Food, Fashion, Travel, Lifestyle

Sunday, February 5, 2017

“Food for People, Not for Profit”

Banh Mi

Phamous Philly

Next up: Riverwest Co-op

This is a hidden gem. Tucked away in Riverwest, this cafe and natural food combo store sits quietly on the corner unknown by many. The space is tiny, but packed with quick pick-ups for groceries and toward the back is their cafe. The cafe is all vegetarian and vegan and while the food isn't picture perfect, it is incredible. People often think vegetarian or vegan options cannot be flavorful, but that is simply inaccurate. Riverwest Co-op makes delicious and mouthwatering soups, sandwiches and even breakfast. While I have not had their breakfast, if it's anything like their lunch and dinner, it is awesome. 

While there are a few tables to sit and eat, I always take the food to go. There's no particular reason why, but it's just what I've always done. Parking is easy, so I can just run in and pick up my order. From time to time the wait extends long beyond what they quoted, but in the warmer months, they have outdoor tables for customers and cafe goers to enjoy.

Riverwest Co-op focuses on "Food for People, Not for Profit." They work with local and organic producers and support organic farming, urban agriculture and environmental sustainability to name a few. They also operate mostly, if not all, on volunteers, who then get a 10% discount on their purchases. This allows them to keep cost low and continue their mission. Sometimes, and in my experience quite often, hole-in-the-wall spots have killer food and the amenities don't even matter.

If there was anything to critique about Riverwest Co-op, it would be the service in the cafe. While sometimes the people are awesome and friendly, other times you can stand and wait for a while before anyone even approaches you. While I know the importance of good service after working in the restaurant industry myself, I will keep going back because the food kicks ass.

Riverwest Co-op breaks the stereotypes of tasteless and dull vegetarian and vegan food. The number of people giving up animal products is growing constantly and this place proves why.


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