The 3rd Annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

Good things come in threes. And a deliciously good thing is the third installment of the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival, arriving at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, March 2-3.

We're talking free samples of raw-mantic foods, vegan ice cream, Indian delicacies, hemp-based foods, vegan jerky, vegan shakes, seitan creations, teas, TVP marvels, peanut butters, vegan cupcakes and dark chocolate, to name a few of our drool-inducers. And we’ll also feature top-shelf vegan authors, kick-boxing, yoga demos, puppet shows for the younger set, burlesque music, miles of cruelty-free merchandise to snag, raffles, health-conscious pep talks, cooking programs….

Last year, 6000 revelers lined up on the sidewalk, surged through the doors, and happily thronged the Festival. Prepare to join the crowd this year, because the third time's the charm!

Dates: Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd

Time: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM both days

General Admission (available at the door only): just $5 each day

Advance VIP Tickets: https://nycvegfoodfest.chirrpy.com

Food Fest Web Site: http://nycvegfoodfest.com

Meeting Up At The Veg Food Fest (Optional)

You may attend both days, or just one. Admission will be available for $5 each day, at the door, on the day of the event. I will be there both days, and I encourage you to do so if you can. This is a tremendously fun, educational, and tasty event!

For those that wish to, our Meetup Group will be meeting up at the Veg Food Fest both days. Each day (Saturday and Sunday) we will meet twice:

1. The first meetup will be at 9:30am (each day, Saturday and Sunday) on the entrance line to Food Fest. Just get on line when you arrive. I will be going up and down the line with a "MEETUP" sign looking for our members. We will all make a plan to meet inside at the beginning. Look for me and my "MEETUP" sign so you can be part of the plan. I will come right over to you, just call out to me when you see me with the "MEETUP" sign.

2. At 1:00pm each day (Saturday and Sunday) we will meet outside the front doors of the Food Fest (outside the front doors of the building itself -- the Metropolitan Pavilion). I will again have my "MEETUP" sign so you will easily see me and the group. At 1:10pm we will then all go back inside and eat lunch together at the food vendors.

These daily meetups are optional of course. You can RSVP and attend the Food Fest entirely on your own if you wish. But it is fun to meet up with other Meetup Group members for part of the event, and to have lunch with people from the group. Even if you have never been to one of our events before, come on along and make some new vegetarian & vegan friends.

This is one of my favorite events all year. Congratulations to Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda for producing these amazing and extremely successful events! The last two Food Fests were incredibly fun, educational, and wonderfully delicious. For a great time, please RSVP and attend.

Newly Added: Whether you are attending on Saturday or Sunday, you are invited to come meet us for a Sunday (March 3rd) Dinner at Zen Palate (also on 18th Street), at 5:30pm, right after the Fair finishes. Come and talk about all the things you learned, food you sampled, and fun you had!
For complete information and to RSVP:
http://www.meetup.com/vegetarian-nyc/events/104922402/

David

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  • Linda O.

    Highlights of the festival - Beyond Sushi (I got some for the ride home), Myq Kaplan's comedy, DF Mavens ice cream, Raaw Strawberry Purple Carrot Juice.

    1 · March 4, 2013

    • Judy C

      You can try the vegan sushi its located on 14 th st east side. I bought a tray and had it for lunch today it was delicious.

      March 4, 2013

    • Linda O.

      The restaurant is tiny - only 3 tables - went there Saturday when we couldn't get into the festival. It was so good that I had to get some more at the festival on Sunday. The March sushi roll of the month is excellent.

      March 4, 2013

  • Lynn

    This was my third festival and I enjoyed it a lot. Loved Gene Bauer's talk and checking out all the vendors was fun. Victoria Moran is always wonderful. I do think the organizers should find a bigger venue for next year so that more people can get it.

    March 3, 2013

    • Sim

      Hi Lynn,

      March 4, 2013

    • Sim

      Main street vegan - 'am interested in having discussion on this book. Any meet-ups or pointers?

      March 4, 2013

  • Sara M.

    I'm planning on being at the Mercy for Animals booth. Please stop by to show your support for this great organization.

    4 · January 23, 2013

    • Judy C

      I had a chance to see Juno (see photos I posted) she seemed fine but tired. From what I understand her first 5 years of her life she never was allowed to go outside.

      March 4, 2013

    • Judy C

      so despite the fact that she was at a very load and very crowded event, she was doing well and more importantly she was representing animals like her and how well they can adjust once they are rescued. Her owner was very protective of her and it was obvious that Juno really liked attention and to be touched.

      March 4, 2013

  • David B.

    Thank you to everyone who came out and sampled the DF Mavens ice cream! We hope you enjoyed our ice cream as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you. Please follow us on Facebook and twitter and ask for your local stores to carry our product!

    March 4, 2013

  • Linda O.

    I got to the festival around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The general admission line was down the street and around the corner. I didn't have a good feeling, but got in line. About 2 hours later the organizers came out and told us that they were closing general admissions for 2 hours and there was no guarantee of getting in after that. A lot of people got out of line at that point and I did too since I did not want to stand there for another two hours with no guarantee of getting in. Some friends had just arrived around that time so we had a wonderful lunch at Beyond Sushi and dessert at Lula's. I went back to the festival on Sunday, getting there around 9:30 a.m. There was a short general admission line and we got in around 10:15 a.m. It was easy to walk around at that point with not so many people inside. It got pretty crowded pretty quickly, but it was manageable and we were able to get to all of the vendors.

    1 · March 4, 2013

  • Marty K

    I hope you had as good a time at the festival as I had being an emcee both days and at the after party. Most people seemed to agree that buying the vip tix was the way to go to avoid the wait. I'm looking forward to next years festival.

    March 4, 2013

  • Elaine

    All in all, I'm glad my friend & I toughed it out and held the line. It wasn't too too bad, by comparison of Saturday's comments, and once inside, we enjoy talking with some of the vendors, especially cookbook author Linda Long, and the reps from the Natural Gourmet Institute. All the food we sampled was amazing and my friend ended up buyin the Vitamix, as they were offering such a great deal. We walked away quite satisfied.

    1 · March 4, 2013

  • Atiyah

    Once inside and the circulation in my fingers return, all was well! ;-)

    1 · March 3, 2013

    • Elaine

      Same here! Once we FINALLY got inside.

      March 4, 2013

  • David B.

    I'll be there at booth #1 giving out free vegan ice cream for brand new company DF Mavens. Come check it out!

    2 · February 28, 2013

    • Linda O.

      Great ice cream!

      March 3, 2013

    • Elaine

      FABulous ice cream. Especially the salted praline, just like the superfan of it said. :)

      March 4, 2013

  • Sim

    DF Mavens and talk by Greg Sher were my favs.

    March 3, 2013

  • Judy C

    I went both days and really enjoyed all that was offered and available

    March 3, 2013

  • Star

    Oops!
    Checked into the wrong meetup but plan to visit the festival afterward.

    1 · March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      That's okay - you're welcome to join us :-)

      March 2, 2013

    • Star

      A day late but thanks Deanna :-)

      March 3, 2013

  • jeff f.

    could not get in!

    March 3, 2013

  • Saffeya

    It was great festival. I'm actually glad I got a chance to walk around all the tables, sample the food, and purchase my own Vitamix! Pricy but an investment. The people there were great. A bit unorganized by the event host for the people who purchased VIP tickets.

    March 3, 2013

  • Innovative S.

    The festival ambiance was fantastic, there were many good tasting samples, but the waiting for 45 minutes was ridiculous.

    March 3, 2013

  • Jess

    I got there a little before 12 and had to wait 2 hours to get in. It was cool but not amazing.

    March 3, 2013

  • Deanna

    The meet up portions of the event were really fun - I enjoyed talking to everyone in the group and spending time with the crew for lunch, etc. hpwever I think the festival has outgrown Metropolitan Pavilion and needs a new site next year. The lines were quite long (2 or more hours in the early part of the day on Saturday for general admission - due to the overcrowding).

    March 3, 2013

  • Tiana K.

    Hey All It is really not accurate to post the event is disorganized. I went yesterday and had a great time. If you do NOT want wait go NOW. Or really late in afternoon. There is a huge difference between needing a larger venue than being disorganized. There needs to be a larger venue but we do not know the circumstances as to why this year there isn't. Go now so that way you may not wait so long.

    1 · March 3, 2013

    • Anna H.

      Just because we pointed out that the event was disorganized doesn't mean we discounted the entire event, that's a baseless accusation. It's also rude to discount people's feelings regarding what happened at the event. By sharing information about the event we give others the ability to make a more informed decision.

      3 · March 3, 2013

    • Kayte

      Thanks Anna.

      2 · March 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone know where I can get some vegan ice cream in the city.... I'm really curious about the taste and I would like to find out.

    March 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      DF Mavens is in Commodities now.

      March 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have seen it in a number of organic grocery stores also, along with all of the other types of food I saw at the festival. Since becoming veg 20 yrs ago as a kid, I have tried everything I thought might sound good at least once, whenever I happen to run into the opportunity. In NYC, there are opportunities to try new veg items everywhere! (a note, not ice cream, but many other items like jerky and snacks can be found online like at Amazon, also).

      March 3, 2013

  • Elaine

    Hello all! Is anyone at the site now who can give an update on the entrance wait time, please? Much appreciated.

    March 3, 2013

  • Susan

    So heres my rundown on the vegfest for those poor folks still standing in line: right now the house is packed so it will feel more like walking through a club than a festival. However, the vendors are super friendly and the food is delish. I particularly dug "beyond sushi" - see if you can score yourself a sample. Its really easy to end up spending money in there, as the samples are mostly "try now" rather than "take home". If the wait isnt killing you, id say it's worth it. But otherwise id suggest getting a vip ticket for sunday (if its still available) or arrive at 9am tomorrow and expect to get in at about noon. This is what i did, and as frustrating as it was, it was a lot easier and less crowded being there at noon than at 2pm, when i walked out. Good luck my fellow veggielovers!

    2 · March 2, 2013

    • Doria

      Beyond Sushi is fabulous! I try to eat there as often as possible, considering I live in Queens.

      March 3, 2013

    • Adrienne

      Totally always get a VIP ticket in advance. The Regal Vegan's food is sooooo good!!

      March 3, 2013

  • Elaine

    The official website info says they are no longer selling VIP tickets. "Hey there! Sorry, but there are currently no tickets available for this event." I don't know if those of us planning to go tomorrow should even bother, given all of the comments here. What a shame and a disappointment.

    2 · March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      When I left around 3:45, there was no line and the crowd started thinning a touch. It was pretty packed in there from about 12 on but we had fun. I'd agree that a bigger venue for next year would be really necessary.

      1 · March 3, 2013

    • Doria

      Maybe I will pass by around 1:00 and if the line is too crazy, I will go and do something else until the dinner.

      March 3, 2013

  • Lourdes G.

    I hear this event is not well organized, so I will not be going now, will go to a broadway show, then bodyrub and a vegan dinner later. Hope who ever gets in has a great time. Peace :)

    March 3, 2013

  • Joan

    I got this really bad cold that is going around and I'm better off staying in bed. I'm really disappointed. Have fun.

    March 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey Deanna it was very nice meeting you today. Every person was friendly, especially for people like me who abruptly changed my diet only 2 months ago. I felt very comfortable there looking forward to Sunday.

      1 · March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      Hi Frank - it was nice meeting you too - glad we were able to chat for a bit at lunch.

      March 3, 2013

  • Ulla

    I can say that it was a BIG MISTAKE not getting a VIP ticket.
    My mom (who traveled from out of state for this event) and I got there well before 9AM and were very close to the entrance. 2 HOURS LATER we were inside, where there was another huge line that did not move at all for another half hour. The security staff told us that they would not be selling general admission tickets as long as VIP ticket holder were coming in...which could mean all day. In addition, as far as we could see, there were only 2 people there to sell tickets to a line that looked like it had at least several hundred people on it at that point.
    At this time, we decided to give up and try to enjoy the day in the Union Square are.
    In my opinion it was dishonest and misleading on the part of the organizers to not disclose the fact that the general admission line would not be attended to AT ALL until the VIP line was completely processed.
    Disorganized clusterf*ck. Will not attend in the future.

    4 · March 2, 2013

    • Ulla

      IndigoSun - to a lot of people, especially those who are new to the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, an event like this is great to meet/greet many vendors under one roof, see that preparing vegan food is 'doable', etc. It's an educational event, and free samples are hopefully just an add-on, not the purpose. So that's what you are missing.

      1 · March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      The seminars were really good from the people that I talked to at the event. If there are seminars you want to go to tomorrow, then definitely stop by. There is one on Artisinal Vegan Cheese in the afternoon (by the author of a book of the same name) that looked quite intersting.

      March 3, 2013

  • Kayte

    I also want to thank David for this event. He did exactly as he promised --he looked for those of us on line---introduced us to the co-organizer--gave clear points on where to meet--said hello--a few times and let us know where the group was to be. It's not MeetUp's fault--the event itself was poorly coordinated by its founders. And if the Event founder or lead-- Sarah said --there would not be a wait longer than 30 minutes--because of 5.00 admission--well -I (and others ) took her at her word! And that was not remotely the situation-we discovered-which was part of the frustration. I appreciated those who did get in and shared a little bit of what went on--that was fun to read and thanks for offering encouragment and empathy instead admonishing--next year--buy a VIP ticket & I'm glad I did not have to wait. Not so tactful.

    2 · March 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It was too bad I missed hanging out with MeetUp people, but so many RSVPed I assumed it would not be very personal anyway. I was really glad I went in the afternoon, I still recommend to those who are ok not being there first thing in the morning that going later in the day - probably even more so on Sunday - would be fine. The wait was around 35 min., and I met a lot of nice people online, just as I expected.

      March 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have to say, I assumed this not because I have been to this event before (I haven't) but because everything I have been to in the city is like this. The travel convention, for instance, is also insane. Anything indoors and major with booths of free stuff in the middle of winter is going to be loaded with people who planned it, wanderers who decide last-minute, tourists, everything. I always plan to arrive early and camp out if it's about the experience (like Times Sq), or come late if I just want to get in (like today). Too bad it seems like more people didn't try to space it out - for those who don't have the money for VIP, or don't feel it's worth it because you really are paying to see marketing, trying towards the last 2 hours of the event might be perfect. Just the fact that 541 MeetUp people RSVPed, and this is not the only MeetUp attending either, gives you an idea of how crazy popular this is for only one floor - would be cool if they open it up to a bigger space next time.

      1 · March 2, 2013

  • Judy C

    Hey David, I just wanted to Thank you for organizing this meet up,
    It was my first meet-up with the group and I really enjoyed myself, I met some really nice people and enjoyed all the booths, talk and food. I wound up getting some great goodies too.

    I'll be back again tomorrow, I want to see the discussion on "vegan for the long haul"

    Sorry for all that didn't make it in, it was totally worth the wait and next time consider the VIP ticket, I was lucky I didn't have to wait at all.

    1 · March 2, 2013

    • Ulla

      Judy, I did consider the VIP tickets and I was in contact with the organizers prior to the show - their response resulted in my opting for the general admission. And in my book nothing is worth a 2 hour wait...

      1 · March 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I assumed that the beginning of the day on the first day it opened would be a madhouse. I showed up in the afternoon and was very pleased that I did so. Met some nice people in line, and then got in after maybe 35 min. I would not have wanted to be there with it any busier, there were still so many people one could barely walk around.

      March 2, 2013

  • selina

    I came at about 1030 and the line was pretty long. So we went to the farmers market instead ;(

    2 · March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      Sorry you didn't make it in but what a wonderful place to go to instead. Union Square has the best farmers market ever.

      March 2, 2013

  • Ulla

    I want to join all others in thanking David for being a great host and organizing everything and doing everything he has promised to do.
    My earlier criticism of the festival's poor organization has nothing to do with the meet-up.

    2 · March 2, 2013

  • Sheila

    I hope my earlier post re: my last year's experience served as a warning to people as to what to expect. Its great that the event is so popular but someone needs to rethink the venue. What about the convention center. Im sure people would pay even if ticket prices were a little more for the comfort and convenience...I attend a similar event in DC every year and they have it outdoors. The first year on a college campus then a park. It's a very pleasant event and very well organized...

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • Wilson W.

    It was nice to meet David and some of the other members here! The food was good and the folks were nice. The line was brutal though. I arrived on the general admissions line a little before 9:30 and didn't get in until 11:30. It was like waiting on line for the iphone 7 or something. Hope to see you guys at Zen tomorrow.

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • Ulla

    Hi -
    this will be my first festival and I am curious what is everyone's opinion about getting the VIP tickets. From the description, it sounds like all you get is priority admission and some raffle tickets - this is very vague and a big difference from $5 to $30 (or even the $15 Amazon special).
    So my mom and I plan to arrive by 9:15. Is there actually a chance we won't get in? Also, does anyone know what these raffle tickets are for?? None of the websites selling the VIP tix have any detail info about which vendors are the raffle participants...Many thanks, and I look forward to meeting fun people at the event.

    February 17, 2013

    • David G.

      Hi All! This is from David Greene, and is as definitive as possible. The only terrible lines this event has ever had was in its first year. That's when the event was free. After that, the event organizers started charging $5 to get in. Charging even just $5 makes a huge difference in the size of the line. Sarah Gross, organizer of this event, said that last year (the second of these events) when she charged $5, no one had to wait more that 30 minutes, And many people waited far less. We are guessing that this year will be about the same. Most people will want to take advantage of the $5 option. But if you want to, you can always get the VIP tickets.

      2 · February 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      David, the activity was awesome, I'm happy to see such a high turn. I feel bad personally for the people that couldn't get in, but judging in the amount of people that was there it was probably a fire hazard to let in the all the people who was unable to get in.

      March 2, 2013

  • Anna H.

    Hey guys! It's only a half hour wait for general admission now! :)

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • Priya

    hi, if anyone has an extra vip tkt for sunday, pls let me know.

    March 2, 2013

  • Anna H.

    Seriously whoever is running this needs help, so much money wasted cuz it's not organized well to accommodate this gigantic crowd

    3 · March 2, 2013

    • eric F.

      I think they meant to get a bigger space for next year

      March 2, 2013

    • eric F.

      Need

      March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anybody else inside? Drops a line

    March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I pre-bought the $15 VIP from Daily Reader and was 5th person in the line at 10am by the time we checked in and dropped off our coats it was maybe 10:15am. The place was not too full and it was fairly roomy to wander around. I'm an aspiring vegan and have never been to an event before like this before. I really enjoyed getting to sample and meeting vendor owners. I was really surprised by how many vegan bakeries there were and the number of soy protein based food. My favorite vendors were Vegan Cuts (a monthly subscription for a box of goodies ie. birchbox), The Fanciful Fox (amazing selection of vegan lip balm...I bought a chai tea and a butter pecan one) and Coconut Bliss Mint Ice Cream (so delicious!). It is definitely worth going for the experience. As for the venue, past events have had the same problems, it's just not the right space to accommodate a large traffic flow especially if you are trying to sample food! My recommendation is just to get out of bed earlier!!!

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I also noticed,people were,here lining up even at 8. I feel as tho with all events you have to get vip or get there early otherwise expect to get the short end,of the stick...the early bird gets the worm..and beyond sushi!! Everyone if you cannot get in try again tomorrow its two days for a reason!! :) :)

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • Elena S.

    Should I bother coming in now?

    March 2, 2013

  • ♥Rain

    Did anyone make it in?

    March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So does anyone know a good vegetarian spot around here for food?

    March 2, 2013

    • Carla

      Terri's on 23rd st, off of 6th is pretty good. sandwiches can be kind of heavy, but filling

      1 · March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Was looking forward to icecream...:-(.....

    March 2, 2013

  • Andrea

    Hey all, could someone tell me What time is everyone's supposed to be arriving by? I'll probably be coming alone so I'd like to meet up with someone before everyone gets lost in the crowd. Also, where do you buy the tickets once you arrive at the location?

    March 1, 2013

    • Deanna

      Hi Andrea - you can but tix when you arrive

      March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      Sorry - that should have read buy tickets when you arrive.

      March 2, 2013

  • Anna H.

    Seriously whoever is running this needs help, so much money wasted cuz it's not organized well to accommodate this gigantic crowd

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • Anna H.

    Wow I'm here, there aren't any more VIP tickets online, and the general line is loooong

    March 2, 2013

  • Jade

    Sick at home, but do enjoy!

    March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      Feel better soon Jade!

      March 2, 2013

  • L

    Very sick."( Have fun!

    March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      Feel better L!

      March 2, 2013

  • Cindy V.

    I'm sick as a dog but hoping I get better by tomorrow. I see that general admission tix are worth nothing if VIP tix are getting in with no problem. 1 1/2 hr wait? What a stupid system.

    March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      Feel better soon Cindy!

      March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Was on my way over and I read all those comments about the lines and turned back......Maybe it will be more organized tomorrow...I will try then...:)

    1 · March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      The lines are pretty long but we have a great group here - say hi if you make it!

      March 2, 2013

  • Star

    Ok I'm here now for real and the lines are tooo long so for everyone who gets in... Have fun!

    March 2, 2013

    • Deanna

      I saw the lines have gotten longer but it is pretty good inside. We are going to meet up for lunch at 1 just in front

      March 2, 2013

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