Vegan Shop-Up

Finding vegan food in cities like New York is becoming an easier feat with each passing year. As for finding food fairs that have more than a handful of vegan options, I have found this quest to be a difficult one. That is until I got turned on to the organizers of Vegan Shop-Up. The all-vegan pop-up market that started this past August hosts a variety of vendors that sell both food and cruelty-free goods.

Last weekend, herds of health-minded individuals and animal lovers made their way to Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop to indulge in some guilt-free fare. The market opens at noon, and within the hour the Bushwick bar was overrun with eager foodies.

In need of some hearty sustenance, I decided to start the day off with a veggie dog from none other than Yeah Dawg!!! (And yes, those exclamation points are actually in their moniker, I’m not just excited.)

I stumbled upon the plant-based hot dog vendors at the Vegetarian Food Festival last year, but due to the long line I was unable to try one of their enticing dogs.

This year, I told myself I simply had to have one. After much consideration, I finally decided on the Cali Kush Dog, which comes topped with Kale Caesar, Avocado, Coconut Bacon, and Chipotle Mayo.

Although the description left my mouth watering, the veggie dog was not as impressive as I had hoped for. The bun’s texture was a bit too grainy for my liking and the faux-sausage did not capture the familiarity of the American classic. Normally I wouldn’t hold it against a vendor if a food item does not perfectly emulate its meat version, but I have personally tried some pretty superb mock hot dogs in my day. That being said, the toppings, especially the Kale Caesar and Coconut Bacon, were delicious.

Next, I set my eye upon the vendors at Peaceful Provisions, a company that makes vegan comfort food. After a good five minutes of switching between the Indian-Style Nachos and the Spinach & Kale Artichoke Pretzel Pocket, I opted for the latter. I was pleased to find the snack was warm, creamy, and most importantly not overly salted as many pretzels can be. I almost got another one before my eye caught the selection of ice cream being offered at Cake Thieves’ table.

Things got even better when I realized I could put said ice cream in between two giant chocolate chip cookies. The Italian-style cookies and coconut milk-based ice cream made for a sweet ending to the outing.

Considering the market hosts close to 20 vendors, I will definitely be making a trip back to another Vegan Shop-Up event.