Food & Drink

The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Denver

Published On 08/10/2016 Published On 08/10/2016
Vital Root
Vital Root | Annette Slade

Vital Root

Berkeley

Justin Cucci has brought Denver a trio of hits with Root Down, Linger, and Ophelia's Electric Soapbox. His newest addition, this fast-casual vegetarian eatery, is impressing palettes with playful flavors (try the charcoal coconut dosa), imaginative dishes (Devils on Unicorns, anyone?), and an inviting space that includes two patios and an herb garden made from colorful, upcycled cafeteria trays.

Flickr/salty chip

WaterCourse Foods

North Capitol Hill

A classic for a reason, WaterCourse has been serving up all-vegan fare since 1998. Open all day, it serves a variety of options, including hearty breakfasts like biscuits & gravy, and burritos with a vegan version of Denver's ubiquitous green chile (of course). If you head in later, you'll find more reimagined comfort foods like Tofish'n'Chips and Beet Wellington, which let you satisfy your cravings guilt- and meat-free.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen

Cherry Creek

Yes, this place is a chain with multiple locations around the country. No, it's not strictly vegetarian. But the power of its filling, flavorful Inside Out Quinoa Burger alone is enough to land it on this list. If that's not enough, you'll also find rotating seasonal salads filled with unexpected and addictive combinations along with pizzas and much more. But if you’re a first-timer, get that quinoa burger and take it from there.

Handy Diner

Whittier

This Whittier spot was a new addition to Denver in January 2016, and it's already proven itself to be a favorite for homestyle vegan eats. The menu offers a handful of options done right, including chickpea fried steak, shepherd's pie, creative carrot "bacon," and baked goods. The venue may be tough to spot if you're not looking for it, but this low-key eatery is more than worth seeking out (hint: the building that it’s housed in is brightly painted in a few different colors).

City, O' City

City, O' City

Capitol Hill

Another longtime favorite, City, O' City serves food all day, so it's ideal for anything from early-morning coffee and breakfast to late-night whiskey and snacks. Its expansive menu offers tons of stalwarts, but one sure bet is the savory waffle of the week. It's consistently changing specials are never boring, with combos like the recently available Thai peanut version with spicy peanut sauce, lime ginger slaw, BBQ tofu, green onion, pear, and sesame seeds. Or go for the addictive seitan wings. Or maybe the "chicken" & waffles (the chicken is actually chicken-fried cauliflower). Or just bring your friends and order it all; it's incredibly tough to go wrong.

Courtesy of Beet Box Bakery & Cafe

Beet Box Bakery & Cafe

Five Points

A small sandwich menu and selection of baked goods might not seem like much, but this under-the-radar vegan bakery proves that simple is often best. Sate your appetite with a cremini panini or score a savory croissant in varieties like curry cauliflower and black bean poblano, but be sure to save room for dessert. From muffins and donuts to delicious cakes, it offers a veggie-centric meal AND can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Govinda's Garden Café

Govinda's Garden

Hale

Touted as Denver's oldest vegetarian buffet (it's been dishing out the goods since 1989), Govinda's is a community staple. Buffets usually mean heaping amounts of calorie-packed, mass-produced options, but here you get fresh, inventive food with a focus on healthful and taste. The offerings change often and are heavily influenced by Indian flavor, but you'll find a variety of global cuisines on any given day, whether it be eggplant Parmesan, enchiladas, or even BBQ.

Courtesy of WongWayVeg

WongWayVeg

Food truck

You've got to track down Lisa Wong and her mobile vegetarian kitchen to enjoy this food, but if you don't, you'll be missing out on some seriously tasty meals. The menu changes depending on where and when you catch her, but you'll always find the freshest in-season produce. Try some favorites like the jackfruit quesadilla, Boulder Philly (it comes complete with all the melty, cheesy gooeyness you crave), or seasonal grilled cheese and you'll soon you'll be stalking WongWayVeg around town.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Vital Root 3915 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212

Justin Cucci (Root Down, Linger, Ophelia's Electric Soapbox) is behind this fast-casual vegetarian eatery that's impressing palettes with playful flavors (try the charcoal coconut dosa), imaginative dishes (Devils on Unicorns, anyone?), and an inviting space that includes two patios and an herb garden made from colorful, upcycled cafeteria trays.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. WaterCourse Foods 837 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

WaterCourse has been serving up all-vegan fare since 1998. Open all day, it serves a variety of options, including hearty breakfasts like biscuits & gravy, and burritos with a vegan version of Denver's ubiquitous green chile. If you head in later, you'll find more reimagined comfort foods like Tofish'n'Chips and Beet Wellington, which let you satisfy your cravings guilt- and meat-free.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. True Food Kitchen 2800 E 2nd Ave, Ste 101, Denver, CO 80206

A haven for yogis, cross-fit addicts, and wellness gurus alike, this healthy-eating mecca is all about food that feels as good as it tastes. True Food Kitchen's menu is focused on vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free foods. Standout dishes include the quinoa burger topped with avocado, hummus, tomato, and feta, and the ancient grains bowl with miso-glazed sweet potato, turmeric, grilled portobello, and grass-fed steak. The entrees are as colorful as they are protein-packed, and the space is equally bright and lively. And because even the most wellness-minded folks need a drink every once in a while, the cocktail menu features concoctions like "farmers market sangria," topped with organic apples and pears.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Handy Diner 2958 N Downing St, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

On the cusp of Five Points and Whittier, Handy Diner is a favorite for homestyle vegan eats. The all-veg menu offers a handful of options done right, including chickpea fried steak, shepherd's pie, creative carrot "bacon," and baked goods. The low-key eatery might be tough to spot if you aren't looking for it, but it's more than worth seeking out (hint: the building that Handy's housed in is brightly painted in a few different colors).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. City, O' City 206 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 (Capitol Hill)

City, O' City, located in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood, is a vegetarian restaurant with a creative menu with novel twists on traditional dishes as well as its own creations. Independent, craft beers also contributes to this eatery's communal, personal touch.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Beet Box Bakery & Cafe 1030 E 22nd Ave, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

A small sandwich menu and selection of baked goods might not seem like much, but this under-the-radar vegan bakery proves that simple is often best. Sate your appetite with a cremini panini or score a savory croissant in varieties like curry cauliflower and black bean poblano, but be sure to save room for dessert. From muffins and donuts to delicious cakes, Beet Box offers a veggie-centric meal AND can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Govinda's 1400 Cherry St, Denver, CO 80220 (Hale)

Touted as Denver's oldest vegetarian buffet (it's been dishing out the goods since 1989), Govinda's is a community staple. Buffets usually mean heaping amounts of calorie-packed, mass-produced options, but here you get fresh, inventive food with a focus on health and taste. The offerings change often and are heavily influenced by Indian flavor, but you'll find a variety of global cuisines on any given day, whether it be eggplant Parmesan, enchiladas, or even BBQ.