Like a good powder stash or a pristine forested trail, a wholesome, plant-based food find that fills you up and keeps you playing outside is Colorado gold. Here’s where to find vegan (and a few vegetarian) options that will satisfy even the most ravenous carnivore in your high-altitude adventuring pack.


West End Social at Aspen Meadows Resort

Chef de cuisine ‍Rachel Saxton spotlights Colorado foragers and farmers at West End Social, a new epicurean hangout in the 40-acre Aspen Meadows Resort. She keeps it simple with fewer, better Rocky Mountain ingredients shining through in her veggie dishes, like pumpkin chestnut tortellini and salt-roasted celery root with escarole and lemon meringue. Come for the food and the company and stay to drink in the artsy ambience—a legacy nod to artist, sculptor, and architect Herbert Bayer who designed the original Aspen Institute campus in which the resort resides.

Plant-based bonus: Looking for something a little less formal? Hit up local favorite Spring Cafe in downtown Aspen for vegan huevos rancheros and acai bowls with coconut milk and cashew butter.


Piante Pizzeria

Hands holding a vegan pizza.
Breckenridge’s Piante Pizzeria. Photo courtesy of Piante Pizzeria

Piante means “plants” in Italian, and this family-owned gem in Breckenridge lives up to its moniker with plant-based sausage and pepperoni and organic cashew ricotta that tastes just like the real thing. The fully vegetarian, vegan-friendly restaurant’s open wood-fire kitchen bubbles up delightful Neapolitan-inspired crusts, topping them with non-GMO meat substitutes like shiitake mushroom bacon, pea-protein-based Italian sausage crumbles, and seitan pepperoni. Share the wood-fired olives and spicy roasted jalapeño poppers before diving into the Mr. White pizza made with an olive-oil-brushed crust, mozzarella (skip it for a full vegan option), cashew ricotta, garlic, shiitake bacon, and arugula.

Plant-based bonus: For a sweet treat, Breckenridge locals also line up at the counter for Amazing Grace’s giant vegan chocolate chip cookies.


Pure Kitchen

An top-down photo of a vegan bowl.
Pure Kitchen in Frisco. Photo courtesy of Pure Kitchen

Situated in the Frisco Whole Foods parking lot right off I-70, Pure Kitchen’s fully from-scratch dishes revolve around house-fermented veggies and produce plucked from Western Slope farms. Make a post-adventure lunch or dinner stop and steer around the meat options to find teriyaki-glazed jackfruit tacos singing with avocado salsa, cabbage slaw, and house-pickled red onion. The Pure Thai bowl marries rice noodles, squash, and zucchini with a to-die-for coconut-peanut sauce and a sprinkle of hemp seed and chopped almond crunch.


Turtle Cafe at Turtle Lake Refuge

Plate of falafel on salad with plant-based accompaniments.
Falafel lunch at Durango’s Turtle Cafe. Photo by Sadie Vance

If you love an earthy hands-on experience, this community education center and cafe offers twice-weekly raw food lunches grown and prepared onsite using tools like solar dehydrators and bicycle-powered blenders. Dine at a community table inside the greenhouse on Tuesdays and Fridays between 11:11 a.m. and 2:22 p.m. and breathe fresh oxygen from the sprouting microgreens. Turtle Cafe curates a menu around what’s abundantly growing, which in the past has included a wheatgrass-ginger green juice; wild mushroom, onion, and fennel soup; mole walnut lettuce wraps; and lemon-mulberry dessert bars. The $15 wild harvest lunch includes a homemade drink, soup and salad, main entrée, and dessert.

Crested Butte


A vegan chorizo bowl on a ledge.
The Norizo bowl at Crested Butte’s Bonez. Photo courtesy of Bonez

You don’t usually think vegan when you see “tequila bar” in a restaurant name, but Bonez is shifting the narrative. Look to its menu of bowls for the plant-based goodness. The Norizo bowl features meatless chorizo, roasted potatoes, red enchilada sauce, guasacaca (Venezuelan avocado salsa), corn, pico de gallo, pickled onion, and green onion, while the El Diablo bowl packs in flavor with teriyaki seitan, rice, shaved cabbage, mango salsa, taquería-style salsa, green onion, and lime. An order of vegan chorizo tacos is also a must. While you wait for chefs to prepare your order, walk around and take in the Dia de Muertos skulls—an homage to Mexican lithographer José Guadalupe Posada.


Treeline Kitchen

A colorful vegan curry with naan and a cocktail.
The vegan curry at Treeline Kitchen in Leadville. Photo courtesy of Treeline Kitchen

Owners Eric Wupperman and Christine Street established Treeline Kitchen in 2017 on the cornerstones of community, sustainability, and health. They work with producer-managed local foods distributor Tap Root Cooperative to access over 70 Colorado family farms. Relish that fresh produce with an order of vinegar- and herb-marinated beets and roasted vegetables with black olive aïoli, then dig into a bowl of the vegan chickpea and potato curry served with cumin-vinaigrette-dressed red cabbage slaw and seasonal squash topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. Pro tip: snag a seat at the rooftop bar, Above Treeline, which is the highest elevation-wise of its kind in the United States.

Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake is a freelance writer and children's book author living in Breckenridge. When she's not writing about food and mountain adventures, she can be found on the river with her son, pug and husband.