A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting my old stomping ground of beautiful Boulder, Colorado. I more or less spent a week eating my way through one of my all time favorite cities. Boulder has changed a lot since I lived there in 2007 and 2008. With Google opening an office there last year, housing has become scarce and both home and rental prices are astronomical. Though I may never have the opportunity to live there again, (and I think I would in a heartbeat) I still think of Boulder as home. And with it literally being the natural foods hub of the world, Boulder is booming with new restaurants and grocers and it makes eating delicious plant based foods easy! In fact, I think it’s become a lot more vegan-friendly since I lived there. In case you’re ever passing thorough Colorado, you may want to make a point to stop in Boulder; not only will the breathtaking views of the Flatiron Mountains woo you, but so will the food!
My first stop on my Eat-My-Way-Through-Boulder-Tour was Whole Foods Market Boulder. If you haven’t heard, this Whole Foods location is the new home of the Beyond Meat Bar which serves up and entirely vegan menu all day long featuring breakfast items like the scramble I tried below (with Follow Your Heart vegan egg), Sambazon acai bowls, breakfast burritos, the Beyond Burger (looks and tastes just like meat and even bleeds from beet juice), shakes, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (THE best I have ever had) and so much more! This is the only “bar” of its kind in the United States– even the Whole Foods Market flagship store in Austin, Texas doesn’t have the Beyond Meat bar! I highly recommend a stop here if nowhere else. You could eat for days without eating the same thing on the menu twice! Plus, the market itself is huge and has too many vegan options to list, they always have a vegan pizza option at the pizza bar (their hot and cold bars are clearly marked vegan and have more options than any other Whole Foods I have ever been to– and I have been to many!).
Whole Foods Market Boulder
2905 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80301
And because I happened to visit Boulder on a Friday, I dined at Jill’s Restaurant inside the gorgeous St. Julien Hotel. What’s so special about Jill’s? Well let me tell you! Every Friday Jill’s has a completely vegan (with ample gluten free options) brunch from 11:30am-2:30pm for $13.95 for adults ($8.50 for kids) which includes a glass of wine! Can I get a YEEHAW!?! I was thrilled by the copious amounts of food from breads and dips to soups and salads to hearty veggie dishes and beautiful desserts. I had a delightful experience with great service and left feeling very satiated. If you happen to pass through Boulder on a Friday, be sure and stop in (reservations are suggested), you won’t be sorry that you did! Please note that while Jill’s is somewhat of an upscale restaurant, casual dress is appropriate, because well, it is Boulder after all. When you’re finished eating you can stretch your legs by taking a walk right downtown along the beautiful Pearl Street walking mall that is sprinkled with street performers and every kind of shop you could ever imagine.
Jill’s Restaurant (inside the St. Julien Hotel) Vegan Brunch every Friday from 11:30am-2:30pm
900 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Another one of my stops was at Fresh Thymes Eatery. This was my first visit as I learned about this newish restaurant through a friend’s social media. Tucked away on the outskirts of town inside a modern residential/business complex, Fresh Thymes is a rustic-modern cafe with ample seating both indoors and out. Upon entering the restaurant and reading the menu, it appears that the restaurant caters to paleo diets, but once I asked about vegan options there were plenty. I spoke to someone at the restaurant who claimed that their specialty is preparing food for all specialty diets be it paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, etc. I had an amazing set of gluten free Yucatan Tempeh Tacos, and the reason I say “set” is because there were four good sized tacos (you could easily spilt an order with a friend and still walk away satisfied). The tacos were colorful and delicious– topped with sauerkraut and almond ricotta cheese. They also carry a locally brewed kombucha for all you bubbly tea lovers!
Fresh Thymes Eatery (at the Steel Yards) Open 11am-9pm Monday-Saturday
2500 30th Street #101
Boulder, CO 80304
Speaking of kombucha, I made my second visit to the Rowdy Mermaid— a locally brewed kombucha bar on the outskirts of Boulder in the industrial district. I sampled all of their tasty craft brewed flavors and went home with a growler that I could drink later. They sell bottled kombucha in five different flavors in Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage markets in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and Montana, but there’s something about drinking it straight from the brewery where it’s made. All Rowdy Mermaid kombucha is totally vegan (some companies use honey), Non-GMO, made with organic farm-direct tea, wildcrafted herbs, pure Colorado snow-melt as well as locally-sourced and cold-pressed fruit. I really don’t have one bad thing to say about this awesome company. Visit them at their taproom or (seasonally) at the Boulder Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings or Wednesday nights.
Rowdy Mermaid Taproom ~ Open 12-9pm Monday-Saturday
2516 49th Street, Unit 2
On Saturday morning I made my way to the amazing Boulder County Farmers’ Market on 13th Street downtown Boulder. It’s one of the best farmers’ markets I have ever been to– complete with tons of locally grown and organic fruit and veggies, food booths, live music and in a quaint setting right on Boulder Creek and the bike path.
Boulder County Farmers’ Market ~ Open Saturdays April-November 8am-2pm & Wednesdays 4-8pm
13th Street (between Canyon & Arapahoe)
Boulder, CO 80302
For lunch during one of my jaunts downtown Boulder, I tried a sandwich from the Organic Sandwich Company. They have two vegan sandwich options and I went with the Beetnick. While I did like this sandwich, my preference is their Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich which I tried on my previous visit to Boulder last year. Both sandwiches come on a multigrain loaf, but I recommend switching it out for the pretzel loaf, because who doesn’t love pretzel bread!?!
Organic Sandwich Company ~ Open daily 8am-6pm
Corner of 16th & Pearl (east end of Pearl Street mall)
While I generally like to support small, local mom and pop restaurants rather than chains, I decided to visit Native Foods mostly because I don’t have the opportunity to eat at an all vegan restaurant chain near where I live in Northern California, and because I haven’t tried everything on their menu yet. I have been to several Native Foods before, but it had been some time ago. Though I always have a though time deciding what food to order no matter where I eat, I decided to try the nachos (if you follow my social media feeds this will be no surprise as I’m a big nachos fan and tend to order them quite often). While the nachos were good, they weren’t the best I’ve ever had, but they certainly make for an incredible photo!
Native Foods (located at the 29th Street Mall) Open Monday-Sunday 11am-10pm
1675 29th Street #1272
Boulder, CO 80301
And, my final stop on my Boulder foodie tour was at Nepal Cuisine for their Monday afternoon totally vegan buffet. I suspect they have vegan options on the other days of the week, but it was refreshing to try Napali cuisine without having to worry about meat, eggs, dairy or honey! This all-you-can-eat (it’s ok to go back for seconds or thirds!) buffet was super yummy and totally filling. Try all the appetizers, entrees, soups and salads for only $9.95.
Nepal Cuisine ~ Open for lunch & dinner Monday-Saturday, vegan lunch on Mondays from 11-3pm
4720 Table Mesa Drive #C100
Boulder, CO 80305
So that about wraps up my tour. I hope that if you find yourself traveling through Boulder, Colorado that this post can be of help to you! I’m certain there are other great vegan food options in Boulder County, these are the ones that I enjoyed most recently. If you know of other vegan or vegan-friendly eateries that I have missed, please leave a comment below as I travel to Colorado yearly and am always looking for new places to grub. Thanks for following along!
Yeehaw, Kayle xo