Eating Vegan in Philly

When I first went vegan, I had no idea how many amazing options Philly has in terms of finding vegan-friendly food. And in the past year, the options have continued to multiply! So here is my guide to eating vegan in the city of brotherly love, because I know I would have wanted one of these a year ago! (or if I were traveling here from far away!) Keep in mind these are just my favorite places out of many.

Totally Vegan:

HipCityVeg: Vegan “fast food”, including a chick’n and ranch sandwich and their signature Ziggy Burger. All their mock meat products are scarily spot on, and their shakes are to die for. Usually, though, I’ll grab one of their portobello sandwiches– the Bistro Bella– or a salad (try the udon noodle or the arugala taco!) and a “groothie”– their take on the super nutritious green smoothie. It’s a place for vegans and non-veg’s alike.

Vedge: If you live in the Greater Philadelphia Area and have not yet been to Vedge, GO. NOW. It is quite possibly my favorite place in the whole world. This upscale and classy restaurant brings the luxury of easy dining out to Philadelphia Vegans. Every single item on the menu is amazing, even those that contain my “blacklisted” foods (beets, cilantro, etc.). And did I mention they have amazing Happy Hours? Delicious and unique cocktails and an absolutely awesome sangria. Even if you only go for dessert, make it to Vedge– and be sure to get their “cheesecake”, which tastes exactly like the real thing.

Mama’s Vegetarian:  Not entirely vegan, but this falafel place is home one of my favorite meals. I literally beg people to accompany me to Mama’s, a falafel house with the best falafel I have ever had. Word to the wise– they are closed on Saturdays and for all Jewish holidays.

Blackbird: A 100% vegan pizzeria. Yep, you read that right. And don’t expect some fancy shmancy vegan concept restaurant– it’s your average pizzeria, and I love it. They have some tried and true pizzas, from “cheese” and margherita to “pepperoni”, but they also boast incredible and unique combos as well. Everyone’s favorite pie has no sauce, no cheese, just thinly sliced potatos with rosemary, olive oil, and salt. OH and they make all their mock meats from scratch, & they are to die for.

Jar Bar: A newer addition to Philly’s veg repertoire, Jar Bar is a 100% Raw Vegan juice and raw foods “bar”. They offer daily happy hours on their fresh juices and have some amazing “elixirs”– basically raw milkshakes, but so delicious. My favorite is the mint chocolate chip.

Vegan Options:

Mad Mex University City: This bar has a huge array of vegan options, seeing as any item can be made with Daiya vegan cheese and Tofutti sour cream. Oh, and during happy hour you can get a 12 oz. margarita for only $3

The Belgian Cafe: This Fairmount restaurant is known for their mussels, but also happens to have some of the most delicious vegan buffalo wings I’ve ever encountered. They have several other veg options as well, including Korean Tacos and a Stuffed Tofu appetizer. A perfect lunch or dinner place to go with your omnivorous friends.

A Full Plate: Tucked away in Northern Liberties, this tiny, hip cafe serves their water in huge mason jars and has specials sprawled in chalk on the walls. Go for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday and grab vegan french toast, pancakes, a breakfast burrito, or some homemade vegan bacon. It’s cozy and everything is delicious.

Green Eggs Cafe: Another great brunch spot in Northern Liberties, Green Eggs has a few vegan options. I can vouch for their vegan french toast and the side of vegan sausage– both delicious. Here, I would suggest sharing a plate unless you’re extremely hungry– two of us had trouble finishing our shared french toast. I have heard to avoid the tofu scramble here– just a word to the wise! They have several other vegan options as well. You will probably have a bit of a wait to get a table here on the weekend, but it’s worth it.

Pure Fare: Another non-veg place, but super health-conscious food in general. They’re on this list because they offer vegan frozen yogurt, made from brown rice milk.  They also have plenty of other vegan options like cauliflower rice and a kale salad .

Ed’s: Not a vegan restaurant. At all. But this University City pizzeria does make a mean “Vegan Vegetarian Pizza”, a huge pizza topped with daiya and a ton of veggies. If you’re just in town for a visit, definitely go for Blackbird, but if you live in West Philly, Ed’s will do juuuust fine.


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