Hi everyone!! As you may or may not know, I’m a writer for CU Boulder Spoon, and I wrote this article recently. Decided to publish it on the blog, per popular request, AND I added in an extra spot per extra demand 😉 Take a wild guess as to what it is… 😉 here’s the post- hope you enjoy!
True life- the reason I came to the University of Colorado, Boulder was for the food. When I toured the school my sophomore year of high school, all I wanted to do was try out every restaurant in the town! Well, after a semester and a half here, I’ve narrowed down the 10 best vegetarian and/or vegan restaurants in Boulder, aka the greatest town for all things healthy food.
This place is number one on my list for so many reasons, and you guys know that I go here regularly. While they do offer meat lovers dishes, their vegetarian and vegan options are too die for. For starters, they have DREAMY sweet brunch options, like their lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes and brioche french toast. When it comes to their vegan options, “the vegan” house specialty, with tempeh (cooked to perfection!), avocado, arugula, sautéed spinach, eggplant caponata, pinto beans, and a homemade almond romesco sauce is too die for. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Smoked Salmon Benedict- UNREAL. It’s a little more far out, but it’s only a mile from the Boulder Campus.
Zeal is like Instagram came to life and turned into a restaurant. Their menu is unique and filled with plant based, vegetarian and vegan options. It is on the pricier side, but all their ingredients are high quality, non GMO, and as close to home as possible. The wait isn’t long either, so it’s a great quick, healthy bite. I cannot recommend the Conscious Kale salad (with the tahini dressing!) and the Conscious Garden Wrap enough- absolutely delicious! Zeal is in the heart of Boulder, so you won’t have a problem finding it.
Modern Market is my GO-TO for healthy, quick vegetarian and vegan meals. If you’re flown into the Denver Airport in the Southwest terminal, then I’m sure you’ve seen their pop-up stand. Their full menu is to die for, and they have a variety of options. If you’re feeling like pizza, their Crimini Kale pizza (vegan!) is a must. For sandwiches, you cannot go wrong with the Eggplant Goat or Blueberry Pesto (life changing). It’s in the middle of a giant shopping plaza, surrounded by a Verizon store and shoe store, so like Zeal, it’ll be easy to find.
Alpine Modern Cafe
I’m pretty sure all Boulder students know this one. Your friends have probably snapchatted their aesthetically pleasing avocado toast or their delicious latté’s, so I won’t spend too much time on this place. It’s a petite cafe located near Chautauqua, with the most delicious toast (homemade, rustic and hearty bread!) and decadent pastries. Take your friends here, order some good food, and have an Instagram photoshoot while you’re at it.
Guys, this place is a MUST if you go to CU Boulder, live on the Hill, and/or just want a healthy meal. All their bowls are hearty and filled with flavor (my favorite being the thai peanut with brown rice and tofu), and everything is a very reasonable price. Most of their options are vegetarian and/or vegan friendly, so it’s customizable to any diet. It’s right on the hill near the CVS and across from the Starbucks, so it’s not hard to find. Plus, if you’re a CU student, it’s included on the Flatiron meal plan!
If you want a fancier, more spruced up meal, then The Kitchen is the place for you. It’s right on Pearl Street in-between a handful of restaurants, but it’s really not that hard to spot. There is usually a waiting list, so I recommend calling ahead, but I cannot recommend this place enough! All their food is farm to table and made with local, unique ingredients. Plus, their menu changes seasonally. I love the Cure Farm Delicata Squash & Burrata right now from their dinner menu, as well as the Little Gem salad.
Guys, Leaf is the REAL DEAL. Like the Kitchen, you will need to call ahead for a reservation, but it’s 200% worth it. All their food is unique, made with love, and delicious. It’s similar to Zeal, but fancier and more spruced up. I love the jackfruit enchilada’s (YUP) or the Udon Noodles- you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Sorry vegans, but this place isn’t really for you. BUT, if you’re vegetarian and looking for some delicious, unique options, then Ado’s Kitchen is perfect for you. Don’t go into here expecting a light meal- everything is fried, batter, and coated, but it’s to perfection and necessary. I love coming here when I want some straight up comfort food, and I always leave extremely satisfied. I get their pad thai (without chicken), or their stuffed Chayote squash- UNREAL.
We’re coming back to the hill with this one, because we all need some tacos in our life! Taco Junky is perfect for those who want to try out a variety of tacos, and don’t mind spending a bit. It’s right next to Boss Lady Pizza (the best pizza EVER) on the hill, and is usually packed, so I recommend calling ahead. But, their menu is filled with unique options like the Maddie 2.0 ( tempura avocado, dill yoghurt, pickled grape, fennel, candied walnut). You can get a handful of tacos that you can easily customize to be vegan or vegetarian, and leave satisfied with a happy belly.
We’re rounding out the list with a quality brunch place, just like we started. Foolish Craig’s is perfect for anyone craving a hearty, homestyle brunch, but they’re very vegan and vegetarian friendly! Featuring a variety of crepes (my favorite- the Whole Thing Crepe), tofu scrambles, decident eggs benedict, and a delicious black bean burger, there are plenty of options for everyone.
Boss Lady Pizza
Per popular demand, I’m including Boss Lady Pizza, because not only is it the best pizza in Boulder, but it’s also where I get the pizza I always share! Their pizza combo’s are too die for (um, Mac n cheese anyone?), and there prepared vegan pizza’s are delicious (I love the Elsa!) I make my own pizza on line and have it delivered to me, so the dish I always share is custom made 😉 They have SO many delicious slices that are massive and relatively cheap- truly the best around. Similar to the Corner and Taco Junky, it’s right on the Hill, so all college kids know exactly where it is.
Finding vegan and vegetarian in Boulder is easier than pie, and these are the ten best restaurants for that. Spoiler: it’s Boulder, so you can get vegan food almost anywhere, BUT these are the best. Also, most of these places are pretty budget friendly, so they’re perfect for all the college kids (*cough* me *cough).
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