Considering that the hoagie and the cheesesteak originated here, Philly has a reputation for prizing meat-based dishes. Soft pretzels are another local invention, and they are disappointingly made with lard.
However, this city’s history always included vegetarian and vegan cooking as well. At the moment, Philadelphia has a vibrant and welcoming vegan food scene.
Dine Out in Style at the Best Vegan Restaurants in Philadelphia, PA
Philly features a mouthwatering selection of vegan dishes from many different cultures, but where do you start? Here are some of the best vegan restaurants Philadelphia has to offer, as well as a glance at some of the city’s vegan bars and cafés.
1. Govinda’s Vegetarian
Govinda’s Vegetarian is a popular eatery that takes inspiration from traditional Indian cuisine. They offer Vedic, halal, and kosher meals, and most of their menu is vegan. You can find Govinda’s on South Street.
You can start your meal with house-made hummus and then go for one of the mesclun greens salads. Their entrees include plant-based alternatives to various steak and fish dishes. Finally, consider their vegan ice cream, which comes in a variety of flavors.
2. Pure Sweets
For organic and gluten-free vegan fare, consider Pure Sweets & Co on Locust Street. Try the nut-based Greek yogurt with muesli for breakfast, or go for the organic avocado toast. Their dinner menu features tempeh burgers, portabella avocado sushi, Vietnamese noodles, and many other gourmet dishes. Pure Sweets also serves refreshing raw elixirs and organic protein shakes.
Located on Locust Street, Vedge is one of the city’s best vegan restaurants. Philadelphia is best-known for its street food, but it also provides a dazzling upscale dining experience. This restaurant has a relaxing and elegant ambiance and all of their dishes are a visual delight.
Vedge offers a varied assortment of cold delicacies and grilled dishes. For example, you could start with their mushroom carpaccio and then opt for the wood-roasted carrot with pumpernickel and garbanzos. There is also a seasonal selection, which features unique dishes such as corn chowder with smoked potato.
The dessert menu is excellent too. You can opt for blueberry cheesecake or mud pie with BBQ pecans. If you’re a wine connoisseur, you can sample their natural wines from 70 different producers.
4. Wiz Kid
The owners of Vedge Restaurant also operate a casual diner on South 19th Street. This is Wiz Kid and it’s a great choice when you’re in a hurry.
This vegan eatery honors the traditions of Philly street food. Their take on the hoagie features smoked tofu with plant-based provolone. You can also try their Philly steak, which is made from seitan and mushrooms. The Korean fried tempeh sandwich with radish kimchi is another example of their memorable gourmet fast food.
5. Mama’s Vegetarian
When you’re in the mood for a falafel sandwich, visit Mama’s Vegetarian on South 20th Street. They serve falafels with hummus that you can top with hot sauce. The sides include pickles, pineapples, grapes, and various fresh vegetables. You can also try their fried eggplants and veggie platters.
6. Vegan Commissary
Vegan Commissary is located on Wolf Street. They provide catering and meal plans for vegan clients, but it’s their plant-based BBQ that makes Vegan Commissary stand out. You can order seitan pulled pork, carrot dogs, and a few more veggie takes on grilled classics. As a side, go for the grilled sweet potato with tempeh salad.
7. Cantina Los Caballitos
For vegan-friendly Mexican dishes, consider Cantina Los Caballitos on East Passyunk Ave. When you order tacos or burritos, you can opt for fillings such as seitan or vegan beef. Their sesame seitan skewers are worth checking out as well. This cantina is well-loved for the tequila flights, and you can also enjoy their mescal selection.
8. Miss Rachel’s Pantry
If you’re in the mood for a sweet, homelike atmosphere, make a reservation at Miss Rachel’s Pantry. They’re located on South Chadwick Street. It’s important to note that they serve prix-fixe (fixed-price) dinners, but you can also drop in on Fridays and Saturdays to try their cooking.
Pasta is a popular option at the public dinners. Miss Rachel’s is a BYOB restaurant, but non-alcoholic beverages are included in the price of your meal.
9. V Street Food Bar
For vegan street food and an extensive drinks menu, consider V Street. This restaurant is located on South 19th Street and is owned by the chefs behind Wiz Kid and Vedge.
The dinner menu features banh mi tacos with green chile, chilled kimchi noodles, and trumpet mushroom shawarma. For breakfast or brunch, consider the blackberry waffles or the Peruvian taco plate. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t skip the purple sweet potato ice cream.
10. Charlie Was a Sinner
This vegan bar is located on South 13th Street and their motto is “We don’t talk about Charlie.” If you’re willing to live with the uncertainty, you’ll enjoy their assortment of plant-based snacks and entrees.
From cauliflower steak to silken tofu ramen, Charlie Was a Sinner has something for everyone. You can nibble on the zucchini crab cake sliders as you sample their extensive drinks menu. For dessert, consider the Buddy Holly milkshake with rum and vanilla bean ice cream.
11. Bar Bombón
If you’re in the mood for Latin cuisine, Bar Bombón is one of the best vegan restaurants Philadelphia has to offer. They serve vegan Puerto Rican dishes with some exciting innovations.
Start your meal with guac fresca and then move on to the poblano and corn soup. Don’t miss out on their nopales and rice enchiladas served with roasted cactus. The tres leches cake is a particularly well-loved dessert option.
Bar Bombón has a cheerful but elegant location on South 18th Street. Note that they also do takeout.
12. Blackbird Pizzeria
No tour of Philadelphia’s food scene is complete until you visit a pizzeria. Blackbird Pizzeria has a location on North 2nd Street and another one on South Street. You can also order from them online.
Their specialty pizzas come with seitan sausages, smoked tofu, and violife cheese. It’s not surprising that the vegan cheesesteak pizza is one of their most popular options. You can also opt for calzones, sandwiches, and a delicious variety of salads.
A Final Thought
You can spot the Italian-American influence in many of the best vegan restaurants Philadelphia can offer. The city also celebrates the traditional dishes of other international cuisines. From grungy cafés to upscale restaurants, you’ll find a multicultural selection at nearly every Philly establishment.