Veganism is more popular than ever; vegan product sales grew 1,500% in 2016, this month is deemed veganuary, and even my steak-loving friends are thinking about “trying veganism for a week.” It’s a movement.
And while it’s not difficult to make hearty, delicious vegan dinners at home, eating out can be a challenge, despite food trends.
Here are some of our favorite vegan options in Aspen.
The most vegan-friendly place in Aspen is Spring Cafe. I wasn’t lucky enough to go here last time I was in Aspen, but it’s frequently made our blog for healthy eats and post-race fuel. With menu items like the mango quesadilla (with spinach, sauteed onion, cilantro, and Daiya cheese) and avocado tempeh Rueben, you’ve got options.
You’ve skied or mountain biked all day and you don’t want to go far for a good meal. At the base of Aspen Mountain sits Ajax Tavern, known for its champagne and apres-ski scene. It also has vegan bites.
You can order up the iconic truffle fries sans grana padano or their seasonal vegan dish. While they change their menu with the seasons, they always offer a delightful vegan option. This past winter I enjoyed the curried lentil & sweet potato dish with roasted heirloom cauliflower, cashew cream, and chermoula. This dish was sweet, savory, spicy and absolutely hearty. I swear my company was eyeing my plate.
Limelight Hotel’s LOUNGE
We at the Limelight love pizza which most often comes with cheese. However, we keep at least one meat and dairy free pizza on our menu each season. This winter it’s the Argentinian vegetable pizza with mixed veggies, chimichurri, pine nuts, and EVOO. I had this pizza recently. So good!
Our chef is also willing to work with you on modifying other dishes (like our sweet potato gnocchi). Just ask.
This no-frills joint is located on the far east side of town, but worth a visit (or two!) Like most Asian restaurants, it’s easy to find vegan options. When I went, I had the Com Tam with rice, fresh veggies, fried shallots, tofu, kimchi, nuts, and of course sriracha. #Yum.
Big Wrap serves up chill wraps, salads, and tacos. While most of their items are advertised with chicken, you can sub tofu. Score.
Aspen Mountain’s Sundeck restaurant is cafeteria-style which is perfect for all types of diets. I recommend a big bowl of the veggie chili. Other options include salads, wok-style dishes, and grab-n-go fare.
With more and more the population leaning towards a vegan diet, theses options will only expand. Stay tuned as restaurants in Aspen step up their vegan-friendliness. And in the meantime, I’m just thankful that hot toddies, craft beers, and rose are vegan. Cheers to that.