Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week — which is actually more like a month this year — starts Friday and runs through Feb. 28.
Founders of the biannual event Samantha Claassen of Golden West Cafe and Naijha Wright-Brown of Land of Kush are billing it as a challenge to restaurants to think beyond “another freaking salad.”
This year’s event includes more than 30 participants including Remington’s Bar Clavel, Woodberry Kitchen and Hampden’s Foraged Eatery.
“This year is exciting and different,” Claassen said. “We’re still sort of fighting for restaurants. People are struggling.”
Given the dire economic climate, she sees the event as an opportunity for businesses to connect with a large and underserved market in Baltimore. Vegans like herself can often feel left out by traditional menus. “It can be really awkward trying to do some sort of menu gymnastics trying to get something to eat,” she said. She wants restaurants to become more inclusive for vegan diners; though businesses don’t have to abolish meat from their menus to participate in the event. “Nobody is required to do anything special for this restaurant week,” Claassen said.
Other participants include: Golden West Cafe, The Land of Kush, Gangster Vegan, Harmony Bakery, PLNT Burger (Columbia & Silver Spring), Treehouse Café and Juice Bar, MEZ, Tom Cat’s Kitchen, Charm School Chocolate, REVIVE, Johnny Rad’s, Great Sage, Roland Park Bagels, Cloudy Donuts, Snake Hill, and STEM Farm + Kitchen.