Vegan Oktoberfest is happening this weekend. If you didn’t get out there today, you’re still in luck. Vegan Oktoberfest will run again tomorrow – October 4th.
If you went last year (for the first annual event), you’ll remember it was insane and poorly planned. The location last year was in a tiny parking lot at the beach somewhere between Venice and Santa Monica. They oversold the event, vendors ran out of items early, it was super packed, and there was a record heat wave that day (ok – they couldn’t do anything about that last one).
This year was so much better. They changed locations and created the event for two days. This year’s event was at LA Center Studios – located just west of downtown and the 110 freeway. Not only was the space more than double of what they had last year, but there were also so many trees/buildings to provide shade around the area. My one complaint, though, would be that they could have set up more tents/tarps over the seating area for shade. Otherwise, I thought this event was a success. Were there fewer people in attendance? Maybe. All the lines seemed rather short. Maybe it was just better planning on the vendors this year? Maybe Sunday will be more packed? I don’t know, but was happy I didn’t have to wait in line for an hour like last year.
I got the non-drinker ticket, because I didn’t want to spend a ton on the ticket price and because I was driving. I did have a taste of Ace Pineapple Cider from a friend and it was really good. If you like sweet and not really alcoholly taste – hit them up. I did get to try a lot of food, though, and I have leftovers to last pretty much a whole week’s worth of lunch.
Stop 1: Ridiculous Baking Co does it again with their awesome Apple Strudel Cupcakes ($4) and Berliner Jelly Donuts ($3). They also had a German Chocolate Cake, which I did not have today, but have had in the past (yum!).
Stop 2: The Grilled Cheese Truck is always one of my stops at all these vegan events (including LA Vegan Beer Fest this past May). Their regular menu includes no vegan items – which is a shame, because they do them so well. My two favorites are the Cheesy Mac Melt ($8) and the Cheesy Mac and Rib Melt ($10).
Stop 3: The Go Vegan Truck (or is it the Make Vegan Truck?) was new to me and I still can’t figure out their proper name. The Not Dog ($6) was one of my favorite savory items from the day. Take a vegan dog, batter it, fry it, and serve it up in a hot dog bun. Yum. Their Crispy Schnitzel Cheese Burger ($11) was also good. True to the name, the patty was crispy. It was a nice burger, but if I had to pick one item to order, it would be the Not Dog. I also tried one of their (unlabelled) desserts. I think it was a Chocolate Rugelach ($5), and it was just ok. Slightly sweet, nice texture, but nothing to write home about.
Stop 4: Sabores de Mexico looks like they serve all meat during their normal truck schedule, because they put up some (very hand-made) signs with a special vegan menu for the event. I really appreciate the effort, but unfortunately, I was not a fan. I got the Pepperdine Burrito which had rice, beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, Daiya, and tofu. I thought it was a little bland. Adding Spanish rice instead of plain ol’ white rice might have helped.
Stop 5: Donut Friend has been at other vegan events, but I’ve always skipped them in hopes I would make it out to their shop in Highland Park. I have yet to go to their shop, so I decided to give them a go. Everything was amazing! The Apple Fritter ($5) was the perfect texture, the Allison Spice ($4) was a pumpkin cake donut done right, and the Custard Front Drive ($4) had the most delicious custard filling. The chocolate glaze on the custard donut was a little more rich than I am used to being on raised donuts, but was not overpowering when combined with that creamy custard.
Stop 6: Divine Dips is always a great way to end a hot, food-filled day. The Matcha Green Tea is my favorite. I also tried the Caffe No-Lait and loved it. All this was topped with some Whipped Cream and I was a happy girl. ($6)
Stop 7: Nary Dairy is allegedly ceasing operations and Oktoberfest was to be their last event. I hit them up to grab a container of Feta and two containers of Gouda for their 3 for $5 deal. It’s a great product and we are all sad to see them go.
Bonus Stop: Falasophy was also at Vegan Oktoberfest, but I was too full to grab something from them. I did get their Classic Falafel Pita at another event and absolutely loved it. The pita was so thick and fluffy and I loved that they added hummus (as opposed to just a tahini sauce). Now I kind of wish that I had gotten one to go.
Thanks to the organizers of this year’s event for making it a ton better than last year. See you next year!