Vegan in Green Bay, WI

We are just now coming back from Green Bay Wisconsin and so I thought it would be good to write a summary of my experiences as a vegan in Green Bay while it’s still fresh in my mind.

First of all, anyone going to Green Bay must be prepared for the fact that this city is all about the football. More precisely, it’s all about the Green Bay Packers. All around town, a sea of green and yellow is quite noticeable as all are dressed in some kind of Packers gear. The unmistakable foam cheese hats that represent the team are also quite visible.

What does this say about veganism in Green Bay? Most Wisconsinites are very proud of their status as a cheese producing State. This should have tipped me off right away that it wasn’t going to be a very vegan friendly city. The fact that 2 vegan diners had gone out of business within the past year should have also given me an indication as to what to expect. However, as my husband and I were going there on business, we had no choice on our destination. And you know what, it wasn’t hopeless, we didn’t starve and we actually found some really good food.

We were staying at the Radisson Conference Center which is connected to the Oneida Casino. At first I thought – as if there will be vegan food there so I brought food from home such as smoothie materials and stick blender, a few potatoes, salad and rice. I’m glad I brought the breakfast stuff since all I could find was fruit and toast so my nutrient dense smoothies made in my room were much savored!

But, for lunch and supper, there was plenty to be found!

The Casino itself had an astonishing 8 restaurants and two of them were actually very vegan friendly! At Vince Lombardi’s Legendary Sports Bar & Grill, I had a Portabello Sandwich with sweet potato fries that was really good! There were other choices such as house fries and a Veggie Grill Wrap that I wanted to return for but we found more options to try.

There was this little food kiosk next to the bar that looked like they had Asian options so we gave that a try. I had my best ever Pad Thai at Noodles Bar that rivaled Pad Thai in Thailand. I just made sure they didn’t put egg or use fish sauce in mine and I was good to go. They also had amazingly delicious summer rolls with peanut sauce that I kept coming back for.

Another highlight of our tour of Green Bay was a visit to Chipotle. The Mexican style restaurant that has a cult like following of vegans who crave Chipotle on a daily basis . Mexican food is not my favorite but let me tell you, I totally enjoyed my burrito. It was a huge wrap featuring the ingredients I chose : black beans, white rice, sofritas tofu and a variety of vegetables. I was assured that the beans were vegan and I dug into my wrap… although I couldn’t quite finish it and saved it for the next day’s lunch.

We also visited Mongolian Grill for the first time. I had heard a lot about this chain but had never personally been there. It was a pretty fun concept where you take your plate and fill it with your desired items from a long salad bar type station. There is another long station for all the sauces to choose from.

The wonderful part was that they had tons of fresh ingredients to choose from like kale, mushrooms, tofu, peppers, etc… and a large variety of vegan sauces. So, you fill your bowl, first with the veggies, then with up to 3 scoops of different sauces and bring your plate over to the grilling station for the cooks to artistically cook your food with a show of cutlery juggling and flames. Then, there is an array of toppings such as coconut and peanuts to enhance your dish further. Fun and delicious and really healthy too… depending on your choices at the stations.

Finally, on the fourth day, we had been assimilated into football culture and visited their Football Stadium and merchandise store. We walked away myself with a Packers sweater and my husband with boxers and a ball cap.

We then went to eat at the Lambeau Field’s 1919 Kitchen & Tap restaurant where I was impressed to be able to order a vegan meal: a Portabello burger and sweet potato fries.

In conclusion, while Green Bay is by no means a vegan Mecca, they have thought about us vegans and are making efforts to make us happy in their restaurants… most of them anyways! Their grocery stores all seem to have vegan meat substitutes and a variety of snacks and natural goods to keep all vegans from dying of hunger. So, if you have to stay in Green Bay, you will be fine, you won’t starve but be forewarned- you will probably walk away a reluctant yet unapologetic new football fan.

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