Friday, February 15, 2013

Blackbird Pizzeria, Philadelphia

On our second day in Philadelphia, which I already deemed the city of veganly love, we headed to Blackbird Pizzeria. As our friends were telling us about this place, I wasn't really that interested. I mean, I can get great vegan pizza in DC. But, when they made it clear that this was not a pizzeria that served vegan pizza, but, rather, a 100% vegan pizzeria, I was sold.

What I find most interesting is that this pizzeria was founded by a former chef of the now defunct Horizons, Mark Mebus, along with his partner, Ryan Moylan.  HipCityVeg was also founded by a former employee of Horizons. It seems like Rich Landau, owner of Vedge and former owner of Horizons, is mentoring all of these individuals and encouraging them to spread the wealth of vegan restaurants and if that is what is happening, it makes me very happy.

We mosied on into the pizzeria around noon on a Sunday. It was fairly busy.  The menu consisted of specialty pizzas, sandwiches and wraps, salads, and sides. Since it is a pizzeria, I felt obligated to try the pizza. Plus, I'd been thinking about pizza all morning so by noon, I was ready for it. The question was whether we should order an entire pizza or just order by the slice. If ordering by the slice, I only had three options, but if ordering a whole pizza, we could order anything. Ultimately, I decided to order a slice of the Haymaker.

I grabbed a Juniper Berry natural soda and took a seat at a table by the door. They heated up my pizza slice in the oven and brought it out fairly quickly. Oh, this pizza was so good. The crust was quite thin and it was crispy in just the right places while maintaining softness in just the right places. It was topped with Upton's Naturals seitan sausage, thinly sliced red onions, garlic butter, red sauce, fresh oregano, and Daiya cheese. Mmmm.

Zach ordered a seitan cheesesteak that came out about 15 minutes later. It was loaded with grilled onions and peppers along with crimini and white mushrooms and Daiya cheese. The bread and filling were good, but not great and, in fact, we had trouble tasting the housemade seitan. I wasn't 100% convinced any seitan was in the sub. If it was, it was sliced so thin that it resembled the mushrooms, but either way, I really didn't taste it. Had this been the only cheesesteak we'd had in Philly, we might have been okay with it, but after indulging in the cheesesteak at HipCityVeg the day before, this one did not compare.

No matter what though, the fact that there is an all-vegan pizzeria in Philly absolutely rocks. We may not have loved the cheesesteak, but we did love the pizza and we'd gladly go back for more. The slice was only $3.75 and was easily the size of two slices while the sub was only $8. I think this is great place to go for a good, reasonably priced lunch. Oh, and they serve Vegan Treats delicious desserts as well!

Note: my camera broke and I had to use my iPhone to take these pictures, which is why they don't look very good. :(

Blackbird Pizzeria
507 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-6660

Blackbird Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


  1. Miss Rachel's Pantry also came out of Horizon's. There was an article out not very long ago, I believe it was by Philadelphia Weekly that has all of the connections as it relates to vegan openings from Horizon grads so to speak.

    I'll include Miss Rachel's facebook info in case you're not already familiar yet interested:)

    Also have you ever tried a cheesesteak as a non-vegan? I'm wondering because I found the Hipcityveg steak to be beyond awful, ate two bites and tossed it so I'm wondering if they changed their formula or if it's perhaps a preferred flavor for you as someone that's never had meat. HCV could have changed the way their making it too or I may be a better candidate for the blackbird version.

    And I love hipcityveg otherwise btw:):)

  2. And what a coincidence just posted an article about the best vegan cheesesteaks in the city:)Figured I'd share in case you're interested for your next Philly visit

  3. Yes, I've had a cheesesteak as a non-vegan. My non-vegan friends were there too and they all felt like the HipCityVeg one was way better than Blackbird's. Thanks for the info about the other places and the article. Very interesting!