The thing about Philadelphia is that the population seems to skew so young, whether that’s due to the abundance of colleges or simply because the rent is cheap, there’s more than enough places that serve for alternative diets. And that’s not even including cuisines like Ethiopian or Indian, prominent in West Philadelphia. Throughout the city, vegans and vegetarians can eat well at most places without resorting to a mediocre veggie plate.
Grindcore House is a small coffee shop in South Philly which is fully vegan. Although soy and rice milks are harder to froth than milks, it’s no issue here. In addition to coffee and espresso drinks, the coffeehouse makes veggie, tofu, and tempeh sandwiches, and serves vegan pastries and desserts made by local bakers. Grindcore also fronts the “Radical Library”, a bookshelf that contains works on all kinds of social issues and other radical thinking.
Hip City Veg is always packed but the wait is worth it. An item like the Crispy HipCity Ranch sandwich tastes so much like actual chicken, you can forget it’s not. Self-described as “100% plant-based” foods, it’s hard to believe such a thing was even possible. In the warmer parts of the year, nothing beats a mean thirst like the Green Lemonade, made with squeezed lemons, kale, and agave nectar. The food is best enjoyed taken-out to Rittenhouse Park two blocks away.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream is not totally vegan, but compared to other ice cream shops around, it’s somewhere vegans can get a cold, cold treat that isn’t Tofutti Cuties. Little Baby’s presents 12 flavors of non-dairy ice cream, experimenting with almond milk and coconut milk to suit the non-lactose. A handful of these are only made in this style while others are vegan reproductions of the store’s usual desserts. And naturally, there’s the flavor that utilizes Philadelphia’s original vegan treat, dark chocolate Peanut Chews.