Great Eats at Veg Fest Vancouver on Granville Street: Saturday, August 4

Vegan Reuben by Loving Hut Express food cart. Photo credit: Flickr user Vegan Heathen

Calling all vegetarians, vegans and veg-curious eaters: the second annual Veg Fest Vancouver takes over Granville Street between Georgia and Robson on Saturday, August 4.

Veg Fest is a day-long, free festival that offers a rare opportunity for meat-free foodies to sample fare from over a dozen veg vendors in one go.

Vancouver has a long history of catering to vegetarian needs. The Naam Restaurant is the pioneer in this genre. The Naam opened doors in Kits in 1968 and consistently wins awards for its all-veg menu and 24/7 service.

More recently, in response to growing consumer demand, a slew of sophisticated vegan eateries have opened doors in the Vancouver suburbs. There’s a great Straight article on the newbies.  The Acorn Restaurant, which opened on Main Street in July, is another newcomer to watch, serving gourmet, seasonal veg/vegan/raw fare.

Vancouver vegetarians (and those who are growing weary of bacon mania and whole hog dinners) will have a chance to check out their options for vegetarian cuisine at Veg Fest, from 11am to 7pm. Expect restaurants, bakeries, and snack foods ranging from energy bars to artisan chocolate.

Veg Fest 2012 Food Vendors

Loving Hut
Zimt Artisan Chocolates
Edible Flours
Fairy Cakes
Eternal Abundance
Tao Organics
The Simply Bar
Chomp Vegan Eatery
Life Bites
Indigo Food
North of 49 Naturals

Savoury Highlights at Veg Fest

It’s not that difficult to find a Vancouver food cart that has one or two veg options (The Kaboom Box, Off the Wagon Tacos, Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Mangal Kiss), but an entire veg menu is quite rare. The Loving Hut Express is one of Vancouver’s few vegan-only food carts known for their gourmet vegan sandwiches. Fans rave about the reubens and hearty mushroom “cheese” burgers.

Chomp Vegan Eatery, which opened in late 2011 in Port Moody, is the first vegan restaurant in Metro Vancouver’s tri-cities. Chomp owner Vanessa Mills serves a variety of locally-sourced, seasonal salads, rice bowls, wraps, pizza and dessert.

Sweet Highlights at Veg Fest

Zimt Artisan Chocolates is Vancouver’s source for raw, vegan, organic, fair trade, nut-free chocolate – the kind you can justify eating. Sweetened with coconut nectar and darker than your average artisan chocolate, Zimt bars come nine varieties. The favourites are the Chocolate Nib’d and Sweet Orange Nib’d which are studded with crunchy cacao nibs – a potent superfood.

Edible Flours, which you may have already met at their Kitsilano retail shop or stand at the Trout Lake Farmer’s Market, is Vancouver’s premier vegan bakery. Go for the decadent cupcakes, but don’t leave without trying the raspberry iced doughnuts.

Veg Fest Vancouver takes place on Granville Street between Georgia and Robson from 11am to 7pm, Saturday, August 4. Admission is free!

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