It’s that season. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and those scary-ass Summer spiders are spinning their webs in my bushes, doorway and occasionally car windows. Ahh, the season for summer romances. So let’s say you meet a potential new love running the lake, browsing the farmer’s market or through online means. You’re in. You exchanged numbers, have a date set, but hold up- let’s say your suitor abstains from consuming any animal-derived proteins, and eggs and dairy are out too! As your vegan wing woman I got your back with five date ideas for the plant-loving Casanova.
1. Visit Timeless Coffee and Roasters
World class coffee, roasted in house? Check. Sweet treats so delectable they’re begging to be shared? Check. Add in a revolving menu of inventive breakfast and lunch entrees and you’re just keeping the surprises coming. Without the V word anywhere in sight you get to break the news to your date they can indulge to their heart’s content- unless this Piedmont gem’s reputation proceeds. Pro tip: first Sundays always boast vegan chicken and waffles. Double up on brown butter and maple syrup.
2. Farmer’s Market on Lakeshore Ave
How cute is picking up locally-sourced ingredients to make breakfast together at one of Oakland’s top-notch farmer’s markets? So cute. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams cute. Kissing in the rain cute. Romantic airport scene cute. (Can you tell romantic comedies is not my genre of choice here?) But real talk, nothing says romance like kale in a tofu scramble. If you’re the athletic type take in some yoga at Monkey Yoga Shala afterwards, or take a stroll down Lakeshore to indulge in some local shopping.
Anything is possible when you shop local. Via Vegan Ryan Gosling.
3. Drinks and a Show at the New Parkway
Ok, this one may be a little cheating as it’s a great date night regardless of lifestyle choices. But hey, you can express your compassion for animals by discussing the themes of dragons as an analogy for pit bulls in that new DreamWorks flick.
4. Romantic Picnic at Redwood Regional Park
Not all cute dogs are owned by vegans, but all vegans own cute dogs! (If they have a dog.) If your idea of romance is a romp through a beautiful redwood forest with a furry friend or two in tow, meet your new paradise. Wouldn’t it be cute if your dogs fell in love first, perhaps blossoming their own romance on the Stream Trail? It’s like Disney magic in the works, people. Depending on your vegan’s views on horseback riding this aspect may be a perk or a downer, but the beauty of this spot does evoke starry-eyed wonder at the natural world, which is always sexy.
5. Do Other Cute Date Things
Vegans are people too so don’t let anyone’s lifestyle choices get in the way in the way you pitch your woo, steak restaurants excluded! Just steer away from where he or she gets their protein, what animals they would or wouldn’t eat on a desert island (spoiler alert: none) and keep the romantic inklings a-flowin’. Oakland is for lovers, and love is a beautiful thing.