I am not a foodie and don’t claim to be. The urge to go restaurant-hopping in big cities, however, overwhelms me and I do occasionally give in. Since I live right by Philadelphia, sometimes I’ll go to Chinatown and sample noodle soup from Penang or Jade Harbor. Other times I’ll walk down South Street and try something I’ve never had before, like Moroccan rice and kimchi with a side of tofu. Recently, however, I tried my hand at a few vegan restaurants, including an all-vegan pizzeria.
Walking into Vegan Tree on the Cheery and ever-famous South Street of Philadelphia is like being greeted with a warm embrace. The beautiful lighting and casual setting of this cute and colorful vegan restaurant is sure to make you feel welcome and comfortable. The first time I came to Vegan Tree was with a vegan friend who is also an avocado aficionado. I had the macaroni and cheese, obviously vegan, and she had avocado sushi and a vegan Philly cheesesteak – imagine that; experiencing the culture of urban Philadelphia while choosing to remain healthy and ethical.
The macaroni and cheese was delicious — buttery and salty, but not too salty. It was probably the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had, with just the right amount of pepper. My friend loved the avocado sushi and cheesesteak, which was so good she couldn’t imagine eating any other variations it.
The pineapple bubble tea, too, was refreshing. Who knew you could have vegan bubble tea?
742 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 454 – 2898
The Blackbird Pizzeria, located on Sixth Street, is Philadelphia’s first and only all-vegan pizzeria. The menu offers a scrumptious assortment of specialty pizzas, including Funghi, which consists of exotic mushrooms, thyme, truffle oil, garlic butter, and mozzarella style daiya cheese. Everything about Blackbird Pizzeria is healthy, from the fresh hand cut fries, to the desserts by Vegan Treats and the fresh vegetable toppings like red onion, kalamata olives, spinach and roasted potato. I have never seen a pizzeria with such nutritious topping choices before.
The walls of this hidden treasure are decorated with the beautiful work of many artists. Currently displayed are Dale Rio’s photographs of her journey across Route 66, called “Forgotten 66.”
Blackbird Pizzeria also has an environmentally friendly delivery method – all deliveries are made on bikes to reduce carbon emissions.
507 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625 – 6660
HipCityVeg’s philosophy is “We try to be kind to the earth. We deliver on bicycle, we source locally, and all HipCityVeg® packaging is compostable. We compost kitchen scraps as well. Even our interior is made of recycled and energy-efficient materials.” Possibly the healthiest most eco-friendly restaurant in all of Philadelphia, HipCityVeg is located in Rittenhouse and University City. With a cosmopolitan menu featuring udon noodle salad, fajita wraps, and the Buffalo Bella (crispy portobella with celery slaw and tomato and buffalo sauce), HipCityVeg is an eclectic and trendy place to grab a snack or sit down with friends for dinner. Additionally, it offers classic meals such as the Classic Veg Burger, the Philly Steak, and the Five Dollar Shake. Their signature drink, the Groothie, is a rich, green smoothie with organic apples, leafy greens, bananas and seasonal fruit. HipCityVeg is a definite go-to restaurant when traveling in Philadelphia!
127 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
214 S. 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104