We always love to visit Philadelphia and every time we go back we get the opportunity to try a few new places. At the center of it all though, within a 1 mile radius of one another, are four exquisite vegan restaurants. First there was fine dining at Vedge followed by fast food at HipCityVeg. Then Nicole Marquis, the founder of HipCityVeg, opened the vegan bar Charlie Was a Sinner; while Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, the chefs and owners behind Vedge, opened their globally inspired vegan street food restaurant V Street. All four are in Center City and within reasonable walking distance of one another and many hotels. (*HipCityVeg also has a second location further from the city center, near Penn)
In the last month we returned to Philadelphia for two quick trips and have a recap of our visits to all four of these restaurants.
If Happy Hour is your thing, you’re in luck because Vedge, Charlie Was a Sinner and V Street all offer happy hour menus. Vedge has the most substantial food offerings for a happy hour menu while Charlie Was a Sinner had the best deals. V Street offers small nibbles that left us feeling like you’re better off ordering food from the main menu.
Happy Hour at Vedge Restaurant
We’ve had dinner at Vedge on a few occasions but for this trip we decided to do something different and try their happy hour. The food on the happy hour menu delivered the same flavor and creativity that you get from the main menu, just with more casual offerings like the ‘Maitake Steak Wit’, their version of a Philly Cheesesteak. If you arrive early enough to hit happy hour it’s worth it to take a seat at the bar since you can still order off of the dinner menu and enjoy a little bit of everything.
V Street is the casual cousin to Vedge with smaller bites and globally-inspired flavors brought back from the international travels of chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. The interior has a vintage industrial feel, with painted brick in the back, concrete counters at the bar and rustic metal chairs and wood stools. The footprint is fairly long and narrow with an open kitchen at the back. The place is vibrant, busy and casual and yet retains the friendly and attentive service of Vedge.
We tried dishes from the lunch, happy hour and dessert menus at V Street. The food at V Street was full flavored and actually spicier than Vedge. Presentation was clean, casual and appealing. Lunch and dinner represent a better value than happy hour since the happy hour dishes were just small snacks. For dessert, it’s impossible to compare these light bites at V Street with the stunning and technically refined desserts at Vedge. We loved V Street and won’t hesitate to return the next time we’re in Philadelphia.
Charlie Was a Sinner
Dark yet inviting interior. So dark it was tough to get proper photographs of the food but it was comfortable to sit around by candlelight in this long, narrow bar with a speakeasy vibe to it. Service was exceptional considering how busy it was as times. The menu has a number of intriguing and appealing options but we mostly tried the happy hour menu. Portions are small for dishes on and off of the happy hour menu, but the food on the happy hour menu is a great deal. We especially loved the ‘Bahn Mi Slider’ and ‘Our Ricotta’ makes the perfect bar snack to share. They also serve proper drinks here.
Charlie Was a Sinner【Philadelphia】
This entirely vegan fast food jawn is a favorite of ours for their quick service, convenient location and near perfect sandwiches and burgers. If sandwiches and burgers aren’t your thing, they also have some impressive looking salads. We ordered our favorites again though – the Crispy HipCity Ranch Burger and Philly Steak. The seasonal ‘Five Dollar Shake’ was Vegan Chocolate-Covered Cherry and was so good we didn’t even care we were drinking a milkshake is sub-freezing temperatures. The Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro-Black Bean Dip make the perfect pair with any sandwich or burger. We don’t often like sweet potato fries since they tend to be softer or soggier than regular fries but these were sliced thin and had a proper crunch to them that we loved.
That milkshake needs to make its way from the seasonal special onto the full-time menu because it was the best milkshake we’ve ever had.
Everyday Fresh & 7-Eleven
Everyday Fresh (1222 Walnut St., aka The Stapler Building, Philadelphia, PA). This recently opened micro-grocer just off Broad Street, and around the corner from Charlie Was a Sinner, is a new concept store apparently owned by an international grocery store chain. It’s small, maybe twice the size of a bodega, but is packed with higher quality groceries and a variety of vegan options including sandwiches and wraps from Sunneen and Macro Vegetarian products (sushi, etc). Prices were surprisingly reasonable, the staff were friendly and helpful and they even have convenient self-checkout registers. Since it’s relatively new, managers were inside taking surveys and signs were posted requesting that no photos be taken.
Sandwiches and wraps reminded us of the Moshe products available at 7-Eleven and other convenience stores in Philadelphia, I mentioned these Moshe products in a post on Philadelphia last year.
P.S. & Co
I adore the buildout and aesthetic at P.S. & Co. This 100% organic, vegan, gluten-free eatery is on Locust Street in Center City Philadelphia. They make organic cold press juices and have a variety of clean eating options. They’re even open for breakfast.
I look forward to trying P.S. & Co the next time we’re in Philadelphia.
P.S. & Co【Philadelphia】
Other Vegan Philadelphia Eats Posts:
2013 – Philadelphia: 7-Eleven, Le Pain Quotidien, Strangelove’s and Whole Foods
2013 – Philadelphia: Vedge Restaurant and HipCityVeg
2011 – Philadelphia: Memphis Taproom
2011 – Philadelphia: The Abbaye