From afar, it looks like any other food fest with vendors plating samples and crowds of people reaching for a taste. Attendees carry paper plates of Philly cheese empanadas, Korean BBQ soft tacos and lip smackin’ spicy buffalo chicken. Close-up however, you might soon notice that all the grub at this shindig is entirely vegan. Even the fried chicken.
On March 1, the U.S Veg Corp kicked off its 4th annual 2-day celebration of dining deliciously meat-free. And we’re not talking Morning Star “facon”, kale wraps and chia seed smoothies. The thousands of attendees sampled everything from gyros, kebabs and hot dogs–all piled generously with toppings–to spicy Italian ground “beef” and curry chowder. Artisan nut-based cheeses with scallion and cracked pepper, mini cupcakes, macarons and ice cream flavors galore were also among the more classic veggie burgers, all-natural snack bars and fruity teas.
Whether you’re a meat-eater looking to try something new, a tried-and-true vegetarian or an aspiring vegan, check out our five favorite indulgences from this year’s veg-friendly food fest. And though we bet that vegan hot dogs are probably no healthier than Crif Dogs, here’s to meat-free being sinfully delicious too.
1. Soul Kofa’s Fried Chicken
Shockingly similar to the “real deal” from flavorful taste to fried crispy texture, Soul Kofa’s fried chicken was just one highlight from their entire line of vegan soul food, mac & cheese, General Tso’s and chicken(-less) nuggets included. All these soulful snacks can be ordered from their website.
2. Spicy Korean BBQ Jackfruit tacos
These babies, brought to you by author, blogger and veg-loving Joni Marie Newman, were hearty but light, topped with a sesame slaw and drizzled with a spicy Siracha “mayo.” Find this recipe and tons of other vegan dish ideas on Newman’s site or in one of her many cookbooks.
3. Spicy Buffalo Drumstix
A special festival feature, these spicy buffalo drumstix were a kickass peek at Vegan Fast Food NYC, coming to the city soon! Fried crisp, coated in a heat-worthy sauce and served with a dollop of blue “cheese” dressing, these hot shots were spotted in hands all through the festival.
4. Stonewall’s Jerquee
If beef jerky is your guilty pleasure, Stonewall’s Jerquee is far from a meat-free letdown. Flavors ranged through all the good stuff from mild, spicy, Teriyaki and bacon to Tandoori chicken and hot pastrami. You can order a pack here.
5. The vegan hot dog cart
Need we say more?