Your visit to Philadelphia will inevitably involve good grub and a few happy hours (hopefully). We encourage you to make it local and sustainable.
Firstly, choosing to support the local economy will likely mean better, more personalized service and a unique experience. But, the impact of your decision means much more outside a full belly and good service.
Restaurants and bars committed to sustainable practices will present menus comprised of locally grown, seasonal ingredients — foods that likely come from local and regional farms.
Eating this way, according to Sustainable Table, means less pollution in the air, surface water and groundwater, and less dependence on fossil fuel and water resources. And the list goes on.
But, above all else, dollars spent locally will stay in the community. Entrepreneur.com reports that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remains in the city versus the $43 that remains if that same money was spent at a chain retailer.
So, not sure where to start? Let us guide your gastronomical journey! Our sustainable business directory (think: green Yelp), My MilkCrate, is a free app, which includes 25 lifestyle categories — everything from farm-to-table eateries to fair trade coffee shops, thrift stores to bike shops.
Don’t want to take the time to scour the list? Take our team’s (and some important sustainability figures’) suggestions for sustainable sips and bites and create a Must Visit check list out of it. Enjoy — and know that the local economy, it’s workers, local farmers and the planet will thank you!
Morgan Berman, MilkCrate, Chief Executive Officer
Favorite place for bites: Russet
WHY: I know Andrew, the owner, is as hardcore about local and sustainable as it gets, so I trust him with his sourcing and I love him for the way he makes the food taste! The decor is also incredibly charming.
Favorite place for drinks: A. Kitchen
WHY: I love watching the city go by, and it’s even better with a great cocktail and fresh oysters.
Jason Cox, MilkCrate, Chief Technology Officer
Favorite place for bites: P’unk Burger
WHY: They have highly configurable, amazing burgers AND amazing shakes!
Favorite place for drinks: W/N W/N Coffee Bar
WHY: It’s a coffee shop plus a bar, which makes it a great place to park it with your laptop all day! Once you’re done with coffee, just switch to beer. Also, it’s a great place to meet cool people. Sometimes even a dance party unfolds around you!
Caitlin Honan, MilkCrate, Director of Communications and Customer Support
Favorite place for bites: Flora
WHY: Traveling outside the city could be tough, but if you can carve it into your schedule, a quick train ride to Flora in Jenkintown, PA will be worth it. It’s BYOB, completely plant-based and most importantly, delicious. Just be sure to make a reservation beforehand, it’s a quaint 16-seater.
Favorite place for drinks: Johnny Brenda’s
WHY: It’s a landmark in the city, known for its musical entertainment lineup, but it’s dimly lit bar (you can drink and dine without paying to see a show), makes for a cool, relaxed spot for a drink. Plus, they’re committed to only serving Philly-made brews (think: Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Saint Benjamin, etc.).
Lindsay Bushong, MilkCrate Director of Business Development
Favorite place for bites: Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen
WHY: Really good breakfast! Tons of vegetarian and vegan options.
Favorite place for drinks: Crime + Punishment Brewing Co.
WHY: Best beer, made right in the city! Beers rotate in and out quite frequently so there’s always something new and delicious.
Charlotte Lee, MilkCrate, Director of Operations
Favorite place for bites: Tria Taproom
WHY: I like to think Tria keeps their design and decor minimal so as to focus on the food. Their wood-fired grilled flatbreads are so delicious, and I’m a sucker for their cheese plates.
Favorite place for drinks: American Sardine Bar
WHY: This funky joint has an amazing rotation of delicious beers, as well as some great snacks. But above all, the atmosphere is fantastic!
Judy Wicks, Founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia and the White Dog Cafe, co-founder of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, author, sustainability advocate
Favorite place for bites: Vedge
WHY: Even though I am not a vegan, Vedge is one of my favorite places to dine because it’s so inventive and they purchase from local farmers. It’s hard to imagine that there is no cheese, cream or eggs in these glorious dishes.
Favorite place for drinks: Vedge, Fork and Talula’s Garden
WHY: Great cocktails and you can eat small plates at the bar.
Christine Knapp, Office of Sustainability, Director
Favorite place for bites: Osteria
WHY: My husband and I went to Osteria for our first date, so it’s always a delicious favorite. The pizzas and pastas are incredible, as are the desserts.
Favorite place for drinks: Southwark
WHY: Cozy and charming with the best bartenders. Southwark makes amazing classic cocktails.
Julie Hancher, Green Philly Blog, Editor in Chief
Favorite place for bites: Farmers’ Keep
WHY: For a healthy, quick meal, head to the Farmer’s Keep. Their variety and options to build your own lunch or dinner is delicious — that you know is comprised of locally farmed and sourced ingredients.
Favorite place for drinks: Standard Tap
WHY: A short ride from Center City, Standard Tap has a wide range of locally brewed (and all delicious!) beers. If the weather is nice, the roof deck is perfect for a bite and Northern Liberty views.
This post was authored by the MilkCrate team. MilkCrate is a mission-driven company that builds technologies to support and grow sustainable communities. Its first product, My MilkCrate, is an app that connects consumers to local, sustainable businesses, services and local events, similar to a green Yelp. Its newest product, MilkCrate for Communities, is an enterprise platform that measures and grows a community’s social and environmental impact.