


  3. veganinbrighton

    I think I ruined Pho for myself by eating it all over Vietnam! When I went back to the UK and at at my all time fave’ Pho place I hated it, it was so bland. I need to come back to Austin to see if your options are any better.

  4. ameyfm

    I don’t think that I have ever had vietnamese food! We certainly dont have any here in Santa Cruz. I’ve read so many good things about it. Maybe I’ll have to try cooking some up from scratch!

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