A Local Expert’s Guide to Eating Healthy and Veggie in Boulder

Colorado, Food Lovers — By NileGuide staff on May 19, 2009 at 8:53 am

Boulder is infamous for its environmentalists, its health nuts, and its animal rights activists/compassionate eaters, so it’s only natural that the city has a wealth of vegetarian and vegan cuisine options.

V.G. Burgers, for instance, is a vegan fast food joint that serves up the perfect, all-American lunch. Everything on their menu is plant-based, including the burgers, BBQ “chikin” sandwiches, dogs, and chili, which is served with delicious I-can’t-believe-this-is-vegan cheese melted on top. They also offer milkshakes made from hemp milk and soda sweetened with agave. (You’ll find no high fructose corn syrup here!). To top it off, everything in their restaurant is compostable or recyclable and their business is entirely wind-powered.

If you’re searching for a fancier option or for a unique dinner, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant serves delicious cuisine that will delight omnivores and herbivores alike. Their specialty is their interesting combinations such as their vegan Butternut Squash Tower dish (made from Boulder’s own 63rd Street Farm) with roasted eggplant, caramelized onions, collard greens, grilled green apple, and cranberry-cashew vegan “cream”. Leaf’s drink list is filled with organic and biodynamic choices, and includes local, organic Vodka 14, which they use to make exotic martinis with flavors such as hibiscus and saffron. Their tranquil, sophisticated ambiance accentuates the healthy, seasonal, delicious cuisine, and although the ingredients are local, the cuisine is from around the world and is sure to satisfy every palate.

People sometimes think it will be difficult to find vegetarian or vegan options at restaurants, but they often overlook dishes that we all commonly see on menus. Have you noticed that most ethnic restaurants give you the option of choosing whether you want a certain kind of meat or whether you want tofu and vegetables? Khow Thai Café, for instance, gives you the option of tofu and veggies for all of their dinners, which include stir fry, curry, noodle, and fried rice entrées. Sherpa’s Adventurers does the same with their Himalayan cuisine, offering a choice of vegetables or meat for nearly everything on their menu.

Because most Mexican dishes contain cheese (and sometimes sour cream), Mexican restaurants typically provide fewer options for vegans, but always have plenty to offer vegetarians. Juanita’s has vegetarian burritos, chile rellenos, fajitas, and tamales that are all delicious and cheaper than their meat-filled counterparts. Italian food also has a lot to offer vegetarians: The Med has a scrumptious potato gnocchi dish that is served with asparagus, pine nuts, tomatoes, zucchini, and goat cheese, and Jalino’s offers pizza with soy cheese for those who don’t do dairy or have high cholesterol.

Vegetarian meals are healthy, tasty, and ubiquitous, and will likely introduce you to foods and flavors you never even knew existed! And no matter whether you love Thai, Mexican, or Italian food, or whether you just want to grab a burger, fries, and a shake, the perfect veggie meal is waiting for you in Boulder.

Photos: Thai: Courtesy of thanapat / Creative Commons, Tofu: Courtesy of ilovemypit / Creative Commons, Italian: Courtesy of yomi955 / Creative Commons

Tags: Boulder, conscious eating, healthy eating, Local Expert, vegan, vegetarian, veggie


  • Alexi says:

    I’m not surprised that Boulder has a wealth of vegetarian options; San Francisco is the same. Are there any other destinations (hippie populations or not) out there that are known for their vegetarian cuisine?

  • Jess says:

    I found some fantastic vegetarian and vegan food in Berlin!

  • Graham Master Flash says:

    Rosetta’s Kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina wins hands down for best vegetarian cuisine in the country! (that I have personally tried)

  • Harold says:

    We ate twice at Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant during our last visit to Boulder, and we loved it! We had a party of six, with both vegetarians and non-vegetarians in the group. All found their dishes delicious,and we would definitely return for more!


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