Reader: Don't Grieve for Native Foods, Because Plant-Based Places Are Popping Up

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Native Foods Cafe, which got its start in California in 1994, came into Colorado strong two decades later, winning our Best Vegetarian Restaurant award in the Best of Denver 2014. But over the last year three of its local locations have closed — including spots on the 16th Street Mall and South Colorado Boulevard — leaving just the original Colorado location in Boulder and a second outpost at CitySet in Glendale. Says Maria:

So disappointed to hear this.

 Adds David:

My wife and I love Native Foods! However, we only eat there a couple of times a year. Oh, and we get our Vegan Wellington from them for Thanksgiving. Native Foods does a great job of replicating unhealthy, animal food-based dishes; I have never had better. However, in the end it is not health food and we feel it is good for a treat but not on a regular basis. When Native Foods was founded, their menu was exactly what plant-based eaters were looking for. Today the trend is to healthier high-carb, low-fat meals, which the Native Foods business model does not address well. I wish them all the luck going forward...and please don't close the Boulder cafe.

Then there's this optimistic news from Ellen:

Happily, new plant-based restaurants are popping up, so we don't have to grieve. Handy Diner at 30th and Downing, and a soul food restaurant at 30th and Albion opens next month. We also have WaterCourse on 17th, which is fully vegan now.

Have you been to Native Foods? What's your favorite vegan place in Denver? Your favorite vegetarian spot? 

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