Native Foods - Boulder

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 36 reviews )
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303-442-0213
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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 (36)

First Review by lisamoshop

The worst of all of the Native Foods I've been to - Edit

I am from CA. Come here to visit and checked it out. I LOVE Native Foods. The employees here are very nice and friendly, but the food is TERRIBLE. Chili had no beans and tastes like pure tomato sauce. Chicken Run Ranch Burger was dry and had no flavor. I would never come back here. If you've never eaten here before maybe you would think it was good, but if you've been to other NF elsewhere you will be disappointed. Sorry

Pros: great customer service

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Yum! - Edit

Stopped here during a trip to Boulder - I know it's a chain but Iowa doesn't have any! I was really pleased with my food and so was my husband. We even got a free dessert since it was our first time there! Hopefully they'll make their way to Iowa because I would totally eat here all the time.

Pros: Tasty, Clean, Affordable

Cons: None

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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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! - Edit

My flexitarian parents loved the food here. It is fast food though, so not the healthiest vegan food but still vegan and very delicious !

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Vegan

  Contributions +116

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

ORIGINAL POST
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!

EDITED 7/16
------
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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fantastic - Edit

I probably had the best vegan meal ever here! I had the chicken club and it was amazing. The nachos are to die for. I will be back!

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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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Vegan

  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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