Best of Denver

Denver's Ten Best Vegan Burgers for Your Plant-Based Summer Dining

Going vegan doesn't mean missing out on a good burger.
Going vegan doesn't mean missing out on a good burger. Courtesy TAG Burger Bar
Everyone craves a good, hearty burger at times, and vegans are no exception. But it’s not that easy to find a well-made vegan burger. Many restaurants throw a token veggie burger on the menu, but it’s often made with cheese or eggs — or it’s just not very good. These spots are doing it right and doing it totally dairy-free.

click to enlarge Head to Westminster if the downtown 5280 Burger Bar is a little too noisy for you. - MARK ANTONATION
Head to Westminster if the downtown 5280 Burger Bar is a little too noisy for you.
Mark Antonation
5280 Burger Bar
500 16th Street, 303-825-1020
4301 Main Street, Westminster, 720-887-5970
5280burgerbar.com

5280 Burger Bar started simply from a love of burgers, and even the Tree Hugger gets the same attention as the meatier options, with a housemade quinoa patty loaded with grilled zucchini and seasonal squash. Ask for a lettuce wrap to keep it dairy-free (5280 makes its own brioche-style burger buns, so unfortunately there's not a vegan bun in the house). Spice it up with additional toppers, including grilled chiles, pico de gallo or avocado.

click to enlarge BurgerFi offers a vegan special in a fast-casual environment. - WESTWORD
BurgerFi offers a vegan special in a fast-casual environment.
Westword
BurgerFi
1147 Broadway
720-390-5047
burgerfi.com

BurgerFi is a modern fast-casual joint serving burgers, fries and onion rings. While the house veggie patty is not totally vegan, the hearty Beyond Burger is. The juicy plant-based patty is topped with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions. Order yours without cheese and mayo to keep it vegan.

You can't go wrong with vegan dining at City, O' City. - WESTWORD
You can't go wrong with vegan dining at City, O' City.
Westword
City, O' City
206 East 13th Avenue
303-831-6443
cityocitydenver.com

Of course the quintessential Denver veg hot spot is going to have a must-try vegan burger. Called El Jefe, this one starts with a burger patty made from vegetables, sunflower seeds and walnuts. It’s then loaded with sautéed mushrooms, onion rings, hot sauce and scrambled tofu, and served with your choice of a side.


click to enlarge Plant-based eaters get the late-night munchies, too. - WESTWORD
Plant-based eaters get the late-night munchies, too.
Westword
Highland Tap & Burger
2219 West 32nd Avenue
720-287-4493
highlandtapdenver.com

Highland Tap & Burger serves an extensive beer menu and late-night menu options, including a few meatless selections. For the vegan burger option, the Impossible patty is completed with arugula, smashed avocado and fresh jalapeños. Wash it all down with a variety of local drafts, such as the Odell IPA, Great Divide's Colette or Comrade Brewing's Mandarina.

click to enlarge Hopdoddy's vegan burger. - KRISTEN KUCHAR
Hopdoddy's vegan burger.
Kristen Kuchar
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
1747 Wynkoop Street
303-446-2337
hopdoddy.com

Right in the midst of the bustling action at Union Station sits Hopdoddy Burger Bar, with a list of burgers and fries alongside local beers on tap. A meat-like Impossible patty is topped with lettuce, tomato and white onion. When you order, say “Make it vegan” to swap out the regular housemade bun for an egg- and dairy-free whole-wheat number and ditch the Sassy Sauce in favor of vegan mayo. Your cheese craving will be satisfied by a slice of dairy-free Follow Your Heart smoked gouda.



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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.