Vegan Durango: where to eat and shop
We've visited Durango, Colorado a number of times before finally setting up a home base here. Thankfully vegan Durango keeps getting more and more interesting. For a small city, you'll find vegan options from a variety of cuisines here.
Whether you want healthy or decadent food, want to eat in or out, Durango has vegan options that will meet your needs.
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 so far.
Lots of the food mentioned below is in this video!
Vegan Durango Restaurant Options
Basecamp Plant-Based Kitchen
You guys, Durango now has an ALL VEGAN restaurant! Hooray!
Basecamp is a little bit north of Durango towards Purgatory but it's totally worth the drive.
It was the Mile High Open Faced Meatloaf Sandwich that caught Kevin's attention so that's what he choose. Texas toast, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, a tasty sauce and crispy onion straws. It was every bit as good as it looks.
And, same for my choice, the Crab Cake Sandwich made of hearts of palm with a spicy aioli and crispy waffle sweet potato fries.
We need to go back soon and work our way around the menu. The cheese board looks fantastic. So does the BBQ sandwich. Oh, and if you'd like an adult beverage, they've got you covered.
Tacos are life! And Switchback Taco doesn't leave vegans behind. In fact, there's a whole "Vegan Dream" section on their menu.
Mushrooms aren't my favorite and I still think their mushroom taco is delicious but the smoked tofu is fantastic!
The tacos are street taco size which leaves you room to order fries or elote if you like. Both are delicious. Plus, when do you ever see vegan elote? Not often, that's for sure.
Famburger is a burger joint opened by the same owners as Switchback.
Famburger's vegan patty is made of falafel and is delicious. They have a completely vegan burger option on the menu called the Vegan Greek. It has the falafel patty with hummus, yellow peppers, olives, lettuce, tomato and pickle.
If that's not your jam, you can substitute this patty into any of their burgers for an upcharge.
Oh, I forgot to mention, they have vegan Dole Whip. And you can get it boozy, but I'm not sure about the vegan status of the rum they use. This is a wonderful place to stop by while out for a bike ride on a warm summer's day.
If you're looking for a burger, Grassburger is your spot. I highly recommend it for mixed company. We went with a group of omnivores, vegans, gluten-free, and vegetarian people and everyone was happy.
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!
Their black bean patty is both vegan and gluten-free. The potato buns are vegan but the gluten-free bun is not vegan.
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've been to East by Southwest a few times now. 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've also tried the beet fries but recommend skipping them. They weren't as amazing as they sounded.
Unfortunately, I do not see the next two dishes on their online menu. If they've removed these then the vegan options are reduced to sushi and appetizers.
On one visit I had the Chiang Mai Noodles. If you've ever had Khao Soi, it's kind of like that. 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.
Another time 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
As of July 2021, this place may be in the process of being sold. You may want to call before heading there in case it is closed or the menu has changed.
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 vegan section on the menu now.
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 go there frequently.
My favorite of their vegan flavors is the pistachio rose ice cream. It's SO GOOD but unfortunately they don't have it all the time. 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 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!
By the way, ALL of their baked goods and cones are now vegan. We love to see it!
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!
Craft beer and vegan options? Okay! So far Ska Brewing is the only place in town we've found that has vegan cheese for their pizzas.
And, look at these pizzas.
Seriously, these are some nice pizzas. The personal size is pretty generous. Some people might be able to get away with splitting one.
If you're not feeling a pizza, try their vegan sandwich, The Dave. It's jerk marinated tempeh, avocado spread, sautéed mushrooms, pickled vegetables, and shredded romaine on house made focaccia.
They also have tempeh tacos you can get but they were a little bland.
Mariana’s Authentic Cuisine
Mariana's Authentic Cuisine is a mobile food truck that can be found at various places. We caught up with her at Powerhouse Science Center and all enjoyed a delicious meal. (Her current spot seems to be in front of Office Depot.) 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. You can always message her for the current vend location.
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! (This might not be available anymore. Their current menu doesn't show it.)
We also highly recommend their Cali Luv sandwich. The vegan version is tempeh, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and Vegenaise. Now they're using local Luv Tempeh on their sandwiches.
Don't miss their vegan chocolate chip cookies, either. They have a few tables inside and out where you can enjoy your meal. But if you've got the time, take it over to the river and enjoy watching the rafters go by.
Oh, and bring a grocery list - it's also a well-stocked co-op. They even have some bulk bins and bulk spices.
Mountain Monk Coffee
Mountain Monk Coffee, a former cart, is now located on Main down by the train station. They have coffee, tea, and kava drinks including some interesting concoctions. The standard for their drinks is plant milk and cow milk is an upcharge. (We love to see it!)
You can also get a selection of Cream Bean Berry's vegan baked goods here. And, they have a menu of light sandwiches.
Everything marked with a (v) can be made vegan!
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!
Since our last visit, Yellow Carrot has added a "High Vibe" menu that's full of vegan options. We can't wait to check it out and update this post!
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. full-time traveler. rv dweller. food lover. cow petter.