By the end of February, conscientious eaters in or around Fort Collins will have another option for considerate dishes. The now national Native Foods fast casual eatery, serving “made-from-scratch” meals, is aiming to open for business in late February at 3300 S. College Ave., in the heart of the commercial spread intersecting E. Horsetooth Rd. This will be the restaurant’s fourth Colorado location and second since 2014.
“We felt the area is home to many guests we already welcome at our other locations in Denver, Lone Tree, and Boulder,” CEO Carin Stutz said in a press release. “The Fort Collins community is booming with healthy food brands, and we’re thrilled to make our mark in this area. We can’t wait for community members to experience the ‘original’ plant-based fast-casual restaurant.”
“Original” refers to a movement that began three decades ago in 1994 in Palm Springs, California. As environmental consciousness germinated from seed to stalk, chef Tanya Petrovna launched Native Foods’ first diverse menu, bringing together international dishes that could be delicious and “100% plant-based” at the same time.
This winter, this means the introduction of several “vegan comfort foods” to warm bellies while minimizing footprints. Dip grilled cheese sandwiches (concocted with a homemade provolone and cheddar almond basil pesto) into warm bowls of gluten-free, plant-cream tomato bisque. Spicier palates can dive into Buffalo macaroni and cheese featuring dairy-free-cheese-doused macaroni noodles mixed with plant-based crispy Buffalo chicken, bacon (also plant-based), celery, green onion, and “a touch of ranch to bring everything together.”
Patrons looking for handheld eats can indulge in plant-based Italian beef sandwiches, burgers dripping with toppings, or chickpea chicken shawarma wraps. There’s nachos for dippers, bowls for silverware stuffers, salads for traditionalists, and a number of sweets for dessert-lovers.
With several locations in Chicago and California, the store is now building up its Colorado base. Last year, that meant a new Lone Pine store and in 2023, the sustainable fare will come to Northern Colorado. Patrons looking for a quick, affordable, tasty bite, meat eaters or not, will be invited in to give the handmade chow shot.