Vegetarian Restaurant Review: Mi Lah, Philadelphia, PA

June 11, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Restaurant Review, Travel Print This Post Print This Post

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Mi Lah Vegetarian Restaurant in Philadelphia was an accidental find. We were walking down 16th Street, on our way to Monk’s for a Belgian brew, when we stumbled upon a restaurant with a large sign that read “Vegetarian”. I, of course, had to cross the street to get a peek at the menu and, after a quick glance, I immediately knew I had to go in. (Our beers could wait.)

The restaurant closes at 10:00 and the time was about 9:40. We walked in and it was nearly empty – save a large table upstairs filled with a giddy reunion of about 8 people. The service was friendly, funny and down to earth. We apologized for coming so close to closing and they did not seem bothered at all, in fact, they were very relaxed about it.

There was a wide variety of dishes on the menu that will satisfy anyone’s particular tastes. After we ordered, we were brought a small plate of soft bread and a delicious basil spread that was a great way to start our meal.

My Cambodian Amok arrived at the table piping hot. The sauce was creamy and spicy, warming my stomach after a long day of travel. There was a LOT of tofu in this dish which also consisted of spinach, eggplant, and tofu in coconut lemongrass sauce. It was a shame I couldn’t bring the leftovers home with me but we were sans fridge in our hotel room.

We also ordered the zucchini stuffed with seitan and red peppers. The is a definitely dish I wish I could replicate at home. It had a rustic, woodsy and, dare I say, “meaty” taste to it. Again, the portion size for this dish was quite large – but not a bit was left on the plate.

Mi Lah was a great accidental find. We left full and happy and ready to imbibe some Belgian beers.

Just a heads-up, this is a BYOB place. As an out-of-towner, this can be a bit discouraging if you were hoping to pair your meal with a nice wine.

Mi Lah Restaurant
218 South 16th Street
Philadelphia, PA

2 Comments to “Vegetarian Restaurant Review: Mi Lah, Philadelphia, PA”

  1. Mi Lah is just a few blocks down from our main office building; they do very very nice lunches, too. You’re right, the staff is quite friendly.

    The next time you are in Philadelphia and have some time on your hand, you may want to check out Horizons ( warning music!). I have not been yet, but have heard good things about it.

    If you want to have the true Philly experience and have a cheesesteak, Gianna Grille is well known for both its meat and vegan cheesesteaks–the go to place for the latter– ( and pizzas. Their desserts, including the cheesecake, also have vegan options.

    Cuba Libre, also has several good vegan options, as do a couple of other places just close by. (

    Not vegan, but if you are into chocolate, I would also recommend checking out The Naked Chocolate!

    Oh, and for vegetarian/vegan Chinese–there are several places in the local ‘Chinatown’ but Cherry Street Vegetarian, New Harmony, and Kingdom are the places at the top of most peoples list (and the preferences are very personal). New Harmony I think got Best of Philly at some point, and is usually the one we go to, if no one has any objections otherwise.

    Philly actually is a pretty vegetarian and increasingly vegan friendly place, and a quick couple of searches will probably turn up more places than you’d be able to fit into a short (or even longer) visit. You did start out with one of the bestr of the best, so the expectation is probably a little high now(!), but I think Philly can live up to it.

    P.S. The restaurant next to Mi Lah, Bellini Grill, while with a fairly limited vegetarian menu, is very nice, too. So if you ever are with a large group of people. some of whom must have their meat or fish and just can’t do vegetarian/vegan, you can do a split dinner with part of the group at Mi Lah and part of them at Bellini Grill–we”ve actually done this when there were enough people to make up two tables at both places (so no one was alone!), and it really convenient and everyone was super pleased with their food (and in a much better mood, too!). They’re BYOB, too, though. (actually, a lot of places tend to be, because of the pricey liquor license, so definitely ask ahead no matter where you go).

  2. Megabeth says:

    Awesome stuff, thanks!

    So, uh, when are you free for me to come up and we do a taste test at each of these places?!? I just need to remember to pack my bag with lots of wine. :)


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