The Vegan Street Fair | Los Angeles
Going vegan has been one the best things that I could have done in my life. I know I have only been completely vegan for a few weeks now, but I have seriously seen the positive changes that it is doing to my body. There was no better way to start off this journey into veganism then going to the Vegan Street Fair in Los Angeles. I remember seeing advertisements for it last year, but working in the restaurant you never get any weekend time off. Luckily the restaurant I work at is under remodeling so the once in a blue moon that I have a weekend off I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
I took my sister with me to enjoy this day, she is not fully vegan yet. She eats primarily vegan she just can’t give up fish. We started off the day a little late, me getting no sleep the night before and my sister sleeping in as well. But, hey, we made it at least! We headed out around 1:30, and didn’t end up getting there until 4. Living in Orange County, I am way too familiar with how much parking sucks in Los Angeles. Not to forget the traffic as well. I did some research and I found that I can easily take public transportation to get there, I am nowhere near opposed to taking a train or the Metro. When I visited New York, Boston, and even Washington D.C. that’s all I did was take public transportation. It is so easy, so whenever you have the chance to it, don’t be afraid just do it. I drove to Union Station and then took the Red Line all the way down to North Hollywood. Getting off I had no idea where they were going to let us off, if I had to uber from that spot or walk a little bit. But to my surprise as I bounded up the stairs, I realized that the Metro let me right to the beginning of the street fair. In the moment it just seemed that everything was working too perfectly for us. Because honestly, in any Papile outing something always goes wrong.
Walking in I was happily overwhelmed by everything around me; vendors, people, music, literally everything. I couldn’t help but smile! I honestly never go to things like this, so I felt like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. There were so much options to choose from, it was hard to pick out what to go first. By the time I got there the lines were kind of long, I actually did feel like I was at Disneyland. One thing I do advise is to arrive early, to avoid lines and some vendors were actually starting to run out of items.
The first place my sister and I went to was Vegabond Vieiras. They were an amazing vegan pizza place that honestly tasted like normal pizza. The cheese was hot and gooey, you would never ever think that it was completely plant based. They use Follow Your Heart cheese, and I have to say that is one of my favorite vegan cheese brands out there. It was a creamy cheese taste as well as a good melting consistency, it doesn’t look like you’re eating spider webs. I choose just plain cheese pizza, it was the first vendor I went to and they had a million cheese pizzas laying around, so anxiety kicked in and I picked that one. I’m not really a plain cheese pizza kind of gal, but honestly the simplicity of this slice was too good. I love extravagant pizzas with everything but the kitchen sink piled on top, but sometimes you just need something basic to remember where your love for pizza started. Employees working were friendly, but you can definitely tell they were tired. But I don’t blame them, I would exhausted too standing around and cooking all day. Besides just the plain cheese pizza they offered tomato basil and baja soy-rizo.
Next place my sister and I wandered over to was Dirty Cookie. Man oh man, did this make my stomach dance. If any of you know anything about me, I have a huge sweet tooth. They were offering their signature cookie shots as well as cookie butter. I didn’t realize until I got there, that this is a place that I have actually wanted to try for the longest time. I kept seeing my friends post Instagram photos of their cookie shots, and I have had that place on my bucket list for sometime now. I was finally so happy that I gave them a try. I picked out the peanut butter cookie with a coconut cold brew shot on the inside. I took the shot, and then took a bite and it was absolutely amazing. The cookie was soft, chewy and rich; everything you want in a shot glass. The cold brew was creamy and the little boost of energy that I needed. The people working were so nice, and really looked like they were happy to be there; I mean why would they not be?! My sister got double chocolate, they also had a coconut one as well but that was already sold out when we got there. Besides the cookie being peanut it had a chocolate coating on the inside to ensure that the liquids wouldn’t seep through. Having that chocolate coating made this treat go through amazing to prefect. I think there idea is genius as well, you get your “milk” and cookie in one perfect bite. My one regret is not going back for more. I honestly could have eaten 5 or 8 and had no regrets.
We kept seeing these people carrying around light bulb shaped bottles holding smoothies, and instantly we were thirsty again. We had to get our hands on this treat. We asked around and discovered that Energy Smoothie Bar was where you should head to satisfy our craving. The line ended up being incredibly long, so by the time you got to the front there was really no time to converse with the people working there.
All of their smoothies are packed full of B12 and all of their ingredients are always vegan. We chose their Berry Delish and man was it delish. The smoothie was made of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries and loaded with goodness. Super refreshing and would try again!
I knew in my mind that I wanted to get a shirt, I’ll admit it I have a shopping addiction. If I see something cute, I’ll buy it and wear it over and over again. No regrets. Walking by this cute clothing stand, there was no way I couldn’t stop and shop a little bit. Vegetaryn caught my eye, they had to cutest graphics and the cutest style, their brand was definitely on trend. Everyone working there was super nice as well, they were patient with my indecisiveness on choosing which shirt I wanted. I finally selected the “go vegan, or i’ll eat you” shirt and I couldn’t be happier.
All of their shirts have cute catch lines like that, making them different than just a shirt that says “vegan.” Their brand is ethically made, 100% sweatshop free, and everything is hand printed in Los Angeles. They are local and trusted, you don’t feel bad for purchasing something from them. Taryn Rasgon, owner, has done an amazing job of constantly creating funny and punny merchandise that helps raise awareness of a vegan lifestyle. I follow her on Instagram and she is seriously a genuine and caring person. Having a degree in fashion merchandising I know what goes on behind doors in a lot of big companies, so it is nice to see a brand that actually cares about the clothes their customers will be wearing. I definitely will find myself buying more products from them, they are just too cute to pass up.
Next we traveled over to snag some kombucha. Over the past year my love for kombucha has grown more and more fonder. I’ll go out of my way some days to drive to the store to get one. Obsessed much? I think so. At least it is a good obsession though ;) We stumbled upon the CHACHA kombucha tent, and I’m so happy we did.
Not only was the drink so good, the employees working there were beyond friendly. It’s always so refreshing when you walk up to a booth and the employees are just in a great mood. You don’t know why they are and honestly you just don’t care. It’s almost comforting knowing they are happy to be there because you know that they actually like their job. There is a big difference between an employee who likes their job and one who does not. Everyone there had a smile on their face, even greeted me as if I was an old friend. They gave me samples before I made my purchase, it shows that they care about customer satisfaction. I ended up choosing Strawberry Basil, and come on who doesn't love this awesome combo. They were also offering flavors such as guava and hops, they even had CBD kombucha which I am kicking myself for not trying. The kombucha, just like the employees was amazing. Doing some research I found that this brand only offered their buch on tap, which I actually like. It ensures that every pour is served fresh, the way it is intended to. A little sad that I can’t easily obtain this delicious drink, but luckily they pour at Seabird’s Kitchen in Costa Mesa. And it’s such a shame I don’t like their food....sarcasm, I hope you all got that. You’ll find me there at least once a week to get my CHACHA fix.
It wouldn’t be a Papile Sister outing if we didn’t load up on as many sweet treats as we can, so we found ourselves drifting towards a mini cupcake sign. We made our way over to Free and Friendly Foods where my eyes danced around the many options of different mini cupcakes. After standing there for a bit and letting my indecisiveness melt away, my sister and I decided on cinnamon gingerbread and strawberry shortcake. Going up to the booth, I had no idea about this company. All I knew is I had to get one of those cute mini cupcakes in my mouth now. I finally did some research and realized that this company is free from all the top 8 allergy induced foods: they're gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free, sometimes corn free, Paleo friendly and GAPs friendly.Their one mission is to able to feed everyone, food that anyone can enjoy. I really liked that about their company. They catered to everyone, which a lot of companies should start doing.
After our little sugar craze I needed something savory to balance everything out. We headed over to Avocado Toast, and just as you guessed they serve avocado toast.
A simple meal that has blown up over the past few years, and no one is mad about it. This basic combo can be turned into so many delicious creations, the options are endless. The toppings they offered were microgreens, pico de gallo, eggplant, kamocha squash, and they even had chips and quac. We asked for microgreens but they were unfortunately sold out, so we went with pico de gallo and I was not upset at all. The pico was so fresh, the avocado was buttery and the toast was sturdy and crisp. A thing so simple was so amazing. The employees there were so nice, my sister and I were joking around with them. By the time we got there it was a little past 6 and you could tell the workers were hitting a wall. Everyone there was so friendly, and their avocado toast was something that my life needed.
Our next stop was Workaholic and this was something that I had been looking forward to all day. I saw all these people carrying this containers filled with this amazing looking salad and a huge dumpling right on top. I am a sucker for Asian fusion food, I practically put toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar on everything. They offered flavors like mushroom madu, spinach veggie mandu, and spicy fried tofu mandu; they even had vegan kimchi and a korean rice drink as well. We chose the spicy fried tofu because we can’t get enough of spicy food, nor something fried.
It was a little higher priced than the norm of $4 you would see at a lot of vendors, but trust me when I say this, it was oh so worth it. I took my first bite and I was stunned with how amazing it was. You could honestly never know that it was completely plant based. It was probably top 3 of the best vegan dishes that I have ever tried, and I have tried a lot. It was spicy and packed with so many flavors into such a beautiful package. To me it was a legit hug in a bowl. Since going vegan it is difficult to find Asian fusion food that I can enjoy. I used to go twice a week to the best Chinese food place in my town, and now I am limited to going there since they don’t have enough options for vegans. This dumpling did it all for me, my stomach was going cartwheels of happiness. I need to find this place again, and go whenever I have the chance. Seriously, they are that good.
We took a little break from our munching, you have to let your stomach rest during these events and just walk it out. We strolled down the streets and took in the environment around us. We came up Mystic Ambition, a crystal and apothecary brand that believes in holistic forms of healing.
As I have journeyed through this conscious living, I have found myself gravitating towards crystals. There is something so captivating about them, they intrigue me to take a look at them. My collection started when I purchased an amethyst crystal at this adorable taxidermy shop in Portland, OR on Mississippi St. My favorite place in Portland by the way, if I had to live anywhere in the world it would have to be there. I also own an amethyst ring, opal moonstone necklace, black onyx necklace, and another amethyst necklace. If you can’t tell I love amethyst, but I know I need my collection to expand. I picked out three crystals and the total came out to $9, their prices were ridiculous.
I picked out Blue Calcite which initiates spiritual growth, lifts anxious feelings (which I need desperately), and soothes nerves. This stone didn’t first catch my eye, it was my sister who actually said something to be about it. She screamed, “Oh! You need this one!” Honestly I do, and ever since having this stone, and grabbing it in times where my anxiety gets a little too high, I have noticed a change.
I next picked up Rose Quartz which is probably one of the best known crystals out there. This crystal will heal trauma and drama, promotes unconditional love and positive energy.
I next picked up a small Smoky Quartz which helps with concentration, stress relief, and ambition. Something that I need help with, stress has been such a barren on me this year, it is something that has ruined relationships in my life. Crystals aren’t for everyone but I do suggest you give them a try. You would be shocked by the powers that they can bring you.
Our final stop was Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen for a chocolate coated donut. The whole time we were there my sister kept telling me that we had to get a vegan donut, no matter how full we maybe it was going to happen.
Of course we waited until the last 15 minutes to frantically start looking for vegan donut companies that weren’t sold out already. I didn’t actually got up to the booth the purchase, my sister did while I took final photos of the event. She came back with their chocolate covered donut, and it was the perfect finisher to this day. The chocolate shell was thick and crunchy and the donut inside was nice and soft. Not only are their donuts vegan but gluten free as well and their ingredients are unbeatable.
All in all, I had an amazing time at this event. The one thing I regret it not talking to the vendors enough. I didn’t get to check out everything or find out more about other booths. But for my first time at one of these events, I would say I did a pretty good job. I can’t get over how friendly everyone was there, and I’m not surprised we’re all animal and earth loving people. It was a breath of fresh air to walk into an event like this, everyone was so happy it was intoxicating. No matter what was going on that day in my life, this event made any bad feelings go away. I plan on going again in the future and finding more events like this, they are just too rewarding to pass up. Thank you The Vegan Street Fair for making me love this lifestyle change so much more.
I will forever be living my best vegan life!