Mercury Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 12 reviews )

2199 California St, Denver, Colorado, USA, 80205

Serves meat, vegan options available. Organic food restaurant. Has some vege dishes. Eclectic atmosphere with live music some nights and swing dance on Sunday. Most of their food is local as possible. Open Tue-Sun 5:30pm-11:00pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-3:00pm.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, American, Organic, Non-veg

12 Reviews

First Review by flamekat

Bad for vegans - Edit

This place is really not good for vegans. Perhaps others could find something worth eating, but I'd steer all vegans away. I had an extremely overpriced small amount of exceedingly uninteresting pasta. Skip it.

Pros: Atmosphere

Cons: Food quality, Price to value

1 Response
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DavidDenver 18 Sep 2016 - I am sorry for your unsatisfactory experience at the Merc. In the future just tell us what the nature of the problem was and we will do whatever we can to provide a better experience.  

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worth a visit - Edit

The atmosphere of the Mercury Café is what really sells it. It has such an ethereal vibe which is just lovely to escape bustling downtown Denver a few blocks away. The food is a bit mediocre with the vegan options lacking a bit in flavor. However, it is still good and most everything is local and organic - a big plus!

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A longstanding local favorite hangout - Edit

The Merc offers atmosphere above all else — good vibes, good music, good teas, and food too, including some vegan options. If it were 100% vegetarian we'd go more often.

Pros: Good vibes

Cons: Not veg

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Great for Veg and Non-Veg Friends and Family - Edit

I really like the atmosphere here. Very unique, crazy cool, interesting decor, live music, poetry reading. I love that it is mostly organic and local. That is hard to find in a restaurant! There are lots of vegan friendly options, you can even get daiya cheese. My boyfriend and I like to go here when we have to cater to our non-veg friends and family since there are meat options as well, and our out of town guests find it to be quite the sight.
Updated from previous review on Monday December 21, 2015

Pros: Cool Atmosphere, Vegan Friendly, Live Entertainment

Cons: Parking

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beautiful place - Edit

I had such a lovely dinner here. The place is lit up by fairy lights... it's so beautiful and such a nice atmosphere in here. There's live music, swing dancing, and sometimes even open mic.

I had some delicious vegan tofu scrambles and tea, with vegan chocolate cake for dessert. Yum.

Pros: beautiful, nice atmosphere

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Good local place - Edit

This is a really great place. They support a lot of good causes and try to get all their food locally. They are very veg-friendly, though they do serve meat still unfortunately. Since we only have a couple true veg places in Denver, this is a great place to supplement. They also have lots of fun things going on here constantly. Overall, quite an addition to our community and a good place to get some veg food!

Pros: Very veg friendly, Local, Good causes

Cons: Serves meat, Kinda pricey

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A wonderful place! - Edit

The Merc has long been a favorite restaurant of ours. Go in for brunch and ask for a tofu substitution for eggs in practically every dish. At dinner, Dinah's tofu and the black bean tempeh are to die for! Also, look for specials including homemade soups and divine entries (lemon tofu cutlets in a plum lavender sauce, anyone?) The food is 99% organic and 80% local. Enjoy dancing lessons, concerts, poetry slams and plays while you dine. I had my wedding at the Merc and they provided generous servings of wonderful vegan food accommodating all of the special diets of our guests in their gorgeous ballroom. The Merc is always giving back to the community with classes, benefits, offering meeting space and donating goods to local causes. One warning, go to the Merc when you are not in a rush, as the hand preparation of each dish can make the service a little slow.

Pros: wonderful food, great atmosphere, fun

Cons: a little slow

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Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere - Edit

This is absolutely the most eccentric place I've ever eaten. It was totally wild. There was a guy playing a piano in one corner, and a guy dressed as a wizard doing tarot readings in the other. Upstairs, swing dancing was going on. The crowd ranged from hipsters to older folks. This place is just plain entertaining. There were quite a few vegan options (namely tofu, tempeh, or Mexican), though you had to sift through menu items heavy on chicken, fish, and ELK. Pretty gross. The bread they give you as an appetizer is not vegan--or so the waitress guessed (for a place trying to cater to vegans, I was kind of annoyed they weren't more clear or helpful in that regard). I ended up with a battered tofu meal a la carte (as I didn't see any point to buying a vegan dinner which came with more non-vegan bread). It came with generous portions--lots of interesting vegetables (we were drawing guesses as to what all of them were). It was very filling. The quinoa had zero flavor, though, and that seemed to come with almost everything on their menu. They had three different vegan items for desert. I went with the vegan cake sweetened with maple syrup. It was okay--but I've had better. It was a huge slice and I ended up sharing it with my friends.

Will be returning soon to enjoy the atmosphere!

Pros: Atmosphere, Entertainment, Vegan options

Cons: Waitstaff unsure of what was vegan, Vegan options limited

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one of the worst meals, inedible - Edit

This was a disaster. It was even more confusing since they had all the signs pointing to a nice evening, ambience-wise, and such. Nothing anyone had was good. The desserts were awful, flour unmixed in the heart of the cake, like biting into flour or someone throwing a sandbag in your mouth. No amount of water can fix that. They did take it off the bill. Dinner also took about 45 minutes to come. I guess if we were full, it'd not have been a problem, but the plates were inedible, and we all left hungry.

I suggest a serious reevaluation of the menu/cooking. Obviously, I would take all the dead things off the menu, then I would learn how to properly cook veggies and knock the price down. I think they are going for the so-you-want-to-look-cool-while-drinking-a-$12-drink crowd, some of whom may eat veg. Don't waste your time, it is awful.

Look at the menu, it is bad, and what sounds good isn't.

Pros: they claim to use OG veg, but can't cook it well at all

Cons: inedible food, elk & turkey, unmixed flour in cake

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Making a Difference - Edit

For so many reasons, this was my kind of place. They were very into local, organic produce, which I thought was so cool. The coffee was organic Zapatista coffee (and was AWESOME). The vegan options were limited, but were good. The juice/alcoholic beverages had many unconventional options, and there was a great tea selection.

The art was pure candy for left-wingers, and the decor was very cool.

While I have been to restaurants with better menu items, I loved it here. The owner was in the kitchen cooking, and the bathrooms were equipped with new environmentally friendly, water saving sinks.

I felt so glad that people were using their power to make a difference. I would gladly support them again. (I would have given 5 stars, but apparently you can only give 4 to a non-veg restaurant.)

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Wasted journey - Edit

Please be warned that this place is NOT a vegetarian/vegan cafe. We walked 25 minutes to get there and then took five minutes to find the eating area - we must have been confused by the jive dance class and a rally for a presidential election hopeful. When we found it, the cafe looked cool - until we saw the meat on the menu. We drank the water that had arrived on our table and quickly made our excuses to leave.

Cons: serves meat

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Well, I liked it - Edit

I haven't been here in well over a year, but I've always enjoyed my meals here, although my parents couldn't say the same. The tempeh with black bean sauce is awesome, and the vegan specials are good. My family likes the enchiladas. Step-dad suggests staying away from anything creamy. There's a good range of desserts, with lots of vegan and gluten free options. They lean to the healthier side of vegan baking, but still nice. The atmosphere is funky and eccentric, so not for everyone, but it feels comfortable and homey to me.

Pros: Good food, Funky atmosphere

Cons: Bad service, Overpriced

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flamekat 22 Feb 2013 - So, I'm in Denver and made my first visit to the Mercury Cafe since summer 2005. My mom and I were having trouble deciding where to eat that night, and surprisingly, she suggested this. In the past, my family has only eaten here when I visit to give me a treat. Well, maybe the chef has changed, cause things were definitely better. We both had the tempeh with black bean sauce, which was even better than I remember, plus the dish now includes quinoa, as do many other dishes on the menu. Unfortunately, they've added a lot of elk to the menu. Ew. And it seemed like there weren't as many vegan options as before. Neither of the specials that night had a vegan option. For dessert, I had the chocolate cake with maple cocoa icing which is their standard vegan chocolate cake. It would be nice if they changed things up a bit. However, the cake recipe has definitely improved! I've had this cake maybe 6 or 7 times before and remember it as decent, nicely presented on a syrup drizzled and garnished plate, but fairly dry and healthy tasting. This time around it was on a small plain plate, but very moist, and my non-veg mom thought it was great. Final verdict: the quality of the food (and service) has improved, but unfortunately, the menu options for vegans seems to have decreased.  

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