Colorado Vegan Springs

    New vegan hot spots, whether or not your diet is plant-based.

    serving dishes at moxie
    Moxie. Photo by Brienne Boortz.

    There’s a wave of vegan restaurants opening in Colorado. No, not in Boulder. Nope, not Denver either.

    Colorado Springs is going vegan.

    OK, not exactly, but the city is having a surprisingly vegan moment. In recent months, two new, 100-percent vegan restaurants opened, joining the well-established leader of the pack The Burrowing Owl in a trifecta of pretty much anything a plant-loving foodie is looking for.

    Santana’s Vegan Grill

    This one’s a—wait for it—vegan drive-thru. Hidden at the southwest corner of Union and Academy, the stand-alone fast-food joint is regularly surrounded by cars four and five deep. You’ll find meatball subs, hot dogs and burgers—standard fast-food fare, with zero cholesterol or animal cruelty. Go for the belly-busting deluxe bacon cheese burger and greasy fries. (Proof that vegan eats won’t earn you healthy sainthood.)

    5046 N. Academy Blvd.,  santanasvegangrill.com


    vegan dish from moxie
    Moxie. Photo by Brienne Boortz

    Moxie

    On the other end of the spectrum there’s the unpretentiously stylish Moxie, with exquisite food and clever drinks. A must at the bar: The Dude Went Vegan. Its housemade coffee liqueur, vodka and coconut milk are dangerously on point. Two musts at the table: tempura Brussels sprouts and sage gnocchi. Healthy never tasted so slightly decadent, and the lunch and dinner fare rivals some of the best New York City vegan restaurants. Something to look forward to in summer: breakfast and gorgeous patio-views of Pikes Peak.

    925 S. 8th Street, livemoxie.co

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    JL Fields is the founder and director of the Colorado Springs Vegan Cooking Academy and the author of several cookbooks, including Vegan Pressure Cooking and the forthcoming The Vegan Air Fryer. Fields is on the culinary arts faculty at the University of New Mexico-Taos, a newspaper dining critic, and host of a weekly radio program.