Vegan Day Trip to Philadelphia
Philly is one of the best places to go for a day trip because it’s so close to NYC, and there’s some amazing vegan spots. So I hopped into a car with three of my fave vegans and stuffed myself for a whole 12 hours in Philly dedicated to just eating. Fair warning you’ll probably be full just reading this, so unbuckle your pants and lets go on this journey together.
We left NYC around 9am and made it to Philly around 11AM. We headed straight to Dottie’s Donuts!
Dottie’s Donuts is an all vegan donut shop in Philly that serves fluffy donuts and similar to Dunwell Doughnuts in NYC. We got the Boston cream donut (which was not too sweet), raspberry (nice and tart), chocolate Oreo (tastes as you expect), Samoa (like the Girl Scout cookie with more coconut), Thai iced tea (probably the sweetest one but so good), corn (not as weird as it sounds), and 12 munchkins. This was a strong way to start Philly.
Next, we took our half uneaten donuts to go and headed straight to Blackbird Pizzeria. They helped create Screamers Pizzeria in NYC, so you know it’s going to be good. We got their brunch bird pizza, balboa pizza, and their philly cheesesteak sandwich. The philly cheese steak was so amazing and had an amazing crispness in the seitan, warm cheese, and crunchy bread. I don’t even like philly cheese steak, but this blew me away. The pizza was good too even though the cheesesteak stole the show. I loved the balboa because of the tomato and pesto, but the brunch slice is always a classic with their tofu scramble and bacon.
We then needed to walk off what we ate, so we went to Rittenhouse Square, which is a cute little park which is fun to walk around on a nice day. We went on a Saturday in May, so there was a farmer’s market going on, lots of cute dogs, and blooming flowers. A block down from Rittensquare is Goldie Falafel, a falafel shop, which is known for their vegan tahini shake that “changes lives.” My friend ordered two of the plain tahini shakes because it was that good. It’s a consistently thick and creamy shake that uses high quality tahini. No matter how full you are, you’ll have room for Goldie’s.
After walking around awhile, we went to Bar BomBon which has Latin American inspired vegan food including a great buffalo cauliflower taco. If you go for brunch, their banana chocolate chip pancakes are quite beautiful and not overwhelmingly sweet!
We then decided to walk around Cira Green, which is the rooftop of a parking lot and covered in greenery and 360 panoramic views. I also wanted to go to the Philly Magic Garden, but you need advanced timed tickets, so it’s definitely on my list for next time.
After we had digested a bit, we went to the most recommended spot, Vedge! It’s a high-end vegan spot that specializes in the beauty of plants and vegetables. I think it’s most similar to ABCV in NYC, and I was grateful to be able to eat vegetables after all that carb loading. They’re only open for dinner, and it’s recommended you have a reservation, but we were able to get a walk-in table at 5pm when they opened. We got ten dishes to share among the four of us (they suggested 3 dishes per person, with one from each section: “vedge bar,” “dirt list,” and “the grill”), including:
Rutabaga fondue (my personal favorite)
Applewood stuffed tofu
Asparagus carbonara (everyone’s favorite)
Smoked potato leek tart
Spring peas & Beans
From the Grill:
Wood Roasted Carrot
Seated Miitake Mushroom
Black & Blue: Ube Ice Cream with chocolate (so good!)
We didn’t have a single bad item that we ate, and everyone had their own favorite item, so try as many things as you can! The menu changes, so what you see here may not be a reflection of what they always have, but they always kill it no matter what.
Now, you think we would be done eating right? But we needed to make one final stop: 20th Street Pizza. I know we already ate pizza, but Blackbird Pizzeria opened up a sicilian-style pizza spot (the square pizza with the thick crust), so we needed to go before we left. They had 5 different pizza slices (white slice, mushroom, balboa, plain, one with impossible meatballs), so we got them all and were sad when they were out of their version of garlic knots. We ate these slices in the car, felt comfortably full, and rubbed our food babies all the way back to New York, arriving back home by 9pm.
We also wanted to make some quick stops at: V-Street (street food vegan food made by the owners of Vedge) and Charlie was a Sinner (all vegan bar), but we’ll save that for next time. This is not an all inclusive of the hot vegan spots in Philly, but they’re our faves!
You were all here for the food, but in case you want to do some things in Philly that don’t involve eating:
Rittenhouse Square: Town Square that’s close to all the vegan spots, and it’s a nice park to relax in
Cira Green: Rooftop of a parking lot and covered in greenery and 360 panoramic views of Philly
Magic Garden: Outdoor art gallery full of mosaics (timed ticketed entry)
Liberty Bell: Philly is full of American history, and if you missed out on your 4th grade field trip to see the bell or Ben Franklin’s house, it’s a everyone’s seen it, so you should too kind of sight.