Garbage Gobbles: Denver Ed.
St. Louis is hashtag blessed to have an abundance of vegan and vegetarian restaurants/options. It’s surprising, I know, given that we are in a redder than red state known for our BBQ. But luckily, for me, we have at least four restaurants that I can name off of the top of my head that are completely vegetarian or vegan.
Denver is the only city that I have visited and consider to have topped St. Louis in their selection. In fact, it’s the only city I have ever considered driving hundreds of miles out of the way for, just to eat a veggie burger (key word here is considered. I haven’t done it – yet). The vegan and vegetarian options here are not only substantial, but also delicious.
This is in no way a cumulative list, but hopefully can assist in your quest for delicious food in the area!
Watercourse’s veggie burger is one of the best I have had in my life. If that isn’t enough to convince you, a meat-eater I know mentioned that he thought the burger was better than any beef one he has ever eaten.
There’s no funny business here: it’s a house made burger with your typical toppings of onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Simple, delicious, and to the point.
In addition to the bangin’ burger, Watercourse also is well known for their vegan mac n’ cheese and seitan wings (get the blue cheeze with – SO GOOD). They also serve reasonably priced mimosas, just 5 bucks on the weekend, and the veggie breakfast burrito is as big as a baby. Don’t worry, I still managed to eat the entire thing.
If you visit Watercourse during the hours of 3pm – 6pm, they have a daily happy hour good for burgers, appetizers and drinks. And on the weekend, they throw in an extra happy hour from 10pm – 11pm.
And the best part? They are 100% vegan.
So vegan hot dogs are one of those things that kind of weird me out. I went vegetarian all those years ago (13 years ago – to be exact) because the concept and taste (also, not to forget, ethical standards) of meat grossed me out. Soy meat, I agree, is a good alternative for people to transition out of a meat-eater lifestyle. But when it gets a little tooooo real, like bouncy, pink, veggie hot dogs, I wanna hurl.
With that said, I am not sure what convinced me that it was a good idea to try out a vegan dog aside from the fact it came up as a veg-friendly place to eat when I visited. I am glad I did though, because this veggie dog was nothing like the creepy Morningstar dogs that seem questionable. While the menu doesn’t list the ingredients, you can tell from the taste that it is a mesh of good veggies and not just soy and sodium.
In fact, I heard that Biker Jim’s wife is a vegan herself and had a part in designing it. Opposites attract, I guess!
I am fully convinced that there is no better vegan pizza on this planet than at City o’ City. Grab their sausage and peppers pizza, made with seitan, and replace the mozzarella with their cauliflower cheeze. They also have a robust breakfast menu including not only one variation on chik’n and waffles, but two. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
City o’ City is generous in supplying a late night menu as well, offering discounted pizzas and apps, like vegan poutine or ravioli.
Their craft cocktails are stellar as well – definitely try out the Rosie O’Donnell if you have a chance.
While Sweet Action’s menu is ever rotating, they generally offer at least three or so vegan options. And if that’s not enough, they usually have an assortment of boozy ice creams as well. When we went, I taste tested beer ice cream with hops added which was… weird.
Just make sure to arrive early because the line might be out the door.
Voodoo is perfect for vegans and meat-eaters alike, offering meat-friendly dones (bacon – ew) and vegan.
Grab your normal order of glazed or fritter; but if you are feeling it, get wild with the cereal encrusted variety or one of their signatures: like the Voodoo Doll, the Tex-Ass, or the Maple Blazer Blunt.
If you’re lucky, you might be there on a day where they offer up an enlarged version of their voodoo done and a Dixie-cup filled with pretzel sticks. Imagine someone worth cursing (an ex-boyfriend, perhaps?) and stab em’.
Snooze reminds me of Egg in Chicago.
The menu is very egg-centric (pun intended… but also not), sectioned into “From the Hen”, “The Art of Hollandaise”, “Light as a Feather”, etc. If you’re not an egg eater, however, they offer faux meat replacements – giving you an option of either tofu or soyrizo. And if you are looking for more of a sweet breakfast, have no fear, because they have an entire section for the less savory – including a pancake flight (which I definitely got).
Native Foods is an upscale, vegan fast-ish food joint located basically everywhere except St. Louis. Meaning I’ve seen em’ around in Chicago, Los Angeles, and yep, Denver.
Denver is the first place I was able to try Native Foods and I was instantly hooked. It’s a bit on the pricey side (think Chipotle budget of fast food), but the fact that you can sub normal fries for sweet potato fries is a gaaame changer. Additionally, I have had like 3 out of their 4 veggie burgers and also their Native nachos – all of which I’d highly recommend.
Come for the whiskey, stay for the amazing tour of the distillery.
Stranahan’s is small, hand produced malt whiskey made in the Rockies. Definitely consider going on the tour, as you get to walk around their production area and smell the charred barrels they use to age their product.
Again, this is in no way a complete list of the vegetarian food that Denver has to offer. I can, unfortunately, only fit so much food into my body in one trip. However, I hope it’s given you places you’ll need to try next time you visit the Mile High City!
Have another restaurant you think I need to try next visit? Other questions, comments, or concerns? Leave them in my comment section!