Whether you consider it a late breakfast or an early lunch, brunch is on the weekend agenda for tens of thousands of Denverites. A menu where bacon and eggs are the stars of the show doesn’t seem a likely space for plant-based eaters; however, we found some surprising spots serving hearty vegan brunch items — not just a bowl of oatmeal or fruit. Here are ten places where vegans can indulge in the city's tastiest and trendiest brunches.
1701 Wynkoop Street (and multiple other locations)
Snooze is one of Colorado’s most popular breakfast spots (with nine in-state locations), for good reason: great food, creative drinks and a fun atmosphere. Any egg item on the menu can be swapped with tofu, so options are plentiful. Breakfast tacos come with crumbled, flavorful tofu, hash browns and pico de gallo, and you can add soyrizo to give them some extra spice. Load the breakfast burrito with your choice of veggies — poblano peppers, wild mushroom, spinach, tomato, avocado and more — in addition to the tofu, black beans, pico and hash browns.
3 South Broadway
Sputnik is a great spot for a big group since the kitchen is adept at both standard and vegan cooking. Tofu replaces eggs in a handful of brunch dishes, like the hangover scramble, breakfast burrito and the South Broadway, which also has mushroom chorizo, potatoes, veggies and greens. A dish called Stacks of Vegan Power comprises quinoa cakes with a roasted garlic sauce and avocado.
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
1215 20th Street
Ophelia’s isn't completely vegan, but its vegetable-forward menu is inspired by dishes from all over the world. Arepas Benedict, plantains and "nacho flatbread" can all be made vegan on request. Don't miss the soyrizo tofu quiche, made with herb tofu, barbecue black beans and smoked sweet potatoes, with a radicchio salad on the side. Complete the brunch experience with blood-orange bottomless mimosas.
837 East 17th Avenue
Watercourse is vegan-only and has all the classic breakfast options — breakfast sandwiches with tofu bacon, breakfast burritos, pancakes, French toast and waffles — every day. But on the weekends, the Uptown eatery rolls out a separate brunch menu, with cream cheese and strawberry-stuffed French toast and a Southern-fried “chicken” (actually cauliflower) and waffle topped with sweet chile-bacon jam, among many other delicious bites honed over years of serving Denver's plant-based community.
3915 Tennyson Street
This compact Berkeley joint is almost entirely vegan, so customers can relax and enjoy coconut quinoa pancakes served with a blueberry-lemon compote, and overnight oats steeped in coconut almond milk with vanilla and fruit. Savory options include banh mi breakfast tacos with edamame pâté, pickled veggies, cucumber and tofu, or a curried tofu scramble with home fries.
1600 West 33rd Avenue
Brunch cocktails are plentiful at Root Down, with all the classics: mimosas (bottomless, if you’d like), rosé and bloody Marys, among others. Add to brunch-time satisfaction while keeping it meatless with tofu substituted in egg entrees like scrambled tofu “paneer” and the breakfast burrito (sub soyrizo for chorizo and ditch the cheese). The burrito is smothered in a flavorful dark mole and pico de gallo. There also also salads and veggie-burger sliders with jalapeño jam.
2010 16th Street, Boulder
Almost everything on this vegetarian restaurant’s menu is vegan or can easily be made vegan (for lunch and dinner as well). Classic items made vegan include biscuits and gravy, chocolate doughnuts, tofu rancheros and French toast. There’s also a tempeh and tofu “crab” cake sandwich, a seitan or tempeh Reuben, and an “egg” sandwich made with housemade meatless sausage.
1030 East 22nd Avenue
All of the pastries at Beet Box — whether cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, scones or muffins — are made without dairy or egg, and many are also gluten-free. And if you want something savory, grab a spinach croissant, tomato pesto tart or green onion gluten-free scone. The chickpea frittata and smoked tempeh breakfast sandwich are available until 11 a.m., but there are plenty of tasty sandwiches available after that, including a crimini panini, tofu banh mi and an avocado melt with cashew cream cheese.
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3073 Walnut Street, Boulder
Tucked into a little strip mall in Boulder, the Walnut Cafe serves traditional homespun fare with reasonable prices. For the Boulder scramble, tofu, tomato, onion, mushroom and spinach are served with two sides. The tempeh skillet is a mix of tempeh, potato, tomato, onion and mushroom. Plus you can sub the cheese in any dish for vegan soy cheese and add on vegan sausage.
300 South Public Road, Lafayette, 303-443-5100
2777 Iris Avenue, Boulder, 303-443-2333
Get up with the roosters or sleep in a little, because brunch is served from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at both locations of Tangerine. One of the house specialties is the Vegan: tempeh, avocado, eggplant caponata, pinto beans, sautéed spinach and fresh arugula with an almond romesco sauce and walnut pesto. It’s all served with Yukon Gold home fries. For something lighter, the housemade granola includes nuts, dried fruits and cashew cream.