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.
P.S. & Co.: 100% organic rustic cafe
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!
Charlie was a sinner: edgy vegan restaurant with an awesome bar
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.
Bar Bombón: Puerto Rican plant-based dishes with a twist
Vedge: upscale veg-based dining
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.
V-Street: vegan street eats from around the worldThis 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.
Sanctuary Yoga and Mindfulness & Rittenhouse Square: meditations & walks
Unique shopping experience: crystals and thrifting
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.
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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