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Philadelphia Secret Vegan Spots

Hello Everyone!
  I'm new to this community, as well as, to the Philadelphia area.  I'm a transplanted Southern girl to the heart of Fishtown in Philadelphia, PA. (although, I did live in Philadelphia before for a couple of years I'm a) from North Carolina and b) still not too familiar with this part of the city). I have a happy little vegan ran home with a very spoiled best friend named Captain (our dog).  :)>>> 
  I was wondering if anyone could give me some suggestions for some great vegan friendly spots that may be a little well hidden.. Maybe a Farmer's Market that isn't well advertised?
I've found a couple spots and would love to trade them with you guys!
Thank you kindly!
J

Hi Ladybird!

I don't know how" hidden" I'd call any of these places, but there have been a few Philly-related conversations since I've been here that might be helpful:

1. One of our vegweb regulars spent some time in Philly this summer, and started this thread: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=23338.0

2. We have a "favorite restaurant in your hometown page" and I know that Philly appears there http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=3585.msg199616#msg199616

I'm originally from Philly and I miss it, although I visit my family there quite a bit. Some of my suggestions as a result might be out of date (for example, I'm told that the Cherry Street veggie restaurant closed, even though the first thread has recommendations for substitutions). If you don't require that the restaurant is all-vegan itself one of my favorite ways to eat when I get home is to go to a REALLY GOOD hoagie place (assuming a vegan rolll) and custom-make a sandwich with lots of good veggies (sweet marinated peppers are my favorite and I can only find them correctly in Philly, broccoli rabe, eggplant, etc. Hoagie shops grew out of an Italian tradition and therefore my favorite ones always have really good veggies available). If you don't want to chance it out, this would be a great thing to make on your own with good philly bread. (Growing up here made me a roll snob.)

For farmer's markets--I can't help you with that... I will warn you that I never liked going to the big ones (Reading Terminal, the Italian Market) because I always thought they stank of meat! 

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Thanks! I'll definitely take a look at those!
I think Cherry St. did close, but Singapore is still open!

As far as what I've found, there is a place called The Memphis Tap Room that is fairly new to the Northeast Area and on the corner Cumberland/Memphis. My boyfriend and I go there with our scrabble set for a quite, vegan friendly 'better end of bar food' meal.
Also, we go to A Full Plate, which is off of 2nd St. (close to North Liberty area) a lot. They have GREAT vegan french toast.
I have a list of places that I keep if anyone ever needs a suggestion. Just checking to see if I missed any! Thanks! xo

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Philadelphia has some great vegan/vegetarian restaurants. My wife is Vegan and I am Vegetarian I'd say 80% of the time. These are the first ones that come to mind for me.

First and by far the best I have been to is Blue Sage in Southampton it is a bit of a drive from Fishtown but well worth the drive. Everything on the menu is at least vegetarian. Make sure you make reservations in advance...like a week. Bonus: It's a BYOB.

http://www.bluesagegrille.com/

Next, I would say the most hidden and low key place I know of is Essene. Its a little Natural food store in front but make your way to the back and there is a completely vegan buffet. All the food is delicious and it's not too expensive and you can get some shopping done too while you are there.

http://www.essenemarket.com/

There is a great place in the Reading Terminal Market  called "Basic 4 Vegetarian Snack Bar". They have great vegan "lunch" food here. Its right in the middle of the  market. They are open everyday but Saturday.

http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/merchants/view/50

Then there is Horizons, I've never been here but I hear it is supposed to be great. Entrees are a little expensive but I'd say it's worth a try. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

http://www.horizonsphiladelphia.com/

I hope this helps. I LOVE the first 2. If I think of any others I will post again. Philly is a great city, and all and all pretty vegan friendly after you get passed the Greasy Cheese steak covered surface.

Happy Eats!
Steve :)

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Just wanted to second blue sage. My omni mother went there and loved it, and now can't wait for me to come home so she can introduce me to it  :)>>>

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I've heard great things about Blue Sage! I'll have to make that trip..
There is a new place close to Center City area that we've gone to on date night. I can't remember the name of it, but it's fairly new, and is all vegan/ vegetarian. 
Any places in Old City?

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Horizons is off of South Street and Essene is only a few block from there also so they are not too far from Olde City. As for places within Olde City there aren't many that have more than a couple of Vegan/Vegetarian menu items, or at least that I know of. There are plenty of good bars there though.

Steve

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Okay. Thanks!
I haven't been to Essene.
Although, I did go to a place called 'Home Slice', tonight with a friend. It was pretty good! Almond Cheese and whole wheat pizza crust!
I don't normally eat out too much... but 'eh'... good vegan friendly pizza joints that serving toppings like 'green apple slices' is something you just have to take advantage of!

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Oh I miss Philadelphia.  I used to be a vegan + live in Fishtown.  If you keep walking down cumberland past the memphis tap room towards aramingo, there is a little farm there called Greensgrow that sells vegetables in the warmer months.  Also, unless they've changed the dates, on Thursdays once it gets to be warm outside there is a farmer's market on Frankford ave a few blocks past Berks towards Girard, which is run by some Amish or Mennonites, I'm not sure which, but it's incredibly cheap.  Ridiculously cheap.  I was spending $15/week on groceries cheap.

Govinda's Gourmet to go, which was on Broad and South last time I lived there, is a totally awesome place to get a sandwich, and it is much better than Gianna's. 

In South Philly, the Royal, which is on Passyunk around Christian has great beer, a freakin' awesome vegan club sandwich, and vegan desserts as well.  Plus you can go there for brunch and get tofu scramble and listen to Black Sabbath while nursing a hangover.

There's a place called the Belgian Cafe that's around 21st and Green in Fairmount has the most amazing vegan wings in the world and a several pages long beer list. 

Also in Fairmount is a place called Mugshots, where you can get fair trade coffee, a sandwich, and desserts from Vegan Treats, which is one of the best vegan bakeries in the country.

This information is a year or two old, but I think it's pretty accurate.

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http://www.vegpa.net/

they have a huge list of restaurants

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Just visited Philly, definitely check out this place http://www.lovashindiancuisine.com/index.html.  I went in and told the waiter/host/owner that I was vegan and he got all excited and gave me a special menu that had all the vegan items clearly marked.  And there were more vegan options than I've ever seen at an Indian restaurant!  And it turned out to be one of the best meals I've ever had in my life.  AND after the meal he talked to me about wanting to start offering a vegan dessert and asked what I thought he should try!  Definitely highly recommended! 

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Going to spend quite a bit of time in philly the next couple of weeks, just wanted to say thank you for all the recommendations!

closeyoureyestosee: Sounds awesome, too bad the website doesn't work anymore :(

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I'm moving to Philly, well Camden, NJ.  Attending Rutgers for law school.  I'm less focused on restaurants in the area as I am about natural food stores or co-ops.  Anyone have a list of where those are, or am I stuck with only Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Wegman's for my hippie food ingredients?

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Blackbird Pizzeria serves 100% vegan fare - they gave me the best slices of pizza I've ever tried, vegan or otherwise! The Nacho and Haymaker slices are highly recommended. Also, their Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is to die for - as is their Tofu Cubano. :)

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I love Kaffa Crossing, close to home cooked ethiopian. veg combo is vegan and they have other options, hands down my fav cup of coffee too. Fair trade, family owned.
http://www.kaffacrossing.com/

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Su Tao!!!

http://www.sutaocafe.com/

This is a bit off the beaten path (Malvern is on the mainline, and this is actually a bit closer to West Chester/Exton Mall), but it is the BEST DAMN vegan restaurant ever.  I used to eat there with my mom basically every other week, after school.  We moved away and went back 2 years later the owner was like, 'hey! you're back!'

It's Chinese food.  Real, unhealthy tasting, real stick to your ribs stuff, it's here.  You want real, authentic General Choas, or sweet and sour chicken, you want something that tastes exactly like shrimp (seriously...so wrong yet so good), it's here.  The absolute best entree is Ginger Meatballs.  If you're lucky you can get it on the buffet.  Take as many meat eaters here as you want, they'll love it, and won't know it's vegan (really, I did this a lot.)  Oh god, and the mint carob chip ice cream! They all taste exactly like the real thing.

I am getting so nostalgic.  It's probably not the best vegan restaurant in terms of healthfulness, but it's so necessary to have some Su Tao in your life on occasion. 

Other places:
crossarmant, we had a great natural/vegan food store in West Chester, Great Pumpkin.  I even got henna there when I was a kid. But, it's a bit far if you're going to Rutgers. Probably better to go to the vegan food stand that's in the Reading Terminal. 
Blue Grill we went to once, is pretty good but fancy.  There was a really good vegan Chinese place, New Harmony,  in Chinatown, where they have dim sum.  It is not as good as Su Toa but it's really good, we would go there for Sunday afternoons.  'Kosher Singapore'  on Race Street that is really good but my family is vegetarian, not vegan, and I'm not sure how vegan it was.  We've been to a couple vegan Indian places that I couldn't tell you the names of.  I like that you can get a lot of foods cooked to be vegan in Chinatown.  I once asked a noodle house to make me fried rice, with more veggies and no egg, and they did.  It was something like 4.00 for a bowl big enough for 2 people.  One pizza place owned by a family we went to church with  (now closed, the saddest thing in the world) used to make us special deep dish, no cheese pie that was the best thing you've ever tasted. My dad made us pizza mostly, I don't think Blackbird was around when we were there. 

So apparently when I got out to eat it's Chinese..or at least that's what it was when I was growing up. You should head to Chinatown anyway, it's fun.

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