I’ll be back soon with more posts on misconceptions about veganism, but for today I have to tell you about a recent trip to Denver.
Outside of airport layovers and one meal passing through on a cross-country road trip, I haven’t gotten to spend a significant amount of time in Denver until last week. Let me tell you, in addition to stunning landscapes, beautiful artwork, and a vibrant downtown area, Denver is no slouch when it comes to vegan fare. I was able to hit up several places on my must-eat list, and yet there are still enough that remain that a few return trips will be required!
I’m starting my Denver highlights with Nooch Vegan Market…
Last summer I heard about the opening of Nooch, an all vegan market in the Northwest and Five Points neighborhood of Denver. My first thought was, “I wish I’d thought of that!” Sure, I’d had no plans on the horizon of opening a vegan market, but you really couldn’t ask for a more perfect name. (For those of you who don’t know, nooch is the nickname for nutritional yeast flakes, which has something of a cult following amongst vegans. It’s an inactive yeast, not to be confused with brewer’s yeast. It’s high in B vitamins and has a wonderful, cheesy flavor that works well in sauces, gravies, dips, sprinkled on pasta with marinara, or as a cheesy topping on popcorn.)
So when I arrived in Denver and needed to pick up some items that I forgot at home and to stock up on a few treats for the hotel room, Nooch Vegan Market called to me. The store itself reminded me of Artichoke Red in Orlando. It is small in size, but they pack a lot into their space. It’s clean and well organized, and they have so many specialty products that before I’d only see online like What a Jerky made from Soy Curls, Denver Seitan Company Wraps, Victoria Vegan Vodka Sauce, chocolate Easter candies and bunnies, and donuts from Beet Box.
They also have a large selection of books, Herbivore t-shirts, bath and body products, frozen items, and even a small amount of organic produce. The prices were consistent with what you’d expect to find at a natural grocery store.
I picked up some travel essentials like shampoo and conditioner. Of course, I couldn’t resist picking up a few bars of chocolate as well, and one of their Nooch bags that asks that age old question, “Where do you get your protein?”
I happened to go on a Wednesday night, and as luck would have it, on Wednesday nights from 5 to 6 they have a happy hour in which everything in the store is ten percent off. The Vegan Van, a vegan food truck, was parked outside, offering items like buffalo seitan and a dish named after my favorite rapper, Ludacris. (In case you were wondering, the Ludacris is Denver Seitan Company Chickenesque with Great Divide Double IPA waffles. Yes, waffles made with beer. Could it get more Colorado than that?)
If I hadn’t been saving my appetite for Watercourse later that night, I would have been rolling out with Luda for sure! (If you’re in the area and want to find out where the Vegan Van is located at that time, you can check the calendar on their website. Apparently a couple of other food trucks, Baba’s Falafel and Waffleganger, are also regularly parked outside of Nooch.)
Like going to a vegan restaurant and delighting in being able to order anything off the menu, winding my way through the products at Nooch tickled me as well. It would be a fabulous place to put together a care package. No label reading necessary! Or for a person who was thinking about going vegan but confused about where to start, Nooch would be a fabulous asset since they could buy anything in the store.