At this point I hope you’ve heard of Vida Vegan Con, and are as excited as we are that the non-stop party that is VVC is almost upon us! Whether you hit up the Bazaar, the after-parties, or participate in the Scavenger Hunt – this week is gonna be a blast!
The conference itself is sold out, but there are still so many ways for locals to participate in festivities. Here’s a break-down of events that are happening this week:
Thursday, May 28th:
- Vida Vegan Con Meet & Greet – 3pm to 6pm at The Buzzmill: This unofficial (totally official) meetup is a great opportunity for folks who are in town for VVC to meet up with each other and grab some amazing food. Sweet Ritual will be there with two flavors of ice cream, The Buzzmill will have the outdoor bar open and vegan drink specials, and Golden Spike Rail Cart will have a special menu of gluten-free tacos, egg rolls and mini Philly cheesesteaks. For more information, visit the event’s FB page. (Locals note: Golden Spike Rail Cart will be closing down the cart at the end of the month, to focus on catering and wholesale business. If you’re not able to come to the Meet & Greet, be sure to stop by the cart before they’re gone – word is their last day will be May 31st. Golden Spike is planning to launch vegan grab-and-go items at the Buzzmill and around town after the cart shuts its doors.)
Friday, May 29th:
- Vida Vegan Con’s Opening Day Vegan Bazaar – 1pm to 7pm at Marchesa Hall: If you only go to one event, let it be this one. It’s a $20 ticket at the door, but right now you can buy two tickets for $21 through Groupon – so bring a friend practically for free! I know a lot of y’all will be working, but you should seriously consider playing hooky and making a day of it! Between food sampling, live demos, community panels, food carts (including Sadie B. Foods from out of town!), raffles, and even happy hour drinks – you could be busy for hours! Everyone who’s going to the conference is invited to the Bazaar, so there will be tons of familiar faces milling around. We’ll be repping the Scavenger Hunt at the ‘Red Hot Vegans’ table, so come say hi to us! And with all of this crazy weather we’ve been having lately, the best part is that the bazaar is indoors! There’s no need to worry about rain, heat, humidity, etc. Just enjoy yourself! For more information, visit the event’s FB page.
- T.O.F.U. Magazine presents Tapes Album Release Party – 8pm to 1am at Spiderhouse Ballroom: T.O.F.U. Magazine has put together an awesome line-up of bands, and will be on hand with several local organizations to talk about the work they do. The show is 18+ and costs $8 at the door, or $5 if you RSVP on Do512. Spiderhouse Ballroom is one my favorite venues here in Austin and showcases some truly funky Austin character. For food, check out the trailers parked out back: the Vegan Yacht and Love Balls (vegan-friendly Japanese street food). Come out and listen to some interesting music, hang out with some awesome vegans, and eat some delicious food! For more information, visit the event’s FB page.
Saturday, May 30th:
- Capital City Bakery 3rd Birthday Party – 6pm to 9pm at Capital City Bakery: Capital City Bakery is celebrating their 3rd Birthday with a bang! The bakery is teaming up with Upton’s Naturals (makers of fine seitan products), Chicago Vegan Foods (makers of dandies marshmallows and Teese cheese), and Sweet Ritual to bring you one giant party. With all these vegan powerhouses under one roof, there is sure to be an epic mash-up of vegan goodies available. The RSVPs on FB have already topped 500 people, so plan for a decent size crowd. For more information, visit the event’s FB page.
- A Wickedly Healthy Supper – 7pm to 10:30pm at Swoop House: Chad Sarno (celebrity chef, co-author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen) will be doing a pop-up supper club here in Austin. This 5-course vegan menu will set you back $110 per person (including tax and gratuity), but will surely be impressive with a menu that includes canapés, spring ravioli and king scalloped mushroom. For more information, and to book your spot, visit the event’s website.
- Roots to Leaves Supper Club – 7pm to 10pm in NW Austin: Roots to Leaves is back this month with a 4-course Southern-inspired vegan menu, including jalapeño hush puppies, succotash, smoked tofu, grits, and a pecan tart with bourbon ice cream for dessert! I’m dying – I swear Chef Elizabeth is reading my mind. We had a fabulous meal at last month’s steakhouse-themed dinner, so you’ll be sure to find us at this month’s event. The dinner is a steal at $40 (including tax and gratuity), but you do have to travel waaay into Northwest Austin, and the dinner is held in a private home, so seating is limited. Follow Roots to Leaves on their FB page, and reserve tickets to this event on Eventbrite.
Sunday, May 31st:
- ATX Vegan Drinks VVC Closing Party – 7pm to 9pm at Cheer Up Charlies: We’ve teamed up with ATX Vegan Drinks to bring you an awesome VVC Closing Party! We’re going to have a super fun photo booth, and announce the winners of the Red Hot Vegans Scavenger Hunt! In addition to the Arlo’s and East Side Kings food trucks that are parked out front, we’ll also have Bistro Vonish on hand with kolaches, and Thai Fresh tabling with ice cream and other delicious treats! For more information, visit the event’s FB page.
In addition to all these events, the Red Hot Vegans Scavenger Hunt is also nearly upon us! We’ve been working hard coming up with some crazy fun questions, and some killer prizes. Sign up for the scavenger hunt here, and check out what you’ll be playing for:
VVC Vegan Bazaar:
- Pair of custom vegan cowboy boots from Kick Butt Boots (over $400 value): We were lucky enough to catch Kat Mendenhall at Texas VegFest and see her custom vegan cowboy boots in person. The boots are handmade here in Texas by a skilled bookmaker, with hand-picked vegan fabrics made here in the USA. Anyone whose ever walked into a boot shop can tell you that custom boots are not cheap, and the vegan version is no exception, but these boots are built to last. Customize your boots’ heel height, shaft length, fabric color, stitching, and more for a truly unique creation. Check them out for yourselves at the VVC Bazaar!
- Grand Prize: $200 gift card to Rabbit Food Grocery: Rabbit Food Grocery is Austin’s first and only all-vegan grocery store. The lucky winner of this grand prize will have a chance to do a mini shopping spree at Rabbit Food Grocery. Out-of-towners living within the US and Canada need not worry about further burdening those luggage bags that will already be overstuffed with VVC swag: Rabbit Food Grocery can ship an online order to you when you get home!
- Second Place: $100 gift card to Lagusta’s Luscious: If you haven’t had a chance yet to try the incredible hand-made, fair trade, organic chocolates from Lagusta’s Luscious, you need to remedy this situation immediately, regardless of whether or not you win this $100 gift certificate. Chocolate not your thing? Lagusta’s Luscious can also ship Sweet Maresa’s amazing vegan macarons. Unfortunately, Lagusta’s Luscious will not be able to attend VVC in person, and shipping is limited to the US and Canada for the chocolates, and to the US for the macarons. (International players: we’ll figure something out if somebody living outside of the US or Canada wins.)
- Third Place: 3 Month subscription to Vegan Cuts Beauty or Snack Box (winner’s choice, $60 value): We are so lucky to live in a time where there are finally enough vegan products that most people don’t have the time to find and try them all. The Vegan Cuts subscription boxes are a great way to discover new products and save money at the same time. All you have to do is pick whether you want to sample tasty snacks or fun beauty products – Vegan Cuts will do the shopping for you, and a box will magically arrive at your doorstep once a month. International winners rejoice – Vegan Cuts will ship your subscription box worldwide, for an additional fee.
- Funniest Photo: $100 gift card to Herbivore Clothing (for Herbivore brand items): Show off your vegan pride with some kickin’ new threads from Herbivore Clothing! Take your pick from any of their ridiculously cute designs – from tees to sweatshirts to tote bags, there’s something for every climate. Herbivore is based out of VVC’s hometown of Portland, Oregon, and will ship their wide selection of in-house designed, ethically manufactured clothing and accessories worldwide.
- Best Facial Expression: 1 Year subscription to Driftwood Magazine ($50 value): Driftwood Magazine is a brand new quarterly magazine focusing on vegan travel and culture. The Vegan Faces project is part of Driftwood Magazine, and in recognition of this, the submitter of the photo with the best facial expression will win a one year print subscription to Driftwood Magazine, starting with their first issue this summer!
Learn more about the hunt here! Hope to see you this weekend!