Earlier in the summer, I travelled to Philadelphia with my good buddies Alex and Chungla! We jumped in a zip car (if you’re interested in joining, click my link for $25 credit ;P) and started our two (ish) hour road trip early Tuesday. After a couple traffic slow downs, we were on the open road and arrived in Philly around 11:30AM. Success!
Read on to see where our wanderings took us in Philly and our thoughts on the city’s vegan offerings. Having only had a couple menu items at each spot and a very limited amount of time/stomach space, I cannot say that each assessment is completely well-informed. I hope this helps anyway!
- Blackbird Pizzeria Chill vegan pizzeria with drool-worthy sandwiches, slices, and sides.
Perfect for: a casual quick bite to eat in or take out.
What we ordered: Three slices of pizza, the philly cheesesteak, and the compost cup dessert. (I WISH we also ordered the cheese fries – they looked absolutely delicious).
What not to miss: The philly cheesesteak was loaded with delicious vegan cheese whiz and seitan. The sandwich was great – but note there was a lot of excess oil seeping out of the sandwich, so if that grosses you out .. avoid. Our group’s pizza favorite was the mushroom slice.
General Impression: The food lived up to my pizzeria expectations. Even though I generally do not like most processed vegan cheeses (though house-made nut cheeses are almost always delicious), the violife cheese on the slices was great! One potential downside is that the food was definitely on the indulgent (+high oil) side.
- Bar Bombon All vegan Spanish tapas bar.
Perfect for: a nice night out with friends/a date for happy hour and shared plates.
What we ordered: The special (pick 3) of the guacamole, cubano club, & Peruvian potatoes. And a full order of the Spanish meatballs.
What not to miss: My favorite dish was the Peruvian potatoes because they were so cheesy and loaded with capers and olives (two of my favorite things – I’m a flavor fiend). Alex and Chungla both loved the Spanish meatballs, its texture was spot on!
General Impression: Overall, the food was good and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun. I would definitely come back for happy hour and snacks. I wish I could have tried more of the menu items.
- HipCityVeg Vegan fast food spot for all the burgers, sandwiches and fries you desire.
Perfect for: a quick fast food breakfast/lunch/dinner.
What we ordered: Philly Steak & Disco Chick’n
What not to miss: Since we only tried two items here, and both were quite good, I honestly can’t say there was one standout for me. You can’t go wrong at HipCityVeg! The Philly steak was not so photogenic, but I really enjoyed it – seitan, mushrooms, cheese sauce, and all.
General Impression: I wish there was a HipCity in NYC! Fast, easy, and cheap, the little resto serves up yummy sandwiches, fries and soft drinks to soothe any grumbling stomach. I would recommend to anyone making a stop in Philly.
- Charlie was a sinner. Chic vegan bar with strong cocktails and small plates.
Perfect for: A relaxed night out for drinks and some snacks on the side.
What we ordered: Potato gnocchi, zucchini crab cake slider, grilled Caesar salad, and drinks!
What not to miss: The Charlie’s Punch (special of that day) was our favorite drink.
General Impression: The cocktails were great! The drinks were much more of a standout than the food, which I did enjoy. My impression of the food was: the gnocchi was a little soft and lacked its usual chewy texture, and the slider was far too salty.
And that wraps it up for our one day whirlwind Philly trip! We drove home right after Charlie (don’t worry – I just had a mocktail) and made it home just before midnight.
Before I end the blog, I must say we skipped out on other vegan spots, so this is far from an exhaustive list of Philly’s best vegan restos. Here are a couple spots that were on our list, but we ended up skipping: v street, Govinda’s, vedge, gangster vegan organics.
The trip was such a lovely escape from New York City! It was a huge departure from my raw vegan experiment, which I ended right before this trip and I will write another follow up post for. I would absolutely recommend day/weekend trips to Philadelphia. I will certainly find myself back there soon. What are your favorite, must-visit vegan spots in Philly? What did I miss out on in my list above? Share in the comments or message me @j2food on Instagram. Stay tuned for Las Vegas and Los Angeles travel blog posts in the coming weeks.