The Las Vegas vegan dining scene continues to rapidly expand as two vegan restaurants in town prepare to open more locations in the Valley.
Despite the recent announcement of Panacea closing its doors (don’t worry, they will be reincarnated in a slightly different form soon) and the addition of non-vegan options to Cafe No Fur, both Veggy Street and Pancho’s Vegan Tacos are opening additional locations.
The first to expand is Pancho’s Vegan Tacos opening the first of three new spots in Anthem (2540 Anthem Village Dr.), followed by Veggy Street (1110 E. Silverado Rancho Blvd.) and then – in late November/early December – Pancho’s westside location is set to open (3555 South Fort Apache Rd.). Finally, later this year, Pancho’s is opening a full vegan cafe and bakery located next to its original spot – which recently expanded from 1,300-square-feet to 2,200-square-feet – on Tropicana and Pecos. Pancho’s owner, Sacbe Meling also hints of a California location coming down the line.
“It’s been an amazing journey, but we’re just starting,” says Meling. The first Pancho’s opened late 2016. In July 2017, Meling acquired a food truck and went mobile.
Expect new things at both Pancho’s locations – Anthem is going to serve alcohol and all will feature new items once the westside location opens.
“We will have more gluten-free, soy-free options,” promises Meling. They will also have lower calorie tacos featuring jicama tortillas and more homemade options like picadillo, rajas en crema, asado and baking traditional Mexican and holiday breads like pan de muerto and rosca de reyes.
Veggy Street, the healthy fast food concept, is opening its second location due to the “phenomenal response” to their first location, according to Owner Jorge Melatti. “We want to spread the healthy-eating way of life to all of Las Vegas, and, one day, the world.”
Melatti prides the brand on bringing the best flavors to the fast food culture and producing some of the “best tasting food in the city, regardless of whether or not there is meat in the dish.”
“We are always forward-thinking and we will innovate, adapt and reproduce our model as often as humanly possible.
The opening of the second location of Veggy Street is just the beginning for Melatti, who hopes to see the business expand across the nation and then internationally.
“While we start small and fully learn the social responsibilities we have as a healthy fast food chain, we will expand to share our model with other cities and people so that everyone can have a healthy, affordable, fast food alternative while also eating tasty vegan food,” says Melatti.
As for talk about Vegas being oversaturated with vegan restaurants, Meling believes that one of the issues is that vegan restaurants have been appealing mostly to vegans and competing with each other because of similar items which are highly priced.
“The vegan options places usually offer are third-party vegan products like Gardien and Daiya,” he says .”Our mission is to provide good food, fairly priced. A product that is available and accessible to everyone, not just to those whom can afford it, not just to vegans. That’s why our posts say ‘vegan food made for all.'”
Melatti sees something different: “Veganism and [the] vegan culture is spreading in our beautiful city, and it is being embraced from Old Henderson to Far Hills. As we expand, we are promoting a way of life, and we strongly believe that our customers and Las Vegas will stick with us through it all. We encourage and enjoy all other vegan restaurants in town, because we are all on the same team.”
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Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby and has emerged as the face of plant-based dining in Las Vegas and the leading plant-based restaurant consultant in the city. She spent a decade in the travel blogging world before switching gears to work in elephant rescue in Thailand. Diana travels the world to meet chefs and try vegan food, as well as speak at events focusing on travel, tourism, veganism and entrepreneurship. She’s a partner with the prestigious James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinners at the James Beard House. Diana is also a partner with Life is Beautiful, curating the all-vegan Farm Stand.