The inaugural Pittsburgh VegFest sets up on the North Side | Restaurant Reviews | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The inaugural Pittsburgh VegFest sets up on the North Side

There will be vegan and vegetarian cuisine to try, including tacos

While it’s true that vegans and vegetarians will find a whole lot to do — especially eat — at the inaugural Pittsburgh VegFest, they’re only part of the audience organizers hope to attract.

“VegFest is all about education,” says Leila Sleiman, a co-founder of McKees Rocks-based Justice for Animals, which is sponsoring the event. “I ate meat once. We all did. But to get people to think about moving toward a compassionate lifestyle, it’s important to do it one step at a time.

“We want to show the thinking that being a vegan or a vegetarian isn’t convenient is out the window.”

The free, six-hour event is happening after several similar VegFests have taken place across the country. It will feature cuisine from dozens of vendors, including a food truck from Randita’s restaurant, vegan comfort food from Onion Maiden, and grilled-potato tacos from El Burro on the North Side. Additionally, the owners of the Allegra Hearth Bakery will be debuting vegan fare from the menu of its yet-to-be-opened Lawrenceville vegan spot called B-52 Café.

Expanding the concern for animal welfare, there will also be informational tables from many of the region’s animal-rescue organizations. The hope is to inspire festival-goers to become involved by adopting animals, donating or volunteering some time. 

“This is going to be a great gathering,” Sleiman says. “Not just for vegans and vegetarians, but for everyone.”

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