BEST of Philly
I think I have finally done it, after 3 years of vegan food tours and shopping sprees in downtown philly I think I have come up with the best spots you must visit when in Center City. Yes, there are AMAZING places outside the action and I will put those on the list too at the end. Shopping is surprisingly great in Philadelphia. So much better than Pittsburg. We have no good stores or one area where EVERYONE shops…and eats!
This is probably my favorite restaurant. I have been to hundreds of vegan restaurants and this one takes the cake. Literally. I had the BEST carrot cake this time and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. They are 100% vegan, gluten-free and organic. And don’t even get me started on the atmosphere in there. Rustic wood, plants everywhere, and the owner is so nice. Everyone who works there is so pleasant and they remember us everytime we come.
I have been able to try both the day menu (breakfast & lunch) menu and the dinner menu and both are phenomenal. I love the Breakfast and Forbidden burrito, Bikini Burger and the Meatball Sub from the day menu. Everything is so flavorful and the portions are just right, especially if you are sharing a bunch of dishes. On the dinner menu I love the Imperial rolls, Layered Nachos, and Cauliflower Meatball Pizza. Also great for sharing.
But we can’t forget about the dessert. Everything is a little pricey but this is certainly a treat. You can’t leave without trying some cake. They change the flavors everyday but the carrot cake is heave, that’s a must if they have it and the Peanut Butter chocolate cake is really yummy too. The Tiramisu is super rich. Definitely to share. The Grain-Free cookie sammies are good too and they have a bunch of different flavors. I have never had their smoothies or juices but based on how good everything else is on the menu, I can pretty much guarantee they are probs amazeballs.
2. Wiz Kid
100% vegan, authentic Philly Cheesesteaks. That taste like the real deal, or at least what I would imagine they would taste like. The perfect balance of flavor and texture to give you the best sandwich possible. I tried the Wiz Kid Philly which is seitan, mushrooms, fried onion, and rutabaga wiz (which might be the best thing ever), all on a perfectly baked roll. Next I tried the Reuben Steak which is smoked “provolone”, sauerkraut, spicy thousand island sauce, pickles, and tomato. Can I get a heck ya??!? Then the CFT. The sandwich of all sandwiches. Country fried tempeh, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and thousand island ranch sauce. And last but not least: RATTLESNAKE FRIES. The best fries ever, coated in roadhouse spice with a drizzle bbq sauce. GET IN MY BELLY! 100% recommend this place.
Probs the best pizza I’ve ever had. Yes it’s out of the way and not in center city but worth it if your willing to really explore. All vegan and pretty much everything on the menu is great. I always ask the people who work there what they recommend and I am always satisfied.
4. The Tasty
A 100% vegan diner with all the classic comfort food. It has the cutest atmosphere and I want to try everything on the menu. The pancakes and waffles are right up my ally but there are more savory items too like toasts, and breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and biscuits and gravy. But that’s just the morning menu. There’s a whole other menu with burgers and philly cheesesteaks which also looks fabulous. Lots to try there!
Obviously I had to find my way to a buffalo exchange on this trip. How could I not. I mean the buffalo exchange is the holy grail of thrifting. I love fashion, one of my favorite hobbies is ‘designing’ my wardrobe. I think it’s important to showcase vegan clothing (non-leather, fur-free, etc) because it’s another excuse people use against themselves when commiting to full vegan. “Oh I couldn’t give up fur/leather/down/hide/etc. But when you see healthy, happy vegans living their life looking fashionable and up to beat with the trends it gets them thinking.
Shopping ethically is a whole other level that I am currently working on. There are too many companies that fit into the fast fashion category. They employ children, have unfair wages, bad working conditions, pollute the earth, the list goes on and on. I am trying to avoid big companies as much as I can. Sometimes it’s hard when you are also trying to set a good fashionable and financial example. Ethically made goods are not cheap. But that’s what makes the Buffalo Exchange so great. It’s all second hand and in good condition and usually a big name brand. Win, Win, WIN!
Below is a map I created for anyone wanting to visit Philly to eat all the vegan food and shop until you drop. There are quite a few thrift stores on the map but if thrifting isn’t your thing or you also want to check out some more unique clothing stores, they’re on there too. Safe travels!