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Eat your veggies in an array of tasty ways at Seattle Vegfest healthy vegetarian food festival at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall this weekend.

“We’re calling all carnivores — you’re going to love this event,” said Stewart Rose, coordinator of Vegfest and vice president of Vegetarians of Washington, hosts of the event promoting the benefits of a plant-based vegetarian or vegan (no eggs or dairy products) diet.

All are welcome and about half of the people who attend the popular annual event, the largest vegetarian-food festival in the country, aren’t vegetarians but want to learn more about healthy, good eating.

Hundreds of food samples from more than 200 companies are always a Vegfest crowd pleaser. There’s something for every taste, with vegan “ice cream” and egg-free quiche are among food samples from world cuisines including Mediterranean, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern and Mexican along with an array of American food, most also available to buy to take home.

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Guest speakers, including several doctors, talk about the benefits of vegetarian eating, and chefs from around the country demonstrate how to create it at home throughout both days. Learn about cooking Southern-style vegan comfort food with chef and cookbook author Bianca Phillips at 11:20 a.m. Saturday and 12:45 p.m. Sunday; Thai food with chef Pranee Halvorsen at 2:10 p.m. Saturday and Indian cooking with chef Sunita Shastri at 11:20 a.m. Sunday, among continuous presentations in the Green Room, newly enlarged for this year’s show.

Free health checks including bone scans are available (space limited). Speakers answer questions at the “Ask an Expert” table after each presentation. Browse the bookstore with a huge selection of cookbooks and guides on the advantages of a plant-based diet and learn about Vegetarians of Washington, one of the largest vegetarian organizations in the U.S., and the monthly dinners and other community events.

Vegfest is kid-friendly, with free admission for ages 12 and younger, clowns, story times and a special tasting area with food for kids.

Madeline Mckenzie:

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