When Thanksgiving comes to mind — undoubtedly — the first image is always turkey. On top of that, other animal fares like gravy, buttery mashed potatoes and bacon brussel sprouts also pop in our heads.
Ten years ago, it might have seemed impossible to organize this holiday feast without meat — but now more than ever, it’s actually really easy to find and make a vegan spread. And luckily — several restaurants and bakeries in Denver are gearing up for the season with veggie-centric twists on the holiday classics. Whether you want to dine out at an all you can eat buffet or order a whole meal complete with a seitan roast, stuffing, sides and a pie — we’ve rounded up a number of options for you to have a successful vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving.
Beet Box Bakery & Cafe
Where: 1030 E. 22nd Ave., Denver
When: Pie orders through Sunday, November 18
The Lowdown: Sweets are an integral part of Thanksgiving — and Beet Box is chock full of sweet vegan pastries — and pies for the season. The three pie choices are apple, pecan and pumpkin — and you can make any one of those gluten-free. If you miss the pie deadline or just want something different they have a delectable selection of doughnuts with icing flavors like raspberry and blackberry. Other fares include muffins, scones, brownies, tarts and bread loaves. And like the pies — you can get almost anything gluten-free. Make it a date and grab some lunch, perhaps a tofu banh mi while making your Thanksgiving order.
Just BE Kitchen
Where: 2364 15th St., Denver
When: Pickup Tuesday, November 20 and Wednesday, November 21
The Lowdown: Just BE‘s food mantra is ‘gluten, grain, refined sugar and dairy-free.’ Although they do serve sustainable meats, there are tons of vegan entrees and sides. Thanksgiving meals are available which includes stuffing, gravy, mash and pumpkin pie — and you can ditch the included protein for a significant price reduction. When checking out online there is no option to take the protein off the meal price, so you’ll have to call 303-284-6652 or stop by the restaurant (or Facebook or email). Seasonal a la carte dishes you can pre-order online that feed four people each include spiced parsnip soup ($23), seasonal veggie hash ($48) and spinach & artichoke dip ($28).
Make, Believe Bakery
Where: 214 E. 13th Ave., Denver
When: Most orders require a minimum of 48 hours notice
The Lowdown: Make, Believe is a baked good paradise with all the Thanksgiving classics — vegan style. Whether it’s pumpkin pie, a pumpkin loaf, carrot cake or banana bread – you’re bound to find a few items your friends or family will love. And by the way — the menu is huge — many items can be made gluten-free by request and are specified if they contain soy or not. You can even snag some freshly made bread to add to your feast such as a bag of four Kaiser rolls ($6) to make some tofurkey sliders. Throw in some cookies or cupcakes for good measure.
Native Foods Cafe
Where: 680 S. Colorado Blvd., Glendale
When: Dine-In, Thursday, November 22, 12 – 7 p.m.
Cost: $29.99 for adults; $14.99 for kids 12 and younger
The Lowdown: Fast-casual vegan chain, Native Foods which started in California — has a restaurant right down the road in Glendale. It’s known for its vegan twists on the meaty classics like the cheeseburger, grilled chicken sandwich and fish tacos – but substituted with seitan, tempeh and nut-based cheeses. On Thanksgiving Day, it will host a holiday buffet complete with a Native roast, shepherd’s pie, apple cider-braised brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes and much more. Reserve you and your crew’s spot here. It doesn’t get much more hassle-free than this.
NOOCH Vegan Market
Where: 10 Ellsworth Ave., Denver
When: Open daily; special pickups Wednesday, November 21 and Thursday, November 22
The Lowdown: Chances are if you’re a vegan in Denver, you’ve been to the NOOCH. This is your cute, tiny grocery store with all things vegan — and fully equipped for the holiday season. Plant-based hams, turkeys, gravy and blocks of cashew cheese to name a few options. Not to mention — you can order individual Thanksgiving items prepared at Watercourse Foods by pre-ordering here and picking up at Nooch on the dates listed above. May as well grab a pint of ice cream — and maybe some veganaise, too.
Where: 1400 Cherry St., Denver
When: Dine-In, all day on Thursday, November 22
Cost: $22.95 per adult
The Lowdown: Radha Govinda’s is not only vegan but organic, spiritual and eco-conscious. It’s a buffet-style restaurant, ‘all you can eat’ and donning flavors from all different cuisines. Being open only four days a week including Thursday means they will be open on Thanksgiving with a special buffet. The menu will feature a lentil loaf with gravy, green beans almandine, candied yams and more. To reserve a table, call 303-321-0626 or email here.
True Food Kitchen
Where: 2800 E. 2nd Ave., Denver
When: Order pickups a few days in advance; Not open on Thanksgiving
The Lowdown: True Food is a nationwide chain founded by a physician, serving up seasonal, sustainable, organic goodness — with a location here in Cherry Creek. Currently, the menu is full of seasonal ingredients and has plenty of options for you to cater an amazing veggie-laden Thanksgiving. The catering menu features salads, sides, pizza, entrees and desserts — some vegan notables are the Korean noodle salad, charred cauliflower, kale guacamole and the squash pie topped with coconut whipped cream. Though you have to navigate through the meat dishes, there are plenty of meatless dishes to choose from — if there is (v) beside the dish, that means it’s vegan and (VEG) for vegetarian.
Where: Nooch Vegan Market, 10 Ellsworth Ave., Denver
When: Pickup Wednesday, November 21, 11 – 7 p.m.
Cost: $65-holiday meal; individual items vary
The Lowdown: Vegan Van is a beloved food truck producing delicious vegan creations for the city. You can find them parked in front of NOOCH Vegan Market several days a month. This Thanksgiving — they are serving all of the classics — you can either purchase a whole holiday meal feeding two to three people or order items individually. The whole meal consists of one herb seitan roast, garlic rosemary mashed potatoes, a savory green bean casserole, cranberry walnut stuffing, shallot sage gravy and pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream. Purchase your feast here.
Where: 3915 Tennyson St., Denver
When: Pickup Wednesday, November 21, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: $31 per person
The Lowdown: Vital Root is a favorite among the vegan and vegetarian community here in Denver — serving flavorful dishes using organic oils, unrefined sugars and organic flours. Its Thanksgiving menu is 100 percent vegan and gluten-free consisting of a Tofurkey with cornbread stuffing, cranberry orange chutney, cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted winter vegetables and a sweet potato pumpkin pie. Order your complete feast by scrolling down their homepage to where it says ‘Order Your Vegan Thanksgiving Meal!’ and just click on that.
Where: Watercourse Foods, 837 E. 17th Ave., Make, Believe Bakery, 214 E. 13th Ave. and NOOCH Vegan Market, 10 E. Ellsworth Ave.
When: Pickups at Make Believe: Saturday, November 17 through Wednesday, November 21; Pickups at NOOCH: Wednesday, November 21 and Thursday, November 22
The Lowdown: Watercourse Foods is 100 percent vegan and the sister restaurant of City O’ City. They are fully prepped for the holiday season with two options for picking up orders. The first option being — fill out this form and drop it off at Watercourse by Sunday the 18th and then pick up the order at Make, Believe Bakery between the 17th and 21st. The second option is just ordering online through Nooch’s website by the 18th — you can order items individually and then just pick up at Nooch on the 21st or 22nd. Easy peasy.
Where: All Denver locations
When: Pickup dates: Wednesday, November 14 – Friday, November 23
The Lowdown: Whole Foods, the healthy grocery store mogul, has always had great prepared Thanksgiving meals — now they’ve got a number of prepared vegan sides, too. All Denver locations are offering 12 vegan sides which you can order online and they are rather affordable. Dishes include roasted fingerlings with garlic parsley (serves six) ($14.99), cremini mushroom stuffing with kimchi (serves two) ($7.99) and there’s an option for a complete meal for two for $39.99.
Wong Way Veg
Where: Pickup order at The Art Gym, 1460 Leyden St., Denver
When: Order deadline Saturday, November 17, 8 p.m.; Pick up Tuesday, November 20 and Wednesday, November 21
Cost: $63 for two people
The Lowdown: Wong Way Veg is a vegan food truck that can be found at cool events around the city several times a month — and the truck is offering complete vegan Thanksgiving meals this season. The feast includes a holiday roast, five sides and two pumpkin tarts. You can also make it soy-free for $5 which is pretty cool. Order up right here.