As someone who loves food, transitioning to a plant-based diet came with a set of interesting challenges. Among the most frustrating was not knowing where to go out to eat.
This Veg Review series is interested in exploring the growing selection of vegetarian and vegan food available throughout Utah Valley.
Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just trying out meatless days, this series of local restaurant reviews will help you get a better sense of what plant-based food is like and where to find it.
This first installment features a place that is easy to love. Vegan Sun in Provo offers an entirely plant-based menu filled with a variety of Vietnamese and asian fusion fare. That’s right, every single item from appetizers and entrees to drinks and desserts is vegan. It is often the first place I recommend when introducing someone to plant-based foods. In my experience, some people can’t tell the difference.
As can be expected from its culinary roots, Vegan Sun’s dishes work by balancing flavors, temperatures and textures. Their salads, for example, include a protein of choice, soft chilled rice noodles, crunchy lettuce, peanuts and cabbage, fresh mint, cucumber, lettuce, house-pickled veggies and a healthy helping of bean sprouts. Along with a sweet and sour dressing, the mixture is flavorful, bright, fresh and filling — nothing like the ‘rabbit food’ salads you find at some restaurants. If anyone knows how to make a good salad, it’s the vegans.
For those looking for respite from the cold, Vegan Sun’s pho is a defiant testament to the fact that you can make a great vegan broth. Pho is a Vietnamese soup that is traditionally made with a bone broth, making it an infamously difficult dish to make vegan.
These folks have found a reliable source of plant-based umami that makes for a rich and complex flavor of ginger, lime and basil characteristic of the dish. A selection of plant-based proteins including chick-free, beef-free, ham-free, bean-curd and tofu provide a satisfying bite while the traditional rice noodles noodles serve as willing vehicles for the delicious broth.
For those fond of the saucy, sweet and salty, crunchy bite of Americanized asian classics, you will find plenty to like at Vegan Sun, including crowd favorites such as the spicy lemon awakening rice and the ocean delight banh mi. According to life-long vegan Millie Talley, who works at the front-of-house, the “eggplant tofu basil and spicy satay noodle soup” are the best dishes. Paired with a cup of their coconut milk Thai iced tea, Vegan Sun really knocks it out of the park.
All in all, this family-owned restaurant extends an invitation to give vegan food an honest try. If you’re already on the plant-based train, Vegan Sun offers a rare opportunity to pick anything front the menu without hesitation. They also offer many allergen-friendly options. The quality of food and student-friendly prices are turning this otherwise niche restaurant into a staple of the downtown Provo food scene.
Vegan Sun is located at 225 W Center St., Provo. They’re currently open for dine-in, take-out, UberEats and DoorDash. For more pictures and updated information, follow their instagram @vegansun.utah.