|Eggplant carpaccio at Vedge|
After starting with 80 locations, the site now boasts a list of 95, and the number is growing. Users can search by neighborhood, name, dish or special features like “fake meat,” “delivery” and “full bar.” We caught up with the founders via email to get a few more details about how this new tool for Philly’s meat-free scene came to be.
Zagat: How did you decide to make this site a reality?
VegPhilly: We (developers Steve Lamb and Jonathan Farbowitz) worked together an frequently went out to lunch. We got tired of trying to remember which restaurants had quality vegan options. We started a small doc listing vegan-friendly places, and it quickly got passed around our office.
But we wanted something better. The national options out there didn’t capture what it’s like to be a vegan in Philadelphia, and were often inaccurate and outdated. They also had poor coverage of restaurants that aren’t necessarily 100% vegan, but still offer great vegan options.
Zagat: Are there sites like this in any other cities that you know of?
VP: We took some inspiration from New York City’s SuperVegan. We liked how the site allowed users to browse for vegan spots, as well as restaurants with vegan options. We also appreciated SuperVegan’s focus on building the vegan community within their city.
Zagat: What are your goals for the site, now that it does exist?
VP: We’re always thinking about the user experience on different mobile and tablet devices. We may release an app version in the future, depending on response from the community, or some social networking features. If there’s something you want to see on the site, please e-mail us!
Also, the site was intentionally built with free and open-source tools, and in the future, we hope to release VegPhillly’s code as a starter kit so other people can create vegan websites for their own cities.