When eating out, vegetarians usually have a limited menu to chose from. Luckily Little Rock’s chefs have worked to include those who have chosen this type of lifestyle in their menus, and we’ve even taken a look at our favorite dishes before.
A little harder to accommodate is those who chose veganism. Vegans don’t eat any animal products including dairy and eggs. Some vegans even abstain from meat product substitutes like tofu.
When partaking in a food regimen this strict, it’s best to band together, and the great thing about the vegans in Arkansas is that they are, in fact, a budding community. Head to Instagram and search hashtags like #whatveganseat, #yourfoodshouldlookalive, #veganlr, and you’ll see what I mean.
Little Rock is slowly, but surely opening its culinary doors to this lifestyle. Did you know that there are places that created a menu solely around a vegan lifestyle? Read on.
1. The Veg has been serving up a vegan cuisine since late 2012 when they queried vegan cookie taste testers online. These days they can be found in the River Market, and are still proudly serving up a vegan menu, getting creative with a spin on soul food, but inclusive of everything in-between. They make a mean Veggie Burger and their Lobster Roll is a fan-favorite. The Veg is big on Instagram, leveglr, and likes to update customers of the daily menu with a bit of humor
2. That’s So Raw, a two-woman vegan and raw operation, initially starting selling their wares out of The Veg’s stalls as well as within the farmer’s market circles. When the food items began selling out regularly at The Veg, they knew they’d need to expand. They now have a brick-and-mortar location in Jacksonville and offer a varied menu daily. Fans love the pink spring rolls, as well as the sweets Chef Mckisik creates. While offering a creative menu, That’s So Raw also aims to offer vegan education to customers as their vegan ideals stretch beyond food and into a way of life. Follow thatssoraw on Instagram for recipe shares, fitness tips, a daily menu and more.
3. Solfood Catering, offers “real food that will ignite your inner fire,” and turns up when you least expect it. The catering business is known for pop-up events, including Vegan Sunday brunch at The Veg. Solfood will be back in the scene later in April when they hit the farmer’s markets. The catering business was heavily involved in the Urban Raw Food festival which has occurred the past two years in Little Rock, and you can bet they’ll be at it again for 2015.
4. Zeganz Catering. Zeganz is a small operation that was born out of a Church kitchen by a health-turned self-taught chef determined to learn fitness and healthy eating. Zeganz creates their menus around a fresh market run daily – currently working out of the newly opened Whole Foods. The operation is small, but the flavor is not.
5. Speaking of Whole Foods, they’re worth a mention for the vegan crowd. They have an extensive salad bar, vegan sauces, kombucha, vegan sushi … the list is endless. As many of the chefs who operate local vegan operations also frequent Whole Foods, I thought it was well-worth the mention.
As Central Arkansas’ vegan community grows, you can bet more vegan restaurants will appear on the scene. Stay tuned as more vegan-based menus emerge, and till then, get involved in the vegan community by hitting up Instagram or by heading to one of the above businesses.