This past year was a good one for vegan food in Denver, what with the opening of Nooch and the continued success of such events as VegFest and other regular gatherings of herbivores. And I reaped the rewards eating out for Veggie Girl, because local restaurants have really stepped up their game. Here are the five best meals I ate this year:
5. Vegan omakase dinner at TAG|RAW BAR Anytime a popular local restaurant rolls out a new multi-course vegetarian or vegan option, we're happy, and TAG|RAW BAR's omakase dinner is tasty, affordable and beautifully crafted. Here's hoping TAG continues to push the envelope when experimenting with plant-based foods.
4. Sahara Restaurant Mediterranean food is some of my favorite on the planet, and Sahara is one of the best places to get it in the city. The menu is marked with vegan-friendly options, too, so it's easy to relax and enjoy your meal.
3. The vegan pizza at the Marquis There is no better vegan pizza in Denver than the pie available at the Marquis's walk-up pizzeria. For one, it uses Denver Seitan Company wheat meat, which is so meaty and smoky you'll be shocked it's not actual meat. Add it to some vegan cheese on a thin, bubbly crust, and you've got a mouthful of heaven, my friends.
2. Tarasco's New Latin Cuisine This was also one of the last meals I ate in 2012, and everything about it was amazing, from the meaty grilled cactus to the perfectly prepared flautas. Tarasco's will be on my list of regular stops in 2013.
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1. WaterCourse Foods Harvest Dinner I knew as I walked out of the harvest dinner at WaterCourse that it would be the meal to beat in 2012, and if you look at the photos, you'll understand why. The menu was inspired by the Pacific Northwest and featured an array of mushrooms and wine imported from the region, beautifully paired with the dishes that chef Rachel Kesley dreamed up. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does this year!