With a location in Rittenhouse and a new addition in University City, HipCityVeg spreads “100 percent plant-based quality ood that is fresh and fast” all over. Order the Udon Noodle Salad (dressing on the side), sweet potato fries, and a “Groothie” (it’s signature smoothie) for a meal worth its price in flavor.

Veggie lovers can rejoice in these flavorful picks that prove you don’t need meat to enjoy a satisfying burger. Whether it’s made with grains, potatoes, squash, soy, beans or a combination of them all, each of these burgers is more than just a substitute for its meaty counterpart.

“I have a mission – to provide plant-based meals to millions of people,” she said. “And I only encourage it if others are doing the same. It creates awareness, plus it keeps me on my toes – pushes me to do better, to be better.” She gazed up the street at the plentitude of colorful eateries crowding around her new store. “It’s healthy competition.”

“One of my favorite lines came from Marquis discussing her critics of HipCityVeg. She mentioned the challenges of owning a vegan fast food with great values like compostable packaging, composting and a sustainably designed space.”

Healthful, inexpensive vegan fast food (buffalo bella sandwiches, smoked tempeh burger with ‘special sauce’) and fresh smoothies come out quickly at this industrial-looking Rittenhouse Square cafe; there are a handful of tables, but many choose to skip the crowds and bring their eats (in nifty recyclable packaging) to the park.

With its big glass front window, greener than green seats, and winding counter, Hip City screams ‘fresh, clean, and bright.’ The simplicity of the place gives it a very modern feel, mixed with a warm, home-style, comfort-food vibe.

I had dinner at HipCityVeg, 127 S. 18th in Center City Philadelphia. The place is tiny, maybe 4 small tables plus window seating – zoned for takeout only, so no bathroom. A hostess-type person was there to answer my questions. I think her primary role is to help keep things moving along when it’s busy, but it was not crowded at 5 pm so she was able to talk me through the menu at length. By 5:30, there was a line out the door

Nicole Marquis, owner of HipCityVeg, a complete vegan fast-food restaurant in Rittenhouse, agrees that appealing to a market outside of vegan-eaters is key to success. “We don’t just attract vegans; we attract a huge audience,” she says. “We’re able to do that because our food tastes really, really good. It’s also made fresh, and people crave freshness.”

Hip City Veg is always packed but the wait is worth it. An item like the Crispy HipCity Ranch sandwich tastes so much like actual chicken, you can forget it’s not. Self-described as “100% plant-based” foods, it’s hard to believe such a thing was even possible. In the warmer parts of the year, nothing beats a mean thirst like the Green Lemonade, made with squeezed lemons, kale, and agave nectar. The food is best enjoyed taken-out to Rittenhouse Park two blocks away.

“Hold the patty for HipCityVeg’s plant-based menu. Specials such as corn chowder, quinoa chili, and vegan hot chocolate with coconut whipped cream are like a blanket for your belly.

“New Year’s Detox: Where to find healthy juices and smoothies in Philly! What: Smoothie (well, called a “Groothie” here) Where: 127 South 18th Street, Philadelphia.”

The food at HipCity is appealing, regardless of your protein proclivities. A portobello mushroom sandwich comes crispy with buffalo sauce and celery slaw, an arugula taco salad has vibrant pico de gallo, and the Ziggy veggie burger gets a dash of a smoked tempeh sauce – “our version of a Big Mac,” Marquis said.

“HipCityVeg is a great addition to Philadelphia vegan food choices. It is nice to have a fully vegan restaurant in Center City. I can’t wait to try more dishes.”

“I had my first taste of Hip City Veg, Philly’s newest all veg eatery, today. I’ve gotta say, I’m totally smitten with what owner Nicole Marquis and chef Lauren Hooks have done with the space, concept, packaging and food.”

” ..it will certainly make itself a member of my lunch-time rotation. And yeah, I just licked the last of the dressing from the side of the bowl.”

Hip vegan fast food prepares gourmet style with everything from Udon Noodle Salad to the Crispy Hip City Ranch. Can’t forget the Organic Green Smoothies! It’s sure to quench the thirst of the health conscious and even attract meat loving converts.

“…Hip City is to provide a “100 percent plant-based” experience “familiar to meat eaters, without sacrificing affordability or taste.”

“The first time I saw Marquis’ place, I did a double take. The line was snaking down South 18th, coiling around Sansom, the young and not-so-young, including swells who were clearly not vegan, a Birkin-packing woman with her companion sockless in Guccis.”

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    HipCityVeg was created by Nicole Marquis to meet a need that exists almost everywhere for high quality food that is fresh and fast. Nicole’s vision was that if we do our food fresher, greener and with more flavor, people will want it. She was right. Our food is 100% plant based. It tastes better and is more satisfying.

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