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11 Indulgent Vegan Eats Even A Meat-Lover Can Appreciate

I love meat as much as the next carnivore, but I’ve recently discovered a new guilty pleasure: indulgent vegan food. Skeptical? I was at first, too, but hear me out for a sec. When I eat vegan I’m not munching on just lettuce and nuts and seeds. I prefer to go all out with whatever my cravings are telling me — in vegan form — because, I’m not gonna lie, I feel less guilty.

We can go on and on debating whether vegan food is actually better for you another time, but I’m here today to tell you about some beautiful, gut-busting vegan food I experienced at Eat Drink Vegan a few weeks ago.

Eat Drink Vegan started back in 2009 as a tiny fest in The Roxy Theater parking lot for likeminded vegans, and has grown to one of the largest vegan food and beer festivals in the country. I’m not joking when I say there were hundreds of food vendors, over 10,000 attendees, and vendors from around the world. Forget about the food for a sec and you can also call Eat Drink Vegan one of the largest craft beer festivals in the United States.

Drawing vendors from Minnesota, New York City, and even multiple from London, Eat Drink Vegan really opened my eyes to how vegans get down ‘n dirty with rich, cheat day-esque food. Here are 11 memorable items I tried, from hot dogs to nachos, and even CBD DESSERTS!

1. Vegan Sumo Dog from Sumo Dog

This thing’s got pickled peppers, wasabi relish, spicy mayo, teriyaki sauce, minced onion, furikake, kizami nori. All the flavors of Sumo Dog’s namesake, without the meat.

2. The Veggie Shack from Shake Shack

The Veggie Shack has black beans, brown rice and roasted beets and topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, and vegan mustard mayo. Shake Shack is pretty new to the Veggie Burger game, but this crispy beet-based burg is nothing to scoff at.

3. Veggie Garden Dumplings from Ms Chi Cafe

Owned by Top Chef finalist Shirley Chung, these sautéed kale, caramelized onion, and edamame dumplings hit the spot.

4. Latke Poutine from Berben & Wolff’s

Fried potato latkes, vegan gravy, green onions. This dish took poutine to the NEXT LEVEL and I loved every bite.

5. Allllll the Kombucha from GTS Kombucha

I’m obsessed with kombucha, and there’s nothing better than seeing what’s up GTS Kombucha’s sleeve. Tried several new flavors including one inspired by Pinot Noir!

6. Vegan Egg Taco from Just Egg

Vegan egg replacement “Just Egg” is made from mung beans and cooks in a way that makes it look just liked a scrambled egg. Served with potatoes, salsa, and red cabbage in a corn tortilla, it was freaky how these looked, tasted, and felt just like real eggs.

7. Country Fried Steak Double Down from Herbivorous Butcher

Modeled after the infamous KFC heart attack dish, this Double Down is completely vegan. The crispy breaded “steak” provides the perfect vessel for rich gravy and yumminess in between. Herbivorous Butcher came all the way from Minnesota for the event! Definitely share with a friend, because each bite is heavyyyy.

8. CBD Blue Majik Blondie Sundae from Charlie’s Brownies

What a beauty. This is a CBD vanilla blondie donut with Blue Majik Icing, vanilla ice cream, coconut Blue Majik sauce, hemp seeds, and goji berries. Gotta love how the CBD frenzy is catching on!

9. Munchie Matcha & Strawberry Coconut Scoops from After’s Ice Cream

Rich matcha and fruity strawberry pair together for a cone with double the flavor. This was the first time I’d tried vegan ice cream from After’s, and it was DELICIOUS. Each scoop was flavorful, but not too sweet. Definitely would come back for more.

10. Barbacoa Nachos from Cena Vegan

Just imagine tearing into this jackfruit barbacoa simmered in rich adobo with onion on corn chips with refried beans, Pico de gallo, and cashew chipotle crema. Hands down my FAVORITE item. I could eat these every damn day.

11. Vegan Double Decker Donut Burger by Modern Times Dankness Dojo

This dish is insaneeee. Modern Times created a beer with a strawberry Donut Friend donut. Then, Donut Friend took the donut beer and made a beer donut out of it. FINALLY, Modern Times Dankness Dojo made an epic vegan donut burger with the beer donut as the bun! Whoah, that was a lot.

By Analiese Trimber

Analiese is a vivacious eater of all foods. She once had a friend who didn't eat bacon. They don't talk anymore.