Imagine an outdoor wonderland of street food. Everywhere you look, there are pop-up tents of local purveyors representing a plethora of niche cuisine, street food standards, and truly experimental fusion foods. This is Smorgasburg LA, and it comes to life every Sunday at the Almeda Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles. Each week brings a unique experience, but on Super Bowl Sunday, Smorgaburg LA is going plant-based. Get ready for Super. Vegan. Sunday.
On February 4, hours before the Eagles and Patriots take to the field, Smorgaburg LA will turn into a plant-based paradise. Over forty vendors will provide at least one vegan option on their menu, and no, that doesn’t include water. Although vegan vendors have grown in number, the roster of food options at Smorgasburg LA is still animal-heavy. Think Black Sugar Ribs, Big Mozz (fried mozzerella sticks), and Daddy’s Chicken Shack, among several other animal-based businesses. Not every purveyor will participate this Sunday, but many are taking on the challenge!
“We wanted to do something that not only showcased the great vegan stuff already available, but give our vendors an incentive to think about how they can make their menus more vegan-friendly,” said Zach Brooks, General Manager of Smorgasburg LA.
The idea for a vegan takeover originated with Jessica Schoech, founder of the world’s most highly attended one-day vegan event, Vegan Street Fair. She’s a regular at Smorgasburg LA, and she had the idea to “inject more veganism” into the market. She began the conversation with the Brooks, who had been coincidentally working on a similar concept with Nic Adler of Eat Drink Vegan. From there, the three organizers launched into the idea, and Super Vegan Sunday became a reality. It is the perfect mash up of a high vibe vegan event and Los Angeles foodie culture.
“The thing about Smorg is that they totally get vegan food, veganism, and vegan people,” said Schoech. She raved about this epic collaboration, and she believes this event could serve as a gateway to further promote vegan options in the food service industry. “We’re hoping vegan vendors will reach a new market with non-vegan customers, and we’re hoping the non-vegan vendors that are trying a new vegan item will see that people are interested and really want it.”
Brooks confirmed, “We’ve gotten nothing but positive responses from the vendors. We’re confident that a lot of these [vegan] menu items will remain after Super Vegan Sunday.”
Non-vegan vendors that will experiment with vegan options include URBN Pizza, Banh Qui, Cheezus, and The Tamale Shoppe. They’ll be serving up vegan versions of oven-fired pizza, stuffed banh mi, loaded grilled cheese, and authentic tamales.
In addition to the regular vendors, Smorgasburg LA will allow for additional vegan small businesses to join the line up for this one day event. New comers include Compton Vegan, Plant Alchemy, Madame Shugah, Charlie’s Brownies, and Senoreata, among others. Get excited for Plant Alchemy’s Red Curry Cheese Nacho Boat and Charlie’s Brownie’s Super Bowl Sundae! The plant-based regulars will also offer special menu items in celebration of Super Vegan Sunday. Don’t miss Cena Vegan’s Carne Asada Chili, Donut Friend’s new Old Fashioned Donuts, and Plant Burger’s mile high Vegan Cheeseburger.
Photo courtesy of donutfriend/instagram
Vendors will be cranking out vegan-friendly options from 10am - 4pm, or until they sell out. If you plan on attending, get there early to enjoy the full day and have plenty of time to watch the big game later that afternoon. Many vendors are also offering catering and to-go options if you order a few days ahead. No matter what team you’re rooting for, you’ll definitely score at Super Vegan Sunday!
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