This year Ecorazzi, an online vegan magazine, hosted their first annual Vegan Food and Drink Festival at Randall's Island Park in New York City. While the event may be well-established in Toronto and Chicago, this was The Big Apple's first go-round — and it definitely did not disappoint.

People traveled from around the world to attend. With both local vendors, such as Ravi Jolly, Queens native and co-founder of I Heart Keenwah, as well as others like InTheSoulShine coming all the way from Australia, this festival brought together the best of vegan culture from all over the globe.

With everything from food and retail to educational booths about the benefits of veganism (for the non-vegan attendees), this festival was STACKED. Here are some of our top omnivore-approved picks:

Alison Regan

1. Peaceful Provisions

Alison Regan

How should one start the day in New York City? With a donut of course! Or maybe...12?

And the people in line at Peaceful Provisions were just the same: walking away with half dozens and dozens of artisan vegan donuts. This vegan pop-up is famous for it's creative confections like this nut-free, preservative-free "Goth Von D" donut filled with coconut ash pudding and topped with a coconut ash glaze. Let's just say, vegan donuts may actually be the new black.

Alison Regan

2. Cinnamon Snail

Alison Regan

Since launching on Valentine's Day of 2010, this vegan food truck has been serving up some of New York's most iconic donuts and pastries as well as breakfasts and sandwiches. The folks in front of me indulged in some fruit and coconut based-glazes, while I decided to go whole hog.

I followed an expert suggestion from a woman behind me with some Cinnamon Snail experience: The Classic Cinnamon Snail itself, and the Peanut Cookie Dough donut filled with cookie dough and chocolate ganache. It may have been the best yeast raised donut I've ever had.

Alison Regan

3. These Wingz 

Alison Regan

You're trying to sell me chicken wings? Excuse me? Do you know where you are?

Don't worry, these chicken wingz* could actually be fed to a chicken, not made from one.

These folks aren't messing around. The line for this Chicago-based wingstop was across the entire park, all day long. Their deep fried seitan delights are packed with protein and smothered in hot wing sauce.

Seitan, also called "wheat meat," is a cooked form of vital wheat gluten which is a popular meat substitute for vegans since it's texture is so meat-like. Served with french fries, of course, which are almost always vegan ;) 

4. Monk's Vegan Smokehouse

Alison Regan

Don't even get me started on Monk's. Seriously. This place is hands down some of the best vegan BBQ around. And it showed by also having a line across the entire park all day long.

The "Smokehouse" is what they call their booth when they head out into the food festival world but the company itself, "Monk's Meats", is actually a Brooklyn based Vegetarian Butcher Shop and Delicatessen. It comes with all the charm of a New York Deli, without the cruelty!

At Vegan Food Fest they were serving up some classic Bacon topped Mac and Cheeze, hushpuppies, and fried mushroom sandwiches. Some other fun features of the BBQ platter was seitan brisket, collard greens, even a vegan breakfast sandwich served on a Peaceful Provisions donut.

I think even Frank Underwood may approve...

5. Vegan Dots

Alison Regan

Who'd expect California to represent at the Vegan Food Fest with a vegan version of Dippin' Dots? It was a fantastic surprise to find this beloved sports game or mall treat to be so carefully hand-dripped into nitrogen and crafted into a bowl of frigid flavor.

Depending on your choice you'd get soy or almond or soy and gluten based dots. Isn't it magical that you can make Dippin' Dots from almonds?! Some of their flavor choices included: Simply Vanilla, Banana Split, Chocolate, Rainbow, Cookies N Cream, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Caramel, and Cotton Candy.

6. Eggloo 

Alison Regan

Speaking of ice cream....Eggloo made an appearance and was the only vendor that typically sold non-vegan food. What?!? Vegans were eating EGGS?!? *brain explosion*

Traditionally, this treat is served in a Gai Dai Jai which translates to "little eggs" in Chinese and is made from a sweet egg batter. So basically, this yummy treat is usually full of dairy and eggs, but they decided to change the batter and ice cream with vegan alternatives. Way to go Eggloo!

7. DFMavens

Alison Regan

Oh and one more thing...can you tell vegans love ice cream? And this one was free! DFMavens is an Astoria, Queens based purveyor of hand-crafted vegan, gluten-free, and kosher frozen dessert. You can find their products in local grocery stores as well as online.

They have soy, almond, and coconut milk based "ice creams" as well as this new Cookies N Cream ice cream bar they were just giving away. And how does one say no to Cookies N Cream? 

Alison Regan

8. Champs Diner

Alison Regan

An institution. A Fever Dream. A Place to Call Home. Champs Diner has been called many things, but non-vegan is not one of them. This Brooklyn based vegan diner has all that you'd find in any classic American diner, and more.

Alison Regan

Featured above is their breakfast nachos, but at Champs one can find everything from mozzerella sticks to burgers to french toast, to cheesesteaks, to milkshakes, and so much more! This place has vegan Americana in the red, white, and blue BAG! 

9. Screamers Pizza

Alison Regan

I cannot tell you how long I have waited to have a slice of Screamers Pizza. As a pizza lover and a non-cheese eater, this has been a long time coming.

Screamers is the self-proclaimed "love-child of Champs Diner and Blackbird Pizzeria." And boy, does it live up to the name. This pizza palace can be found in Brooklyn and was founded as your classic New York Slice shop with all the fixin's, but 100% vegan. Featured below were 2 of the 3 slices they had that day: Chorizo Mac and Cheeze on the left, and the Park Pizza with Pesto, Kale, Zucchinni, and dollops of almond ricotta cheese. 

Alison Regan

#SpoonTip: When going to a food festival, make friends with those in line with you, and they'll share their food with you. That's how I got a bite of the other slice, Buffalo with vegan ranch drizzled on top.

10. Yeah Dawg!!!

Alison Regan

"Keeping Fake Real" is the slogan of this Brooklyn hot dog company. They make their vegan dawgs out of "root vegetables, sunflower seeds, gluten-free flour, herbs and spices." Sounds gross, right? WRONG!

These things are the real deal. From the classic dawg with just condiments, to their Viva Dawg with Pineapple Pickle, Coconut Bacon, and house-made chipotle mayo, these dawgs can be enjoyed by everyone.

11. P-Nuff Crunch

Alison Regan

If you didn't get the hint from my out-of-body experience with Cinnamon Snail's Peanut Cookie Dough donut, I'm letting you know now that peanut butter is a priority of mine. Being a lover of peanut butter and a busy college student who feels slightly embarrassed by just carrying a jar of peanut butter around, P-Nuff Crunch is my solution.

These hearty, healthy snacks are made from navy beans, peanuts, and rice. They are a quick, go-to protein snack that are irresistibly delicious without the need for fillers or gross non-digestible ingredients. Clean Vegan Protein on the go makes me one happy peanut!

12. Elmhurst

Alison Regan

We've all heard of almond milk, soy milk, and maybe even coconut milk at this point, right? You've seen the "alternative milks" section at your grocery store and shuddered at the thought of an udder on an almond. Ho, ho, ho! Even some people are debating whether they should be supplying Santa with his dairy filled cookie dipping beverage.

What about Hazelnut Milk? Or Walnut Milk? Milk that isn't white?

Ok, take a deep breath. Elmhurst 1925 was originally a cow's milk dairy company. Great, now the vegans are gasping. Well, calm down again.

Now renamed simply Elmhurst, this company has recently paired up with Dr. Cheryl Mitchell to invent a line of plant-based nut-milks that require no "added thickeners, emulsifiers, stabilizers, or oils" because all the nutrition and thickness are in the nuts themselves!

So thicc nut-milk is a thing. Feel free to go nuts over it.

13. I Heart Keenwah

Alison Regan

As mentioned, Co-Founder and Queens local Ravi of I Heart Keenwah was there and giving samples of more plant-based and nutritious snacks. Using Bolivian quinoa, I Heart Keenwah sells toasted quinoa, hot cereal, savory quinoa puffs and chocolate covered-quinoa puffs in a assortment of flavors.

Alison Regan

I had tried them before in a vegan snack subscription box called VeganCuts, and was thrilled to get to meet the co-founder himself! At around one dollar an ounce, these snacks are affordable and delicious, nutritious for any one wanting a healthier alternative to classic potato chips or chocolate candy. 

14. Informational Booth

Alison Regan

You can't go to a vegan festival without some sort of propaganda stand. At least, that's what I thought until I walked up an asked. Along with the food and retail booths at the festival, standing right at the entrance was a large booth that had answers to the question on every non-vegan attendee's mind: should I go vegan?

My naive mind thought that probably everyone going to the festival would be vegan, or at least would know about it, but you'd be surprised at the amount of people who were there and ate everything under the sun. When I walked up to the booth, I heard nothing but positives about the vegan lifestyle. There was no preaching, no huffing and puffing, and no hatred towards omnivores and their obvious wrongdoings. 

The stereotype of vegans being picketing, screaming tree-huggers shattered right before my eyes. Instead, this festival was full of really grateful individuals who recognized the privilege of their lifestyle and wanted to do everything they could to share that privilege and joy with the rest of the world. 

New York's 1st Annual Vegan Food and Drink Festival was attended by tons of vegan bloggers and celebrities, but there was no hierarchy or "meet and greets" with long lines. At the end of my day at the festival, I wasn't just full, I was absolutely content. 

Hope to see you next year at the 2nd Annual Vegan Food and Drink Festival!