This list of the best gluten-free restaurants in Denver was last updated on May 1, 2019.
I get emails and messages from people all the time asking me for recommendations on things to do and eat (when they eat gluten-free) while they’re visiting Denver.
Instead of sending my list of restaurants privately to people, I decided to create this blog post that features some of the best gluten-free restaurants the Mile High City, and surrounding areas, has to offer.
Please note that I only recommend restaurants I feel have good measures in place to offer a safe, gluten-free dining experience for you.
If you would like me to add your restaurant to this list, please contact me and let me know!
Best Gluten-Free Restaurants in Denver
There are so many places in Denver that offer gluten-free options, but if I had to settle in on a few gluten-free favorite restaurants in Denver, the very TOP of my list would be Acova Restaurant. Acova is located in the LoHi (Lower Highlands) neighborhood. The food is outstanding and the owner (and her son) have celiac.
Acova has a separate prep area for making its gluten-free items, as well as a dedicated gluten-free fryer. The food is approachable and craveable. I seem to always get sucked into ordering the amazing fish and chips (SO good!), but the fried chicken is delicious too, and my father-in-law swears by the chicken piccata. Almost everything on the menu can be made gluten-free, and the menu is well marked so you know what you can enjoy. And don’t forget to top off your meal with the apple donuts – you’re welcome!
Linger (LoHi) and Root Down are two restaurants owned by the Edible Beats restaurants group. They are both outstanding restaurants that offer a romantic atmosphere, eclectic bites and plenty of safe gluten-free options.
If you go to Linger, stop by Little Man Ice Cream for dessert. You can’t miss it as the ice cream stand as the facade looks like a bucket of ice cream. They will use a clean scooper when scooping ice cream for you to help minimize risk of cross contact with gluten. My husband LOVES this ice cream, BTW. We always have to stop here when we’re in the neighborhood.
On South Broadway, a night-out hotspot, you’ll find a Latin-inspired restaurant with a satisfying gluten-free menu called Lena. I know when I ate there last I indulged in a variety of meat dishes, all shareable, but for some reason all I can think about is the gluten-free cheese bread served tableside. The vibe is cool, the food is a culinary treat, and the area (South Broadway) is a fun place to just hang out with friends.
For a fancy night out in downtown Denver, don’t miss Vesta (formerly known as Vesta Dipping Grill). This intimate, dim-lit restaurant boasts a “Celiac” menu with thoughtfully selected gluten-free options including lamb shank and roasted beef tenderloin. Pair your dinner with any of the dipping sauces (most of the sauces all gluten-free; ask when you get there). The sauces are so good and Vesta allows you to choose three to pair with your dish – so try as many as you can!
For a more casual, family-friendly dining experience, check out one of the six Next Door restaurants based in Colorado. This local restaurant chain has a laid-back, Colorado vibe that will ensure a good time for all (without breaking the bank). The food is made with sustainable ingredients and is approachable, offering everything from delicious salads and soups to juicy burgers and tangy fish tacos. You can also order warm, fresh-baked gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for dessert – nice touch, right?
Another casual and approachable restaurant to try is The Cherry Cricket – Ballpark location. The atmosphere is fun and lively with an active bar scene, an area for gamers, and plenty of dining room seating. I had one of the best burgers I’ve ever had when I went to The Cherry Cricket for an event last year. The burgers are flavorful and juicy, and the gluten-free bun, well, it’s divine. I don’t know who supplies them their gluten-free buns (definitely not Udi’s, thank goodness), but they are soft and unbelievably gluten-free.
If you’re craving pizza, I might compel you to mosey on over to Beau Jo’s, a treasured Colorado restaurant serving up Colorado-style pizza. Unfortunately you won’t be able to enjoy the “Mountain Pie” (deep dish pizza) because it contains gluten, but I assure you that Beau Jo’s is serious about making safe pizza for its celiac and gluten-free customers. Beau Jo’s gluten-free crust comes from the Sweet Escape Bakery and is really delicious – truly! It is a Colorado tradition to dip your pizza crust in honey. While your GF pizza crust will be much thinner than everyone else’s crust, give it a try and see what you think. When in Rome… err, Colorado! If you visit the Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs, which is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, take a tour the Argo Gold Mining Mill and Tunnel. We loved it!
Another fantastic date-night restaurant that boasts a cool, intimate vibe is Max’s Wine Dive located on Sherman Street in Denver. The owner of Max’s has celiac disease; as a result of his diagnosis, he retrofitted all his restaurants with a dedicated gluten-free fryer. Max’s is a great place to sip on extraordinary wine and chow down on the restaurant’s signature dish, upscale fried chicken. Yep, you heard me right, upscale fried chicken! Dig in!
For a fun night out, sign up for an Uncorked Kitchen cooking or wine tasting class. If you sign up for a cooking or wine pairing class, just let them know you eat gluten-free. The staff does a great job accommodating allergens, but they need to know ahead of time.
For a great all-around brunch, skip Snooze (their gluten-free pancakes ain’t gluten-free according to my Nima Sensor) and seek out The Urban Egg instead. This restaurant takes a lot of precautions to create a safe brunch experience for its gluten-free diners. I personally enjoy the Huevos Rancheros with a side of Fred’s Hawaiian pineapple pancake – gluten-free, of course! The gluten-free pancakes are made with Cup4Cup flour and are fluffy and chewy – amazing mouth appeal.
While in Colorado, you MUST take time to visit Holidaily Brewery (check taproom hours) to sample AMAZING craft gluten-free beer made exclusively from gluten-free grains. Karen Hertz, a former Coors executive who loves craft beer but could no longer tolerate gluten after surviving thyroid cancer, founded Holidaily and has been providing the best craft beer I’ve ever had – and it’s hard to believe it’s all gluten-free!
Holidaily often has gluten-free food trucks parked outside for you to enjoy along with your amazing craft beer. Some of the trucks on the calendar include Victoria’s Gluten-Free Kitchen (delicious pizza), Legs and Breasts (fried chicken), Dedicated Bistro (fish and chips and grilled cheese), Espy’s Street Eats (Mexican fare), and Ballin’ Out (savory fried rice balls), to name a few.
Another fantastic restaurant if you’re looking for a date night out is Humboldt Farm Fish Wine located in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. The flavorful dishes are plentiful and it’s hard to decide what to order because so many things sound good. They have a dedicated fryer for gluten-free things, and the staff is knowledge about gluten and takes all allergens seriously. Try the fried crispy broccoli as a starter and then make sure you order a fish dish – the restaurant’s speciality – although they offer beef and pasta options as well. There is really something for everyone whether you eat fish or not.
Best Fast Casual Restaurants in Denver
Looking for some fast casual options?
I personally believe you cannot visit Denver without trying Quieros Arepas. This restaurant (and food truck) is certified gluten-free. If you’ve never had an arepa before, you’re in for a real treat. An arepa is a cornbread-type sandwich stuffed with all sorts of pulled meats and fried plantains. Delicious! Quieros Arepas is located inside Avanti F&B (a collective eatery) and has a dedicated shop on Pearl Street near the University of Denver (DU).
Yellowbelly Chicken is another personal favorite fast casual restaurant based in Colorado. Yellowbelly fries up some yummy and totally gluten-free fried chicken with all the fixings, including smashed potatoes and hushpuppies paired with a honey-butter sauce. Everything in the deep fryer is gluten-free, so yes, you can enjoy all those delicious fried foods you miss! Yellowbelly has several locations throughout the metro area, but I like the one in Stanley Marketplace. After you eat you can walk around and visit some of the cute shops inside Stanley, which is a repurposed old airport hanger and trendy hangout.
Another great Colorado fast-casual restaurant worth trying is Modern Market. Modern Market uses only fresh ingredients and makes everything, including its dressings, in-house. The salads are hearty and delicious, and the green chili chicken soup is a personal favorite of mine. Modern Market offers gluten-free pizza, too. If you order pizza, make sure you clearly communicate your allergy needs. I typically avoid the pizza due to the risk of cross contamination, but by all means give it a try if you feel comfortable with the process.
Another great fast casual restaurant in Denver is Five on Black. They make Brazilian food that you order similarly to how you’d order at Chipotle. The Brazilian cheese bread is to die for. Five on Black has a prime location just off the 16th Street Mall (in case you want to get in some shopping – and amazing people-watching – trust me!).
Best Dedicated Gluten-Free Eateries in Denver
There are only two gluten-free sit-down eateries that come to mind in Denver. The first one is Just Be Kitchen. Everything is gluten-free in this charming restaurant. I will say the food at Just Be is just fair, but I do recommend supporting this wonderful restaurant if you’re looking for a safe brunch or lunch option. They also have plenty of Whole30 options, which is nice if you’re trying to stick to the Whole 30 diet. (Zoe’s Kitchen is a chain restaurant you can find in Denver, and it also boasts plenty of Whole30 options.)
Another gluten-free hotspot is mmm… COFFEE! It’s a dedicated paleo bistro in the Santa Fe Arts District. Sip on coffee and eat some yummy paleo muffins and cookies. When you’re done, walk around to visit some of the art studios where local artists display their works.
I don’t get to Boulder often, but when I do, I have two amazing gluten-free recommendations for you.
First, go to Kim & Jake’s Cakes. This unpretentious bakery makes cakes, cookies and all sorts of breads that will impress even the most picky gluten-free eater. Be sure to purchase a fresh baguette, which has a wonderful texture and mouth appeal. Everything here is to-go (it’s not a sit-down restaurant).
After filling your bag with some take-home treats from Kim and Jake’s, head over to Fresh Thymes Eatery for a healthy lunch made from consciously sourced ingredients. This restaurant is 100 percent gluten-free too. Enjoy foods “from the counter” or order something made to order off the menu. Everything is on the table, so to speak, so feel at home here while you enjoy a worry-free, casual dining experience with your friends.
Best Gluten-Free Bakeries in Denver
Looking for some yummy gluten-free baked goods while visiting Denver? Visit the Allergy Free Baking Company in Morrison (not far from Holidaily Brewery) for some delicious homemade and totally gluten-free treats. You’ll be charmed by the adorable decor and greeted warmly by the cute couple, Nicole and Jeremy, who co-run the joint. If you can get your hands on a fresh, warm bagel, you’ll be in gluten-free heaven.
And while we’re talking about sweet treats, be sure to swing by Rheinlander Bakery in downtown Arvada and order one of the gluten-free eclairs (if you don’t order an eclair, there is something seriously wrong with you!). The eclairs also can be made dairy-free – just ask! While this bakery isn’t dedicated gluten-free, the owner has celiac and has created a separate kitchen area and display case for all the gluten-free treats. This German baker is the REAL deal my friends – and it’s always so unbelievably busy!
Here is a complete list of Denver’s gluten-free bakeries:
- Allergy Free Baking Company (Morrison, CO) – see above
- Rheinlander Bakery (Arvada, CO) – see above
- Wave the Grain(Centennial, CO) – Great selection of gluten-free goodies. The restaurants is own and run by Alyson, who bakes gluten-free goodies for her special needs son who has celiac. The cafe is less than a year old and I can only imagine it will improve with time.
- The Gluten Escape (Centennial, CO) – This cafe is run by Kathy who has many food allergies of her own. We were surprised to learn she can’t even taste many of the foods she makes because there are few foods she can eat. For a delicious cupcake or treat, this place is great. Not a fan of the challah – bummer.
- Kim & Jake’s Cakes (Boulder, CO) – see Visiting Boulder section
- Deby’s Gluten-Free Bakery (Denver, CO) – Deby’s supplies 275 different gluten-free things to wholesalers and restaurants, and has a small take-out cafe in Denver. I’ve been to the cafe before and it’s nothing fancy, but the food is good (and safe!). My friend said he went on a Saturday AM when she has fresh bagels and donuts, so that must be the time to go!
- No Cow Cafe (Castle Rock, CO) – I haven’t visited yet – on my to-do list!
Please note I’ll be adding to this list over time, so please BOOKMARK this page and (re)visit often!