Top Vegetarian Restaurants in Boulder
Veg-head, plant-based, vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, flexitarian, chegan (cheating vegan)...whatever you call yourself, you'll fit right in Boulder, where every breed of vegetarian has been proudly shaping the dining scene for decades. Really, just about every restaurant in Boulder will happily accommodate vegetarians. But for some of the very best vegetarian and vegan meals in Boulder, start with the five below.
Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant
The vibe: This upscale-casual spot has a loyal fan following and owners who source some of the ingredients from their own farm. At Leaf, veg-heads can choose from anything on the menu — much of which can be made vegan, too.
The dish: The spaghetti squash peanut noodle dish is saucy and satisfying, but you might not be able to resist the buffalo “wings”-style cauliflower tacos.
The vibe: Warm woods, industrial metals, Edison bulbs and chic subway tiles set the tone at Zeal, a simple, elegant restaurant with a sun-drenched corner patio.
The dish: The mega-popular Rainbow Curry — with roasted seasonal veggies, Zeal grains, lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk. Bonus points if you add the tempeh made right here in Boulder.
The vibe: A cheery, health-focused cafe with skillfully cooked fresh veggie bowls, salads and entrees. Even though it's a fast-casual spot, Flower Child's covered patio, brightly painted murals and eclectically curated decor create a lovely environment to sit back and relax for a while.
The dish: Try the "Glow Bowl," made with spicy sweet potato noodles, bok choy, zucchini, onion, jalapeño, shiitake mushrooms, coconut milk and sunflower butter.
The vibe: Thrive is one of those wonderfully crunchy, colorful Boulder spots that totally “gets” plant-based eating and harnesses the powerful enzymes in raw foods to delicious effect. You’ll likely see ingredients on the menu that you won’t recognize (shilajit, anyone?), but learning about the health benefits of foods is part of the fun here.
The dish: Stop in for a refreshing superfood smoothie or the yummy Holy Pesto salad — and don't miss the cacao coconut truffles infused with reishi. A rotating board of specials has heartier (but no less healthy) fare.
The vibe: A plush elegance dominates Jill's, just as you'd expect of a restaurant inside a Forbes Four-Star hotel (the St Julien Hotel and Spa). Rich woods, silk upholstery, warm lighting — and a view right into the contemporary kitchen where the freshest ingredients are turned masterfully into great dishes.
The dish: The Boulder Burger, featuring Jill's signature house-made black bean patty and tangy adobo mayo.
Top photo by Eli Akerstein.
More to Try
Boulder really is a big salad bowl full of vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Here are a few more favorites:
- A Cup of Peace An unassuming Korean cafe with veggie options aplenty tucked into a quaint strip mall off Arapahoe Avenue.
- Sherpa Restaurant Indian and Tibetan specialties with lots of vegetarian options to go with each sauce.
- Salt Tons of vegetable-forward options that show Chef Heap's genius.
- Ghurka's Curry and Dumpling House Richly seasoned and spiced dishes with lots of dishes for veg heads.
- Rosetta Hall and Avanti F&B There are always a number of vegetarian specialties on the menus at these food halls.
- Rayback Collective Boulder's only food truck park hosts "Vegan Night" on the 3rd Thursday of every month.