In a city known for their cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches, the idea of going vegan might seem impossible. But, in the past few years, Philly has become a serious plant-based paradise with so many amazing meatless dishes, even Rocky would consider going vegan.
Check out these spots and bring your stretchy pants!
This 100% plant-based, fast-casual restaurant is a vegan’s dream. Just let us drop some knowledge on you: HipCityVeg has menu items like ranch chicken sandwiches, vegan cheesesteaks, and even vegan milkshakes. Take it to go to have yourself a beautiful plant-based picnic in Rittenhouse Square.
This entirely vegan coffeehouse in South Philly is one of our favorite places to swing by after a long run. We typically go for a white chocolate latte with coconut, almond, or soy milk. But it’s the bagels and vegan cream cheese that make Grindcore House a Sunday brunch must. Fitt Tip: this place also sells Dottie’s vegan donuts — a crown jewel that even non-vegans devour in seconds.
If you’re like us, your biggest concern with veganism is the whole “pizza issue”. Trust us – we get it, but Northern Liberties’ Blackbird Pizzeria makes it easy to make the switch thanks to vegan cheese and fresh produce . And if we don’t have your attention yet, head over and order the Balboa: seitan (wheat gluten), arugula, pumpkin seed pesto, and tofu ricotta. No one will judge you for ordering a whole pie to yourself.
Dammit, Mike Solomonov, you’ve done it again. The man behind Philly favorites like Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, and Zahav has done the impossible, opening a vegan falafel shop that’s consistently spotted with lines out the door. The limited menu may seem simple—falafel (in a salad or wrap), fries, and tahini shakes—but the flavors are anything but. Folks can’t get enough of the Israeli spice blends, the rich milkshakes, and the perfectly crisp falafel.
You won’t meet a vegetarian in Philly who doesn’t love V Street. This Rittenhouse restaurant features vegan takes on diverse ethnic street eats like Dan Dan Noodles and Korean Fried Tempeh Tacos that keep people talking for months after. Did we mention there’s an awesome happy hour with drinks featuring Turkish coffee, coconut water, and horchata? See? Vegans can have fun too!
A major complaint among vegans and vegetarians is that there’s not enough variety — not that we don’t love you, tofu. But Midtown’s Bar Bombón brings in vegans and non-vegans together for its delicious and creative Latin-inspired menu. Sure, there’s some seitan, but Bombon “beefs” up their dishes with other substantial ingredients like maitake mushrooms, roasted cactus, buffalo cauliflower, and fried yucca. They’ve got a killer brunch menu and a full bar, so go ahead and enjoy that veggie-friendly Sunday Funday!
Vedge takes vegan to the next level, making plants totally posh. This Midtown spot is super popular among the Philly foodie scene, even for non-vegans. It’s even been called one of the best restaurants in America (judge for yourself). Save room for dessert because their ice cream sampler—with rotating flavors like spicy Mexican chocolate and strawberry-rhubarb—will make you wonder how something so decadent can be dairy-free. Just make sure you make a reservation because this destination fills up fast.
P.S. & Co.
Two steps into P.S. & Co., you’ll think you’ve stumbled into a millennials version of Narnia. It’s just that beautiful. It’s only after you take a glimpse at the organic, gluten-free, plant-based menu that you’ll realize you’re in a vegan paradise. Order the French Bread Pizza or Mac and Cheese, and you, too, will become a believer.
Choolaah has some of the most flavorful eats in the city — and the whole menu is healthy, too. This King of Prussia Town Center eatery combines Indian favorites with BBQ and their menu features vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options. Be adventurous and try their Veggie Masala Bowl with rice or their legendary Choolaah Salad with Veggie Croquette. It’s good to be plant-based here, but you may need some time to choose with all the options. Fitt Tip: ask them to make recommendations — they always have solid advice in ordering.
Vegan steak shop. Not three words you’d normally expect to see together, but Wiz Kid’s all about exceeding expectations. Fans already know of their legendary Wiz Kid Philly (vegan cheesesteak featuring seitan and rutabaga “wiz”), but their Rittenhouse location also serves up items like the Roast Rabe, a spicy mushroom and broccoli rabe sammy. Fitt Tip: Wiz Kid’s one of the few fast-casual spots with a liquor license, so pair your sammies with a spiked Waterade (watermelon lemonade).
Front Street Cafe
If you’re looking to take your vegan adventure to Fishtown, look no further than this cozy café under the El. With kombucha on tap and menu items like banana chocolate bread pudding and vegan waffle bites, you won’t miss meat for a moment. The buffalo cauliflower might not actually be addictive, but we can’t seem to stop eating it.
Charlie Was a Sinner.
Mozzarella sticks, wings, pigs in a blanket… bar food has never been known for being particularly vegetarian-friendly. Until now. Thanks to Charlie was a sinner., patrons can order avocado toast and the famed zucchini “crab cake” sliders. They’ve got some of the tastiest mocktails in the city and, did we mention you also can get an alcoholic wheatgrass shot? Somewhere, Hannah Montana is telling you this is the best of both worlds (yes, we just dropped a Disney Channel throwback).
When MOM’S Market opened in Philadelphia, we were pretty thrilled. So, just imagine how stoked we were to find Naked Lunch, their in-store restaurant that’s vegetarian and all-organic! Grab a Jammed Yam (stuffed sweet potato) or a sushi bowl packed with miso-tofu. Plus, with draft kombucha and raw juices, you can sip while you snack — all after you shop!
Warning: come to Mama’s during a weekday lunch break and you can expect to wait in a lengthy line. But your reward will be sweet (well, actually savory)… They’ve got some of the best falafel in town, and their hot sauce packs a serious punch. Mix it up with the eggplant platter and order a side of grape leaves. Since we’re all about going green, it’s worth noting Mama’s is cash-only, so hit the ATM on your way.
**Updated by Jordan Price, September 2018