There is no shortage of eateries in Fort Collins, including a decent amount of plant-based fare scattered among them. But eating animal-free cuisine doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or sacrifice flavor.
Olivia Good, a freshman biomedical sciences student at Colorado State University, has dipped her fork into some of the local vegan options, many only a short walk or bike ride away from Colorado State University.
“People often think that vegan food is so expensive and that it’s a restrictive diet,” Good said.
Whether you’re looking for mindful eats or wanting to try something new, here are five restaurants less than a mile from CSU that showcase the versatility of plants:
This breakfast-lunch spot is located directly across from The Oval and offers a cozy interior dining experience or a peaceful garden patio setting. Rainbow has been a family-run establishment for over four decades and has balanced options for omnivores and herbivores alike.
“What eating is about is being mindful of what you’re putting into your body, and that’s what Rainbow is all about,” said Dan Jones, co-owner of Rainbow, who recommends the dish ‘Steve’s Choice,’ a savory sweet-potato and grilled tofu concoction on the menu.
It’s hard to get much more local than a seasonal quarter-acre backyard garden, and that’s what this restaurant uses to supplement the food in the kitchen. Owners Saucha and Jill Steinhauser are fully committed to serving Fort Collins organic plant-based cuisine, all while juggling owning and operating a restaurant while raising five kids.
Tasty makes their own cashew cheese that is layered onto dishes like nachos and sandwiches, and have a whole section of their menu dedicated to smoothies. Adventurous foodies can add Irish Moss to any one of their frozen blends.
Gold Leaf Collective
An extension and home-base of local food truck The Silver Seed, this 4-year-old restaurant boasts a 100 percent vegan menu. They create fun versions of traditional sandwiches, like the pulled BBQ mushroom sandwich and grilled zucchini panini with sunflower seed pesto.
For avocado lovers, sliced avocado can be added to any meal on the menu for $2.
This bustling taco shop is cost-friendly for college students looking for a quick bite. DGT prioritizes making their food from scratch and sourcing their tortillas from Colorado.
When browsing through the menu, customers can see which dishes are made with local and organic ingredients. Starting with only three tacos on the menu since opening in 2013, DGT now offers a little bit of everything, like kale sautés and Thai tofu tacos.
Avo’s, as it’s commonly called, is a great venue to see live music and have get-togethers with friends over good food. For many years, this venue has been a staple in the Fort Collins music scene, and community members can choose from a diverse range of options on the menu.
Be sure to check out their two-for-one organic tempeh burgers made in-house on Tuesday open mic nights.