5 Ways Seattle Is Leading the Vegan Revolution

When you think about Seattle, you might think of rainy weather, the Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, ’90s grunge, or Grey’s Anatomy. But Seattle is quickly becoming a vegan haven, and vegan options are becoming the norm in many restaurants and specialty shops. Here are five everyday ways Seattle is paving the path for a vegan future.  

 

1. We all scream for (vegan) ice cream
Seattle is an oasis for vegan ice cream. In fact, there isn’t enough time in the day to enjoy all the epic vegan ice cream options Seattle has to offer. The Cookie Counter is an adorable shop that originally began in a vegan couple’s VW van. The business now has its own brick-and-mortar and offers small-batch vegan ice cream and cookies (including ice cream cookie sandwiches!) and other baked goods. Sugar Plum, opened by the owners of the well-loved Plum Bistro, offers both soft-serve and hard-scoop ice cream in classic and unusual flavors such as Avocado-Blackberry Cheesecake. The store also makes gluten-free cones and cookies and its own version of the Blizzard. Frankie and Jo’s is taking its vegan ice cream beyond the city’s borders, shipping its dairy-free pints anywhere within the continental US. Vegans and non-vegans alike are lining up around the block year-round to try this shop’s wonderfully creative flavors such as the California Cabin (smoked vanilla and pine with black pepper cardamom shortbread). Even non-vegan Seattle-based ice cream companies now offer dairy-free selections, so whenever the craving hits, you can drop into nearly any scoop shop in Seattle and enjoy a frosty vegan treat. Sweet!

2. Not your average cup of Joe
Seattle is a serious coffee town. From Victrola and Espresso Vivace to Caffé Vita and Caffe Ladro (and let’s not forget the multitude of other small independent shops), the city is home to a vibrant coffee roastery and café scene, serving some of the best coffee you can imagine (according to a Seattleite). Unless you’re one of those stoics who can drink their coffee black, you’re going to need some plant milk to go along with it, and Seattle’s coffee shops always provide. Most Seattle cafés offer a range of vegan milks including soy, almond, rice, hemp, coconut, and oat, making plant-based milk a norm rather than an exception. Let’s see that latte art!  

3. Groceries with a greater purpose
One of Seattle’s gems is the all-vegan grocery store, Vegan Haven, located in the University District. Vegan Haven carries an impressive display of vegan options. This small corner store is packed with so many kinds of vegan cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream, many of which are hard to find elsewhere. Further, the friendly, mostly-volunteer staff are always quick to bring in the latest new products. On top of this incredible selection, 100 percent of the profits go to Pigs Peace Sanctuary in Stanwood, Washington, so when you’re shopping for your favorite vegan delicacies, you’re also directly supporting the sanctuary’s 130 pigs!

4. Grab a slice
Just across the street from Vegan Haven is Seattle’s vegan pizzeria, Pizza Pi. Pizza Pi is a longtime Seattle institution, serving specialty vegan pizzas, calzones, and appetizers. Looking for a pizza joint for a fun date night? Head to Sizzle Pie for vegan Caesar salad and a wide variety of vegan pizza-by-the-slice (whole pies are available as well). Razzi’s Pizzeria also offers an impressive menu of vegan pizzas, calzones, mozzarella sticks, panini, pastas, and grinders (a sub sandwich). Finally, World Pizza, an all-vegetarian parlor, serves a range of awesome vegan-friendly pies in Seattle’s International District. Like the city’s ice cream scene, most Seattle pizzerias carry vegan options, making it easy to enjoy a quality slice wherever you roam.

5. Mac and cheese all day, every day
To deal with the rainy, cloudy weather,  Seattleites have developed an affinity for comfort food, and vegan mac and cheese has become a restaurant city staple. Plum Bistro’s Spicy Cajun Mac ‘N’ Yease is famous among the locals for its spicy kick on the old school favorite. Cycle Dogs, an all-vegan pop-up, also makes a gooey and delicious Vegan Mac (and yes, you can order it on a vegan hot dog). Cafe Pettirosso, a cozy little eatery around the corner from Frankie and Jo’s, puts a slightly smokey twist on its Shawn’s Vegan Mac, a baked pasta served with a thick crunchy coating of perfectly browned breadcrumbs. Even if you don’t live in the city, you can enjoy some mac and cheese from Seattle-based Field Roast, a vegan meat and cheese company. Its Mac ‘N Chao and Chili Mac ‘N Chao are available in freezer sections nationwide.  

 

Kathryn Gillespie lives in Seattle and is the author of The Cow with Ear Tag #1389, a book about the lives of cows in the dairy industry.

Photo courtesy of Frankie & Jo’s.