Top 5: Vegan Musikfest Food 2016

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For a list of even MORE vendors, take a peek at our 2014  Vegan Musikfest post, with a  walk-through of the entire fest. Most vendors are still here in 2016!

>>Vegan Guide to Musikfest 2014<<

And for more Lehigh Valley + Eastern PA vegan things, check out:

Top 5 Vegan Musikfest Foods 2016

1 . VEGAN TACOS – Ticas Tacos, near Volksplatz, North Side

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Hello, lover. Unofficially touted as “The Best Food of Musikfest 2016” by vegans and non-vegans alike, if you only get one stop, make it Ticas Tacos. This is fresh, thoughtful food with a ton of flavor. The standard vegan taco comes with: black beans, hominy, sweet plantain, pickled red onion, pineapple pico, and chipotle vinaigrette. Order one or ten, sold individually at 4 Tickets ($4) each.

Order Tip: Can also be made into a large BURRITO. Or ask for vegan “loaded fries”.

2. KIMCHI REUBEN (vegan) – Bees Knees Grille, near Volksplatz, North Side


Marbled rye toasted in coconut oil, hugging spicy small-batch kimchi, tempeh, melted vegan cheese and a little vegenaise for added creaminess. Served warm, sloppy, and delicious. This is an average size sandwich (not HUMONGOUS like much of the Musikfest food), but it’s delightfully messy and most importantly, quite tasty. A great meal that won’t leave you so full you can’t eat something else later. More snacks > less snacks, yeah?

Order Tip: Ask for it made vegan! They have dairy cheese, too, so be specific. 

3. CHOCOLATE DIPPED CHEESECAKE – Zuzu Confectionary, near Volksplatz, North Side

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This is a yummy slice of vegan cheesecake on a stick, dipped in dark chocolate, with options for added toppings like sprinkles or peanuts. Cheesecake is made by the talented and lovely Sweet Doe Bakery, so obvs. it’s delicious! This stand has a ton of vegan options, though, so check out the gourmet popsicles if you’re not feelin’ creamy chocolate on a piece of wood.

Order Tip: You can order with or without chocolate and extra topics are $1.

4. AW SHUCKS CORN – North + South Sides, Multiple Stands

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Leave it to a bunch of folks in Pennsylvania to be ENTHRALLED with corn. Eating this (and anticipating it for a year) is a ‘Fest rite of passage. This typically smothered-in-dairy snack is easily made vegan if you ask for it. Go see what all the fuss is about, and prepare to see more social media comments on your photos of CORN than photos of your children.

Order tip: No butter, no cheese. The other spice is vegan!

5. ISLAND NOODLES – North + South Sides, Multiple Stands


Carby thick noodles and veggies all stir fried together in a massive wok, with lots of sriracha on the condiment bar. Add as much as you want (all of it?). These are easily accessible no matter where you are inside the ‘Fest. They travel well if you need to use up food tickets, as the cardboard container folds up and closes for a BONUS SNACK later.

Order tip: Veggie with no meat.



I don’t have photos, and anything with a “*” means it should be vegan but haven’t asked them personally, so just check in. Let us know if you find out, mmkay?

South side Mentions!

  • CHIPS & GUAC – Cactus Blue, near Steelstacks by Americaplatz/Levitt Pavillion
  • *CHICKPEA POPCORN – Fud Truck, on street by Americaplatz/Levitt Pavillion

North Side Mentions!

  • SAMOSA EMPANADAS –  Viva Empanada, Plaza Tropical
  • FROZEN APPLE CIDER – Sweet Granny’s Kettle Corn, near Volksplatz
  • *SMOOTHIE IN A PINEAPPLE – Island Expressions,  Festplatz

Remember to check out:

More updates will be made as Musikfest continues, so check back!

Thanks to the Artsquest Marketing department for being so darn nice, and helping me scope out the vendor list. I hope you get to treat yourselves to some tacos.




vegan musikfest.jpg   Disclaimer: Before we get into the best places to spend your food tickets at Musikfest 2014, I need to mention that this is meant to be helpful and fun. But PLEASE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your food – it never hurts to double check if cheese comes on a sandwich, or if a sauce is dairy-based. If someone puts ranch dressing all over your portobello wrap, please don’t be a jerk and write me an angry email about how I’m misleading the masses and my work is a sham and I’m the World’s Worst Vegan (if you do, it will promptly be deleted). Okie dokie?

That said, if you have any tips about how to order something, or found food worth mentioning, please let me know! As of now I haven’t eaten everything listed and made notes where needed, but I’ll continue to update this post as I make my way through the end of the ‘Fest. Your help and info is appreciated.

Likewise, if you take any photos of your food, send them to me and I’ll post them! You can find me here:

twitter | instagram| facebook

*Twitter is best, and I’ll be using hashtag: #veganmusikfest

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This list goes in geographical order, starting at the corner of Main + Broad Streets, down Main St., down the walkway behind the Hotel Bethlehem to the bottom (near Volksplatz), past Festplatz  and Plaza Tropical (moving toward Sand Island), over the bridge to the Southside and following 1st Street to Steelstacks (Main Stage and Americaplatz). You can get a map here, or download the Musikfest app which is GREAT and very helpful.

This list focuses on the things I think are most worthy of your Musikfest tickets, and does not include items you can easily find all over the Fest, like french fries, slushies, fresh lemonade, portobello wraps, and grilled veggies in various forms (wraps, sandwiches).

 STATIONS CAFE: Main Street next to the Brew WorksA small cart with handmade soft pretzels from their larger storefront (right behind the cart, which does offer vegan options on a regular basis). These may be the most delicious soft pretzels you’ll ever have, as they are made with coconut oil. Sometimes they have pretzels with fresh baked jalapeno slices on top. Carb heaven.

Soft pretzels made with coconut oil.

STATIONS CAFE: Soft pretzels made with coconut oil.


MEDITERRANEAN PLATTER STAND (?): Bottom of the hill near VolksplatzFalafel, hummus, tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves, and variations of all of the above sold in pita sandwich or platter form. *Make sure stuffed grape leaves are without meat. Order without tzatziki sauce.

MEDITERRANEAN PLATTERS: Hummus, Tabouleh, Falafel, Grape Leaves

MEDITERRANEAN PLATTERS: Hummus, Tabouleh, Falafel, Grape Leaves

BEES KNEES GRILL: Bottom of the hill near VolkzplatzOH MY GOSH! VEGAN GRILLED CHEESE. Hot sandwiches with fresh ingredients, including a TEMPEH + KIMCHI REUBEN with vegan cheese. Also vegan mozzarella, pesto, tempeh, arugula, avocado, & tomato on rye bread. They toast them using coconut oil instead of butter.

*Plus we want to give a big internet/real life hug to these folks who saw the need for more vegan options THANKS TO ALL OF US (high five!) and came up with awesome vegan versions of their sandwiches. Go here. Go here. Go here.

BEES KNEES: Tempeh and avocados and arugula.

BEES KNEES: Tempeh and avocados and arugula.

Vegan grilled cheeses from Bees Knees Grill. Messy and delicious.

Vegan grilled cheeses from BEES KNEES GRILL. Messy and delicious.


CACTUS BLUE MEXICAN: Near Volkzplatz – Their beans and rice are vegan, and they are happy to make vegan versions of burritos, tacos, salads, or chips + salsa and/or guac. The guacamole is DELICIOUS and you can score fresh chips + a huge pile of guac for $6/6tickets. They have “walking tacos” which are deconstructed tacos in a to-go container. Tasty and filling. Friendly locals.  (Also a Southside location.)

CACTUS BLUE: North and South sides. Tacos, beans and rice, lots of guacamole.

CACTUS BLUE: North and South sides. Tacos, beans and rice, lots of guacamole.

ZUZU CONFECTIONERY: Near Volkzplatz Gourmet popsicles that are vegan, nut, and soy free. Flavors include Pineapple Basil, Orange Coconut and Chocolate Sea Salt, among others. An upscale and more budget-friendly treat.

ZUZUS CONFECTIONERY: Gourmet allergy-friendly popsicles

ZUZUS CONFECTIONERY: Gourmet allergy-friendly popsicles

ISLAND NOODLES: Bottom of the hill behind Hotel Bethlehem – The ol’ standby. These are vegan soba noodles stir-fried in a huge wok with fresh veggies. The condiment table includes bottles of sriracha, so load up. (Also a Southside booth.)

ISLAND NOODLES: Stir-fried soba noodles with veggies

ISLAND NOODLES: Stir-fried soba noodles with veggies


SPIRAL FRIED POTATO, somewhere, not sure where: Erin sent us this picture of a whole potato cut into an edible slinky then fried and covered in spices. I’ll be on the lookout for this to find the location, but in the meantime, it exists!

Somewhere in Musikfest you can get a fried slinky potato

Somewhere in Musikfest you can get a fried slinky potato

CASA DE JORGE SALSA (“THE SALSA GUY”): In Handwerkplatz, the section for crafters and makers, behind the Hotel Bethlehem – Not a food vendor, per se, but George is a nice local guy and makes unique varieties of salsa. He was happy to tell me he stopped using honey and now uses agave for sweetener, so nearly all flavors are vegan. You can sample his salsas and buy several to take home. If you’re up for a challenge, try his infamous “Stupid Hot” salsa and he’ll take a picture of your face as you regret your decision and put it on the Facebook page. Bonus: say hello to CHLOE THE SALSA DOG! 

CASA DE JORGE: "The Salsa Guy" locally-made salsas, and you can pet a dog

CASA DE JORGE: “The Salsa Guy” locally-made salsas, and you can pet a dog

BETHLEHEM DAIRY STORE: Near Plaza Tropical – A decent selection of locally made flavored ice. Imagine a cross between Rita’s water ice and sherbet. Nothing fancy, but it’s tasty and refreshing and a good option for kids.

BETHLEHEM DAIRY STORE: Locally-made flavored ice

BETHLEHEM DAIRY STORE: Locally-made flavored ice

Rodale’s Mack Truck Cafe: At Steelstacks at the Levitt Pavilion/Americaplatz – Organic + local, Rodale operates this space YEAR ROUND for Levitt Pavilion shows, and Musikfest. The best choices are the veggie wrap with tofu, and the handcut sweet potato fries.

RODALE: Veggie tofu wrap and handcut organic sweet potato fries

RODALE: Veggie tofu wrap and handcut organic sweet potato fries

*CACTUS BLUE and ISLAND NOODLES (see above) also have second locations at Steelstacks on the Southside.

.     .     .     .     .

Not part of Musikfest, but worth mentioning:

THE JOINT is a coffee shop on North Side, just off Main Street in the Sun Inn Courtyard/Leiderplatz, that serves great coffee and has almond milk and usually a vegan soup and/or sandwich of the day, like a tofu bahn mi or chickpea salad (info on Facebook). During Musikfest they are serving up roasted chickpeas, and tater tots with a bunch of locally-made hot sauces, $2/each. Great people, vegan-friendly, much love.

THE JOINT CAFE: Vegan sandwiches, great coffee, roasted chickpeas for $2

THE JOINT CAFE: Vegan sandwiches, great coffee, roasted chickpeas for $2


SHANKARA is an all-vegan organic juice bar and eatery on the Southside a few minute walk from Steelstacks if you’re in need of health-focused and always delicious fusion food. You can get fresh juices, intensely creative organic meals, and Sunday Brunch. If you’re having dinner, reservations are recommended. (Call or text: 484.330.6405) Always-updated info on the Shankara Facebook Page. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you order, it’ll be amazing.

SHANKARA: All-vegan all the time. Organic juice bar and fusion food.

SHANKARA: All-vegan all the time. Organic juice bar and fusion food.

Remember, I’d love to see your photos or hear your recommendations. I can update the list all week.

 Use hashtag #veganmusikfest 

Happy Festing, eat well!    xo Jaime K

Thanksgiving Recipes in SHAPE Magazine, from Candle 79/Candle Cafe

This is the time of year when food takes center stage, more than usual, in magazines and media. Thankfully as plant-based eating is less “ACK, WHAT CAN YOU EAT!?” and more “Look at all these awesome new foods I can try!” that reflects in the way media is talking about and sharing recipes.

In the November 2011 issue of Shape magazine, the infamous vegan-food-havens that are Candle 79 and Candle Cafe in NYC. They provide three great recipes great to take to a skeptical family or a potluck with all your vegan pals. Let’s hope this trend continues.

Vegan Recipes in Shape Magazine

Vegan Recipes in Shape Magazine


This sounds promising.


Beet fennel and fig!

Creamed spinach! Vegan! YES!


Butternut squash and Chestnut Soup!

Did you see that? NON-DAIRY CREAMED SPINACH? That’ll be the first one that I try, so I’ll let you know how it goes. And if you find yourself with an extra minute, shoot Shape a message telling them how happy it makes you to see recipes that everyone can enjoy!


Oh boy oh boy! This post has two parts, and both are exciting and related, so get on your prettiest mermaid fin ’cause we’re diving right in:

The first is to announce VEGAN LEHIGH VALLEY, a brand new Facebook group started by wonderful Alison Leigh (of Eskandalo! and Wink Magazine and the DBA and a trillion other wonderful things).  Go click on the link right now! Then come back.

 The main focus of this group is for members to post vegan-friendly establishments (this will likely focus on food, but other stuff is welcome!). Ever gone out to eat and had a menu item “veganized”, and it was delicious, and you want to share that with other people? This is the place. Is there a little best kept secret of a lunch spot you found with great food options? Tell everyone!

This group will help to accomplish two things:

First, by posting POSITIVE things and sharing ideas, we will all be made more aware of the many options that are available to us here. This is not the place to say “I went to XYZ Restaurant and couldn’t eat anything, grumble grumble”. Instead, let’s make this a resource of places that DO cater to vegan and vegetarians.

Second, hopefully restaurants will take notice that this is important, and by simply offering two or three vegan options (that taste good!) on a menu, they will draw more business. Tom P of Bird Apartment Designs said it best:

“Here is an open message to all Lehigh Valley restaurants: If you put a vegan option on your menu, and it tastes decent, the vegans will spread the word and will frequent your establishment. If you add something like vegan cheese or fake meats to your menu, the vegans will form a mob and stampede through your door. It’s that easy, and it doesn’t cost that much money. All we talk about is food, and we will talk about you.”


The second part of this post ties in, because I’m sharing with you a totally unexpected, unintentionally-secret place to get some vegan groceries.

*Let me preface this by saying many of these items can be found at your local health food store, and it’s always implied that shopping local and supporting small businesses is the best choice.

No, seriously, stay with me...

Who would have ever thought the store Big Lots! would have a wealth of organic and vegan food items? Well, they do. All the time. And they have for years.

I’ve found they always have wonderful prices on staple items like cereal and shelf-stable soy or rice milks. Every time I go, I discover a new treat tucked in the shelves, and feel like I’m doing something sneaky by buying it. (Good or bad sneaky is not determined.)

I just went yesterday and wanted to share some of the items I found:

They usually have different flavors of cereals from these and other brands. They are usually vegan (except for honey if you don't eat that). Read labels. Half the price of Wegman's.

Every single kind of Wasa Crackers.

SNACKS! Pita Chips about 1/3rd of the price from Wegmans.

Stock up on shelf stable milks!

Pretty sure this stuff costs about $2 at a gas station.

Multiple flavors of organic teas. Beautiful packaging.

BONUS: Inspiring packaging, too! Thank you, beverage.

Great place to stock up on lunch box supplies.

(big) LOTS of Bob's Red Mill foods: rolled oats, soup mixes, cereals, flours and also GLUTEN FREE flours.

And a few goodies from the beauty products aisle:

WOW! Most unexpected and awesome find! Sula Nail Polish, $2!

This nail polish was such a nice surprise! Sula Nail Polish is one of the ONLY truly vegan/eco friendly/not-crappy-for-you  nail polishes on the market. Usually a bottle costs $10, but at Big Lots they are only TWO DOLLARS. They only had the dark gray color, but what the heck, that’s pretty right? Did I mention two dollars? (Read more about Sula HERE.)

Various Eco Tools supplies.

Also found a few products from the Eco Tools line, endorsed by our girl Alicia Silverstone. Eco tools are made from sustainable bamboo and all makeup brushes are vegan.

*This shopping trip was done at the Big Lots! at the location 2184 West Union Blvd. in Bethlehem – right behind the Giant/Marshall’s/Dan Shantz shopping center.

VEGAN SIGHTINGS: ReadyMade Magazine!

*New category “Vegan Sightings” will be a space to document some of the places veganism and related topics make an appearance in unexpected, non-specifically-veg related outlets.

Getting the newest issue of ReadyMade Magazine this month proved more exciting than usual, as all of this issue’s recipes are vegan! 


Beautiful photos. Inspiring articles.

Food is so pretty. You know? It should be in beauty pageants.

 ReadyMade is one of the best magazines – it’s focus is on DIY home projects, sensible re-use, turning nothing into something. If you don’t already own power tools (or worse, feel intimidated by them), this magazine will encourage you to take some for a spin. But have no fear – there are often projects that just require a little paint or some glue.

And! And and and…

In a twist of fate, or just good timing, the rest of the issue is dedicated to first time/new home buyers!


Hm. Here’s an article about an attractive young couple that purchased a two-story brick house with a porch, a nice yard and neighborhood, and how they turned it into a cheery eclectic-modern home. HMMM. VERY INTERESTING. Does this sound like anyone you know!?!? (*If not, perhaps it will in a month or two. Cross all your fingers/toes/limbs.)

More of this.

Thank you READYMADE for being generally inspirational and including so much goodness in this issue. On newsstands now, folks! Go get it!