Whether you’re seeking Meatless Monday alternatives or are a vegan veteran, our list has options for your preferred taste, atmosphere and budget, from a longtime Capitol Hill staple to a pair of food trucks to a spot specializing in plant-based sushi.
Here are the best vegan restaurants in Denver, in alphabetical order:
Bang Up to the Elephant!
1310 Pearl Street
Many island-inspired restaurants are reminiscent of breezy beach getaways, but few capture the vacationer’s free spirit like Bang Up To The Elephant! Vegan or not, all can appreciate the imaginative decor and laid-back vibe of this eatery, which is named for a Victorian phrase meaning “Well done.” Fortunately, this descriptor also applies to its menu, which comprises tropical cocktails and savory Caribbean flavors. The restaurant offers its own spin on classics, like the seitan Cubano, which is bolstered with added veggies. and plates like the cassareep rice bowl and coconut-chickpea curry, which are both nutrient-dense, filling and highly flavorful.
The Easy Vegan
675 South Broadway
The Easy Vegan, a food truck that also does regular pop-ups at its South Broadway kitchen, doesn’t subscribe to diet culture or take a particular stance on healthfulness. Rather, it celebrates plant-based cooking in all its forms, from globally inspired street food to plated prix fixe menus. Innovation is seen in such dishes as a recent kimchi melt and eye-catching pink-hued tacos. Other menu staples include creamy pastas and a pierogi platter, complete with vegan sour cream, caramelized onions, ruby kraut and cardamom-spiced applesauce.
3487 South Broadway, Englewood
An understated facade and simple “FT” signage belies Fellow Traveler’s airy, globally inspired interior, decorated with vintage world maps and pull-down images of iconic travel vistas to enliven the backdrop of your booth. The rotating food menu at our 2023 Best Vegan Restaurant pick includes transcontinental vegan delights, like a coconut curry aloo gobi, green chile chilaquiles, pineapple fried rice and a mixed street taco plate filled with the flavors of ingredients such as Thai curry-marinated tofu. The back bar is also an international affair, with deep dives into Mexico’s mezcals, a Malört tasting flight, and bottles of limoncello that are made in-house by co-owner Joe Philips and available for sale to take home.
5505 West 20th Avenue, Edgewater
This stall at Edgewater Public Market debuted in late 2021 and has since captured the attention of Denver vegans and meat-eaters alike. It highlights local produce through seasonal New American dishes, with current “warmth” menu options like mushroom gnocchi and a root-vegetable Reuben. Its shareable polenta fries come with walnut-sausage Bolognese and plant-based Parmesan, and the smashed sunchokes and beets are equally crispy. “Plants forever” is the restaurant’s ethos, and here, whole foods are undoubtedly the star of the show.
Make It Vegan
790 Kipling Street
A rotating menu keeps things interesting for fans of Make It Vegan, which opened just over a year ago on the west side of the city. Recurring favorites include its Rueben, Caprese panini, and Italian “ham” and cheese, all served with chips or a generous side salad. Saucy pastas and daily specials round out the sandwich menu, as does its meal prep program. As many aspiring and longtime vegans can attest, plant-based cooking can often be time-consuming. Make It Vegan addresses this challenge with delicious take-and-bake meals like mushroom fajitas, country-fried seitan steak and gravy, hearty stews and more.
911 East Colfax Avenue
Vegans seeking by-the-slice pizza in Denver must pay a visit to Mora Pizza. The East Colfax eatery opened in March, but already had a following thanks to its out-of-the-box creations. Options include the pasta-topped lasagna slice and baked ziti pizza with a garlic knot crust. Even its more traditional varieties take a maximalist approach, with garden vegetables and barbecue “chicken” piled on high. Its thick calzones, stromboli and sub sandwiches are equally mouthwatering.
Next Level Burger
1605 East Evans Avenue
Next Level Burger was founded in Oregon in 2014 and brought its first Colorado outpost to the University of Denver neighborhood in 2022. When it debuted, we were impressed with the large variety of options on its menu. The vegan fast-food chain grills up several plant-based burgers, some of which resemble meat (think Beyond Burger) and others that lean into whole ingredients, like the chipotle black bean patty and housemade quinoa and mushroom patty. Toppings include plant-based cheeses, tempeh bacon and organic veggies, which combine into more than a dozen options. Several Chik’n sandwiches add even greater variety, as do the salads, snacks and sides like coleslaw, three-bean chili and fry baskets drenched in creamy “chz.” Complete the experience with a decadent hand-spun milkshake made with coconut or soy soft serve.
1165 South Broadway
Somebody People was our 2022 pick for the Best Vegan Restaurant in Denver. It doesn’t identify itself as vegan on its website or on social media, and it skips the processed meat substitutes. Instead, the eatery fully focused on highlighting the flavors of whole foods, with items like cabbage that comes dressed in garlic aioli, horseradish, pickled mustard seed and chiles, creating a beautifully complex dish. From rigatoni to risotto, the same can be said for its housemade pastas. Pair all of this with natural wines, and finish the meal with vegan desserts that rival those of any traditional bakery. Sister restaurant Everyday Pizza, which opened last year, is also a standout in the vegan dining scene.
837 East 17th Avenue
Watercourse Foods was the city’s first fully vegan eatery. For more than two decades, it’s served plant-based, sustainable renditions of classic comfort foods. Weekend brunch favorites include breakfast empanadas with scratch-made “eggs” and lion’s mane mushroom “fried chicken” with fluffy biscuits. Its truffle fries pair well with any lunch entree, like its breaded buffalo tofu sandwich and oyster mushroom po’ boy. Try the popular seitan Cuban sandwich at happy hour, or opt for a wholesome dinner bowl. Options include beluga lentils with sweet potato-carrot arancini, or a mix of green veggies with savory pesto risotto.
2504 East Colfax Avenue
In 2019, Wellness Sushi started as a catering and delivery company, but quickly gained recognition for its vegan sushi and Japanese fare. Now with a brick-and-mortar in Congress Park, it uses fresh vegetables and plant-based seafood alternatives to create rolls that resemble popular options in appearance and flavor. For example, the Krunchy Krab takes inspiration from a California roll, combining avocado, cucumber and a tofu-based “crab” salad. Nearly a dozen maki rolls are on the menu as well, complemented by other rice-based options like origiri, aburi oshi and donburi bowls. Ramen and small plates are also available, with the shiitake-stuffed tofu and grilled vegetable gyoza being crowd favorites.
1460 Leyden Street
WongWayVeg welcomes all into the vegan fold with its tasty, approachable creations. The food truck makes appearances at various locations and events, but it also offers pickup from its kitchen at the Art Gym. The menu changes often but never disappoints, with globally inspired bites like steamed bao buns, street tacos and its popular Chik’n and Waffle plate with spicy maple syrup. Also not to be missed are WongWay’s sweet treats such as vegan doughnut holes, bread puddings and pop tarts, all of which satisfy without the use of butter and cream.