By Guest Blogger Leila Sleiman

 This Holiday Banquet Celebrates a Plant-Based Lifestyle


With all of the interest in vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diets lately, someone might say “What about Thanksgiving?!” This year, you can bring your friends and family to Pittsburgh’s first VegFEAST, a Thanksgiving celebration where compassion is the main dish, on November 21.

Leila Sleiman and Natalie Fristick created Pittsburgh VegFEAST as a follow-up vegan event and fundraiser to their well-received Pittsburgh VegFest, a free vegan summer festival, which brought together over 4,000 people who are interested in a more compassionate and healthy lifestyle. “No one left VegFest hungry!” says Fristick. “People were definitely surprised how tasty vegan food can be. We don’t have to eat meat anymore.”

November’s VegFEAST brings together some of Pittsburgh’s top veggie restaurants to serve up some old classics, but with a creative spin, such as mashed potatoes and gravy, mac ‘n cheese, green bean casserole, peanut noodles, coleslaw, walnut-orange cranberry sauce, Thai tea holiday lattes, and as the main event, a deconstructed Field Roast phyllo pocket with stuffing and gravy. Enjoy all of this and a spread of desserts, from vegan cheesecake to cookies and pies!

Live entertainment, which is also part of the festive celebration, will be provided by The Chiodi Trio, a father-and-sons group that have become a staple at the North Side Elk’s Lodge “Bango Night.”

Not only is VegFEAST a creative for the Steel City, but it’s for a good cause as well — joining together Justice for Animals and the Western PA Humane Society. Feast-goers are asked to bring a donation of items that the shelter is in need of. “Overall, it’s a fun, social gathering for a good cause, and you get to try some of the best food from restaurants like Randita’s Organic Vegan Cafe, Amazing Cafe, Onion Maiden, Chip and Kale, Zenith, Fortuitea Cafe, and Allegro Hearth Bakery,” says Sleiman. “Just come and have a good time!”

Tickets for VegFEAST are on sale now at

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