Where to take your veggie friend eating and drinking in Denver (without sacrificing your own carnivorous morals)
Here is a list of places I’ve found in Denver that have good vegetarian options but aren’t strictly vegetarian restaurants (sorry Watercourse and City O’ City). Feel free to leave any of your own favorites in the comments!
For Indian food, my favorite is Little India. Saag Paneer is a delicious spinach dish with chunks of homemade paneer cheese. Vegetarians and carnivores alike: don’t miss this. Additionally, I love the chicken tikka masala, and veg-heads can just eat the sauce over rice and pick out the tender tandori chicken bits, or they can special order paneer tikka masala, which has the same delicious buttery tomato-y sauce with paneer cheese instead of the chicken. The garlic naan is a favorite, as well as vegetable samosas. They have good beers by the bottle, as well as a special Tamarind margarita, which is tangy and yummy.
My mom loves sushi, but only orders vegetarian sushi. I don’t know the places in Denver that have the best vegetarian sushi options, but it is definitely worth looking into.
On South Pearl St, Hanson’s Grill and Tavern has an extensive menu that is guaranteed to have something for everyone. Tons of good salad options, loaded baked potatoes, pasta, just check out the menu online. This is also a great place for a large group, as they have plenty of seating arrangements to accommodate groups of any size. They also have good drink specials, pool and foosball upstairs, etc.
For a nice place with a fun atmosphere (aka: a good date place), Rootdown strives to have organic, local, natural food items, as well as fantastic cocktails ranging from classic to innovative/exploratory . “At Root Down we pride ourselves on striving to solve the ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma.’ We have created a dining spot where all dietary needs will be accommodated, including vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten free”
This list would not be complete without Vine Street Pub which has wonderfully delicious beers (known for stout month, pliny the younger kegs at times, etc), as well as a delightful omnivorian menu. Grilled cheese the way you like it + sweet potato fries = heaven. Cash only, but apparently, if you don’t have cash and don’t want to use the ATM, they will give you an envelope and you can send your tab in later, on the honor system. How cool is that? Also, corn-hole outside for when the weather’s warm.
For hipsters and non-hipsters alike, Sputnik is a fun place to drink and eat on Broadway. Has lots of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, and a ton of amazing dipping sauces like banana ketchup, guava jam, and the sputnik especíal.
Just down the street from Sputnik, is Delite which boasts one of the best happy hours in Denver. House bottles of red and white wine are slashed to $11/bottle (normally $22) and all appetizers are half off. (Truffle potato chips with Maytag bleu cheese for $3, yes please). This is a good place to get drinner (drinks and dinner) for super cheap.
Pizza is always a good call, Anthony’s has a special from 8-close on Mondays and Wednesdays for $8 large cheese pizzas and $5 pitchers of beer (prices may be wrong, but are close). Pasquini’s has a more extensive menu, and is delicious as well. Also, fancier places such as Marco’s and Osteria Marco are good options, too. Late night check out Two-fisted Marios and Benny Blancos (free delivery til 3am).
Pho 95. Yelp rates this as the best Pho in Denver, and it is definitely great. If you haven’t ever tried Pho, its a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that comes in a huge bowl with whatever meats/veggies you desire. You can then add basil, lime, sprouts, Sriracha, etc to make it uniquely perfect for you. In particular, at Pho 95, the tripe is tender and cut into little strings (better than large squares of textured rubber gloves) and you can request your soup with the vegetable broth, which is legitimately absolutely delicious. Also: WARM SOUP IS GREAT FOR HANGOVERS
The Mercury Cafe is a very cool spot. The food is organic omnivorian, and the drinks are local Colorado spirits, wines by the glass, and organic brews. A great place for anything from poetry slam contests to live music.
Also, Biker Jim’s Restaurant has two vegan sausages, and lots of other veggie options, and although I haven’t tried them yet, I haven’t had a bad tasting thing from Biker Jim yet, and there’s a reason he’s won Best of the Westword the past 5 years in a row and is the #1 Restaurant in Denver on yelp.com. If you haven’t tried Biker Jim’s yet: STOP READING THIS ARTICLE, AND GO THERE NOW. You will thank me later.
The vegetarian continued peeling the banana, despite it’s blood-curdling screams of pain and horror.
Tags: anthony's, beer, benny blancos, biker jim, colt gray, delite, food, Hanson's, liquor, little india, mercury cafe, Mountain Sun, osteria marco, pasquini's, pho 95, Pizza, restaurants, root down, rootdown, Sputnik, sushi, two-fisted marios, vegetarian, Vine Street Pub, whiskey, wine