The article reports that the People's Republic is home to one vegetarian-related business for every 2,329 people. And while the rest of Colorado didn't fare as well on the list, Fort Collins and Denver still ranked among the top fifty, with Fort Collins, at number 26, offering one veg business per 3,930 people and Denver, number 29, with one per 4,097.
Helping Boulder achieve its meat-free status are eateries that offer either completely vegan or vegetarian menus or serve a significant number of plant-based dishes, including Shine Restaurant & Potion Bar, Native Foods, Jill’s Restaurant, Fresh Thymes Eatery, Thrive and Leaf Vegetarian, just to name a handful of popular spots.
Sara Stewart Martinelli, owner of Leaf, says she couldn’t ask for a better community in which to run a vegetarian restaurant than Boulder. “We love the lifestyle of the community and the way that people are active, healthy and eco-savvy,” she says.
Martinelli says Boulder is probably one of the most health-conscious spots in the U.S., and most people are concerned with what they put into their bodies. “People in Boulder also tend to be environmentally conscious, so they consider the effect of their diet on the environment and how eating a meatless meal can help,” she says.
Next Door American Eatery, a restaurant that offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan options on its standard menu, says that Next Door's roasted-veggie bowl is one of the top-selling dishes. The hearty dish is made with roasted crimini mushrooms, charred broccolini, bell pepper, cauliflower, caramelized onion, organic local tri-color quinoa, sunflower seeds and vegan cilantro tahini dressing. Other popular veg options include the beet burger with arugula, balsamic onion and feta, and a vegan-friendly Impossible Burger topped with mushrooms, roasted onion and Thousand Island dressing.
Boulder’s healthy lifestyle and geographic location present just the right combination for vegan culture, according to Jill's general manager Philippe Antoine. "Since we started offering our vegan lunch buffet every Friday as well as our Monday night vegan tasting menus, we have received great feedback from our guests," Antoine says. "Monday and Friday are completely sold out most of the time, and the clientele keeps growing.”
As far as what’s next for the Boulder vegetarian scene, Martinelli says it’s hard to predict. “One thing we're planning to focus on is expanding the global flavors of vegetarian food so that we can explore the many cultures that have embraced meatless cuisine,” she says.
Other cities that made the top ten include Richmond, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; Orlando, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Savannah, Georgia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The only cities to beat out Boulder were Charleston, South Carolina, and Berkeley, California, which ranked first and second, respectively.