VVC Location Scouting: Chicago

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We know January and February in Chicago can be brutal, but that’s when we had time to go and that’s when we could afford to go, so that’s when we went, and you know what, we loved it!

Michele was lucky enough to grow up there, but for Jess and Janessa, this was a first look (and feel!) of the Windy City. We packed up our boots and gloves and headed to Chi-town to see if it has what it takes to host a few hundred vegan bloggers for a weekend.

We explored…

Three days of killer public transit for $14. Nice.
Chicago: Where a surprise Native Foods just pops up on your walk downtown...

We met up with friends, old and new…

VVC Organizers Janessa, Jess & Michele, with periwinkle-capped cookbook author Kelly Peloza outside Chicago Diner: The Brunch Visit

And we ate!

Nachos at Chicago Diner
The Chicago Diner: Where friends can share a Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Milkshake!
Custom pizza at The Boiler Room: Daiya mozz, Upton's seitan bacon, fresh basil & red sauce
Whole Foods Lincon Park: Where one can shop with a glass of wine.
Intelligentsia Coffee
Hot dogs from the Whole Foods food court!
Tacos from Quesadilla La Reina del Sur

The verdict? Chicago definitely has what it takes to embrace us and keep us busy. We saw a lot of cool spaces, ate a lot of comfort food (some good, some bad, some awesome), and even found a tattoo artist who uses vegan inks.

The holdup? We’re looking to bring you an even better, more polished event for 2013 and are honestly a little nervous about holding our sophomore conference so far away. Chicago’s a little more expensive than Portland, and we have a smaller pool of friends and family to beg, borrow, and steal from. We know we can do it…but we also can’t afford to lose our day jobs. We have a bunch to talk about before making a final decision, but we’re planning for a March 15th announcement, after a couple more meetings. 

You know either way, Portland or Chicago, it’s gonna be a blast. It wouldn’t be so surprising if we went with one for 2013 and another for VVC3. So, see you somewhere May 2013!

8 thoughts on “VVC Location Scouting: Chicago

    Theodora Leigh Coyne (@teddieleigh) said:
    March 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Ah. It would be so sad if you chose Portland because the situation,money wise,is the opposite for me. 😦 I have time, though,I may be able to swing Portland,but its not nearly as likely as Chicago. I’ll be checking up here on the 15th.

    fatgayvegan said:
    March 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I would be totally into Portland again. It was such a fun time and a great city.

    Julia Moran Martz said:
    March 9, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Either one but Portland does have Homegrown Smoker and their awesome fried oreos! Although I’m sure I’d learn more about all the vegan options in Chicago, my current home town, if there were an event here. It is kinda hard to get out and do everything where you live. I still haven’t been to the The Museum of Science and Industry and I’ve lived here since 1999.

    We also DO have at least 2 raw restaurants that I know of: Karen’s and Cousins Incredible Vitality. Not that I’m trying to sell you one way or the other. Cheaper for me to stay here but you’d have to promise me you’d bring me some Homegrown Smoker oreos if you come ;-]

    Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles said:
    March 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

    So excited for the announcement! Hopefully I’ll be able to make it work no matter where the conference is. If I go to any conference, this will be it!

    Alecia Lott said:
    March 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I’m rooting for Chicago!!! I just moved here in December and love it, and to have VidaVeganCon here would be icing on the cake! Today the weather was 75 degrees, lovely lovely.
    BTW I used to work at the Native Foods pictured above and you ladies look familiar… maybe I was your cashier! But I figured out I’m better at eating food than serving it so I quit, lol

    Patty Malcolm said:
    March 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Portland is more easy for me to attend but always wanted to visit chicago to try Karyn’s raw restuarant.

    Vegan said:
    March 27, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Look at that, the brutal thought had given you a lot of food that you enjoyed as well as the experience being at Chicago. Is it the wind or weather that makes it “brutal” for you?

    […] first location-scouting trip to Chicago was in the dead of winter. Why? This was when we could all take time off work and hotels and […]

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