travel / Vida Vegan Con

Vida Vegan Con III Day Two: Food Trucks, Vegan Vendors, and Ginormous Whole Foods

The Vida Vegan Bazaar took place today at the lovely Marchesa Hall and Theatre – the perfect space for all of the vendors, speakers, and raffles. But first! Attendees of the conference got a special preview of Miyoko’s Kitchen Artisan Vegan Cheese spread.

 

 

Behold: round one of tasting the most delicate, rich, creamy, smokey, herby artisan vegan cheeses there ever were… from White Truffle to Farmhouse Sharp Cheddar to Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash, each flavor was more complex and mind-bogglingly outstanding.

Just one of the two table spreads that were soon completely overtaken by hungry, hungry vegans! The rest of the vendors were crammed into another larger room – there were so many! Perusing each table carefully took quite some time, which is a testament to the incredible hard work of the organizers in bringing each of them to VVCIII. Here were just a few:

 

Rabbit Food Grocery was in attendance with all kinds of vegan goodies.

 

 

BBQ jackfruit by Upton’s Naturals! Yum!

 

 

Clove & Cactus soy candles smell uh-maaaaaazing and the crew were very sweet.

 

 

Beanfield chips are always a treat. Vegan Doritos, baby!

 

 

Some super-yum granola by Michele’s Granola.

 

 

Sweet Earth Foods were also in attendance, frying up some Benevolent Bacon for garnish on virgin Bloody Marys.

 

 

Giving Miyoko a run for her money, Treeline Cheeses were seriously impressive!

 

 

Mean Vegan Products offers some delectable tamales, chick-un salad, and BBQ jackfruit.

 

 

Portland-based Herbivore Clothing Co. rocked it with their assortment of beautiful attire, magnets, bags, belts, and buttons.

 

 

Punk Rawk Labs‘ presents meant more vegan cheese! Truly awesome, especially the nacho flavor.

 

 

Vegan/cruelty-free, and adhering to all kinds of ethical standards, Gourmet Body Treats carries some great products without chemicals.

 

 

Not to be missed was Capital City Bakery‘s booth – sooooo many samples, and they went fast! The brownies are to fucking die for…

 

 

 

Ethical jeweler Christy Robinson was there to promote her incredible work. I’m bringing home a “Not a Nugget” chick pendant, which I LOVE!

 

 

Hilary’s Eat Well veggie burgers and dressings are super-simple and very tasty.

 

 

Local Austin ice cream company, Nada Moo, were there offering their sinful frozen desserts. We may have gone back for seconds…

 

 

Compassion Co. were there with their in-your-face, kickass vegan propaganda attire!

 

Amidst all the sampling, we still had room for more! Three food trucks were parked at the bazaar, including Arlo’s, which offers a famed bac’n cheeseburger that completely lives up to its name. Holy shit. Cannot remember the last time I had a spectacularly greasy and flavorful fast-food-type burger… this was so great!

Later we still had room for The Vegan Nom! Yes, Vegan Noms visited The Vegan Nom and it was grand. The tagline “Rockin Vegan Tacos” totally holds water, because, you guys… zomg. The chik’n faux-jitas and the lemon pepper mock fish tacos are out of this world! We are set on going back for another visit before our time is up.

But the bazaar wouldn’t be nearly as magical if it weren’t for those in attendance. Having a reunion with Christy Morgan, The Blissful and Fit Chef, after our amazing retreat in Bali back on October made my heart sing! We just had to get our #flexfriday on. You understand.

And who could forget the oh-so-compassionate Dan of The Gay Vegans. Check us posing at the Earth Balance booth. I swear, this man has positivity and warmth oozing out of his pores! Love him to death.

By the end of the bazaar, we were pooped and headed back to our airbnb apartment to rest. Not wanting to waste a moment of time to explore, we quickly decided to hoof it over to the flagship Whole Foods store.

In a word, this place is ENORMOUS. In a few more words, it is TOTALLY FUCKING MASSIVE AND MAGICAL. I can’t… there just… you have to understand. It is HUGE.

We were completely taken aback at how the multiple restaurants, hot bars, salad bars, deli cases, bakery cases took up the space of an entire traditional Whole Foods store. There was an entire refrigerated section devoted to cold brew coffee, folks! Yuppie heaven!

The best part was seeing, IRL, some of the new and exciting vegan products on the market. And check out this section completely devoted to veggie stuffs! My heart soared… We walked away with some awesome deli selections and some undiscovered Silk yogurt flavors (pineapple! vanilla! black cherry!) and some MORE doughnuts.

So far, Austin’s vegan scene rocks my socks. Tomorrow brings the beginning of the official conference, complete with breakfast taco bar and a variety of panels and speakers. Stay tuned, bloggers!

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