Al-Aqsa is cheap and good. What more could you ask for? In addition to vegan falafel (make sure to order with tahini and not tzatziki sauce) they also have a delicious roasted eggplant/cauliflower sandwich and other vegan Lebanese fare. It looks a little dive-y from the outside, but then again all the best places do.
A new all-vegan and gluten-free donut business in Salem. They don’t have their own shop yet, but do a “pop up” style donut shop at Archive Coffee and Bar most Fridays from 9am to 1pm. We can’t currently recommend Archive for anything (other than coffee) as they have no vegan items on their menu (boo!) They don’t even appear to have anything vegetarian (it is 2015, right?) but hopefully that will change. But Friday mornings, if you want to get a coffee and donut fix, that’s where to go!
This local chain is located at 2755 Commercial Street SE, Suite 100 in Salem and is one of the newest veg-friendly restaurants in town. Their menu features veg bowls as well as a very tasty tempeh reuben (have to order with no cheese to make it vegan), BBQ tofu, and more. They’re very accommodating of vegan requests and know to leave off the sour cream and cheese from the deluxe toppings…even asking if you want extra avocado or cabbage and ginger instead. Top it off with a ginger cookie for dessert and it’s a tasty place to fill-up. Definitely worth checking out!
Maybe someday Salem will have good enough vegan options that we won’t need to eat at big national chains, but for now this is one of our best options. If you have never been, you can choose your burritos, bowls, or salad items at the location on Lancaster Drive in North Salem. If you get the vegan one (without cheese), guacamole is included for no extra charge. They also now have sofritas: a delicious tofu “meat” option, making what would otherwise be just beans and rice (and maybe the fajita vegetables) a lot more exciting. Another nice feature they have is you can put together your order online, then just stop by and pick it up.
It may come as a surprise to some that Costco is an amazing resource for vegans (who don’t live alone, or if they do, have an intense love for large quantities of Field Roast and Vegenaise). They carry so many products vegans needs and love: organic veggies, prepared foods, soymilk, tofu, fair trade chocolate bark, almond milk, and often vegan products like Daiya cheese. Sometimes their stock changes and you won’t find your favorite product there for a month, only to have it appear again the following month. Their prices are much more reasonable than other grocery stores, mainly because you are buying “in bulk.” An annual membership is $100 but if you shop there as much as we do, you earn that back as a cash rebate at the end of the year.
Salem’s newest Indian restaurant is a welcome change for vegans. Indian food generally offers plentiful vegetarian dishes, however most Indian restaurants add ghee (butter) or cream to everything. Cuisine India has a variety of vegan dishes and options. The staff is knowledgeable about dairy-free options. Worth checking out and supporting!
Last Thursday, twelve awesome people came down to IKE Box for a meeting about what Cherry City Vegans can do with our group and for our community! Thank you to everyone who came out!
One of the things we decided is to have some interactive online communications tools for our budding group. We created a Facebook and Google Group. If you use Facebook, please join the Cherry City Vegans discussion group. If you prefer email, join our CCV Google Group. If you have trouble joining either of these groups, please email us at email@example.com
We also had a lively and inspiring discussion about what we want to be/could be as a group and what we are excited about doing. The ideas we had fall into three main categories: Education, Resources, and Social/Community. Below are some of the ideas folks had!
- Writing letters to the editor
- Outreach events (tabling, leafleting, etc.),
- Writing letters (to businesses or decision-makers),
- Outreach to restaurants to increase vegan options,
- Cooking demos,
- Promoting Don’t Fear the Vegan CCTV show,
- Demos when something is happening that we want to educate the public about or oppose (example was given of recent donkey basketball game),
- Petitions, specifically an “open letter” type petition to local restaurants that their veg customers want more options!
- Putting up posters or handing out flyers around town,
- Working on Salem-Keizer Public Schools for better/more veg options in schools,
- Doing something for Meat Out, Earth Day, and other events.
- CCV could create a handout or flyer, or a leave-behind to give restaurant owners,
- Putting on lectures or films (Willamette University Vegan Club is already planning an April screening of Cowspiracy on campus–stay tuned for more info!)
- Cooking demos,
- Continue reviewing and providing info on site and social media about places to eat and promoting veg-friendly businesses, (we are looking for people to help with this!),
- A printed restaurant guide for our area.
- Veg Meet Up,
- Vegan Drinks,
- Making connections with other orgs,
- Connection with Willamette University Vegan Club (and possibly getting a Willamette Intern?)
These are just some of the things we are already working on or could work on.
Right now we are planning a March meeting which will also be a dine-out. The purpose of a dine-out is to increase the visibility of veg customers and also to encourage a restaurant to create veg options to cater to new customers who desire that kind of cuisine. We are going to try for a business that does not currently offer vegan options (Archive Coffee and Bar) and hopefully show them that we are a vibrant group looking for places to spend money and get great food! Stay tuned for info on the March meeting.
- Thurs. Feb. 12
- 9am – 5pm
- Sat. Feb. 14
- 1 – 3pm
- Sun. Feb. 22
- 1 – 3 pm
Farm Sanctuary Work Parties
- Green Acres Farm Sanctuary (Silverton): 2/14 & 2/28 (10am – 12pm)
- Wildwood Farm Sanctuary (Newberg): 2/21 (10am – 1pm)
- Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary (Scio): every Weds. & Sat. (10am – 1pm)
- Fri. Mar. 20
LifeSource Natural Foods grocery store is a great resource for vegans in Salem. Not only do they carry just about any product a vegan could want or need–stuff like bulk soy curls, vegan milks, Tofurky, Field Roast, Gardein, Treeline vegan cheeses, Daiya products, and more–but they also have a buffet and salad bar which often feature vegan foods. They even carry pre-made deli items like vegan sandwiches, too. This is a great alternative to take-out when your family is tired of the limited vegan choices to-go in town.
The Jan. 10 potluck can still be held if someone is willing to open up the door and arrange the tables/chairs. If you’d be interested in doing that, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. Otherwise, we will let you know if this Saturday’s potluck has been cancelled.
Looking ahead to next month, the second Saturday of the month (our normal gathering time) coincides with Valentine’s Day. We’ve decided to cancel February’s get together as many folks will have other plans that night.
As for ongoing potlucks, after a lot of reflection on and consideration, Jenn has decided to step-down as the organizer of these potluck events which she has been doing for the last year and a half since taking the reins from Don. But, that doesn’t mean the potlucks have to stop. This group isn’t about one person or even a small group of people. It’s about community!
Since last Fall when we made the potluck one of the aspects of the newly formed Cherry City Vegans (CCV) group, now might be a good time to step back and think about what we want this potluck to be. Are monthly meals still the right frequency? Do we want to meet at a neutral location like the Lifesource Community Room or go back to folks’ homes in the winter and a park in the summer? Do we want to get together in the summer at all due to everyone’s busy schedules? Who and how will the potlucks be organized/hosted? How should they be communicated?
Right now, Cherry City Vegans is completing website development and we are going to begin restaurant outreach, and do whatever else we all want the group to be. And CCV can certainly continue to promote and communicate events such as these through its e-newsletter. But in the near term, if anyone has interest in stepping up to take the potluck helm beginning with the March event, we welcome your reply again at email@example.com. Jenn is happy to talk to anyone individually who would like to discuss how this might work going forward.
We would love to talk to other people who have ideas of what CCV could be in the community, what events we can do, and how we can help promote a compassionate lifestyle in the Mid-Willamette Valley moving forward.
January Vegan Potluck — To be cancelled?
Date: Saturday, Jan. 10
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Lifesource Community Room
1 block South of Lifesource Natural Foods in the Candalaria Terrace Mall. Enter between Salon Redd and State Farm Insurance.
This is an open community gathering of vegans, vegetarians, and the veg-curious. We break bread around a shared table in the Lifesource Community Room and enjoy the fellowship of common values while being exposed to new ways of thinking and eating. It’s a casual and inclusive group. There’s no need to RSVP; just come if you can. All are welcome! You don’t have to be vegan…but your dish does.
Please bring a potluck-sized vegan dish (and its serving utensils) to share with the group, along with your own plate/bowl, utensils, and beverage. Please label your dish with your name, the name of the dish, and a list of its ingredients so those with allergies or dietary restrictions can know what’s in what…and we know who to ask for the great recipes!
Marco Polo is considered by many to be the best restaurant for vegans and vegetarians in the greater Salem area. They have an entire extensive separate vegetarian menu with both Asian and European cuisine with vegan options clearly identified. They have vegan mock meats and also cater to gluten-free folks. We especially love their General Tso’s mock chicken, veggie dumpling soup and the North Atlantic tofu.
Another chain, but there’s only one location in Salem and we’re glad to have it. Located in downtown Salem at 524 State St. (near the corner with High St.), you can always count on Pita Pit for a quick, healthy lunch or dinner on-the-go. Our favorite is the spicy black bean on a whole wheat pita stuffed with as many veggies they can squish in there! Best of all, the staff is always friendly and knowledgeable about vegan options. When ordering a spicy black bean or hummus wrap, they always ask if I’m veggie and if I’d like them to change their gloves before making my food. They always comply with a smile :) Note: as of this writing, according to the handy app VeganXpress, Pita Pit’s current vegan options are the spicy black bean, falafel, hummus, or garden (veggie), on a pita or in a salad.
Taproot offers a bright and hopeful spot for Salemites who eat vegetarian/vegan or who just like healthy food. An extremely hip and attractive cafe setting that offers a variety of vegan bowls – not so much in the way of vegan sandwiches. There are a few vegan (or veganizable) tapas, too. They have a lot of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options (house-made, fruit-infused drinking vinegar- yum!!) We hope they add more vegan options in the future, but for now we are just happy that they have vegan items on the menu and a staff that can speak to what is/isn’t vegan on the menu.
This indoor market is located at 1240 Rural Ave. SE, Salem It is Oregon’s oldest farmer’s market (since 1943) and runs year-round from 8:30 until 2pm Saturdays. They have a variety of vendors, most notably Two Sisters which is an all-vegan bakery with vegan cinnamon, jelly and potato rolls, bagels, and more!
While there are not a huge number of options for vegan dessert in Salem, there are a few worth noting…
- Willametta’s — Vegan baked goods (donuts, candies, and more!) can now be purchased at Rafns’ Local Grocery & Deli in downtown Salem on Court Street and Market Barrel in Newberg. They are also frequently found at the Independence Riverview Market (indoor during winter, outdoor farmers market in warmer months) on Saturdays.
- Pure Decadence — Located in South Salem on Liberty St. in the Mail Depot building, they offer vegan baked goods in the case every day and can bake vegan cakes and cupcakes to order!
- Frozation Nation — A frozen yogurt place downtown that always has at least one dairy-free option on tap (usually a fruit or sorbet) and vegan toppings.
- Sweet Papaya Frozen Yogurt on NE Lancaster generally has 2 vegan (usually fruit sorbet) options for when you’re craving a ‘soft serve’ type dessert. They are attached to a Starbucks where you can now get coconut milk in addition to soy milk in your drink.
- Ike Box — Many coffee shops in Salem offer soy/hemp/almond milk alternatives, but this downtown cafe takes it a step further. If you have a sweet tooth, they also carry vegan and gluten free cookies. The house made scones are all-vegan all the time! Currently, other snack options include vegan and gluten free oatmeal, veggies with hummus, or chips and salsa. They can also make your smoothie vegan with any non-dairy milk you’d like.
- LifeSource Natural Foods — Located in South Salem on Commercial St., it often has vegan cookies, brownies, and other fresh baked goods in addition to the usual vegan ice cream, chocolates, and other things you would expect to find at an alternative grocery/health food store.
- Ricky’s Bubbles and Sweets — Downtown Salem there is a cute little candy shop that has vegan items you can’t get anywhere else in Salem including Goldberg’s Peanut Chews and Missionary Chocolate Vegan Truffles. They also have other vegan stuff you can find most places (Swedish Fish, licorice, hard candies, etc.) and a huge selection of craft sodas.
- Salem Wednesday and Saturday Markets — Unfortunately seasonal only (April – October), these local open air farmer’s markets have vendors like Two Sisters and others that make vegan food. Two Sisters, in particular, has vegan jelly and cinnamon rolls!