Is Native Foods Cafe the Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Denver? That's what we named it in the Best of Denver 2014, when the California-based chain had two spots in the metro area, in CitySet and Boulder. And now Denver's about to get more of a good thing, when Native Foods Cafe opens its third metro spot at 2023 South Colorado Boulevard this morning. See also: Why Native Foods Cafe is the Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Denver And two more Native Foods locations will soon open in Denver West and Denver Pavilions.
Why did we give the Best Vegetarian Restaurant award to a chain, albeit a very conscientious one, out of California? Here's what the judges had to say:
Native Foods creates a high hurdle for its kitchen by operating as an entirely plant-based (aka vegan) restaurant -- so there's no egg or dairy in any of the recipes. But the menu is still full of ambitious, well-executed dishes. I've taken more than one meat-eater to Native Foods, and on my most recent visit, a meat-eating relative proclaimed that her meal was the best she'd had for as long as she could remember -- and then she said she'd eat every meal at Native Foods if she could. I've never heard such an endorsement for any other vegetarian restaurant from a carnivore.
Not only is the food consistently delicious, but the service shines: You hardly have to look up at Native Foods before someone will bring you a drink refill or ask if there's anything else you need. Combined with the dishes coming out of the kitchen, that service pushed Native Foods over the top.
It's possible that the all-new (to Denver, at least), all-vegan Native Foods looks all bright and shiny now, but with time the service will slow and the kitchen will get tired. We'll be watching -- and eating. As for all the other vegetarian spots in town, there's always next year.
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Find out more about Native Foods Cafe here.