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Mile High Vegan Eats: Root Down

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root Down

Since moving to Denver I’ve felt lucky to be surrounded by so many vegan dining options. Some are hidden gems, and some, like Root Down, are pretty well known within the vegan community. And why wouldn’t it be? Just look at that menu, plenty of “vegan by request” options on there. And really, doesn’t seeing the word “vegan” on a menu just make you all squishy inside?

Root Down has been on my dining wishlist for nearly 2 years, I just never quite made it there… Until now. I went with a small group and although I was the only vegan, everyone was more than happy to eat plant-based with me, and (most importantly) to let me eat off their plates 😉

Before we get to the food though, let’s just talk about the restaurant itself. It resides in what used to be a service station, and has a really great vibe.  A little trendy, a little industrial, and  very comfortable and inviting.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root Down

Garage doors from when the building was a service station

And now, the food. First up was the Sweet Potato “Falafel”, topped with an Israeli salad, sesame seeds and chile oil:

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root DownThey were crispy, and the sweetness of the potatoes went perfectly with the chile oil. I could’ve eaten 3 more, honestly.

Next we tried the Veggie Burger Sliders:

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root Down

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root DownYou see that red sauce in the background? Jalapeno jam, thankyouverymuch! I dipped everything in that sauce, the sliders, the sweet potato fries and possibly even my spoon, ha ha. The sliders themselves were tasty and perfectly cooked. If only all restaurants served handmade veggie burgers like this!

I also sampled the Stir Fry Tofu which was served over this mushroom risotto cake that I’m not sure I can even accurately describe:

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root DownIt was literally a cake of risotto, all crispy on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside. I don’t know if they fried it or baked it or how exactly they got it that way, but it was divine! There were also tons of veggies including carrots, eggplant, anaheim peppers and garlic, and it was all topped off with a coconut cream and spicy date sauce. This was seriously delicious. The tofu itself was cooked the way it was meant to be (in my opinion), it was crispy on the outside and soft, almost flaky on the inside. In a way it reminded me of breaded fish, although it tasted nothing like that of course.

And finally, there was dessert….

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root Down

Confession time… I don’t really remember exactly what this was. It was strawberry sorbet with oats and sweet celery. I think maybe it was deconstructed apple pie, but I might be wrong. I didn’t take notes because I rely on the menu to help prompt me, but it was a special that night and so it’s not listed. All I can say for certain is that it was delicious, hope that helps, ha ha.

Okay, so now we’re going to switch gears and talk about the bathrooms. You might think it’s a strange thing to talk about during a food review, but the bathrooms were just so cool that I can’t not mention them!

What makes a bathroom cool? Smart sinks!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root Down


 Did that make sense? Or do you need something a little more visual?

Mile High Vegan Eats: Root DownYes, that’s a sink above the toilet! You wash your hands, and then the next time someone flushes, the toilet refills with my used sink water. Brilliant!

Want more Denver-area restaurant reviews? Check out my Mile High Vegan Eats page!

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{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Cadry May 17, 2013, 6:12 am

    Everything looks so delicious, and I love the look of a restaurant in a repurposed service station. One of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Southern California is also in a repurposed service station. (It’s called Fatty’s.) It seems that repurposing buildings but keeping some of the notable features is the way of the people who own Root Down & its sister restaurant, Linger. Root Down was on my list of restaurants I hoped to visit when I was in Denver in March. No such luck; however, I was able to hit up Linger, and the food was terrific. They also have the same toilets there. Brilliant idea!

    • Barb May 17, 2013, 4:07 pm

      Linger is great!!

  • Stacy May 17, 2013, 6:53 am

    Looks amazing! Might have to try it when I am there in a couple of weeks for my birthday!!

    • Barb May 17, 2013, 4:08 pm

      You should!!

  • Beth May 17, 2013, 9:00 am

    I lived in Denver for 6 years, and Root Down is hands down one of my most favorite restaurants! Go during happy hour (only served in the bar) and their Don Draper drink is divine. Have you heard of/tried their sister restaurant Linger? In the Highlands close to Vita, Lola’s, and Tin Man Ice Cream! Also, I’m sure you’ve heard of them but Watercourse Foods and City o City are two more amazing Vegan eats. I’ve seen you review Spudnik already, so I won’t suggest that again! Yummmm….good eats! Enjoy!

    • Barb May 17, 2013, 4:07 pm

      Of course I’ve heard of Linger, love it. And I work right across the street from COC so I eat there way too much, LOL

  • Heather May 17, 2013, 10:09 am

    Have you tried Eden yet? That one has been on my list for awhile. I live pretty close to it, but I haven’t made it there yet. I hear their brunch is amazing.

    • Barb May 17, 2013, 4:07 pm

      I’ve heard great things but haven’t tried it yet!

  • Cheerfully Vegan May 17, 2013, 5:19 pm

    We’re leaving on a trip next week that takes us through Denver. This is good info to know about! I’m wondering…what kind of price range are we talking about here? Is this a special birthday/anniversary/splurge kind of place, or take the whole family out once a week kind of place?

    • Barb May 21, 2013, 3:22 pm

      I’d say it’s definitely more of a splurge than a ‘once a week with the whole family’ place, but it wasn’t overly expensive. From now on I’ll start noting the costs in my reviews though, thanks for the idea!

  • Annie May 18, 2013, 2:23 pm

    What a cute place! I remember driving by it – – dang on me for not stopping and eating!

    A comment on the toilet/sink…In theory it’s very, very cool, but I can’t help thinking (and I’m Howard Hughes-ish, for sure) about any inadvertent co-mingling between sink and toilet. And you have to kinda straddle the toilet to wash your hands? Okay, over-thinking this, sorry!

    • Barb May 20, 2013, 10:07 am

      Well, I stood to the side of the toilet to wash my hands, but I do see what you’re saying, lol!

  • Reia@TheCrueltyFreeReview May 18, 2013, 8:18 pm

    I can definitively say that the tofu I’ve had at RD is the best I’ve ever had. It was a bbq glazed with a side of potato salad and it was just the best. I love their veggie sliders too. We haven’t made it to Linger yet. that place is so damn popular and the only time we can go is one the weekend, when the wait is like 2 hours long.

    • Barb May 20, 2013, 10:08 am

      That tofu sounds good too! We’re lucky to live in a city with so many options!

  • Melissa May 20, 2013, 9:19 am

    I’ve only been here for brunch – looks like I need to make a dinner reservation asap!

    • Barb May 20, 2013, 10:07 am

      Yum, haven’t tried their brunch yet!

  • Heather May 20, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I went straight to the menu before reading the rest of the post and kid you not I mentally picked the same things you did-we would be perfect dining partners but would have to order 2 of each 🙂 THOSE toilets are amazing!!

  • JL May 21, 2013, 3:47 pm

    I have to get there! Everyone raves about it! Funny, there’s a vegan-friendly joint in Pittsburg, Double-Wide Grill, that is in an old service station. But it’s not all vegan and the food is definitely bar grub! I want what you had! 🙂

  • Hannah May 28, 2013, 6:19 am

    That is such an awesome dessert! Seriously daring to put actually celery in it, but I love the pairing and love their boldness to do so. I really want to do a riff on that now myself.

  • Cadry July 21, 2013, 12:11 pm

    Did you see that Root Down is coming to the Denver Airport? I emailed them to see if they’ll have vegan options at their airport location. It would be such a coup if they did!

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