What I Ate in Philly

Philadelphia is packed with vegan food, and I feel like I barely scratched the surface.

A breakfast burrito with fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy, coffee, and a monte cristo at The Tasty in Philadelphia
Breakfast at The Tasty

Philadelphia is like New York City on a much smaller scale. I loved spending a few days there for the first time, and it was fairly easy to utilize their public transportation to get around. There are many full vegan places and even more vegan-friendly places that have delicious offerings. I feel like I barely scratched the surface, and I can’t wait to go back.

Above you’ll see breakfast at The Tasty, which is an all vegan diner with nice, strong coffee. We ordered the Monte Cristo, Bayou biscuits and gravy, and deluxe breakfast burrito. I love the gravy, though it’s definitely not traditional so you have to adjust your expectations because it smoky, slight sweet, and has soysage and onions in it. The biscuit wasn’t quite as fluffy as I prefer, but it worked well with the gravy. Sean loved the burrito, and there was probably enough between that and the breakfast potatoes for us to share. I found the Monte Cristo kind of boring.

A donut with green matcha frosting and pink sugar sprinkled on top, and another donut in the background with chocolate frosting and chopped hazelnuts on top at Dottie's Donuts in Philadelphia
Matcha Donut and Chocolate Hazelnut Donut at Dottie’s Donuts

We made two stops at Dottie’s Donuts, and this Matcha Donut filled with strawberry jam was hands down my favorite flavor. Everything there is vegan, and you can enjoy coffee while you’re there.

a sandwich with several seitan meats, tomato, lettuce, and mayo
Club Sandwich at Grindcore House

Grindcore House is a vegan coffeehouse, and I’m sad I couldn’t try everything on their menu. We had donuts as well as sandwiches, and they use seitan meats from The Herbivorous Butcher. The Club sandwich has a few different meats, plus lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo. It was a little bit spicy, too, which gave it a nice additional punch of flavor.

A basket of fried vegan chicken, corn on the cob, and mac and cheese with two glasses of beer in the background
Second District Brewing’s Philly Vegan Restaurant Week special

I visited Philly partly for work and partly for Philly Vegan Restaurant Week where restaurants all around the city have special vegan offerings on their menus, and many have multi-course prix fixe meals. Second District Brewing is a vegan-friendly tap room, and their special was a KFC special basket which included three pieces of fried vegan chicken topped with spicy agave syrup, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and a hush puppy. Besides the mac, it was amazing. The crunchy fried breading hit the spot, and the hush puppy was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My family frequented KFC while I was growing up, and this took it to the next level.

a vegan fried chicken sandwich with onion, lettuce, tomato, fried pickles, and mayo
Tattooed Mom’s Fried Pickle Vegan Chicken Sandwich

Tattooed Mom is a vegan-friendly bar with lots of personality, and we indulged in their fried pickle chicken sandwich. They have other yummy vegan bar food like cheesy tots and a Philly cheese steak.

three tacos with sauced seitan, onions, and pineapple salsa with a lime wedge off to the side
Philly Vegan Restaurant Week special at Tio Flores

Tio Flores is a vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant with a fun vibe and a cool bar, and everything we had there was great. My favorites were the Seitan Al Pastor Tacos and the Burrito. The flavors were so rich, and I couldn’t stop talking about the salsa verde on the burrito. It was divine.

burrito topped with salsa verde and sprouted greens
Burrito at Tio Flores

If you want pizza by the slice, hit up Blackbird Pizzeria or 20th Street Pizza, which have the same owner and are vegan. Blackbird is the OG and offers thin crust triangle slices, whereas 20th Street has gone the square route and has a thicker crust. I’d eat both of them again without hesitation. The Haymaker has seitan sausage, red onions, garlic butter, Violife mozzarella, and fresh oregano. All three slices of what we had at 20th Street were perfection, so if you go just get everything.

a slice of vegan pizza with seitan sausage, mozzarella, red onions, fresh oregano, and red sauce
The Haymaker at Blackbird Pizzeria

LUHV Vegan Deli can be found inside the Reading Terminal Market, which is a pretty animal meat heavy place, though we saw some other places advertising vegan options (Fox and Son even has a yummy funnel cake!). LUHV makes a lot of their own products, but they carry some meats from The Herbivorous Butcher. The Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich was the perfect way to start the day: super flavorful with a nice variety of textures.

An everything bagel with vegan sausage and cheese, plus tofu with a sign in the background that reads "follow us @luhvfood"
LUHV Vegan Deli’s Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

I also had a great time checking out V Marks the Shop which is a vegan convenience store in south Philly. My friends Carlo and Carmella recently opened the shop and I found way too much that I wanted to buy. They have a selection of shelf stable, fridge, and freezer items. It’s a must visit when you’re in town.

storefront of V Marks the Shop in Philadelphia with an Open sign hanging by the door

Last (maybe) but not least, I had an incredible meal at Front Street Cafe, but I’m going to give that one the honor of having its own separate post so I can share more photos. In looking back, I’m a little shocked at how much we packed in during the few days we were there. We arrived around 11am Sunday and left first thing Thursday morning, so we had about four full days. We even tried to be tourists and saw the Liberty Bell and did the self-guided tour of the US Mint, which I can’t recommend enough. I’m impressed with the number of places that have great vegan options, and there are some full vegan spots that I wasn’t able to get to. Have you been?

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