The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week will be Held August 18-26, 2017

Posted on August 03, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Shannon Borgoyn, VRG volunteer

Baltimore Restaurant Week is an attraction for Baltimore residents and tourists alike. Unfortunately, not everybody (namely vegans and vegetarians) can find options at participating restaurants. However, this will change with Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week. Baltimore’s vegan restaurant week will be held August 18-26, 2017 and will feature a variety of vegan and non-vegan restaurants. It is sponsored by VegFund, Yelp, the Restaurant Association of Maryland, HB, the Land of Kush, Golden West Cafe, and the Black Vegetarian Society of Baltimore.

Golden West employee and coordinator of the event Shannon Light Hadley gave me some background information about Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week. The idea of a vegan restaurant week was born of a desire for more vegan options at restaurants throughout Baltimore. She noticed the only vegan option at many restaurants is salad, which often isn’t filling and can lack variety. Hadley wanted to change this. She drew inspiration from Golden West’s vegan weekends, which have occurred twice per year for the last 2-3 years. From these vegan weekends, she got the idea for a vegan restaurant week.

To make this a reality, Hadley got in touch with the owner of the Land of Kush, Naijha Wright-Brown, to form a partnership with them and Golden West Cafe. Together, they’re working to bring Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week to life: Wright-Brown is doing the street work (advertising on the streets, raising funds and grants, etc.) and Hadley handles the computer work (creating advertisements, running the event site, examining restaurant applications, etc.). Really, this is something similar to what they do on a daily basis. Besides being the owner of the Land of Kush, Wright-Brown is also the Executive Director of the Black Vegetarian Society of Maryland and Co-founder of the Vegan Soulfest. As for Hadley, she has a background in graphic design and marketing, has done professional design for ten years, and much more. With all the hard work being put into the event, it’s clear that Hadley and Wright-Brown are extremely passionate about Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week.

The ultimate goal of Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week is to challenge local restaurants to create vegan menu items. Hadley believes that restaurants without vegan options are truly missing out on a lucrative opportunity: having no options means little business from the vegan crowd. Over the years, veganism and vegan foods have become ubiquitous, but there are still many places that don’t yet provide vegan options. Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week could create a better, more welcoming environment for vegans and vegetarians. Usually, Baltimore Restaurant Week features expensive, multi-course meals, but Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week will feature affordable, simple, one-course vegan meals. Hadley hopes the event will arouse people’s curiosity about vegan food. Vegan food sometimes has the stereotypes of being costly and consisting of “rabbit food.” Through Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week, Hadley hopes people will see that vegan food can be as affordable and delicious as mainstream fare. Additionally, Hadley hopes everybody involved with the event will unify into an inclusive community where nobody feels shunned.

Already, the Internet is buzzing about Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week: the Baltimore Sun’s article “Vegan Restaurant Week coming to Baltimore in August” link on Facebook has gotten several likes, shares, reactions, and comments; and Facebook group “Baltimore Vegans” is brimming with excitement. Hadley only expects Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week to get more popular closer to event week. In the future, Hadley “would like to expand into the greater Baltimore area and throughout Maryland.”

Participating locations of Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week include event sponsors the Land of Kush and Golden West Cafe, as well as Big Bean Theory, Sprout, Dangerously Delicious Pies, and many more! A more comprehensive list of participating locations can be found at; as the event nears, more restaurants will be announced. Currently, Hadley has a Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week Facebook event page in the works, will soon be launching the event’s site, and more. For restaurants interested in participating, the application can be found at

Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week:
Baltimore Sun article:

For Maryland restaurants that serve vegetarian and vegan food year round, see

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