On Saturday, more than 100 food vendors will participate in the Eat Drink Vegan festival located at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. With so much food offered, there’s no way to sample all of the innovative dishes and comforting classics that will be available. However, to satisfy the palates of every attendee, we’re spotlighting nine of the best food vendors that every festival goer needs to try.
1. Chickpea & Olive
Get a taste of Brooklyn at the Chickpea & Olive booth. This 2017 Best of Brooklyn award winner will make its Pasadena debut with its Buttermilk Chk’n Fried Tofu Sandwiches. The company is also collaborating with festival regular Donut Friend to offer a Nashville Hot Tofu Donut Sandwich. This delicious partnership will also save you time, as the line for Donut Friend can be up to an hour long.
2. Fatsquatch PDX
If you’re looking for a deep-fried accompaniment to your beer, check out Fatsquatch PDX. This Portland-based food cart will showcase its popular Jalapeño Poppers stuffed with Squatch Bacun Onion Cashew Cream Cheese. They may not be fat-free, but they are gluten-free! Sensitive taste buds beware: these are hot!
3. Charlie’s Brownies
Charlie’s Brownies has become a regular at vegan festivals, but the company’s sweets are far from tired. Founder Charlie Fyffe keeps his gluten-free brownies fresh by introducing new creations at almost every event. Try the brand-new Brownie Donut, and get adventurous by making it a Brownie (or Blondie) Donut Sundae. By doing so, you get a brownie doughnut topped with dark chocolate glaze, vegan vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, pistachios, cacao nibs, and brownie crumbles. This year, there’s also the festival-exclusive Superfood Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich and a Blondie Ice Cream Sandwich. Whichever you choose, you’re going to wish Fyffe was your new best friend.
4. Pomodoro E Basilico
Ever tried a burger for dessert? If not, change that by visiting the Pomodoro E Basilico booth. The London-based brand will be serving its sweet Unicorn Burger, which is comprised of a strawberry and coconut bread bun, “unicorn burger,” peanut butter and chocolate sauces, peach and basil jam, avocado, and banana chips. Our advice? Be sure to snap a photo for Instagram before you take a bite.
5. The Abbot’s Butcher
This Orange County, CA, plant-based “butchery” might be a new business, but they are coming out in full force due to a BBQ Western Cheeseburger complete with a “beef” patty, lettuce, Follow Your Heart cheese, vegan mayonnaise, crispy onions, and barbecue sauce. This burger mimics its animal counterpart in taste, texture, and appearance, so bring your omnivore friends and usher them toward the “butchery.”
6. Ridiculous Baking Co.
Thanks to a collaboration between NadaMoo! and Ridiculous Baking Co., festival attendees will get to sample two vendors at one booth. The result of this pairing will be a Croissant Bread Pudding a la mode, which we can’t wait to try. If savory is more your style, don’t miss the new pizza croissant at Ridiculous Baking Co. because few things go better together than pizza and beer.
7. Donna Jean
This new San Diego vegan restaurant with a Midwest flair is making the trek to Pasadena to show off its Hot Shrooms, a plant-based spin on the Nashville hot chicken trend. Pro tip: forego the fries, and opt for these deep-fried spicy breaded mushrooms instead.
8. Sweetfin Poke
If you’re looking for a lighter option, make sure to visit Sweetfin Poke for a bowl featuring barbecue tofu, grilled corn, spicy tomato mayonnaise, avocado, and sunflower seeds served with kelp or bamboo rice. Sweetfin Poke is one of the many omnivore restaurant vendors that were recruited for this event as a way for Eat Drink Vegan curators to highlight the array of meat-based eateries that also serve delicious plant-based options.
9. The Shugah Mama
The Shugah Mama is partnering with NadaMoo! and Yoga-Urt to bring attendees yet another opportunity to sample multiple vendors at once. This variety pack of sweets offers four different flavor combinations: White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies with Strawberry Serenity Yoga-Urt, Carob Chip Cookies with Mint Chip Ice Cream, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies with NadaMoo! Pistachio Ice Cream, and Carob Chip Cookies with Snickerdoodle Ice Cream. So, grab a few friends (or friendly strangers) and split some sweets!
Tanya Flink is a certified Master Personal Trainer based in Orange County, CA and host of the upcoming new podcast “The Vegan Potluck.”
Photo courtesy of Charlie’s Brownies