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Round Up: NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2015

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Round up: NYC Vegetarian Festival 2015

As some of you might know, this weekend was the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival (or as I like to think of it, heaven). This year marked the 5th anniversary of the event, and it was my first time attending.

Round up: NYC Vegetarian Festival 2015

The line for Cinnamon Snail was down the street. Luckily the wait to get into the festival wasn’t as long.

The place was packed with eager attendees, and who could blame them? There were raffles and contests, recipe demos, three stages with events happening at all times, plus enough free samples to feed a vegan army.

I saw and tasted so much during my time at the festival. Here are a few highlights from the day.

Round up: NYC Vegetarian Festival 2015

Empanadas from V Spot

Top 3 Vegan Restaurants Represented:

1. Yeah Dawg Food Cart: gluten-free veggie dogs with a variety of delectable toppings such as homemade kraut and cashew mayo

2. Bunna Cafe: all-vegan Ethiopian restaurant known for their coffee, soft injera, and legume/veggie-heavy entrees

3. V Spot Latin Vegan Restaurant: plant-based empanadas and arepas (among other hispanic specialties). Need I say more?

I chose these three restaurants as top spots due to sheer numbers. They were hopping with customers from the time I got to the festival in the late morning to the time I left at the end of the day. (Oh, and they looked and smelled totally delicious.)

Round up: NYC Vegetarian Festival 2015

Beanfield chips

 

Top 3 “Vegan Junk Foods” I Sampled:

1. Beanfield’s Bean & Rice Chips (Nacho)tastes like Doritos

2. Bixby Bars (Birdie): tastes like Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bar

3. Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Flavored Puffs: tastes like Pirate’s Booty (Aged White Cheddar)

These three were top tiered in my mind because they reminded me of my childhood favorites. It’s amazing how close they were to the “real deal” of my youth.

Round up: NYC Vegetarian Festival 2015

Delicious ice cream from DF Mavens

Top 3 Favorite Foods I Sampled Overall:

1. NutPunch by TerraNut: nut and seed-based energy rolls that taste like halvah

2. Creamy Chia Cheeze by Heido Ho: all the tang and flavor you would want in a cheese, minus the dairy

3. Key Lime Creme Ice Cream by DF Mavens: equal parts sweet and tart with gluten-free graham cracker chunks

These three items are definitely ones I will be buying (regularly) in the future. Among hundreds of vendors and samples, these were truly standouts.

matt-and-nat

Vegan leather backpack (very Cher a la Clueless, I think)

Top 3 Items I Lusted After:

1. Peltola Backpack by Matt & Nat

2. Veggie Infinity Scarf by Compassion Co.

3. “A Little Veganism Never Hurt Anybody” Thermal by Herbivore Clothing

Great for gifting, great for receiving. These three items were cute and eco-conscious.

All in all, the festival was great (albeit a little claustrophobic at points). I went home with goodies from Follow Your Heart, Raw Revolution, Cedar’s and more. And- even better- I found out about a bunch of cool new companies with ethics I can get behind.

I highly encourage you to check it out next year if you happen to be in the area. For more information and photos from the NYC Vegetarian Festival, check out their Facebook page.

Also by Quincy: 7 Delicious Nut-free Spreads You Have to Try

Related: 10 New Vegan Whole Food Products You’ll Love

Photo: Howard Walfish via Flickr, Quincy Malesovas, mattandnat.com

Quincy Malesovas

Quincy Malesovas

Quincy is an NC-based college student who is passionate about leading a healthy and compassionate life. Aside from classes, she fills her time with cooking, writing, travel, and yoga. You can find more from her on her blog Shugurcän and on Instagram.
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