Denver Series – Favorite Restaurants
I’ve been wanting to do this Denver series for a while now and finally got around to it! I’ll be doing 2 other posts that include my favorite places to stay and favorite things to do in Denver, so stay tuned for those!
I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life, but this city changes daily. New restaurants pop up all.the.time so I’ll definitely edit this post as new ones come up! This is a list of my favorite restaurants that all serve gluten free and sometimes even paleo items on their menu. When you come to Colorado, you’ll quickly see that it’s pretty damn easy to eat gluten free here! I’m not celiac but I still stay away from gluten all together and these are the places I’ve gone and never had an issue at! I’ll be sure to mention if it is a completely GF facility!
Just BE Kitchen – Just BE opened recently and this amazing restaurant is COMPLETELY paleo (meaning completely GF and safe for celiacs)! They are located in the amazing neighborhood off Platte, in walking distance to Downtown and LoHi. It’s so nice being able to walk into a restaurant that has options like a breakfast burrito or sandwich or green chile or amazing burger…and all ingredients are high-quality, grain-free and gluten-free, so you have nothing to worry about if you have dietary or autoimmune restrictions. And they even put a drink on the menu inspired by one of my recipes! You can also build your own bone broth so I’ll get one to go and drink it throughout the week! You’re going to love this place!
Rivers and Roads Coffee – This amazing and beautiful coffee shop makes almost everything in house, even their coffee syrups. But their menu is what really stands out. They offer gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo options available daily and they even have a completely gluten-free specified fryer for any of their delicious treats and snacks. So far, I’ve tried an amazing gluten free berry cream muffin, a donut whole, and their gluten free cheddar biscuit breakfast sandwich made me want to pass out from happiness. Hands down the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. And the owners of this shop are so incredibly kind. If you’re in Denver, go support this small business. They deserve all the love in the world!
Whole Sol – This 100% organic smoothie bowl spot is THE BEST!! They don’t overdo everything with unneeded sugars, they just let the ingredients speak for themselves. Everything in their bowls is organic, gluten-free, & dairy-free. And it’s run by really amazing people which makes me even more excited to order from them!
Quiero Arepas – Quiero Arepas started as a food truck and then grew into a space in Avanti in the LoHi. It’s a completely gluten-free truck/restaurant sharing Venezuelan-inspired food. Arepas have my heart, but their arepas are a step above the rest! They make their arepas from non-GMO masa and don’t fry them so they are light, fluffy AND crispy! Try my favorites like the Reina Pepiada or the Pabellón! And be sure to get a side of their sweet plantains and try a fresh cracked coconut or one of their amazing fruit juices!
Ohana Island Kitchen – If you’re a poke bowl fan, this small Denver restaurant is a must! It’s the best poke I’ve had in Denver! They have a limited menu, but what they offer is incredibly fresh and flavorful. You’ll find tuna poke bowls with the most delicious seasoning on top of the rice. And if rice isn’t your thing, you can always get your poke with kale.
Modern Market – This fast-casual restaurant makes eating healthy on-the-go so much easier! I go there weekly to get a chicken plate with potatoes and arugula salad. But they also have great GF pizza and wraps to choose from. And really good GF cookies. They are also available at DIA in Concourse B and C! So next time you’re in the airport, you don’t have to make a sh*tty decision and go to McDonald’s. No way, man!
Root Down – One of my favorite restaurants to take my gluten free and paleo friends to! They have a restaurant in the Highlands, but I honestly prefer their location in DIA in Concourse C more. Any time I go to the airport, which is pretty often, I get there early and get brunch before I leave town! I almost always get their burger with no bun and a side of sweet potato fries!
Bacon Social House – This restaurant in Highlands has a ton of gluten free and paleo options! Their benedicts are amazing and they have a side of GF bacon tots that are out of control! You can also get a platter of different kinds of bacon! Whenever I get a benedict, I ask for mine on sautéed greens and it’s so dang good! I really love their space and they have a nice outdoor patio with new shops popping up all around it! It’s a very up-and-coming neighborhood!
Patxi’s Pizza – Amazingly awesome gluten free pizza! Keep in mind that this facility is not GF, so this won’t work for you if you are celiac. But they have one of my all-time favorite GF pizzas. It’s thin crust and gigantic! I’ve eaten a pretty large amount of this entire pizza and never have had a stomach ache from it. But be careful, this pizza is addicting. And it’s on the more expensive side so it’s not the best addiction for the wallet.
Ester’s – I was pleasantly surprised when I had their gluten free pizza at Ester’s since I’m not a fan of the rest of their menu. They don’t have many GF options and it’s a neighborhood restaurant so it’s littered with children, but their fluffy GF pizza is AWESOME. Highly recommend trying their pizza with figs and prosciutto. It’s bomb.
Deby’s Gluten Free – I’ve only had the opportunity to eat from this little shop once, but it is amazing and COMPLETELY gluten free. They have specific hours so plan ahead and go early if you want donuts! They also have a ton of pastries, bread and other savory items to choose from! I had their cinnamon bread and it was the best GF bread I’ve probably ever had!
Olive & Finch Eatery – They have 2 locations now and I definitely recommend going to the Cherry Creek location because it has a little more parking and seating. This restaurant and bakery hash amazing hashes and a few GF baked goods to choose from. When I use to live right next to it, I would run there for to-go dinner sometimes and get their paella and it was SO GOOD.
Potager – This is officially one of my favorite restaurants in Denver (updated 2021)!! This restaurant is phenomenal, I love it with every piece of my heart. The dishes are so incredibly fresh, the flavors are out of this world, and you can get most things gluten free. Plus the staff and the owners truly care about their guests and their experience. Go here. You won’t regret it. And get the chicken!!
Vital Root – This is a completely vegan restaurant and even though I’m not vegan, I LOVE this spot. It’s in a great neighborhood with lots of walkable spots and shops, and they make being vegan incredible! I highly recommend the Korean BBQ Veggie “Wings” and the Falafel Wrap!
Ash’Kara – If you like Mediterranean food, you’ll love this restaurant. Their hummus is my favorite in Denver, especially when topped with their marinated feta and cauliflower shawarma! Incredible!
Guard & Grace – I think this is the best steakhouse in Denver! Just let them know that you are GF and they can help you with the menu! Definitely get the GF apple pie because it’s amaaaaazing! And get the beet cocktail!
The 9th Door – I’m not a huge fan of small plates but these Spanish-inspired small plates pack a punch. Love this place for a girls night out or for happy hour.
Sushi Den/Izakaya Den – Sushi Den and Izakaya Den are connected by the same kitchen but have slightly different menus. I prefer Izakaya Den and their atmosphere, especially their upstairs bar. They have a ton of sushi with GF options! Plus awesome cocktails!
The Plimoth – This new american style restaurant brings some delicious flavors and textures to the table. It’s not specifically gluten free there, but you can easily ask your server to help you navigate the menu to find what works for you and your dietary needs!
Gluten Escape – I first tried this place out when my sister-in-law bought me an entire cake for my birthday. And it was AMAZING!! The cake was rich, fluffy and moist (don’t get made I used that word) and the frosting was just right. I was able to freeze the cake and pull it out later and it was still amazing! I want to go back there a try a handful of other items, but I haven’t had time. I definitely recommend them for special events, but I know they have lots of other things to choose from like granola, bagels and donuts! I need to get back there and try more out! And they are also a completely GF facility!!
Hashtag – I don’t venture over to the Stapleton area very much, but this restaurant makes me want to go there all.the.time. So happy a reader recommendation this restaurant and told me to get the “Just the tips” has because it was unbelievable! This a sister restaurant to one of my favorite steakhouses Guard & Grace (which I talk about below) and they use Guard & Grace prime steak tips. Since I try to stay away from eggs, I asked for no eggs and veggies instead and I seriously licked my plate clean. I was legit sad when this meal ended. This is not a gluten free restaurant so definitely ask your server about options. They have a ton of naughty, bad for you menu items, but they have lots of creative omelets, hashes, tacos, and benedicts to choose from!
- Third Culture – As soon as I get a photo of these AMAZING mochi donuts and waffle, I will add this spot to the top of my list. This spot is completely gluten free and the mochi waffle will BLOW YOU AWAY! It’s outrageously good!
- Snooze – The best GF pancakes ever and a ton of gluten free options! You can also mix and match your benedicts!
- Devil’s Food – I use to live right by this restaurant and went there constantly…and still do, honestly! Build your own scramble and definitely get the sausage on the side! They also have a bakery with a few GF options.
- Allergen Free Bakes – NOT a restaurant – call ahead orders. They have the absolute best GF cinnamon roll I’ve had in town! They also have cakes and cupcakes and other GF goodies.
- Ophelia’s – This restaurant is a sister restaurant to Root Down so they have tons of GF options. They also have delicious cocktails and you can eat there for dinner. AND they have concerts and shows at night to make it an even more fun experience! I went to a 90’s dance party there and it was amazing!
Coffee Shop Favorites:
- Mmm…Coffee – Completely paleo & GF shop with coffee, drinks, small bites and some lunch items! You have to try their raw chocolate macaroons!
- Corvus Coffee – Obsessed with this coffee shop! They have their own homemade cashew almond milk for your coffee preference!
- Kaladi Coffee – Their coffee is AMAZING. They are right by Denver University so they are pretty busy, but they are definitely worth the wait.
- Carbon – Love the atmosphere in this coffee shop! They also have food and cocktails!
- The Molecule Effect – I love this coffee shop mostly for it’s location. It’s in the Santa Fe Art District where there are a ton of shops and stores plus lots of art to look at!
- Steam – Love the neighborhood that this coffee shop is in and the inside is adorable. Get the GF Financier. It’s fantastic.
- The Rotary – This is another spot I need to get a photo of so it can go at the top of my list above. This lunch spot is AMAZING. Clean ingredients, gluten free/vegan/dairy free options, and the most delicious meats and side dishes. You can build a bowl any way you like and no matter what you choose, it will be fresh and absolutely wonderful!
- Denver Central Market – A huge space with all sorts of restaurants and shops. They have a coffee shop, bakery, chocolate, meat and seafood counter, pizza, and a handful of other stores. I love going their for lunch because everyone can choose from whatever they want instead of just one menu. My favorite is Green Seed for a giant amazing salad or curry!
- Super Mega Bien – This is a Latin American Dim Sum restaurant that has a menu filled with gluten free entrees and a cart that comes around with tons of gluten free small plates!
- Work & Class – Absolutely love this place. It’s super small and they don’t take reservations so get their early or just be prepared to wait outside for a while. Definitely get the lamb and fried plantains!
- Park Burger – This is one of my go-to restaurants for a good burger and fries. I ask for my burger on greens and always get a side of sweet potato fries!
- Cho77 – This is the sister restaurant to Cholon, which is an extremely nice restaurant. They have a ton of GF options and really creative cocktails. Their menu continuously changes but they always have delicious curry and wings!
- Señor Bear – This latin-inspired restaurant is fairly new to Denver in a super cute neighborhood of LoHi. I just recently tried the carnitas, their chicken and the albacore tuna ceviche and all three were amazing. I HIGHLY recommend getting the ceviche, it was phenomenal. And try their homemade agua frescas and even add a shot of your favorite alcohol to them!
- Barolo – Delicious Italian food that you can pair with their incredible wine list.
- Perdida – Just opened in the 2021 in the Wash Park neighborhood and it’s been a breath of fresh air in that older Gaylord block. Great ambience, pretty good food, and tasty drinks!
- Ototo – Sister restaurant to the restaurants above, just right across the street. I go here for small plates and ramen. Obsessed with their ramen on a snowy night. They have a ton of GF options – definitely get the Hamachi Carpaccio.
- Tommy’s Thai – Another quick Thai curry restaurant with GF options!
- Cuba Cuba – Love this restaurant! It was my first introduction to Cuban food and I instantly fell in love with plantains because of them. Definitely go to the restaurant instead of the fast-casual restaurant (Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria) because it’s a really cool restaurant tucked within two connected houses. Amazing drinks, plantain chips, and definitely get the Lechon Asado (which I made in my latest cookbook inspired by them) or the Ropa Vieja!
- Tacos Tequila Whiskey (previously called Pinche Tacos) – This is by far my favorite place for tacos in Denver. Every single taco I’ve had there is outstanding. You can’t go wrong! Go to the location in Highlands, it’s a little bigger space so there is less of a wait.
- Hopdoddy – I had Hopdoddy the first time when I was in Austin and I was SO happy to find them in Union Station in Downtown. Their burgers are crazy amazing!
- El Five – Tapas with the best view in town and super delicious cocktails!
- Mermaids Bakery – GF cupcakes available, and they are nice and big! Get their early or order ahead of time!
- Happy Bake Shop – GF cupcakes available.
- Milk & Cake – GF cupcakes and frozen yogurt bar! Just tried this place recently and it was some of the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever had! Plus you can add a GF cupcake to your frozen yogurt. That’s winning right there.
- D Bar – They have a huge dinner menu with a ton of GF items, but I usually go there just for dessert! Get the molten chocolate cake!
- Little Man Ice Cream – I’m not a huge ice cream person, but they never fail! And the location is in this iconic giant tin milk jug with a super cute courtyard, so it’s just a fun place to hang out. Not GF but they definitely have options.
- Sweet Action Ice Cream – Their ice cream is amazing and the owner use to work out at my gym so I know how cool she is and how much she loves what she does. They aren’t GF but they have some options to choose from.
- Toro – This Latin restaurant not only has great food, but they have their Mercado Margarita which is my FAVORITE margarita in Denver!
- Forget Me Not – I just went here (2021) and it’s an adorable spot in Cherry Creek with really great drinks!
- Wildflower – I haven’t been here, but I’ve heard great thing for cocktails here
- Death & Co – This spot has multiple bars in one place (I prefer on the rooftop, I like the drinks up there better) and they have a really fun menu and ambiance.
- B&GC – I know nothing about this bar, but it seems fancy and exclusive, so it might be fun to go to!!
- Union Lodge No1 – One of my favorite cocktail bars in Denver. It feels like you’re in a speak easy and everyone is back in the prohibition era. They also have old school cocktails that they make the old school way. It’s a super fun experience!
- The Tatarian – I haven’t been here, but their website is rad so hopefully that’s a good sign for their cocktails, too
Places I haven’t been, but I’ve heard are amazing (I haven’t checked these menus out to see if they are gluten free or not):
- Nocturne – Jazz AND delicious food
- Ginger Pig – inspired asian street food
- Fruition – Farm-to-Table
- Hop Alley
- Beast + Bottle – Farm-to-table
- The Populist
- Owl Bear BBQ
- El Jefe – Farm-to-table Mexican food
- Spice Room – Indian food
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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