Vegan Durango: 11 Favorite Options (2019)
Since we last visited a couple of years ago, vegan Durango has upped its game!
For a small city, you'll find vegan options from a variety of cuisines in Durango.
Even though Durango has no 100% vegan spots, we managed to find plenty to keep us busy. Plus, if you plan to cook at home, or in an RV in our case, there's a great Natural Grocers and the City Market is pretty well stocked. Oh, and Durango Natural Foods Co-op is wonderful.
If you're planning a trip to Durango, Colorado and you're curious about the vegan options available, keep reading to see what we found.
Lots of the food mentioned below is in this video!
Vegan Durango Restaurant Options
Our first evening in Durango, we went out with a bunch of friends. We were a group of omnivores, vegans, gluten-free, and vegetarian people.
Grassburger was able to feed us all!
I got the Southwest Vegan Bowl: vegan black bean patty, pico de gallo & spicy serrano sauce served on a quinoa and rice base. Beware that green sauce - it's no joke!
Kevin got a double black bean burger and fries with a vegan shake. Oh, did I forget to mention they have vegan shakes?
The vegan burgers were great! The shake was okay but a little bit icy and very sweet.
Grassburger also has two locations in Albuquerque if you happen to find yourself out that way.
East by Southwest
We went to East by Southwest a few times this visit to Durango. It's an Asian fusion spot with many vegan options on the menu.
They had some inventive vegan sushi on the menu, so Kevin got some rolls. They also made him inari nigiri off menu.
We also got the beet fries this trip but recommend skipping them. They weren't as amazing as they sounded.
I had the Chiang Mai Noodles. They come in a thick coconut curry with a touch of cardamom and include pickled cabbage, fried shallot, scallion and cilantro. This was a flavorful dish and very filling. I took half of it home.
The next visit, Kevin got sushi again but I tried their vegan pho. You don't see vegan pho everywhere so you've got to try it when you find it. This one was a touch salty but still tasty.
The Living Tree
If you want to take a walk on the healthier side, The Living Tree might be for you. It's a salad bar type set-up except you don't have access to the bar. You tell them what you want on your salad or bowl.
The Living Tree is known for its fermented foods and their pineapple kimchi is really good. You might think with a name like The Living Tree that this would be a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, but they do indeed serve meat.
I got a grain bowl with beans, greens, and a couple of their ferments.
Kevin got their vegan chili bowl and didn't love it.
Because Kevin didn't love his, we didn't end up going back here. But I would've eaten this regularly. Of course, it's very similar to food I make at home.
Turtle Lake Cafe & Refuge
Turtle Lake Cafe & Refuge serves a lunch on Tuesdays & Fridays made of local, wild, and living foods. Everything is vegan except honey in some items.
Inside there’s a little store where they sell goodies made using their solar dehydrators. The full lunch meal is $15 suggested donation and includes soup, salad, a main, dessert, and beverage.
During our visit, the menu was wheatgrass lemon balm refresher, tomato coconut curry soup, local salad with cucumber dill vinaigrette, avocado poblano green enchiladas, and local cherry parfait.
We enjoyed it all, especially the enchiladas, and took home some raw ginger snaps, too.
Himalayan Kitchen specializes in Nepalese, Tibetan, & Indian Cuisine. While the menu focuses heavily on meat dishes, they do have a vegetarian section on the menu with a couple of vegan options.
Our first visit, I got the Aloo Govi Tarkaari: cauliflower and potato cooked Nepalese style with tomato, onion, dry chili, turmeric and twelve different seeds (Bara Masala). It was a light veggie curry.
Kevin got the Annapurna Tofu: pan fried tofu with a variety of bell peppers, zucchini, jalapeño chili, tomato, spring onion, cilantro, ginger, and garlic. Of the two, the Annapurna Tofu was our favorite, so we both ordered it next visit.
If you would like a bread, the Chyamtange Dhopzi is vegan and made of whole grains. It's similar to a thicker, fluffier whole wheat tortilla.
Cream Bean Berry
While vegan ice cream has become pretty common in the grocery store freezer case, it's not that easy to find at gourmet ice cream shops. Sorry, sorbet, you don't count.
But Cream Bean Berry has a couple of creamy vegan ice creams at all times! We put it 2nd to Frankie & Jo's in Seattle if that gives you an idea how good it is. Oh, they've got some sorbet too if that's your jam. So we went there quite a bit.
We arrived just before the vegan flavors changed. I LOVED the pistachio rose ice cream. Kevin's not a fan of floral flavors in his food, so that was all me.
Kevin's go to order was a scoop of coconut milk chocolate, a scoop of cookies and cream, on top of a vegan and gluten free snickerdoodle in a cup with a sugar cone on top. The sugar cones are vegan, by the way.
The cookies and cream was a little bit sweet for me so I usually stuck with the coconut milk chocolate. The chocolate flavor is strong with this one!
Cream Bean Berry can also make vegan shakes, affogato and more! If you're looking for a vegan dessert option in Durango, this is our #1 pick!
Check out more of vegan Durango in this video!
11th Street Station
Our first visit to Durango a couple of years ago, we visited the newly opened 11th Street Station cart park. While there, we really enjoyed a meal at Mariana's Authentic Cuisine but we were sad to see she wasn’t there anymore. Don't worry, we found her, but more on that later.
11th Street Station isn't as vegan-friendly as we'd like, but we did find tasty food there.
Manny Fresh Co. was our favorite option there. They have delicious vegan options like the veggie sushi burrito, tempura sweet potato roll, and we usually have them make us an avocado roll off-menu.
Everything is made fresh to order and they are very knowledgeable about their food. And I think it's the most beautifully plated food we've ever had from a food cart. They also have gluten-free options.
Mariana’s Authentic Cuisine
Now, back to Mariana's. The reason she's not at 11th Street Station anymore is a good one - she has upgraded!
Mariana's Authentic Cuisine now has a mobile food truck so she can have more flexibility about where she vends. We caught up with her at Powerhouse Science Center and all enjoyed a delicious meal. That location is right on the Animas River Trail and a convenient place to stop when out for a bike ride.
She has items marked vegan but can also make many more vegan and is happy to. She also has plenty of gluten-free options.
We had summer rolls, Gado Gado, and the "Vegan Dish." All were delicious.
To get the most up-to-date information about where Mariana’s Authentic Cuisine will be, find her on Facebook.
Durango Natural Foods Co-op
What's the best vegan meal bargain in Durango? This rice bowl at Durango Natural Foods Co-op!
It's filled with rice, steamed veggies, your choice of protein and dressing for $6.99. It's also really good!
Don't miss their vegan chocolate chip cookies, either. They have a few tables inside and out where you can enjoy your meal.
And bring a grocery list - it's also a well-stocked co-op. They even have some bulk bins and bulk spices.
The Yellow Carrot
We were lucky enough to be served by the owner Sari. She knew exactly what was in everything and was able to guide us and make changes where needed. That was also helpful for our gluten-free friend.
Let’s start with dessert first. We ate that later, at home. There were a couple of vegan options in the case but this Almond Coconut "Twix" Pie was the jam! Oh, it was also gluten-free and sugar free.
I had The Green Thumb sandwich - avocado, cucumber, spinach, romaine, asparagus & walnut pesto. Her bun tops have egg wash so it was served open-face. And I think they had to leave off the pesto for some reason so she brought a side of a creamy potato salad that was vegan instead.
Kevin had The Scrambled Vegan burrito - rosemary beets, scrambled avocado, agave sriracha & crunchy carrot hair. He loved it! He also got a side of the rosemary brown butter fries that she altered to make vegan. The seasoning on them was amazing!
Sari is definitely open to offering more vegan options if she gets the demand for it. If you’re local or just passing through, keep it in mind as an option!
Raider Ridge Cafe
Raider Ridge Cafe is a spot that serves burritos, wraps and smoothies. We stuck with burritos and got the Big Canyon with added tofu and the Hippy Wrap (made vegan.)
We ate here out of convenience and hangriness so it wouldn't be our first choice in Durango but the food was filling and good if not exciting.
Well, vegan Durango really delivered! For a smaller city, there were a surprising number of vegan options.
About the Author
vegan. digital nomad. cycling. scuba. intj. former vegan bakery owner.