Our wonderful little vegan community is not that little anymore, and it’s easier than ever to support local businesses with compassionate offerings. The holiday season is upon us, but these gift ideas are for any time of year.
Note: While many of these places make and sell 100% vegan goods, not all are fully vegan so double check before purchasing. For example, Urban Forage sells mead in addition to vegan cider and wine, and The Buzz has non-vegan waffle mix.
Crisp & Green is a fast casual eatery, and they just opened two new locations in St. Paul. They have some suburb and Minneapolis locations with further expansion plans in the works. You can either select from their salad or bowls menu, or build your own. They also have smoothies which are all vegan and feature pea protein.
Birch Benders is based in Denver, CO, and they’ve coined themselves a “micro-pancakery.” They make pancake and waffle mixes, along with a few different kinds of toaster waffles. You can find their products at retail stores across the country.
If you’re looking for a sushi fix, Midori’s Floating World Cafe is a great spot. The restaurant is colorful and cheerful, and they have many vegan options. Dishes that are either vegan or can be made vegan are marked (VG), along with (GF*) for gluten sensitive dishes. Just let your server know when you order in case a dish needs to be modified.
Keefer Court opened on the West Bank in the eighties as a restaurant and bakery. They’ve started veganizing products in their bakery case, and I can’t get enough. They have plans to add vegan options to the restaurant menu, so stay tuned.
McHenry County, IL lies about halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, and I’ll admit that it’s not a place I would have ever considered visiting until I was invited to a blogger weekend. My previous post recaps the yummy plant based eats I enjoyed at the Cherry Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast, but we spent a lot of time out and about which meant a lot of other yummy food!
The VCC is a fun community event that takes place in cities across the nation. The Vegan Chef Challenge started in Sacramento in 2011 by Bethany Davis. The goal for this event is to not only show the community how amazing vegan food is, but to bring the vegan and non-vegan communities together to share in something they both love—amazing food! It’s also a great way to show local restaurants the monetary benefits of offering delicious vegan food on their menus. The competition part is fun for the chefs because it encourages them to push their creativity when creating their menus.
Formerly known as Nogurt Yogurt, sünabloomis making a splash in the Twin Cities with their sunflower seed based, allergen friendly, plant based yogurt. Together with Eat.Drink.Dish, sünabloom hosted a tasting and launch party, and I happily accepted an invitation to the pre-event influencer social.
They invited some of my favorite local vegan businesses to provide additional treats, there was a DJ, and amazingly styled sunflower drag queens. Upon arrival, I was shown the champagne bar and my first thought was, “These people know how to throw a party.”
The Twin Cities offers a wide variety of vegan pizza options. This is a list of where I’ve been and what I’ve had. The restaurants range from sit-down table service to quick-serve casual. The brand of vegan cheese varies among the restaurants.