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vegan friendly restaurant near Denver convention center?

s
spiceprincess Oct 31, 2011 10:27 AM

Help!! I need to find a vegan friendly restaurant near the Colorado Convention Center for a work dinner *this Friday*. Any suggestions for places walking distance (or maybe a short cab ride) would be MUCH appreciated. I am from out of town and don't know the restaurants, and it's the vegan friendly part that's hard. Thanks so much!

  1. m
    monopod Nov 1, 2011 02:48 PM

    My recommendation would be Root Down, in the highlands. Not walking distance but a short cab ride. They are one of the best new(ish) restaurants in Denver, and they're very vegan-friendly - the menu has a special symbol for items that can be made vegan, which many can be; that makes things much easier for your guests, who needn't ask whether each dish has any animal ingredients in it. But they're not a "vegan restaurant" - the focus is on great food, period, and they just happen to be vegan friendly. That's the best way, I think.

    Watercourse will have a lot of options but it's not a particularly upscale kinda place; better for lunch than dinner, IMHO. I don't know Potager.

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    Potager
    1109 Ogden St, Denver, CO 80218

    Root Down
    1600 W. 33rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80211

    6 Replies
    1. re: monopod
      s
      spiceprincess Nov 1, 2011 06:19 PM

      Thank you both for the wonderful suggestions. I checked out the places online (restaurant websites, Yelp reviews and pics) and they both look like solid options. I ended up making a reservation for Root Down. It came down to prices there seeming a little more reasonable, and that the vegan menu items are marked with a symbol. Only thing is, I was only able to get a booth near the bar. Any idea if that will be very noisy on a Friday evening? Thank you both again!

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      Root Down
      1600 W. 33rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80211

      1. re: spiceprincess
        m
        monopod Nov 2, 2011 08:46 AM

        It's not a quiet, romantic restaurant, so I imagine it will be pretty upbeat on a Friday evening. But I wouldn't worry about it; it's not a college bar or anything like that. I think you'll be fine.

        1. re: monopod
          s
          spiceprincess Nov 4, 2011 10:03 PM

          Wanted to report back that we did end up going to Root Down and it was a great experience! Everything was right - the ambience, the food, the vegan options, the service, and the booth near the bar was not too noisy. We ended up ordering several small plates and sharing (the vegan in our party ordered a couple of vegan dishes separately). It was pretty ideal. Thanks a lot!!!

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          Root Down
          1600 W. 33rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80211

          1. re: spiceprincess
            s
            Strangewine Nov 6, 2011 04:34 PM

            I'm glad you had one of the good experiences at Root Down. They have a history of inconsistent service and have turned a lot of people off. I have a long list of friends that won't go there anymore - I'm on that list as well. Maybe they're turning things around...

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            Root Down
            1600 W. 33rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80211

            1. re: Strangewine
              t
              tesnjen Nov 7, 2011 06:30 PM

              We were there Saturday night, a few adults and my four year old son. Had an incredible meal. They were busy, but took my son in the back for a kitchen tour and brought him out his own bread bowl, literally (a bowl of bread, with the inside hallowed out), kept him entertained all night. Wonderful dinner.

              1. re: tesnjen
                s
                Strangewine Nov 12, 2011 11:48 AM

                That's great to hear. They issued me a $50 voucher (that was actually already expired when they gave it to me...) the last time we they ruined our dinner. If things are looking up, it might be a good time for me to give them another shot. Thanks for the feedback!

    2. k
      keninboulder Nov 1, 2011 01:54 PM

      The other place that I really like, and is a favorite among Denver's professional chefs, is Potager at 1109 Ogden Street - 303-832-5788. It's a little further east than Watercourse and it is definitely not a vegan restaurant, but Teri Rippeto, the owner and chef, always has a few vegetarian items on her menu, heavy on local, organic, fresh produce, dairy, etc. I'm sure that she would be happy to accomodate about any reasonable request. They do not take reservations (this is common in many restaurants in Denver and almost all in Boulder) but a call to her in advance to check out what she might offer that night would perhaps give you and your colleague some peace of mind. See www.potagerrestaurant.com/ They have posted their fall menu effective Oct. 20th.

      There are many excellent restaurants near the Convention Center, and most usually offer vegetarian items, but true vegan is harder to find. I suggest Potager because it is smaller, very intimate, has outstanding food, and is where the chefs go on their nights off. I have met Teri on several occasions and came to know the restaurant when it was opening some years ago because I consulted for the organization Teri's father was running at the time in Peoria, IL. Her father, Tom, was a good friend though we haven't kept in touch over the years, but my family and I continue to like Potager in preference to almost any other restaurant in Denver. As I live in Boulder having dinner in Denver is not all that common an event absent some other activity that brings me to town!

      Google the restaurant and check out some of the reviews, I think you will be pleasantly impressed.

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      Potager
      1109 Ogden St, Denver, CO 80218

      1. k
        keninboulder Oct 31, 2011 11:17 AM

        Forgot to mention, their onion rings are also to die for. . . !

        1. k
          keninboulder Oct 31, 2011 11:12 AM

          Good morning! If it's the food you want, the hands-down best vegan/vegetarian restaurant in the state is Watercourse Foods, 837 E. 17th Street, 303-832-7313. The food is incredible, though the environment feels rather "hippie," interesting people, sort of a "thrift store" look to the place - but absolutely delicious! It's a bit of a walk from the Convention Center (little over a mile I'm estimating) but a short cab ride. I don't think they have a private dining room, and it can get a bit noisy, but if your group is not too large they should be able to handle your needs.

          My favorite item on their menu is the Rueben sandwich, though I'm usually there for lunch. Also, their milkshakes, made with coconut milk, are the best I've ever had anywhere! Give them a call to discuss your needs, or check out their website: www.watercoursefoods.com and look over their menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: keninboulder
            s
            spiceprincess Nov 1, 2011 12:52 PM

            Thanks for this great suggestion!! Only thing, it does seem more of a brunch/lunch place. Are there places that are more dinner / nice ambiance type? It does not have to be all vegan/vegetarian, just someplace that could accommodate a person who is vegan. Thank you.

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