Pure Kitchen’s customizable vegan and vegetarian bowls help garner votes to win Best of Summit award


Josh Walker sprinkles toasted sesame seeds on a vegan Pure Thai Bowl at Pure Kitchen Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Pure Kitchen uses vegan-based meals to allow patrons to customize their order to accommodate dietary restrictions while still offering classic proteins like meat.
Andrew Maciejewski/Summit Daily News

Dietary restrictions won’t hold anyone back from exploring Pure Kitchen’s menu. 

Co-owner Jason Payne knows what it feels like to sit down at a bar or restaurant and only have a few options to choose from, like a salad or sometimes just a side of fries. That’s why he and his fellow co-owner, Terry Barbu, created a restaurant boasting a farm-to-table menu that fits everyone’s diet. 

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With a menu full of vegan-based dishes, guests can customize orders to their liking. 

“You’re not losing any flavor by eating vegan. Actually in my opinion, I think it enhances the flavor. But I mean it’s a full-spectrum menu as far as that’s concerned,” Payne said. “We offer chicken, beef, steak, fish — depending on the year — and plant-based proteins.”

With nearly two decades of living in Summit County, Payne said he and Barbu opened the restaurant because they saw a need for nutrition-packed meals. 

“It’s always going to be vegan … because that’s the crowd we are drawing on,” Payne said, adding that they concentrate on making their sauces filled with spices to elevate the flavor. “There’s a 100% conscious effort to ensure those things stand out for those particular guests.”

His journey to supply fresh food began with running three greenhouses to stock the restaurant’s shelves in its early days. Pure Kitchen still grows its own microgreens, but it relies on Colorado farmers to do the rest. 

One of Pure Kitchen’s vegan power bowls is pictured at the restaurant in Frisco on Sept. 25, 2022.
Andrew Maciejewski/Summit Daily News

“We have seasonal menus, so we change it four times a year, focusing on whatever type of produce exists during that time of year,” he said. “We will do sweet potatoes or pumpkin-type things in the fall. In the spring, we are focusing on vegetables that are in production at that time.”

Food loses nutritional value the longer it takes to get on the plate, so Pure Kitchen prides itself on using as many fresh ingredients as possible. That’s what helped the restaurant win the Best Vegetarian/Vegan category in this year’s Best of Summit contest. The constant foot traffic — explaining the wins for Best Lunch and Best Restaurant: Frisco as well as being a finalist for Best Cocktail — keep the food fresh and farmers busy. 

The restaurant is located at 116 Basecamp Way, Frisco. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. To learn more, visit Pure.kitchen.

This story previously published in the Best of Summit guide. See complete results at SummitDaily.com/bestofsummit.

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