New Vegan Options in Kzoo!

Every month Kalamazoo gets a bit more vegan! Below are some great new restaurant and food options from our friends at Bigbee Coffee, Natural Health Food Center, Sawall Health Foods, and Water Street Coffee Joint. Plus we’re happy to announce two new local vegan-friendly restaurants: Chau Haus and Maru Sushi.

Join our Facebook group for fun discussions of food, animals, movies, current events, and all things vegan.

Please remember to put your holiday dollars where your vegan heart is. A gift certificate from one of the dozens of vegan-friendly restaurants and other businesses listed on our Website will be very appreciated, and you’ll be doing your bit to grow our local vegan economy.

We have some amazing events planned in 2017 and I can’t wait to see you at them. I always welcome your suggestions for the group, and am here to answer any question you might have on anything vegan.

Biggby Coffee. Specific locations (Texas Corners, Schoolcraft, and Sprinkle Rd/E Michigan Ave) are currently testing coconut milk (and already offer soy). Unlike a certain national chain, Bigbee doesn’t charge extra for dairy alternatives.

Natural Health Food Center is now selling MacroVegetarian ready-to-eat vegan meals, including dumplings and Pad Thai.

Sawall Health Foods has added PIZZA to its deli offerings. Their menu now includes two-all vegan pizzas: Schiacchiata (squash, arugula, etc., and “walnut parmesan”) and Funghi (mushrooms, etc., and cashew truffle cream), and you can veganize several of their other pies. In the name of research 🙂 I had a pie and it was delicious. Top it off with their Amorino super-rich sorbet (vegan, of course) for dessert.

Water Street Coffee Joint has lots of news. Last fall’s vegan apple cake was a hit, and now they are planning: “new vegan layer cake-cherry almond…chocolate hazelnut cake to follow in late January. New vegan sandwich, available ALL the time-walnut and white bean spread with roasted pears, roasted red peppers and fresh spinach on sprouted, organic, multi-grain bread.: Also, “several new salads that are vegan as well as a quinoa stir-fry. Keeping 1-3 soups per week vegan as well. Sweet potato coconut will be back soon!”

And a hearty Vegan Kalamazoo welcome to…

Chau Haus Schnitzel Station. A unique, new place right next to the State Theater. Come for wonderful vegan German food, friendly people, and music jams. Owner Francis says: “Since so many vegans have been coming in to the Chau Haus, I have been able to add a few more things to the menu, and run vegan daily specials. I can also accommodate gluten free diets. I’ve got barley burgers, mushroom schnitzel, the vegestopheles sub, and a vegan soup every day.”

Maru Sushi. The beloved Michigan “Japanese fusion” chain is opening a Kzoo branch downtown (427 E Michigan Ave., next to Hopcat). Per our good friends at VegOut Kalamazoo: “Most of Maru’s vegetarian rolls are vegan. Those that aren’t can easily be altered with a simple sauce substitution. Just ask. Megan’s favorites are the Green Turtle, the Archer, and the Boogie veggie rolls. Or try the Tofu Hibachi Grill, vegan when ordered without the teriyaki sauce.”

Eating Vegan On Vacation!

It’s getting easier and easier to eat vegan while on vacation. A couple of years back, my partner and I found a vegan cafe in REALLY rural Colorado, for example; and last year (wonder of wonders!) we found an amazing all-vegan ramen restaurant right smack in the main Tokyo train station. (Only problem was that the lines were always long!)

Here are some suggestions for finding vegan food on your travels:

  • Use Google. Specifically, search on: “vegan DESTINATION NAME.” Typically some restaurants will pop up, but also many times you’ll get the name of the local veg club or Meetup. That organization will often post an up-to-date list of local vegan-friendly restaurants and shops, like this one! :-), or you can email them for more info.
  • Use Happycow and VegGuide, which are like vegan versions of Yelp, and very comprehensive.
  • Trip Advisor offers reviews of lots of vegan-friendly restaurants, B&Bs, and inns.
  • Ethnic restaurants, including Lebanese / Mediterranean, Chinese, Indian, and Thai ones, typically have loads of great vegan options.
  • For a faster meal, Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, Native Foods, and Tropical Smoothie Cafe all have terrific vegan options.
  • For “emergencies,” bring along some peanut butter, hummus, or Kind bars (only the “pressed” bars marked vegan are vegan). Also, my partner and I carry shelf-stable “juice boxes” of soy milk for coffee, cereal, etc.–although we always ask for soy milk, etc., to let the restaurant or store know that there is a demand.

If you have any comments or other suggestions, please leave them on our Facebook group page!