March 27, 2017 by Virginia James
North Hollywood Los Angeles was crowded with animal lovers this past weekend for the 2017 Annual Vegan Street Fair. It is a yearly event that hosts hundreds of vendors selling food, clothing, bath products and other items while raising awareness against animal cruelty. With everything from popcorn and corn dogs, to pizza tacos and tamales, there was an extremely wide variety in foods to eat.
This was my first time attending and I had a blast! To make your trip convenient for next year, here are a few tips for your experience. But before I get to that, I’ll just state very quickly that my husband and I had planned for a couple of hours of being here. However, I have some good tips for those who plan to make this an all-day thing!
First and foremost, ARRIVE EARLY! The earlier the better. A good part of Chandler Ave was closed off for this even (next to metro station), and parking can be a bit of a hassle. So if you are driving (as I did), make sure to arrive early. How early, you ask? We actually arrived a little over an hour early and barely found a parking spot. We were lucky enough where it was extremely close to the event, however, it was the last open spot!
Unfortunately, the website only suggests that you take the metro to the event, because parking can be an issue. LA streets are always crowded with not-so-nice drivers, many of them are brutal when ot comes to parking spots, so please be careful! What I would suggest, if you’re not comfortable with taking the Metro, is to get an Uber. This would be the perfect ‘drop-off’ situation, and just get an Uber back home. Depending on how far you’re driving, the price may be high, but it’s really up to you if it would be worth it. Since the Fair was on a sunday, all metered parking was free -so you can save some bucks by patroling the area until a spot opens up.
Once you figure out your transportation over there, there are a few things you may want to pack into your backpack (and yes, you really should take some kind of bag with you).
THINGS TO TAKE WITH YOU:
- Water Bottle -they have ‘hydration stations’ where you could fill up your water bottle for free 🙂
- Tuppoware -at least one or two- you might not have time to eat everything you’d like and saving some for later is way better than tossing your leftovers.
- Cash -make sure to stop at an ATM prior
- Clothes with lots of pockets to make it easier to get your money out while you are carrying things
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Portable phone charger
- Layered clothes -it may be cold in the morning, but body heat, the exercise from walking, and the sun climbing that sky will change that
Arriving early has its advantages with parking, but what do you do when you get there two or more hours early? Thankfully, you’re in North Hollywood. There’s always something to do! Just south of the venue is the Arts district which would make for an interesting morning walk. If you’re planning on saving your energy, I would recommend stopping for a morning coffee, and just relax for a while. Go to starbucks and find a charging station to make sure your phone has enough juice while checking out the current map of the venue on veganstreetfair.com, and start making a list of all the spots you want to hit, just to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
One Hour Before:
Make sure you are at the location of the venue between half an hour to an hour early so that you can physically see where your favorite spots are. Sometimes last minute vendors will swap spots or cancel, so make sure everything you know where everything you want to hit is, because as the time goes on, it will get more crowded and harder to move around. It makes it easier to know where you’re going.
Bonus, the smells of all of the foods are fresh in the air and it’s just what you need to get you pumped for all the food you’re going to be eating!
Some vendors will actually start selling to you before the time the even starts! We were able to buy a slice from Rock N Roll pizza a good 20 minutes prior. All we had to do was ask if they were serving yet, and they gladly sold us some of the most delicious pizza we’ve had in a very long time; mostly because we’re not huge fans of Daiya cheese.
Once you’ve figured out your first vendor tent to hit, go there a good 20 minutes prior and ask if they’re waiting until 11am to serve. You may get lucky and get your first bite then and there, if not, at least you’ll be first in line when they do start (and these lines get very long- so get prepared for lots and lots of lines!).
After getting our pizza fix, we jumped into line after line after line of delicious foods. Donut Friend, we’ve actually had before, and really liked it -but it’s always been too far a drive for us to enjoy too often. So we were so happy to see they had a tent there. Donut Friend had the LONGEST line but it is totally worth it! Don’t ever let a long line deter you from jumping into it -those are usually the best bites!
Donut Friend is known for their aesthetically pleasing and delicious donuts. Some are sliced open and filled with cream and/or fruit, others have flavors you won’t find at your local donut shop.
We ate about three full slices of Rock n Roll pizza and cruised through some of the desserts. But we were able to get a good variety of food overall. Here’s a list of each of our favorites, as well as a link to the company/restaurant:
At Rock N Roll Pizza, we had a few slices of cheeze pizza -rather than the usual Daiya cheese, which we’re not a fan of, they served Follow your Heart Mozzarella, which has a great taste! More info. on RockNRoll Pizza here.
Donut friend has such amazing flavors and is on the top of our list of Best Donuts in Los Angeles County. If you live nearby or ever come to visit, don’t hesitate to check this place out! Donut Friend Website illustrates the ever-changing menu.
The Ridiculous Baking Co. Has the most amazing Cronuts! Sugary sweet on the outside; soft and flaky in the inside. Definitely one of my favorites. Check out their info here!
Cup My Cakez not only had cup cakes but an assortment of cookies. Their top three flavors were brought to the fair: Sugar, Smores and Cotton Candy. The cotton Candy cookie was especially good because the icing contains actual bits of cotton candy -this was my #1 most favorite thing out of the day! I loved it. Click here for more info!
World Empanadas has an amazing list of flavorful savory empanadas, but their sweet mixed berry flavor definitely took me to the sky! Check out their info here.
Mama’s International Tamales had a variety of flavors. We left the fair with one sweet corn tamale, a mole with cactus and potato and a cheezy Jalapeno. Click here for more info!
iApparel has the most interesting clothing for both men and women. Lookout for these guys next year if you attend because they love to give out some free nick nacks. I got some booty shorts and a tank that I’m pretty much using as sleepwear, and I love it! More Info on iApparel here!
I’d just like to point out that there were also a variety of food trucks there -so make sure you check those out – menus there have a nice variety as well!
While it was crowded, sunny and a bit tiring -we loved all of the clothing and eats we tasted. We usually hate crowds, but people were actually very nice at this event and there was a lot of awareness against animal abuse in certain apparel tents.
This is a great even to attend for long time vegans and for those just curious to try out the foods but are a bit nervous at making the change. The wide variety of foods is reassuring that it can be done, It’s not difficult, and everything tastes great!
Maybe I’ll see you there next year!