Checking Out the Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen


I’m lucky to live in such a vegan-friendly city. Chicago is filled with amazing all-vegan restaurant (Ka’lish, Chicago Diner…) and non-veg restaurants that cater well to us plant eaters. We also have a vibrant community of small vegan businesses, animal rights activists, and vegan foodies.

I wanted to get to know that vegan community a little better, so I hopped on over to the Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen (CVTK)- a pop-up style event at Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park. During CVTK, which happens once a month, the Emporium is filled with local vegan vendors (and local vegans, vegetarians, and the vegan-curious). I’ve been to Emporium at night and for concerts, and I’ve never seen it this crowded. We vegans really know how to bring a crowd. 🙂


I went with my non-vegan dad. Of course, we bought a chocolate chip cookie from Pie Pie My Darling. Even he had to admit that it was a damn good cookie. If it were nutritionaly acceptable to eat these cookies for every meal, I think I would do it.


CVTK is a great showcase of the vegan and eco-conscious businesses here in Chicago. Here are a few of my favorites from today:

img_4219.jpgSoaps that look deceptively like fudge from Ari Rose Body Care

img_4218.jpgVegan belts and whatnot

img_4217.jpgLOOK AT ALL THESE GOOD SOAPS FROM SOAPABLY. It’s not irrational to get so excited about eco-friendly body products that you start squealing in public, right?

And of course— the desserts! There are plenty of savory options at CVTK, but the best part is all the cookies. SO MANY COOKIES.


I’m a huge fan of Sacred Serve (and am super psyched to see them in more and more stores around Chicago). Just look at how creamy that gelato is.


And the king of the vegan dessert jungle, Pie Pie My Darling, didn’t disappoint.


I do wish that CVTK had fewer items wrapped up in plastic. There’s a lot of waste at this event, as all the vendors hand out plastic cutlery and most of the desserts are packaged in plastic bags or boxes.  Choosing vegan is a great way to help the planet, but we can go further!

Despite the plastic bags and boxes, this is a great event. I am so proud to live in a city that showcases it’s local and sustainable vendors.




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