Everyone knows that Philadelphia is a big foodie destination, but the city has evolved way beyond the iconic overstuffed cheesesteaks. These days, vegan visitors can easily tour the town with confidence and devour many delicious plant-based offerings along the way. From laid-back diners to more exclusive eateries, there’s a great restaurant option for everyone who wishes to eat vegan.
These are a few of the best casual and upscale vegan choices in the City of Brotherly Love.
It’s all in the family at Vedge, a high-end, plant-based restaurant owned by husband and wife culinary team Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. This James Beard-nominated chef duo creates vegetable masterpieces served on perfectly-presented plates in a brownstone building. A few favorites include Tokyo turnips with pesto and walnut, the wood-roasted carrot with crushed garbanzo beans, and the salt-roasted gold beet. Be sure to check out their inventive cocktail menu, as it features incredibly beautiful and well-balanced libations.
V-Street is another vegetarian Philly hotspot created by chefs Landau and Jacoby. Featuring a casual, lively bar with creative cocktails and a small dining room, V-Street serves up innovative plant-based street food with a twist. Open for lunch, brunch, and dinner, their ever-changing menu overflows with tasty delights such as cauliflower ’65 with cucumber mint raita; Langos, a Hungarian-style potato bread served with sauerkraut and mushrooms; and Piri Piri-grilled tofu.
When you’re craving vegan pizza, Blackbird Pizzeria offers plenty of vegetable-adorned pies. They have classics like mushroom pizza, as well as mouthwatering innovations such as the Balboa, which is topped with pumpkin seed pesto, seitan sausage, and tofu ricotta. Try the best-selling Buffalo wingwich, which consists of habanero buffalo wings, avocado, and cole slaw. And most notably, you can even try a vegan cheesesteak—it’s Philly after all!
A sister pizzeria to Blackbird, 20th Street Pizza is located on—you guessed it—20th Street in Center City. Devoted fans of this popular, casual eatery say you can’t go wrong with any of the menu items here. Made fresh daily, the tantalizing selections range from classic tomato to creative and imaginative pies. A few best-selling options include the green pizza (with green olives and seasonal greens) and the Hand of Shroom, topped with vegan mozzarella and a variety of mushrooms. You can order by the slice or a whole pie.
Bar Bombon’s array of spicy specialties focus on the zesty and distinctive flavors of Puerto Rico. Chef and owner Nicole Marquis (who also happens to own two other local vegan spots: Charlie was a sinner. and HipCityVedge) whips up truly memorable dishes with a Latin flair. Some must-try menu items include Philly steak empanadas, tostones, blackened fajita tacos, and the hearts of palm ceviche. Bar Bombon’s intimate dining room is cozy and welcoming, but it’s also fun to sit at the bar and order a few snacks—especially at happy hour.
Serving up sharable and delicious vegan small plates, this hotspot attracts enthusiastic locals with their caramelized eggplant bao buns, roasted cauliflower steak, potato gnocchi, and saffron mushroom risotto. Devotees also come for the beautifully-presented vegan cocktails, which are innovative, balanced, and made with fresh fruit, vegetables, and juices. Try the Midnight Special libation—it includes sweet potato as an ingredient.
With several locations across town, HipCityVedge has become a Philadelphia mainstay and a go-to spot for those who want plant-based food that’s fresh and fast. A few of their signature options include the Ziggy burger and grilled Disco Chick'n (both made with smoked tempeh), and the Bistro Bella, a grilled portabella sandwich served with artichoke, olive tapenade, and arugula. Be sure to try one of the satisfying shakes to round out your dinner.
After the success of his restaurant Zahav, award-winning chef Michael Solomonov launched Goldie, a fast casual restaurant that specializes in vegan Israeli cuisine. With three locations in Philadelphia, Goldie offers a simple menu featuring falafel sandwiches and salads—all made with an abundance of fresh herbs, vegetables, and spices. Of course, there's plenty of sides to choose from as well. If you prefer something sweeter, this restaurant also serves up delicious vegan shakes.
Promoting itself as “Philly’s only 100 percent organic, plant-based, gluten-free restaurant,” Pure Sweets and Company (aka P.S. & Co.) is the real deal. In fact, they don’t offer dishes with “fake” meat or the overly-processed soy products often found in vegan food. Two fan favorites include the organic Veracruz tacos (barbecue tempeh, pickled pineapple, and other spices sprinkled on sprouted corn tortillas) and the organic Raman bowl (a healthy mix of vegetables, herbs, and dumplings). The desserts are delectable and include black bean brownies and gain-free cookie sandwiches.
Located in the heart of South Philly, The Tasty is a fun, low-key vegan diner with a self-described “old school” ambiance. Locals love to sit at the counter and chat with staff as they peruse the large menu of tempting classics. For breakfast, you've got your pick of pancakes and waffles or tofu scrambles and burritos. The lunch menu features veggie burgers, sandwiches (such as “BLT” and “tuna” options), and plenty of green salads. The Tasty opens at 7 a.m. daily, and the full menu is available after 9 a.m. on most days.