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The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival was a huge success with tons of wonderful vendors and great people. My only issue with the event itself was the poor organization and “class warfare” created between the VIP ticket holders and the general admission line. It seems they oversold VIP tickets so much that the VIP themselves filled up the entire venue while tons of GA people were stuck outside for hours waiting in the cold. I personally had a GA ticket and last minute got a VIP one which made my experience a hundreds times better than it could have but I did feel terrible for those waiting hours outside without a guaranteed possibility of getting in. It seems the organizers need to make it a completely ticketed event where they cap off the tickets when the people have met the number of people allowed into the venue or they need to just move to a bigger venue.

Besides the negative organizing aspects, read on to hear about some amazing vendors and delicious products! I will post a separate post about Gene Baur from Farm Sanctuary and his amazing speech at the festival.

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De La Tierra was one of the first booths I checked out and they had this amazing Mac n’ cheese but their tuna salad was spectacular and me and my carnivore boyfriend couldn’t believe how much we liked it. They are New York based chefs looking to start a vegan restaurant and I can’t wait until it opens because form what I sampled it will be a success! You should check out their Facebook page and like them because they were so nice and they deserve all the support they can get!

Sticky Fingers needs no amazing review but I will give it to them anyways because their Neapolitan Cake was one of the best I’ve ever had and leaves every vegan baker drooling in envy! The cake was so moist and so flavor filled with their strawberry cream cheese frosting, it was delectable! It’s no wonder they’re a 2 time winner of Cupcake Wars! They deserve all of their wonderful success and the ladies running the booth were really sweet.

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The Chicago Vegan Foods table with the amazing Dandies was so much fun to try and their marshmallows are the best! Me and my boyfriend felt awkward sitting there munching on a marshmallow sample and the man running the booth stared at us but he brushed it off and said “that’s what I’m here for, I watch it all day!” haha. If you’re new to veganism and looking for a marshmallow alternative, definitely check out Dandies they taste just like the real thing but even better!

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I’m not a fan of faux meat products but the Yves Veggie Cuisine booth had my boyfriend in love with their sandwiches so much he got seconds! I would recommend trying out their veggie meats if you’re at that stage in which you’re still looking to replace meats with their alternatives. I’m saying this because the longer you’re a vegetarian/vegan you end up gravitating less towards using faux meats and more towards plant based, whole foods.

The ever flowing ice cream samples were to die for! I had never heard of DFMavens Ice Cream before the NYCVFF but they were fantastic! They had soy and coconut based ice creams and they the very first people you met when you entered the venue. Such a friendly group! I sampled their coconut based Key Lime Pie ice cream and it was so perfectly tart and it had all the flavors a key lime pie should have including the graham crackers for a bit of crunch! A lot of problems with coconut based ice creams have are that they don’t properly cover the coconut flavor when trying out other flavors but DF Mavens has perfected it!

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Coconut Bliss was another one of the ice cream vendors and also coconut based! I heard about them a while back and have yet to see their product in any of the stores around me so I was dying to try out their ice cream because if you couldn’t tell from my other posts I am in love with all things coconut or tropical fruit based! They had sample of their Naked flavor, plain coconut and Cappuccino and we had a sample of both. The Naked flavor was simple, creamy coconutty goodness with little shreds of coconut throughout. The Cappuccino flavor was coffee times ten in a good way but unlike DF Mavens you still get a little hint of the coconut flavor when eating it and while to me it’s no problem, others could think about that differently. I highly recommend them though because both flavors were amazing!

The incredible Vegan Cuts were there and although I’ve yet to order their monthly goodie boxes I wish my broke college student self had the money too! I wanted to write a bit about them because the people running the table were hilarious and so much fun to talk to! They had free samples on the table one of which I got was the Berry Plus,they are an eco-friendly berry based liquid laundry soap that I can’t wait to try out. They had a tin full of cookies that my boyfriend thought were free samples, when they weren’t but the guy running the booth said if you want a cookie you have to win against me in rock, paper, scissors and so the game commences with Vegan Cuts coming out the winner but they gave him the cookie anyways, haha.

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I have never tried any hemp product until today and they are actually really delicious! We stopped by the Hemp Hearts table which featured raw shelled hemp seeds and got a sample of them and they taste just like sunflower seeds! They’re manufactured by Manitoba Harvest Foods and they boast that it can be sprinkled on salads, yogurt, cereal, anything! This is very true and I feel like it would be a great addition to granola bars because of its nutty crunch. If you haven’t yet tried anything with hemp I recommend trying out the Hemp Hearts.

I never got the chance to check out the Vitamix table because it was endlessly crowded with people plus again my poor college student self does not yet have the funds to pay $600 for a blender even if it is the blender of all blenders!

The Earth Balance table was awesome but their Aged White Cheddar Popcorn, which is one of their newest products, didn’t really taste anything like cheesy popcorn and while I understand that “hello, it’s vegan it can’t taste exactly the same!” the product itself just tasted like plain popcorn! Their Coconut Peanut Butter was good but nothing to write home about.

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The crazy, new and very weird Sophie’s Kitchen was there and they are the makers of vegan seafood. They had sample of their Breaded Vegan Scallops and Crab Cakes and I have to say that I find vegan seafood to be the weirdest and most processed thing I have ever heard of but I did sample a taste for review’s sake and it tasted like rubbery nothingness and nothing at all like seafood to be completely honest and I felt wrong just trying it. Some things should just not be made and their vegan seafood is one of them. I know what they’re trying to do is great but I just can’t get over how overly processed it is.

Cedar’s Hommus was there as well and they were generous enough to give out 75 cents off coupons as well as a sample of their hummus and crackers and I did try one and while the chips were nothing special, the hummus was good but not the omg, best, amazing hummus in the world but if I would try it again.

There were a lot of great drink vendors!  Kevita Probiotic Sparkling Drink is a great tasting drink which boasts the awesomeness of 4 strains of probiotics (4 billion of them) and probiotics are something I use a lot because I find them amazing for aiding digestion. Love Grace featured organic, raw, cold pressed gourmet juices and I tried their probiotic smoothie one and it was delicious! Honest Tea was there and I can’t really remember which one I tried but I found it to be a bit watery. I tried some juices at the it Tastes RAAW table and they were so good! They had a ton of lovely flavors but I tried out their very berry wheatgrassbecause I had never tried wheatgrass before but I can say their juice tasted so good and all I tasted was berries!  My boyfriend tried their raspberry lemongrass and it thought it was good as well. They featured other flavors like pineapple cucumber, better beets, mango guarana, carrot lemonade and others! They created a wonderful juice that is super healthy for you!

All the vendors and booths I talked about were the most memorable for me which is why I talked about them in particular! You should check out the NYCVFF’s other vendors through their website because I’m sure I forgot to talk about someone else amazing! As a side not, there were tons of faux meat vendors and like I said I’m not a fan which is why I didn’t really talk about the others plus most of them that I tried, while the flavor was great, the texture was rubbery and odd.

I’m sure I’ve went on for days and days talking about the festival so I’m going to cut it off there!

Thanks for reading!

Alexis ♥

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