The vegetarian (and vegan) sandwich selection at Half Fast Subs is dizzying

Categories: Vegetarian

Boulder is a town where it's reasonable to expect a lot from its eateries -- especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan. The college outpost has been hailed nationwide as a great place for food fans, and with all the hippies and alternative-lifestyle types, it's a given that any restaurant will have at least one vegetarian-friendly plate on the menu. But Half Fast Subs, located on the Hill within a stone's throw of the University of Colorado campus, takes its obligation to the plant-based community to a whole new level with its staggering menu.

See also: Vine Street Pub does beer -- and vegetarian plates -- right

The jam bands playing on the speakers and the variety of alcoholic beverages available (not just beer and wine, but margaritas and Long Island iced teas) are exactly what you'd expect at a Boulder-on-the-Hill sandwich shop. At 4 p.m. on a weekday, the dinner rush has yet to pick up, and only a few diners are watching whatever sports are dominating the handful of televisions mounted on the walls. A much more interesting view is the menu, which is colossal if you eat meat (there are ten kinds of cheesesteaks alone -- and you can choose chicken, steak or tempeh, so even some of those are veggie-friendly, too), and large enough to satisfy the pickiest diner if you don't.

The tempeh reuben is pictured above; Half Fast uses local purveyor WhiteWave's tempeh for a product that's got great texture and phenomenal taste. It's baked and served on your choice of bread -- French, wheat or white, which is a bit softer than the French -- along with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. The baguette-style French bread has the ideal outer crustiness and inner chewiness. The sandwich is served up hot, with the sour tang of the 'kraut and soft meltiness of the Swiss cheese combining with the tempeh, bread and dressing to create one of the best tempeh reubens we've ever tasted.

Other offerings on the menu include a veggie grinder, a barbecue veggie sandwich, an eggplant parmesan selection, baked tofu, a vegetarian sloppy joe and many more. There are 24 vegetarian-specific sandwiches on the menu in all, and you can also tweak any meat-bearing sandwiches to your vegetarian or vegan specifications.

Half Fast Subs is open for lunch and dinner nightly (and many nights till 1 a.m.); call 303-449-0404 or visit

Location Info

Half Fast Subs

1215 13th St., Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

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I've been a regular there for years, and like their food a lot.

Maybe they're just poking fun at themselves in a punny way.

Would you return to a restaurant with a great name and subpar food?

Ever heard of Pete Fountain's Walking Club in New Orleans?

Not saying I have an inside track here, but just sayin....


Great subs, but I just don't get the name.  Is is supposed to be taken literally, "half fast," meaning slow?  Not such a great characteristic in a fast-food shop.  Or is it supposed to be a pun on "half-assed," which - again - isn't a characteristic I'm really looking for in a place making me a sandwich.  

But semantics aside, they make a very tasty sub for meat eaters and veggies alike.


Food is great, that's what matter's.

Would you return to a restaurant with a "great" name and subpar food?

Methinks the name is just a way to poke fun at themselves.

Have you ever heard of Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club in New Orlean's?

Not saying I've got an inside track here, but just sayin...

Mantonat topcommenter

@monopod Maybe it's just a playful way to distinguish themselves from fast food or from places like Jimmy John's that use their delivery speed as a marketing point. Not the most sophisticated humor, but no worse than Pinche Tacos.


@monopodMaybe you know this, but the name came about from a "choose our name" contest, and I'm sure both interpretations were intended.  Why that was the winner, I don't know, maybe they were high ("look, a cute play on words, let's choose this one!"), because it certainly is a dumb name; neither interpretation inspires me to eat there.


I am old enough to remember eating the sandwiches (and tempeh) when it was called Planet Sub. Not sure why they ever felt the need to change the name. It is stupid. Great sandwiches though.


@monopod @Bagwhan There's no way it was the best name submitted (and the prize was something like free subs for 6 months so they surely had many entrants).  They must have been high, it's the only possible explanation.

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