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From Jamaican Jerk Tempeh To Jack Fruit Tacos, These Are Boulder's Best Vegetarian Dishes

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OAK at Fourteenth [Photo: OAK]

Boulder has long been known for its yoga-doing, hippie-like, vegetarian-eating residents but now being vegetarian or vegan has become far more widespread than the crunchy stereotypes we find in Boulder. Here Eater features 10 of the best vegetarian dishes in Boulder. We strayed from the simple and non-inventive dishes you see restaurants throwing together like spaghetti or soup, and instead focused on inventive dishes that push the envelope and are well-loved even by omnivores.


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SALT the Bistro

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Salt, is one of Boulder's favorite downtown, farm-to-table restaurants. From their menu, they have a standout vegetarian dish, the "Local Vegetable Tasting". This changes seasonally, and it's presented on a long plate with a plethora of fun and unique vegetarian bites. For instance, currently this seasons dish features a chickpea quinoa cake, fava bean hummus, kale and radish salad, seasonal soup sip, citrus roasted beets and organic squash and zucchini. The dish is available at both lunch ($15) and for dinner ($17).

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

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Leaf is one of Boulder's premiere vegetarian and vegan restaurant. The concept is a nice sit-down restaurant, and they're owned by Three Leaf Concepts the well-known restaurant group. Choosing one vegetarian dish, from an entirely vegetarian menu is hard, but through popularity and uniqueness, we went with their Jamaican Jerk Tempeh. It's vegan and gluten-free and comes with forbidden black rice, coconut plantain sauce, sauteed greens and a fruit salsa. At lunch it's $12 and for dinner it's $16.

Black Cat

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The Black Cat's menu changes daily. It's completely driven by local produce and that day's harvest, largely from their own Black Cat Farm just up the road. Since their menu changes daily, want to recommend their Vegetarian Tasting Menu. Typically with 4-6 dishes, the Chef's Tasting Menu can be requested vegetarian (vegan and gluten-free for that matter) and they will create unique, special dishes just from the ingredients that day. The tasting menu albeit steep, is $59 for all courses and $103 with paired wines (we recommend, they're very tailored to your dishes).

Zoe Ma Ma

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An authentic Chinese restaurant, brought to you by the Mama herself, this small eatery offers very much adored, vegan dumplings that are filled with tofu, shitake mushrooms, garlic and chives for just $1.25 each and their favorite vegetarian dish is the Vegetarian Noodle Bowl that comes with organic egg noodle, fresh vegetables, tofu and your choice of sauces for $6.95.

Chez Thuy

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Chez Thuy, a Vietnamese restaurant on Boulder's 28th Street offers an entire page devoted to vegetarian dishes, on their vast menu where you can find traditional favorites like sesame tofu or phad Thai. Perhaps one of their more unique dishes is the "Tofu Basket" (Tofu To Chim) with tofu, eggplant, yellow squash, mushrooms and cashews stir-fried with garlic and chile. It's served over rice noodles in a crispy lo mein basket for $8.95.

The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR]

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The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR], is the casual, community bistro that's part of The Kitchen's restaurant group. Their unique vegetarian dish that has stood the test of time since their opening, is their Beet Burger. The beet burger is a vibrant red, it comes out on a bun with feta, balsamic onions and arugula for $7.95.

Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place

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Shine is known for their gluten-free kitchen, their elixirs and their unique events they host in their restaurant's gathering space. Although they aren't solely vegetarian, one of their signature vegetarian dishes is their Jack Fruit Soft Tacos. The tacos come with house cultured local tomato salsa, lime infused quinoa, sour cream and black beans. Available at lunch and dinner, for $13.75.

OAK at fourteenth

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Oak at Fourteenth's wood-fired oven kitchen and craft cocktail program have won them many awards and is a downtown Boulder favorite. On the vegetarian side of things, their honey crisp kale salad has won many awards itself as a standout. This salad has honey crisp shaved apples, kale shaved into thin ribbons, parmesan, togarashi chile powder and candied almonds. You can find this for at lunch ($11) and dinner ($12).

Tiffin's

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Family owned Tiffin's serves up southern and Gujurati Indian vegetarian street food. The entire hole-in-the-wall of a restaurant is vegetarian. Their masala dosa is a favorite feature on their menu which is a large crispy rice crepe stuffed with spiced potatoes, onion sabji and you can add cheese to the dish (making it $9.95) or $7.95 without. If you have more room, as a bonus try their samosa chat, an Indian pastry with curried potatoes, onions, peas and topped with fresh cilantro, chopped onions, chutney and crispy lentil noodle shavings $6.95.

Jill's Restaurant & Bistro

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Although Jill's is a hotel restaurant, they've stepped up their game by offering vegan lunches every Friday. Although these new Friday lunches offer a variety of seasonal dishes that vary week-to-week, a crowd favorite is their roasted eggplant, mango and coconut curry with toasted cashews dish. This buffet is $11.95 per person.

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SALT the Bistro

Salt, is one of Boulder's favorite downtown, farm-to-table restaurants. From their menu, they have a standout vegetarian dish, the "Local Vegetable Tasting". This changes seasonally, and it's presented on a long plate with a plethora of fun and unique vegetarian bites. For instance, currently this seasons dish features a chickpea quinoa cake, fava bean hummus, kale and radish salad, seasonal soup sip, citrus roasted beets and organic squash and zucchini. The dish is available at both lunch ($15) and for dinner ($17).

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

Leaf is one of Boulder's premiere vegetarian and vegan restaurant. The concept is a nice sit-down restaurant, and they're owned by Three Leaf Concepts the well-known restaurant group. Choosing one vegetarian dish, from an entirely vegetarian menu is hard, but through popularity and uniqueness, we went with their Jamaican Jerk Tempeh. It's vegan and gluten-free and comes with forbidden black rice, coconut plantain sauce, sauteed greens and a fruit salsa. At lunch it's $12 and for dinner it's $16.

Black Cat

The Black Cat's menu changes daily. It's completely driven by local produce and that day's harvest, largely from their own Black Cat Farm just up the road. Since their menu changes daily, want to recommend their Vegetarian Tasting Menu. Typically with 4-6 dishes, the Chef's Tasting Menu can be requested vegetarian (vegan and gluten-free for that matter) and they will create unique, special dishes just from the ingredients that day. The tasting menu albeit steep, is $59 for all courses and $103 with paired wines (we recommend, they're very tailored to your dishes).

Zoe Ma Ma

An authentic Chinese restaurant, brought to you by the Mama herself, this small eatery offers very much adored, vegan dumplings that are filled with tofu, shitake mushrooms, garlic and chives for just $1.25 each and their favorite vegetarian dish is the Vegetarian Noodle Bowl that comes with organic egg noodle, fresh vegetables, tofu and your choice of sauces for $6.95.

Chez Thuy

Chez Thuy, a Vietnamese restaurant on Boulder's 28th Street offers an entire page devoted to vegetarian dishes, on their vast menu where you can find traditional favorites like sesame tofu or phad Thai. Perhaps one of their more unique dishes is the "Tofu Basket" (Tofu To Chim) with tofu, eggplant, yellow squash, mushrooms and cashews stir-fried with garlic and chile. It's served over rice noodles in a crispy lo mein basket for $8.95.

The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR]

The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR], is the casual, community bistro that's part of The Kitchen's restaurant group. Their unique vegetarian dish that has stood the test of time since their opening, is their Beet Burger. The beet burger is a vibrant red, it comes out on a bun with feta, balsamic onions and arugula for $7.95.

Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place

Shine is known for their gluten-free kitchen, their elixirs and their unique events they host in their restaurant's gathering space. Although they aren't solely vegetarian, one of their signature vegetarian dishes is their Jack Fruit Soft Tacos. The tacos come with house cultured local tomato salsa, lime infused quinoa, sour cream and black beans. Available at lunch and dinner, for $13.75.

OAK at fourteenth

Oak at Fourteenth's wood-fired oven kitchen and craft cocktail program have won them many awards and is a downtown Boulder favorite. On the vegetarian side of things, their honey crisp kale salad has won many awards itself as a standout. This salad has honey crisp shaved apples, kale shaved into thin ribbons, parmesan, togarashi chile powder and candied almonds. You can find this for at lunch ($11) and dinner ($12).

Tiffin's

Family owned Tiffin's serves up southern and Gujurati Indian vegetarian street food. The entire hole-in-the-wall of a restaurant is vegetarian. Their masala dosa is a favorite feature on their menu which is a large crispy rice crepe stuffed with spiced potatoes, onion sabji and you can add cheese to the dish (making it $9.95) or $7.95 without. If you have more room, as a bonus try their samosa chat, an Indian pastry with curried potatoes, onions, peas and topped with fresh cilantro, chopped onions, chutney and crispy lentil noodle shavings $6.95.

Jill's Restaurant & Bistro

Although Jill's is a hotel restaurant, they've stepped up their game by offering vegan lunches every Friday. Although these new Friday lunches offer a variety of seasonal dishes that vary week-to-week, a crowd favorite is their roasted eggplant, mango and coconut curry with toasted cashews dish. This buffet is $11.95 per person.

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