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June 26, 2008 10:02 AM   Subscribe

What are the best restaurants specific to Philadelphia for vegetarian or seafood fare that you've been to this year?

Near UPenn, I'm looking for the hole in the wall spots, the family owned restaurants, the little cool places that you love to eat at and that have good food. Places you've been to in 2008.

Downtown is fine, but I'm really looking near the University of Pennsylvania for stuff with great seafood dishes, vegetarian fare, or great chicken dishes. A chain-ish place is okay if the food is just mindblowing. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, whatever - I'm hungry. Give me some good spots to eat at!
posted by cashman to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty good thread on this here. I live in South Philly so I can't help you too much on the University City places, but around here Cafe Nhuy at 8th and Christian has amazing banh mi, including two vegetarian options.

Oh, there are also a couple of great food trucks around the University. Wander around and look for long lines.
posted by ethorson at 10:10 AM on June 26, 2008

if you like cereal, you can't go wrong with Cereality for breakfast!
posted by hummercash at 10:20 AM on June 26, 2008

I LOVE the Magic Carpet truck at 34th and Spruce. It's all vegetarian. My favorite is the Sloppy Jason.
posted by jrichards at 10:27 AM on June 26, 2008

Dahlak, Vietnam Cafe, Kabobeesh, Vientiane, and the mighty Fu Wah tofu hoagie.
posted by The Straightener at 10:49 AM on June 26, 2008

I don't know what the specific area is called, or where U of Penn is exactly, but the food at Horizons on 7th St is insanely good. It's vegan, not vegetarian, but you won't care.
posted by iconomy at 12:01 PM on June 26, 2008

White Dog is sort of the default answer to the "best restaurant at Penn" query. They're not specifically vegetarian, but there is lots of veg-friendly stuff on the menu and all of it is focused on local and sustainable ingredients. Mmmm. The Magic Carpet cart is also excellent, but don't bother ordering off the menu. Just ask for whatever the daily special is. They're a lunch-only place, btw.

The student paper has a dining guide sorted by location. Not as many reviews as one might wish for, but it's a really good way to mine for ideas. A lot of the food carts are fantastic for breakfast and lunch, and they're all listed there. The crepe carts are good for breakfast, and Don Memos has the best tacos.
posted by miagaille at 2:50 PM on June 26, 2008

In the University City area I especially like (and have recently visited)
Rx, which has both veg and non-veg, plus a good selection of seafood (my boyfriend enjoyed the waluu last week. And they have fancy lemonade which is often very good.)
Dock Street for the fancy pizzas and the onsite brewery. And the leek & sweet potato fries. Mmmm.
posted by BundleOfHers at 3:25 PM on June 26, 2008

I'll second White Dog and the two Magic Carpet trucks (the other is at 36th and Spruce). My favorite hole in the wall family seafood place is Little Fish, at 6th and Catherine. Pod at 37th and Sansom does sushi.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 3:38 PM on June 26, 2008

Wrong part of town, but Charles Plaza in Chinatown otherwise fits the criteria very well. I ate there a couple weeks ago a little while after dealing with all the surly airport ground transport folks (Really, PHL ground transport, WTF?) and I was immediately greeted and welcomed and found out that Philly wasn't such a grumpy place after all. And the food was freaking awesome. I ate a ton and felt great without that common binging-on-Chinese-food brick in the stomach.
posted by Skwirl at 4:18 PM on June 26, 2008

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