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A vegan's travel guide: Fort Collins, Colorado

Raw coconut cream pie at Tasty Harmony. So amazing.
Raw coconut cream pie at Tasty Harmony. So amazing.
Sara Jelley, Tasty Harmony 2009

A vegan’s travel guide: Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado is the hub of Northern Colorado, and it is becoming more and more progressive as the years go on. Fort Collins is rapidly becoming a hugely popular biking hub, with more and more active and world-conscious people. As such, it follows that it is also becoming more vegan-friendly. The following establishments are among my favorite places to frequent in satisfying my vegan tastebuds.

Tasty Harmony: I had written a review last year in which I was too harsh about the staff attitude. However, after visiting a few more times and hearing countless rave reviews from others I am more impressed by its versatile menu that appeals to everyone from raw vegans to omnivores. With downright mouthwatering entrée and dessert menus, Tasty Harmony is my new favorite place to take people to eat when in Fort Collins, whether they are vegan or not. Most omnivores that have eaten there are immediately smitten with the food, and I become more so as well every time I visit.

Fort Collins Food Co-op: One word: Daiya. The only place in northern Colorado that stocks Daiya vegan cheese for retail sale. See my article about this amazing phenomenon here. The Co-op also carries all the vegan staples including faux meat, Avo’s Tempeh (see below) for sale, all natural and vegan laundry and hygiene products, and everything in bulk. The Co-op is an incredibly environmentally and socially conscious center for Fort Collins, and anyone can join or shop there. Members are business partners, which makes ordering and shopping easy and cheaper, and volunteers run the cash register every day. It is just a happy place to shop and meet new people, and become a part of a healthy and conscious community.

Avogadro’s Number: This veggie-friendly restaurant has been the classic meeting place in Fort Collins for the conscious generation, for generations. Since the 1970, “Avo’s”, named after the famous multiplier, has fed vegans and vegetarians on their “Tempeh Tuesdays” and lured others in with their entertainment nights full of open mic nights as well as bands playing everything from bluegrass to hard rock.

Mug’s Coffee Lounge: The majority of the menu items at this comfortable downtown coffee shop are vegan or can be made vegan. Fort Collins natives and college students have been coming here for over 5 years, since there were 3 locations all over town. As a high school student, I hung out there and studied or relaxed between classes. It has always had an enlightening and cozy atmosphere, a quality that has only been amplified by the owner’s decision to downsize to one downtown location in recent years. Read my interview with him here.

Human Bean: A hip drive-thru coffee stand with two different locations. Non-dairy options abound, including smoothies, chai and lots of flavored coffee drinks. It’s incredibly convenient, and the baristas here care a lot about making you feel at home, even as you sit in your car and wait for your coffee.

The Rainbow Restaurant: It has been a few years since I’ve eaten there, but browsing their menu reveals the same health-conscious and local veggie-friendly food as always. One of the first places I saw raw cane sugar on tables, the Rainbow represents breakfast and lunch as it should be: whole and good-for-you food.

Sunflower Farmer’s Market: Now a staple grocery chain in the western states, Sunflower provides quality veggies in a cheaper and more local manner than does Whole Foods. With locations in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins, I’ve gotten used to having quality local and organic produce at my grocery store. Recycled and organic hygiene products as well as the more mainstream natural brands are available here, but Sunflower never supports the corporate monster brands one might see at a national grocery chain. Read my article on shopping vegan and organic from the old days here.

Libations:
Fort Collins Brewery
New Belgium Brewing
Sign up a few days in advance for a tour and sampling session at this brewery that features only vegan beers. My favorites are Sunshine Wheat and Mothership Wit, but they recently started to feature their new IPA, called Ranger’s.

Currently, O’Dell’s is not featured on Barnivore’s website, but I am planning on doing research first hand soon.

Veg Guide to Fort Collins

Comments

  • Corey Wrenn 4 years ago

    The tempeh at Avo's is hit or miss...good deal though. I heard that Watercourse is selling their stuff at a coffee shop here, but I forget which...I need to know...especially since the Buttercream Bakery quit selling vegan cupcakes :(

  • Profile picture of Sara Jelley
    Sara Jelley 4 years ago

    It's The Bean Cycle! Haha just saw this article after a long time. Watercourse vegan carrot cake and cookies, etc. at the bean cycle now. love it! Now, though, there are often vegan carrot cakes and vegan brownies at Mugs, thanks to a certain employee. :)

  • Corey Wrenn 4 years ago

    Alley Cats always has vegan pastries too

  • Corey Wrenn 4 years ago

    Alley Cats always has vegan pastries too

  • Corey Wrenn 4 years ago

    Sorry--one more thing--Vitamin Cottage on South College...they probably have more vegan specialty items than any of the other health food stores in town.

  • trblmkr 4 years ago

    What the hell is Vegan Beer? Last I knew, they didn't slay cows or chickens to make beer. Maybe I'm missing something.

  • Sara 4 years ago

    Haha thanks Corey, I haven't been to the Alley Cat in years. I figure Vitamin cottage is pretty widespread, but I guess so is Sunflower.
    trblmkr: Some beer companies filter their product through isinglass, which is a fish product. Some use sugar that has also been processed with bone char. Check out barnivore.com for what's vegan and what's not.

  • Lisa 4 years ago

    Thanks for this article Sara.
    I hope you'll reconsider promoting Whole Foods over Sunflower however. Sunflower promotes mostly factory farmed animals in their meat sections and has very little consciousness about their own private label products. They sell the worst eggs imaginable under their own brand and don't promote any vegan products in their delis or food service area. Whole Foods on the other hand has a passionate vegan CEO, JOhn Mackey, continually promotes new vegan companies and has recently hired an amazing world recognized vegan chef to hear up their food service devision. I am a loyal Whole Foods shopper for all those reasons and the pioneerng work they are doing in promoting a plant based diet is deeply commendable. I hope vegans will consider supporting this pioneering company for all the good they do.

  • Sara 4 years ago

    Thanks Lisa! I guess because no one complains about Sunflower in the mainstream news, I haven't heard any of that. Its good to know which companies are supporting compassionate practices. Guess I haven't done all my research!