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A new resident of Spokane is pleasantly surprised by the city's vegan options 

click to enlarge VegFest
  • VegFest

VEGGIE TALES

A couple weeks ago we moved to Spokane. Having never been to Spokane before I didn't know what to expect. Living so close to the vegan mecca of Portland had spoiled me with the numerous restaurants in the area. With only two all-vegan restaurants in the Spokane area, I was worried that options would be limited and that the plant-based culture would be scarce.

Coincidently, we were arriving on the same week as the Spokane VegFest, I was hoping this would positively change my disposition. The first night out we stopped at Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe. This establishment gave me hope for our lives here. Not only was the food incredible (the Hot Mess pizza is a must), but the atmosphere was welcoming and friendly. We've returned here frequently in the last two weeks and are never disappointed. The place is always filled with happy vegan kindred spirits.

Spokane is a city on the rise. This being said, it is under constant cultivation, which is especially noticeable in the vegan scene. At Spokane's VegFest we got to be a part of the growing community. Though the festival was less established than others I had attended, there was no shortage of vendors and emerging companies that are an integral part of its progress. The organizers of this event did an incredible job in selecting the sponsors and speakers, including vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian. This was a great choice for reaching skeptics. A common misconception when it comes to the vegan diet is that you don't get enough protein causing you to become weaker. This speaker challenged that idea, explaining his many accomplishments and records. All of which he achieved by following a plant-based lifestyle. Not only are there a number of new vegan companies emerging in the area, but a plethora of businesses are offering more vegan options. There's a surprising amount of eateries with lists of well made vegan dishes on the menu. INVeg is a great resource to find these restaurants and even highlights the best choices.

If you're looking for local markets to supply your own cooking, Spokane has you covered. Main Market Co-op is great source for this and for keeping updated on local events. There is also Natural Grocers and My Fresh Basket, both of which are well stocked for all your needs. If you're here for summer the local farmers market carry an assortment of fresh produce and vendors with vegan options. There's almost one for every day of the week and in each neighborhood.

The growth of the vegan community in Spokane is spectacular, new opportunities are constantly surfacing. Animal sanctuaries, community gardens and local organic farms are reaching out for volunteers and even offer paid internships. I can honestly say that my perception of the Spokane vegan culture has improved exponentially. I'm excited to show my support and become a part of this movement.

Mason Smith,
Spokane, Wash.

The original print version of this article was headlined "From Readers"

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