Food options just got a lot better at Summerfest for vegans this year! The past few years we had Island Noodles, along with various side items like corn (w/o butter), chips and guac, potatoes, etc. This year, we still have Island Noodles, but in addition, AJ Bombers is serving up the Beyond Burger and Ward's House of Prime is serving the Impossible Burger. Two very hearty options to give you a strong base for a long day of Summerfesting. Bel Air Cantina is also new this year and they mentioned they would have some vegetarian tacos that could be modified to be vegan, along with their chips and guac or salsa. Botanas is offering a vegan bowl and Venice Club has those classic eggplant strips. There are lots of smaller snacks available like fresh fruit, kettle corn, snow cones, pretzels, salad and plain corn (can you bring vegan butter through security??) Get the full listing for vegan options here on the Summerfest.com website.
This really shows how veganism is growing. I'm sure if these options sell well this summer we'll see lots more next year. Summerfest runs June 27th through July 8th with an off-day on July 2nd. See the Summerfest website for details!
UPDATE 6/27: A follower had reported on 6/27 that the server at Ward's House of Prime said the bun has egg wash, so the sandwich (at that time) was obviously not vegan. I reached out to Ward's via Facebook and they got back to me right away. They have vegan Kaiser rolls on order that will be ready on Thursday 6/28, so that option is back on the table!
UPDATE 6/28: We have another report that Greek Village is offering a vegan falafel sandwich that is clearly marked as vegan, but doesn't show up on the official list. Another great option!!
Summer is upon us Milwaukee, and you know what that means--trying to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Between music festivals, block parties, outdoor BBQs, family gatherings and holidays, schedules can get pretty busy when it warms up outside. With all these things going on, there’s not always time to grab an entire meal between the fun festivities. Here are my Top 7 Vegan Summer bites and snacks in Milwaukee (in no particular order) to help tide you over between meals and whatever summertime fun may bring your way.
East Side Ovens: Tamales
Most associate ESO with their delicious donuts, muffins, pies, etc. But if you’re not aware yet, stop in for a pack of their tamales to go. All vegan and sometimes even available fresh from the kitchen in the mornings. Hands down some of the best tamales in the city and sure to satisfy that snack you’re craving.
Babe’s Ice Cream: Vegan Ice Cream
Come on, this one is obvious! How can you enjoy summer without an ice cold ice cream cone on a hot day. Located in Bay View, Babe’s is in a prime area of Milwaukee and it's sure to satisfy that sweet tooth. How about a scoop of Vegan Ultimate Oreo, or a Vegan Raspberry Nebula cone? In addition to their vegan ice cream flavors, Babe's partners with East Side Ovens to offer vegan brownie sundaes, ice cream sandwiches made with two giant cookies and even all-vegan ice cream cakes! Summer isn’t the same without a stop at Babe’s.
Hue: Veggie Meat Skewers
OK, so this one is a little off the beaten path, but once you’ve had them, you’ll understand. Lemongrass and garlic marinated “Veggie Meat” skewers are found on the appetizer portion of Hue’s menu. Very similar in texture to meat, this one might not be for every vegan--but, if you’re open to a variety a faux meats, this one nears the top of the list. Share these with a friend or take them for a meal on the go. Note: Veggie Meat Skewers are to the right of the spring rolls in this picture.
Palomino: Fried Pickles w/ Vegan Remoulade
These definitely deserve to be on the list. Fried pickles can be a hit or miss for me. When done correctly (as Palomino does these as fried pickle chips), they beat any others you will find in the city. Served sizzling hot on a cast iron skillet with cool remoulade to dip them in. Pop in for a cold brew and this snack won’t let you down. Beware, these come out piping hot, so take it easy when diving into these as they are hard to keep your hands off of the deliciousness.
Riverwest Co-op: Any Vegan Soup du Jour
I have never once been disappointed in the Co-op’s soup of the day. On the contrary, I always leave wanting more. Whatever magic they create in that small kitchen of theirs in on display through their delectable soup flavors changing daily. From a Mock Chicken Noodle Soup to African Peanut, Minestrone, Corn Chowder and Lentil, I have loved every single one. Perfect for a quick bite served with a side of bread--vegan comfort food served up perfectly at the Co-Op.
Bombay Sweets: Samosas
By samosas, I mean some of the best samosas in Milwaukee, hands down. Perfectly fried, stuffed full of spiced potatoes and peas, very filling, and oh did I mention each one is less than $1. Coming in at 75 cents, you cannot possibly find a better deal for a vegan snack in Cream City. Bombay Sweets has been serving up amazing food for a long time and this is the hook that keeps me coming back for more. Grab a handful--you’ll be filled up and on your way without breaking the bank.
Beerline Cafe: Loaded Nachos
If you have not yet tried the Vegan Loaded Nachos at Beerline Cafe, you really need to. Chickpea “Chorizo," diced avocado, cashew lime crema, black beans, pico and vegan nacho cheeze--this is perfect to share as an afternoon snack between meals. Absolutely one of my favorites and you won’t find better vegan nachos in the city. Mouth watering and probably the
best all around shareable snack you’ll find.
Well, that’s it. Top 7 vegan snacks for this Summer. Forget having to stop everything you’re doing to sit down and dine in. Pop by one of these places on the list for a quick snack and get back to your summertime plans. Disclaimer: Your activities might need to involve an afternoon nap after eating some of these, but hell, it’s Summer, go nap outside & then get on with the fun!
Ricky of VeganMilwaukee.com
Follow me on Instagram @usvegans