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Traveling is stressful enough, but it’s all the more so for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fear not, plant-based eaters: With the range of meatless dining options we uncovered at DIA, you won’t have to rely on tiny bags of peanuts to fill yourself up.
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Where: C Gates, Center Core
What to Order: Just like at the popular Highland location of Root Down, many items on the globally-inspired menu can be made vegan and gluten-free by request. For breakfast, go for the tofu scramble with Soyrizo, mushrooms, and spinach. For lunch or dinner, try the veggie burger (served with a pretzel bun, jalapeño jam, curry lime sauce, and arugula) or the New York Reuben, subbing the pastrami for country-fried tofu.
Where: B Gates, Mezzanine
What to Order: Choose from a vegetarian burrito or tacos, both of which come stuffed with sautéed carrots, zucchini, corn, red onions, peppers, and guacamole. Jazz things up with one of the salsas on offer: a medium version with dried chiles and roasted garlic, a spicy option with tomatillo and roasted jalapeños, and a fresh pico de gallo. You’ll also find an ample selection of tequilas, in case you need a libation to ease holiday travel stress.
Chef Jimmy’s Bistro & Spirits
Where: A Gates, Center Core
What to Order: Go to Jimmy’s, an Italian joint, for vegetarian pastas and build-your-own pizzas. Thanks to a variety of plant-based toppings—from spicy giardiniera relish to green onions to pineapple—creating the perfect meat-free pie is a snap. Our favorite combo? Mushrooms, green peppers, and black olives.
Where: B Gates, Mezzanine
What to Order: Any vegetarian dish at this quick Chinese spot can be made vegan by request. Keep it simple and healthy with Buddha’s feast: a mix of various fresh veggies, bamboo shoots, and tofu in a light garlic-wine sauce. Or, spice it up with chile string beans with chiles, red peppers, and onions.
Mesa Verde Bar & Grill
Where: A Gates, Mezzanine
What to Order: There are a handful of meat-free options here to fill you up before take off, but our picks are the portobello mushroom tacos with cilantro-lime rice or the veggie burrito with fire-roasted corn and poblanos. Early flight? Order the veggie breakfast burrito or skillet with red chile sauce (only served until 10:30 a.m.).
Where: B Gates, Center Core; C Gates
What to Order: This popular Colorado-born chain makes meatless dining easy. Satisfaction comes as peanut butter oats in the morning, a healthful salad at lunch (we’re partial to the Thai coconut with sweet potato, grated coconut, and a peanut-mango dressing) or pizza (vegan cheese is available) for dinner. Head’s up: Pizzas are only available at the Terminal C location.
New Belgium Hub
Where: B Gates, near Gate B60
What to Order: Of course, the beer here is stellar, but Colorado’s most iconic brewery has a few surprisingly strong vegetarian dining options, too. Pair a Ranger IPA with the stuffed roasted portobello mushroom, which is filled with roasted veggies and a tomato vinaigrette. Or, go for a classic Fat Tire with the vegetarian velodrome bowl, an epic version that comes with steamed rice, roasted seasonal vegetables, vegetarian “jus,” and your choice of Asian sesame-ginger or lemongrass teriyaki sauce.