Commonly known as “cow town” when it comes to dining, Denver presents a dining scene that has always been on the meat-heavy side. Now, the food scene is moving beyond juicy steaks and thickly stacked burgers and offering more vegetarian and vegan options alongside the usual meat-centric offerings. The city has plenty of places that still serve the regular menu with additional vegan options, as well as those that forgo meat altogether with choices so delicious, they’ll leave even the most skeptical carnivores duly impressed. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.City O' City

City O' City
© City O' City

A longtime favorite, City, O' City is open all day serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it is ideal for an early morning coffee or a late-night snack. The casual, family-friendly eatery has an expansive menu that features plenty of stalwarts and all-time favorites, as well as changing specials and artistic creations. Signature dishes, which boast French, Mediterranean, Italian, and American influences, include kimchi pancakes topped with spicy kimchi, sesame seeds, pickled carrots, and a sweet soy sauce, as well as crispy fried garbanzo curry cakes topped with cranberry pineapple chutney, mint sauce, and micro coriander. The coffee house and edgy, full-service eatery feature a full bar as well.

206 E 13th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: 303-831-6443

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2.WaterCourse Foods

WaterCourse Foods
© WaterCourse Foods


Established in 1998, WaterCourse has been serving up all-vegan fare ever since and has become one of Denver’s classic vegan eateries. Open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, WaterCourse serves a variety of vegetarian and vegan options made with locally sourced organic ingredients and freshly prepared every day. Hearty breakfasts include favorites like burritos with green chile and biscuits and gravy, while lunches and dinners have regulars such as salads, soups, and hearty entrées, including meat-free versions of some classic such as Beet Wellington and Tofish'n'Chips. The beverage menu offers a variety of beers, wines, and handcrafted cocktails, as well as hot drinks and sodas.

837 East 17th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80218, Phone: 303-832-7313

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3.Beet Box Bakery and Cafe

Beet Box Bakery and Cafe
© Beet Box Bakery and Café

Beet Box Bakery and Café is a vegan bakery and café that serves a small sandwich menu and selection of baked goods that promise to delight. This under-the-radar vegan bakery offers simple yet mouthwatering treats from melt-in-your-mouth light croissants and creamy cakes to healthy muffins and decadent donuts. Also on the menu are a variety of sandwiches with various toppings like the ABC stacked with beets, roasted almonds, cashew cream cheese, butter lettuce, and whole-grain mustard on thick country bread and the Breakfast Sandwich with chickpea frittata, smoked tempeh and mushrooms, arugula, and tomato on a fresh brioche. For something heartier, try the curry cauliflower and black bean poblano. Beet Box Bakery and Café is open daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. More Things to Do in Denver

1030 E 22nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 303-861-0017

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4.True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen
© True Food Kitchen


While not entirely vegetarian and boasting multiple locations around the country, one might think True Food is just another eatery. However, it’s signature Inside Out Quinoa Burger will turn the tables, along with its rotating menu of seasonal salads bursting with freshness and flavor, not to mention the hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza, which also comes in a vegan option. The Ancient Grains Bowl with Miso glazed sweet potato, grilled Portobello, hemp seed, and avocado and the Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl with broccoli, bok choy, heirloom carrot, brown rice, and avocado topped with toasted sesame shouldn’t be missed!

2800 E. 2nd Avenue, Suite 101, Denver, Colorado 80206

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5.Sputnik

Sputnik
© Sputnik


Espresso bar and vegan diner in one, Sputnik offers a fresh and eclectic take on traditional pub grub style fare in a relaxed and laid-back environment. The full-service restaurant and bar are open daily from 10:30 am until late, and you’ll find a seasonal and vegan menu of delicious cuisine accompanied by an extensive list of libations. Tuck into quinoa cakes or tofu scramble for brunch or healthy sandwiches stacked with a variety of fillings for lunch. Snacks range from sweet potato fries and zucchini dogs to fried pickle chips and fried Brussel sprouts – ideal for nibbling on with late-night drinks.

3 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209, Phone: 720-570-4503

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6.The Corner Beet

The Corner Beet
© The Corner Beet


Specializing in cold-pressed juice and fresh vegan fare, Capitol Hill's The Corner Beet serves an assortment of delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine made with fresh locally sourced organic ingredients accompanied by small batch, cold-pressed juices in a variety of flavors. Sandwiches are served hot and toasty or cold and fresh, salads are made to order and packed full of crispy salad and vegetables, and juices are pressed daily on a Norwalk juicer. The Corner Beet is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch and is closed on Sundays.

1401 Ogden Street, Denver, CO 80218, Phone: 720-295-4447

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7.Modern Market - 16th St. Mall

Modern Market - 16th St. Mall
© Courtesy of oleg_chumakov - Fotolia.com

Modern Market is a favorite neighborhood franchise that serves healthy artisan fare in a casual setting. The simple, counter-serve style restaurant offers scratch-made food that nourishes both the body and the mind using fresh, naturally sourced and organic ingredients to ensure maximum freshness and taste. The menu features paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes, including crisp salads, homemade soups, toasted sandwiches, brick-oven pizzas, and home-style plates and sides such as rosemary sweet potato mash, sesame tofu, and lemon garlic asparagus. A special children’s menu is available, as well as catering services. Modern Market in the 16th Street Mall is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

900 16th Street, Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 303-534-0190

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8.Ph 95 Noodle House

Ph 95 Noodle House
© Ph 95 Noodle House

Named for the year that the owners of this fantastic Vietnamese restaurant first immigrated to the United States, Pho 95 Noodle House serves mouthwatering Vietnamese fare with influences from both the northern and southern parts of the country. The extensive menu boasts a wide variety of options from pan-fried noodles and pho rice noodle soup to fresh salads, satay, steamed rice plates, and vegetarian selections. Classic dishes include Vietnamese Crispy Chow Mein and Sprouting Green Beans with Tofu, while other delicious vegan options include Fiery Asian Eggplants and steamed pot stickers. For those who are feeling brave, the Pho-King Challenge calls for a giant bowl of traditional Vietnamese Pho soup to be eaten in one sitting to become the Pho-King winner.

1401 S. Federal Blvd, Denver, CO, 80219, Phone: 303-936-3322

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8 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Denver, CO



Attraction Spotlight: Clyfford Still Museum

Situated in Denver’s Cultural Arts District, also termed “The Golden Triangle,” the Clyfford Still Museum draws thousands of visitors each year. The museum was established in 2011 and currently holds 3,125 works by the artist Clyfford Still. Still is a renowned American painter best known for promoting abstract expressionism in the period following WW2. The museum holds 95 percent of the artist’s works, dated from the 1920s to the 1980s. The sizable collection of Still’s work and archives was donated by Patricia Still, the artist’s wife, who cooperated with Mayor John W. Hickenlooper to establish this museum to display Still’s artistic contributions.

Exhibitions

The Clyfford Still Museum holds the vast majority of his works as well as personal letters, sketchbooks, personal effects, manuscripts, and other items that allow visitors to make connections between the painter’s aesthetic and lived experience. The museum has a rotating exhibition program that contextualizes Still’s work in a way that draws the links between his artistic viewpoint and the historical period in which he was active. The museum’s curators also work in tandem with the Denver Art Museum and other institutions to further develop the public’s understanding and appreciation of this artist’s legacy.

The current exhibition, titled Artists Select: Roni Horn, allows visitors to view Still’s works dating from the 1940s to the end of his life. This exhibition also features Horn’s own works that were not shown during Still’s lifetime, including both photographic and sculptural installations.

Earlier in the year, the museum held an exhibition by the title of Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper, which presented 260 of Still’s 2,300 graphic, paper-based works. Challenging long-established assumptions that paper-based works are but preparatory steps for larger canvases, the exhibit is a testament to Still’s innovative use of various media, such as charcoal, gauche, crayon, and much more.

Education

Along with free guided tours and an on-demand outreach program, the Clyfford Still Museum has developed a unique education program, called InStill Gallery Experiences, aimed at school children in grades 4-12. These standard-aligned workshops are geared to help children and youth develop critical thinking skills, personal reflections, and aesthetic appreciation for art by way of immersive, discussion-based activities, which are facilitated by the museum staff. This program was developed as part of the InStill Project, which was a collaboration between Denver city teachers and museum staff. The project’s aim was to utilize museum resources to create an enriched learning environment where youth can cultivate an appreciation of fine arts.

Public Programs and Events

The Clyfford Still Museum attracts many local and international visitors thanks to its numerous programs and events. The museum participated in the Final Fridays Art Walk, which was an event series held across many of Denver’s studios, salons, spas, and other creative spaces, giving locals a chance to interact with the city’s arts community.

During the summer, the museum welcomed Damon Grossman, a renowned drummer, for an evening titled Final Fridays: Musical Mediation. Guests enjoyed a relaxing evening full of both ancient and modern chants accompanied by djembe drumming set amidst a water and bird-themed soundscape.

Earlier that month, the museum collaborated on a two-venue exhibition titled Tag Team Talks: Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford. The first part of the talk took place at the Denver Art Museum, focusing on Bradford’s work, while in the latter half of the event guests examined Still’s work, which was specially selected by Bradford at the Still Museum. The event was centered on the exploration of the ways in which both artists used abstraction to address wider societal issues.

The first weekend of July saw the museum welcome local families in an event titled Summer Family Day. The event included various festivities, family-centered tours, games, and crafts. Later that month, the museum held the Friends of Clyfford Still presents Local Tastes, where Denver eateries interacted with the public by sharing food and drinks inspired by Still’s work. Among the participating restaurants were Block and Larder, French 75, and Blueprint Bar, to name a few. The museum’s forecourt was an ideal setting for an evening of socializing, feasting, and exploring the boundaries between fine art and culinary innovation.

1250 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204, Phone: 720-354-4880

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Attraction Spotlight: History Colorado Center

The History Colorado Center in Denver, TX provides public access to historic sites, cultural and heritage resources and educational programming in Colorado. History Colorado also supports tourism and historic preservation through educational programming and is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Collections

The purpose of the collection of the History Colorado Center is to understand the present of Colorado through the context of the past.

Archives- this collection includes manuscripts, books, maps, paper publications, indexes, blue prints, architectural drawings, oral histories, sound recordings, immigration documents and other archival materials that detail the history of Colorado. Most of these materials are found in the Stephen H. Hart Library and Research Center. Some of the earliest manuscripts date to 1830 with more than 30,000 books in the collection and maps of early 1880’s Colorado cities.

Photographs and Moving Images- The photography collection alone contains more than 1 million images that document the American west with an emphasis on Colorado from the 1840s through present day. There are early daguerreotypes, film negatives, and digital prints. Photographic art is included in this collection from 110 years of photography and Colorado history. The moving image collection is films from 1915-1990 that include releases by Colorado production companies, historic television footage, and other documentaries that have been released onto History Colorado’s YouTube Channel.

Artifacts- There are more than 12,000 years of human history catalogued in the artifacts collection at History Colorado. The collection can be researched through the library by appointed and also viewed on line. There are more than 200,000 artifacts total in the collection categorized by Art and Design, Culture and Community, and History. Some of the highlights include horse drawn buggies, firearms, textiles, art, paintings, gold, and furniture.

Exhibits

The Exhibits at the History Colorado Center are curated and rotated by museum staff to provide the community and visitors with a comprehensive history of Colorado. Details on current, past and future exhibits can be found on the History Colorado Center website. There are a few permanent exhibits however.

Living West- This permanent exhibit shows how the environment of Colorado helped to shape its history. Visitors will learn about the Mesa Verde, basket weaving, Black Sunday, draught, and mountain ecosystems.

Denver Diorama- Set up in the lobby, this diorama was originally built in the 1930’s and showcases a replica of Denver in the 1860’s. The public works project was restored and is exhibited in an art case for new generations.

Great Map and Time Machines- This Four-Story hall takes visitors back in time if they look down at the 40 by 60-foot map of Colorado that is made from precast tiles and is visible from outer space.

Destination Colorado- This 5,000-square foot exhibit shows visitors what the town of Keota was like in 1918, a High Plains settlement along the Quincy Rail Line.

Denver A to Z- This newer exhibit showcases the history of Denver, the Mile-High City, known for its art and pop culture icons.

Colorado Stories- This exhibit is community based and features 8 different galleries representing different groups of people that have called Colorado home from the indigenous people to the Chicano activists of the 1970’s.

Programs and Education

The History Colorado Center provides community programming for children and adults that enhances visitor’s experiences and education.

Tiny Library Concerts- local Colorado musicians perform in the research library as part of a concert series that strives to document the musical history of Colorado.

Lecture Series- lectures series are planned in advanced with details on the website. Historians and authors take part in leading discussions and lectures on Colorado history and stories about prominent figures from Colorado past.

Colorful Colorado Talks- These discussions are on a variety of topics from geology to history, climate, dinosaurs, the History Colorado Collections, and more. Programs are held on Monday afternoons and are one hour in length.

Tours and Treks- These guided tours for adult visitors leave the museum and tour places with cultural and historic significance such as Street car neighborhoods, South Mesa, Wineries, the arts district in Sterling and other attractive locations. There are also haunted treks available, Christmas Light Tours, and tours of historic homes and museums.

Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification- Participants 15 years old and up can apply to be accepted into this program that is certification outside of an academic degree program. The program is supervised by a board and state archaeologist.

Online Exhibits- There are interactive Colorado history exhibits and documentaries available online through the History Colorado website. Visitors to the online gateway can interact through blogs, playing games, and social media networks.

1200 Broadway, Denver, Colorado, 80203, Phone: 303-447-8679

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Attraction Spotlight: Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

The Children's Museum of Denver is dedicated to the discovery and learning through play. Aimed at visitors up to the age eight years old, the Museum features a variety of interactive, hands-on exhibits, displays and activities that encourage curiosity, exploration and education in fun and fascinating ways. With a mission of creating extraordinary experiences that support and inspire the joy of childhood, The Children's Museum of Denver opened in a converted school bus in 1973 and has served thousands of visitors a year ever since.

Today the Museum occupies a nine-acre campus and features an array of exhibits, including The Art Studio, Joy Park, Altitude, Energy, The Teaching Kitchen and Water.

Exhibits at The Children's Museum of Denver are divided into four sections - Explore, Imagine, Investigate, and Create. The Explore section includes exhibits such as Altitude, Big Backyard, Box Canyon, Center for the Young Park, and Joy Park. The Imagine section of the Museum includes exhibits such as Book Nook, My Market, Fire Station No. 1, Ready, Vet, Go, and Village of Healthy Smiles. Investigate features Bubbles, Energy, Water, and Kinetics! The Create exhibit features Art Studio, Assembly Plant, D.I.Y, and Teaching Kitchen.

In Altitude, visitors can scale a towering mountain to the summit to soak up amazing views of the Rockies and Denver. The Big Backyard shrinks visitors to the size of small woodland creatures to experience life in the backyard like never before. Climb over boulders, leap through a waterfall and balance on a kayak in Box Canyon, while the Center for Young Child is specifically designed for visitors under three years old with clear ponds to explore and low tree roots to clamber over. Joy Park offers an action-packed adventure complete with spelunking and zip lining.

Imagine

The Book Nook offers books and ideas for curious minds, Fire Station No. 1 presents opportunities for visitors to don firefighter gear, sound the siren, and save the day when there is a fire in the city. My Market is a farm fresh market exhibit where kids can shop for fresh produce, and Ready, Vet, Go gives animal-loving children the chance to treat and cure all the neighborhood animals. The Village of Healthy Smiles is for dentists in the making, where visitors can take a trip with the tooth fairy and learn to take care of their beautiful teeth.

Unlock the secret science of bubbles in Bubbles, create power with the wind, solar energy and body strength in Energy, control the forces of motion and gravity in Kinetics, and splash about in an urban water world in Water.

Create

The Art Studio gives kids the chance to master the art of texture, space, and color, or make unique creations from recycled materials in the Assembly Plant exhibit. The favorite D.I.Y. exhibit features an array of tools and materials where children can design and construct fantastic, and imaginative buildings and the Teaching Kitchen presents the chance for budding young chefs to prepare delicious food with a resident chef.

The Children's Museum of Denver offers a range of educational programs, workshops, and classes for children that encourage hands-on learning. Teaching Kitchen Workshops offer kids the opportunity to learn to cook with eggs and master three different egg recipes – fried, hard-boiled and scrambled.

The Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop is a fun-filled activity that involves decorating an already assembled gingerbread house with sprinkles, candies, frostings and more while snacking on homemade gingerbread and sipping on warm apple cider. Joy Park Workshops include Pumpkin Parties with story time, pumpkin treats and creating spooky art with the big orange globes.

Birds of Winter workshops offer the chance to look for and identify different types of birds and A Long Winter’s Night is a family workshop that explores night time and the nocturnal animals that come out at this time.

Art Studio Workshops include clay pottery making with a unique two-class session wheel throwing, and creating fairy gardens out of clay, while a variety of themed summer camps for all ages are also offered.

The Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is located at 2121 Children's Museum Drive in Denver and is open Monday through Sunday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and admission are free on the first Tuesday of every month. Free parking is available at the Museum, and the Museum Café serves healthy snacks, light meals, and beverages on the outdoor patio. The Museum has an onsite shop that sells a range of souvenirs, gifts, books, clothing and other Museum-related items.

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2121 Children's Museum Drive, Denver, Colorado 80211, Phone: 303-433-7444

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