Veg Night Out will take place Saturday, July 17 from 6-10 p.m. in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s MASS District, which stands for Music and Arts South of Sunrise. 

The neighborhood wedged between just south of Wilton Manors and the über-popular Flagler Village neighborhood.

Organized by Melissa Guzman, owner of The Caribe Vegan, who thought she might be able to attract more folks to an evening festival. The various food trucks and vendors will offer savory food, sweet desserts, and handcrafted merchandise with no animal products. In addition to the vendors, there will be giveaways and raffles. Admission is free.

Sean Russell (founder of SoFlo Vegans) explained, “We have had the good fortune of being involved with 200-plus events since we launched in 2017. I wanted to make sure [this] was something that has not been done before. To my knowledge this is the first time there is all-vegan night market.”

If you’re expecting a bunch of emaciated folks chewing on flax seeds, think again. The offerings run the gamut from comfort food to exotic and spicy fare. Try some Tex-Mex, a hearty pizza, filling empanadas, or a simple sandwich. “There’s such a variety now, from around the globe,” Guzman says.

“It’s definitely a celebration for the vegan community, for the community in general,” Russell said. “People are looking to get out now and make up for lost time. Maybe explore food options they are starting to tap into. Maybe they are starting to do something like drink more oat milk and now they’re curious to see what else is out there.”

For those who may be wary of solely vegan fare, area restaurants offering animal-based products will be open. For a share ride or a navigation app, use the address 817 NE 4th Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 and you’ll find yourself right in the middle of all the animal-free based products and fun. And while the food and products may be animal-free, dogs are definitely welcome at this event. For more information, go to

Chews News

Bona Italian now has live music every Thursday night. The Wilton Manors restaurant is also hosting an exclusive Sicilian five-course wine dinner for $75/person on July 21. Reservations required, call 954-565-7222.

Congrats to Bulegreen Café Yard, named to Yelp’s 2020 list of the “Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States.” It was ranked 27th and received a rave review from us earlier this year. Unlike other lists of must-dine spots, Yelp’s list runs the gamut from upscale, pricey spots, to little hole-in-the-wall joints. The only other South Florida place to make the list is Fratellino in Coral Gables, which ranked 6th. Fratellino is upscale and pricey, Bulegreen is casual and moderate to inexpensive. “’Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States’ list is more accessible than a list of all fine dining establishments and really reflects the uniqueness of the Yelp community,” Yelp's Trend Expert Tara Lewis says.

Läderach, the largest Swiss chocolate retailer, has taken over several Godiva stores across the country, including The Galleria Mall. Each store offers 85 or more varieties of artisanal chocolate directly from Switzerland.

Flagler Village will be home to the second location of Batch New Southern Kitchen and Tap. The flagship opened in West Palm Beach. It will serve Southern favorites, craft cocktails and what it promises will be an “epic brunch party.” The 5,500 square-foot restaurant with an outdoor patio will open in the former location of Mellow Mushroom, 525 N Federal. The locally sourced farm-to-table, comfort food menu includes slow-smoked burnt ends, shrimp n’ grits and a BBQ jackfruit “pulled pork” sandwich. An extensive whiskey menu and garden-to-glass cocktails are also planned for the restaurant expected to open in fall 2021.

Former NFL linebacker Stephen Tulloch’s Flagler Village drive-thru Circle House Coffeehouse has been such a hit that he will open a sister café in Oakland Park this month (if it hasn’t already done so by the time you read this). In addition to Mojo Donut flavors, Circle House offers breakfast sandwiches, empanadas, slushies, CBD-infused coffee, vegan cookies and hold on to your sombrero, guava cheesecake pie shakes. It will be located at 119 W. Oakland Park Blvd., 954-870-6456,

Watch for Buoy Bites, the popular seafood shack, to open a permanent location later this summer. It is taking the space formerly occupied by Phat Boy Sushi, 4391 N. Federal, which itself moved to bigger quarters down the street. Buoy Bites will continue to feature oysters on the half-shell, buckets of mussels and clams, crab cakes, fish-fry baskets, lobster clambakes and New England clam chowder. 954-306-2775,

Rick Karlin is SFGN's food editor. Visit to read his previous reviews. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..