It’s your birthday, or maybe it’s not, but you’re planning it and happen to be vegan? Well there are some things to think about when planning a vegan birthday party. Obviously there are a lot of ways to celebrate a birthday, including not celebrating it, but for this blog post we’re detailing a birthday in a very classic sense; food, dessert, presents and activities.
First let’s look at the variables of a typical birthday party. The obvious one is cake – you need a cake or some form of a dessert to celebrate. Depending on what you’re doing you’ll need snacks. When we think of a classic birthday food we think pizza or potluck. Presents are typically needed, as you get older they are less likely, but for this post we’re going to assume you’re still getting presents. Finally a location or activity – whether it be your house or out. So what do you do about all this?
Location is key for a lot of events. You want to pick something that everyone can get to, makes sense for the people coming and most importantly you will have fun at. Our go-to is typically to host at our own homes or a bar. Hosting at your home means you can ensure that it’s a vegan-friendly and everyone will be familiar with it, but depending where you live there can be size restrictions. If you choose to go to a restaurant or bar, we typically suggest finding somewhere that can serve both vegan and non-vegan options, like; District Eatery, Il Fornello or The Dock Ellis. However we understand if you don’t want to do this, it is your birthday afterall. For all vegan options we love; The Hogtown Vegan, Planta or Fat Choi.
Looking for an activity rather than a restaurant? We love bowling (but be warned there may be no vegan options) or movie nights. Looking for something more vegan-focused? Why not bring your friends to a farm sanctuary to visit some cute animals. You may even teach your friends something new about animals.
Why would presents be an issue? Well even if everyone knows that you’re vegan, they may not know what exactly vegans don’t eat or use. You’ve got a few options here, either give your friends a list, ask to donate to a charity, ask to pay a portion of party costs or no presents. We typically go the no presents route as we just don’t think we need anything additional in our lives, but love the idea of asking our friends to donate to a charity. Facebook has even rolled out an option for you to do this on your account, if you still have a Facebook account.
Let’s assume you’re hosting your birthday at home, now you need some food to feed your hungry friends. We like to do potlucks, but there is a risk with potlucks that people may not fully understand what’s vegan and what’s not. You could make the food yourself. We love serving our non-vegan friends BBQ Cauliflower Wings, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, 7 Layer Dip or Pizza. But it’s your birthday, why should you be doing the cooking? We love ordering food for our birthdays. Pizza is typically our go-to, as they typically have some kind of vegan option at almost any pizza place. In Toronto? We LOVE Apiecalypse Now, Magic Oven, Panago Pizza or Virtuous Pie. For more widely available delivery look to Pizza Pizza (definitely not our favourite), Pizza Nova or Pizza Hut (without cheese). Not into pizza, you could always serve some A&W Beyond Meat Burgers (don’t forget to ask for it without mayo to make it vegan!). PS. Don’t forget about the wine – you can find vegan wines on Barnivore.
Dessert, arguably the most important aspect of a birthday. Whether you choose to celebrate with cake or some other dessert we’ve got some great homemade and store-bought options for you. Some of our favourite homemade desserts for celebrations are our Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake, Birthday Cake Donuts, S’mores Cookies or Cranberry Handpies. If in Toronto our go-to buy-able desserts include donuts from Bloomers or TBC Vegan, as well as vegan and gluten-free friendly options from Bunners. Not in Toronto? If you have a Whole Foods near you, their bakery section often has delicious vegan options. You can even try reaching out to your nearest bakery and asking if it’s possible for them to cook up something vegan for you.