Eight Restaurants and Bars for Football and Vegan Fare

Eight Restaurants and Bars for Football and Vegan Fare
Football season is under way, and is always a good excuse to keep the weekend party going. While chicken wings and nachos loaded with beef and cheese are synonymous with game day, you might find it harder to track down plant-based options to accompany your football viewing. Here are eight bars and restaurants geared toward Sunday football action that also serve some great vegan dishes. (Now we just need to talk to the NFL about that pigskin...)

click to enlarge ViewHouse makes sure vegan guests are welcome on game day. - AARON THACKERAY
ViewHouse makes sure vegan guests are welcome on game day.
Aaron Thackeray


2015 Market Street, 720-878-2015
7101 South Clinton Street, Centennial, 303-790-8440
2680 West Main Street, Littleton 303-797-4829

ViewHouse airs not only every NFL game, but all college games, as well. For day games, the hearty vegan quinoa burger is topped with fried green tomato, avocado, red onion, spring mix lettuce, cilantro-lime vinaigrette and vegan harissa aioli, served on an Udi’s gluten-free bun. Drink deals include $5 cocktails, $4 beers or mimosas and $6 Bloody Marys. For night games, the stuffed zucchini is filled with mushrooms, quinoa, potatoes, tomatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds and a red onion jam. Plus, any of the bowls can be made vegan by swapping in portobello mushrooms for meat.

click to enlarge Football and food go hand in hand at RiNo Beer Garden. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Football and food go hand in hand at RiNo Beer Garden.
Danielle Lirette

RiNo Beer Garden

3800 Walnut Street

With a 4,000-square-foot outdoor patio with twelve 65-inch televisions, fire pits and sixty beers on tap, RiNo Beer Garden is a great spot to catch all of the Sunday games. For eats, the vegan power bowl contains sautéed zucchini, red pepper, yellow squash, mushroom, onions, carrot, chickpeas, quinoa and guacamole. The spaghetti squash with pistachio pesto is also vegan, as well as sweet-potato fries, regular fries, guacamole and chips and salsa.

click to enlarge COURTESY THIRSTY LION
Courtesy Thirsty Lion

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill

1605 Wynkoop Street, 303-623-0316

Thirsty Lion & Gastropub Grill opens bright and early at 10 a.m. on Saturdays for all of the college games and on Sundays for NFL games. The Impossible burger is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and dill pickles, and the falafel wrap is mixed with chipotle hummus, cucumber, arugula, pickled red onion, olives and red pepper (ditch the yogurt sauce). Swap cauliflower for chicken in the orange chicken or kung pao chicken to make them vegan, too. For snacks, the garlic-sesame edamame are sautéed and coated in a soy glaze.

click to enlarge Pizza is a great vegan option at Esters. - ESTERS
Pizza is a great vegan option at Esters.

Esters Neighborhood Pub

1950 South Holly Street, 303-955-4904
2201 Oneida Street, 303-997-4173

Esters opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for all of your football-viewing pleasure. Choose your own pizza toppings, starting with either the housemade marinara, San Marzano sauce or garlic olive oil. Opt for the vegan cheese and meat substitutes such as blackened tofu and Beyond Meat Italian sausage. There are a variety of elevated veggies to top your pie, such as roasted eggplant, dried figs, roasted squash, asparagus, roasted herb potatoes, zucchini and roasted garlic. There’s also a pumpkin curry that's vegan.

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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.