Eating out isn't always easy when you have dietary restrictions to consider. Whether your restrictions are medical, moral or preferential, here are some places to try if you are vegan, vegetarian or gluten–free.
P.S. & Co.
If you ever find yourself wandering around Rittenhouse Square in desperate need of sustenance after a yoga or spin class, look no further than P.S. & Co. This 100% Vegan, Gluten–Free and Kosher eatery has been providing Philadelphians with some of the cleanest food within the city limits since 2009. The carefully curated décor, soft–spoken servers, meticulously crafted dishes, and glaring lack of any remotely inflammatory ingredient add to the hyper–health–conscious (read: slightly pretentious) aesthetic. Weekend brunch is by far the most popular time to dine, so large groups should plan ahead and make reservations.
Any veteran of P.S. & Co. knows that the hype around their avocado toast is warranted. It’s difficult to create a version of this overdone dish with any element of surprise, but P.S. & Co. manages to do just that. Their version consists of a generous portion of creamy avocado topping a thick slice of baked in–house almond bread, which would be pleasant on its own. But what truly elevates this dish is neither the avocado nor the toast, but the the coconut sugar jalapeño drizzle. The chef simmers jalapeño juice and coconut sugar to create a reduction that hits the palette sweet before you taste the heat, making this $8 starter truly worth sampling. Avo–toast too basic of a starter for your taste? Try the Breakfast Nachos—a healthy twist on the classic consisting of non–GMO corn chips, black bean sofrito and red pepper cheese, salsa, and guac.
For the main course, try the Burmese Chickpea Curry, Mohinga Soup, or Chocolate Chip Pancakes if you’re craving something sweet. A two–course brunch and cup of coffee will put you out about $30.
TL;DR: A chic mainstay of the Rittenhouse area serving exclusively organic, gluten–free, plant–based foods to a clientele of predominantly wealthy yoga–practicing millennials with food intolerances.
Location: 1706 Locust Street.
Monday–Tuesday: 8 am–7 pm
Wednesday–Friday: 8 am–9 pm
Saturday: 9 am–9 pm, Sunday: 9 am–7 pm
The Gold Standard Cafe
Next time you find yourself in desperate need of a hearty brunch to cure your Sunday–morning hangover, look no further than West Philly’s Gold Standard Café. This homey restaurant draws a diverse range of families, young millennials, and long–time area residents to dine there seven days per week. Gold Standard will please all members of your party, regardless of dietary restrictions—vegans and carnivores alike rave about their brunch menu.
This otherwise quiet café turns into a crowded hotspot on weekend mornings, but the quality of the food is well worth the wait. The menu is the conveniently marked to indicate which dishes are suitable for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten–free diets.
For a quick hangover fix, choose the savory and spicy Huevos Rancheros from the brunch menu. This dish consists of over–easy eggs and red bean chili sauce, served on corn tortillas. Toppings include guacamole, sour cream, and mouthwatering potatoes, diced and roasted to perfection. This dish is gluten–free, vegetarian, and can be modified to be vegan—just ask to substitute vegan eggs and nix the sour cream. The vegan and non-vegan pancakes also deserve their raving reviews, as do the Chicken and Waffles and Bi Bim Bap for the more adventurous eaters.
TL;DR: A convivial neighborhood restaurant and café serving vegan, vegetarian, gluten–free and carnivorous options to a diverse and loyal clientele.
Location: 4800 Baltimore Avenue.
Monday–Friday: 7 am–7 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 8 am–8 pm
Looking for a quiet getaway with diverse options? V Street is for you. With a rustic interior, dim lighting, and small sharing–based portions, the restaurant is perfect for dates or small, relaxed nights out with a few friends. Every option is a vegan riff on some global street food, which is ideal for individuals with dietary restrictions.
For the spice lovers, the Dan Dan Noodles are excellent; blending the noodles with mushroom, zucchini, and red chili sesame sauce creates a flavorful aftertaste. Being vegan and gluten free, it’s a great choice for individuals with dietary restrictions. The Zhoung Avocado is also delicious: a juicy combination of flatbread, eggplant, tahini, and turnip that tastes perfectly sweet. Other solid options include the Harissa Grilled Tofu and (for dessert) the Hot Tea.
TL;DR: A quiet center city restaurant that serves entirely vegan dishes (some of which are gluten free) and is perfect small groups of customers.
Location: 126 S 19th Street
Monday–Thursday: 5–10 pm
Friday: 5–11 pm
Saturday: 11 am–3 pm, 5–11 pm
Sunday: 11 am–3 pm, 5–9 pm
If you want to go fancy for dinner, Sampan is the place to be. Don’t let the dark lighting fool you—the place is a loud and animated party environment that caters to both small and large groups. With a Pan–Asian selection and vegetarian, gluten free, and soy free menus available upon request, it’s an awesome choice for dinner on any given day.
The ideal dish for individuals with dietary restrictions is the vegetable fried rice; as a vegetarian and gluten free option, it neatly combines the rice with madras curry, carrot, egg, and bok choy. If you’re vegan, you can simply request that the dish be made without egg. Although it could afford to be more oily, the smooth texture pairs very well with the subtle hint of spice. However, the dessert menu isn’t perfect for people under 21, but the Yuzu Tart is a magnificent choice—with an incredible presentation, the tart is citrusy, sweet, and delicious.
TL;DR: : A boisterous location that caters to all sorts of individuals and serves vegetarian, gluten–free, and soy–free options.
Location: 124 South 13th Street
Sunday–Tuesday: 4–10 pm
Wednesday–Thursday: 4–11 pm
Friday–Saturday: 4 pm–12 am