PHLGuide

The Best Places To Eat Vegan Food In Philly

Where to get plant-based dumplings, deli staples, donuts, and more.
This is a roasted garlic sopes at Primary Plant Based.

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Even though everyone knows us as a meat and cheese city, Philly is full of fantastic vegan food, too. So whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just need a break from animal consumption after a nostalgic conversation about Wing Bowl, try these 20 spots for plant-based pizza, perfect lentil soup on a cold day, or big deal birthdays.

THE SPOTS


photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Vegan

Northern Liberties

$$$$Perfect For:VegansVegetariansDate NightSmall PlatesKeeping It Kind Of HealthyBYOB
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This casual Northern Liberties vegan restaurant makes seasonal American food that's exciting for people who eat meat regularly and people who don't. Think sweet corn gnocchi, a really good faux caesar, and maitake mushrooms with heirloom polenta. There's a BYOB policy and an orange-lit, plant-filled room that's sexy in a greenhouse sort of way. Bring a bottle and someone you want to make out with. Well, maybe save the making out until after you've departed from your banquette.

If you’ve lived in Philly for more than 10 minutes, you already know about Vedge. Every dish at this upscale Midtown Village highlights vegetables. It's a good choice for a fancy meal sans meat—not just because the historic Locust Street brownstone is classic, but because the food is thoughtful. Vedge's menu changes pretty often. Keep an eye out for the mushroom carpaccio, seared maitake mushroom, and wood-roasted carrot.

Unlike other plant-based spots in the city that settle for serving fake meat burgers you can find in the frozen aisle of Acme, this Fishtown BYOB consistently dishes out things like carnitas medianoche made out of jackfruit, kimchi pancakes with chia seed caviar and kimchi sashimi, and comforting bowls of masa ball soup. The fact that they do it all in a space that works for both a nice night out or a comforting solo meal makes it even better.  

In the old days, the only food you could get while watching a movie was gummy bears, stale popcorn, and sad nachos. Lucky for us, Center City’s Monster Vegan came along. Inside, you’ll find a long bar and cushioned seating with great views of the horror flicks they show nightly. The entirely plant-based menu includes belly-filling options like spicy rigatoni bolognese, General Tso's soy-based wings with a syrupy citrusy glaze, and fluffy cinnamon apple french toast for brunch. Bring a group of friends for cocktails and focus on your truffle parmesan fries when the movie gets too scary. 

This Center City pizza place can be your go-to place for lunch, on gameday, or when you want a plant-based slice that doesn’t taste like cardboard covered in sauce. It’s mostly takeout—with only a few tables in the back—and you can get New York style or doughy square pizzas topped with vegan mozzarella, Italian “sausage” made from seitan, and lemon cashew ricotta. 

Germantown has exactly one Ethiopian restaurant. But it's the only spot you need in the area when it comes to melty cabbage, lentils, and gomen wot. All of the sides are vegan and gluten free, and so are a few of the entrees. Every time we're here, we end up drinking a bucket of Salam Cafe's loose leaf tea and introducing ourselves to the table next to us. It's just that kind of friendly, relaxed place.

Let's be clear: Dottie’s Donuts is not a shop that’s just good for vegan donuts. It’s a donut shop that makes great donuts. With locations in both West Philly and Center City, they sell everything from classic apple fritters to options like their glazed gingerbread that’s topped with a hunk of chocolate-apple spiced cake. Open until they sell out, try to make it there before noon if you want to get your hands on these consistently delicious and fresh doughy rings.


Miss Rachel’s Pantry in South Philly is a small BYOB that serves a five-course, all-vegan, $220+ tasting menu for two. And since there’s only a handful of tables, you’ll feel like you’re having dinner at your friend’s house. The rotating menu includes things like cranberry-glazed seitan, butternut squash panzanella, rutabaga chowder, and cashew ravioli. Bring one of those bottles you’ve been saving for a special occasion and a date who isn’t obsessed with steak.


Walking through Reading Terminal Market involves a lot of zig-zagging, but that’s because it’s somewhere that tourists and locals alike come for a delicious meal–including a delicious plant-based spread from LUHV Vegan Deli. They have everything from breakfast sandwiches packed with smoky seitan, tofu egg puree, and melty american “cheese” to staples like reubens and corned beef that will make you wonder why everything isn’t made out of seitan. Plus, since it’s a deli, you can also order vegan cheese, meat, and “tuna” and “chicken” salads by the pound.


Unit Su Vege is a Chinese restaurant in Fairmount that serves exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes. One of our favorites on their menu are the “shrimp” dumplings, which taste similar to imitation crab. The soft and chewy dumplings have a hint of crispness from the ginger and a nutty flavor from the bamboo shoots, and pretty much anything here works great when you're feeling lazy and want an excellent takeout meal.

Bar Bombon, a vegan Puerto Rican place in Rittenhouse, is owned by the same people as HipCityVeg. But instead of being primarily a takeout spot, Bombon is where you want to go for a long lunch or an after-work Happy Hour (they have some of our favorite margaritas in town). Everything is solid, from the buffalo cauliflower tacos and sweet plantains to the Philly “steak” empanadas.

You can bring your non-vegetarian friends to Midtown Village’s Charlie Was A Sinner and they probably won’t even notice that it’s an entirely vegan bar. On top of cocktails with ingredients like wheatgrass and dehydrated beet, they also have small plates like fried oyster mushroom calamari and a pan seared cauliflower pad thai. It’s small and dark inside, so use it for a first date with someone who really likes vegetables or post-work drinks and snacks with a coworker who’s tired of eating pizza for a week straight.

In this town, we may think the end all, be all of ice cream creativity is rooted in twists, dips, or sprinkles (possibly jimmies, depending on where you’re from). But at Manayunk’s Crust Vegan Bakery, they have soft serve in flavors like Thai tea ice cream, and you can put it in coconut, dark chocolate, and French vanilla waffle cones. They also have ice cream sandwiches, and if you want to really get wild, you can still make it a twist or top it with rainbow sprinkles in the end. 

Fishtown’s Float Dreamery doesn’t have a shop. You order the daily flavors from a small window, so it’s very much like waiting behind the curtain for The Wizard of Oz to grant you a wish (except instead of Auntie Em you get ice cream magic). You can get one scoop for $5, two for $9, and a perfect ice cream sandwich like tahini chip and vanilla for $6. If you’re dairy-free, it’s a slam dunk place to get flavors like mint birthday chip, lychee, ube, and mango. Just a tip—they make small batches and sell out quickly, so get there when they open at noon. 

In the past, the idea of a vegan soul food restaurant might’ve been as unthinkable as clear roads on I-95. But since Germantown’s The Nile Cafe opened and started serving stew fish made with wheat and soy proteins, it’s clear we’ve reached a new day. This spot is Philly’s oldest vegan restaurant and makes perfectly spiced vegan jerk chicken with a meaty texture dripping with a sweet and spicy sauce.

Knowing about a healthy option for your post-Wissahickon Valley Park hike is a necessity. Germantown’s All The Way Live has plenty of fresh, raw, and tasty vegan dishes and juices. One of our favorites, and a necessity in any weather (but especially in the winter), is their hearty chickpea chili. This delicious blend of tender chickpeas with onions and peppers will do more to save you from the cold than any blanket could.

Vegan-ish is a Black-owned plant-based restaurant with two locations (West Philly and Spring Garden). And they serve food for all kinds of vegans: hungover ones who need to be revived by a BEC and smoothie, salad-obsessed runners training for marathons, and those who just love cinnamon bun cupcakes. There are also a couple of burgers and flatbreads—but the “chicken” cheesesteak is the way to go. Order at the counter, then either enjoy your sandwich in the tiny, tile-filled space or simply head home.

Fitz On 4th is a relaxing plant-based restaurant with lots of greenery and loungey earth toned couches that give you the feeling that the only thing that could rush you out is the Meter Up app. This makes the intimate space the opposite of South Street’s chaos nearby. When dining here on a casual weeknight, go for the edamame dumplings, chickpea meatballs, and sweet potato rigatoni; you won’t have any complaints. Most dishes are large, so bring a friend who doesn’t mind splitting things and gets super jazzed about mushrooms (there are lots on the menu). 


Goldie is the fast-casual falafel shop from the people behind Zahav, and it’s a good go-to for an early weeknight dinner or quick lunch. All of the options on their short menu, which has falafel, fries, and spicy shawarma fries, are vegan. Everything’s great, but the best thing here is the falafel. It’s flavorful and crispy, and you can get it on a platter or in a sandwich with a few different sauces. If you’re still hungry when you’re finished, their tehina milkshakes are so good that you’ll wonder why they even make milk-based ones anymore.


Hip City Veg is what you’d get if you told a chain like Chick-fil-A or Wendy’s to grow up, move to Rittenhouse Square, and eat more vegetables. It’s a fast casual place where you’ll see people lining up for burgers, chick’n sandwiches, and crispy plant based nuggets. If you want something lighter, their miso noodle salad with udon noodles does the trick. Come when you crave fast food but don’t want its meat-heavy menu or mediocre quality. 

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Suggested Reading

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The Best Places To Eat Vegetarian Food In Philly

When you want to go meatless, head to these 18 places.

Pietramala image
8.2

Pietramala is delivering show-stopping vegan dishes from start to finish in Northern Liberties.

Vedge image
8.1

Vedge in Midtown Village is one of the best places to eat vegetables in the city.

Monster Vegan image

Center City's Monster Vegan is the only place in Philly where you can eat plant-based dishes while having a simultaneous horror-themed movie night.

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