Photo credit: All photos taken by Josh Massie/Scattered Pictures

VegHeads Unite: Gearing Up for the Pittsburgh VegFest 

by Natalie Bencivenga


August 5, 2022

If you are a vegan in Pittsburgh – or veg-friendly – the Pittsburgh VegFest is like our Superbowl. We wait patiently all year long for this special day in August when vendors, musicians, animal advocates, speakers, yogis and food trucks galore from around the city and country pull up a spot and share the vegan goodness with 8,000 of our closest friends on the North Shore. It is “the” outdoor festival of the season! 

Join fellow vegheads on August 27 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Allegheny Commons East on the Northside. Want the VIP treatment? This year, a select number of tickets will be sold for an early-bird 10 a.m. entry. Learn more on the website HERE

In the meantime, whet your palette with some of my favorite spots to check out to keep you in the game with a very satisfied (and full) stomach! Compassionate cuisine never tasted so good! 

Delicious dishes: Beyond some fan favorites like Onion Maiden, Chick Habit, Sweet Alchemy Bake Shop, Bitchy Vegan Homo, Valkyrie Doughnuts Pittsburgh, Sree's Foods and Franktuary’s food truck, here are some new spots I can’t wait to try! 

Power Plant Kitchen will be dishing up plant-based Soul and Caribbean food from Columbus Ohio. At VegFest they’ll be slinging vegan mac, vegan oxtail, vegan ribs, vegan curry chicken, rice and peas, curry cabbage and pineapple upside-down cake. My mouth is watering already! 

Ox’s Way: is a whole food experience unlike any other. They take cultural culinary favorites, reimagine them and serve them up with a plant-based twist. At VegFest they’ll be bringing some of their classics like Fab Cakes: Two artichokes/heart of palm on a bed of arugula with homemade Tatar sauce, garnished with pico de gallo. Try those with a side of avocado fries! 

ShadoBeni will be serving up delicious vegan Trinidadian food. Focusing on the cultural fusion of the island of Trinidad, you find food with African, West Indian, Indigenous Caribbean and British influences. At VegFest they’ll be serving up Pholourie, Aloo pies, turmeric rice bowls, drinks and more!

Won’t want to miss: Something that is new and exciting this year features plant-based physician Dr. Natalie Gentile from Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh hosting a special Walk with a Doc before the event starts. Come get in your steps, ask questions and take advantage of getting to the event early. You don’t have to be a patient to walk with this doc! Registration is at 9 a.m. at the event entrance. 

She’ll also be teaming up with VegFest during the day to give away a one-hour virtual Lifestyle Medicine consultation (a $175 value). During the consultation, she’ll review your health history, identify goals for enhancing your well-being and make recommendations for the next steps.

Looking to adopt? Senior Hearts Rescue & Renewal is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the only licensed senior dog rescue organization in Western PA. They have saved the lives of over 700 senior dogs in the past five and a half years. Each senior dog they rescue resides in a loving foster home. Welcome a furry friend into your home (and heart!) today. 

Heal the Planet: “To help reduce waste and educate vendors and the public we have enlisted Pennsylvania Resources Council to lead the pick-up effort for the seventh year,” said VegFest co-founder Leila Seiman. “VegFest has won an 85% waste reduction rating and we hope to improve every year. Our goal is to educate the public on kind and compassionate choices for our bodies, the animals and the environment,” she added.

Heal thyself: Healing Moons Natural Aura is a lifestyle brand that makes all-natural health products. They also promote ‘health is wealth so invest in self'. At VegFest they’ll be selling sea moss gel, ginger and lime shots, elderberry syrup, and organic cold pressed juice packages—all in a variety of sizes.

There is so much to do, eat and enjoy at this year’s VegFest! I hope to see you there!



Natalie Bencivenga is a regular columnist with The Green Voice Weekly Newsletter