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Vegan hot dogs in Santiago, Chile.

I recently spent one month in Santiago, Chile for work. It was a unique experience to be living and working in such a vibrant and special city in South America for a significant time period. As a vegan, I knew some of what to expect from my travels in neighboring Argentina many years ago. There were definitely vegan-friendly places there. Overall, I found that Santiago is a pretty vegan-friendly city. Traditional Chilean restaurants won’t be your best friend, but there are a crop of vegan-friendly restaurants, health food stores and vegan products available in grocery chain Lider (a subsidiary of Walmart, unfortunately) to keep you fueled and happy if you’re traveling through.

If you’re interested in visiting Santiago and you’re looking for vegan eats, here’s a brief guide to the few spots that I enjoyed. Note that this isn’t comprehensive (or even close). As I was working out of my company’s office in Providencia five days per week, I primarily stuck to areas close to the office and the place I was staying near Santiago Centro.

A Few Favorite Vegan Restaurants in Santiago, Chile

 

Vegan Bunker

Vegan Bunker was the place I visited most often, primarily due to its proximity to my company’s office, but also because it was downright delicious. With an unabashed radical queer vegan agenda, a very affordable menu of the day with a main dish, salad, and fruit juice, plus a desert menu to live for, Vegan Bunker is an absolute must if you’re going to Santiago. Plus, it’s in a really sweet hipster neighborhood neighborhood called Barrio Italia, which is in Providencia near metro Santa Isabel, filled with small coffee shops that serve several kinds of nut milk, clothing stores, art galleries, antique shops.

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One of the salads from the menu of the day at Vegan Bunker. These salads varied slightly from day to day.

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Spaghetti and vegetables from the menu of the day at Vegan Bunker.

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Another menu of the day main dish from Vegan Bunker. This is tofu wrapped in nori and fried, atop veggies and rice. Tempurah-like and pretty yummy.

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One of the salads from menu of the day at Vegan Bunker.

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One of the vegan menus of the day at Vegan Bunker. Sometimes the menu dishes were simple like this, black beans with veggies and rice, and other times were more elaborate. 

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“Catpuccino” from Vegan Bunker. This was a weird  but enjoyable semi-frozen drink that had absolutely nothing to do with cappuccino other than being derived from coffee and delicious. 

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Vegan Bunker menu in Santiago.

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Vegan Bunker in Santiago. The menu mostly includes fast food options (burgers, hot dogs, etc.) with the menu of the day being the most healthful and varied option. 

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Some of the radical artwork on the walls at Vegan Bunker. 

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One of the menus of the day main dishes from Vegan Bunker-one of my favorites. Potatoes with veggie gravy, tofu and grilled veggies. 

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Vegan lemon pie from Vegan Bunker. IMG_9780

Vegan Oliver from Santiago above the “vegusta” vegan meats case. 

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The Oliver burger from Vegan Bunker. This was one of the most popular dishes among my non-vegan colleagues who frequently visited the Bunker with me.

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“Gender is a social construction. The bathrooms are not for man or woman. They’re bathrooms.” Artwork in Vegan Bunker.

Pastelería Sinfonía del Sabor

This vegan-friendly bakery in Providencia served decadent vegan treats. My favorites were the vegan-friendly muffins.

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The vegan empanadas from Pastelería Sinfonía del Sabor are delicious.

El Huerto

Frequently listed as a top vegetarian restaurant, I enjoyed the hearty salads and tofu very much.

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Planta Maestra

A great chain of stores in Santiago that offer various packaged health foods. Expensive, but good choice for getting staples like vegan yoghurt, soy dogs, etc. I bought some vegan hot dogs there (pictured below) for a vegan-friendly asado at my office.

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Vegan Bueras

In my opinion, their green salad with quinoa was the best vegan salad in Santiago. The asparagus soup was another lovely dish.

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ZenZero

At the Costanera Center Mall, ZenZero offers a few flavors of delicious vegan gelato made with stevia, not sugar. Pictured here: tiramisu and hazelnut flavors.

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Some additional websites that may be helpful: The vegan “gringo” survival guide to Chile, Vegan in Santiago, vegan happy cow.

Thanks for reading! xo Sarah

 

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It’s been a few months since I’ve written a Queer Vegan Food blog post. There are several reasons for this. First, I’ve become a lot more active on my social networks. (FYI, you can catch me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). I love the ease of sharing pictures, musings and updates and the real-time feedback we get from these platforms.

Second, my life has changed a lot since I began this blog in 2011. I’ve grown a lot in many ways since I started Queer Vegan Food; after all, I was a raw foodist when I originally started this (!). I’ve struggled at times to figure out how to adapt and evolve this blog as so much in my life changes. I’ve even considered retiring it. Is Queer Vegan Food still relevant for me? For anyone else? I’ve had this conversation a few times recently with my partner and with friends. And I keep coming back to the feeling that this blog does still feel relevant for me and (I hope) maybe for others, and it does feel like it’s still a useful space to share information, ideas, experiences and queer vegan food–at least for now.

With that, here’s some updates and a snapshot into some of the things I’ve been up to and thinking aboutthese past few months.

Celebrating My 10-Year-Veganniversary

A decade as a vegan. Wow. It’s still easy. I love Mark Hawthorne’s post about his recent vegan anniversary, saying “I’m still waiting for this to get hard.” That’s how I feel. Being vegan has only enriched and improved my life, but even if it didn’t, I’d probably still do it, because exploiting and killing animals is wrong. I’d be a vegan even if it were really difficult. Luckily, though, it’s super easy, and that’s really nice.

Settling Into Boulder, CO…And Reconnecting With The Bay Area

Boulder, CO on Queer Vegan FoodSince moving to Boulder in 2013, I have recently put down some roots in this beautiful mountain town. While finding footing in Boulder, I’ve simultaneously connected again with the SF Bay Area. Earlier this spring I started a remote job for a Bay Area-based software company that has me traveling to the Bay every few months. I love the company and my role, and I have also really enjoyed spending more time in the Bay Area.

The Bay has its share of major problems (have you read Sistah Vegan’s heartbreaking blogs recently? Check them out to get a taste of how challenging it is to live in the Bay these days) but I still think it’s a really special special place. I love visiting and getting to enjoy amazing vegan food with people like Lara Yaz, my dear friend from high school Alana, my good friend Andrea from the East Coast who lives in Berkeley, and more. Current Bay Area favorite: Shizen. Really great vegan Japanese food. I’d say just as good or even better than Shojin in LA. Pics, for reference:

Lara Yaz at Shizen in SF!

Lara Yaz at Shizen in SF!

Shizen ramen in SFVegan roll at Shizen

Seaweed Salad at Shizen in SF

Lara Yaz with yummy rolls at Zhizen

Lara Yaz with yummy rolls at Shizen in SF!

The Bay Area is near to my heart. I moved there right after college and it’s where I got my start in vegan food blogging through then-Bay Area-based but now national Vegansaurus, which adopted me in 2009 as one of their writers. It’s been an incredible journey ever since. I’ve met more amazing people through vegan blogging than I could have imaged. Shout-out to local Boulderite vegan Rachel Zurer, who edits Backpacker magazine and contributes to Vegansaurus. Rachel lives several blocks from us here in Boulder and she and her awesome vegan lawyer hubby Danny have become great friends. Vegansaurus continues to be amazing, and I am so inspired by the writers, editors and readers of the pub.

Feelings About Fishing As A Hobby

Around Boulder, many people casually fish in the creek. Seeing someone recreationally and casually torturing fish (I have no idea if they eat the fish or just throw them back…which is just as bad, of course) always puts me in a sour mood. These people usually smile at me when I pass, and sometimes say hi. I haven’t figured out what to say to these people, especially the “nice” ones. Because torturing fish is anything but nice. Can’t they just enjoy the creek without exploiting innocent creatures?

Side note: I think it’s often seen in our culture as less than “masculine” to enjoy nature (especially enjoy being alone in nature with other men) without doing something “masculine” like dominating animals to compensate. I’m clearly channeling Carol J. Adams here. Alas. Any advice for this?

Things I’m Excited To Get Into

Cuisinart on Queer Vegan Food

My mom gifted me my first Cuisinart this week and I’m so excited to use it. Any tips or recipes for me to try?

Thanks for reading. xo

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Alas, blog friends, I haven’t written a personal post in ages. This update is long overdue! The big news in my life these days is that Courtney and I recently moved to Boulder, Colorado! We both work remotely and have flexibility with where we live (a major privilege, to be sure) and decided to move our life to the Rockies.

I’ve never lived in Colorado before, and I’d only visited Boulder a handful of times  before moving here, so it’s definitely been an all-new adventure!

So far, I’ve met some awesome new friends and gone on tons of hikes. And eaten some really yummy vegan foods!  Leaf Vegetarian is delightful; Native Foods has an outpost here, and the Farmer’s Market is brilliant. The Ethiopian restaurant Ras Kassa’s has tons of vegan and gluten-free vegan options, and there are a bevy of other places I’ve yet to check out that I’ve heard are amazing.

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Courtney hiking in the Anemone trail in Boulder, CO!

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A view of the Flatirons from North Boulder

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Yummy boba aka bubble tea at Ku Cha House of Tea in Boulder, CO

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Vegan kale chips and hummus at The Kitchen Next Door in Boulder, CO!

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Fresh beets at the Boulder Farmers’ Market!

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Organic sunflowers at the downtown Boulder Farmers’ Market!

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Fresh green juice from Pressery sold at the Boulder Farmer’s Market

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Vegan and gluten-free Injera and Ethiopian food at Ras Kassa’s

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The yummy vegan Taco Salad from Native Foods in Boulder, CO

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A farm-fresh colorful vegan gluten-free meal I cooked in Boulder, Colorado!

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North Boulder Park in Boulder, CO

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A beautiful hike in Boulder, CO

Thanks for reading and checking out my pictures about my new life in Boulder, Colorado! I hope to continue to post more in the near future!

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Animal Camp By Kathy Stevens

While in the process of going vegan, I tore through several vegan-themed books within a couple weeks. Among them: Vegan Freak by Bob and Jenna Torres, Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, and, of course, The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams, a book which has profoundly changed my life in more ways than I can count (see: Defiant Daughters).

I read these volumes because each offered various insights to aid my transition to veganism. In 2005, the year I went vegan, there weren’t as many resources available online and as an eighteen-year-old, I didn’t know many peers who were vegan. Books provided information, motivation, and a plan for me to eschew animal products as well as arm myself with language to share my transition with others.

As I approach my eight-year vegan anniversary, I’ll admit I’ve really lagged when it comes to reading animal rights books. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of vegan books for already-vegan audiences. The value of vegan cookbooks for vegans is pretty obvious–who isn’t a fan of new recipe collections? But what about animal rights books for those of us who have already committed to fighting animal welfare injustices? I thought that since I didn’t need to watch Meat Your Meat ever again in order to know why I wouldn’t want to use animal products, there may not be a strong need for me to continue to read vegan books post-transition. After all, didn’t I already “know the deal”?

After reading Animal Camp: Reflections On A Decade of Love, Hope and Veganism at Catskill Animal Sanctuary by Kathy Stevens, I’ve realized why it’s still important for longstanding (ish?) vegans like myself to continue to educate ourselves about animal welfare concerns through vegan books and media. Stevens’ book is beautifully written, filled with stories and anecdotes about what life is really like working at Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS), and it has helped me see that there’s still so much I can learn as a vegan about animal welfare issues.

Before reading Animal Camp, I had no idea that animal hoarding cases were some of the top sources of abused animals in need of rescue at places like CAS. I believed animal hoarding was rare and properly addressed under our legal system, but the truth is that the problem is much more prevalent in the United States than I could have imagined, and through archaic laws, animal hoarders are often able to get off with probation and nearly always quickly become repeat offenders. Another shocking fact: many hoarders are even able to receive “animal sanctuary” designations to mask their actions. Stevens describes a chilling seizure of abused animals from another so-called animal sanctuary where starving dogs were literally eating lamas alive. Truly awful to read, yes, but even more awful that it goes on. I hope to continue to learn more about animal hoarding so that I can become a more informed animal welfare advocate.

Another amazing aspect of Animal Camp is that it is filled with heartwarming stories that reveal the diversity of personalities and habits of various animal species at CAS without a trace of anthropomorphism. Think stories of chickens nuzzling up to goats, an abused, malnourished horse and a quadruplet of Giardia-ridden baby cows making complete recoveries due to excellent round-the-clock sanctuary care and their remarkable resilience. Stevens reminds us that every animal is an individual, and that the best thing animal advocates can do is truly to go vegan. Worse than animal hoarding (as bad as it is) is the systematic cruelty inherent to animal agriculture industries.

The depth of information and inspiring stories contained in Animal Camp has renewed my vegan spirit. I know it has and will continue to allow me to be a better vegan advocate and continues to inspire me to be a lifelong vegan. I think it would appeal as easily to a non-vegan as a vegan, but am grateful that as a vegan I have had the opportunity to read it. I can’t wait to read another vegan book soon! Grab your copy of Animal Camp here.

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Welcome to QueerVeganFood.com. This site is in the process of being created. Please stay tuned for exciting developments! Thanks for visiting, and see you again soon. Sarah

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