Denver's first Vegan Restaurant Week arrives on Monday, May 13, thanks to Veganizer Den and VegFest Colorado. Restaurants both vegan and traditional are offering plant-based specials and multi-course meals through Sunday, May 19. Here are ten recommendations for a great dinner free of meat, dairy and eggs to help you celebrate your vegan lifestyle all week long. And it's not just restaurants; a number of food trucks are also getting into the plant-based spirit, including Migration Taco, SOS Catering, Sunshine Bowls, the Veggie Whisperer, WongWayVeg and the Veggie Yeti.
Adelitas Cocina y Cantina
1294 South Broadway
Adelitas Cocina y Cantina serves traditional fare from southwestern Mexico, and plant-based diners can enjoy portabello fajitas, veggie tacos and burritos, vegetable sopes and salsa flights. For Vegan Restaurant Week, the special is a vegan molcajete — summer squash, mushrooms, turnips, chayote squash, poblano peppers, carrots, corn, roasted tomatoes and roasted onions all served in a hot stone bowl with sizzling tomato-jalapeño sauce and warm tortillas.
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery
2298 Clat Street
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery is offering not only a three-course plant-based meal but is pairing each vegan option with a house beer. The cost is $45 for the multi-course meal and pairing or $35 for just the food. Up first is barbecued baby carrots with tofu labneh, toasted almond and smoked paprika oil. Course two is spring greens with sweet peas, arugula, asparagus, spring onion, snap peas and white balsamic sauce. Finish up with a portabello cap filled with garlic white bean stuffing and red quinoa pilaf topped with roasted-tomato vinaigrette.
1028 South Gaylord Street
With the success of its monthly vegan dinner series, Charcoal Bistro's entry into Vegan Restaurant Week is a natural fit. A $39 four-course tasting menu includes charred eggplant tostada with vegan feta cheese; baked cashew ricotta artichoke dip with kale chips; tortilla soup; and a chocolate pot de crème. If you’re not up for the whole menu, the entree special is spinach herbed-ricotta cappellacci.
Choice Market is serving vegan specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kick off your day with a quinoa breakfast bowl with JUST Egg, asparagus and salsa verde, or a coconut yogurt and blue-green algae bowl with dates and hemp granola. For lunch, the famous Impossible meat makes appearances in the burger and in meatballs in a couscous bowl. And a mushroom sandwich is topped with dairy-free cheddar, Fresno chiles, charred onions and vegan aioli.
2616 East Colfax Avenue
Saucy Bombay makes traditional Indian cuisine in a fast-casual setting. The Vegan Restaurant Week featured dish at Saucy Bombay is the Buddha Bowl, a mix of vegetables and garbanzo beans served with basmati rice, with your choice of tikka masala, korma, vindaloo, kadai, yellow lentil or spinach sauces. Any sauce, rice and veggie combo can be nestled in whole-wheat roti for an Indian burrito. Naan without butter and vegetable samosas are also vegan.
Concourse Restaurant Moderne
10195 East 29th Street
At Concourse, dine on a vegan four-course dinner for $35. Appetizers include maitake mushrooms and carrots grilled with yuzu, ponzu, celery curls and paprika oil; and pea soup with spiced coconut foam. Entrees include a choice of beluga lentil dal or char kway tao, made with tapioca noodles, mushroom, asparagus, snow peas and haricots verts.
Fire on the Mountain
3801 West 32nd Avenue
Fire on the Mountain is known for its spicy chicken wings, but veg options are plentiful. Wings and any protein in a sandwich can be swapped with cauliflower or seitan. Many of the sauces are also vegan: lime cilantro, Cajun dry rub, spicy peanut, bourbon chipotle, El Jefe, raspberry habanero and Jamaican jerk. Vegan Restaurant Week specials are fried mac-and-cheese balls with vegan sriracha ranch dressing, kale pesto pasta and jackfruit barbecue sandwiches with avocado ranch slaw.
Himchuli Indian and Nepal Cuisine
3489 West 32nd Avenue
The menu at Himchuli Indian and Nepal Cuisine is loaded with vegan options for Vegan Restaurant Week. Starters include dal soup, chickpea-battered veggies, roti, samosas and a salad with orange-mint dressing. Traditional meatless dishes are all served with basmati or brown rice, including sweet-potato tikka masala, bhindi masala and sweet cashew coconut cream korma.
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1062 East 16th Avenue, Broomfield
The Infinitus Pie (or just iPie for short) pizza menu has a handful of vegan gems with toppings, such as locally made Peaceful Rebel vegan cheese, Impossible Burger, and the house Bomb Sauce — a blend of red sauce, white sauce and sriracha. Augment these with a long list of veggie toppings, including green chile, banana peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, roast garlic and mushrooms.
Native Foods Cafe
680 South Colorado Boulevard
For Vegan Restaurant Week, Native Foods Cafe is offering a free housemade beverage with any entree order. Just mention Vegan Restaurant Week when you place your order. There are dozens of tasty meals to choose from; the grilled chicken sandwich is topped with smoked gouda cheese and crunchy parmesan truffle potato chips, and burgers are smothered in bold toppings from brisket-style seitan and barbecue sauce to jalapeño-pimento cheese and seitan bacon.