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Dao Fu: Vegan Friendly

Dao Fu Sign

NORMAL HEIGHTS.  Dao Fu (formerly known as Tao) provides excellent vegan Vietnamese and Japanese food.  The restaurant recently changed its name, but the owners, ambiance, and menu remain the same.

The restaurant is best known for its homemade tofu.  In a word – delicious.  Not only is it made from non-GMO soybeans, it has more flavor and the best texture of any tofu that I have ever tried.  Ever.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the debate regarding GMO foods, this is an article that provides both sides of the debate:


Did I mention that a complimentary salad with tofu is given to every table?  You get greens, beets, and tofu, topped with a tangy dressing.  A healthy and tasty way to start the meal.

Vegan Tofu Salad

Usually I think of soup as an appetizer.  Dao Fu, however, changed my mind with its arsenal of substantial, satisfying soups.  I most recently tried the Vegetarian Sukiyaki, which is served with noodles, tofu, Shitake mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, snow peas, and scallion.  The broth of the soup is flavorful, the vegetables fresh, and the mushrooms rich.  I would be happy eating this soup every day.

Vegetarian Sukiyaki (Vegan soup!)

My lunch partner decided on the Eggplant Tofu (and when I say he decided on the Eggplant Tofu, I mean he orders it every single time we go to Dao Fu!).  The Eggplant Tofu is appropriately named, as it is served with eggplant, tofu, and snow peas covered in a light garlic sauce.  Customers are given the choice of a side of white rice, brown rice, or half white rice and half brown rice.  Dao Fu also lets you pick the spice level of your dish from 0 (no spice) to 10 (hot).  Beware, Dao Fu is not afraid to use spice! Talk to your server about choosing the appropriate spice level.

It’s worth taking a moment after this dish arrives to appreciate the artful arrangement of the food.  Eggplant and snow peas radiate out from the tofu and rice center.  The eggplant is soft, while the snow peas add a nice crunch to the dish.  The addition of a generous serving of homemade tofu makes this one entrée that shouldn’t be missed.

Vegan Eggplant Tofu

The interior of Dao Fu is elegant and quirky at the same time.  The tables are set with formal linen table clothes, traditional water glasses, and flower centerpieces.  But the walls of the restaurant are a covered in messages customers have written over the years, and a large spoon and fork hang on the back wall.  Most importantly, the servers always engage in pleasant conversation and are ready to answer questions about the menu.

Dao Fu Interior

3332 Adams Ave

San Diego, CA 92116