Recently, I decided to pack up my bags and head back to the East Coast.  Los Angeles has treated me well, but I felt like my stay had come to a logical conclusion.  Plus, I had the chance to get back to New York in time to see the turning of the leaves and to catch the first frost.  And with this cross-country venture came a great opportunity: a vegan road trip!

I’ve driven across the country a couple times, but had never taken a northern route.  I resolved to stop at as many vegan and vegetarian establishments as possible.  Part 1 of this trip covers the drive across the western frontier.

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City has lots of vegan options.  From fine dining to casual outings to burgers and fries at a diner.  For the first night of my trip I stopped at Oasis Cafe, a cafe with a handful of vegan and vegetarian offerings, as well as the option of converting many non-veg dishes to vegan.  As is often the case, the dessert was the most memorable part — a very rich chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.

"Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake" with fresh raspberry sauce.

"Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake" with fresh raspberry sauce.

Laramie, WY

One of the surprises I found along the trip was Sweet Melissa Cafe, a completely vegetarian restaurant in Wyoming.  The restaurant was surprisingly full, with most tables already taken.  Melissa’s menu was has many vegan options, but the seitan sliders on mini pretzel buns (naturally) peaked my interest.  And since I find it general policy this time of year to order anything with root vegetables, I had the sweet potato and black bean burrito.

Seitan Sliders: Onion herb seasoned seitan on 4 mini pretzel buns topped with cashew cheese and served with horseradish mustard sauce.

Smothered Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito: Sweet potatoes and black beans in a giant whole wheat tortilla grilled and smothered with green chili.

Boulder, CO

Boulder has a lot to offer for vegans.  It was hard choosing where to go, but in the end I stopped at VG Burgers for dinner, an all-vegan, zero-waste, eco-powered fast food joint.  BBQ sauce helped liven up the tempeh burger and the coconut based soft serve was excellent.

Tempeh Burger

Vanilla and chocolate swirl coconut soft serve.

Denver, CO

Denver also has many vegan options.  I drove by Watercourse Foods for breakfast, an all-vegetarian restaurant with a mostly vegan menu.  There I picked up a delicious biscuits and gravy breakfast along with a classic milkshake.  I hope to return again to try some of their homemade vegan cheeses, including a maple walnut cheddar.

Biscuits and gravy with tofu scramble and sweet potato home fries.

Peaches and cream milk shake.

So far on the trip I hadn’t had any trouble finding good food at regular intervals.  I was even surprised by how many places I could choose from, especially in Colorado.  In part 2 I head to the Midwest to see what the plains have to offer…

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One Response to “Vegan Cross-Country Road Trip, Part 1.”
  1. Vegyogini says:

    You have no idea how happy it makes me to see you blogging again! I feel like I got to tag along on your trip by reading this post. :)

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