Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Oct 13 2016

When It Comes To Vegan Dining, The Home Of The Cheesesteak Proudly Vedges Out

Philadelphia Offers An Array Of Vegan Fine Dining, Bar Eats, Fast Food & Café Fare

It’s a curious thing that a city so renowned for its cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches could also foster one of the nation’s most robust vegan food scenes. Upscale diners can find delight in the shared plates at Vedge or the coursed and the home-style elegance of Miss Rachel’s Pantry, while those seeking a quick bite can swing by Blackbird Pizza for fare that is more traditionally Philadelphian. Factor in some coffee shops, bars and even a diner, and vegan eaters will see—and taste—that the city’s offerings have something for every palate, day or night.

Here’s a look at some of Philadelphia’s vegan treasures:

Fine Dining:

  • Arguably the granddaddy of all local vegan establishments, Vedge elevates meatless cuisine to unparalleled elegance. Chef Rich Landau fashions carpaccio from portobello mushrooms and fondue from rutabagas while his wife, pastry chef Kate Jacoby, coaxes golden peach robatayaki, zucchini blondies with rosemary ice cream and squash blossom gazpacho and blueberry cheesecake from only plant-based ingredients. 1221 Locust Street, (215) 320-7500,
  • After a stint working with Landau and Jacoby, chef Rachel Klein founded Miss Rachel’s Pantry. Complementing the daytime luncheonette and catering side of the business, the restaurant offers a limited-seating weekend dinner around a farmhouse table. The six-course menu changes seasonally but may include seitan piccata, roasted red pepper grits and black garlic-cashew ricotta dumplings. 1938 S. Chadwick Street, (215) 798-0053,
  • A forerunner to today’s hip vegan joints, Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille cooks up plant-forward fare in Bucks County. While many dishes have some dairy, vegans enjoy selections like the ginger scallion miso bowl, tacos verduras (vegetables) with pumpkin seed-crusted tofu and a wild mushroom ramen in red miso with shiitake bacon. 727 2nd Street Pike, Southampton, (215) 942-8888,
  • At Jenkintown’s Flora, Timothy Thomas helms the kitchen with both a la carte and three- and four-course prix-fixe dinners. The tiny, cash-only bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot’s menu changes seasonally. 307 Old York Road, Jenkintown, (215) 779-7945,
  • Weekend brunch draws vegans to Mi Lah Vegetarian, home to a completely vegetarian menu with favorites such as tofu Benedict and oversized pumpkin pancakes with blueberry soy butter. The eclectic dinner menu features tofu, seitan and inventive veg dishes. 40 W. Skippack Pike, Ambler, (215) 646-1808,
  • Ross Olchvary of New Hope’s Sprig & Vine learned his trade with Rich Landau. Focused on local and seasonal ingredients, his BYOB demonstrates the versatility of veggies, with green onion pancake rolls, tamarind-glazed tempeh and za’atar grilled oyster mushrooms all vying for diners’ attention. 450 Union Square Drive, New Hope, (215) 693-1427,

Casual Dining:

  • From the owners of HipCityVeg and Charlie was a sinner., snug Bar Bombón specializes in vegan Latin food and cocktails. Think Cubanos, burritos, plátanos, tacos and margaritas—followed by tres leches cake for dessert. 133 S. 18th Street, (267) 606-6612,
  • Pizza, sandwiches, steaks—nothing is off-limits at Blackbird Pizzeria, by chef Mark Mebus. His creativity shines in the Balboa pie (seitan sausage, pumpkin seed pesto, tofu ricotta), the Cubano sandwich (seitan pepperoni, coconut bacon, smoked tofu) and the root-beer BBQ wings. 507 S. 6th Street, (215) 625-6660,
  • Named for its “pure sweets” (that are also available to-go), P.S. & Company beckons with an urban-rustic dining area and a full menu of cafe items—all of which are vegan, gluten-free and organic. Coconut yogurt, Caesar salad with house-made dressing and dan dan noodles entice even meat eaters. 1706 Locust Street, (215) 985-1706,
  • In the heart of Center City, Su Xing House offers up an expansive menu of meatless Chinese delicacies. Classics like fried rice and General Tso’s tofu share menu space with signature dishes such as bean curd deluxe (tofu skin stuffed with mushroom caps and veggie ham) and lotus root with peanut soup. 1508 Sansom Street, (215) 564-1419,
  • For more than 20 years, The Nile Cafe has been serving up comforting vegan fare. Menu staples such as pepper steak and chicken and gravy accompany a variety of salads, daily soup specials and plenty of desserts. 6008 Germantown Avenue, (215) 843-6453
  • Newcomer The Tasty dishes out diner-inspired fare from a corner location. Patrons occupy seats at the counter for morning coffee and pastries, or settle into booths for quick-serve dishes such as waffles or biscuits and gravy. 1401 S. 12th Street, (267) 457-5670,
  • Everything’s fair game at local veg heroes Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s V Street. The internationally inflected street food bar trades in dishes such as piri piri tofu, carrot asado and Korean fried tempeh tacos. The drinks alone are worth a visit. 126 S. 19th Street, (215) 278-7943,

Fast Dining:

  • Opened in 1969, Queen Village’s natural market Essene stocks all of the latest products from local makers, and it operates its own kitchen and bakery that turns out all manner of takeaway goods—including at least 50 desserts on any given day. 719 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-1146,
  • Govinda’s Gourmet Vegetarian has been serving up tasty vegetarian, vegan, Kosher, halal and Vedic food since 1985. Vegans and omnivores alike enjoy apps, salads and sandwiches—think vegan chicken cheesesteaks—at the eatery or on the go. Opening soon next door: a raw food buffet. 1408 South Street, (215) 545-5452,
  • Proving that fast-serve burgers need not be limited to carnivores, HipCityVeg’s two popular locations make veggie sandwiches—the Ziggy burger features smoked tempeh, while the Crispy HipCity Ranch reinterprets fried chicken—and green juices more accessible. 127 S. 18th Street, (215) 278-7605; 214 S. 40th Street, (267) 244-4342,
  • Philly-born startup Honeygrow honors most dietary restrictions with its build-your-own salads, stir-fries and vegan smoothies, each made with fresh ingredients. A King of Prussia outpost will soon join the multiple area locations. 110 S. 16th Street, (215) 279-7724; 3731 Walnut Street, (215) 222-0400; 1601 N. Broad Street, (215) 279-7823; 168 E. City Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, (610) 667-2573; 230 N. Radnor Chester Road, Radnor, (610) 688-8393,
  • In a city with brilliant banh mi, Kung Fu Hoagies ensures that no one feels left out. The food truck’s tofu meatball and “vegetarian pork” sandwiches and pho and ramen dishes can be made completely vegan. Location varies, (267) 344-6259,
  • A healthy haven since 1984, the all-vegetarian Magic Carpet food truck caters to students and locals in the University City neighborhood with two street-side locations during weekday lunch. Almost all of the budget-priced platters—tofu meatballs, seitan peppersteak—can be made vegan. 36th & Spruce Streets; 34th & Walnut Streets,
  • Appealing to the generally health-conscious, Pure Fare always keeps some vegan options in the mix. Items typically on offer include the wild rice bowl, kale salad, Burmese papaya salad or almost any of the baked goods. 119 S. 21st Street, (267) 318-7441; 1609 South Street, (267) 687-2292,
  • All of the food at Vegan Tree is cruelty free. Whether it’s sushi, a cheesesteak sandwich or coconut cake, there’s no need to second-guess the ingredients. 742 South Street, (215) 454-2898,
  • Fast and casual, Bryn Mawr’s Vgë Café operates on a simple premise: People want to eat great food that is healthy. All of the menu items, from falafel to buffalo tofu, can be ordered as a wrap, salad or over brown rice. Everything is less than 550 calories and entirely vegan, with no added oils or sugar. 845B W. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-3091,

Specialty Vegan:

  • Because vegan eating doesn’t always ensure healthfulness, Germantown’s All the Way Live Café emphasizes alkalizing foods (select fruits, vegetables and whole grains). That means seaweed salads, chickpea burgers and coconut cream pie on an almond and date crust. 6108 Germantown Avenue, (215) 821-7298,
  • Vegetarian and health-promoting fare dominates the menu at West Philadelphia’s Atiya Ola’s Spirit First Foods. Not everything here is raw or vegan, but the abundant options include smoothies and juices, kale wraps, salads and plenty of raw desserts. 4505 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 939-3298
  • An early proponent of raw eating, Montgomery County’s Arnold’s Way makes it very easy to dabble in vegan with its market and cafe. The menu boasts green smoothies, soups, salads and banana whip sundaes. 319 W. Main Street, Lansdale, (215) 361-0116,
  • Situated in a former pharmacy on Doylestown’s main strip, Doc Bakers Farmulations takes on a health-advising role in the community. All the juices and smoothies can be boosted with natural supplements, and guests can enjoy a full menu of raw, vegan fare on-site or from the grab-and-go cases. 22 N. Main Street, Doylestown, (215) 230-3444,
  • Norristown goes a little bit California at Gangster Vegan Organics. Hip-hop named juices (Rappers Delight, Soul 4 Real), raw pizzas, lasagna and wraps bring variety and interest to the proceedings. 2454 W. Main Street, Norristown, (610) 630-1600,
  • Everything at Raw Can Roll Café qualifies as “clean eating.” While some items are cooked, the vast menu of smoothies, cleansing juices and zucchini pastas—not to mention four different kale salads—makes it easy to stay on a raw-eating plan. 767 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, (484) 580-8454

Juice Bars:

  • Part juice bar, part burrito bar, Animo puts fruits and veggies in the forefront. Whether it’s the Animo Glo (orange, carrot, cantaloupe) or an açai bowl, the nutritious fare here is fresh and delicious. 1701 Arch Street, (267) 519-0949,
  • Part of a national chain, Robeks specializes in juices and smoothies. Refreshing drinks including the Age Buster (soy milk, probiotics, kale, spinach, peach) and the Big Wednesday (strawberry, peach, banana, papaya) go down easy. Eateries: 1035 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-5500; 32 Parking Plaza, Ardmore, (484) 413-2998; food truck: 2551 Orthodox Street,
  • A juicery with a creative touch, Sip-N-Glo sates vegan hunger with mix-ins such as almond milk, hemp and chia seeds. Even the protein shakes contain only Plant Fusion protein powder. 257 S. 20th Street; 932 South Street, (267) 273-0639,
  • Drinks at Yellow Juice could be described as “rainbow,” given all the vitamin-packed produce used. Fruit and veggie juices and the sweet potato peach smoothie with ginger and cinnamon energize in the healthiest sense. 2046 Sansom Street, (267) 519-8296,

Vegan-friendly Bars:

  • Known for its service of late dinner and weekend brunch, Point Breeze’s American Sardine Bar offers meat-free interpretations of meatball sandwiches, tacos and cheesesteaks.1800 Federal Street, (215) 334-2337,
  • Despite its suggestive name, Charlie was a sinner. caters to the conscientious client. The all-vegan Midtown Village bar/eatery serves small plates such as faux crab cakes, smoked cauliflower, chocolate pot de crème and classic cocktails—sans egg whites. 131 S. 13th Street,
  • Sibling establishments Cantina Los Caballitos and Cantina Dos Segundos aim to please Philadelphia’s herbivores with Mexican-inspired menus. Both locations offer tofu fajitas and nachos with vegan cheese. Diners find a variety of meatless dishes that are specific to each location. 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 775-3550; 931 N. 2nd Street, (215) 629-0500,
  • Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen serves the Fishtown neighborhood retro-American vegetarian and vegan dishes at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Regulars come for the craft beer and specialties such as the kale burger, cauliflower fritters, fried green tomato po’ boys and veggie wings. 2370 E. Norris Street, (215) 423-5400,
  • Amid its menu of southern-fried bar fare, Khyber Pass Pub leaves plenty of room for its vegan customers. Even the buttered popcorn, pulled pork and fried chicken sandwiches qualify. 56 S. 2nd Street, (215) 238-5888,
  • With a firm commitment to meatless eaters, Memphis Taproom has always accommodated its hipster fan base. Selections might include a smoked coconut club or the spaghetti sandwich. In warmer months, the beer garden serves a smoked jackfruit club, a fried portobello sandwich and a beefless burger. 2331 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 425-4460,
  • Vegans need not thirst. The vegan cheesesteak, tempeh club sandwich and vegan Sloppy Joe soak up the craft beer at Royal Tavern. 937 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-6694,
  • Triangle Tavern has a menu that offers vegan versions of a number of South Philly favorites. Spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, roast beef sandwiches and personal pizzas (red or white) are just a few of the homestyle options available. 1338 S. 10th Street, (215) 800-1992,

Coffee & Treats:

  • Really, why should a vegan have to forgo peanut butter banana bacon donuts? They don’t thanks to Dottie’s Donuts. Its rotating assortment of goodies (such as blueberry coconut or chocolate-coffee-cardamom) is available at Dottie’s recently opened West Philly location and a number of other veg-friendly spots. 4529 Springfield Avenue
  • Coffee flows copiously at Pennsport’s Grindcore House—though there’s also a full menu of teas. All manner of milk alternatives, hearty sandwiches, salads and a selection of treats from local vegan bakeries are available. 1515 S. 4th Street, (215) 839-3333,
  • Local, artisanal, funky-flavored ice cream—everyone screams for it at Little Baby’s Ice Cream. This is especially true for vegans who find flavors like chocolate salt malt, balsamic banana, smoked cinnamon and the definitively quirky cucumber dill just waiting for their eager spoons. 2311 Frankford Avenue, (267) 687-8567; 4903 Catharine Street, (215) 921-2100,
  • A light and luscious sensibility reigns at Northern Liberties’ Soy Café. Patrons can order a bowl of edamame, a sesame tofu salad, a bbq wrap with vegan pork or a smoothie with any type of milk alternative. 630 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-1103,
  • Dessert lovers can break from animal products and refined sugars at the region’s two locations of Sweet Freedom Bakery, which also steer clear of wheat, nuts, corn and other allergens. On offer: salted caramel cupcakes, fruit crumbles and pumpkin donuts—all produced with wholesome ingredients. 1424 South Street, (215) 545-1899; 1039 W. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-7323,
  • A pioneer in compassionate confections just outside the Philadelphia region, Vegan Treats turn out coconut caramel cheesecake, cherry Danish and a legendary peanut butter bomb without any help from animals. Sweets lovers can find its goods in Philadelphia at Grindcore House, Govinda’s Gourmet Vegetarian and Vgë Café.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

  • E-mail

Related Releases

Jul 25 2017

Philly Pizza Pleases Every Palate

The Region’s Pizzerias Have Never Been So Bountiful Or So Diverse

Philadelphia has earned some serious pizza cred in recent years. Not only is this city home to a combo pizza museum and restaurant (Pizza Brain), an artisan pizza truck (Pitruco) and, according to Bon Appétit’s 2015 “Ultimate Pizza Guide,” America’s very best pizza (Pizzeria Beddia), but it’s also a proving ground for the idea that this traditional food can be reinvented in infinite ways. Whether it’s a straightforward but studious Neapolitan round, a floppy tri-corner slice with cheese to spare or a newfangled pie laden with carefully sourced ingredients, there is a pizza for

Mar 16 2018

Those Famous Philly Flavors—Delicious And Deciphered

A Guide To The Philadelphia Region’s Legendary Foods

Philadelphia’s signature flavor is a dynamic mix of traditional recipes, new culinary inventions, well-known treats and obscure dishes—specialties that can be found everywhere—from corner stores to the fanciest restaurants. Among the region’s best-known foods are Italian water ice, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and the ever-popular cheesesteak. More local favorites include pork roll and scrapple, which are available here in the region and through services such as Taste of Philadelphia, one of many companies that ship Philly goodies across the United States.

Here are some of the sandwiches, snacks, meats and more that have left a lasting mark on the Pennsylvania palate:

Feb 7 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fishtown And The River Wards

Northeast of Center City, Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond—collectively known as the River Wards—are some of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. An influx of restaurants, bars, music venues, art galleries and residents are quickly transforming the makeup of these formerly working-class sections along the Delaware River.

Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar (DiPinto Guitars), drink craft beer while playing

Dec 21 2017

What’s In The Neighborhood?

Washington Square West

Washington Square West is a historic Center City neighborhood named for a 17th-century park and including the vibrant enclaves of Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Named “Southeast Square” in 1682, Washington Square originally served as a grazing pasture, potter’s field and gathering spot for early African-Americans—who dubbed the park “Congo Square”—on the edge of the original city of Philadelphia. Today, modern residences surround the park, now home to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, a sycamore moon tree and a steady stream of visitors. To Washington Square’s north are the 150 jewelry merchants of Jewelers’ Row.

Dec 5 2017

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fairmount & Spring Garden

Because of their proximity to the renowned arts and cultural institutions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Fairmount and Spring Garden neighborhoods are often referred to as the “Art Museum area.” But the personalities of these historic, laid-back, diverse communities are distinct in their own right.

Fairmount stands on its own as a destination in Philadelphia. The residential neighborhood is considered a sort of urban suburb, thanks to friendly residents and atmosphere. What’s a visitor to do here? Eat, drink and tour the former prison-turned-museum, Eastern State Penitentiary.

Wedged between the cultural powerhouses of the Parkway and better-known Fairmount, Spring

Nov 30 2017

The BYOB Restaurant: A Philly Phenomenon

Region Boasts 300-Plus Bring-Your-Own-Bottle Restaurants

Despite decades of popularity and expansion, one quintessential Philadelphia dining phenomenon continues to fly deliciously under the radar. It’s the BYOB, the bring-your-own-bottle restaurant—BYO, for short. Typically independently owned and operated, Philly’s BYOBs number into the three hundreds. Diners find them on dozens of corners in Center City, along avenues of renewed urban neighborhoods and tucked down rural roads. It’s a curious trend with an interesting backstory—and an even more interesting present.

Here’s a short explanation of how the BYOB scene came to be—and advice on navigating the landscape.

What Is A BYOB?:
A BYOB restaurant allows patrons to

Oct 11 2017

Cheesesteak 101: A Primer On The Who, What, Where & Whiz Of Philly Cheesesteaks


Here in Philly, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. So what is an authentic cheesesteak and where did it come from? Here’s the lowdown on this region’s favorite sandwich.

What Is A Cheesesteak?:
A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz®, but American and mild or sharp provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance

May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

May 10 2017

Recap And Refuel: Philly's Dining Scene Caters To Discerning (And Famished) Night Owls

Plenty Of Options For Late-Night Eats In Philly

As Philadelphia’s dining scene continues to grow, the city’s bistros, gastropubs, brasseries, eateries, diners and fast-food spots are growing by…hours. By law in Philly, last call at the bar happens at 2 a.m. Last call for food, however, is anywhere from 11 p.m. to never. Check out this list of the hottest, coolest and coziest spots to nibble, nosh, gobble and dine well into the early-morning hours.

Until Midnight On Weekends:

  • Alla Spina – A hip and completely original approach to the gastropub, chef Marc Vetri’s bar always feels like the place to be. The crispy pig’s tails, pickled
Apr 24 2017

Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural

Also Explore The Region By Foot, Trolley, Horse Or Smartphone

Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and, if so desired, spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • Bow Tie Tours – Learning about Philadelphia’s—and America’s—history through the true tales of real-life characters who walked the city’s streets is the secret to the success of