Vegandale Food and Drink Festival – Come Get Your Vegan On, Chicago!

The Vegandale Festival (formerly known as the Vegan Food & Drink Festival) returned to Chicago for its third year on Saturday, June 30,, 2019 (11am-7pm) at Grant Park, Butler Field. The fest brought with it even more vegan comfort food, craft brews, wine and entertainment.

Vegandale “directions”

With hundreds of vendors and 75,000+ guests in attendance across all shows, Vegandale is North America’s biggest and most popular vegan food festival. Vegandale’s new name and look is an ode to the company’s downtown Toronto strip by the same name; a mecca for the ethically minded and hungry, with the best of vegan food, goods and services co-existing on one city block.

Vegandale Festival organizers revealed a packed line-up of comfort foods from both local and international vendors like Doomie’s, Doug McNish, Arlo’s, and more! Dishes such as sky-high burgers, creamy bowls of mac n’ cheese, and epic brownie sundaes – were all examples of salivating-worthy foods paired with all of the cold brews, live entertainment and epic art installations that fans have grown to love. Vegandale was proud to take their utopia on the road, hosting the Vegandale Festival in four different locations back in 2018 – including Chicago, Toronto, New York City and Houston.

Eggloo waffle cone with dark chocolate soy ice cream

“We’re ready to move one step closer to world vegan domination with our upcoming festival season,” said Hellenic Vincent De Paul, Owner of The 5700 Inc., the company behind the Vegandale Festival. “With our continued expansion, we’re out to prove the ease and enjoyment of veganism – celebrated through food, drinks, music and art.”

Chicago is just one of the four stops this amazing fest where vegetarianism and veganism go up in huge numbers each coming year. More and more people are considering or shifting to a vegan lifestyle, whether it is for ethical or health reasons. Vegandale is one great way to show people who are interested in becoming vegan that there is more to consuming animal-free products/cooking than simply consuming “rabbit food.” Eating vegan opens a new door of culinary opportunities and varieties of food options.

Vegan nachos and cheese
Behind the scenes at Vegandale

I have now attended Vegandale Chicago twice, and each time I make the same mistake by arriving after it opens. After 11am, the lines become extremely long, and it takes hours to wait for foods and drinks that you would like to sample. Next year, I plan to arrive on time!

The third Chicago Vegandale Fest offered several new dishes that I was very excited to try this summer, including a variety of cultural options and desserts from all over the U S. Some of my favorite new featured vendors included Southern Fried Vegan (fried chikn’ mac n’ cheese and jambalaya greens), Vegan Plate (plant based beef basil with vegan fried rice, vegan seafood, and chocolate mousse cake), Jamaican Me Krazy Inc. (vegan curried chicken, vegan jerk chicken, vegan nachos and cheese and lasagna, burrito wraps and Thai iced coffee), Eggloo’s waffle cone with creamy, dark chocolate soy ice cream, and BBQ roasted cauliflower bites.

Tropical Love – Drink From A Fruit Smoothies
Fruit smoothies came in a watermelon or pineapple

Tropical Love’s Drink From A Fruit was a fun option as well, where you could order a fresh fruit smoothie in a pineapple or watermelon shell (passionate pineapple, wild watermelon or calming coconut). There was also B’Gabs, a vegan scratch kitchen, which offered lobster rolls, Philly cheesesteak, Italian Beef, peach cobbler (delicious and not super sweet), hummingbird cake and cookies. Art of Dosa served delicious Indian vegan food that was gluten and allergy free, and Snackrelage, a Portland, Oregon based vegan wings eatery offered toasted cheesy buffalo wing sandwiches.

B’Gabs, a vegan scratch kitchen
B’Gabs Peach Cobbler

Besides endless food options, the Vegandale Food Fest also featured vegan-friendly products and merchandise such as Vegans Rock Apparel and BeetxBeet (Los Angeles, CA), Wuxly Movement (Toronto, ON), Aicha’s Naturals (Ellicot City, MD), Compassion Co. and Aicha’s Naturals (MD), Teeminder Organic Apparel and Superior Electrolytes (NY, NY), Action for Animals (Seattle, WA) and Children’s Book Author (Columbus, OH).

Vegan Plate’s plant based beef basil with vegan fried rice

Upside of the Vegandale Food and Drink Fest? Excellent, yummy selection of food and drink options to choose from. Downside? Being stuck in long lines and missing out on everything else you want to sample. So…bottom line to thoroughly enjoy next year’s Chicago Vegandale Food and Drink Festival? Arrive early to avoid long lines AND bring baggies to take home left overs!

Vegan agenda…eat…love…nap…

Photos: Jennifer Lunz

To learn more about the remainder of the Vegandale Fest North American tour, please visit the website.

You may also be interested in A New Way of Eating

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