The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Philly: Vegan Comfort Food Edition

Cheese fries at Blackbird Pizzeria // Photo by Erin Jaskiewicz

Cheese fries at Blackbird Pizzeria // Photo by Erin Jaskiewicz

*Welcome to our occasional feature, The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Philly. We’re on a mission to find the most delicious, indulgent restaurant dishes for every kind of dieter—whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, raw and more. We’re all about occasional splurges, and that’s what this series is all about. We’ll talk to foodies to find out their favorite eats, but feel free to add yours in the comments. Bon appétit!

It’s getting to be about that time, you guys: Comfort food season. Now, I don’t know about you, but as the temperature starts to drop, I stop craving ice-cold smoothies and start craving a warm bowl of chili, and just about anything cheesy. It’s a problem. But when you’re vegan, tracking down a spot that serves up drool-worthy comfort food can be a grueling task. I mean, who isn’t scarred by a vegan-cheese-gone-wrong experience?

So, to make sure you get the most out of this glorious thing that is comfort food season, we asked five Philly vegans, who know just about everything there is to know when it comes to the vegan food scene in Philly, to tell us about their all-time favorite vegan comfort foods in the city. From vegan cheese fries to vegan Chinese food, these guys have got you covered. Now, read up, jot these spots down on your bucket list, and get to taste-testing.

And if you have a favorite vegan comfort food dish in Philly, shout it from the rooftops for all to hear (or just share it with us in the comments section, below).

Erin Jaskiewicz of Philly Vegans
Best thing I ever eat: Cheese fries at Blackbird Pizzeria

The best vegan comfort food I’ve had in Philadelphia are the cheese fries at Blackbird Pizzeria. Blackbird has created the perfect creamy vegan cheese wiz that will make any Philadelphian warm inside—not to mention, the fries are cooked to the perfect amount of crisp.

Nicole Marquis, Owner of HipCityVeg
Best thing I ever ate: Just about everything at Mustard Greens

My go-to comfort food in Philly is from Mustard Greens, an authentic Chinese joint at 2nd and Bainbridge that’s been around for two decades. They know my order by heart: large sautéed mustard greens with garlic, crispy tofu with mushroom sauce and brown rice, and rice noodles with veggies. And yes, I eat it all.

Mike Barone, Owner of Grindcore House
Best thing I ever ate: Collards, tempeh and jack fruit at Hardena

My favorite comfort food in Philly has to be Hardena, an Indonesian restaurant that offers a number of mouthwatering vegan options. I recommend the collards, tempeh and jack fruit with some hot sauce on the side. Everything gets piled high on top of a plate of rice which soaks up all the juices and flavors. You’ll leave feeling like you just ate Thanksgiving dinner.

Meagan Benz, Chef at Vegan Commissary
Best thing I ever ate: Vegan donuts at Dottie’s Donuts

My current favorite comfort food in Philly is the heavenly variety of vegan doughnuts being slung by the boys of Dottie’s Donuts. Every weekend they make an array of delicious donuts that they wholesale to coffee shops in the area, like The Green Line Cafe, Milk and Honey, Grindcore House, and more. With new flavors every week it’s hard to pass up buying one (or two) every Saturday morning to enjoy with a huge cup of coffee.

Kiera Smalls, Co-founder of City Fit Girls
Best thing I ever ate: Mac and cheese at Miss Rachel’s Pantry

I have to say, the best vegan comfort food I’ve had in Philly is the mac and cheese from Miss Rachel’s Pantry—her mac and cheese is simply amazing. I saw a photo of it on their Instagram page and I just couldn’t stop staring at it. So the next time I went in, I made a special request for it, and I have never tasted vegan mac and cheese as delicious and mouthwatering as that one. I would eat it daily if I could.

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