Road Trip! - Philadelphia
As I mentioned in the Vegan Food Fest Toronto post, Drew and I went on a two week road trip to Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Murphy, NC. It was an amazing trip! Philadelphia was the first stop on the trip.
To be honest, Philadelphia was not my favorite city as a whole. I really enjoy walking around cities when I visit. As you can tell by this blog, a primary hobby of mine when traveling is eating, so walking is a great way to balance that out and make sure I get to eat as much as possible without coming back ten pounds heavier. Plus, I feel like it's one of the best ways to really see the city. I love being in the middle of it all and not just being shuttled from one tourist hotspot or restaurant to the next. Unfortunately, Philadelphia was one of the least walkable cities I've been to in terms of safety. In places like NY and San Francisco, I've been able to walk from place to place and feel relatively confident that as long as I'm going from one place in an okay area to another place in an okay area, that the walk would be fairly safe. That was not the case in Philadelphia.
But, on the bright side, the food in the city was fantastic!
What We Ate:
Blackbird Pizza - This was our first stop in Philly! We had heard great things about it and we were really excited to try an all vegan pizza place. We were not disappointed! Fantastic pizzas and their philly cheese steak was also delicious. We got the Funghi and the Balboa pizzas.
Vedge - Vedge is an award winning all-vegan restaurant that has been ranked one of the best restaurants in the country, period. Not just the best vegan restaurants. It definitely lived up to the hype. I loved that it was all whole foods, like mushrooms and eggplant, that formed the bases of their dishes instead of being heavily seitan or soy-based like many vegan restaurants. We went all out and had two small plates from each of their menu sections. Absolutely everything was delicious, plus the waitstaff were incredible and super knowledgeable and passionate about the food.
Charlie Was A Sinner - This was a great cocktail bar with some delicious small plates. We went there for drinks right after leaving Vedge, so we were stuffed but we managed to rally and try a few of the small plates anyway 😉. We had the charred shishito peppers and the ramen. The peppers were so delicious they inspired me to create my own at home later. The food was delicious but the standout of this place is definitely their cocktails, and especially the staffs knowledge of them! Our waitress explained the drinks using phrases like "spirit forward" to let you know exactly how strong or bitter they were going to be before you ordered them, so you didn't wind up with a cocktail that wasn't to your liking.
Grindcore House - This was my favorite place in Philly and even though it was the farthest place to get to for us from our AirBnB, we wound up hanging out there a lot. Great coffee, amazing vegan pastries including donuts and cheese danishes, and an awesome anarchist, punk rock kind of vibe.
Bar Bombón - This is a Puerto Rican restaurant in Center City that has a large variety of cocktails, a brunch menu, and small plates. The buffalo cauliflower tacos were very good, though honestly this place wasn't my favorite. The taco portion wasn't super filling, though Andrew got the nachos and that was a huge plate, so portion sizes definitely vary by what you order. The main reason we went there was to try their tres leches cake. I'm a huge tres leches fan and it was my absolute favorite dessert before going vegan, so I was really excited to try a vegan version for the first time. Honestly though, while it was a delicious cake, I wouldn't really call it a tres leches. It was super heavy on the coconut flavor and wasn't as moist you'd typically expect from a tres leches. So, I was a bit disappointed but obviously I still ate it all because I've never met a cake I didn't like 💁!
Overall, even though I didn't love Philly as a city I definitely loved it's food! We didn't even get to try a half of all of the vegan restaurants they have there and I'll definitely have to plan a trip back to try the rest!