Years ago, following a vegan diet was tough, especially if you lived in Philly. Over time, however, a plethora of vegan-focused establishments have sprouted in our ever-growing food scene and the food is so good, even meat eaters are singing their praises. Here are a few of our favorites, serving up everything from exceptional vegan pizza to buffalo cauliflower tacos.
1221 Locust St.
This legendary vegan restaurant in Washington Square West is so good, even famed Philly food critic and carnivore, Craig Laban, gave it four bells. Current menu items include a stuffed avocado (romesco, pickled cauliflower, fried rice and black salt), portobello carpaccio (deviled turnip, caper puree, nigella grissini) and eggplant braciole (smoked eggplant, Italian salsa verde and cured olive). Hungry for dessert? Their sticky toffee pudding features smoked cedar (non-dairy) ice cream and hazelnut tuile (wafer).
133 S. 18th St.
Craving incredible Latin food minus the meat and dairy? Head over to Bar Bombon near Rittenhouse Square, where the vegan food philosophy is applied to enchiladas, tacos and more. You can’t go wrong with their buffalo cauliflower tacos (Avocado, green goddess, black bean puree, mirepoix) or their Cubano club (Blackened chick’n, smoked tempeh, avocado, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, grain mustard aioli, potato fries). Wash it all down with their salted grapefruit margarita, and you’ll be good to go.
507 S. 6th St.
613 N. 2nd St.
You can be vegan and have your pizza, too! This uber popular restaurant by Chef Mark Mebus now has two locations — one in Society Hill and one in Northern Liberties. Some exceptional pies include the Balboa (cherry tomato, seitan sausage, baby arugula, pumpkin seed pesto, tofu ricotta, chili flakes, olive oil) and Beetza (roasted beets, green kale, roasted garlic, tofu ricotta, violife cheese). Their menu even includes sandwiches, with the seitan cheesesteak being a crowd favorite with rosemary and garlic seared seitan, grilled onions and green peppers, vegan whiz, on a perfectly baked hoagie roll.
All the Way Live Cafe
6108 Germantown Ave.
Want to take your vegan lifestyle even further by going raw as well? Then you’ve got to check out Germantown’s All the Way Live Cafe, where raw and vegan cuisine is served up. Craving a burger? Try their chickpea portabella veggie burger with a herb almond mayo, lettuce topped with onions and tomatoes in a spelt pita. In the mood for something sweet? You’ll be cuckoo for coconut with their young coconut berry cream pie with a berry bottom over a date and almond crust.