VegFest offers meatless treats, healthy activities, and live music | Restaurant Reviews | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

VegFest offers meatless treats, healthy activities, and live music

Who knew eating vegetables could be this fun?

Attention, Pittsburgh: it’s time to call your mother. 

Remember those painful, exhausting years she spent coercing you into eating vegetables? Now, older and wiser, you know that vegetables are fun (not to mention delicious). That’s what the 2018 Pittsburgh VegFest is all about. 

Natalie Fristick and Leila Sleiman started VegFest in 2015 to spotlight Pittsburgh’s animal advocacy. The festival, which runs on Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Allegheny Commons Park East, celebrates all things vegetable. And it goes beyond your plate; VegFest will offer live music, fitness demonstrations, and more. 

We’ve covered the VegFest favorites, with the help of Sleiman. Who knew eating vegetables could be this fun? 


First stop: Onion Maiden. VegFest-ers line up, rain or shine, for an Onion Maiden dawg.  For a lighter option, grab a fresh-pressed juice from Reed & Co. Keep an eye out for The Kabocha Concept, offering a plant-based Mexican menu, featuring Steak Tortas, Pozole, and Agua de Jamaica. 

No meal is complete without a sweet ending. Sugar Spell Scoops will dish out its beloved vegan ice cream (the festival tore through 15 gallons last year).  You won’t be able to resist Good Chroma’s cupcakes and cookies, or NOMaste’s raw vegan cheesecake. 


If you like to sweat before a snack, make sure to hit one of the fitness demonstrations by Sasha Williams. The demo will happen at 11:20 a.m. and 2:20 p.m. Send your kids up the rock wall and obstacle course as you rejuvenate with Pittsburgh Acupuncture and Massageworks. 

Pet a pig. Seriously. Pigsburgh Squealers Rescue will be at VegFest with Phantom and Maui, two education pigs. Not a pig person? Cuddle up to one of the cats at Frankie’s Friends, or a Steel City Greyhound.

At 1:50 p.m., hear Dinosoul, a duo that blends hip-hop with haunting indie melodies. At 3:50 p.m., listen to hip-hop artist Lexa Terrestrial. Check out VegFest’s social pages for more info.


VegFest shopping ranges from skincare to pottery to vegan dog treats. Grab groceries at Heirloom Superfoods, or stop by Emily McGaughey’s booth for a smiling tofu sticker. Sleiman recommends checking out vegan apparel, White Muck, and Grape Cat.  

On your way out, grab a goodie bag loaded with items from Whole Foods and local vendors. For a $5 donation, you can leave VegFest equipped with the vegan essentials. 

So, call your mom. Apologize for the years of vegetable-induced trauma. Tell her you eat vegetables (voluntarily!). Better yet — bring her to VegFest. 

VEGFEST 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat., Aug. 4. Allegheny Commons Park East, North Side.

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