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Native Foods - Boulder

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 34 reviews )
Contact 303-442-0213

1675 29th St Mall Ste 1272, Boulder, Colorado, USA, 80301

Small chain of vegan restaurants originating from Southern California. Offers a menu of sandwiches, veggie burgers, bowls, salads, and others. Order at the counter and food is brought to your table. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm, Sun 11:00am-8:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Fast food, Take-out, Fusion

Reviews (34)

First Review by lisamoshop

Well... pretty good - Edit

I ate here five times in two weeks due to obligations nearby, and I really want to like this place more, and rate it higher.

They are all vegan, super friendly, and have some fun options. Unfortunately they kind of go the way of the $10 small portion sandwich which is somewhat under-flavored.

I had several different sandwiches and the side wings, and all were tasty enough, though most required salt or hot sauce. All of the flavors were fine, just a little muted. I don't need an all-you-can-eat portion, but the portion sizes didn't fill me up a single time.

If this was the only vegan option in town, I'd likely rate it higher, and keep going back. But until they make the food a little more dynamic and the portions slightly larger, it won't be a go-to when I return to Boulder (or the other four states where Native Foods has outposts.)

Pros: All vegan, Fun, interesting options, very friendly

Cons: Not super flavorful, Small-ish portions

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Hard to choose from so many options. all worth the drive - Edit

We had a great meal at Native Foods in Boulder! There were so many great options that we ordered extra to eat in our RV the next night as well. Everything was delicious! We bought their cook book as well and have used it frequently. The bad news is we can’t make the food as good as them. The good news is that Native Foods has moved east and there is chance we will get there again soon. In our “Restaurant War” competition Native Foods just missed the podium.

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(EDITED 7/2016) - They've changed, and gotten worse - Edit

Fast, convenient, inexpensive, and vegan. How could you go wrong? I've liked everything I've ever had here, and I've been here many times. They have a good rewards program - $10 off for every $200 you spend.

Some of their dishes can be a bit heavier/too oily compared to what I'm used to with vegan food, especially because most have fake cheese or meat. In fact, we didn't go here for the first year we live in Boulder because we didn't realize it was vegan. We had seen the menu outside and everything seemed to have chicken in it. Their bowls are more of the lighter, fresher vegan I prefer with kale, grains, and veggies, and they are fantastic!

My wife and I have stopped going here. They're gone almost completely to mock meats and vegan junk foods. Everything is too oily and heavy now. They send us a BOGO coupon every Wednesday yet we've never used them. Not even worth going anymore, even if one of our meals is free. I think they only deserve 1-star but I can't give that since Happy Cow won't allow it for a completely vegan restaurant.

Updated from previous review on 2016-07-22

Pros: Inexpensive, Fast

Cons: Oily, Heavy, No fresh veggie options, all based on fake meats

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Fast food option - Edit

This is a nice fast food option for vegans and vegetarians. The line ends up being a lot like Chipotle's, which is long but that's fine with me. The food is good, I got a bowl both times I went. I will say that the tofu was horribly seasoned and I barely touched it. The rest of the bowl was awesome though. I also think there needs to be more variety to what a person ordering Gluten Free can order, but that's unfortunately the case at most restaurants.

Pros: Quick, Healthy Faster Food

Cons: Tofu Unseasoned , Variety of GF Options

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perfect quick healthy tasty conscious food - Edit

A five for fast slow food. A four for overall vegan across America. Right on. We were in San Diego last month at a Native Foods there and it was the perfect fast slow casual our family needed. They hit it out of the ballpark. My two girls and husband devoured it all. Including the peanut butter parfait and cookie sandwich desserts and awesome drinks!

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Never Again - Would rate zero if possible - Edit

I originally rated them as mediocre but now they are terrible. The food always sounds promising but lacks flavor, the quantity of food for the costs is poor and the menu is heavy on mock meats. Even my teen son didn't like it when we went recently to participate in a fundraiser and to give NF one last chance. We both were unimpressed and left with stomach aches as the food sat like rocks for hours. The food there is so processed it's minimally flavored junk food. We will not be going back again as we prefer real food with a pleasant taste.
Updated from previous review on Saturday July 11, 2015

Pros: Friendly staff

Cons: Over processed Junk Food, Low quantity of food vs cost

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why is this place so recommended? - Edit

fast-food style, nothing was great, would eat here if there was no where else to go.

Pros: friendly and helpful staff, desserts

Cons: food was bland, not good, pricey for fast food, school cafeteria taste

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THE place for vegans in Boulder - Edit

Before Thrive came along, this was the only all-vegan restaurant in Boulder. I've never had something I didn't enjoy here! Amazing chef, and they often have cooking classes and community events! Wonderful, kind and fast service, amazing food. Even your meat-eating friends are sure to love this place!

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A winning formula - Edit

We've eaten at the original Native Foods in California, and we're happy to have them in Boulder and Denver now and the Boulder location did not disappoint. The food was very well prepared on all three of our visits.

With a diverse and inventive menu of healthful items using some organic ingredients, very warm and attentive staff, a relaxed and spacious environment, and reasonable prices considering the quality of the food, we find Native Foods to be one of the most recommendable restaurants in the Boulder and Denver areas.

A few specifics:
• Twister wrap is tasty and filling.
• Butternut pesto polenta bites are a great appetizer or light meal.
• Sweet potato fries and regular "seasoned fries" are surprisingly scrumptious, with perfect texture.
• The desserts are divine.

Service was friendly and helpful. Even though it's a counter-service establishment, they do look after their guests quite well.

They also have a frequent diner card that gives you free stuff after a certain amount of purchases.

There's ample free parking in the lot.

The only thing that would make it better is even more organic and local ingredients.

We'll be back!

Enjoy :-)

Updated from previous review on Tuesday February 03, 2015

Pros: delicious, varied menu, all vegan!

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Native Foods is always great! - Edit

We've been to Native Foods in California and DC and are always pleased. Old fans should know it's not the original owner, but it's still great. They also have all vegan beers and wines.

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Vegan Dining at its Finest! - Edit

Happened to find this on the mobile Happy Cow app while traveling to Estes Park CO. Just reading the menu options had us anxious and excited, and we were not disappointed. They call this chain "fast food vegan". Everything is made from scratch, from their tempeh to "chicken". It was delicious. So much so, we ordered our dinner to take back to our cabin. I had no idea this place existed but now that I do, I will travel 3 hours to eat there again!!

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly staff, Extensive choices

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Great lunch spot - Edit

I go here for lunch when I crave a filling portion size and protein. Everything I've had so far was really good, and the price is right. I think the portobello sausage burger and scorpion burger would satisfy even meat-eaters. For a healthier option you can have steamed kale with sour kraut and tempeh. It's not a fancy dine-out type of place; it has more of a chain fast-food-ish feel to it, but a has very tasty food.

Pros: Filling portions, Very tasty, Good value

Cons: Chain restaurant feel

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They Probably Have What You Want - Edit

I am a vegan who misses meat and cheese sometimes and am thrilled to have the taste and texture of wings, chili, nacho cheese, Italian meats, chicken and the like. They do an amazing job, have lots of super healthy meals featuring vegetables and their desserts are quite tasty. I go to Native in Boulder every year on my birthday.

Pros: wine and beer too!, always very friendly, meat eating in-laws even like the food

Cons: a little casual?

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A piece of heaven! - Edit

I was traveling in the area and came across Native food. As a vegan it's hard to come across a good restaurant and even a restaurant that's 100% vegan. I wish I could've tried everything on the menu. My husband I share the nacho plate and Buffalo wings and chipotle chicken sandwich and their brownie for dessert. Everything was fabulous I don't think I've ever been so stuff after a meal. I can't wait to come across one of these again. This was a nice little treat.

Pros: 100% vegan, Vegan American food, So many options!

Cons: Need more locations

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  Contributions +501

Love This Place! - Edit

The last two times we've been in Boulder we made sure to eat here several times because the food is so good. Their salads are the best although there hasn't been a meal that we've been disappointed in yet. We always get everything to go since we travel with our dogs and everything is always packaged really well. The Native iced tea is a favorite of ours, as well. So refreshing without being overly sweet. We'll definitely be stopping there again the next time we're in Boulder!

Pros: Excellent Food, Decent Prices, Friendly Staff

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ALL VEGAN casual dining. - Edit

This is our go-to restaurant in Boulder for food to satisfy kids and grown-ups alike. The menu has burgers for my husband (Scorpion and Mushroom are his 2 favs), glorious bowls or salads for me (proper veg-head) and chicken nuggets for the kiddos (we add steamed kale). An entree each is enough. although the sweet potato fries with chipotle sauce are a must as a side or bowl to share. As a health-nut veg-head I do crave comfort food at times and this is the place for it! I like their zucchini bread for dessert and the kiddos like the cupcakes mainly because of the RIDICULOUSLY tall faux-frosting. You get a free refill on your soy chai. Also, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (mostly) you get a free dessert with an order of an entree and drink. We've eaten here over 20 times with non-veg friends and family and they like it too! If you sign up for their rewards program they give you $10 towards a meal on your birthday and $10 for every $200 cumulatively spent. They send occasional emails detailing cooking classes (quarterly) - the classes are well worth attending for recipes, giveaways & vegan cooking tips.

Pros: good prices, big portions (especially the bowls), Everything is vegan - even the 'chicken'

Cons: cafe-style/informal (make a line, pay, wait), busy (only because it's so good)!, frosting is ridiculous!

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Too good to be true? - Edit

Hands up, my review is coloured by being a Brit; lots of our vegan restaurants - which are a huge novelty in themselves here - serve grains, vegetables and stuff that sounds healthy, we just really don't have this type of restaurant in the UK. To be truthful, we looked at the menu we very nearly left ('Chicken in BBQ sauce? Where's the vegan food?!') not realising of course that EVERYTHING is vegan. Having had that revelation, the novelty of american style vegan food meant we ordered way too much: a starter each, a main each, a pudding and a shake each. The food came quickly, they were big portions, and to a Brit it was all pretty cheap. All the food tasted good, with a mix of textures and styles, and the staff were very helpful. The only thing I could criticise was that the layout means you sit very close to others, but this is a tiny price to pay for the overwhelming choice and tasty food.

Pros: choice, big portions, cheap (for me)

Cons: a bit crowded

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Unexpected - Edit

Oddly good food for the most part, 3 of 4 meals I've had were 4.5/5, one (a greek gyro quinoa salad) was maybe 2.5/5 for lack of flavor. Strange fast-casual corporate-feeling atmosphere—but I don't dine out very often, so maybe I'm uniquely caught off-guard. Menu is heavily weighted toward fake-meats, which I am somewhat uninterested in (even if made in-house)—I prefer my plants as they are, less processed. Wish Native Foods had a wider variety of legumes and beans in place of the "chicken". Still, I would definitely go here again when in Boulder.

Pros: Great taste, medium variety, Good price/portions, for Boulder, Daily special adds free side order

Cons: Fake-meat reliant, Odd insincere corporate atmosphere, "Too friendly" staff?

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Large Menu, All Vegan - Edit

This is the second Native Foods I have visited (the first in Chicago) and my opinion is the same. The food is not the most flavorful vegan fare I have eaten, but there is a large menu (burgers, bowls, appetizers, desserts, etc), it is pretty good, and it's all vegan. This time around I had the Sesame Kale Macro bowl (tempeh, ginger sesame sauce, steamed kale, sauerkraut, brown rice, cucumber salad) which I enjoyed quite a bit. My husband got the Scorpion Burger (tempeh w/chipotle sauce, avocado, veggies) and was less pleased as it was kind of bland and I couldn't taste the chipotle on it at all. We split and order of Native Chicken Wings w/ranch, which were good, and we both enjoyed the desserts we got to go (I had the carrot cream cheese cupcake and he got the peanut butter parfait). It's great to have a chain of fast-casual vegan restaurants and I hope they continue to expand (hopefully to my home town of St. Louis!). I would not hesitate to hit up another one I happen to come across.

Pros: Large Vegan Menu, Great Native Chicken Wings, Vegan Desserts

Cons: Dishes can be a bit bland

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Good all vegan menu - Edit

The food is good (not great) and gives an option when shopping in Boulder. I would prefer to see some non-fake-meat/tofu options on the menu for protein. Lots of good "real food" alternatives out there. Other than that, it has been good the couple of times we've been.

Pros: Good food, All Vegan

Cons: A little pricey, Too much dependence on meat substitutes

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Vegan Restaurant in Boulder - Edit

I'm happy that we now have a vegan restaurant in Boulder. This place is one of my favorites w/ a changing daily special and friendly service.

Pros: All vegan, Lots of variety, Friendly Service

Cons: They sold out of the vegan lasagna once

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Happy to have this place here! - Edit

I can't express how happy I am that we finally got a Native Foods. The food is great and the service is pretty quick. Not a huge fan of the iced tea as it tastes a little like cough syrup to me but that's my only criticism.

Pros: lots of choices, vegan desserts

Cons: cough syrupy iced tea

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Native Foods - Edit

Went to Boulder especially to try this restaurant and were not disappointed. Just wish they would open in Northern California where we have an abundance of wonderful vegan chefs but few affordable vegan restaurants. Hope that will change.

Pros: Delicious food, Great prices, Nice vibe

Cons: None in Northern California

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Not too shabby - Edit

It's nice that some place has opened in town which has more or less filled the niche that was left empty when VG Burgers closed. I haven't been impressed by all the dishes I've tried, but others are great (I like the Meatball Sub, the Twister Wrap, and the Reuben). Desserts and beverages are tasty too. Service is usually fairly prompt, including takeout, though sometimes they make mistakes if you customize an order. Other than that, the only complaint I have about service is that certain servers (including [I think] the manager) can come on a little too strong, e.g. be so helpful and enthusiastic it's exhausting - but I'm the kind of person who really prefers a hands-off approach when someone is serving me food. The decor is also pretty tacky. Regardless, it's worth the trip because it's the only fully vegan place in town with palatable food.

Pros: good selection, all vegan, quick service

Cons: parking sucks at peak hours, staff can be *too* helpful, please pay someone to redecorate

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Great food great prices - Edit

All vegan and all amazing. We had the portobello sausage burger, oklahoma bbq "burger", and meatball sub, with lentil soup, fries and sweet potato fries. The pesto sauce on the meatball sub and sausage burger was divine!

Pros: Great food, Great fast service

Cons: Parking can be tight

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  Contributions +18

Satisfies the comfort food craving - Edit

Wow! I am totally impressed by the wide range offered at this place, and all totally vegan. If you want to spare animals but miss the savoriness of meats, this place is for you. Their "meats" are so amazing and not too processed. On top of that, they utilize flavors and spices brilliantly. Great place!

Pros: fast, delicious, comfort-food

Cons: lots of gluten+ soy

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Medium fast food, but very yummy - Edit

Our whole family (2 generations including small children, and various others) has eaten here twice and will go again. It is not super-rapid but has many quite delicious vegan options. So far we have not experienced any of the complaints uttered by other reviewers. (I have no idea how one determines if there is gluten in various dishes unless one becomes ill. Have many reviewers complaining about gluten been there multiple times to sample various items and then get sick? I doubt it. But it is a question worth asking). The menu changes from time to time. Platters are generous, so a second meal at home is possible if you have brought your folding plastic bowl! (NO styrofoam!) Some drinks--like the wonderful lemonade--are free fill-ups, and very refreshing when the Colorado sun is bright. Support this place-- it is hard to find veggie fast food, and I want Native Foods to survive.

Pros: good for small kids, tasty veg food, easy to find

Cons: variable wait when busy, outdoor tables on north side

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Incredible variety, great service - Edit

The entire menu is vegan and there's quite a variety to choose from. I've tried the nachos, meatball sub, curry, mac and cheese, cupcakes, and cheesecake. The cupcakes are amazing! Light and fluffy cake with an artful tower of creamy not-too-sweet frosting. The carrot up cake with cream cheese frosting is the best. Oh, and the portabella burger was not my favorite due to an unusual patty, but you can't please everyone, all the time. The service really is exceptional. The staff have all seemed to be in a genuinely good mood, each time I've visited. There is no shortage of awesome vegan options in Boulder, but this restaurant is absolutely the best fast, casual dining option for vegans.

Pros: All vegan, Variety, Great service

Cons: I can't help but eat too many cupcakes.

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Best vegan food I've ever had at a restaurant - Edit

WOW! I was very impressed with the food and service and will definitely go back for more. I enjoyed a "double bacon cheeseburger with ranch"...and it was vegan. I could hardly believe it. It was delicious and even my non-vegan friend wanted more. I highly recommend this place!

Pros: Food Variety, Service, All Vegan

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All Gluten, All Soy, All Hype - Edit

This place is your typical "tell you what you want to hear" establishment.
They need to be honest about the food they sell, the staff and management are totally uninformed about ingredients, foods containing gluten, or GMOs.
I've been here several times since they opened, half of the items on the menu "aren't available", other items that are labeled as "gluten free" are not, the food is MEDIOCRE at best.
They claim "local", what a joke! I challenge Native Foods to show Boulder what exactly they are sourcing that is local, I guarantee that nothing they serve is local, they even told me that the soy/gluten meat that they use is made in a factory in California.
I'm glad that people can get a vegan option while they are at the mall, but all these local claims from a Chicago/California based corporation are a bit insulting.
If you live in Denver, just stick with Watercourse, its better food, and at least
they are a real local business.

Pros: vegan, wait staff

Cons: food, dishonest , non local

1 Response

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HappyVeganMom 26 Aug 2012 - I've noticed several gluten-free options on the menu. Are you claiming that these items actually contain gluten and the business is knowingly lying to customers? If so, please provide details. Also, which half of the menu was unavailable and on which date? I have been here several times and have not experienced anything being unavailable.

This is one of the only all-vegan restaurants in Boulder. If you are "in it for the animals," please provide all the facts when disparaging a vegan venture. VG Burger has recently been replaced by a chicken wings restaurant. It would really be a shame if this restaurant met the same fate.

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XL Portions of Most Delicious Veg Food in Boulder - Edit

So far I've tried Native Foods' chicken wings (awesome!), Soul Bowl,(delicious!), Native Nachos (magnificent!), strawberry parfait (no dairy! wait, wha?) and of course their housemade drinks (watermelon, and lavender lemonade). Everything has been fantastic, mouth watering, fresh, flavorful, and 100 percent vegan. Portions are huge, so part of today's lunch will probably become tonight's dinner. Good thing, because the prices can run upwards of 25 dollars for an appetizer, entree, drink and dessert. If youre budget conscious, skip the appetizer, but don't skip desssert!

One more thing: The decor is great, bright and cheerful with lots of seating available and a gorgeous mural to gaze at while you eat. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is very cheerful.

Pros: huge portions, best vegan food around, great atmosphere

Cons: a little pricey

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