Friday, June 06, 2014

Denver, CO

May 30-31, 2014

I had a pleasant few days hanging around collegetown Fort Collins CO for a conference, getting my first serve of tempeh in weeks and lunching daily at Whole Foods. On my way out of the state I stopped in Denver for a day and two nights; this was enough time to explore the impressive Denver Art Museum (see slideshow above), try a couple of local veg*n eateries and stock up once more at my now-beloved Whole Foods.

On my first evening I walked across to WaterCourse Foods, which Michael had read about online just a few days earlier. It's a charming contemporary vegan restaurant where a lone diner can easily grab a seat at the bar without a reservation. The lone diner is likely to curse themselves, however, for only having the capacity to order one meal: the all-day breakfast menu alone holds a dozen excellent options, then there's the vegan deviled egg appetizer, cauliflower 'wings', eight sandwiches, four salads, nine mains and fifteen sides.

I ultimately ordered the "chicken" & waffles (US$11 ~ AU$11.80) with sweet tea syrup. The waffles were soft and savoury with corn and chives, light rather than doughy. The firm tofu "chicken" was more substantial, with a sublime toasted-herb crumb. I ate perhaps 60% of this, had the remainder boxed up, eating it for breakfast the following morning.

City O' City was my top-priority restaurant when I researched Denver eating, and it happens to be a sister restaurant to WaterCourse. It's also just a couple blocks from the Art Museum. The spacious layout and convenient counter option mirror WaterCourse, though the atmosphere is a little grungier. The menu's vegetarian rather then vegan, but the wealth of enticing dishes is similarly paralysing.

In spite of their four waffle options, I tried out the breakfast hash (US$9 ~ AU$9.60). This hefty bowl of charred potatoes and onions, smoky tempeh bacon, sauteed kale, zucchini and carrot ribbons was topped with gravy and scrambled tofu - all the carbs and protein I needed for hours of art exploration and some city wandering. I loved their sunny sixties soundtrack just as much as the food. If only every weekend could include a stop by City O' City.


  1. I went to Denver a few years ago for a conference and I loved both WaterCourse and City O' City. I remember City O' City nicely made me a half serve of buffalo wings to try because I was eating on my own. They are both great places. Did you get to the vegan grocery shop there (I think it is called nooch?). Denver has some amazing artisan vegan cheese made there, though I can't remember what it is called! Red Door, maybe.

    1. Hi Susan! That's awfully nice of the COC folks. :-)

      Unfortunately I didn't make it to the grocery or the vegan cheese purveyors (though I know I've previously read about Red Door) - I was moving on too quickly to buy anything I couldn't eat on the spot.

  2. wow those meals sound amazing - would not have expected to find some veg*n deliciousness in Denver but it sounds a good reason to head that way

    1. Hi Johanna - Denver's a pretty big city, so I guess there's room for these niche markets. A friend was telling me how the Denver Art Museum completely shattered her east coast cultural snobbery. :-)