Leave it to Boulder to prove that eating gluten-free requires no sacrifices. Everything from Brazilian to fried chicken, pizza to sushi, eat-in or take-out. These spots have a lot in common: they know their ingredients and they care about quality.
Whatever you choose, one thing’s for sure: You’ll feel anything but deprived while keeping gluten off your plate. Now go eat!
Modern Market is serious about making healthy food accessible and delicious, and gluten-free eats are no exception. They are so serious, in fact, that they even have their own gluten-free guide for eating at Mod! All food is made with simple, whole ingredients from local farmers and ranchers, and from select suppliers that share their values. They were born in Boulder at the Twenty Ninth St. mall and their popularity has spread them throughout Colorado and beyond. Eat in or take out, you can’t go wrong. You can even order online and your meal to be ready when you arrive. See, fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy!
Five on Black
Thanks to Five on Black, you don’t have to stick to familiar flavors to stick to your gluten-free lifestyle. This fresh and healthy Brazilian spot at 29th Street Mall serves up build-your-own bowls of protein, veggies, and sauces that are FULL of Brazilian flair. Like Chipotle for Brazilian food, the combinations of flavors are endless. And the best news? Every single thing is gluten-free! They’re a good option for those on the go, too — you can eat your meal there or take it out, and you can even order online for a super-fast pick-up!
Blooming Beets Kitchen
Big win — the menu at Blooming Beets is 100% gluten-free. They’re serious about quality and a friend to the paleo crowd, so everything is also grain-free, the meat is grass-fed, and the fish is wild caught. No need to go with the bunless burger here — the menu is full of mouth-watering bites like bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with cashew butter, waffles with pastured bacsfon, and a beef chorizo coconut wrap with sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and a beet bisque. You’re gonna have some tough decisions. But don’t worry — you can’t make a bad decision.
Zeal is one of those places that makes you feel healthier by just walking in the door. Though, stick around — you’ll feel even better if you actually eat there. The gluten-free options are plentiful and clearly marked on the menu. Try the Conscious Garden Wrap with sprouted lentils, carrots, avocado, cucumber, marinated beets, hummus, and pesto, all stuffed in a collard green leaf. Or, build your own bowl with quinoa or cauliflower rice, fresh veggies, and a choice of a variety of proteins and sauces. And save room for dessert, you have a lot of choices — from raw cacao balls to a chia parfait to a loaded raw cheesecake shake. Heads up: they’ve recently made a temporary move off Pearl St. to the edge of Boulder Creek at the Riverside.
Yep, another Pearl St. stop that is gluten-friendly! With pizzas topped with the freshest seasonal ingredients on a house-made crust with only simple ingredients, these folks care about pizza as much as they care about your well-being. Balance it out with one of the many gluten-free salads, also made with only seasonal ingredients and flavors. Oh, and the wine selection is impressive, but pizzas are cooked at 900° for only two minutes, so you won’t be waiting with your vino long! Like Audrey’s, Locale serves both gluten-full and gluten-free crusts, so strict celiacs should be aware.
Craving light and healthy but also super-nourishing? Get to Thrive at 15th and Arapahoe. You’ll find the most nutrient-dense light bites under one roof. From superfood smoothies to colorful salads and kale chips to flax crackers, there’s something for every mood. And if you’re thirsty, try one of their house-made nut milks or locally-brewed Upstart Kombucha. Eat in peace knowing that everything at Thrive is gluten-free. It’s also all raw, vegan, organic, and soy-free, but we promise you don’t need to be a follower of any of those diets to enjoy their food.
The philosophy at Fresh Thymes is simple: “eat like your grandma”. This doesn’t mean casseroles and jello salad, it means that they embrace the simple and clean food system of the good ol’ days. They’re the brainchild of Christine Ruch, who was inspired from her experience with celiac disease and multiple sclerosis to create a great restaurant that also happens to be 100% gluten-free. Head to the Steelyards and try their favorite grilled Riot Wings or Spicy Rad Thai. Or make all your gluten-free dreams come true with one of their grilled pizzas (we think you should pair it with local Holidaily beer).
Wait, a fried chicken joint that is gluten-free? It’s true. Yellowbelly tosses Colorado’s antibiotic-, hormone-, and cage-free Red Bird chicken in its house-made gluten-free breading to serve up juicy and crispy chicken that would fool even the biggest GF skeptic. But they don’t stop at just chicken, offering fresh and healthy gluten-free sides and salads like organic citrus quinoa and Brussels slaw to polish off the meal. Yellowbelly sound familiar? Their popularity has caused them to start to expand around Colorado, but their Boulder shop still lives at the Village Boulder Shopping Center.
Hello, freedom. The kitchen at Shine is completely gluten-free. And as a bonus, it’s also GMO-free and committed to sourcing sustainable and local ingredients from the Front Range. Their kitchen scraps are even composted to feed the soil and the animals at several of Boulder’s local farms, so you can soak in all the local feels while you chow down. Stay on the light side with the Mediterranean Salad or go nuts (literally) with the grain-free ravioli (from Colorado’s own Cappello’s) with cashew cream and wilted greens. Check ’em out at their new spot on Canyon Blvd.!
Pearl Street Mall wouldn’t be complete without some sushi, right? Right. And lucky you, Hapa Sushi’s bright and energetic restaurant has a separate menu for their gluten-free friends like you! Options are extensive, and yes, the soy sauce is wheat-free! In a hurry? Order online for a fast (and delicious) pick-up. And the name? Hapa is derived from the Hawaiian term that describes a harmonious blend of Asian and American cultures. And that, friends, is spot. on.
Oh, so you’re vegetarian and gluten-free? Cool, we’ve got a spot for you! Leaf is so passionate about fresh, local ingredients, that they created a farm. Three Leaf Farm in Lafayette allows Leaf to provide organic, freshly-harvested produce and herbs, and free-range eggs. And when you cook with food that fresh, it’s hard to go wrong. Try the Millet Tamales with lentil-spinach filling, or the buffalo cauliflower tacos. We know — you have a lot of options on Pearl Street Mall, but vegetarian or not, Leaf is one you must check out.
Audrey’s Pizza Garage
Craving the real deal New York-style pizza? Good news: you can do it gluten-free thanks to Audrey Jane! She’s been to culinary school, lived in Italy, and opened two pizzerias in New York City. In other words, Audrey and her pizza garage (on 13th St.) are legit! Based on the belief that balance and quality are the keys to perfection, only the best ingredients are used — from a crust aged for three days (GF option, of course) to organic greens and vegetables loaded on top. Head’s up though: Audrey’s is not a strictly gluten-free kitchen. There’s wheat flour flying, so if you’re an ultra-sensitive celiac, you may want to steer clear.
This Boulder institution on Canyon Blvd. has been filling the bellies of the community since 1995. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t keeping up with the times. Their gluten-free menu is impressive and the kitchen now even has a dedicated gluten-free grill and fryer, so you can feel pretty good that no gluten is landing on your plate. They love local, too, featuring faves like Lillabee gluten-free flour and Fiona’s gluten-free granola.
Kim and Jake’s
Craving something carby and sweet? Get to the gluten-free heaven that is Kim & Jake’s! From full cakes (in no joke flavors like brown sugar ginger brew and macchiato) to cookies, cookie dough, and the most amazing gluten-free breads in the state, this family-owned bakery in South Boulder (in the Table Mesa shopping center) is not to be missed.
Whole Sо̄l Blend Bar made its debut in Denver at Union Station, and now they’ve landed at 1420 Pearl, right here in Boulder. Their 100% gluten-free menu is loaded with super-nourishing bо̄ls, salads, and toasts (served on local Kim & Jake’s bread!). You literally cannot go wrong.
This uber-healthy fast-casual spot with happy hippy vibes has finally made their way to Boulder. From the brains behind True Food Kitchen, Flower Child focuses on fresh, making every last deliciously healthy bite from scratch. There are loads of clearly-marked gluten-free options throughout the menu (including mac and cheese!). Get ready to find your happy place at 2580 Arapahoe Ave.
**Updated by Hillary Bennetts, August 2018