Sure, vegans might be passionately concerned about the environment, animal welfare and health, but we like a good party just as much as the next person. Get yours started early while taking advantage of a great deal at these happy hours — all of which offer tasty plant-based options for snacking while sipping.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
1616 16th Street
Happy Hour: Monday through Saturday from 3 to 6:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10:30 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
A sushi bar isn't the most obvious choice for vegan dining, but happy hour at this downtown spot includes edamame, a house salad topped with crispy wonton strips, crispy Brussels sprouts tossed in a creamy lemon miso sauce, and chili nasu, which is broiled eggplant in a lemon miso sauce and crispy sweet potatoes. For happy-hour dessert, the chocolate torte is totally vegan; chocolate ganache is topped with coconut milk layered with toasted coconut and cashew, all served with raspberry sorbet. Drink specials include an eight-ounce pour of hot Gekkeikan sake for $6, a Kirin sake bomb for $3.50, and Kirin drafts for $3.50.
City, O’ City
206 East 13th Avenue
Happy Hour: Daily from 2 to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Happy hour is also comfort-food time at this vegan staple. Savor a hearty poutine — fries topped with flavorful gravy and cheese curds (which you can swap out for vegan cheese) — or seitan wings tossed in either Buffalo or barbecue sauce and served with ranch dressing. Tacos are just $2 each, and drinks are $2 off.
Fresh Thymes Eatery
2500 30th Street, #101, Boulder
Happy Hour: Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.
Fresh Thymes isn't entirely vegetarian, but the restaurant/market keeps plant-based eaters in mind, even during happy hour. Grilled tempeh wings are marinated in the signature riot wing sauce, and the tempeh train continues with Yucatan tempeh tacos — or choose an order of flatbread fritters. Happy hour drops the price of select red or white wines to just $5 a glass and $1 off all beers.
Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant
2010 16th Street, Boulder
Happy Hour: Daily from 3 to 6 p.m.
There are plenty of vegan options at this health-focused Boulder restaurant. “Crab” cake sliders, samosa potato cakes, Buffalo cauliflower tacos with "bleu cheese," fries, crispy harissa tofu, and mushroom burger sliders with pepper jelly are all tasty options. For an additional item, just ditch the feta on the grilled flatbread with beet hummus.
2030 West 30th Avenue
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.
Kick things off with a Great Divide Titan IPA or other local brew for $5, or wine or a cocktail for $6. Request the Mongolian barbecue and samosa buns to be made vegan, or opt for the zucchini baba ganoush. Round it out with a roasted-beet salad and sweet-potato waffle fries with chipotle ketchup. The happy hour menu is available on the rooftop or at the bar.
1600 West 33rd Avenue
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Sit in the bar to enjoy such happy-hour bites as veggie burger sliders topped with jalapeño jam, pickled red onions, sprout salad and Dijon mustard. Other options include artichoke hummus with taro chips; roasted baby beets with sunflower-seed pesto; and sweet-potato fries. Save money on drinks with $4 beers, $6 wines and $6 cocktails.
3915 Tennyson Street
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.
One thing you'll never find at Vital Root is meat, making it a real score on Tennyson Street. You can also score $1 off beers during happy hour and $5 wines and cocktails. Eats are super-cheap with $2 tacos, either with avocado or made banh mi-style, with edamame pâté, lemongrass tofu and pickled vegetables. The Korean barbecue veggie “wings,” which are made with smoked broccoli and cauliflower, are just $3.
837 East 17th Avenue
Happy Hour: Daily from 3 to 6 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 10 to 11 p.m.
Watercourse is 100 percent vegan all the time, so it's a natural for vegan happy-hour seekers. Select appetizers are available for half price. Wings, either crispy cauliflower or seitan, are smothered in Memphis barbecue, Buffalo or Korean barbecue sauce and served with pickled veggies and ranch, "blue cheese" or peanut sauce. Nachos are loaded with tempeh chorizo or barbecue jackfruit, "cheddar cheese" sauce, refried black beans, avocado crème and tortilla chips.
1710 Pearl Street, Boulder
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Zeal calls its menu "food for enthusiasts," and vegans will be enthusiastic about the happy-hour choices here. All of Zeal's happy-hour small plates are $5, or choose 3 for $13. There are four vegan options: cauliflower wings with your choice of diavolo or a housemade BBQ sauce, a hummus plate with quinoa crackers, carrot falafel with lemon tahini sauce, or a grilled Caesar with Brazil-nut “parm.” At the bar, you'll find wine on tap for $7 and local beers on tap for $4.
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