Vegan in Philadelphia?
I am traveling to Philadelphia soon and from the looks of it, is a vegan foodie's haven! (I am not vegan but try to eat lots of vegan food and enjoy vegan restaurants.) Does anyone have specific recommendations for where to go, where not to go, what are the "must eats"? (This is in the Center City/Logan Square/Rittenhouse area) One thing I would love that I haven't seen in the online listings is a vegan cafe for coffee, baked goods and breakfast items. Does that exist? Thanks!
Did you also post on the philidelphia board? You may get more help there...
I've only been to philly a few times but without a doubt you have to go to Vedge. I was blown.a.way.
Its probably expensive for philly but on par with nyc prices. Be sure to make a reservation, and note the mon-fri food and drink happy hour 5-7pm
The deli and cafe at Essene Market on S 4th St is definitely worth a visit. Focus is on macrobiotic-type vegan food, but it's much more flavorful than most macro. They have a vegan bakery, too.
You might enjoy this blog. It covers all things vegan in Philadelphia: http://veganatrix.blogspot.com/ and includes a section on vegan brunch spots (although most are just vegan friendly, not fully vegan).
Metropolitan Bakery has a cafe in Rittenhouse Square, some-but not all-of their baked goods are vegan (they do use honey in some items, you'd have to check). Their web site is pretty good and does include ingredients for the most common items.
A little late to respond, and I'm sure it's already on your radar, but Vedge is a must visit. It's been voted the city's number one restaurant and for good reason. Hip City is also great for comfort food (e.g. vegan cheese steak) and I love Blackbird Pizza (their root beer wings)! Kate and Rich, the people behind Horizons and now Vedge, really helped to transform the city into a vegan friendly city, so you'll find vegan options readily available.
I was in Philly last week, stayed at Rittenhouse Hotel. I really like the vegan options. I did search on yelp for vegan and visit few of the vegan spot.
My favorite for Lunch was HipCityVeg, http://hipcityveg.com/ the Burger is great, Buffalo wing & sweet potato fries, Jerk caesar salad really delicious.
http://www.mamasvegetarian.com/ I'm from NYC, the mama's Falafel is just good as Mamoun's in NYC, if you know about that standard.
http://vedgerestaurant.com/ Even thou, reservation was sold out, I went to Vedge twice for dinner, sat at the bar and hightop table in near the kitchen. it's about $40 for dinner but totally worth every penny. LOVE LOVE LOVE Vedge It's been name best vegan resturant in USA by vegnews magazine.
I've been to blackbird pizzeria on other trip, it's okay.
http://puresweets.com/ I don' recommend the organic PS & Co for juice, yes it cold press on the Norwalk juice but the combinations of veggies they use is kinda nasty. I have a norwalk & can mix better combinations.
It's funny, I didn't go to any of the same spots that you did, but I also got some great food. Here were my highlights:
Blackbird Pizzeria - vegan pizza and sandwiches. The sausage pizza was a standout, and the vegan cheesesteak was yummy (kind of junk food tasting, with the bright yellow "cheese" sauce, but delicious)
Mi Lah Vegetarian - a good pan-Asian type place. We had a nice tofu vegetable curry and a pad thai. Not crazy amazing, but decent and affordable and a nice, clean place to eat.
Charlie Was a Sinner - THE BEST. No joke. You have to try this place!! It's a small plates bar, but the amazingly nice waiter will guide you towards building the right size meal for your hunger level. We had mock crab cakes made with zucchini, a flatbread with roasted peppers and olives that was fantastic, mashed potato croquettes, bucatini with mock-meatballs, confit mushrooms in potato cups, and maybe one or two other dishes. SO GOOD! The vibe is artsy and cool, without being overly pretentious. An awesome date night spot. The drinks are AMAZING - I had this creamy delicious drink made with coconut yogurt, mango, cardamom, and rum, which was one of the best drinks I've ever tasted, and a sweet-spicy soda made with jalapeno agave and pineapple juice (which was spiked at my request). The waiters are super helpful in suggesting drinks you will love--there is nothing as disappointing as ordering a fancy, expensive cocktail and not liking the taste at all. All I can say is GO HERE. You won't regret it.