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Staazi & Co makes global list of top 10 vegan food trucks

The Forager

Adelaide’s Staazi & Co – already renowned in South Australia for its plant-based ‘lamb’ yiros – has been named one of 10 top vegan food trucks around the world in a new guide to vegan-friendly travel.

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It is also the only Australian vendor to make the list in The Vegan Travel Handbook, which includes food trucks from the United States, France, India and England.

“Bringing 100% plant-based food to Adelaide since 2017, the Staazi & Co food truck serves traditional Greek fare with a vegan twist,” says the guide, published this month by Lonely Planet Food.

“If you’re craving the likes of yiros, moussaka or spanakopita you can get them here, with plant-based ‘lamb’ (TVP), ‘mince’ (soy and pea protein) and ‘feta’ (made with nuts), all prepared by passionate vegan Anastasia Lavrentiadis.”

In March this year, Lonely Planet released a travel book specifically highlighting food trucks (Around the World in 80 Food Trucks), which included Adelaide’s Sneaky Pickle.

The new handbook features tips about vegan-friendly destinations, tours and experiences around the world, and Lavrentiadis says she is excited to be included – but also surprised, because she thought she had responded too late after the Lonely Planet team contacted her asking for information about Staazi & Co.

“I think it really comes down to the taste of our food – it tastes amazing – and the ethics behind the business,” she tells InDaily, when asked why she believes it has been so successful.

“It is a vegan business with a great vegan product which is loved by not just vegans, but also meat-eaters. It doesn’t exclude anyone, because it tastes good… most people are happy to try it and they keep coming back.”

She says Staazi’s best-selling menu item is still its vegan yiros made with plant-based “lamb” – a TVP (textured vegetable protein) based product marinated in Greek herbs and spices – followed by the AB and loaded fries.

Staazi & Co’s plant-based ‘lamb’ yiros. Photo: Johnny von Einem

Lavrentiadis, a vegan with Greek heritage, launched the food truck at Adelaide’s Vegan Festival in October 2017 and it has become a regular fixture at music festivals, Gilles at the Grounds market at Wayville and other events.

Earlier this year, Staazi & Co also opened a bricks-and-mortar shop at 224 Grenfell Street, in the premises previously occupied by East End Yiros. It began as a short-term occupancy, to see if the move proved viable, but has now been extended into next year.

“With the festival season coming up, I really wanted to give it a proper go,” Lavrentiadis says.

“We have a lot of regular customers and it was hard for them to track us down … I did the shop mainly to give people a space and place where they can find us easily.”

The Staazi & Co shop on Grenfell Street. Photo: Julian Cebo / CityMag

While the yiros is its biggest drawcard, Staazi & Co has experimented with a range of different menu items and specials in the shop – including a plant-based “chicken” yiros. In summer, it will also be adding dishes such as stuffed peppers and a vegan moussaka.

Lonely Planet says The Vegan Travel Handbook can be considered “your primer for how to practise what you already do in your home town, on the global go”.

It includes resources such as vegan travel blogs and apps, top vegan tours and festivals, a list of 20 vegan-friendly cities (Melbourne makes the cut but Adelaide doesn’t), and advice for travelling in a range of destinations.

Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities

(The Vegan Travel Handbook)
  1. Berlin, Germany
  2. London, UK
  3. New York City, USA
  4. Tel Aviv, Israel
  5. Portland, Oregon, USA
  6. Los Angeles, California, USA
  7. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
  8. Warsaw, Poland
  9. Toronto, Canada
  10. Melbourne, Australia

Top 10 Vegan Food Trucks

(The Vegan Travel Handbook)
  1. GMonkey, Connecticut, USA
  2. Gooddo, Udaipur, India
  3. Totally Awesome Vegan Food Truck, Portland, Maine, USA
  4. Club Mexicana, London, UK
  5. Staazi& Co, Adelaide, Australia
  6. The Cinnamon Snail, NYC, USA
  7. ChezVeg’anne, Strasbourg, France
  8. Soulgood, Dallas, Texas, USA
  9. Rupert’s Street, London, UK
  10. Shimmy Shack, Detroit, Michigan, USA

 

 

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