There’s nothing better than a hot home-cooked meal to warm a
gloomy day. Rainbow restaurant, 212 W. Laurel St., offers
nutritional entrees with a home-cooked flair to nourish the body
Rainbow restaurant can be seen on the drive to campus; from the
outside it looks like a welcoming family home. Once inside, the
family atmosphere only becomes more pronounced. Family portraits
dating from the late 1800s to the present day decorate the
restaurant walls and shelves. The inviting, personal atmosphere
makes customers feel like they are special guests at a friend’s
Since 1974, Rainbow has been a family restaurant, owned by three
sisters, a brother-in-law and their mom.
The building itself has a lot of history. Over the years, it has
been occupied by a bank, a home economics practicum and has been a
women and a boys’ dormitory.
“We had somebody stop by here about eight years ago that was
born in this house,” said co-owner Gail Washecka.
The cozy family atmosphere and nutritional food attracts many
loyal customers, some of whom dine at Rainbow every day. It is the
regular customers that give the business its financial
“That’s our bread and butter – the regulars,” Washecka said.
Rainbow has been voted Best Vegetarian Food by the Collegian for
the past nine years. It has also been awarded Best Vegetarian Food
numerous times by the Coloradoan.
Rainbow serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers various
types of food, including Italian-, Asian- and Mexican-inspired
Some of the most popular items on the menu are salads, soups,
baked ziti and peanut and cashew veggies.
In addition to using fresh ingredients, Rainbow maintains its
health-conscious menu by minimizing the salt use in its food,
adding no preservatives and using free-range eggs.
“Any dish that we have is primarily vegetarian,” Washecka said,
“but if you want to have chicken, you can have chicken on it.”
To ensure that vegetarian customers are served strictly
vegetarian food, Rainbow chefs use a separate grill when cooking
“You don’t want your tofu fried right next to bacon,” said
Rainbow waitress Cindy Steiler.
Many Rainbow customers require food to be prepared in a certain
way, and the Rainbow staff is happy to adjust their entrees to meet
each individual customer’s needs.
“We cater to people who normally can’t go out to eat because
they have special dietary needs,” Steiler said.
Whether people are vegan, macrobiotic or have food allergies,
they know Rainbow will accommodate their special requests.
“There’s a really big demand for special dietary needs –
anywhere from health issues to special dietary preferences,” said
co-owner Linda Washecka, “That’s one of our strong assets is that
we really accommodate the needs of the clients.”