After ecoRDN got hip to the abundance of plant based options in Philadelphia (thanks Spat!), we packed our bags and hopped a bus to check things out firsthand! Below is a list of the exciting plant friendly places we visited in during our stay!

Blackbird Pizzeria topped the itinerary, ecoRDN would not pass up a chance to check out an all vegan pizza place that also serves Philly style seitan cheesesteaks! (Look at our pictures and feel the hanger!) Situated next to Starr Garden Park & Playground in a very Sesame Street section of Philadelphia, Blackbird Pizzeria stays good at making amazing foods for the famished. Unique pies and hearty subs accompanied by loaded salads & carnival-style fries… Why yes indeed!

Being in the birthplace of Rocky Balboa, we’da been big dummies to pass over the Balboa slice. With cherry tomatoes, fennel seitan crumble, tofu ricotta, and pumkin seed pesto resting on a chewy crust, all topped with a loaded handful of baby arugula. Oh! The seitan was perfect. Perhaps the finest seitan sausage we’ve eaten. Fennel was a flawless touch, the pungent licorice and salty protein paired well and created the subtle but remarkable flavor. Blackbird’s tofu ricotta was also spot on, rich and tangy lush mouthfuls mimicked the sweet salt fatty hits of dairy-based ricottas. The Balboa is a great slice.

Blackbird’s seitan cheesesteak took the concept of a meat and dairy free alternative to Philadelphia’s historic sammie and broke both its thumbs, and that is meant to be a compliment in the highest regard! Chip chopped seitan served on a blistered chewy baguette, mixed with sweet handfuls of grilled peppers, onions and Blackbird’s own Vegan Whiz, a creamy hit of salty perfection. Blackbirds seitan cheesesteak is no joke, put one in your belly!

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“An all vegan coffee shop called Grindcore House is located on South 4th Street in Philla, Pa?”

“Yes, yes we will.”

Serving Counter Culture coffee along with sweet & savory treats in abundance, Grindcore House was vibrant and abuzz in the early Philly morning. Many dogs and dog-lovers mingled with all the many coffee drinkers and other passersby, in and out of old shop door. Ample seating, great art and a lending library also found within. A very sweet place.

ecoRDN ordered strawberry ginger iced tea and an iced americano. A respective refreshing jumpstart to the immune system, and a smooth icy jolt of dark malty smoothness. Yet still too early for heavy dessert we decided to return later that day. We’d been eyeing the Peanut Butter Bomb sitting tall and inviting within Grindcore House’s cold case.

So! ecoRDN boomeranged later that day on a sweet mission. The Peanut Butter Bomb is a Vegan Treats creation. For those unaware, Vegan Treats of Bethlehem, PA were voted one of the 10 best bakers in the world, pardon us, but holy shit! That is a no-brainer. Peanut butter cream, chocolate ganache and rich black chocolate cake. A huge slice capable of fully feeding two seekers of sweet deep, dark and perfect. We’d had the cake before in Manhattan so it was like a second honeymoon at Grindcore House that day. Highly recommended!

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The Tasty is not an all plant diner (due to the exception of cow’s teat milk for coffee drinks) so not vegan but more instead like 99% vegetarian. All plant diners are a great idea. When ecoRDN ate dairy and eggs, diners were an option all the time. After we went full plant, the egg was gone and so were the omelettes and just about everything dinery, etceteras. During our visit we had the Buffalo Chik’n Sammy (did not enjoy the huge white bun but the buffalo chick’n was delicious) and the Western Omelet (not super hammy and way too heavy for an omelet, more like a dense savory pancake). They were served with waffle fries and home fries respectively. Tasty has some really good ideas that hopefully will continue to evolve forward over time. There were a few hits and a few misses but overall The Tasty is worth the visit (if you don’t mind sharing your space with cow’s teat milk). Oh and don’t forget to bring a sweater in the summer, chilly!

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V Street is a modern & arty sparse take on street-foods from around the world, more about aesthetic than foodie fuel, however there are a few interesting ideas happening on the menu! V Street’s za’atar fries with zhoug is tasty blend of thymey herbed carnival-style spuds topped with fresh chopped cilantro and fresh earthy zhoug sauces. The food is tiny though, to be real. Let this be a disclaimer that we at ecoRDN are often ravenous so V Street wasn’t ideal nourishment prior to an eight hour bus ride. But if you don’t have a date with lengthy bouts of travel and would enjoy a cool plant based haute bistro, we recommend you give V Street a go! (Corrections/Updates: during normal business hours V Street offers two menus with large and small portion sizes, this wasn’t made clear during brunch.)

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Blogging about Miss Rachel’s Pantry is legit saving the best for last. Often one may not realize a profound moment until it is gone, thus their only memory is a remembrance rather than immediate understanding. This was the case for ecoRDN after a perfectly executed dining experience. True story, perfection is an abstract concept but it is possible during dining so bear with us as we #dinesplain. There are only so many variables when going out to eat and many can be reduced to binaries i.e., good food/bad food, good service/bad service, etc. Yet sometimes food stars align and dining plantophiles find their own end of rainbow nosh oases. Miss Rachel’s inspirited plant cuisine topped more best lists than ecoRDN knew we had. The most flavorful love inspired foods prepared amid an amazing buzz from a beautiful staff. Flawless execution in terms of tastes, textures and appearances. ecoRDN will make it simple: do you want arguably the most fully realized plant based mac and cheese ever? Go to Miss Rachel’s Pantry, dummy!

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That was a lot to digest! If you have eaten at any of the planty places mentioned in this article let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading, thanks for looking, and eat well!

©2016 ecoRDN

Follow ecoRDN on Twitter and Instagram for an archive of mouth watering #FoodPorn pics and all things nutritionally wonderful!

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