Sips and Eats: Holiday-themed brunches, vegan offerings, and virtual eateries

Primary Plant Based

Bourbon County + Brunch on Black Friday

(City Works Eatery & Pour House)

City Works Eatery & Pour House invites those looking to relax on Black Friday to nosh on brunch and beer and while watching the Masters, NFL, and college football games in its spacious, socially-distant setting.

On Black Friday, City Works will tap Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, 2020, a rare and coveted brew from their holiday favorite, the Bourbon County series. Goose Island’s newest Bourbon County Stout evokes tasting notes of cocoa, fudge, vanilla, caramel, and almond, plus leather and tobacco. The Stout will be available at City Works for $11 (6 oz pour) while supplies last. Reservations are available here.

For those who look to spend the weekend at home, City Works also offers takeout and delivery! Guests can grab growlers of their favorite brew to-go for all their at-home needs and celebrations. To-Go ordering information for growlers and bites is available here.

Support Local Business this Holiday Season

(Boardroom Spirits)

Art in the Age: Give the gift that everybody wants this holiday season — booze. Art in the Age, Old City’s one-of-a-kind tasting room, home bar supply and bottle shop, is crossing off imbibers on every holiday shopping list this year with the addition of their new gift packages featuring all-inclusive DIY cocktail kits. Available now through the holidays for purchase online and via curbside pick-up, Art in the Age’s gift packages include three cocktail kits: Martini Gift Package, Old Fashioned Gift Package, and Beginner Bartender Gift Package, as well as the ultimate Art In the Age fan package, including branded glass, flask, tote, mug and more. All packages are available for $120 online here.

Boardroom Spirits: The Lansdale, PA distillery will be offering gift bundles of their premium spirits such as the “Train Set” which is a set of all four 750mL bottles of their Northbound Whiskeys (Bourbon, Rye, Wheat and 100 Proof) for $93.99. Fans of specialty spirits can also grab a bottle of Boardroom Spirits highly praised Nocino walnut liqueur, a once-a-year offering that will debut mid-November and makes the perfect holiday cocktail to enjoy by the fire. Other gift ideas include a ready-to-drink cocktail which has a range of flavors for any palate including popular selections like the Blackberry Mojito and the Nutty Russian (their spin on the White Russian). All ready-to-drink cocktails come in 750mL bottles and serve between 6-11 cocktails and are priced between $38-$45.

Boardroom Spirits offers curbside pickup 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, as well as free shipping or local delivery (within 30 miles of Lansdale, which includes Philadelphia) for orders over $75. Orders can be placed online here.

(Iron Hill Brewery)

Iron Hill Brewery: Christmas comes early for fans of Iron Hill’s beer, which is now available in retail stores throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania. Pick up a 4 pack for the beer lover in your life of their most popular holiday favorite, Reindeer’s Revenge, a hoppy American Tripel, which boasts notes of pine and grapefruit, a touch of bitterness, and a warm finish (ABV: 9%, IBU: 60) or their evergreen class, Philly Phavorite, a New England IPA brewed with flaked oats and wheat with an intense flavor and aroma of tropical fruit and pine. (ABV: 6.7% IBU: 16) Use Iron Hill’s beer finder to locate where to pick up a four-pack today, starting at $11.99.

•  ROOT Crafted Cocktail Mixers: ROOT Crafted is a line of unique-flavored, all-natural, and organic cocktail mixers that pair perfectly with any spirit (meaning you don’t need to know what your giftee’s spirit-preferences are to gift this product). Get the cocktail lover in your life a Cocktail Party Pack ($29), which includes four, 4-ounce bottles of ROOT Crafted mixers as well as a ROOT Crafted jigger, The Holiday Hostess pack ($55) which includes one 32oz. bottle of Lemongrass mixer and two 16oz. bottles of Hibi Hibi and Au Pear mixers, or the Small Gift Box, which includes 2 16 oz. bottles of ROOT Crafted and a custom copper shaker. (Need a stocking stuffer? The Burlap Gift Bag ($48) includes one full-size bottle of ROOT Crafted and a copper shaker. Want to go even bigger? ROOT Crafted also offers a Large Party Pack ($99), which includes five full-size cocktail mixers and a ROOT Crafted shaker.

Available for nationwide shipping on Free shipping over $25 & 20% off your first order if you subscribe to their newsletter. It’s also available on Amazon.

(Art in the Age)

Thirsty Dice Board Game Café: Support your locally owned game store this holiday season and find the perfect gift with the help of Thirsty Dice Board Game Café. Choose between a selection of over 125 games and puzzles, snacks, and easy-to-make meal kits to create your own comfort create or pick a themed crate, all available on their online retail shop. Themed comfort crates include the Coffee Lovers and Family Night as curated experiences from their team of Gametenders, just like you would get at the café but at all in the comfort of your own home! Want to create your own crate but need game recommendations? Their team of Gametenders is standing by to help, give them a call at 215-765-2679. Comfort crates are available for curbside pickup, local delivery and can ship to friends and family nationwide.

Weavers Way Mercantile: Pick up anything you need for gift giving at Weavers Way’s general store filled with an eclectic mix of locally-made kitchenware, houseware, vintage, jewelry, pottery, artwork, plants, and more. This year we wanted to highlight some of the Mercantile’s local BIPOC-owned vendors that make great gift items including hand-poured candles from Mount Airy Candle Co., modern metal jewelry from Forge & Finish, and ceramics from Gilana Tahir.

Germantown Garden Grill’s Snow Queen Brunch and Christmas Belle Brunch

Families are invited to be the belle of the ball at the first-ever Christmas Belle Brunch: The Snow Princess at the Igloos. This magical socially-distanced dining experience is an unforgettable meal for kids of all ages who love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The royal date is set for Saturday, December 19, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Also, due to popular demand, the Snow Queen Brunch at the Igloos has now added on a third weekend – with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for Saturday, December 12 as well. The original dates for the Snow Queen Brunch are selling fast for November 28 and December 5!

This magical dining experience will feature a 90-minute dining experience at a private, exclusive, and heated igloo for up to four immediate family members in the same household. This outdoor event will feature the Snow Queen inspired by Elsa, with a safe and socially-distanced photo opportunity, songs from the princess’ story, and a grand entrance sing-along. Each reservation will also receive a one on one Snow Queen visit per each Igloo, a souvenir, and frozen themed activity sheets. All children and adults above the age of two must wear a mask to and from their dining table. Costumes for the little ones are encouraged but not required.

Leave room for brunch and lunch, plus hot beverages for kids and adults. Food and drink are pay-as-you-go. Tickets are $15.00 per person for Igloo seating and $10.00 per person for outdoor seating without the Igloo. A portion of each ticket will go to charity, and provide a free princess appearance for children in need through the Salvation Army.<

Oath Pizza Food Truck @ Reopened Winter at Dilworth Park

(Oath Pizza)

The Winter at Dilworth Park has reopened in the heart of Philadelphia with the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, and the Oath Pizza food truck serving a selection of delicious personal pizzas, salads, and desserts near the Wintergarden.

Served from a contactless food truck, Oath Pizza has classic and signature craft pizzas all made with a thin crust seared and grilled in avocado oil and topped with thoughtfully-sourced ingredients. Popular pizzas include the Spicy Mother Clucker with mozzarella, roasted chicken, pickled red onions, spicy aioli and sriracha, and the Luau with mozzarella, pulled pork, fresh pineapple, crushed red pepper, BBQ drizzle, and scallions.

The Oath Pizza food truck is located along the West Side of City Hall and will be open:

  • Monday through Thursday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday through Saturday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to the food truck, local Philadelphians can also order Oath Pizza from its first delivery-only ghost kitchen located at 1308 W. Girard Avenue. Greater Philadelphia Area residents and students can select from a menu of 10 craft pizzas or build their own Selfie with unlimited toppings, all with a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. Guests can order Oath Pizza for pick-up or delivery at, on the Oath Pizza app, Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and UberEats.

Vegan Pop-Up Plus Vegan Offerings Throughout the City

(Rougamo from Primary Plant Based)

• East Passyunk Avenue: Over on East Passyunk Avenue, there is no shortage of vegan offerings from a bevy of cafes and restaurants. For breakfast, diners can enjoy vegan snacks and breakfast items including Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies, Vegan Blueberry Bars, vegan breakfast sandwiches, and more from Black and Brew. As lunch hour rolls around, the Vegan Chicken or Steak Hoagie from B2 Café or vegan “chicken” sandwiches from Redcrest make an ideal midday meal. Finally, vegan diners should direct attention to the delicious vegan tacos, burritos, nachos, and more available at Cantina during dinner service.

Devils Den: Devil’s Den, the hub for elevated bar fare with an extensive beer selection, offers vegan dishes including an appetizer of Brussel Sprouts ($8) with chili lime sauce and a House or Caesar Salad. A heartier vegan-friendly entrée is the Veggie Sandwich ($12), made with portabella mushroom, roasted peppers, spinach, grilled red onions, and (optional, of course) goat cheese, served on toasted ciabatta. Additionally, the Garlic Hummus platter with grilled pita makes a great snack – it’s available during dinner for $10, or just $6 during happy hour at Devil’s Den, Wednesday to Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Jet Wine Bar: Jet Wine Bar offers delicious vegan staples from the kitchen of Southern-inspired sister restaurant Rex 1516 just across the street: The Veggie Burger ($13), crafted with a black bean and roasted beet patty and topped with fresh bibb lettuce, heirloom tomato, avocado, and red onion, and the Mushroom Po’Boy ($13), with cremini mushrooms, shaved cabbage, roasted cherry tomatoes, vegan comeback sauce, served on a Philly long roll. These sammies wouldn’t be complete without a serving of (also vegan) House Cut Fries ($5) and, of course, a full glass of wine.

(Primary Plant Based // Punch Media)

Khyber Pass Pub: Khyber Pass Pub has been in on the vegan game for years now. Favorites include Vegan Chili ($7 pint, $10 qt), Jambalaya with vegan chicken or sausage($12 pint, $18 qt), Vegan Sausage ($12), Vegan Fried Chicken ($10), Brussels Sprouts ($5pint, $9 qt), and Collards ($4 pint, $7 qt).

• Milboy: Milkboy Philly and Milkboy South Streetboth known for their lively restaurant and bar scene paired with an upstairs music venue now used for expanded seating, feature three vegan options: Starters include the classic Chips and Salsa ($6), with corn chips and pico de gallo, Fried Brussels ($9) in a barbeque dry rub and pineapple sriracha, and a Caesar Salad ($10). Available exclusively at the South Street location is the Quinoa Cobb ($12), served with apple cider vinaigrette, and the Quinoa Vegan Chili ($8).

• Philadelphia Brewing Company: Philadelphia Brewing Company, the city’s oldest and largest brewery located in Old Kensington, offers a wide array of all-vegan beers including its staples Kenzinger and Working Cat Pale Ale, as well as the  Joe Porter, brewed with locally-roasted, organic, coffee from Passero’s Coffee Roasters, and many more. The brewery is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with takeout beer and merchandise available during bar hours.

Primary Plant Based: Primary Plant Based, the new pop-up vegan concept from Chef Mark McKinney, has an array of unique gourmet vegan dishes that go above and beyond the usual suspects. With offerings including Spicy Peanut Mole Noodles, made with jade green rice noodles, chiltepin chile oil, char siu eggplant, sesame, scallion, and Mushroom and Grits , with griddled maitake mushrooms, smoked shiitake, heirloom grits, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin gravy, and steamed spigariello kale, and more, this menu is especially ideal for the worldly diner. Guests can polish off dinner with a helping of warm Baked Churro Donuts, with cinnamon sugar and creamy chocolate ganache. The Primary Plant Based pop-up concept operates out of Khyber Pass Pub in Old City.

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern has vegan entrees including General Tso Cauliflower ($18) over basmati rice, made with fresh cauliflower and seasoned with sesame, Baby Kale Salad ($14) with red cabbage, edamame, crisp vegetables, wontons, ginger sesame dressing, and flavorful Carrot Ginger Soup ($10), with lemongrass and red curry. Guests can also enjoy the Hummus platter, with grains, seeds, and warm pita, for just $5 during Happy Hour from Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Virtual Eateries in the City 

NYC Chef Franklin Becker Debuts Two Ghost Kitchens in West Philly - Eater Philly

(Benny Casanova’s)

Chef Franklin Becker, of Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America, returns to Philadelphia for the first time in over a decade with two new brands that are near and dear to his heart; Shai, dubbed a Hummusiya for its focus on serving variations of hummus, along with other Mediterranean specialties,  and Benny Casanova’s, cooking up Square pies and Arancini rice balls. Both eateries, operating out of the kitchens at 3300 Fairmount Avenue, service the entire Greater Philadelphia area via pick-up and delivery services (UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash), and are bringing unique, from-scratch cooking options to the Philly dining-at-home scene.

Based Chef Franklin Becker recently debuted two new virtual eateries open for takeout and delivery throughout Philadelphia. Shai is a hummusiya offering variations of hummus and other Mediterranean specialties and Benny Casanova’s is an homage to the pizzeria Franklin worked at in high school and serves an exciting lineup of square pies and Arancini rice balls. Both eateries, operating out of the kitchens at 3300 Fairmount Avenue, service the entire Greater Philadelphia area via pick-up and delivery services (UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash), and are bringing unique, from-scratch cooking options to the Philly dining-at-home scene. Shai’s menu is mostly vegetarian and vegan with dishes like Hummus, Falafel, and Chickpea Stew, and Parsley Salad, it also offers a spice-rubbed, spit-roasted Chicken Shawarma, and seasonal side dishes such as Cumin-roasted Carrots, Grilled Beets, Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes, and daily homemade pita bread.

Curiosity Doughnuts Lands in Philly

(Curiosity Doughnuts)

Curiosity Doughnuts — one of the best doughnut spots in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler — is breaking out of the ‘burbs for a South Philly residency at Nick Elmi’s In the Valley (ITV) on East Passyunk. No more do city dwellers need to drive all the way to Spring House or Princeton for James Beard Award Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalist Alex Talbot’s award-winning confections.

The pop-up will boast rotating flavors, but expect some Curiosity cult-classics, including the famed “The Curiosity Cruller.” There will be vegan donuts on offer as well and you better believe sweet-toothed Nick Elmi and Talbot will collaborate on a few exclusive, custom flavors together.

The goods clock in at $3 for donuts and $3 cups of coffee. Every dozen is a baker’s dozen and for everyone, you purchase you get either an extra donut or a free coffee.

Curiosity Doughnuts pop-ups at ITV will occur on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 11/25: 8 a.m. – sellout
    • Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting December 4.

  • Fridays 8 a.m. – sell out; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – sell out

You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at

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