College friends Robert Wicklund and Bryce Rademan meandered through the joys of culture and youth abroad, fueled by Mediterranean street food. Unable to shake their culinary encounters, upon returning to the US, they conceived of Spitz. Their California-ized dishes bring classic falafel together with a rainbow of local vegetables, chopped and tossed into a confetti of salad, or stuffed inside a tender flat bread with crunchy purple cabbage and fresh crisp fries.
An anchor of Vegan Street Fair, The Federal has loomed near the fair since day one. From last year’s soft cheesy pretzels to this spring’s vegan mac and cheese, they alway dazzle with new, innovative, dishes. This year their Vegan Sushi Bar brings alluring ingredients like toasted sesame tofu paired with sweet mango, herbaceous basil and carrot-ginger sauce—and promises to be yet another crowd pleaser. Don't forget to try their spicy hot dog too. They'll also be hosting the Beer Garden complete with top notch draft beer, wine, and frozen margaritas- all vegan of course!
Popular Oakland pop-up, S+M Vegan recently migrated to Los Angeles where their General Tso Brussels Sprouts swiftly swept the Best of Awards at Vegan Street Fair LA 2017. Ever the conscious innovators, Shane Stanbridge and Marie Chia have diversified their sprout line-up for Vegan Street Fair Nights with the addition of a hot and pungent buffalo bleu and a cheesy smoky bacon. Oh, and save room for their infamous pizza because they are, of course, bringing it too.
High-protein wheat, soy and garbanzo bean flours spiked with Mexican soul and spice fill the cleft between the tortilla walls. But it is Cena Vegan’s Nacho Boat that wins the guacamole crown. Plenty of chips bulge through a landscape of vegan meat—your choice of Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Al Pastor, or gluten-free Barbacoa—and comes loaded with refried beans, fresh pico de gallo, and a wild drizzle of cashew chipotle crema under vivid green dunes of guacamole.
Best friends Cindy and Pei-Yen's homecoming trip to Taiwan spawned more then happy memories—it was the catalyst for the creation of Bling Bling Dumpling. Harnessing the handmade Chinese cooking techniques taught to them by their Taiwanese mothers and grandmothers, the duo crafted a Vegan Dumpling brimming with tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and napa cabbage. Served over their signature spinach base, wilting in the heat of freshness and absorbing the sweet soy sauces dribbling from the dumpling skin.
Over the years Adam Leach, the former head chef and baker at Flore Vegan Cuisine, honed his smart and simple approach to vegan baking. He brings a recognizable quality to everything he touches—from the tender crumb of his cupcakes to the vegan butteriness of his flakey croissants. His stuffed croissants are a staple of Vegan Street Fair. Favorites flavors, like the sauerkraut and seitan stuffed Reuben are making a return, alongside a whole new take on the vegan Banh Mi.
Former head chef of Brooklyn’s Champs Diner, Soozee Nguyen burst onto the Long Beach scene last year. Her provocative takes on international classics stretch the imaginations and the waist bands of fans from coast to coast. At her weekend bunch pop-up, Soozee jams Instagram feeds and faces with decadent favorites. But it is the classic, American guilty-pleasure, the Monte Cristo—a french toast fried ham and cheese sandwich finished off with strawberry jam, maple syrup, and a shake of powdered sugar—that fills a void you may not even know you’ve been carrying with you for all these years.
“You can’t just put broccoli in there and call it a taco.” explains Taqueria La Venganza’s Raul Medina. Born out of hunger, and an adjacency to Chinatown, Medina seeks to bring proper Mexican street food to the vegan community. Applying his techniques to a blend of yuba and jackfruit, he soaks and sizzles the protein on an open grill, piling them high into tacos and such—juices smoldering through the homemade tortillas or into the base of crisp Carne Asada Fries.
Bridging the chasm of demand and of vegan options at public events, Staci Stewart and Chris Chavez hit the streets hard with the Word of Mouth food truck earlier this year. They embrace the kitchen fryer, coaxing out oozing craveables like their already famous breaded Mac and Cheese Bites. They will also be conquering the dessert department with a special sweet that can be dunked and aroo’ed…
From east to west, Charlie's Brownies tantalizes with rich cuts of gluten-free brownies pressed firm around ice cream. Vegan Street Fair Nights is ushering in the return of the Bronut—yes, a brownie donut. Ranging from a blonde ring glazed in the sweet, earthy, base of matcha and black sesame or a chocolate band dotted with colorful goji berries and hemp hearts. These sweet and superfood match ups allow all to convince ourselves that these are a relatively healthy, perhaps even necessary, sweet indulgence.
Powerhouse duo Alice and Belinda smashed on to the scene earlier this year with their allergy aware ice creams. Built upon a coconut base, their artful instincts refined fast and friendly favorites like the nutty-nut-free Sunbutter Cup and the cinnamon spiked Horchata. Doubling down on the Horchata ice cream, Cocobella developed a Churros Sundae with sugar encrusted sticks, oozing salted caramel, and a finish of signature rainbow pebble confetti (not pictured but... I'm sure you can imagine how gorgeous and decadent this thing will be).
Donut Friend is the practical mascot of vegan genius in Los Angeles. The flavors are as hard to pin down as the shop’s identity—is it punk, emo, hardcore, or all of the above? Doesn't matter. We want it all. Flavors loop wildly, each artfully produced and finished with a matching punny musical name—like the blackberry studded Panda Berry or the chocolate, toasted marshmallow, and graham cracker crumbed S’Morrissey. At Vegan Street Fair Nights, they will be slicing open the heart of their airy pastry and stuffing their art with ice cream and joy.
Puffs of dough bloom in the hot oil of Scandylous Delights' frier. The air fills with the sugar fried nostalgia of funnel cakes finished with busy swirls of coconut caramel or chocolate sauce and a dollop of cocowhip. Those who seek more from the winners of this year’s Vegan Street Fair’s sweets prize, will find The Works—a concoction of powdered sugar, berries, ice cream, and sauces piled high past the simple dreams of the county fair.
Cha Cha Kombucha perpetually bowls over thirsty vegans who think they know what bold Kombucha is. Built around a complex, multi-layered fermentation systems of infusing aroma and season, Cha Cha stands out in this growing field. Flavors start light, like the sweet herbaceous lull of the Strawberry Basil and build up to bold brews like the Hops. Rounding out this year’s Vegan Street Fair Nights menu matchup of Cha Cha’s sweet and tart Passionfruit brew with a float of Cocobella’s snow white vanilla ice cream.
Which vendors are you looking forward to the most?