HipCityVeg is a vegan fast casual restaurant that already has a couple of locations in Philadelphia, but which set up shop at 712 7th St NW. This modern, sleek and friendly spot serves vegan versions of fast food items like chicken sandwiches, burgers and shakes. At the suggestion of the guy serving me, who said that it was their most popular item, I ordered the “Crispy HipCity Ranch” which consists of battered imitation chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and peppercorn ranch. As a non-vegan it was tough for me to see the more mainstream appeal of a sandwich like this; while imitation meat is likely better for the environment than actual meat, imitation chicken doesn’t taste as good, is highly processed and isn’t necessarily healthier. This could have been offset by a decadent, crispy batter, but the batter wasn’t as crispy as I had hoped. It’s also not cheap for the quantity of food. HipCityVeg is certainly bright, friendly and cool, but for someone like myself, I’d rather eat a real chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A (sorry, chickens). I can certainly see its niche appeal, though.