Hip City Veg | Nicole Marquis is fulfilling the demand for mainstream vegan fast food with Hip City Veg, now in its third week in Rittenhouse. Steering clear of vegan preachitude, Marquis' aim is to provide a "100 percent plant-based" experience "familiar to meat eaters." Her chef, Lauren Hooks, is knocking out a menu with populist appeal — think the "Ziggy" burger, a meatless riff on the Big Mac, and a crispy "chick'n" sandwich. There are also salads, sides and smoothies, all built with local seasonal ingredients. Hip City is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and offers both takeout and delivery. More on Meal Ticket. 127 S. 18th St., 215-278-7605, hipcitveg.com.
Spiga | Le Castagne, Rittenhouse's upscale Northern Italian restaurant, now has a downmarket cousin in Spiga, a 13th Street addition that'll officially open this Saturday, May 5. Former Le Castagne chef Brian Wilson, in partnership with Skip DiMassa, Giuseppe Sena and Anthony Masopollo, has moved a few blocks east to run the kitchen of the casual 60-seater, armed with two wood-burning ovens (one for roasting meat and seafood, the other for pizzas). Other menu items will include housemade cotechino and fennel flan with house-cured bacon and vincotto. 1305 Locust St., 267-273-1690, spigaphiladelphia.com.
Vernick Food & Drink (2031 Walnut St.), from Jean-Georges alum Greg Vernick and his wife Julie, opened on Tuesday night.
Avram Hornik of Four Corners (Drinker's, Union Transfer, Ortlieb's, etc.) has earned neighborhood approval to revive the Boot & Saddle at Broad and Ellsworth. It should open by 2013. More on Meal Ticket.
The Food Trust's Headhouse Farmers Market (Second and Lombard) debuts for the season this Sunday, May 6, at 10 a.m.