We’re dedicating this week to Marquis & Co. Takeover! Philadelphia’s own Nicole Marquis is the brilliant mind behind some of the best plant-based eating in the city and beyond. In 2012, she opened her first restaurant HipCityVeg in Rittenhouse Square. She created a fast food-inspired menu with fresh, often local and organic ingredients that helps treat the body well. Who says you have to give up burgers, fries, and shakes to eat healthy? Now with additional locations in University City, on Broad Street (opening soon!), and Washington, DC- it is easy to see that HipCityVeg is a movement.

After research and reading into nutrition and the health benefits of plant-based eating, Nicole transitioned easily from vegetarian to vegan. Then in 2009, she convinced her own father to try a vegan diet to deal with his diabetes and high blood pressure when medication was not doing the job. He lost weight, cured his high blood pressure, and put his diabetes in remission – going off four medications in the process. His success has always been one of her strongest inspirations.

At HipCityVeg they use 100% organic non-GMO soy ingredients. All salads are made with organic leafy greens, and sourced locally whenever possible. Food shows up fresh every morning, and at the end of the day, even kitchen scraps are composted. All packaging – containers, cups, straws, and utensils – are made of corn and entirely compostable.

What we can’t compost, we recycle, including glass, plastic, cardboard, and even our used oil. Regardless of cost, we do not use petroleum-based packaging.We always strive to be more sustainable. Our spaces are designed with salvaged wood, recycled plastic, and energy efficient lights and appliances.

A lot of thought has gone into the design of the restaurant as well as its food. Ordered takeout? Even the delivery guys will arrive on bike causing no harmful environmental emissions.

We stopped by to check out this spot and were shocked by the crowds at lunchtime. With limited seating, your best option during lunchtime might be for take out. Try Nicole’s favorite salad the Udon Noodle with spicy glazed chick’n, sprouts, arugula, carrot, cabbage, daikon, scallions, peanuts, and Chinese black bean dressing. We chose to dig into the Ziggy Burger (named after the late David “Ziggy Stardust” Bowie) with an organic smoked tempeh patty and special sauce. And tried our the Crispy HipCity Ranch made with battered chick’n (available buffalo style), lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and. peppercorn ranch.

If you’re looking for gluten-free options check out the Bistro Bella with grilled portabella, herb dijon glaze, olive tapenade, red onion, tomato, artichoke, and arugula or the Massaman Tofu Wrap  with curried organic and local tofu, sprouts, spinach, tomato, cilantro-white bean purée, and cucumber raita which can also be made gluten-free.

For gluten-free salads, try the Jerk Caesar Salad with jerk chick’n, romaine, jicama, crispy plantains, and creamy island spiced dressing or the Chopped Med Salad with artichoke, roasted red pepper, tomato, olives, garbanzos, marinated tofu, romaine, and basil dressing or the Arugula Taco Salad loaded with black beans, organic grilled corn, pico de gallo, tortillas, avocado, and cilantro dressing.

Of course no meal at HipCity would be complete without a side of their ridiculously crispy Sweet Potato Fries. Try a side of their homemade cilantro black bean dip or sriracha aioli for the ultimate dip. We love sipping on the Organic Kale Lemonade with fresh squeezed lemons, organic kale juice, and raw organic agave nectar. Its not too sweet like we find most lemonades to be. The Carrot Ginger Lemonade is another great option with fresh squeezed lemons, organic carrot & ginger juice, and raw organic agave nectar.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, HipCity even offers Banana Whips and Milkshakes made with organic soy ice cream (chocolate, orangesicle, or vanilla). Catering options are also available in both Philadelphia and Washington, DC. So what are you waiting for? Call ahead for pick-up or place an order via Caviar. All this deliciousness is waiting…



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