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One night each week, Somebody People, a vegan restaurant on South Broadway, throws an everyone-is-welcome dinner party. The Sunday Supper, as it’s called, is an all-hands-in effort, with every member of the kitchen staff cooking something and, often, executive chef Justin Freeman stepping aside to let someone else take the lead in an effort to encourage experimentation. The menu—which can skew Japanese, Thai, or even Irish, although the restaurant usually serves rustic Mediterranean fare during the week—is determined by the desire to use up whatever ingredients are in-house at the time.

Arancini dish
The mushroom and caramelized onion arancini with lemon aïoli. Photo by Sarah Banks

Although the Sunday Suppers have been around since Sam and Tricia Maher, who hail from Sydney, Australia, opened the spot in 2019, they fit neatly into Freeman’s ethos. The chef, who grew up in New York City with an Ecuadorian mother and an Irish father, has a profound sense of what it means to gather around the table. “I want to showcase what we all do at our homes,” Freeman says. “It’s the sharing of food with the people you want to be with.”

This sense of community and collaboration, not to mention the screaming deal of $38 for six dishes, was on full display the Sunday I visited. First, the service was warm and cheerful, much like the restaurant’s pastel decor and beachy-chic vibe. Second, the place was packed with a diverse array of people—hipsters, 80-year-old regulars, middle-age couples—all in the name of breaking bread together. And, happily, there was wonderful bread: That evening, it was a sourdough focaccia served with hummus and a side of punchy salsa macha, the dried-chile-and-nut oil of Veracruz, Mexico.

What followed was a veritable rainbow of spring veggies, tossed and charred, roasted and sautéed, fresh and folded with flavors so deep and satisfying that I had no wish for animal protein. A mafaldine pasta (my favorite of all the noodles for its ribbony, ruffly shape) was simple in its description—blistered cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and garlic—but buttery and lovely, combining the realms of pomodoro and cacio e pepe. The “butter” was a plant-based substitute for the real thing, of course, but it didn’t taste like it.

Portrait of chef Justin
Chef Justin Freeman. Photo by Sarah Banks

The dish of the night, however, was the cabbage. The usually tough and crunchy leaves were braised until tender, roasted so the tips of the leaves were charred, and drizzled with bagna càuda. Traditionally, the warm, garlicky Italian dipping sauce features anchovies, but that night, Freeman swapped in walnuts—and when I visited several weeks later, hazelnuts. The bagna càuda provides insight into both Freeman’s culinary depth and his vision for Somebody People. Although he’s an omnivore, Freeman believes in the Mahers’ eco-friendly mission and constantly works to deliver the satisfying mouthfeel of meat-based dishes through whole-plant cooking.

After he moved from Brooklyn to Denver in 2021 to open the Greenwich in RiNo, Freeman took his love for locally grown vegetables and versatile culinary prowess to Somebody People’s kitchen in fall 2023. The chef brings heartiness to the restaurant’s dishes in part by incorporating more pulses, which are high in protein, fiber, and iron, giving them a meaty quality. I couldn’t stop eating a winning lentil salad with asparagus, roasted turnips, and fennel fronds that was expertly dressed with a zippy lemon-Dijon vinaigrette. However, when I returned for a mid-week meal, I thought the flavors in a minestrone-esque borlotti bean dish with arugula were muddled by too much salt and overcooked pasta.

The bean dish was just one of a couple of misses. A promising celery salad with dates, smoked almonds, and dill didn’t have enough of the crunchy vegetable to offset the dates’ stickiness. And a broccoli rabe plate with frizzled shallots and salsa negra made with dried chiles was too bitter, even for this bitter-loving diner. That said, there were far more hits, including the mushroom and caramelized onion arancini with a cloudlike lemon aïoli and the very cold and nuanced Dirty Deeds martini made with Askur gin, aquavit, dry vermouth, and celery and olive brine.

With Freeman behind the stove, the Mahers are still putting on killer Sunday night supper parties that draw the kinds of people you wish you could be friends with. And that’s not a surprise. The David Bowie lyric for which the eatery is named—“And all the fat, skinny people, and all the tall, short people, and all the nobody people, and all the somebody people”—is very much the restaurant’s calling card. Well, that and giving everyone a good reason to eat their vegetables. 1165 S. Broadway

In Summary

  • The Draw: A satisfying and creative plant-based menu served in a lively space
  • The Drawback: The flavors and textures in some dishes don’t meld well
  • Noise Level: Medium
  • Don’t Miss: Sunday Suppers, braised cabbage in any iteration, mushroom arancini, mafaldine, lentil salad, Dirty Deeds martini

4 More Great Vegetarian Restaurants on the Front Range

Photo courtesy of V Revolution

The noodle dishes, sushi, and salads produced by these Front Range restaurants prove that you don’t have to practice veganism to enjoy plant-based cuisine. Even omnivores will adore these four venues.

Wellness Sushi

East Colfax’s Wellness Sushi serves plant-based sushi that goes far beyond a cucumber roll. Try the Ohnagi roll: tempura-fried green beans, avocado, and eggplant (a stand-in for eel). 2504 E. Colfax Ave.


Whole foods rule the soy-free and gluten-free menu at Boulder’s Thrive. The MC Green Salad—a jumble of greens, sprouts, purple cabbage, cilantro, cucumbers, and avocado tossed in a pumped-up pumpkin seed vinaigrette—is a nutrient-dense dream. 1509 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder

Vegan Thai Co.

If you find yourself in Longmont, make time for a picnic with eats from Vegan Thai Co. The takeout-focused restaurant specializes in dishes such as the umami-rich vegan pad see ew (add jackfruit!). 510 3rd Ave., Longmont

V Revolution

When scouring V Revolution’s Asian-inspired vegan menu, don’t overlook the Englewood restaurant’s black pepper mushroom bao buns. Pair the shiitake-and-king-oyster beauties with the V-fries, crispy tofu tossed in a sweet-spicy sauce, for a delicious and filling lunch. 3570 S. Logan St., Englewood

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This article was originally published in 5280 July 2024.
Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.