I'd heard for a while that Philadelphia had an exceptionally diverse vegan scene, relative to the size of the city. And indeed, this was a big part of the reason for visiting the city for me! I found that its reputation didn't disappoint, and was quite well deserved! Veganism is clearly not a foreign concept in this city and while I only really visited completely vegan restaurants, I'm sure that many non-vegan places have plenty of vegan options or that staff are aware enough to be able to accommodate you. Anyway, here's my guide to vegan Philadelphia from my recent trip!
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Philadelphia Vegan Food Tours
Center City Vegan Food Tour – Beginning in the famous Rittenhouse Square of Center City Philadelphia, talk vegan food, Philly history, and stroll to local restaurants to taste their delicious vegan options. You'll learn the restaurant owners' inspiration for opening and why they focus on vegan food. Cost includes food tastings at each stop. With a full stomach, you'll end in the award-winning Reading Terminal Market.
Philadelphia Vegan Cafes & Restaurants
This is the key to rough opening times and prices for the guide, which will appear below the name of each restaurant or café mentioned. All of these places are 100% vegan.
Which meals are catered for
- breakfast: typically 09:00-12:00
- lunch: typically 12:00-16:00
- dinner: typically 19:00-23:00
A rough price range (based on prices of mains)
- cheap: up to $12
- moderate: $12-18
- expensive: $18+
Here is our vegan Philadelphia guide with the highlights from our recent trip.
P.S. & Co.
breakfast, lunch & dinner / moderate
This place is clearly very popular, and the interior design is oh so hipster, but also very cosy. Staff are friendly without being too overbearing (at least by my European standards!) and there's lots of natural light.
The menu differs quite significantly between breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, but everything is gluten free and organic as well as vegan. Dishes range from healthy salads, pastries, sandwiches and soups to Mexican, Burmese, French and Japanese inspired fare to create an extremely varied and tempting menu with interesting flavours.
Desserts are all pretty amazing too, with several cakes and the option to make your own sundae! Portions are not very big, and indeed feel a little small for the price tag, but everything is delicious, fresh and clearly made with care. It may be a good idea to make a reservation for dinner or brunch at the weekend.
dinner / expensive
Possibly one of the best restaurants I've been to anywhere, this is the place to come to splurge! The setting is pretty fancy, though there's no pressure to dress as such, and I found the service to be some of the least invasive I experienced in the US, which is a plus for me! The menu consists of three categories, and it is suggested to pick one dish from each per person as they're not very big, though I think two each (plus dessert of course) would also be fine.
The ingredients are mostly just vegetables, grains and pulses, as well as some tofu and a few other bits (so almost everything is gluten free by default, though they do have a separate gluten free menu on request) but the flavour combinations were extremely vivid, unusual and innovative.
Desserts were delicious and not too sweet and everything was imply on point. Very highly recommended!
Charlie Was a Sinner
dinner / moderate
Most likely the coolest bar in town, this well designed and slightly fancy place has an inventive cocktail menu (including non-alcoholic options too) served by well-qualified bartenders and is a great place to come for a drink or two after dinner, or indeed to eat at. The food menu consists of light snacks and small meals, with an international twist.
lunch & dinner / cheap
Ideal for a quick bite or a cheap dinner, this place doesn't only serve great pizza by the slice or pie, but also some tasty sandwiches, wraps, salads and healthy sides like sautéed kale. Pizza toppings are varied with lots of veggie options as well as faux meats, and of course excellent melty vegan cheese.
Though salad at a vegan pizza place might not sounds like a very appetising option, they are really worth trying, as they're huge and full of tasty bits, not just loads of salad leaves. And though everything is served in disposable containers or plates, they are all at least made from fully renewable materials.
lunch & dinner / cheap
Right next door to Blackbird, this tiny donut shop is the perfect spot for dessert. The interior is super cute and bright and there's some high seating or standing space.
Again by my European standards, the donuts here are enormous, and though they're good, I found them all to taste kinda similar: like sugar. Which is fine I guess. The filled donuts were more distinct in my opinion, and more satisfying!
breakfast & lunch / cheap
An unpretentious café in a residential part of town, this place serves baked goods, filled bagels (with gluten free options), light meals and good coffee. It's a popular place for people to work on their laptops, though the grindcore music that they're known for playing might be distracting to some!
It's clearly a somewhat alternative space, with a grungy but welcoming feel to it. There's also a rather diverse informal library of books to browse through while you sip your latte.
breakfast & lunch / cheap
A typical American diner style place, come here for classic Philly comfort food made vegan. Lunch mains come with a choice of waffle fries, tater tots or salad as a side. Breakfast items consist of typical American fare such as biscuits and gravy as well as bagels, french toast, pancakes and more.
I had to try to Philly Cheezsteak, but I didn't like it all that much. Never having tried the non-vegan version I don't know if that's simply because I don't like that particular dish, or if it wasn't a good veganised version of it. Otherwise, it's a cool place for lunch or breakfast with a nice atmosphere and you get left alone because there's no table service – hooray!
Some other vegan places we didn’t get a chance to visit include Bar Bombón, Vegan Tree, Miss Rachel's Pantry, Mi Lah, New Harmony and the Nile Café.
Here's a map of all the restaurants listed in this guide.
Recommended Hotels in Philadelphia
While not specifically vegan-friendly, this shortlist of our favorite hotels has been hand-selected to provide with a variety hotel options in the city to consider if you’re visiting Philadelphia.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia – this modern hotel offers both a restaurant and a bar and is walking distance to many of Philadelphia's most popular landmarks and attractions. The hotel offers a rooftop terrace and breakfast is included each morning. Be sure to inquire in advance to ensure they can prepare vegan options for you. There are several vegan cafés and eateries nearby.
Warwick Hotel – This 4-star hotel has recently undergone refurbishment and features a beauty center, a coffee bar and a restaurant. Each room includes a microwave and a refrigerator, where you can prepare simple vegan meals. The hotel offers breakfast so inquire in advance if they can accommodate full vegan options. Since it’s centrally located, a selection of vegan dining options are also found in the area.
The Gables Bed and Breakfast – this 4-room Victorian bed and breakfast is a convenient base to discover Philadelphia in a cozy and quaint guesthouse. In sunny weather, an outdoor terrace offers a nice spot to relax. A satisfying breakfast is available each morning but be sure to enquire in advance to ensure vegan options are available. There are also several vegan restaurants and cafés nearby.
There are many sites for apartment rentals including Airbnb and Vrbo. Prices are generally comparable to budget hotels, especially if you’re willing to get a room in a shared apartment.