City, O’ City in Denver – O’ So Good!

city o city interiorBefore I wrap up my Denver trip, I’ve saved the best for last – City, O’ City.  I was able to visit this new-to-me favorite a couple of times before the blizzard hit.   City, O’ City is a spacious vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options and all-vegan baked goods.  They serve early morning breakfast starting at 7 am and dinner and drinks until 2 am.  In the first room of City O, there’s a diner-style bar, tables, and a community table with hanging lights made from repurposed typewriter parts and LiteBrite lights.  The second room is darker and moodier with more tables for seating and a bar selling cocktails, wine, and beer, along with a rotating art collection.

IMG_0147-001When I was there the featured art was a series of miniature prints in heavy frames from Sandi Calistro, the same person who painted the gorgeous mural alongside their brick exterior wall (below).  The prints had been up for a few weeks, and by the time I was visiting, all of the diminutive giclee had been claimed, or else I would have procured one for myself.

city o muralNow onto the food…  The first time we visited it was in the late evening.  (Excuse the grainy, nighttime pictures!)  Our group decided to order drinks and appetizers to share with each of us picking something for the table.  Vegan appetizer options are often on the slim side at non-vegetarian restaurants, and so we decided to use our good fortune to sample a variety of tastes.

crudo - city oI picked the Crudo, which was a raw plate on a wood board.  With a smattering of zucchini roll-ups, julienned fruits and vegetables in spinach leaves, a rustic salsa in a spoon, and a tower of avocado with red bell pepper and greens.  This fresh platter paved the way for the fried comfort food to come.

buffalo & bbq seitanAlso on order were the seitan wings, which can come in either buffalo or BBQ sauce.  We decided to maximize our options and went with a combination of both.  They come with celery sticks and ranch dressing.  When my pescetarian friend tasted the dressing, she said she was sure that the dressing wasn’t vegan.  She said it wouldn’t be something that could really be veganized and taste like that.  Even though it said vegan on the menu, we thought it would be better to check, and so David ran off to find our server.  Sure enough, it was vegan, and so points there!  Good enough to fool you!  The buffalo wings were my favorite with that classic spicy sauce so perfect for dipping in cool dressing.

onion ringsfried peppersWe rounded out the appetizers with crisp tempura-battered shishito peppers with a soy, garlic, and sesame dressing, and that diner classic, onion rings and ketchup.

city o city exteriorEager to sample more of the non-fried portion of the menu, we decided to head back the next morning.

sardouWith a wealth of mouthwatering choices, I knew what I had to order when I saw grilled artichoke hearts on the menu with their dish called Sardou.  Apparently it’s a Louisiana classic.  It comes in a vegetarian or vegan version, and of course, I opted for the version with tofu instead of chickens’ eggs.  The plate was completed with creamed spinach and toasted almonds.  I gobbled up this rich and salty dish, which came with a side of breakfast potatoes.  Unlike most square cut breakfast potatoes, these were crisp and thinly sliced like savory potato chips.

power waffleDavid opted for the Power Waffle, which was served with a mound of fruit, vegan yogurt, and agave.  Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, I could easily see why their waffles were so popular on all of the tables around us.

City, O’ City has such a cool vibe, and I love their extended hours that can take you all day long.  It’s also right in the middle of downtown, meaning easy access to their art museum, Mint, capitol, and outdoor shopping area, the 16th Street Mall.  If you find yourself in Denver, pencil in a time for City, O’City.  You don’t want to miss it.


  1. I’ve got to get back to Denver!

  2. Looks so good! Have you thought about trying to re-create these recipes at home, and post your results for us? (Here’s looking at you, Sardou!) :)

  3. I love it when vegan food fools omnis!! Score on that ranch dressing!

  4. It’s dangerous for me to read reviews of places that are literally right across the street from where I’m sitting, it tests my self control 😉 COC is so yummy, I’m glad you got to eat there multiple times. And I love how they cut their breakfast potatoes! I’m a huge fan of their vegan breakfast burrito, and it has those same taters in it.

    • Yes, their breakfast potatoes are so stinking good thinly cut like that. I’m sorry to try your self control with my posts; although, it’s not a bad worst case scenario if it forces you to walk across the street and indulge in some mouthwatering food! 😉

  5. Grilled artichoke hearts? What a great idea. My husband was just in Denver (came back yesterday) and he went to Watercourse twice. He would have tried other places too but the problem was it snowed 9-1/2 inches! It became too difficult to get around. Anyway, he loved Watercourse. I think I’ll only visit Denver in the summer.

    • Ah, too bad! I know his pain! At least he was able to work in a couple of trips to Watercourse. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

      Denver (and Colorado in general) is so beautiful in the summer. For my next visit I’d enjoy hitting it in the summer too. Not only would there be less likelihood of weather related snafus, but there are also more chances for hiking and whitewater rafting. :)

  6. I definitely would have gotten the buffalo seitan wings too. That is pretty awesome that the sauce fooled your pescetarian friend. That’s just proof of how far vegan foods have come from 10+years ago! The power waffles look good too. I haven’t had a good proper waffle in a long time.

    • They had so many good looking waffles on offer, including a carrot cake waffle that sounded interesting. It can be hard to find good vegan breakfast options in restaurants. I envy the Denver locals who have access to City O all the time!

  7. I just saw your page linked on another blog, and have read through your Denver posts! I love hearing such love for my city, and you definitely visited my favorite spots! If you’re ever back, I’ll send you some other places you should visit. :)

    • Please do! I’d welcome more ideas! I don’t have any plans to visit Denver in the near future (except for a stop through the airport). However, I definitely look forward to going back at some point!

  8. I love City O! Aren’t their waffles crazy? Everything I’ve tried there is so good… but the City O Burger is my favorite. Glad you were able to make it here on your trip.

  9. That all looks so good, grainy nighttime pictures or not. I would have been unstoppable on that fried goodness. Good shout on getting both types of wings!

  10. what a cute little place! and what a delicious meal! next time i’m in denver….:)

  11. Ooh that waffle.

  12. Oh girl, vegan buffalo wings. Lucky duck! Those breakfast potatoes are killing me!

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