‘Tis the season for out of town guests. Are you ready for the visiting vegan uncle? Or the daughter returning home from college a vegetarian? We’ve got you covered.

Bar scene

The Burrowing Owl

This can’t be a surprise. The only vegan dive bar in town, this is the place to go for creative cocktails (butternut squash puree with whisky, anyone?) and simple, plant-based bar food. Get the taco salad for a combination of healthy, leafy greens with homemade ranch dressing nestled next to a side of spicy taco meat and beans with cashew queso over tortilla chips.

McCabe’s Tavern

With a new interior and an updated menu, there are even more vegan options at this downtown pub. Go for the vegetables. The fried Brussels sprouts and cauliflower with a ginger soy glaze eat like candy. The Not Your Father’s Root Beer is this beer-avoiders favorite drink. (I’m campaigning for vegan ice cream for the ultimate dessert: an adult root beer float. Stay tuned.)

Trinity Brewing

Vegan corn dogs. And beer. You’re welcome.

Casual Fare

Bambino’s Urban Pizzeria

With lots of healthy options on the pizza bar, two items stand out: vegan cheese and vegan sausage (both made in house). The roasted garlic and caramelized onion are two ingredients that you simply must add to whatever ‘za you’re building (be sure to tell them to skip buttering the crust before serving). Order the red wine. When in Rome…

La’au’s Taco Shop

Fresh and fast food, the veggie bowl is the way to go. Grilled veggies bring an umami base to  dish layered with rice, beans, raw veggies and fresh salsa. Order as is. It’s already perfect. The margarita’s good, too.

Finer Dining

Adam’s Mountain Café

This farm to table establishment continues to be the go-to place for “mixed” friends and families. While non-vegans will order what they will, enjoy one of the finest vegan dishes in the Springs: the Senegalese vegetables served over udon noodles with sesame crusted tofu. Fresh ginger adds a heat to the coconut-milk simmered vegetables. The thin pieces of tofu fried in a light rice brain oil nearly crunch. Check out the specials board for the seasonal cocktail of the day.

The Blue Star Cocktail Lounge

Soybeans, again, but you have to trust me. The crispy tofu is battered so thick you could mistake it for a big piece of fried chicken. But make no mistake, that lightly crisped slab of ‘fu is served over a bed of shiitake mushroom risotto (already vegan!) and Asian-influenced tangy slaw will stick to your ribs. Go on Sunday for half-price bottles of wine (reserve list excluded).

Bookmark this list and you’ll be ready the next time someone asks where they can get a decent vegan meal in the Springs.