Phoenix Garden – Vegan Vietnamese Restaurant

by on December 7, 2012

Last week Isaac and I were both feeling under the weather. We were craving soup and Isaac suggested that we get pho. I immediately mentioned Phoenix Garden, a vegan Vietnamese restaurant I’ve wanted to visit for a while now. Isaac said he was up for trying it out and before I knew it, we were walking into the restaurant for dinner.

I was surprised to see that the interior looked a little like a reception hall with only few simple tables setup, but once our summer rolls arrived, the ambiance quickly left my mind. I was too distracted by how delicious they tasted.

Phoenix Garden Summer Rolls

I love summer rolls and order them pretty much every time I have Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. I must say, the rolls at Phoenix Garden are some of the best I’ve had at a restaurant – they rival with the rolls we had at Elizabeth St. Cafe in Austin. They were packed with fresh mint leaves, lettuce, grilled tofu, cilantro and crushed nuts with a tasty peanut sauce on the side. Most summer rolls are bulked up with flavorless rice noodles but these don’t have any, which totally made my day. I’d rather have more veggies over noodles!

Phoenix Garden Vegan Pho

The menu didn’t offer a ton of entree options, but that didn’t bother Isaac and I because we knew we wanted the pho, which ended up being an excellent choice.

Phoenix Garden Vegan Pho1

It came out piping hot with mock meat balls, tofu, mushrooms, rice noodles, onions, cilantro, been sprouts, basil and lime. The broth was absolutely amazing – super flavorful but not too salty. The mock meat balls were packed with spices and had a nice texture for faux meat. The grilled tofu bites were delicious as well! I couldn’t even finish my whole bowl, but I did sip up all the broth. It was too good leave behind.

During dinner the owner, Phoenix, offered us hot tea and introduced herself. She was the sweetest woman and we quickly started to feel as though we were guests in her home rather than patrons at a restaurant.

Phoenix Garden Banana

After dinner she brought out complimentary chocolate drizzled fried bananas. I’m not a huge fan of fried things but I did take one small bite to keep from being rude. It was really delicious and not has heavy or greasy as I would have expected, but I still gave it to Isaac to finish off. He loved it! If we go back, I’m really interested to try some of the other desserts. The black eye peas with sweet rice and coconut cream definitely has me intrigued.

Overall, I would highly recommend Phoenix Garden – even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian. The prices were reasonable and the food was absolutely delicious. I know we’ll be going back!

Do you have any vegan restaurants in your city? As I was writing this post, I was trying to think of other 100% vegan restaurants here in Richmond but I couldn’t think of any… maybe Phoenix Garden is the only one?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz @ IHeartVegetables December 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

I’ve never been there but I’ve heard good things!! I’ll have to add it to my list of places to check out!


Jill December 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

I’ve been wanting to try this place! I just had pho for the first time ever earlier this week at Pho Saigon in West End. Will have to try this one and compare :)


Gillian @ Money After Graduation December 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

This all looks soooo good. I love asian cuisine. And fried bananas are really delicious!


Shannon December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

Your pics are phenomenal! I think I did go here a looong time ago. I totally forget about this place. Thanks for the reminder.


Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Oh, I love spring rolls! there are a few fully vegan places here in SoCal that I visit, but I know there are a lot more in LA that I just can’t get to because it’s far.


Claire @ Live and Love to Eat December 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

This looks like a lovely meal! There’s a vegan chain restaurant in Pittsburgh, but it’s not healthy at all – mostly deep fried faux-meats. This looks much better!


Tara | Treble in the Kitchen December 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

This restaurant looks amazing! It is raining and cold in Indy right now so soup and anything warm sounds absolutely delicious. :)


Rachel December 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I hate to notice you never indulge in anything and it rings bells for disordered eating


jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur December 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I’ve never had Vietnamese food, but I really want it! I’ve wanted to try Pho for such a long time, but I’ll probably end up having to make it myself, as I don’t know of any vegan friendly Vietnamese restaurants near me.


Kelly December 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

Hi , Im Kelly and Im a Vietnamese. You definitely have to try Vietnamese food, especially phở. I hope you’ll like it ;) .
If you have a chance, come to Vietnam :)


Brittany Mullins December 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I love Vietnamese food!! :)


Kelly December 24, 2012 at 6:00 am

Then come to Vietnam. Im can show you around this amazing … city ( which is Ho Chi Minh city because I live there ), but dont worry, you can find all kinds of Vietnamese food here .


stephanie @cookinfanatic December 10, 2012 at 8:28 am

I’ve heard about this place (prob when I was with you!) and definitely interested in trying it out. Great recap!!


Brittany Mullins December 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Yup! I think the first time I heard about it, I was with you at a cooking demo!


Maggie@SoulFoodComp December 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

Looks like a gorgeous restaurant! We need more – actually any! – vegan restaurants in Ireland! Yum!


Marianne December 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

There are a fair number of vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver, and many more than offer vegan options on their menu. But you know, west coast hippies and all ;)


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