Vegetarians of Denver, Here are Four Great First Dates
Loose mask guidelines and dining out are still a thing - at least for now - so let's take advantage of it while we can. If you’re a vegetarian in Denver looking for a great first date spot you already know that there are some
solid restaurant options around town, but after a year in isolation, re-learning how socialize (and wear
not-sweatpants) might feel a little stressful. We’ve got you covered with four great date ideas that will
fill your belly with the best vegetarian eats in town and avoid awkward first-date silences by giving you and
your date something to do.
1.) Axe Whooping + Postino
Axe Whooping on Broadway doesn’t have any food or drinks (except soda and water), but hear me out:
an hour chucking axes will go by in a flash, and will tell you everything you need to know about your
date. There’s no time for awkward small talk here: when you arrive, the professional, attentive staff
shepherds you through check-in and training, and the addictive adrenaline jolt you’ll feel when that first
axe whacks the wall will leave you and your date grinning at each other from ear to ear. (Their “Rage
Room” also looks awesome, but save that for at least date # 3, otherwise it’ll seem like a red flag.)
Afterward, stroll down the block to Postino and request an outside table. There are tons of vegetarian
options here, but I love the vegan Bounty board and and the ricotta and pistachio bruschetta, along
with a glass of wine or local beer.
2.) City O’ City + The Church
City O’ City is a vegetarian institution in Denver, but your omnivore date will still love this spot. Start out
the evening with a couple of “La Santa Sancha”cocktails, made from mezcal, hard kombucha and fresh
berries, and order a couple plates of vegan pizza rolls and BBQ burnt ends tacos to share. Canoodle.
Shows at The Church typically start around 9pm and it’s close enough to walk, so once
you’ve had your fill of libations head toward the 130-year-old former Episcopal church, whose gothic
peaks and stained glass create a haunting backdrop for bands and DJs. Check out the calendar of shows
3.) MCA + The Pig & the Sprout
Located downtown just blocks from Confluence Park and Union Station, Denver’s Museum of
Contemporary Art celebrates 25 years this year with some spectacular exhibitions. The first Saturday of
each month is Penny Saturday, where guests pay – you guessed it – a penny. Stroll the exhibitions, then
make the 10-minute walk through the city to The Pig & the Sprout, where the menu is split down the
middle into “Pig” (meat) and “Sprout” (vegan/vegetarian/pescatarian) dishes. High ceilings, garage
doors and an indoor/outdoor bar create a lively late-summer vibe. Order the tofu kimchi tacos, vegan
brussels sprouts. and the Rock Pile cocktail - vodka and peach schnapps give it a kick, purple sea flower
syrup gives it some local color.
4.) Vital Root + Lakeside Amusement Park
Vital Root is almost completely vegan, but the flavors are so bold and the presentation so beautiful that
your date truly won’t miss the meat. Guests order at the counter and are then well cared-for by
attentive servers in this light- and greenery-filled, modern space. The banh mi tacos, sunflower risotto,
and Saigon bowl are standouts, the Pineapple Collins cocktail is refreshing and not too sweet, and I was
very pleased with the Green Ginger smoothie with vodka added in (don’t judge me).
Lakeside Amusement Park, a short walk away, went dark last year due to Covid, and I was sure those
110-year-old doors were closed forever. But against the odds, Lakeside is back open just in time for the
end of summer. As dusk falls each night, organ music from the carousel fills the air and giggling teens
and couples form a restless line for the Wild Chipmunk. This roller coaster was built in 1955 and looks it.
Strap into the two-seater car and grab your date’s hand – you’ll need something to hang onto during the
whirling helix at the end.