City, O' City

Considering Colorado’s recent influx of young people over the last few years, I was not particularly surprised by how similarly Denver felt to New York’s Brooklyn. Both places are home to tons of street art, locally owned eateries (as opposed to chain restaurants), and an ever-growing population of creative folks.

Prior to my trip, I had heard that Colorado also had a fairly large health-driven community. Still, I was taken aback by the abundance of vegan options I found. Within Capitol Hill (where I was staying), there were several places that accommodated non-meat-eaters. Some places offered vegan substitutions such as tofu scramble, mock cheese, and vegan dressing. Others were completely vegetarian or completely plant-based.

City, O’ City, for example, offers vegetarian fare with plenty of vegan substitutes. Scrambled eggs can be replaced with tofu scramble, pepper jack cheese with Daiya, and regular yogurt with an almond-based alternative. Considering most of my friends can enjoy a meatless meal but would prefer milk-based cheeses, City, O’ City is a good place for satisfying everyone’s cravings.

During my stay in Denver, I ate at City, O’ City three different times–brunch, lunch, and dinner. While all three outings were delicious, my favorite was lunch in which I enjoyed seitan wings, macaroni and cheese, and Caesar salad.

The food
Ever since I went to Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia and tried their amazing seitan buffalo wings, I’ve had a mild obsession with the savory treat. And so, when I saw that City, O’ City also had seitan wings, I couldn’t help but order a batch. The appetizer came with 10 wings, of which I got five buffalo and five barbecue-flavored.

While it didn’t surpass my experience at Blackbird, I was still very satisfied with the appetizer. The wings were crispy and drenched in sauce; the buffalo was spicy, but not painful and the barbecue sweet and flavorful. The dish also included a delicious vegan Ranch dressing, and of course, some refreshing celery and carrot sticks.

The Caesar salad at City O’ City is not a particularly exciting dish but the ingredients are fresh and tasty. The romaine lettuce and croutons add a nice crunch to the meal and are given generously. My favorite part of the salad, however, is the cashew-ricotta dressing. Its granulation and creaminess perfectly emulates the parmesan-infused dressing commonly used in non-vegan Caesar salads.

Having tried their rich and creamy vegan fondue during a previous visit, I felt confident that City, O’ City could make an equally impressive mac n’ cheese. I was right in my assumption. The dish consists of pasta shells and broccoli smothered in a rich, cheddar-style cheese. Although, the cheese is noticeably coconut-based, the subtle flavor is a nice addition to the plate, and in fact gives it an almost seafood-inspired undertone. The broccoli rounds out the hearty dish and provides some extra nutrition.

The drinks
With Colorado’s abundance of breweries I wasn’t surprised to find that City, O’ City had a large selection of craft brews. That afternoon I chose Great Divide Titan IPA–a hoppy and citrusy beer that paired nicely with the seitan wings. City, O’ City also offers cocktails as well as coffee, tea, and espresso drinks.

The service/ambience
Succulents, beautiful chandeliers, and a variety of artwork adorn the restaurant, making any meal not only delicious but also picturesque. And of course, City, O’ City’s expansive menu make it an ideal spot for individuals with any dietary lifestyle.

The servers were attentive and accommodating. Most importantly, they warned me of any non-vegan ingredients that I may have overlooked before ordering. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just want good quality food in a vibrant ambience City, O’ City is definitely worth checking out while in Denver.