After John and Vui Hunt founded the first I Love Juice Bar location in 2013, a franchise with more than 40 U.S. locations, Vui said she wanted to go back to her roots and open a Vietnamese restaurant.
“A cute little space opened next door to our I Love Juice Bar in Berry Hill, and [my husband and I]talked about it being another juice bar or maybe something else,” Vui said. “In a simple flash one of us suggested, ‘What about a Vietnamese place?’ I knew immediately that it was time, and we started making plans that very day.”
The restaurant, which Vui describes as being “fun, fresh and fast-casual,” opened in Berry Hill in spring 2016 and has since expanded to Germantown and East Nashville. The Berry Hill location features indoor seating, patio seating and an expansive front lawn with picnic tables, games and bright red canopies offering shade.
Vui said everything on the menu at Vui’s Kitchen is her interpretation of traditional Vietnamese foods she grew up eating. Inside the kitchen, chefs prepare dishes such as pork belly bao buns; banh mi sandwiches; and rice and noodle bowls made with eggs, beef, chicken, pork belly, shrimp or tofu.
With more than 15 items to choose from at Vui’s Kitchen, Vui said pho remains one of the most popular meals.
“[Pho] is probably the one universally famous Vietnamese dish that we are passionate about,” Vui said. “Our bone broth is made 24 hours a day, and each batch is slow-cooked for 12 hours.”
Vui said there are a few rules she lives by at Vui’s Kitchen, such as using fresh ingredients without additives and keeping frozen and deep-fried items out of the kitchen and off the menu.
“We simply offer whole foods and fresh herbs,” Vui said. “Only the ice cream and Popsicles are frozen.”
2832 Bransford Ave., Nashville
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.