September 20, 2023
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.
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:
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”
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.