Huzzah! There is actually more to Renaissance festival dining than the colossal turkey leg. This past weekend, the Middle Ages served us South Floridians a plethora of vegan fare!
The annual South Florida Renaissance Festival starts in February and runs for six weeks. I was lucky enough to attend two full days experiencing the mystical festivities.
From bushy tails to fairy wings to halos – this year’s Ren Fest was chock full of pixie garb and more. Most importantly, there was enough food to keep hungry vegans happy for days!
It truly is amazing how normalized a plant-based diet has become. Not only was there an abundance of vegetarian options but there were actually signs adorned with the word “vegan.” I mean, it’s one thing to offer veggie side dishes and vegetarian plate options – but a huge banner targeted to vegan festival buffs is a large step for American fair-goers.
My mouth was watering as I walked past the food quarters. I thought to myself “I can’t wait until I get hungry so I can literally stuff my face.”
After watching a few shows and partaking in a fine game of archery, I worked up enough of an appetite to grub out. My vegetarian bestie and I are always on the same page when it comes to eating out. We love colorful meals and lots of variety. Luckily, the portions were large enough to share. Unluckily, there were so many options that it took us a good eight minutes to decide what we wanted to order. We had to let around five other patrons order before us before we made our final choice.
Once we made our way to the front of the line once again, we opted for a boat full of Mediterranean feastery. Falafel, cucumbers, caramelized onions, peppers, lettuce, beans, yellow rice with dried cranberries, chickpeas and almonds along with warmed pita and homemade hummus like you’ve never seen before!
My tummy was satisfied and my heart was whole. I might be exaggerating but I was extremely pleased with the meal I was able to indulge in while ending the Ren Fest season with a foodie bang!
Festival food was once a mess of poorly kept meat and fried junk such as Twinkies and macaroni and cheese. Now? Not only are there options but there are progressively better VEGAN options. There’s no “hold the cheese” or “is that made with any dairy products?” because the question is answered before you even open your mouth to order.
On behalf of the South Floridian vegan community, I commend the annual Renaissance Festival committee for hosting vendors that cater to special and (somewhat) healthy diets. Can’t wait to see what next year has in store!
What’s your favorite part of eating at festivals and special events in your community? Is it easy to find options for vegetarians and vegans? Share your experiences in the comment section below!