Friday, December 19, 2014

What's your favorite vegan-friendly restaurant?

It was about time Philly had a fun, sortable index of vegan-friendly places (including but not limited to vegan and vegetarian restaurants).
Now we do have one, and it's only getting better. This week VegPhilly announced an upgrade to the site's map and per-user tools that will make finding vegan food in Philly - and sharing it - even easier.

What's your favorite vegan-friendly restaurant?

VegPhilly.com founders Steve Lamb (inset, top) and Alexandra Hoefinger (inset, bottom) created the site and its map to make finding vegan-friendly restaurants around town easier.
VegPhilly.com founders Steve Lamb (inset, top) and Alexandra Hoefinger (inset, bottom) created the site and its map to make finding vegan-friendly restaurants around town easier.

Last year around now I did a V for Veg survey of some Web tools for finding vegan food, and mentioned the then-upcoming Philly-based site, VegPhilly. The concept isn't radical - capsule descriptions and user reviews tied to spots pinned on a google map - but this is a nicely done version of it. It was about time Philly had a fun, sortable index of vegan-friendly places (including but not limited to vegan and vegetarian restaurants).

Now we do have one, and it's only getting better. This week VegPhilly announced an upgrade to the site's map and per-user tools that will make finding vegan food in Philly - and sharing it - even easier.

Co-founder Steve Lamb said the site team (also including Alexandra Hoefinger and Jonathan Farbowitz) "redesigned the map page to include a larger map and more intuitive controls for searching, filtering, and jumping straight to a particular vendor." I have to agree the new version is more inviting, with a clearer logic.

Lamb added that user profiles have been updated for more flexibility and reminded veggie readers that "the site thrives on user reviews." While it's accumulated plenty (hey, I contributed two - how many for you?) there are always little gaps that can be filled - by people stepping up. Yes, I'm lookin' at you, Yelp-aholics.

Additionally, VegPhily has updated the mobile interface to make it easier to search and browse the map on the go. "We've especially targeted iPhones but we're working hard to improve the experience on other devices as well," Lamb promised.  

While he noted that the team's professional experiences (Lamb as a GIS Software Developer at Azavea, Hoefinger as a user-interface specialist for Urban Outfitters) "have been useful for building skills to make VegPhilly better," VegPhilly is a volunteer effort for the veg and veg-curious community, and he stressed that the team welcomes feedback on improving the site, whether via email or their Web form.

So, back to my title question: As far as non-veg venues, mine is probably Adobe Cafe. Yours? Feel free to answer here, but especially make sure your Philly favorites are listed at VegPhilly. The more useful, centralized info VegPhilly can offer, the easier it becomes to eat vegan, and go vegan, in Philadelphia!

About this blog
Vance is a longtime vegan and Philly resident. V for Vegan covers the Philly vegan scene and vegan lifestyle, supplementing Vance's Daily News column V for Veg. Find out what's going on vegan-wise and share your own vegan tips and events here.

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