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

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click to enlarge This one's completely legal. - COURTESY ILLEGAL BURGER
This one's completely legal.
Courtesy Illegal Burger
Illegal Burger
1512 Larimer Street (and other locations)

The Illegal Burger menu is filled with all-natural ingredients, and each location of the small Colorado chain is decked out with sustainable decor. The house vegan burger is a protein-packed black bean patty topped with creamy avocado, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato and red onions served on a whole wheat bun. Finish it off with fresh jalapeños, pineapple, grilled onions or peppers and barbecue sauce for a zingy and satisfying meal.

Native Foods Cafe
680 South Colorado Boulevard

Native Foods Cafe is a plant-based chain serving hearty versions of bar food, including nachos, chicken wings, a meatball sub and a handful of burgers. The Big Ol’ BBQ Burger is a “meaty” patty loaded with seitan bacon, crispy shallots, tangy barbecue sauce, ranch, lettuce and mayo. The Southwestern Burger is topped with grilled jalapeños, guacamole and Santa Fe salsa. Both are served with seasoned fries, lemon-dill potato salad, mac and cheese or another tasty side of your choosing.

Park Burger
1890 South Pearl Street (and other locations)

Park Burger is Denver's family-friendly burger joint — whether your family is in Platt Park, Highland, Hilltop or RiNo. The Veggie Park Burger is your go-to for a meat- and dairy-free option; the full flavor and toothsome texture come from a blend of grains and vegetables. Top it the way you want it for an all-American classic minus the moo. Sweet-potato fries, regular fries and some crisp house salads round out the vegan options.

click to enlarge Going vegan doesn't mean missing out on a good burger. - COURTESY TAG BURGER BAR
Going vegan doesn't mean missing out on a good burger.
Courtesy TAG Burger Bar
TAG Burger Bar
1222 Madison Street

TAG Burger Bar feels hidden in Congress Park, but the atmosphere is like the neighborhood's backyard burger party. The housemade veggie patty comes topped with arugula, avocado and tomato. Choose the naked option (on butter lettuce) or have it on a locally made gluten-free bun, and skip the goat cheese that's part of the standard setup.

Where else but Watercourse? - COURTESY WATERCOURSE FOODS
Where else but Watercourse?
Courtesy Watercourse Foods
Watercourse Foods
837 East 17th Avenue

Watercourse is vegan comfort food at its finest, where you'll find a long list of add-ons to keep your burger fresh no matter how many times a week you visit. Top the flavorful seitan patty with a choice of tofu bacon, crispy onions, mozzarella, arugula, mushrooms, red onion jam, sour cream, green chile, barbecue sauce or cheddar sauce, plus the usual suspects — lettuce, tomato and onion. There's no meat, eggs or dairy in the house, so you'll never need to substitute.
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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.