What I ate in Philadelphia; well, what didn’t I eat in Philly?
Here is my vegan guide to Philadelphia.
I have a friend from the West Coast, and every time she visits me, she asks me to go to Philly. And my response is always, “why?” Sorry Philadelphia residents, it’s not personal, but after a strange, disappointing, and difficult freshman year of university in a nearby school, I decided the entire state of Pennsylvania was not a place for me.
So, anyway, what was her response, “to eat.”
Little did I know,
Philly is home to some of the best vegan – plant based restaurants in the country.
There is nothing like any of these places in DC, and not even in NYC.
So we started looking through her list of vegan places, and we decided there were so many interesting, and top rated places, we would have to stay two days!
And since November is my “vegiversary” (4th year meat free!), and November 1 is world vegan day, we figured we could do a little plant based partying.
And as always, there’s a lesson in here – there’s something for everyone everywhere, and don’t be afraid to give a place a second chance, right? I gave Philly a second shot, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Here’s what we ate:
We began, on Halloween day at a little cafe called:
If I had a place, it would be like this one! Plant based, gluten free, light on soy, organic, and unique.
We tried the vegan Mac and Cheese, the cheesy sauce was made of sweet potato and pine nuts, and it was the right color, consistency and taste. The Forbidden Burrito lived up to it’s name. And for dessert, I had a soft, gooey adzuki bean brownie, and a little coconut Greek yogurt. Interesting food right?
That evening, we went to
which was the ideal Halloween location thanks to it’s intimate setting, and Gothic style décor. For the ambiance and friendly staff alone I recommend this place. Check out their website, it will give you a feel for this place.
But of course the food was in a word, phenomenal! Food was served small plates style, so we very lucky to have the opportunity to try a little of this and a little of that. I basically loved everything, and this is now one of my favorite restaurants – EVER.
We had a seasonal cactus taco, artichoke heart fritters with a saffron rouille, beet salad with cauliflower panna cotta, tomato gnocchi with smoked tomato butter, and a Chinese style bao bun with hoision marinated eggplant. I wouldn’t have ordered the bao bun, mostly because I’m not always a fan of eggplant, but it was a gift from the chef, and it was actually my favorite dish. The bun was soft and the sauce was sweet with a tang, and the diced eggplant really made this dish feel satisfying.
So the next day we started our day with a vegan donut, because there was really vegan food everywhere, and then we headed over to:
for lunch, a Peurto Rican themed vegan place. We tried the buffalo cauliflower tacos, and nachos with vegan chorizo. This was a fun menu, and I really enjoyed digging into a plate of gooey nachos, and the cauliflower in the taco was well done, I’d order it again, actually I’d love one now, Cafe Bombon – can you deliver to DC? My only critique – too much soy on the menu, which is sad for someone like me with a soy intolerance.
And for the grand finale dinner, we went to:
which has been called one of the top vegan restaurants in the country; you can imagine our excitement!
Vedge is also small plates style, so we ordered a few things and began this culinary journey. First up was a rutabega fondue. I don’t have adequate words for this, it was creamy, it was just right. And the pretzel that was served with it, vegan or otherwise, was the best soft pretzel I’ve had, and I lived in Germany! If we weren’t so full from lunch, we would have ordered this twice – incredible!
Some other favorites were a white sweet potato dish, and brussels sprouts with a creamy mustard sauce. And let me tell you, dessert was outrageous!! We had the “Trail Mix” which was a recreation of smores and had a great chewy chocolate brownie, but what really swept us off of our feet was the ice cream! I have only had ice cream this good one other time, vegan or otherwise.
In the morning, we woke up to an extra special culinary treat! Turns out, the man, Ravi, who rented us our airbnb used to own a vegetarian restaurant. We shared our love of food, and talked about India, and as per usual Indian hospitality, Ravi gave me some curry and sweets to go! And guess what, his curry was amazing. Soon he will open a new Indian vegetarian restaurant, and I have to pop in the next time I am there.
Finally, my friend and I brought our adventure to a full circle, and ended where were started at P.S. & Co. We tried coffee with Brazil nut milk, and wow, Brazil nut milk is as rich and creamy and delightful as it sounds. I had the tamales, made from millet instead of corn, and my friend had a mushroom meatball sub. Again, ,we were thrilled with the food and the menu – love this place!
Have you ever been to Philadelphia? What did you eat there? Want to try any of these amazing places? Which one?