The First Annual Nevada City Vegan Food & Wine Festival is happening Saturday, June 3rd. To kick off the event there’s a private wine tasting event. Saturday, all are welcome to a day of exhibits and speakers at the Nevada City Odd Fellow’s Hall, 10am-4pm (212 Spring Street). Speakers include Kristie Middleton, Jackie Day, Allison Rivers Samson and Jasmin Singer. Shauna Schultz, an instructor at the BriarPatch Co-op Community Cooking School, will also host a fun cooking demonstration, and 10-year-old vegan YouTuber Olivia Rivers Samson will take the stage to share what it’s like to be a vegan kid. Event organizer and freelance writer Aurelia d’Andrea contributed to the InnSide Nevada City blog her top 5 favorite Vegan spots.
The Vegan Top 5: Nevada City Edition
Nevada City boasts many qualities that you might say are universally appealing: wildflower-studded outdoor spaces, charming Victorian architecture, and quaint storefronts selling local, handcrafted goodies, to name just a few. But our town also has a lot to offer a smaller, more distinct demographic: Vegans! From tofu scrambles and luscious scoops of dairy-free ice cream to giant burritos and memorable vegan wines, hungry herbivores in this neck of the foothills can feast from morning straight through ’til night. Of the dozens of tasty options, this list narrows it down to five of Nevada City’s best, all of which, incidentally, you don’t have to be vegan to thoroughly enjoy.
1. Ike’s Quarter Cafe
Ike’s is the place to go for stick-to-your ribs vegan fare, including southern style biscuits and mushroom-tempeh gravy, tofu po’ boys, and meaty veggie burgers that even carnivores relish with gusto. Enjoy your Cajun-Creole feast outside beneath the old cherry tree for an extra-special fair-weather treat. Tip: Bring your appetite and plenty of cash; credit cards are not accepted here!
2. South Pine Cafe
This classic Nevada City cafe has been dishing up tofu scrambles, potato boats, and messy (and delicious) meatless BLTs since 1996, so they know what they’re doing. Add your name to the list inside, and peruse the menu while you wait. The Spicy Jamaican Tofu is recommended, and you can wash it down with a mug of almond milk hot chocolate.
This ice cream shop tucked away on York Street has a cult following, and you only have to try one lick of their Chai Coconut scoop to understand why. With the exception of the waffle cone, all the hand-held options are vegan, and a rotating selection of vegan ice creams and sorbets is always on offer. The folks who run this sweet spot are friendly and very knowledgeable about their offerings, so don’t be shy about asking for help deciding what flavor to get. Photographed is the Vegan Sweet Tart Cheery and Chocolate Mousse.
Fred’s doesn’t just have tasty Szechuan food; they’ve also got fun throwback decor—think 1950s baby-blue vinyl booths—and a tiki drinks menu. Order anything and everything made with tofu or gluten (the Happy Family gluten dish is particularly good) and if green beans with black bean sauce is on the specials menu, order it and ask Fred to have it prepared with tofu. Bonus: the fortune cookies are that rare vegan combo of fresh AND egg-free.
5. Spring Street Market & Deli
You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the outside, but inside this little downtown oasis is a treasure trove of vegan goodies. In the deli, there are almost too many choices: cupcakes, samosas, kale caesars, dolmas, wraps, and sandwiches. The selection of vegan comestibles doesn’t end at the deli counter; meatless Primal Strips, Cultured Kitchen cheeses, and even Nevada City wines call out to anyone afflicted with a serious case of the munchies.
Make sure to look for the “V marks the spot” this upcoming weekend for businesses who are highlighting their vegan menu and products. What’s your favorite local vegan menu item?
© 2017 InnSide Nevada City, Contribution Aurelia d’Andrea, Photos by Erin Thiem