Any doubts of the Valley’s vegan scene’s strength have been dashed by the announcement of the first-ever Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week. Less than two weeks after registration opened, more than 25 restaurants have signed on — with more being added every week.
Slated to take place September 12 to 18, Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week is being organized by Jozh Watson, who runs Phoenix Vegan, and chef Jason Wyrick of Casa Terra in Glendale and the delivery service The Vegan Taste.
Confirmed participants include Early Bird Vegan, Dilla Libre, AZ Tacos Veganos, Pachamama, Major Tom’s, Tesoro Vegano, The Nile Coffee Shop, Shameless Burger, Verdura, The Giving Tree Café, Earth Plant-Based Cuisine, and Salvadoreño.
The lineup isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar restaurants; it also includes bakers and food trucks like Wok This Way. There’s no limit on the number of food-based businesses that can participate, Watson says, and they’re also working on getting sponsors.
Wyrick says that Casa Terra will not reopen in time to participate, as the fine-dining vegan eatery has been closed since the start of COVID. However, he will be serving dishes from The Vegan Taste at a to-be-determined host location.
“This is an opportunity for those who are vegan-curious to really dive in and have something great at a pretty reasonable price,” Wyrick says. “There’s so many people out there that are curious about vegan food now, but there’s still that fear of, ‘Is it worth it? Is it going to be weird? Is it going to suck?’ And there are going to be so many options for people.”
A dish by chef Jason Wyrick, co-organizer of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week.
The Vegan Taste
Participation isn’t limited to vegan or vegetarian restaurants, either, Wyrick says.
“We know that almost all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants will join us and actually a lot already have, but we want omni restaurants to join it, too, for a couple of reasons,” he says. “One, it promotes veganism across the Valley in a much better way. And it also shows those omni restaurants that they have a vegan clientele and encourages them to offer more vegan options.”
Watson wants to encourage participants to also go beyond the basics that every restaurant offers.
“We don’t want it to be them offering Cobb salad and then some French fries,” he says. “It really gives them the opportunity to make a well-thought-out meal or menu items for plant-curious people, people that just might have a meatless day or people that might be vegan or have allergies to certain things.”
Prix-fixe dinner and breakfast menus (entrée and drink) and lunch menus (appetizer, entrée, and drink) are capped at $20, and three-course and five-course dinner meals cost $33 and $44, respectively.
The kickoff event for Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week will be Saturday, September 11, at the Phoenix Vegan Night Market downtown.
For tickets, or to register as a participating eatery, see the Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week website.
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