Take a gamble on these vegan Vegas treats

While there is no shortage of meat in Las Vegas, the Strip and downtown areas boast enough vegan treats to keep you steered away from it for your entire trip...if you dare a little wager. Eating vegan in Vegas is surprisingly easy and tasty if you know where to look.

If you're not already a vegan then you may be a little skeptical. Believe me, it took two years to whittle down my own meat consumption to nothing having grown up as a meat and potatoes girl. Today I go back and forth between being vegan and vegetarian because I love cheese a little too much. So whether you dabble in Meatless Monday, are mostly vegetarian, or just want to go cold-turkey for a while, here are a few vegan treats to look out for the next time you're in town.

Vegan red velvet

Yes, a vegan red velvet cupcake exists in the world and it can be found on the promenade between the LINQ and the Flamingo casinos at a little place called Sprinkles. They only have one flavor of vegan cupcake, so if you don't like red velvet then you might want to rethink your life. If you can't commit to being vegan here, I highly recommend the red velvet/red velvet sundae where they rip your choice of cupcake in half and stuff it full of one-three scoops of your choice of ice cream (not vegan whatsoever but it's worth it). Late-night cravings can be satisfied with their cupcake ATM just outside as well.

Vegan chocolate

If you're a fan of dark chocolate and appreciate local businesses, then the Hexx Chocolates & Confexxions in front of the Paris Hotel and Casino is the place to go. Sidle up to their chocolate bar and ask for a dark chocolate tasting. Their hexagon-shaped chocolate is made right in front of you and you can even ask to attend a chocolate-making tour if you wish. They have two styles of chocolate: dark and milk, in five regional flavors. The dark chocolate is made with only two ingredients: the cacao bean from the region and organic palm sugar. My favorite is 'Venezuela' due to its sweet hints of lemon and cherry.

Vegan ice cream

Unless you are allergic to coconuts, coconut ice cream is not going to kill you. Stop on by VegeNation in downtown Vegas and try their 100% plant-based food, including the brownie sundae and chocolate tacos for dessert. If you go with the tacos be sure to taste them first before asking about the secret ingredient...but trust me, they're entirely vegan even if your mind believes different. And while you're here you might as well try the VegeNation burger and forget that a hamburger has to be made with any animal products whatsoever. Fair warning though...you may be eating here a lot once you start. Vegan meatball sandwiches, buffalo cauliflower wings, and more will make you forget all about sitting at a roulette table for hours, or even eating at a normal restaurant.

Vegan alcohol anyone?

Vegas wouldn't be the same without alcohol, and luckily you can still party like a vegan. Virtually every brand of hard liquor (bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum) is vegan and most of the distilled spirits are too except for the cream-based liqueurs and, for the strict vegans, anything that mentions 'honey' on the label.

I'm not sure if anyone has ever asked their bartender to see the ingredient list on their bottle of choice, but you are highly unlikely to find anything useful even if you have the balls to ask. Alcohol is commonly except from the labeling requirements of other food products, so if want to be 100% sure your drink of choice is vegan do your research beforehand.

But for those who just want to get a head start on drinking, here is a cheat-sheet of vegan-friendly alcohol brands:

Liquor: Absolut, Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose, Hangar 1, Malibu Rum, Skyy Vodka

Beer: Budweiser (except their Clamato variety), Coors and Coors Light, Miller Lite/High-Life/and Genuine Draft, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Yuengling

Wine: Charles Shaw (red only), Frey Vineyards, The Vegan Wine, Red Truck Wines, Yellowtail (red only; not white or rosé)

Take the vegan gamble

Whether you're into sugary desserts, love that burger way too much to let it go, or want to keep the party going, there are more vegan options to be found in Vegas if you're willing to look for them. And let's be honest, you're going to lose a few bucks at the tables and even more on the slots, so you might as well save on that red meat tab wherever you can. Get a little crazy and party like a vegan for the weekend. The beauty about Vegas is that what happens here only stays here if you keep your mouth shut about it. Going vegan can be your dirty little secret no one has to know about.

Elizabeth Crooks has lived in Las Vegas for over a year now and lives a conscious lifestyle as a vegan/vegetarian. She maintains a metaphysical blog and is a published author on personal growth topics as well as several conscious coloring books.