And the winner is: Results of the 2023 Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge

September 20, 2023

Grand Prize winner: Tori Ramen’s delicious Vegan Birria Ramen

This August, as part of the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge, nineteen local restaurants competed to make the best new vegan dish in the Cities. For a month, they added a new vegan dish to their menus, and diners at the restaurant tried it and cast their votes. Over a thousand diners, of varying diets, participated in trying and giving feedback on new dishes. 

Social media posts about the dishes, including both restaurant offerings and facts about the benefits of vegan eating, reached over 20k Minnesotans, and media coverage further extended the challenge’s reach. 

Restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines, and ranging from vegan restaurants to those with no vegan entrees, experimented with new dishes and benefited from new publicity and detailed diner feedback. Winners were determined based on restaurant ratings as well as other diner feedback on the dishes.

Reverie Cafe + Bar’s Carbonar Arancini earned second place.

We are pleased to announce that the Grand Prize winner is Tori Ramen for their delicious Vegan Birria Ramen! They will be bringing it back as part of their fall menu so head over to check it out! Reverie Cafe + Bar got second place with their yummy Carbonara Arancini. Namaste Cafe rounded out the top awards with third place for their tasty Garam Masala Summer Vegetable Farinata. Congratulations to them and to our other restaurants for their awards:

Barbette—Best Presentation

Namaste Cafe’s Garam Masala Summer Vegetable Farinata came in third

Book Club—Most Flavorful Dish

Duke’s on Seven—Best Plant-Based Meat

Hi Flora!—Incredible Local Ingredients

J. Selby’s—Chef’s Kiss Prize

Muddy Tiger—”Order this again and again” prize

Namaste—Off the Charts Good Food prize

Oro by Nixta–Best Comfort Food

Parkway Pizza–Best Appetiser

Pat’s Tap–”EXPLETIVE Amazing Dish”

Pinoli–Best Sauce

Pub 819–Most Flavorful Marinade

Reverie Cafe + Bar–Best Pasta Dish

Stanley’s NW Bar Room–Best Nachos

Tamu Grill–Perfect Savory Dish

The Block–Balanced and Delicious

The Howe–Most Delicious Health Food

Tiny Diner–Solid, Simple, Satisfying

Special thanks to the staff member coordinating the challenge, Abbey Feola. And to the challenge’s core volunteer committee members, who brought the competition together: Elicia Bailey, Taylor Borgman, Martha Eichlersmith, Allison Gamble, and Dexter Thomas. Additional thanks to Mikki Donath, Julie Reiter, Andrew Seffrood, and Theresa Zingery.

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