Eat Drink Vegan Festival 2017

IMG_3903So for those of you who don’t know, Eat Drink Vegan is one of the bigger vegan festivals out here in Southern California.  It’s not only a food festival, there’s an entire beer and kombucha garden (which are both unlimited & free with the purchase of your ticket… how amazing is that?!), and several vegan / cruelty free clothing & beauty companies.  It’s typically every year some time in May, and lasts the whole day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.IMG_3914IMG_3909IMG_3841IMG_3844IMG_3854IMG_3852

This is what the pricing breakdown looks like as well, from what I can remember it was virtually the same last year, so I don’t see it changing next year unless they expand the size of the festival.  The VIP tickets were $120 per person, which is what I ended up purchasing.  This gets you into the festival an hour before general admission (which honestly is SO helpful), and you get to lounge in the VIP section which had a nice fountain, and very comfortable big sofas to sit on and enjoy your food / drinks.  The general admission ticket was $60 per person, and got you full access to the festival starting at 1pm.  Honestly the VIP ticket isn’t totally necessary because it’s not like you get any cut the line perks, but you do get in an hour early so you’re able to hit all the popular spots first while there’s no lines.  IMG_3823

Included in the price of either ticket was a free small glass cup that you use throughout the festival to sample all the beers & kombuchas so there is less waste (which I think is really awesome, plus also… how cute are these cups you get to take home?!), and you also get unlimited beer and kombucha from that section of the festival.  They had about 50 vendors between kombuchas and beers, so there was quite an amazing selection, and every brand there had the most unusual and amazing flavors.  You could also upgrade to a larger cup for $20 but they’re just essentially large glass mason jars with the logo etched onto them… again not necessary, but they are a cool keepsake and you also are able to get larger glasses of beer and kombucha that way!

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The food and merchandise besides that though is all paid for out of your pocket.  With all the vendors they have every year, you’d think that would be pretty expensive huh?  It’s honestly not too bad, most of the restaurants are doing far smaller portions than their normal portions, or they have special pricing for the festival so everything is really affordable.  I think the most we paid for food all day was about $10 and that was for a pretty large bowl of food, but was still well worth it.  They also have quite an array of vegan lifestyle brands with such amazing clothing, accessories, and cosmetics which is awesome to see at a vegan festival like this.  It really is a one stop shop for all the most amazing vegan brands and foods.

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The first stop we made was to Southern Fried Vegan (@southernfriedvegan), which always is my first stop every year.  This place gets pretty packed, so since we got in an hour early I took advantage and went here while there was no line.  At this vendor, you get to create your own bowl… I chose a mac & cheese base with corn, vegan fried chicken, and spicy mayo.  Let me tell you guys, this place is AMAZING.  Their mac & cheese is truly unreal, and that fried chicken… it’s too good.  They have a bunch of other options there I wish I would have tried too, but this combination is too good to pass up!

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I mean you can’t pass up vegan pizza, and with so many pizza options at this festival to choose from I’m sure it could be pretty overwhelming.  A lot of the places were LA based, that I had been to previously, so we decided to try something out of Portland, Sizzle Pie (@sizzlepie).  They had an amazing spread of pizzas available, but we grabbed the Buffalo 666 pizza.  As y’all know, buffalo anything is my jam and this pizza lives up to the hype.  Theres buffalo jackfruit, the most AMAZING vegan cheese, red onions, and ranch dressing.  It was absolutely incredible.  I’m honestly pretty sad that they’re located in Portland because I want to eat here far more often, but at least now I know that this place exists next time I’m up there.

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While we were in line for Sizzle Pie, we ran into my beautiful friend Jacky (owner of @beetxbeet), and she recommended that we go grab the Toasted Ravioli from Jaycelab (@jaycelab), so we ran and scooped those up before they sold out!  These were I think our favorite dish of the day, and were also a collab with Plant Alchemy (@eatplantalchemy) and their cheddar cheese, which is so good.  These were so crispy, and had the perfect proportion of pasta to breading to cheese.  The marinara you got on the side as well was so delicious, and very creamy.  The only thing I didn’t like about these, was the fact that I didn’t get another 4 orders of them. IMG_3801IMG_3805

The next place we hit up was Cena Vegan (@cenavegan), because we knew this was going to be one of the bigger places of the day & wanted to beat the lines.  And let me tell you, it definitely was.  Around 3:00pm, the line was almost across the whole field!  But we got the taco trio, and chose the Pollo Asado, Barbacoa, and Al Pastor plus guacamole.  These were too good.  Their barbacoa was truly addicting, I wish we would have ordered far more of those guys!  We also got the medium salsa, which was so perfectly spicy and tangy, and really complimented the proteins so well.  They also had a bunch of other options as well, like nachos and burritos, but the tacos were the perfect sampler to taste everything with.

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We didn’t photograph all of the drinks that we tried, but we did photograph our favorites.  The first photo is the Better Booch (@betterbooch) peach kombucha & ginger apple kombucha.  They were actually really delicious, not super vinegar-y, and they had lots of bubbles.  Better Booch has been a favorite of mine for a while, they’re sold locally here in Los Angeles, but getting to try some new flavors today was pretty nice!  The next two drinks that we tried were the Sour Cherry Ale from Reverend Nats Hard Cider (@revnatscider), and the Tropical Fruit Unfiltered IPA from Firestone Walker (@firestonewalker).  These were both absolutely delicious!  The Sour Cherry Ale was absolutely incredible, I wish I would’ve gotten a couple more glasses of it.  The last ones we photographed were the Black Dog & Cactus Red Hard Ciders from Cider House 101 (@101cider).  These I’ve been drinking for quite a while and I absolutely love them.  The cactus red is one of my favorite hard ciders, and has such a unique flavor.

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While walking around the food truck section (yes, they have a food truck section & it was incredible), we came across the Word of Mouth Truck (@wordofmouthtruck) & I knew I had to stop and try some goodies.  I see this truck parked out near my apartment all the time, and it was about time I finally tried it.  We decided on the Mac & Cheese Bites with Ranch, and they were absolutely unreal.  My boyfriend Mitchell, who was helping me out today with photos and such, honestly didn’t believe these were vegan at all because their cheese sauce is that convincing.  I don’t know how they make them, but I definitely plan on getting more from them in the future.  They also had a Philly Cheesesteak on the menu which sounded incredible as well.  They have such a catchy and beautiful truck, and really nice employees who seemed so genuinely excited to be at the festival.

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Our last food stop of the day was the always satisfying Yoga-Urt (@yoga_urt).  They’re a local shop here in Pasadena who serve the most amazing vegan frozen yogurt.  We got the Tantric Tart & Strawberry Serenity yogurts, with fresh strawberries in a homemade waffle cone.  Their yogurt is almond and cashew based, and has the perfect tang and sweetness, and honestly is the best vegan frozen yogurt I’ve ever had.  I’ve had the Strawberry Serenity several times before, but the Tantric Tart flavor was new to me.  Tart frozen yogurt was always my favorite flavor before I went vegan, so I was really excited to try this.  It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted though, and I honestly wish I got another three waffle cones full of it.

After we finished eating all those vegan goodies, we decided to go check out the clothing and everything else they had to offer at the festival!  We picked up some items from The Frugivore (@thefrugivore), Beet x Beet (beetxbeet), and Nerd Pins (@nerdpins).  Frugivore and Nerd Pins are both new to me, but I’m so excited about the purchases I made from them!  From Frugivore, I got the “Twin Peach” crop top, and I’m so excited to wear this.  It’s so cute, and as a huge Twin Peaks fan, I was so excited when I saw this.  I also picked up a bunch of pins, and Mitchell got a patch from Nerd Pins.  I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan, and the fact they had so many great Anderson pins made me so happy!  They were also the sweetest group of guys at the booth, and gave me a Hogwarts pin for free, which was super nice!  I absolutely adore Beet x Beet, I’ve been friends with the owner Jacky for quite a while now, and have even shot with their line before.  Jacky is really an amazing human, and stands for so many good things, and her clothing is absolutely incredible.  I already own so much of Beet x Beet’s stuff, but I had to pick up their new “Nasty Vegan” shirt, as well as the new “Plants Don’t Have Feelings” shirt.  I also got the “In Plants We Trust” tank that I’ve been eyeing for quite a while, and Mitchell picked up the matching pin for it as well!  I’m super happy with the purchases we made and I can’t wait to wear all of this stuff!

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While walking around, I ran into so many great friends and fellow vegan bloggers, but managed to sneak a photo with a couple.  Obviously we ran into Tim (@veganfatkid) so many times, as you usually do at these types of festivals.  I’ve known Tim for a few years now, and he’s one of the sweetest and funniest vegans I know.  It’s always such a pleasure getting to run into him at these things.  We also ran into my good friend John Lewis (@badassvegan), who I met in Miami a few years ago at the Seed Food & Wine Festival.  John is one of the most positive and happy people I’ve ever met, with the most infectious smile.  It’s always so nice getting to see him at these events since he lives in Miami.  I also got to chat with the stunning Kat Von D (@thekatvond) for a bit about vegan foods and the festival!  Kat is such an amazing, humble soul, and I’ve been lucky enough to have cooked for her in the past.  It’s cool getting to know someone as selfless and inspiring as her enjoys your food!  It was such a treat getting to run into her at the festival, and I hope to see her again in the near future!

Overall, the festival was a whole lot of fun, and we really got to enjoy the most amazing food, drinks, and company.  Also, a huge thank you to my boyfriend Mitchell (@mmitchelldaviss) for helping me with these incredible photos all day, and on the last few posts.

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