Looking for some tasty vegan eats near campus? It may seem like the downtown restaurant scene is monopolized by green chili-smothered meat and cheese, but in reality there are some great options for plant-based eaters. Whether you are willing to spend a few extra bucks for a vegan treat, or want to grab a cheaper meal on the go, you will not go hungry in Colorado Springs.
The purest vegan cuisine on this review’s menu comes from Nourish Organic juice bar on Pikes Peak Avenue. Pre-made salads, smoothies and even homemade and packaged kale chips go for around $10, and the brightly designed juice bar also hosts vegan-themed events a few times a year.
All of the produce going through Nourish’s doors is 100 percent organic, which is something to consider when choosing between Nourish and its only other competitor in town, Ola.
While some of the menu items at Ola Juice Bar are a little pricey and not 100 percent organic, you can still walk in with $10 and receive a rainbow colored vegan meal. There is everything from customized rice bowls and build-your-own nut butter breakfast wraps to smoothies, salads and exquisite acai bowls. You can even chat with the person behind the counter as they prepare your fresh meal just a couple of feet away.
If you are looking for a more omnivore friendly environment, Poor Richards is a classic Colorado College favorite that has many vegan options. You can pick your poison at Poor Richards, whether it is a macrobiotic brown rice bowl with tofu and veggies, a chickpea and squash stew, or vegan pizza with dairy free cheese and freshly baked vegan desserts. Your omnivore friends will be happy with the famous meaty or veggie-friendly pizzas, which can be custom designed by the slice. Meanwhile, enjoy browsing the adjoining bookstore, which stocks a variety of plant-based cookbooks.
There are even a few good grab-and-go options downtown. If you want a quick fast food meal that is light on your wallet and good for your health, then stop by Chipotle and grab a brown rice bowl with veggies and any other toppings you have in mind.
Chipotle has stopped using any GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredients and will take Tiger Bucks to pay for your meal. The Mediterranean equivalent is Pita Pit, where you can get a cheap pita pocket sandwich or salad filled with hummus and veggies the next time you need a quick bite.
If you are interested in updates on the vegan restaurant scene in Colorado Springs, J.L. Fields is a local vegan activist and educator who writes a monthly vegan restaurant review for the Gazette.
J.L. also runs the Colorado Springs Vegan & Vegetarian group on Meetup.com for those who want to get to know some local vegan community members.