Your Complete Guide to Eating Vegan in Denver
There’s no doubt that the vegan movement’s on the rise in Mile High City.
Whether you’re visiting or living in Denver, Colorado, you’ll have access not only to its vibrant art scene and colorful people, but a variety of vegan hot spots and events boasting delicious plant-based fare.
It might seem a bit overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered. What follows is your complete guide to everything you need to stay vegan in Denver.
Watercourse Foods is a fully-vegan restaurant which offers a variety of vegan comfort foods.
Having started in 1998 as a small vegetarian cafe on Capitol Hill, Watercourse Foods has since moved on to a prime corner spot on 17th Avenue in Uptown.
In addition to their delicious drink selection, they serve breakfast all day and a wonderful brunch on Sundays. Some dinner highlights include the Cauliflower Wings, which are an absolute a must-try, as well as the Street Tacos Platter, Mac ’N’ Cheese, and of course the Cuban, a plant-based take on the familiar sandwich which uses shaved seitan in place of animal-based meat.
That said, this is only a snippet of the full menu, which offers a wide range of amazing dishes you can check out here.
City O’ City
City O’ City is an eclectic dining spot offering vegan and vegetarian fare. Its staff are friendly, and about as colourful as its proudly displayed local artwork and repurposed decor.
Striving to use local produce whenever possible, and boasting its own urban micro farm, City O’ City serves up dishes with a conscience you won’t want to miss.
While the spot’s known for its Chicken & Waffles, which features crispy fried cauliflower in place of meat, there are many other delicious items to try. Among City O’ City’s best offerings are its BBQ Bowl, Fried Ravioli, Cauliflower Chorizo Tacos, and its range of pizzas featuring house-made cashew cheese.
Make, Believe Bakery
Make, Believe Bakery is a fully vegan spot offering delectable baked goods, including cupcakes, birthday cakes, and pastries. Among its tastiest treats are the Ho-Ho Cupcake, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls, Funfetti Cake and, of course, the newly added vegan soft serve.
A subsidiary of City O’ City and Watercourse Foods, both of which share the same owner, this sweet treat spot is a tough one to miss for plant-based food lovers. Not only is it found just behind City O’ City, but it’s brandishing a colorful new facade thanks to a locally commissioned artist.
Having recently expanded its hours to better serve the soft serve crowd, Make, Believe Bakery is now open from noon till 11:30 to meet all your sweet tooth’s needs.
Beet Box is a from-scratch vegan bakery making baked goods such as cakes, pastries and breads using high quality ingredients.
Among its delicious offerings are Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon Lavender, and Almond Tiramisu cakes sure to wow vegans and nonvegans alike. Also, if you happen to love donuts, this is the place to be. Beet Box offers a wide range of donuts that’ll have you hearing angels singing in no time.
This is the go-to spot for anyone looking to step up their dessert game for an upcoming birthday, baby shower, or wedding.
Having recently made its way onto the local vegan scene, So RADish is a vegan eatery located in Old Town Arvada on the outskirts of Denver.
Those of us who remember the 80s and 90s are sure to be be thrilled by the themed wall art and menu design, which calls back to times of neon everything and hair bigger than those technicolor ski jackets.
All items on the menu are vegan, but this spot also offers a side meat selection in case, as they put it, your “not-so-rad” loved ones come along. That said, they do use designated grills and pans to avoid cross contamination.
Standout menu selections include the Hearty “Crab” Cakes, Seitan Ribs, and Fried Avocado, which are offered alongside a wide range of tasty salads, snacks, and entrees.
After a particularly long work day, or trek around town even, diners can also take advantage of happy-hour pricing on the daily.
Wong Way Veg
We would be amiss if we didn’t mention food trucks, which are becoming increasingly popular statewide.
Wong Way Veg a Westword 2019 Best of Denver winner, serves vegan comfort food made from scratch out of a yellow and orange food truck. Based in Denver, you’ll often see it parked outside of events, animal sanctuaries, and other vegan establishments. You can check out the Instagram page to see where it is today.
While the menu varies daily, you are sure to find lots of yummy options anytime — all of which are sure to have you coming back for more.
The Vegetable Express
Another amazing vegan food truck well worth a mention is the Vegetable Express. Based in Nederland, CO, you’ll find it parked all over the state, often spotted near local breweries, concert venues, and music festivals, where a super friendly staff will greet you with a smile.
Specializing in vegan comfort food, this mobile eatery aims to “heal people and the planet” through its all-plant menu.
Check out The Vegetable Express on Facebook to see a full schedule.
Cholo Ass Vegan
Cholo Ass Vegan is a food truck based out of Northglenn which serves vegan takes on popular Mexican dishes. These include Seitan “Carne” Asada, Jackfruit Posole, and a number of plant-based tamales — just to name a few.
For those looking for something on the sweeter side, also offered is a selection of fruit and creamy, house-made Horchata you’ll want to write home about.
You can stay up to date on Cholo Ass Vegan’s changing menu selections by joining this email list.
Alternation Brewing Company
Colorado is peppered with microbreweries nowadays, one of the best of which is fully vegan Alternation Brewing Company.
Having opened in 2017, this family-run business now offers an “ever-changing” selection of artisanal ales and lagers. Every batch is hand-crafted, and visitors can expect something different on each visit.
Typically you’ll also have the chance to purchase food from a rotating schedule of vegan food trucks while you enjoy a brew.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
If you are looking for vegan sushi, you must check out Blue Sushi Sake Grill in LoDo.
There, you’ll find a number of vegan rolls to choose from or, for those of us who struggle to choose, you can try them all served up in a novelty sushi boat. Among the tastiest options are the Cowgirl, Thai Hippie, and Spicy Ahimi rolls — but you won’t want to miss the appetizers either. Both the Crispy Brussel Sprouts or the Lettuce Wraps can be made vegan, and are well worth a try.
Presenting Japanese-inspired dishes, Tokio is a ramen restaurant in the heart of Denver, just around the corner from Coors Field.
A plant-based must-have at Tokio is their Ramen Air. This steaming bowl of noodles includes carrot, bamboo, wood ear mushrooms, spinach, bok choy, red pickled ginger, green onion, tofu, and dry chili in a soybean milk broth. Also offered at Tokyo are veggie sushi, miso soup, edamame, and shishito peppers with ginger sauce for vegans to enjoy.
Situated on the corner of Ellsworth and Broadway, Nooch Market is an all-vegan store which sells groceries, snacks, books, body care, kitchenware, gifts, accessories, and more.
Nooch also hosts vegan food trucks on a regular basis and you can see the schedule and menus through the shop Instagram page.
Denver hosted its very first Vegan Restaurant Week in May of this year, during which vegan and nonvegan restaurants hopped aboard the plant-based bandwagon, offering special dishes to plant-based diners — but that’s not all.
The city is also home to an annual all-vegan festival. VegFest Colorado takes place in the metropolis every July, during which it showcases vegan businesses and food from around the state in the weekend-long event.
When all’s said and done, it’s clear that Denver is the place to be for vegans, and plant-based dieters alike. Whether you are looking for comfort food, baked goods, ice cream, sushi, ramen, Mexican, or just a heck of a good, plant-based time — this is a not-to-be-missed foodie destination.
Hope to see you here, soon.
Let us know your favorite vegan options in Denver in the comments below.
Tags: COLORADO, dairy free, DENVER, Egg Free, Food, meat free, plant based, restaurant, restaurants, US, USA, vegan