Biker Jim's vegan dog a meat-free alternative to his elk/duck/rattlesnake options

For a man who's known around the country for his meat-tastic fare served out of his original hot dog cart, Biker Jim is astoundingly sensitive to the needs of his non-meat-eating clientele. (His wife, we've heard, is vegan herself. How's that for a match made in heaven?)

Walking into his brick-and-mortar store, Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, on a recent cloudy lunch break, there weren't many people taking advantage of the patio dining, but plenty of eaters were noshing on dogs and brats of every variety -- and enjoying every bite, from the looks of it.

It's the kind of place where both a leather-clad biker or a Gucci-wearing CEO could be comfortable sitting down for a lunch break; the exposed brick walls have a big logo painted on one side, and the black decor and corrugated iron offer some clean, simple detailing inside.

It's a typical setup for those familiar with the fast-casual world: Place your order at the counter, receive a number, pick up your food when the number is called. The man working the register was a paragon of food-service virtue, asking whether we'd eaten there before (nope; virgins) and happily sharing his knowledge as to which menu items are vegetarian/vegan-friendly. As Jim's menu states, "vegans gotta eat too," thus there are two different versions of Jim's vegan dog up for grabs, one mild and one described as "herby and spicy with a bit of beer." Both versions are made in-house, and like all Jim's products, no high-fructose corn syrup or GMO cooking oil are used.

We tried the herby-and-spicy version, which was served on a bun with caramelized onions; the photo above was snapped after the dog paid a visit to the condiments bar and made friends with organic ketchup, Dijon mustard, sauerkraut and chopped onions. It tastes less like a hot dog than a sausage, but either way, Jim's done a bang-up job with this vegan dog: It's not super spicy, but the herbs and spices add a nice little kick, and you can always turn the heat up with jalapenos from the condiment bar.

On the side is a basket of Jim's charred tahini cauliflower, a recipe that the menu claims was stolen from Udi's; it's served with a small salad, too.

It's hard to say enough about the service at Jim's; you don't usually find such veggie-friendly attitudes at meat meccas, and the time and care taken to walk us through the menu was lovely. And although there are only two options for veggie-lovers (as opposed to the dozens of different meats on parade), the sides available are somewhat dizzying: the house-made French fries, fried green tomatoes, mac-and-cheese, housemade chips and side salads, plus several varieties of cheesecake, milkshakes and other desserts.

One last tip: We've heard the vegan dogs at Jim's can sell out pretty quickly some days, so come early for lunch or give them a buzz before you leave, so you don't set yourself up for disappointment.

Biker Jim's is at 2148 Larimer Street; call 720-746-9355 or visit

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen