I’ve had a lingering food coma from the Chicago VeganMania 2017 festival two weekends ago. Who knew that Chicago had so many great vegan places?! There were also some out-of-state restaurants I loved, which means that I am not looking up races near them. Will travel for food. It was such a fun day. In part 1 of my recap, I discussed the 5 new vegan vendors I discovered. Here’s part two: Chicago VeganMania Restaurant Recap.
When I arrived at the festival, I did a lap to see all the dishes and their cost. This information was available previously online, but there’s something to be said about seeing the food in person. Lucky for me, on that lap Soul Vegan gave me some samples!
I tried their vegan mac n’ cheese, BBQ delights, and collard greens. My favorite was the mac n’ cheese! Did you know that Soul Vegan is the number one supplier of vegan food in the state? How cool that they’re located in Chicago! I’ve seen them a few times while grocery shopping and have always been curious. Definitely will be buying their mac n cheese if I need some comfort food and am too lazy to cook!
Baht Ammi Vegan Catering
Another lucky free sample was of Chicago-based Baht Ammi‘s BBQ twist on a stick. It had a very robust BBQ flavor and was a nice little sample bite. The actual portion had about 5-7 bites on the stick, but for me this was the perfect size to try.
Pie Pie My Darling
SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS! I had my eye on the Monster Cupcake ever since the Veg Fest in June. Sippi and I made sure to get one right away when we got there.
It’s a vanilla cupcake, filled with cookie dough, topped with frosting, and then a cooked cookie. Talk about a sugar bomb! It was so rich that I was glad to share it! Later, I attended Heather’s cooking demo where she made the cupcake. There are many steps but it’s worth it! There’s currently no store front in Chicago, but you can find Pie Pie cakes and cupcakes at a few restaurants.
Fancy Plants Catering
Jon and I split the sushi from Fancy Plants Catering. I LOVED it. I hadn’t had much Japanese food since coming back from Tokyo, and this reminded me of being there.
It was sushi rice, smoked beet, soy-pickled shiitake, Japanese cucumber, avocado, scallion, nori, tempura crisp, wasabi, and eggplant. Fabulous. One hundred percent would get again. Luckily, they’re a Chicago-based catering company.
Jon and I also split a two-scoop bowl of vegan gelato from Sacred Serve. They were one of the things I was really excited to try out. We got the birthday cake collaboration and the mint.
The mint, as always was fantastic. I naturally think mint needs to be green or white from years of being an ice cream eater, so the brown throws me off visually, but the taste is perfect. The birthday cake was good, but the ratio of cake to ice cream was too high. I would have liked more gelato. But that didn’t stop me from finishing it and loving every bite! I already know where to buy Sacred Serve gelato, and have travelled to a few different festivals over the summer just to eat some!
No Bones Beach Club
This dish was a SHOW STOPPER. Zach and Jackie got the jackfruit flautas from No Bones. I had just a little taste and was floored by how good it was! When Tess arrived, we split an order of two flautas. The ingredients were jackfruit with fire roasted chiles, Chao cheese, tomatillo avocado salsa, and cashew cream. Hands down my favorite dish of the day!
Unfortunately, No Bones is in Portland. BUT there are plenty of marathons and ultramarathons around Portland that I am now heavily considering. Yes, I will travel for food. I took two flautas home at the end!
Art of Dosa
Tess, Ivory and I also tried the masala dosa plate: Crispy golden crepe from fermented rice and lentils – served with sambar (lentil soup), potato curry, coconut chutney, and “gun powders” for you spice & heat lovers.
It was my first time eating dosa. The curry was fantastic and there was definitely a spicy kick at the end. There’s no site front for this restaurant yet in Chicago, but there are plans for next year. I’d venture out for dosa again!
The final thing I got was Vegan Combo with injera from Ras Dashen. This restaurant is located in Edgewater, just a few doors down from where VeganMania was held. Previously I had only eaten Ethiopian food once before so I didn’t know what to expect.
I had injera, kik alichia and misser salata. The bread was so spongy! I loved all the flavors – way more layered than what I can make at home. Highly recommend.
Overall, I liked everything that I tried. I barely made a dent in all the restaurant options though. I really wish this was a two-day festival or that I had brought more Tupperware!
That’s it for my Chicago VeganMania Restaurant Recap! What dish would you have liked to try? If you attended VeganMania, what was your favorite dish?