Hold the bacon! Dallas is actually vegan friendly.

In 2013 Texas Veggie Fair founder James Scott, a Lake Highlands resident, told us in an interview for the magazine that he was incredibly optimistic about the vegan options in Dallas. At the time, the 3-year-old veggie fair was exploding in popularity, drawing the likes of Erykah Badu as keynote speakers. Scott’s blog Dallasvegan.com also was becoming popular; as the author, he was listing all the vegetarian and vegan dining options he could find around town as well as fostering relationships with local restaurateurs and chefs to encourage vegan menus and offerings. (He keeps a current list of vegan, vegetarian and vegan-friendly eateries).

Scott actually wrote a portion of this article for VegNews, a national print magazine, which lists Dallas as one of the top 10 vegan cities in America, something some Dallasites found quite flabbergasting.

James Scott

Scott is not the only Lake Highlands tie to Dallas’ strong vegan/vegetarian scene. For example:

One of the listed top three vegan spots in Dallas is V-Eats Modern Vegan in Trinity Groves, whose executive chef is Troy Gardner who grew up in Lake Highlands, attended Northlake, Lake Highlands Junior High and Lake Highlands High School before moving to Florida and later back home.

Lake Highlands is home to several quality vegan, vegetarian and vegan-friendly places, such as D’Vegan—it is located inside an Asian grocery store at Walnut and Audelia, near Richland College. Yes, in order to get there, you have to walk past a vendor whose raw meat hangs in the window. But D’Vegan offers not only an array of vegan dishes but also packages of vegan jerky I can’t find anywhere else. Next door to D’Vegan, Bistro B has implemented a vegetarian menu also, and they make the best sesame tofu around.

Other nearby vegan-friendly places, according to Scott, include Goodfriend, Best Thai (off I-635 near Greenville), Blatt Beer and Table, Modern Market and Trinity Hall Irish Pub, to name a few.

We also claim Nikki Duong Koenig as one of Lake Highlands’ own — hey, she lived here for a long while; she founded a fashion company called Cykochik. One of her big causes, and her passions are many, is veganism. She told us that when she returned from a stint in New York City she found in Dallas “a city that’s grown physically, economically and culturally. I love how vegan friendly Dallas is becoming, with all the new vegan restaurants, like V-Eats Modern Vegan at Trinity Groves, Nature’s Plate in Lake Highlands … Also, the vegan business community is growing with new businesses like The Harvest Hands, V Market, Kat Mendenhall, and so many others that can be found at the annual Texas Veggie Fair in the fall.”

Pure, colorful products mark Nikki Duong Koenig’s Cykochik line. (Photo by Ran)

Nikki Duong Koenig (Rasy Ran)

Scott and Koenig both aim to keep promoting veganism as a fun and positive lifestyle. They hope all comers — omnivores, people leaning toward vegetarianism who want to learn more — will attend the Veggie Fair in October. “… we really want to get the non-vegetarians out here,” Scott told us, “and let them see that this food can be fun, too.”