Reviews (6)

First Review by emanaton

Disappointed - Edit

I was really looking forward to a great meal here, especially after reading the awesome reviews on Happy Cow. Unfortunately - maybe we had a bad waiter or things have changed behind the scenes - they didn't really seem to have a good grasp of what "vegan" meant, even though the term is used on their menu.

My omni partner and I ordered the vegetarian imperial rolls, the vegan banh mi and the vegetarian pho. We asked while ordering and had confirmed that each of these items would be vegan (and the banh mi is described on the menu as such). The imperial rolls came with an obviously fish-sauce-based dipping sauce (thin and yellowish) rather than the soy-based option described on the menu. When I asked the waiter who had dropped off the dish (not the same as the waiter from whom we had ordered), she confirmed that the dip was fish sauce, not vegan (or even vegetarian), but that the rolls were vegan - no offer to replace the incorrect sauce. I let this go because she hadn't taken the order from us, and ate the rolls without dip; they were good, but we probably should have taken this as a sign that our vegan requests hadn't really gone through.

The banh mi and pho arrived, and it was obvious that the banh mi (listed as "vegan" on the menu) had aioli on it. When I checked with the waiter again, he confirmed that the aioli was dairy- and egg-based. I pointed out that this meant it was not vegan, but he replied that it was the vegan banh mi. Rather than hash out this fundamental misunderstanding in the middle of a crowded restaurant, I ate some of the vegetarian pho (which we had also been assured was vegan and had no obvious reason to disbelieve) and gave the banh mi to my partner.

We both thought the dishes we were actually able to eat were quite good, and wished that we had each been able to enjoy everything we had ordered without worrying about me consuming non-vegan items. The restaurant was busy and is apparently popular, given the few "regulars" who came in for takeout orders while we were eating - all good indicators of its quality and consistency. It seems, however, that we either got unlucky with a waiter who didn't understand what we were asking for, or that the restaurant no longer caters to veg*ns very well. If Caphe Banh Mi regulars on Happy Cow have any tips, we would love to give them another chance!

Pros: Great Location

Cons: Unreliable veg*n labels on menu, Unfamiliar with "vegan" definition

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Eat in or take out - Edit

I've been here twice, each time with friends who are not vegan. I get the vegan pho, and it's great! Very satisfying. Lots of veggies. Very filling. The restaurant is a tight squeeze if you plan to eat inside, but taking it to-go is also a good option.

Pros: Filling, Nice for mixed groups

Cons: Small, Tight fit, Limited options

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Amazing! - Edit

My boyfriend and I were very pleased with everything. Reasonable prices, excellent and friendly service, and food that will make us come back as often as we can! There is a vegan option in each section of the menu (appetizer, salad, bowl, sandwich, soup, dessert). And the protein is on point. Highly recommend!

Pros: Service, Protein, Taste

Cons: Wish they had more space for more business, NA, NA

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Absolute huge disappointment - Edit

The one thing on the menu I would/could eat was pretty nasty. It's called "Just Xa Lach" salad. Description on the menu didn't match food when came. I am glad we only lost about $6 and some change each because we both had the same thing. Total waste of time. Got the suggestion from the HC app

Pros: None

Cons: Horrible food for the one option available to me.

2 Responses
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RedCrayon 13 Apr 2017 - Hi there, fellow vegan. Have you tried the veg pho? That's what I get.  


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veganrx1 14 Apr 2017 - No, I haven't, I don't plan on going back. If I do, I'll be sure to try. Thanks so much for the suggestion ?  


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Simple but good - Edit

Caphe Banh Mi is one of the only places in Old Town Alexandria that can provide vegans with some comfort food. So, if you are walking around looking for food, you should be here!

What can you order? Imperial rolls/ fried spring rolls or tamarind rolls - their fillings and sauces vary, too, soy-based for the former and peanut-based for the latter. Also, the fillings are slightly different, like vermicelli in the tamarind but not imperial, and taro in the imperial but not tamarind, but otherwise, some bean sprouts, carrots, tofu, fake meat and mint. Tasty blends that are more exciting than most rolls by far! I can't think of a better blend of ingredients anywhere else that I've tried in the DC metro area.

Other choices include a stir fried tofu dish, a vermicelli dish with tofu and veggies, a banh mi sandwich with tofu and a veg pho (labeled vegetarian, but it's vegan). The rolls are tasty and so is the pho, but not the best I've ever had. There is no vegan bubble tea, so that's a bummer. There are teas, though, and wine galore.

If in Old Town, I'd be back if hungry, though, as I know it's vegan and tasty.


Pros: Vegan items, Filling, Fair pricing

Cons: No vegan sweets, Needs more veggies

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Will Go Again - Edit

Had a very pleasant spring roll and rice with mushroom and tofu. Servers knew exactly what to recommend to a vegan. The atmosphere is pleasant, and the food is delicious.

Pros: knowledgable, delicious, fast

Cons: busy

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