Visiting Seattle’s VegFest – Samples Galore!

This weekend we headed into Seattle to check out VegFest .  This is one of our favorite weekend adventures that we look forward to each year and we always take home a big bag of treasures.  This is a 2 day event that we know to come hungry and plan to stay a while.

Never had nut cheese?  Here is your chance to try it! Want a free health screening? Go get one!

This year the Seattle Center Exhibition hall in Seattle was host to hundreds of vendors and visitors all sampling goodies and cooking up memorable treats.

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image: VegofWa.org

What to expect at VegFest?

Each year, visitors can take part in health classes, cooking demonstrations, talk with vendor, dig through the many books on healthy living.

Almost every booth has a sample of their vegetarian or vegan food.  From Boulart’s fresh baked bread to Mighty O’s local doughnuts, plan to come with an empty belly and open mind. Also, look for coupons for their items that can be found throughout Seattle and the surrounding area.

Tip: It can get very crowded. While kids are welcome, this place it packed and there aren’t child friendly areas. This might be a fun thing to do without children.

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What to see and what to skip?

There are so many vendors at VegFest. In fact there are enough that you can skip a few without really missing much.

If you love Kombucha –  the fermented sweetened black or green tea, you will enjoy several booths.  But there weren’t many other drink options this year other than a few other ginger and chai drinks.  So I suggest you pack a water bottle for your trip.

This year chia seeds were pretty much in everything. In fact, after a few I just kept on walking.  So many granola and chia samplings!

However one of our yearly favorites are the good people from Hero the Mighty Condiment. This is my husband’s favorite booth and we always take home a jar of this pickled pleasure.  It’s really hard to describe actually. It’s a bit spicey tart, well just darn good.  He loves it on BBQ’d veggie dogs.

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This year we had a few minutes to talk to Jean at Hero The Mighty Condiment and even got a chance to take a quick photo with her. They are a great company and I’m happy to say that I’ll be featuring a couple new recipes coming up soon featuring Hero as a sassy topping.  So I hope you’ll keep an eye out for that.

This year we didn’t see some of the usual favorites like the Firefly Kitchens kimchee lady that we always stop to talk to.  After taking their spicy pickled carrots, I am always on the hunt for the Firefly Kitchen label.

Tip: Make time to talk to the vendors. Don’t just grab and go. The heart of this expo is actually getting to meet face to face with the vendors who come out to talk about their products. It might take some time to wait, but it is worth it. You will actually learn so much more about these companies if you give them a chance to talk to you. They WANT to hear what you like and don’t like. They want to know about your needs and where you shop. This helps them and they love feedback.

3 hearts Unique Tea Discovery Box offers 7 handpicked, curated teas monthly!

Final Thoughts

While I love VegFest, there are a few things that this year I walked out thinking.

I wish they would move to a bigger area OR stagger entry so that there is more space and people aren’t pushing and grabbing. Too many people doesn’t help the vendors to be able to meet and greet and it doesn’t help the guests to remember the products when they are being pushed to the next table.

“Too many granola bars and not enough substantial meal food.”  That was one complaint I heard walking out.  Along with complaints that we all just wanted a cold drink of something other than fermented fruit.

I would love to see more farms come out to show off their fields and have seasonal recipes for what they have in stock.  Or the creameries that we have local sampling cheeses would be nice. I’d happily bring home some gouda and butter to go along with the Boulart bread that I fell in love with.

Oh, and a side word about Boulart Bread,  YUMM.  I met X from Boulart who came out and talked to us about not only the origins of Boulart, but the lost art of traditional yeasts, traveling around to the world’s foodie towns, and our love of Seattle and how Seattle has chanced faces from a tech town to a foodie find. I’m working on a new blog post for next week about my meeting with X that I’ll be sharing with readers soon.

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So if you are in Seattle next spring, check out VegFest Seattle.  It is a 2 day event. The cost to get in was only $9 each.  But bring cash, they have only taken cash for tickets when we’ve gone.

Bring comfortable shoes, a bottle water, and plan to learn some new things about being a vegetarian or veggie friendly options.  There are a lot of unusual foods to try, and it is fun to do something different.

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