vegan travel

Deep in the heart of Texas! {Texas Vegfest + Austin Vegan Excitement}

Posted on Updated on

Vida Vegan Con is heading to Texas a little early!

Two  of your friendly VVC co-founders, Janessa and myself (jess) will be in town in just a few days for a bunch of meetings, requisite breakfast tacos and to represent our upcoming vegan weekend at the one-and-only Texas Vegfest. We’re coming for ya, Austin!

Vida Vegan tables @ Texas VegFest!
Saturday April 4th, 2015
Fiesta Gardens ­ Austin, TX
11am – 6pm

austinvegfest

croppedvidaarmadillo

Texas VegFest is a free public education event that celebrates the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of a plant­based diet.  More details here

Come stop by our Texas VegFest booth!

The two of us (Michele’s gonna be holding down the fort in Portland) will be tabling and selling tickets to Vida Vegan Con’s opening day Vegan Bazaar on Friday, May 29th with a very special ticket deal. This brand-new Vegan Bazaar is a whole new element we’re packing into Vida Vegan Con weekend, where we open our doors to the public…during the day!

Every conference, we hear from folks outside of Con-land who want to meet our exciting exhibitors, attendees who wanted to bring their friends and family by for a visit, and from more & more vendors of all sizes who wanted to get involved. This way, we can fit everybody in! Plus, who could pass on a full day of even more vegan samples and food trucks parked right outside?!

OF COURSE, all registered Vida Vegan Con attendees (and speakers) are already on the door list and receive an exclusive first hour from 12pm-1pm. Want to grab your own ticket and see what’s in store? Head right here.

So if you’ll be in Austin on April 4th, do stop by our table and say “hi!”, grab your own tickets to the Vegan Bazaar (no pesky online fees! two ticket deal!), learn more about what’s going on all weekend long, check out our classic VVC merch 😺, sign up to volunteer, and learn just why we decided to bring  all things VVC weekend to Austin, TX (Hint: look around VegFest!!) 

 If you’d like to get involved with Vida Vegan Con + our opening day Vegan Bazaar, stop by our booth and/or send us an email

Now that we’ve got the details out there, it’s time to pack. We’ve pricelined. We’ve unearthed our suitcases. We’re thinking about tacos. Our stomachs are seriously beginning to growl. 

With that, we’d like to share a few things on our upcoming Austin to-do (er, to-eat) lists:

First up, a big must, The Vegan Nom taco truck in North Austin:

Behold.
Behold.

Janessa can’t wait to get her hands on their Del Rey taco! This vegan take on the classic fish taco has (gluten-free!) mock fish, cilantro crema, cabbage slaw and avocado.  I’m estimating about four exclamation points’ worth of anticipation from the level of excitement she stated.

via @janessapk on Instagram

And dang, we can always get down with some of their breakfast tacos. Pure glory:

16487152865_50e5d8281b_z
Breakfast taco duo, Vegan Nom

Fufu! You know, the “ancient african dish [that] is a thick paste usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables”.

It’s clearly fun to say and even more wonderful to eat, especially when it’s alongside a savoury feast from Wasota African Cuisine’s food truck:

West African spread, Wasota

Bonus: It’s even better while enjoying the company of Marie & Dan of Red Hot Vegans. You signed up for their VVC Scavenger Hunt, right?!

Wasota African Cuisine
Wasota African Cuisine

For the record, this truck was gearing up to relocate when we last visited, so make sure verify the current address.

16299466858_72205def29_k
Apple spice whisky, Buzzmill Coffee

Booze wise, it was rather chilly while we were in town this past February, so I held out on a margarita in favor of sipping house-infused whiskey outside the firepit at Buzzmill with Michele, Smurfy & Joanna. Therefore, I would really appreciate a gorgeous margarita in my life next week (forecasts of thunderstorms, be darned).

Some fabulous fresh fruit margarita, Vivo
Some fabulous fresh fruit margarita, Vivo

And fine, throw in a puffy taco plate, especially if we pop into our Friday Bazaar venue just next door from Vivo, The Marchesa.

The more you know…both Buzzmill and Golden Spike, where we’re holding Thursday night’s open VVC weekend Meet & Greet, have promised to offer both vegan food and drink specials during the ‘Con. Thanks, folks!

Wondering just what else is Team VVC excited about?

Image source: Austinite Tips

Brass Ovaries. I haven’t been there but I’m so curious about it. Pole dancing!”Michele

Another super new must, Rabbit Food Grocery!

Stock up!
Stock up!
Taco Alley, Whole Foods Downtown ATX Image source: Yelp

We  just dig Whole Foods’ downtown taco bar so much. There’s a taco computer, for crying out loud!

Did you know that Whole Foods is from Austin?! So you know it’s gonna be good.

For those dry, sunny days, I am stoked to get back on a bike around town. Grabbing one of these convenient rides from short-term rental provider B-Cycle was a big highlight of our last trip:

Austin B-Cycles
Austin B-Cycles

Did we mention breakfast tacos? We’re all downright obsessive about these shoestring potato breakfast babies from Cherrywood Coffeehouse:

Breakfast Tacos, Cherrywood Coffeehouse.
Breakfast Tacos, Cherrywood Coffeehouse.

While she’s not joining us until VVC itself, here’s what my wife has to say about who she wants to see in Austin: “All the dogs and kids I know from Instagram in Texas!” You heard it here, folks (and by that I mean, Smurfy and Milo).

And of course, we’re all stoked to see this lady:

Kristen Davenport!

…because let’s be real, you’ve surely seen Capital City Bakery’s Instagram account, and she had no issues with me eating cheesecake for breakfast.

Cheesecake at Capital City Bakery
Cherry cheese, Capital City Bakery

And to balance things out, a smashing sale on organic kale at Central Market:

16299705350_a0d679d6d0_k
H-E-B’S fancypants sibling market

Rio Rita’s. So cute, I’m charmed, let’s go:

On the eastside
“Mild mannered coffee shop by day, swanky lounge by night.”

One more for the road, which was actually our very first stop in town back in February: Arlo’s!

I know, I know, we'll go for the bacun cheeseburgers next time.
I know, I know, we’ll go for the bacun cheeseburgers next time.

Arlo’s vegan food truck is parked right outside Cheer Up Charlie’s on Red River street, where our Sunday night VVC + Scavenger Hunt After Party will be held. What we’re saying is this: VVC ATX = Vegan Vacation time.

Cheer Up Charlie's bar
Cheer Up Charlie’s bar

More to come! We’re compiling our very favorite eats along with picks from the Red Hot Vegans, Lazy Smurf & everyone else we talk with, for a very special Vida Vegan Con Takes Austin Must Eats of citywide dining recommendations. Stay tuned!

For now, see you at TexasVegFest!!!

 Want info on all things Vida Vegan Con weekend? Head this way.

Vida Vegan Bazaar poster

New Vida Vegan Con artwork by Josh Hooten, Herbivore Clothing.

Let’s get you to Vida Vegan Con 2015!

Posted on Updated on

It’s been two long years since VVC2013 and we’re beyond excited to see you all in Austin! Let make this happen.

Sweet Ritual
Sweet Ritual

Step 1:

First things first…Vida Vegan Con is open to all vegan content creators, bloggers, authors, chefs, entrepreneurs, activists community leaders, creative professionals, business owners, enthusiasts and their moms…and best friends…and partners…and pictures of their cats. And so on. Super curious? Read our F.A.Q. for more info, peruse this amazing speaker lineup, and then come join us!

Got your ticket?

Pondering just a taste of VVC with Friday’s Bazaar?

Applied for one of two VVC scholarships?

Wanna volunteer at the Bazaar (and maaaaybe help out during the weekend?)

It’s on!

Step 2:

So, how are you getting to Austin?? Epic vegan road trip? Savvy flier? Got those headphones ready for the bus or train? Walking down the street? Whether you’ve decided just how you’re arriving for the festivities or are still contemplating the possibilities of nooch-powered teleportation, here’s a bunch of info on Getting To & Around Austin, TX.

Step 3:

Okay, where do you want to stay? WITH US?!? We’ve seriously got a few select few rooms remaining for the on-site* room block right at AT&T Executive Education & Center. Here’s your info to snag a room.

Now, your friendly organizers at VVC Headquarters are no stranger to hostels, AirBnB, crashing on friend’s couches and digging around Priceline and the like ( with occasional bouts of Jess becoming darkly Name-Your-Own-Price obsessive).

Rest assure, we’ve got a large list of hotels, hostels, bike and car rentals over here: VVC2015: Where to Stay.

More, More, More:

In conclusion (for now!!), our Vida Vegan Con 2015 Travel Info include super pertinent info on:

Getting To & Around Austin ⭐ Where to Stay ⭐Vida Vegan Con Takes Austin  Map 
 Bonus: Austin Vegan Eats Google Map ⭐ & Our Official 2015 Venues
$2.50 USD = direct bus to or fro the Austin airport
$2.50 USD = direct bus to or fro downtown and the Austin airport

No need to go clicking too far, here’s everywhere Vida Vegan Con III + The Vegan Bazaar are happening (with more to come!)

*Please realize that our on-site room block is where Saturday and Sunday conference happenings take place. Friday’s Bazaar is being held at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre. You are responsible for transportation between all venues as needed. The above map includes driving, bike and public transit directions between the two (plus, practically any & everywhere you’ll want to eat).

Behind the Scenes: Vida Vegan Summertime Stuff

Posted on Updated on

Why, hello there, VeganMoFo VII!  Vida Vegan Headquarters is kicking off our big month of memories with the most recent, by sharing some photographic evidence that all three of your friendly organizers have managed to experience some good old-fashioned summer time-ing.  

Without further adieu, an Instagram collection:

Janessa: Double scoop of white chocolate & oreo vegan ice cream in Vienna. @Janessapk
Michele: A duo of Sweet Hereafters, Sweet Hereafter. Now, that’s a summer afternoon well spent. @VidaVeganHQ
Jess: Continued to spend her summer as a farmers market groupie. Nothing new there. @jdfunks
Janessa: literally found herself on Abbey Road. @Janessapk
Michele: Conquered giardiniera and is hopefully going to share… @VidaVeganHQ
Jess: had an ongoing rotation of fancy homemade vegan cheeses and pickles. @jdfunks
Janessa: continued documenting amazing photos on her #Janessagoesthere tour with these schoolkids caught in a thunderstorm in Vietnman. @Janessapk
Michele: Loves summertime salsa. Enough said. @VidaVeganHQ
Jess: finally lived out her small dream of judging a cooking competition, with the Vegan Iron Chef Pop Up! Taco Shop! community cook-off. @jdfunks
Bonus Vida Vegan Headquarters international Google Hangout time. Way more fun that it looks! @Janessapk

And there’s your quick taste of what Janessa, Michele and myself have been up to this summer since the whirlwind weekend that was VVC2013. All three of us are also doing VeganMoFo over at our own blogs, so catch more at Epicurious Vegan, Vegtastic Voyage and Get Sconed!

See you back here soon! There’s so, so much in store at Vida Vegan Headquarters.