The Belgian Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 7 reviews )

601 N 21st St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 19130

Serves meat, vegan options available. You must be 21 years old to enter this corner bar. Offers labeled vegan items on its menu including such as a burger, seitan tacos, BBQ wings, spring rolls, zucchini noodle pasta, vegan beignet, and a green salad. Mon-Thur full menu 11:30am-11pm, Fri til 1am. Saturday and Sunday brunch 11am-4pm. Sat full menu 4pm-1am, Sunday 4pm-11pm. Late night menu served at the bar. Previously located on 2047 Green St. Open Mon 12:00am-2:00am, Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:00am, Sat-Sun 11:00am-2:00am.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

7 Reviews

First Review by Midori

BEST Buffalo Wings in the USA! - Edit

BUFFALO WINGS ARE NOT VEGAN! And an employee (Patrick) was extremely rude and condescending, telling me that they cannot be made vegan because they are "of course made with butter." I guess the seitan wings are, "of course," made with chicken and the vegan aoili are "of course" made with eggs. -_- I am beyond disappointed right now! Thank you to a fellow vegan for bringing this issue to my attention.

They need to train their employees on the meaning of vegan.

Updated from previous review on Tuesday January 27, 2015

I typically try to support the 100% vegan establishments when I travel, but it was late and everything else was closed, so I decided to give The Belgian Cafe a try. Thank you, fate! Best decision, ever!

I'd driven over from Delaware, and as someone who is nowhere near familiar with the area, it was easy to find and easily spotted from the street. (Parking is another story.)
As a straight edge vegan, my review focuses solely on their vegan options, which aren't a whole lot, but what they have is pretty awesome.

For $9.95 I got a large pan filled with vegan wings. They come in several flavors. I got 1 order of Buffalo "wings" and 1 order of General Tso. I loved both flavors, but the buffalo were, by far, my fav. I will apologize right now, because they smelled SO irresistible that I made someone else drive while I ate them in the car. So... no pictures of the yummy evidence. They were crispy and had the perfect hot/spicy, yet flavorful mix going on. For veg*ns who don't like faux meats, you'll love these too. Not "meaty" at all. I've traveled all over, and these are now my #1 favorite vegan buffalo wings of all time. Carnivores? You’ll love them too! My carnivorous family tried to eat all of mine!

Good fries. Nicely seasoned. Goes perfectly with the seitan wings! (vegan aioli is available)

You get 3 large soft tacos stuffed with the seitan chorizo and other toppings. I asked them to hold the pico de gallo (tomatoes), but I found them in my dish. This dish was just ok for me. The flavor was nice, but it was missing that "wow" factor held by the vegan wings.

I think that I was just overzealous, trying to capture my pre-vegan Cafe Du Monde beignet days. But this dish wasn't for me. Could be the flavors: chocolate + cranberry? It just didn't work for me. I'd like to see them offer plain vegan beignets in the future.


Cons: street parking; spaces are scarce

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Fun Night Out! - Edit

I came here with some meat-eating friends and we had a great time. We shared vegan BBQ wings and I had the Spicy Seitan Chorizo Tacos, which are vegan, as my entrée. The wings were a fun appetizer. I thought the tacos needed some hot sauce, but otherwise were a nice change as I'm always eating veggie burgers and fries when I eat at bars with friends. I definitely drank too much beer and had a fun time! I would definitely go back!

Pros: Environment, Vegan Options, Fun Beer Choices

Cons: I spent a lot of money!!!

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Great food, but limited veg selection - Edit

The food was very good at this restaurant. However, there will probably only be 1-2 meals worth of food for the veg community. The restaurant is a little noisy; not someone with a sensitive ear, wants a quiet meal, or someone who wants to have a conversation without yelling over the noise. Waiters will know what is veg.

Pros: Very good food, Friendly staff

Cons: Noisy, Few options for vegans, Can be a wait

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Good Food, Good Beer - Edit

The manager went out of his way to make a vegan beer list for Vegan Drinks events. That was awesome. The seitan wings are great (be sure to tell them not to bring any non-vegan sauce for 'em), the fries are great too (same thing applies with sauce), love the stuffed tofu. They do good vegan entrees and vegan burgers.

Pros: great food, vegan beer list available, nice atmosphere

Cons: parking is difficult, need to really be clear about sauces

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vegan beer lovers rejoice - Edit

This is one of my favorite places to go for a drink and some food. In my opinion the wings are incredible; I crave them all the time especially when dipped in their vegan aioli (which is spectacular). Everyone that I have brought with me, meat eaters and veggies alike, have loved them. The veggie burger is very tasty, and a friend of mine tried the reuben and thought it was great. The atmosphere is usually quiet and laid back, and the staff is unbelievable friendly and knowledgeable about both the food and the beer. Speaking of beer, this might be the best beer bar that I have ever been to, and I have been to plenty. Between the good vegan fair and the world class selection of brew, this place should be a frequent destination for any vegan beer geek living in or visiting the philly area.

Pros: best beer selection, great vegan bar food, great staff

Cons: not close enough

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Interesting food options - Edit

It was nice to have multiple food options at a place that can handle a larger group. I ordered the seitan wings and the vegan meatloaf. My strategy at non-veg restaurants with veg otions is to order more than one thing to increase the odds that I get something decent. Perfect strategy here as the wings were awful whereas the meatloaf was decent. My friend ordered the veggie burger which seemed to contain mostly potatoes and some random vegetables. It looked pretty good for the style of burger it was.
Back to the wings: basically deep fried chunks of seitan with some random not quite barbeque definitely not buffalo sauce that seemed like someone mixed together my fridge door contents and tossed in the seitan. As gross as that sounds, they were edible, but I would not ever want to pay money for something like that again.
The meatloaf, on the other hand, was pretty awesome flavor-wise (mostly mushroom as listed on the menu). It was a bit mushy, but that wasn't really troubling. I wouldn't know where else to get mushroom loaf in the city.
Eating at the Belgian Cafe was a very nice experience overall and is a decent place to go for heavier meat-and-potatoes style vegan food.

Pros: nice place, not too loud

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Pretty good - Edit

The tempeh reuben is tasty. What you'll find here is basic pub/cafe food (heavy on sandwiches), but it's good quality stuff.

Pros: good food, tempeh reuben

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