Vegan & Vegetarian Show Stealers

Photo courtesy of V Street

Photo courtesy of V Street

by Emily Kovach

We have many culinary treasures to take pride in, but one of the greatest is the fact that no vegan, vegetarian or health conscious diner will go hungry on our watch. But, to echo omnivorous local food enthusiasts who are reminding the world that Philly is about more than cheesesteaks, same goes for the meat-free set.
There is so much excellent plant-based food around here, it would be a shame to look no further than seitan and cheese on a roll. These guys steal the show.

Bar Bombón
133 S. 18th St. 
Loaded nachos, chicken enchiladas and red chorizo tacos may not sound like typical vegan fare, but this cheery bar occupying an unassuming small corner on 18th Street is full of surprises. Traditional Puerto Rican recipes are made over and modernized with vegetables and plant-based proteins (homemade tortillas, too), and the bar keeps pace with an alluring list of fruit- forward margaritas and cocktails. 

Cedar Point 
2370 E. Norris St.
While Cedar Point is not strictly veg, it offers plenty of mouthwatering choices: veggie wings, cauliflower fritters and a pulled portobello sandwich among them. At brunch, vegans can choose happily between sweet and savory, by subbing plantain cakes for eggs in dishes like the Red Flannel Hash or opting for the dairy-free oatmeal waffles.  

Flora
307 York Road, Jenkintown, Pa.
Seasonal, local produce takes front and center stage at this self-proclaimed “vegetable restaurant” in the North Philly ’burbs. Every menu item exalts fruits and vegetables (e.g. tomato and spiced eggplant tart, with smoked corn, pesto, white balsamic, arugula and mint), providing wonderful reminders of just how much is possible with plants and grains and creativity.

Miss Rachel’s Pantry
1938 S. Chadwick St.
The weekly, by-reservation-only prix fixe Farmhouse Table Dinners at this adorable café in Newbold bring a convivial dinner party vibe to dining out. Sitting at a communal table with a group of strangers is more fun than it sounds (honestly!), and the six courses from the buzzing kitchen are flavor-packed, refined vegan comfort food. 

Stock
308 E. Girard Ave.
Great vegetarian pho can be elusive—often a bland, watery broth replaces the rich depth of its meaty counterpart. But at Stock, an 18-seat BYOB in Fishtown, the vegan mushroom pho broth is complex, layered and earthy, brimming with tofu, herbs and tangles of rice noodles. Not feeling the soup? Tofu bánh mì, spicy peanut noodles and curries are equally delicious. 

Su Xing House Restaurant
1508 Sansom St. 
Vegan Chinese is major comfort food, and while there are dozens of eateries in Chinatown to find General Tso’s tofu, there’s something special about Su Xing. Greasy, over-sauced mock meats take a back seat to vegetable laden dishes, many featuring incredibly textured mushrooms. Their lunch special, a multidish affair for under $10, is one of Center City’s hidden gems. 

V Street
126 S. 19th St.
V Street, the hipper, younger cousin to the much-lauded Vedge—both owned by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby—draws a crowd with its plant-based street food and solid drink menu. Painted with a global palette of spices, veggies get dressed up in all kinds of clever ways, like the grilled corn dusted with za’atar and slicked with butter spiked with an intense Yemeni green chili paste called zhoug.