Boulder is sure to have the best restaurants to eat vegan dishes.
But making the decision to become vegan is a big deal. Whatever your reasons for making the lifestyle change, going all plant-based for your food means you’re frequently left eating the crudités with hummus when going out to dinner with friends, leaving you hungry for the rest of the evening. Lucky for you, Boulder is as vegan-friendly as you can get—it’s a city made for people who are committed to their dietary choices, but still love eating out.
Here’s a list of the best 5 restaurants to find vegan cuisine in Boulder:
Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant
If you’re looking for an upscale evening in a restaurant that understands the needs of vegetarians and vegans alike, Leaf is a great place to fine-dine. The meals are creative and satisfying and you can most certainly get enough to eat. The menu, which is filled with mouth-watering seasonal dishes, is clearly marked with vegan, gluten-free and raw items for all of your health-conscious needs.
Highlights of Leaf? There are plenty, some of the yummiest of which include: crispy harissa tofu as a happy hour snack; buffalo cauliflower tacos with vegan blue “cheese” sauce; and their famous entree, the Jamaican jerk tempeh, which is both vegan and gluten-free, as well as delicious.
Want to enjoy the full menu at a place where all the food is vegan? Then head over to Native Foods. This place is a fast-casual type affair, so it’s easy to drop in for lunch or a quick dinner. The entire menu is vegan, without exception, so you don’t have to think twice about ordering anything on the menu, which includes anything you might want, from starters to sandwiches to desserts.
What’re the best dishes at Native Foods? Where do I begin… well, their mac-n-cheese is as yummy as anything you’d find with dairy in it at Noodles; they make an awesome cheeseburger, using non-GMO plant-based patties and Follow Your Heart ™ cheese; and if you haven’t tried their peanut butter parfait, you haven’t lived.
The other cool thing about Native is that they offer local organic beer and kombucha selections, so you can enjoy a favorite brew along with your vegan tucker.
Thrive is known for their vegan, raw, gluten-free, and organic comestibles, and it’s no secret among Boulderites that they’ve got one of the best small plate and snack menus for vegans around. They’ve also got an array of some of the best salads in Boulder (spiral cut zucchini with pesto, anyone?), and a smoothie bar to end all smoothie bars.
The best bits about Thrive that makes Boulder vegans thrive? The aforementioned smoothies, definitely: the ingredients for these healthy breakfasts make for an energetic start to your day, or an afternoon or post-workout pick-me-up: sprouted nut milks, coconut crystals, organic fruits of all kinds, hemp proteins, superfood supplements, spirulina, goji berries… my mouth is watering just thinking of it.
Thrive is conveniently located just across the street from Boulder High, which makes it easy to pop by and pick up a salad or a smoothie without running into the famously hairy Pearl Street traffic (and lack of parking). Which I find funny, as when I went to Boulder High, the place was a low-end, unhealthy fast-food taco place. Looks like Boulder’s high schoolers these days get a much better deal for healthy brain food close by school than I did…
Even vegans get the munchies for sweet treats. Boulder Baked delivers (literally) with a wide range of vegan desserts. They’re known most for their cookies, but they’ve got all kinds of delicious desserts, and pride themselves on their vegan and gluten-free options. Their added bonus? Delivery until midnight, so you can still fulfill that late-night craving without compromising your dietary guidelines.
What sets Boulder Baked apart? The late-night delivery, of course—you can be vegan and still get your college-style-delivered scrumptious nosh on.
Named after a big part of Boulder’s population back in the ‘70s (hippies), Flower Child is on a mission to “spread positively delicious vibes and healthy food in Boulder,” and they’re doing a stellar job. From wraps, bowls, combo plates, and good old hipster (not hippie) avocado toast, Flower Child has your vegan needs covered.
Some highlights of what you can find at Flower Child include: the combo plates, where you can mix and match tubers, deliciously prepared veggies of all kinds, and more, to create delicious signature entrees; and a robust kids’ menu with vegan, organic, gluten-free, or any other variation of dietary need your little ones may need. Tbh, I often find myself wishing they’d let me order from their kids’ menu—it looks so good.
Another good vegan option for Boulderites is to go to one of the top-notch Nepalese restaurants that offer vegan dishes and buffets as par for the course in their authentic cuisine. Nepal Cuisine in South Boulder offers an all-vegan lunch buffet on Mondays from 11-3, and Sherpa’s down on West Pearl has all kinds of vegan options on its authentic Nepalese menu.
Will 2019 be the year you start becoming a vegan? Please let us know your top 5 favorite vegan restaurants in Boulder in the comments below!