One of the many things I love about living in Denver is the wide range of cuisines and restaurants we have in this city. When Matt and I decided to follow a (mostly) vegan diet, we had to approach dining out differently because while vegans can often find something to eat at a lot of restaurants and we're lucky that Denver is pretty progressive, the reality is it's just not possible to eat at any restaurant in town. This might sound a little sad, and there are definitely times we've wanted to try the "hot new restaurant" only to find there's nothing on the menu we can eat, but there are a lot of great vegan-friendly spots that are incredibly satisfying and crave worthy in their own right.
Because there are too many to include in this one post, here are a few of my favorite vegan-friendly spots in Denver and I promise to share more soon.
1030 E. 22nd St, Denver
This casual cafe west of City Park is 100% vegan, and 100% delicious. A counter display is packed with baked goods including decadent donuts in a range of flavors, flaky croissants of the sweet and savory varieties, cupcakes, pies, and other deliciousness including the signature beet brownie. Coffee with house made almond milk is the perfect match with any pastry, but it doesn't stop there. They also have a small, but well-designed menu of sandwiches with fresh and unique ingredients stacked high on their own bread (which can also be bought by the loaf). Our non-vegan family has approved of the sandwiches, pastries, and pies, and there were raves all around when I took donuts to the office. It's not fancy, but with food this good, who cares?
Bonus: gluten-free friends can find several options to enjoy as well!
837 E. 17th Ave, Denver
Watercourse is by far the "nicest" restaurant on this list. The beautiful, warm, sunny spot is great for date night, brunch with friends, or a meal with family. We're often asked how we can possibly ever be satisfied after a meal - well Watercourse Foods proves that is not a problem; we always leave happy and completely nourished. While this restaurant is 100% vegan, I'd say it's also very approachable for non-vegans. At brunch, order a sweet potato cinnamon roll as soon as you sit down (they go fast), then enjoy the Amsterdam hash with a cup of coffee from the full-service coffee bar and a mimosa. Later in the day the cauliflower wings are a delicious starter and I'm a fan of the macro plate and street taco platter, but they've added several new items that sound fantastic as well.
Bonus: A favorite spot to grab dinner and a drink before heading a few blocks south to see a concert at the Ogden Theater.
City O' City
206 E. 13th Ave, Denver
WaterCourse Foods' edgy sister, this coffee shop-bar-restaurant is just a few blocks from the State Capitol in Cap Hill. All the baked goods for this spot and WaterCourse Foods, are baked on premise. The sweet potato cinnamon rolls, biscuits, and muffins are perfect at breakfast, but they don't last long so go early if you want to try them. The bakery case is also filled with amazing deserts, a recent favorite being the salted caramel cake truffle. Of course, there is a full menu from breakfast till late night and non-vegan options are plenty which means that everyone in your group will leave happy. The kimchi stew is fresh and filling while the vegan chicken and waffles is another tempting dish.
Bonus: take a yoga class at Kindness Yoga upstairs and ask for a coupon to get 15% off your entrée that day.
3 South Broadway, Denver
Located on South Broadway, this bar with a punk-hipster-retro vibe shouldn't be overlooked simply because the front is a bit worn and it's pretty dark inside. The food is inventive and there's something for everyone - vegans and non-vegans alike. At brunch, choose the $6 mimosa carafe to share with your table and go for the Vegan Power Stack which is a plateful of two quinoa patties, sautéed veggies with just the right amount of crunch, home fries, and avocado (below). They serve Pablo's coffee and a full range of craft cocktails, and local beer. Stop by any day from 3 - 7pm for happy hour. I'm curious to try the vegan hush puppies and
Bonus: free wi-fi, a full espresso bar, and plenty of window shopping along S. Broadway
Denver's growing and high-quality local restaurant scene is one of the many things that drew us to the mile high city, and as you can tell, that includes vegan and vegetarian fare. I have more favorite eateries to share so be sure to check back.
For my non-vegan friends, do you ever try vegan or vegetarian restaurants? | Is brunch popular where you live? | What's your favorite meal after a hard workout?