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A Mindful Visit To Philadelphia: Vegan Eats, Meditation And More

Taylor
Published Feb 07, 2017

When Philadelphia comes to mind, the first thought to an outsider may be sports, the Liberty Bell and cheesesteaks. However, after a trip to Philly this past December, I was enlightened to the mindful gems this historic city has to offer. With one of the most vivacious vegan communities, Philadelphia has countless varieties of 100% plant based restaurants and cafes, catering to taste buds and interests for a plethora of diners. There are opportunities to take peaceful walks or pause the day with a 30 minute meditation. Philadelphia is also home to some unexpected shopping opportunities. Here are some of my most memorable finds during my travels in Philadelphia.

Top 3 activities to book in Philadelphia

P.S. & Co.: 100% organic rustic cafe

Lovely rustic cafe with amazing desserts
Source: Taylor Boyle

If you are looking for a quaint cafe to enjoy a 100% organic, vegan dessert made with love then stop by P.S. & Co, located at 1706 Locust St. This vibrant cafe started as a one woman show in Andrea’s kitchen in 2008 when she started shipping her homemade vegan desserts around the US. Since then her vision has grown into this lovely rustic cafe with plenty of natural light pouring in through big windows. A large variety of plants live throughout the space adding to the uplifting atmosphere. There is even outdoor seating available, perfect for the warmer seasons. The staff is friendly, fostering a homey environment.

The seasonal menu is full of tasty pastries, handcrafted cakes, plant based dishes, and a wide variety of juices. If you are in the mood for something savory, try the french bread pizza, the banana leaf tamales or the beet guac burger. If your mouth is watering for something sweet, order the chocolate chip quinoa pancakes, the coconut chia pudding with muesli or one of the seasonal scones. If you are looking for a liquid pick me up, the menu offers fresh cold pressed juices, superfood or protein smoothies, wellness shots, coffee and tea. One of these high quality organic meals at P.S. & Co will cost ~10-30 USD. The menu is so versatile offering a dish or drink for all palates. You can’t go wrong with something off this menu!

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

Charlie was a sinner: edgy vegan restaurant with an awesome bar

The Booze Doctor in action at Charlie was a sinner.
Source: Taylor Boyle

Take a seat at the bar of Charlie was a sinner, located at 131 S. 13th St, for an entertaining dining and drink experience for ~30–55 USD per person. The dark mood is smooth and romantic with casual, yet uplifting music playing. The space is dimly lit by soft aqua-colored cones and elegant clear beaded chandeliers. The walls are decorated with bookcases and sensual paintings. Even the bathroom has a sexy feel with candle lighting. If you catch the Booze Doctor, one of the very talented bartenders on staff, be sure to order Knights in White Satin, a concoction of Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Cocchi Americano, Dolin Blanc and applewood smoke. You will not regret the experience of watching him light apple wood on fire and sipping on your drink as the smoke slowly drifts off the top.

The intricately engineered drinks are not the only perk of this restaurant. The all-vegan menu is filled with so many good options that choosing can be a challenge. Fortunately the menu is tapas style so if you go with a group you can try a large variety of the delicious options. Some of the most memorable dishes for me were the light and refreshing beet salad, the crispy savory gnocchi and the rich and creamy chocolate mousse. Charlie was a sinner is the perfect nighttime venue for an intimate date or a girls/guys night out.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

Bar Bombón: Puerto Rican plant-based dishes with a twist

Bar Bombón
Source: Taylor Boyle

This Puerto-Rican vegan restaurant, located at 133 S. 18th St, has a happy uplifting aura. The brightly decorated walls are complimented by large windows that pour in plenty of natural light. Plants fill the room adding livelihood to the ambiance. The atmosphere is further complimented by a cheerful, amiable staff. This all vegetable-based restaurant offers a unique twist on Latin classics for ~15–35 USD per person. From Hearts of Palm Ceviche to the Mushroom Empanadas, Bar Bombón’s menu contains creatively designed dishes that will please carnivores, vegans and everyone in between. The menu even has a plant based Tres Leche, made with pineapple marmalade. The restaurant’s fully stocked bar is full of Latin treasures like the sweetly spiced Horchata. The creativity exhibited on this menu is truly impressive and will not let you down if your plant based palate is craving some Latin cuisine. And, as the website says, this fun atmosphere will truly make you want to “Fiesta now. Siesta Later.”

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

Vedge: upscale veg-based dining

Vedge, classy vegan eats
Source: Taylor Boyle

If you are looking for an elegant vegan dining experience, Vedge is the perfect spot for you. The ambiance is classy, quiet and upscale. The menu changes seasonally and provides a wide variety of ethnically diverse, uniquely prepared dishes that use absolutely no animal products. Located at 12th and Locust, a dining experience at Vedge will cost ~45–70 USD per person.

The dinner menu is broken down into three categories. The Vedge Bar offers appetizers like the refreshing stuffed avocado and the salty rutabaga fondue where you can dip pretzels and pickles into a creamy, flavorful vegan cheese. The Grill offers main course like the smoky wood roasted carrot and an Italian eggplant braciola dish with green salsa and cured olives. The Dirt List offers mouthwatering sides like shaved brussels sprouts with smoked mustard and garlicky campfire potatoes. Be sure to save room for dessert!

The dessert menu is full of beautifully presented, delicious plates with a Vedge spin on classic favorites like toffee pudding and lemon cheesecake with tangerine ice cream.

The drink menu has handcrafted Vedge specials with a fantastically spicy ginger beer and a sweet cold cider. Both owners are native to Philly and have certainly met their goal of raising the bar for vegetable cuisine for all eaters, both vegans and carnivores alike.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

V-Street: vegan street eats from around the world

This cool, laid-back gem, located at 126 S. 19th St offers vegan renditions of classic street food for ~20–40 USD per person. The mood is laid back, set by the happy music and dim, stranded-bulb lighting. The décor has a vintage feel with brick and gray washed walls and worn wooden bar stools. The dishes are tapas style, small and shareable. This eclectic menu offers vegan renditions of a wide variety of street food classics. V-Street is the perfect spot for a low-key lunch or a casual dinner.

The options touch many different ethnicities. If you are in the mood for Italian, order the Farinata, a personal pizza-like bread with broccoli rabe. If you are craving Asian cuisine, the Korean fried tacos or the Dan Dan noodles won’t let you down. The Carrot Asado is great if you are looking for BBQ. V Street also offers some awesome sweets, happy hour drink and food specials and brunch. Between the diverse menu and the chill vibes, V street is the perfect spot for a casual get together or a happy hour gathering.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

Sanctuary Yoga and Mindfulness & Rittenhouse Square: meditations & walks

Rittenhouse Sqaure
Source: Taylor Boyle

If you are looking to take thirty minutes to ground yourself, check out Sanctuary Yoga and Mindfulness at 1233 Locust Street for a guided meditation. Daily mindfulness meditations in this quiet, calming space cost 5 USD. The teacher will walk you through different breathing and mantra techniques while peaceful music plays in the background. Check out the schedule in the link below to find a time that suits you. If you are still in the mood for some introspection, Rittenhouse Square is just a fifteen minute walk away. Here you can walk through one of Philadelphia’s historic parks filled with plenty of trees and benches, making it the perfect spot to read a book or just sit and reflect.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

Unique shopping experience: crystals and thrifting

Mineralistic crystal shop
Source: Taylor Boyle

Philadelphia is home to several pretty unique shops. Mineralistic is a crystal shop located at 319 South St. with plenty of hidden surprises like tarot cards and incense. There are multiple rooms with crystals of all shapes, colors and sizes. The owner has a book explaining the metaphysical and healing properties behind each crystal and can help you find a stone specific to your needs.

Around the block from Mineralistic you can check out Philly AIDS Thrift at 710 S. 5th St. All of the proceeds of this awesome, quirky thrift shop/non-profit go to local Philadelphia organizations involved with the fight against HIV/AIDS. To date, the organization has been able to contribute over 1.5 million USD to the cause! In this store, you can find all sorts of treasures from clothes to old records and movies, and even kitchenware. While I was there I even stumbled upon a lava lamp.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Philadelphia and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, home of the Eagles and incredible vegan cuisine

So, Philadelphia is not just sports after all. There are plenty of activities for the mindful seeker. Whether you are vegan or a carnivore, on your next trip to Philadelphia be sure to check out some of these incredibly unique and diverse vegan restaurants for a fantastic dining experience. If you need a meditation break, join a group at Sanctuary Mindfulness and Yoga or take a walk through Rittenhouse Square. If you are looking to shop with a cause, head over to Philly AIDS Thrift. Mindfulness can be easier on your next trip to Philadelphia.

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I have a passion for yoga, mindfulness, meditation. As a yoga teacher, my goal is to use yoga philosophy and techniques to foster positivity and self-love, and create a happy, healthy, harmonious...Read more

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