I had the pleasure of attending Melbourne’s Big Vegan Market on last Saturday’s sunny afternoon where 150 vegan-friendly vendors set up shop at the beautifully historic Royal Exhibition Building. After promo for the event exploded on social media, the venue was packed to the brim with 10 000 enthusiastic guests throughout the day. Local shopkeepers were over the moon with the massive turnout, and organizers were pleased to see so many non-vegans in the audience as well.
I was delighted to see such a strong Aussie interest in cruelty-free products, and we’re not just talking veggie burgers and kombucha here. The shops featured everything from clothing, to skincare products, to innovative food (gnocchi, spanakopita, buffalo wings…you name it), coffee, smoothies, desserts and so much more.
Aside from the endless free vegan chocolate samples, here are some highlights from the day:
People patiently waited in line for close to an hour in front of the Wings of Glory booth and for good reason! They were all yearning for a taste of these legendary buffalo wings, which ultimately sold out due to extremely high levels of deliciousness. These spicy American-style wings were hands down one of the tastiest meal choices at the festival.
Although I was a little disappointed the mac and cheese was all sold out, Good Freakin Food‘s lasagna with homemade bolognese and ricotta cheese was a fine replacement. Good Freakin Food is a healthy lunchbox and catering service that delivers vegan goodness right to your door. Perfect for those who want hearty lunches to bring to work but are often too lazy to cook it themselves (like me).
Everyone knows Melbourne is famous for high-end coffee culture, and Brew Sisters pop up coffee shop brought their A-game. I got a perfectly-brewed iced coffee with a mini red velvet doughnut with cream cheese icing from Elena’s Cakes and Sweets. My only regret is that I didn’t get two.
Speaking of dessert, Fitzroy newcomers Girls and Boys were another crowd favorite, selling soft serve, gelato, sorbet, and ice cream sandwiches from a retro beach hut stand (more about them here). People swarmed from far and wide to get in on the action. When it comes to ice cream, all bets are off in terms of crowd control!
I got this souvenir tote bag from The Vegan Box to share my insatiable love of doughnuts with the world. With so many amazing shops to discover, I think it’s fair to say that a lovely time was had by all. Big round of applause to Melbourne Vegan Eats for hosting such an epic event. Next year, they are going to have to book an even bigger venue!