10 Vegan Comfort Foods in Philly You Need to Eat Now

Comfort-food season has officially arrived.

Pumpkin spice donut from Dottie’s Donuts | Photo via Facebook

Almost as soon as the temperature drops, I switch from craving a Sweetgreen salad pretty much every minute of every day to wanting thick, creamy and comforting foods — which isn’t always easy to find for a vegan, unless you make it yourself. But in light of World Vegan Day, which happened just yesterday, we started thinking about all the vegan comfort foods our current winter-like weather encourages thoughts of.

And because this is kind of what we do, we put our top vegan comfort food picks around Philly into a list for you to check off throughout winter. And might I just say, this list is pretty drool-worthy, covering all the classics like vegan cheesesteaks and cheese fries to waffle sandwiches to pho. Bookmark this page to reference any and every time you need a little taste of comfort, vegan-style.

Eggplant Meatballs from Heart Beet Kitchen
29 Haddon Avenue, Westmont

I’m about to make a very controversial statement: I think vegan meatballs are more delicious than meaty meatballs. I’m serious! I was never a fan of meaty meatballs and now, as a vegan, I can down an innumerable amount of vegan meatballs. Heart Beet Kitchen takes a vegan approach to the Italian comfort food classic with their eggplant-based meatballs accompanied by raw zucchini noodles and fresh marinara sauce. After this meal, you’ll surely be a part of the clean-plate club, badge and all.

Pumpkin Pie-Spiced Cream Cheese-Filled donut with a Salted Caramel Glaze from Dottie’s Donuts
Multiple locations

My thought process is this: If you’re going to eat a donut, make it the tastiest, most indulgent one on the shelf, and that’s why I always go for the deluxe option, changing daily, at Dottie’s. This donut tops the list because it’s sweet, it’s indulgent and it’s a perfect taste of the season.

Cheese Fries from Blackbird Pizzeria
Multiple Locations

Cheese fries are simply the best. They combine two heavy-hitting comfort foods — cheese and potatoes — in one delicious and indulgent package. Blackbird uses a vegan wiz for these fries, in true Philadelphia form.

Wiz Kid Philly from Wiz Kid
124 South 19th Street, Rittenhouse

So, we’re in Philly, and what comfort food is more apt than a good ol’ cheesesteak? Wiz kid veganizes this Philly staple with seitan, mushrooms, fried onions and the beloved rutabaga cheese, borrowed from the joint’s older brother, Vedge. And let me tell you, the cheese alone is a fantastic comfort food, but this sandwich as a whole really knocks it out of the vegan park.

Turkish Coffee Tehina Milkshake from Goldie’s
1526 Sansom Street, Center City 

Even though it’s cold outside, this milkshake is a million percent worth it. It’s perfectly balanced between sweet and bold (the coffee, duh) and is topped with THE most delicious housemade halva crumbles, a traditional Middle Eastern confection. And if you’re hesitant about a milkshake made with tehina, don’t be, it’s delicious.

Potato Gnocchi from Charlie was a sinner
131 South 13th Street, Midtown Village 

In my humble opinion and, again, this might be controversial, I think gnocchi is the best type of pasta out there — it’s literally little fluffy, potato-y dough balls. This version from Charlie was a sinner is tossed in a smoked tomato butter (drools) with cippolini onions and English peas. It’s so yummy and so comforting. (Why am I not eating it right now?)

Waffle Club from P.S. & Co.
1706 Locust Street, Rittenhouse

It’s hard to get your hands on a vegan waffle, let alone a vegan waffle sandwich, but P.S. & Co. gives you just that. Stuffed between the waffles is baked tofu, red pepper vegan cheese, sautéed greens, fried onions and mushrooms. Now that’s a club sandwich we can get down with.

V Street Pho from V Street
126 South 19th Street, Rittenhouse

Pho is a great alternative for a warming, but still on the lighter side, comfort food. Swing by V Street for dinner and grab their version of pho chock-full of pickled tofu and veggies with a kick from sambal.

Golden Tofu Wrap from Govinda’s
1400 South Street, Midtown 

This is a great, fairly cheap, comforting meal that’s perfect for when you’re on the go. It’s basically tofu smothered in the golden sauce (a mixture of ginger, tamari and tehina) with rice, green peppers and some vegan cheese folded up in a wrap and warmed on the grill top. Can you tell I’ve watched them make this more than a few times?

Pumpkin Speculoos Ice Cream from Little Baby’s
Multiple Locations

You’ll down this delicious seasonal flavor in no time, no matter the temperature — it’s that delicious. The concoction features a pumpkin ice cream base with speculoos cookie crumbles and spices folded in. YUM.

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