Smoked jackfruit mimics the taste and texture of pulled pork in Char Bar’s Jackknife sandwich, which also features melted provolone, avocado slices and fried jalapeño slivers on a soft egg bun. Tammy Ljungblad | tljungblad@kcstar.com

Barbecue-crazy KC as 'vegan capital of the world'? PETA says it could happen

Eden Alley's Avocado Vera Cruz. File photo |
Jackfruit tacos are on the menu at McCoy’s Public House. Tammy Ljungblad | tljungblad@kcstar.com

With about 100 barbecue restaurants throughout the metro, Kansas City often claims to be the barbecue capital of the world.

But PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says Kansas City also is very vegan-friendly.

Kansas City ranked No. 10 on PETA's new "Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities" list — making KC a first-timer, along with Cleveland, Miami and Omaha.

"Kansas City may be the barbecue capital of the world, but with its bountiful plant-based offerings, it could soon be considered the vegan capital of the world," PETA said.

The group gave a shout-out to vegan food cart the Peaceful Pig Vegan BBQ, as well as the Happy Apple Cafe, set to open at 5536 Troost Ave., with such menu items as sweet potato and black bean burgers.

PETA also highlighted The Foundry's extensive vegan menu. However, the Foundry closed in March to make way for Sailor Jack's Snack Shack.

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PETA called the brunch at Eden Alley on the Country Club Plaza "simply divine" for its sweet potato Benedict and French toast bake, and the group also made note of Beer Kitchen's truffle popcorn, jackfruit tamales and eggplant muffuletta sandwich.

Other mentions: Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffee, with locations in midtown and Overland Park; Pirate's Bone for its all-vegan specialty coffees, waffles, burgers and sandwiches; KC Kitchen & Pizzeria for its Go Vegan pizza; Westport's McCoy's Public House for its vegan wrap and vegan masala; Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings — with locations on 39th Street and Leawood — for its eggplant pockets and veggie dumplings; and ProteinHouse in the Power & Light District for its selection of smoothies and fluffy vegan pancakes.

"It's our goal to provide all of our guests with options to suit a variety of diets. And more and more people are converting to vegan and vegetarian diets," said James Westphal, a partner in Beer KC Restaurant Group, which owns Beer Kitchen, McCoy's, Sailor Jack's and Char Bar. "One of the things we are most proud of is providing vegans with options at Char Bar barbecue restaurant."

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PETA named Los Angeles as the most vegan-friendly city, ranging from vegan "comfort food" to Cajun choices. PETA said the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education even voted to launch a pilot vegan lunch program.

New York was No. 2 with such items as vegan escargot made from oyster mushrooms and tahini-based vegan foie gras.


Barbecue-crazy KC as 'vegan capital of the world'? PETA says it could happen