Thursday, October 24, 2013

Veggie Lovers Rejoice! Our Non-Judgey Meat-Free Series (Part 1)

It’s that time again!
Time for what? Winter clothes with flip flops? 
Every single food and drink to be pumpkin spice flavor? 
No! (Well… yes.)
Suddenly becoming a rampant fan of whatever NFL team is doing well? 
It’s time for 8th annual Central Florida Veg Fest!

And with that, we are making a meat-free post. Vegetarians, vegans, and lacto-something-or-others, rejoice! Even omnivores might find something interesting and tasty in this post. And don’t worry, there’s only one vegan on staff at theOrlandoan, so you’ll still be hearing about meat-lovin’ events in the other posts.

Right around the corner is VegFest, where you’ll find plenty of local restaurants serving dishes you won’t generally find on their menu. Come hungry and ready to people-watch. There will be live music, yoga, massage therapists, kid’s activities, an Ask-A-Vegan tent (can’t make this stuff up!), food preparation demos, artist corner, and even some parkour demonstrations because why the hell not. You can even donate blood there as the Big Red Bus will be available for you to save 3 lives in just 20 minutes.

Yes there will be hippies, yes dogs are allowed, and YES it will be a blast.
Orlando Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson Street, Orlando FL 32803
October 26, 201310am - 6pm

The changing of the seasons in Orlando (from 90 degrees to 80 degrees) also signals the 10th Annual Compassionate Thanksgiving potluck hosted by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. With how big the previous turnouts have been, it’s best to RSVP. Finally, a Thanksgiving where you don’t have to dissect every single dish to be safe!
Mead Gardens, 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park FL 32789
November 23, 20132pm 
$5 with a dish $12 without, and don’t forget to bring a recipe card!

Want to try good vegan homemade food but only know one recipe (or none)? You’re in luck! The Vegetarians of Central Florida meetup group hosts a vegan potluck the first Monday of every month where you can taste new dishes, trade recipes, learn more about being vegan, and meet some really great people.
First Unitarian Church of Orlando, 1901 E Robinson St, Orlando FL 32803
November 4, 20137pm - 9pm 

Want to give the love of vegetables and fruits to other people- start a community Garden! This guide will show you how to do everything from planning to funding it and you can even see how the community garden in Parramore is doing!

For good measure, let’s list some vegan/vegetarian restaurants but please feel free to add your favorite in the comments section below!
The vegan hot dog cart (often seen outside BBQ Bar downtown- best hot dog you won’t remember eating the next day!)
Veggie Garden (I’ve never been here but I’ve heard good things about their recent changes)
Drunken Monkey (not strictly vegetarian/vegan, but had to include it!)

I could do a whole post on vegan clothing, being a vegan athlete, the debate about PETA’s marketing tactics, etc.- there’s a lot more to vegetarianism and veganism than just food, but that’s for another post in our meatless series. For now, if you want to learn more about the meat-free lifestyle, where to buy quinoa, or just where to get non-leather shoes, Google is your best friend. And don’t worry, it’s a cruelty-free search engine.

Tairí Perez is our local, vegan, corgi-loving hippie. She runs theORLANDOAN's Instagram and will be sharing tips on meat-free living in Orlando in future posts. Be sure to tag your pics with #theorlandoan so she can make you famous!


  1. This is awesome! A hilarious, yet incredibly informative post. I'm a meat-eater, but ain't skeered to try some veggie foods! Thanks!

  2. There is another great place off of Lee Rd. It's called Green Day Cafe. It's very unassuming from the outside, but once you go inside you will be delightfully surprised. Lot's of great vegetarian and vegan options, and the cherry on top is their dedication to recycling. Here's a link:

  3. On behalf of Vegetarians of Central Florida, thanks for this great piece! Check out our Veg Dining Guide for a comprehensive (we hope! but let us know if we're missing anything) list of vegetarian/vegan places around town: See you at Veg Fest!:;

  4. Love this piece guys! I would like to also mention BabyCakes NYC at Downtown Disney which offers a variety vegan, gluten-free bakery options.