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Hip city veg: Philadelphia, Penn.

Hip city veg: Philadelphia, Penn.

22nd & Philly is a popular blog sharing experiences with the restaurants, food culture and lifestyle in Philadelphia region. We are normal everyday neighbors with a passion to share.

My vegetarian Sandwich Quest search has finally found a sandwich worth recomending to omnivores. The Crispy HipCity Ranch from HipCityVeg more than met my expectations for a solid sandwich. Veggie or not.

Unlike the disappointing vegetarian cheesesteaks from Govinda's and Blackbird, the battered "chick'n" didn’t leave a bland aftertaste and the chick'n was solid enough to sink your teeth into. The batter was even extra crispy like the name implies. Plus the peppercorn ranch sauce was excellent - and I do not care much for ranch flavors.

At $8.50, the crispy chick'n is not cheap, but still comparable on price to other good sammies such as Paesano's Bolognese at $8.

I would agree with a post from Philly Phoodie that the sauce is all over the place when opening the sandwich, so watch out. Still, many good sandwiches are messy - the roast beef at John’s Pork is another messy one I ate recently. His analogy of the taste being like a sassy fried chicken from McDonald's is fair except my stomach didn't feel like a ton of bricks after eating or give me that inadequate disgusted feeling. I'm sure the HipCityVeg folks would have a fit over even a subtle comparison to McDonald's.

I’m sticking to my guns about vegetarian sandwich observations and wish they were not compared to real chicken. The HipCityVeg sandwich still did not offer the juiciness of actual chicken meat and I’m inclined to think first-timers will not like it because of their pre-conceived expectations. Just call the dang thing a battered soy sandwich or whatever it's made from.

The cashier said the Crispy HipCity Ranch is the top seller, but other sandwiches on the menu looked good, too. HipCityVeg is not at the top of my Sandwich Quest list, but I’ll visit again and have no qualms about bringing a skeptic friend to try.

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10 Vegan Dining Spots in Philadelphia’s Western Suburbs

Ambler Vegan Company
Opening this month, Ambler Vegan Company is Black-owned 100-percent vegan restaurant. The menu offers everything from vegan nachos and “brrgrrs” to smoothies and Whips (frozen fruit shakes). 20 East Butler Avenue, Ambler

Blue Pearl Café
This Ardmore eatery specializes in a variety of plant-based breakfast and lunch items, plus smoothies and juices. Takeout and outdoor dining available. 2901 Normandy Road, Ardmore

This creative spot reimagines some of your favorite boardwalk treats with a plant-based twist. Treat yourself to vegan cotton candy, ice cream, mac and “cheez” and more. Curbside pickup and limited sidewalk seating. 28 N. Manoa Road, Havertown.

This Chester County favorite offers a vegan take on Italian and Mexican cuisine, plus brunch. Passionate about supporting local charities, the cafe is currently partnered with Support + Feed Philly, an initiative that aids those impacted by COVID-19. Curbside pickup and limited dine-in seating. 81 Lancaster Ave., Great Valley Shopping Center, Malvern.

Adopting a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite comfort foods. This Latina-owned business makes it easier with its vegan HipCity burgers, Chick’n sandwiches and nuggets, and rich milkshakes—all made with 100-percent organic ingredients and served in compostable packaging. 232 N. Radnor Chester Road, Radnor 76 Coulter Ave., Suite 18, Ardmore.

You can make your own healthy meals and bowls at this popular spot in MOM’s Organic Market. Naked Lunch specializes in a variety of grab-and-go organic vegan and gluten-free options, plus organic raw juices. 1149 E. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr.

Expect artfully crafted plates of fresh organic food, smoothies, acai bowls and cleansing juices. 767 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne.

This organic, vegan, gluten-free restaurant unites the community in stewardship, mindfulness healthy eating. Donation-based (pay what you can) and waste-free, it offers meal selections three times a day. Takeout and limited dine-in seating. 1007 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr.

Authentic Chinese cuisine meets fundamental plant-based cooking at SuTao. Takeout and delivery orders. 81 Lancaster Ave., Great Valley Shopping Center, Malvern.

A KOP destination for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options made with ingredients “sourced with integrity.” Family meals and cocktails to-go. Patio dining, pickup and delivery. 239 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia.

Black Teen Activist Haile Thomas and HipCityVeg Launch Vegan Sandwich to Support Charity

Today, Philadelphia-based vegan fast-casual chain HipCityVeg will soft-launch the Oh Maitake Beyond Burger in partnership with 19-year-old vegan activist Haile Thomas. The burger was created to support the local community with $1 from each sale going to help vegan nonprofit Support + Feed deliver plant-based meals to families in Philadelphia and DC who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oh Maitake Beyond Burger features crispy maitake mushrooms, herb spread, iceberg lettuce, pickled red onions, alfalfa sprouts, and smoked gouda cheese, all piled on a gluten-free bun. On the official launch date on November 12, the first 25 customers to order the burger in each store will receive a free order of sweet potato French fries.

Thomas and HipCityVeg Founder and CEO Nicole Marquis collaborated on the project because it reflects their shared commitment to making plant-based meals and fighting food insecurity. Thomas rose to prominence at age 12, when she created a non-profit organization to empower and educate youth in underserved communities and to address their need for affordable plant-based nutrition and wellness education.

&ldquoI&rsquove always wanted to work on a purposeful partnership with a vegan restaurant. The way this one is aligned in our personal stories and is supporting communities through sales of a plant-based burger makes it so deeply meaningful,&rdquo Thomas said. &ldquoIt&rsquos incredibly important to bring some light into dark times. Our intention is for this collaboration to do that for consumers and the communities we are supporting.&rdquo

Support + Feed is an initiative created by vegan climate activist Maggie Baird&mdashwho is the mother of musicians Billie Eilish and Finneas&mdashin response to the pandemic and the growing issue of food insecurity in BIPOC communities. HipCityVeg is part of the initiative&rsquos Philadelphia chapter, which launched in May and has delivered thousands of plant-based meals through local organizations serving the community. Additional chapters of Support + Feed are in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC.

Photo Credit: Alexsey Reyes/Andre Rucker

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Get the BEST vegan recipes , travel, celebrity interviews , product picks , and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine . Find out why VegNews is the world&rsquos #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today !

To Make

31. Vegan Tofu & Pineapple Sandwich

Taken (with permission) out of the pages of vegan foodie Dustin Harder&rsquos Epic Vegan cookbook, this handhold is bright, tangy, smokey, and sweet. It may not be traditional, but you&rsquoll soon crave this earthy spiced tofu-and-tropical-slaw combination.

32. Vegan Croque Madame

Just as the Reuben has a Rachel, the Croque Monsieur has a Croque Madame. This Frenchified grilled cheese gets a brunch twist by sandwiching eggy tofu, vegan deli slices, and gooey cheese with two thick slices of savory French toast.

33. Pumpkin, Pear, and Candied Pecan Grilled Cheese

The flavor combinations that work with grilled cheese are infinite, but we&rsquore particularly fond of this autumnal creation. You could wait until PSL season or find a can of pumpkin in the middle of May and treat yourself!

34. Vegan Lobster Rolls

You don&rsquot see vegan lobster rolls too often (if at all, in many parts of the country), so you might as well learn to make your own. The ingredient list and preparation is simple. With a can of hearts of palm, Old Bay seasoning, and some vegan mayo, you can have a seaside treat ready in a few minutes.

35. Vegan Tofu Bánh Mì

You really have to try a bánh mì to experience its excellence. It&rsquos fusion food at its finest, and the combination of glazed tofu, crunchy cool pickled veggies, and a crackly baguette complement each other extremely well. One bite, and you&rsquoll get it.

36. Tempeh Sandwiches

These sturdy sandwiches are a plant-based rendition of the classic Italian American sausage-and-pepper hoagie. Marinated tempeh stands in for the meaty element, and the peppers offer texture and a bit of a kick. This handhold only gets better as it sits, so pack it for a picnic and enjoy the outdoors.

37. Tuna-Less Sandwiches

Every vegan needs this basic recipe in their arsenal. Even if you weren&rsquot a fan of fish-based tuna back in the pre-vegan days, this chickpea-and-nori-based recipe is universally loved. Our tip to you: make a large batch at the beginning of the week then use it to stuff your sandwiches, salads, and wraps all week long.

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do ?
Get the BEST vegan recipes , travel, celebrity interviews , product picks , and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine . Find out why VegNews is the world&rsquos #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today !

7 BIPOC-led restaurants helping Philadelphia’s communities access fresh foods

Nourish Cafe and Juice Bar

Nourish Cafe and Juice Bar is a soulful restaurant that’s packed every day of the week. It’s located in the Italian Market, the country’s oldest continuously operated outdoor market. In the corner, they sell sea moss, a type of seaweed touted for its health properties, and shea butter.

Behind the counter, you’ll find the co-owner, Sarah Scandone, an Italian American Rastafarian. She and her Jamaican partner, who asked to remain anonymous, have become familiar faces to locals, as they first owned Hibiscus Cafe in West Philly. “I’ve owned vegan restaurants for 20 years now, and it’s just really to be able to provide our community with healthy food and an option to be able to change what their norm is,” Scandone says.

The urban center of Philadelphia has pockets of food deserts—areas where it’s hard to access fresh, healthy foods—leaving many residents to rely on corner convenience stores or bodegas for grocery shopping. Scandone explains, “We want to reach people that need nutrition and help to change their environment, their consciousness, and condition.

We want to normalize vegan food and normalize that it can be delicious and healthy as well.” A few crowd favorites on the menu at Nourish are the vegan lettuce-wrapped fried chicken sandwich made with enoki mushrooms and plantain nuggets.

Hip City Veg

Nicole Marquis owns the Hip City Veg chain, as well as Charlie was a Sinner, an upscale small plates restaurant, and the Latinx-themed Bar Bombon. She became vegan to improve her health and the health of her family, which hails from Puerto Rico.

She’s seen how the pandemic has hurt marginalized groups in Philly. One of the missions that she took up this year was getting fresh plant-based options to those in need.

Partnering with Support and Feed has been a success—it’s a vegan non-profit founded by Maggie Baird, a PETA Humanitarian Award-winner, and mom to Billie Eilish. Marquis told LIVEKINDLY, “We’ve been basically feeding the community every day with Support and Feed. First, we delivered about 3,000 meals to frontline workers right after the pandemic. Now we’ve pivoted and have delivered over 2,000 meals to communities that are hardest hit and most vulnerable.”

Hip City Veg offers fast casual options like chicken sandwiches, a buffalo portobello burger, and a banana-based ice cream alternative. Charlie was a Sinner offers cocktails made with fresh juices and herbs, and Bar Bombon makes Cuban sandwiches and cheesesteak empanadas with homemade spicy ketchup.

Unit Su Vege

Sometimes activism is simply representation. In cities such as Philadelphia which contain pockets of international communities—from Chinese to Dominican to Vietnamese—cultural cuisine is king. Many BIPOC restaurants are offering healthier eating choices to their communities by serving vegan options of traditional cultural dishes.

Unit Su Vege, the second vegetarian Chinese restaurant from Yi Wu and family, is a favorite for vegans and meat eaters alike. Their first restaurant, Su Xing House, opened 14 years ago, at the insistence of wife Nancy Lin, who is a vegetarian. They sold it to their friend in 2018, and then their children wanted to open Unit Su in 2019.

Unit Su is situated near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and features a 90-percent vegan menu with every dim sum favorite. Unit Su makes vegan eating approachable using seitan to match textures and flavors of popular dishes such as Peking duck, char siu bao pork buns, and soup dumplings.


2020 newcomer Veganish owner Lamarr Ingram slowly became vegan after getting sick during the mad cow disease epidemic. According to Ingram, “I believe people are looking for healthy options. We want to introduce it to the community and let people experience it.”

Veganish opened right before the pandemic, a scary time for Ingram, who was already pushing back against anxiety about opening in a low-income area. Some critics were concerned that the people in that neighborhood wouldn’t want what he was selling, but he knew what it was like to travel outside of his neighborhood for vegan food.

“It wasn’t about making money,” he says. “I felt like I owed this to my community and to my culture to be able to do what I can do my part to try to make a difference. People definitely don’t expect people from that area to eat well—not even me. I go into places and people look at me like, what are you doing here. People think that it’s only for a certain class or a certain race of people.”

The restaurant offers plant-based and pescatarian versions of standbys like burritos, chicken cheesesteaks, and burgers.

Sweet Treat Hut

Antwain Bullock is the owner of Sweet Treat Hut, which is a few blocks from Veganish, and he believes that his juice bars have empowered healthy eating and entrepreneurship. “We didn’t just want to be the healthy juice bar. We wanted to be the equity owner,” he says.

Bullock is visible in the community, hosting block parties and book giveaways. He even adopted a school. “Now we’re trying to figure out how to get a smoothie in every kid’s hand before they get to a certain age, and it’s a battle—a personal one,” he says. “I grew up in Philadelphia, and I can now look back and see it is a school to prison pipeline.” He believes a contributing factor is hunger.

“What do you expect when there’s no food, resources, or a school yard? People are hangry and they’re fighting. When we fight, they call us animals. Take away the healthy food and give them a bunch of processed sugar, and you have nothing but hungry animals,” he says.

Bullock’s efforts to create equity include creating a vibe that makes customers feel comfortable staying, like a barbershop or salon. Just like these staples of the Black community, customers are discussing building wealth and creating opportunities, which inspired Bullock to start offering franchising meetings, teaching members of the community how to grow their own Sweet Treat or other health-based businesses. “99 percent of my meetings are African American,” he says. “People on the outside don’t believe it, but we do want to be successful, and we do want to be healthy.”

The Nile Cafe

The Nile Cafe is the oldest and longest-running vegan restaurant in the city, and it has been propped up by the Black community it serves. Spaces within the restaurant are often reserved for community education and events, which cover everything from Black history and healthy eating, to pop-up shops supporting other Black businesses. While the entire menu is delicious, they are known for their dairy-free baked goods, and vegan pepper steak, jerk chicken, and fried fish.

Supreme Oasis Bakery and Deli

Setting foot into Supreme Oasis Bakery and Deli is a reminder of how good health is a core value for many aspects of Black culture. To your right is a mugshot of a nefarious pig, saying that Mr. Hog is wanted for murder—a commentary on the owner’s devout Muslim views on consuming pork. There’s also a photo of Prophet Elijah Muhammed, as well as a copy of his book. That is because Nuyen Muhammad, the friendliest owner on the planet, is a part of the Nation of Islam (NOI). She has also been fighting to reverse the effects of common diseases in the Black community, often caused by poor eating habits.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Black people have a greater risk of developing hypertension and type II diabetes. Many families of color eat the way the’ve been eating for years, influenced by the historic lack of access to fresh health foods, dating back to slavery. While her restaurant is not completely vegan, Muhammad is, and offers products comparable in texture and taste to traditional items, such as fried shrimp, bean pies (a NOI staple) and banana pudding.

Muhammad uses the delivery service Black and Mobile, which took off during the pandemic and helped to keep Black businesses thriving. Black and Mobile Founder David Cabello was a delivery person for UberEats, Postmates, and Caviar, and after seeing his earning potential and the fact that there were no Black-owned delivery services, he decided to start his own. He has made Black restaurants more accessible and has expanded out of Philadelphia to Detroit, Baltimore, and Atlanta.

Philly’s BIPOC vegan communities and restaurants rally around each other in times of need. This summer, Nourish’s South Street location burned down. Luckily, within months, they were able to move into their South Philly location.

Scandone explains, “The community was very supportive. I felt like, not only had my employees and I suffered a loss, but the community showed up just to show their love and show their support. Their desire to donate and watch us rebuild was one of the reasons we reopened so quickly. It wasn’t just for us, but for our patrons, too.”

The vegans of color in Philadelphia are an extension of its brotherly love, and their work at building and supporting their communities offer a pledge to ensure that POC-led businesses succeed.

We Ate All the Vegan Cheesesteaks in Philly to Find the Best and the Worst (And They Were All Bomb)

Just because we don’t eat meat or dairy doesn’t mean we don’t crave a good ol’ cheesesteak as much as the next guy. Luckily, Philadelphia totally gets that, as more restaurants are currently offering vegan versions of the beloved sandwich. In fact, plant-based cheesesteaks have become so ubiquitous in the City of Brotherly Love that began an annual Best Vegan Cheesesteak Contest a few years ago, which is still going strong. So, whether you like your cheesesteaks with chicken, in a burrito, or “wiz wit” (cheese whiz with onions), Philly has a vegan version for all types of cheesesteak-loving people.

1. Seitan cheesesteak at Blackbird Pizzeria
Winner of multiple Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly contests, Blackbird Pizzeria has everything one would want in a traditional cheesesteak, but without the animal products. Well-seasoned, thinly sliced seitan is topped with vegan whiz and grilled peppers and onions served in a freshly baked hoagie roll. We don’t know what they put in their whiz, but we know it’s glorious and want to put it on everything. In fact, we highly recommend getting some fries with whiz on the side. You won’t regret it.

2. Philly Chicken Cheesesteak at Govinda’s Gourmet Vegetarian
Ask anyone what they get when they go to Govinda’s Gourmet Vegetarian, and they’ll most likely tell you the chicken cheesesteak. While many vegan steaks are made with seitan, Govinda’s makes the elusive vegan chicken cheesesteak. Topped with grilled peppers, vegan mayonnaise, and vegan cheese, this delicious meal will make you cry tears of joy (at least on the inside). Add some ketchup and hot sauce to the sandwich for some added zing—just be sure you have napkins nearby.

3. Vegan Cheesesteak Burrito at Cantina Dos Segundos
Unlike the rest of the sandwiches on this list (which are served on a traditional hoagie roll), Cantina Dos Segundos serves its cheesesteak in burrito form. Filled with seitan, vegan cheese, fried yucca, lettuce, chipotle onions, and smoked mushroom ketchup, this burrito is large enough to split and still feel too, full. The juxtaposition of texture from the soft tortilla, chewy seitan, and crunchy yucca and lettuce is wonderful, while the smokiness from the ketchup and chipotle adds a nice kick.

4. Wiz Kid Philly at Wiz Kid
A relative newcomer to Philadelphia, Wiz Kid is a casual restaurant from the people behind Vedge and V Street. Similar to the Blackbird cheesesteak, this sandwich takes a more traditional route with seitan, mushrooms, fried onion, and an amazing rutabaga wiz. If you’re looking for something a little less traditional, go with the sabich steak, which also comes with grilled eggplant, whipped tahini, Israeli salad, and harissa tofu.

5. Philly Steak at HipCityVeg
Philly loves its sandwiches. Because of this, sometimes it’s difficult to choose whether we want a cheesesteak or a hoagie, so we decided not to choose, and thus the cheesesteak hoagie was born. HipCityVeg’s version includes pulled steak, grilled onion, mushroom, lettuce, tomato, and ketchup on a whole-wheat hoagie roll. The freshness from the lettuce and tomato pairs beautifully with the warmth of the steak, onion, and mushrooms. If you’ve never tried a cheesesteak this way, you need to.

Perri Lerner is a Philadelphia native living and eating her way around Portland, OR.

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do ?
Get the BEST vegan recipes , travel, celebrity interviews , product picks , and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine . Find out why VegNews is the world&rsquos #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today !

In the City of the Cheese Steak, Vegans Feel at Home

What do you call a Philly cheese steak with no cheese and no steak?

It sounds like the setup to a punch line. But there’s nothing to laugh at when it comes to eating vegan in Philadelphia, which, in the last few years, has blossomed into a dynamic universe of vegan food, from old-school doughnuts to adventuresome tacos. Veganism is so hot that the city declared last Nov. 1 Philly Vegan Day.

“There’s a new energy here,” said Mike Barone, the owner of Grindcore House, a vegan coffee spot in South Philadelphia, famously an Italian neighborhood that’s undergone a restaurant renaissance near the grand Passyunk fountain. “You can go out to more places that are vegan. A lot of other places are accommodating, and that’s snowballing.”

Philadelphia’s vegan cheerleaders say what’s happening comes from living in a food-curious city where it’s cheap to explore new ground.

“It’s affordable to live in and do business here,” said Jeff Poleon, a co-owner of Dottie’s Donuts, a wholesale bakery where doughnuts are made with coconut milk and egg substitute, and the glazes are infused with homemade preserves and nut butters. “People are willing to try something new. The fact that it’s vegan is almost secondary.” Mr. Poleon opened a brick-and-mortar shop in March in West Philadelphia.

Much credit for the city’s vegan boom goes to Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, a husband and wife team whose “vegetable restaurant” Vedge ( opened in 2011 in a townhouse near the trendy 13th Street neighborhood. (Horizons, their previous restaurant, helped endear the city to vegan eating.) The menu emphasizes seasonal vegetables and hearty, savory proteins like tofu and seitan (wheat gluten).

“We are cooking good food,” Mr. Landau said. “I don’t think most of our clientele care that it’s vegan.” Last year Philadelphia magazine named Vedge and V Street among the best 50 restaurants in town, calling Vedge “our favorite place to send anyone looking for a true taste of Philly talent.”

In 2014 Mr. Landau and Ms. Jacoby opened V Street (, a street-food restaurant in the tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood that focuses on “the spicier, edgier stuff,” as Mr. Landau put it. There you’ll find Korean fried tempeh tacos to go with your crispy Peruvian fries.

Also igniting the city’s vegan fire is Nicole Marquis, who runs a mini-empire of vegan restaurants. Bar Bombón (, which opened last August near Rittenhouse Square, upends the typically meat-heavy cuisines of Latin America with vegan versions of foods like fish tacos and chorizo-filled empanadas.

“I’m trying to appeal to the masses, to the person who never thought it was possible to eat a meatless meal but tries the food and goes, ‘I like this,’ ” said Ms. Marquis, whose mother is Puerto Rican.

Among the hot restaurants lining 13th Street is Ms. Marquis’s Charlie Was a Sinner (, an upscale restaurant offering small plates like tofu and bean sausage and, for dessert, chocolate pot de crème with rum-soaked bananas. (The name of the restaurant “felt like the first sentence of a novel,” said Ms. Marquis.) Hip City Veg (, near Rittenhouse Square and University City, is Ms. Marquis’s fast-casual concept that does a brisk business in its juicy battered “chick’n” sandwich. New locations are set to open in Washington, D.C., this spring and near City Hall in Philadelphia this summer.

Although her veganism is rooted in a “deep personal mission to end animal suffering,” Ms. Marquis said she’s focused on an “approachable brand with delicious food,” not preaching.


“No one wants to hear about factory farming when you’re about to order a sandwich,” she said. “But we have the same outcome: There’s one less meat-filled meal that’s eaten every time I serve a sandwich.”

Political veganism is at home at Grindcore House (, a vibrant storefront cafe with a logo drawn in the style of a death metal band. In addition to serving seasonal cream cheeses with a side of metal on the sound system, Grindcore is a meeting place for animal rights groups and a hangout for straight-edge vegans who eschew not just eating animals and animal products but also drugs, alcohol and smoking. It also attracts many nonvegan artists, musicians and other professionals who call South Philly home.

“The staff is pretty welcoming despite how abrasive it might look,” Mr. Barone said with a laugh.

Mark Mebus, a co-owner of the Society Hill all-vegan pizzeria Blackbird (, said the enthusiasm that’s driving Philadelphia’s vegan scene reminds him of his early days as a vegan convert.

“We’d heard that the natural flavors in ketchup contained beef powder so none of my friends ate ketchup because of that,” said Mr. Mebus, whose restaurant serves vegan reboots of cheese steaks and calzones. “We were kids. We were gung-ho about everything.”


R ich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s buzzy Vedge is a “vegan” restaurant. But, more importantly, it’s a restaurant that can transform humble rutabagas into a fondue so complex and creamy that you might try to drink it with a straw when no one’s looking. A restaurant that can get a crusty sear on a slab of meaty maitake mushroom to rival most steakhouses’ treatment of a NY strip. A restaurant that understands both the beauty of local, seasonal vegetables and the cook’s responsibility to treat them in a way that appeals not just to locavores and animal-rights activists and nutritionists but to, you know, the rest of us, too. The space—a warmly restored 19th-century mansion replete with grand fireplaces and walnut wainscoting—feels at once homey and elegant. The bitters and shrubs are house-made the wine list left-of-center the draft list smart. And a meal comprised of lighter vegetable-based fare means more room for seriously interesting desserts—think cedar-infused ice cream and BBQ pecans. This is all to say that Vedge may be a “vegan” restaurant to some, but to us it’s just a great place to eat, full stop.

PRO TIP: Reservations very much recommended, especially on weekends (try to book at least a month out for prime times), though a few high-tops and bar seats are always available on a first-come, first-served basis.

HipCityVeg to the rescue

In 2012, Marquis opened the first HipCityVeg location in Philadelphia&rsquos Rittenhouse Square area and has since expanded to five Philadelphia locations and two more in Washington, DC, with additional outposts planned for 2021. The chain serves a menu of vegan American classics such as breakfast sandwiches filled with Lightlife&rsquos smoky bacon, JUST Egg, and vegan gouda cheese customizable Beyond Burgers vegan chicken sandwiches and nuggets and much more.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Marquis fought to keep restaurants afloat and supported the local community with a variety of initiatives. Last April, Marquis partnered with NBA star Malik &ldquoShake&rdquo Milton (of the Philadelphia 76ers) to donate 500 vegan meals and milkshakes to frontline medical workers in Philadelphia and created a donation fund to allow for additional meal donations. A group of companies&mdashincluding Daiya, Beyond Meat, Gardein, and Follow Your Heart&mdashdonated cash and in-kind donations to the fund valued at more than $5,000 allowing HipCityVeg to distribute 1,500 more vegan meals to medical staff during the height of the pandemic.

In November, HipCityVeg partnered with 19-year-old vegan and social justice activist Haile Thomas to create the Oh Maitake Beyond Burger, a vegan burger with a purpose. The chain now donates $1 from every sale of the Oh Maitake Beyond Burger to Support + Feed, an initiative created by vegan climate activist Maggie Baird&mdashthe mother of musicians Billie Eilish and Finneas O&rsquoConnell&mdashin response to the pandemic and the growing issue of food insecurity in BIPOC communities.

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do ?
Get the BEST vegan recipes , travel, celebrity interviews , product picks , and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine . Find out why VegNews is the world&rsquos #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today !

Andrea Szyper

About me
I’ve lived in Philadelphia since 1995 and worked in travel for just as long. My company, Untours, specializes in European apartment stays and vacations that emphasize connection with the local culture. I coordinate our communications and marketing.

My travels have taken me to Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, and all over Europe. I’ve learned to tap the kindness of friendly natives to discover the best of the places I visit. I hope my contributions here can do a little to return the favor.

Why Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is so rich with history, culture, and art, but it is a down-to-earth place. Beyond its historic landmarks, you’ll find a vibrant street life. Farmers’ markets and food trucks fill the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Colorful murals and community gardens brighten the city’s richest and poorest corners.

Philadelphia has a beer scene second only to Portland. The city’s extensive parks and green spaces, miles of hiking and bike trails, pop-up beer gardens, and countless family attractions add to the high quality of life here. This city has something for everyone!