Breakfast could be the toughest meal of the day for plant-based eaters. With meat, cheese and eggs off the menu, that doesn't leave much beyond toast (no butter) and fruit (no yogurt). But Cafe Europa still manages to cater to the vegan breakfast crowd.
When we approached Cafe Europa this past Sunday morning, every table on the patio was occupied. Couples had parked their dogs just beyond the fence while they grabbed a bite; parents bounced babies on their laps while they attempted to eat. The line in front of the counter stretched all the way to the door -- but it moved quickly, with about half the customers ordering a quick drink (hangover cure?) and scooting away. And while the patio was packed, there was plenty of room inside, where we could sit sipping coffee and perusing the art on the walls while waiting for breakfast to be served.
The breakfast menu has something for just about everyone. Cafe Europa serves soy and almond milk, as well as the typical cow's variety. For meat eaters, dishes feature chorizo, bacon, sausage and ham, served in a variety of ways. But there are also vegetarian versions of Cafe Europa's breakfast sandwich, three out of the four scramble/omelette options are veggie-friendly, and two different vegan breakfast meals are offered.
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The Hobo Potatoes (potatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, spinach and cheddar) can be ordered with either eggs and tofu (or both); vegans should hold the cheddar and opt for the tofu. We went with the breakfast burrito, pictured above, which features tumeric-seasoned tofu, egg-like in color, and potatoes (hold the cheese) smothered with a generous ladle of vegan green chile and salsa. It was everything you could want in a breakfast burrito: delicious and so big it was a struggle to finish -- but when something's that good, you don't give up.
Denver takes its fast-casual burritos very seriously; while Cafe Europa might not dish up its version as fast as Chipotle does, that's not a bad thing. It just means you have more time to sip an almond latte and watch the world go by.
Have a favorite veggie dish we should know about? E-mail it to Veggie Girl.