You may have noticed that the paleo trend has exited trend status and become a thing. Good news: the following Denver restaurants have taken note.
Whether menus call out paleo items or not, these restaurants know their ingredients and take pride in quality, so you can feel good about sticking to that caveman lifestyle while exploring Denver’s restaurant scene.
Bacon Social House
Did someone say bacon? Yep. Bacon flights, bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon burger (okay, you’ll have to hold the bun in that case…). Not everything on the menu is paleo, but Bacon Social House gets points for marking paleo-friendly menu items, and simple swaps make it easy to find a few more. And as if we had to say it, this Sunnyside spot sources primarily local and organic ingredients.
West Highland’s Brazen bridges the gap between high-end downtown eateries and neighborhood fast-casual food. The vibe is laid-back and the food is unpretentious but delicious. Brazen has even been known to hold occasional paleo dinners. You’ll probably want to give them a social media follow to hear about those.
Bubu takes the build-your-own-bowl to a new fresh and healthy level. Pick a bowl, like the Southern California (cherry tomatoes, jicama, radish, avocado, sunflower seeds, and chia seed lime dressing) or the Paleo Caveman (French green beans, bell pepper, avocado, almonds, dried apricots, and carrot mustard dressing), then build your base (paleo-ers can stick with the salad base), and add a protein (fish, meat, tofu). If you haven’t noticed, you’ve got options. Plus, Bubu supports Colorado farmers by sourcing locally. You can even save some time waiting in line at this downtown spot by ordering online! Heads up, though: they’re only open weekdays from 11am–5pm.
Old Major has won numerous “Best Restaurant” awards, and it turns out that its menu just so happens to be very paleo-friendly. Lucky you! Old Major has an in-house, nose-to-tail butchery program to make the most of its heritage-raised meats from Colorado farms. They even cure in-house. (You should try the charcuterie plate.) In truth, we can’t describe it any better than they do: elevated farmhouse cuisine. This LoHi spot changes its menu with the seasons to highlight what Mother Nature has to offer.
Vital Root, in Berkeley, is the newest addition to the Root Down family, so you know it’s legit. The menu doesn’t call out its paleo options, but we think they should because there are several! Take, for example, the sunflower seed risotto with cauliflower rice or Korean BBQ veggie wings. For crying out loud, they even have an Indian carrot pudding for dessert with ghee, coconut milk, cardamom, cinnamon, cashews, and a sesame coconut crunch. How do we say no?
Colt & Gray
Whether cured or cooked, Colt & Gray has ALL the meats. And like Old Major, they respect the meats. You’ll find only the highest-quality, responsibly-sourced meat, prepared exactly how it should be. The servers here know the menu and can help you sort through paleo options. The location is pretty sweet, too — right at Union Station.
So you have a sweet tooth? You’re probably wondering how a place called Sugar can possibly be paleo. But it’s true. Sugar is a traditional bakery on Broadway with rotating paleo treats. It could be a chai apple almond muffin or a pumpkin cookie. You can even order a paleo cake! Now, quick, go find something to celebrate!
Just BE Kitchen
Have a prehistoric hunger, hold the gluten, grains, and refined sugar? Well, you might have a pretty tough time deciding what to order at Just BE Kitchen in LoHi (by REI) — yep, it’s 100% paleo. The menu changes seasonally but they hang onto a few customer faves year round, like a cleaned-up chicken caesar (with almond flour croutons and cashew dressing!) and a green chili burrito (with sweet potato hash and an almond flour tortilla). As a huge bonus, their bullet coffee game is also strong, with flavors like maple cinnamon and chai.
It isn’t all coffee, but it is all paleo. Salads packed with protein and greens and grain-free, naturally-sweetened baked goods make this a paleo eater’s paradise. Not up for a meal? Bulletproof coffee it is (that’s black coffee with grass-fed butter). This shop is on Santa Fe in the 910Arts building.
The Butcher’s Bistro
The Butcher’s Bistro is raising the steaks (get it?) in Denver’s dining scene. It’s a steakhouse and a retail butcher rolled into one, sitting right in the Ballpark neighborhood. They embrace the nose-to-tail philosophy and source cows, pigs, lambs, and poultry from Colorado ranches and cheese, eggs, and greens from Colorado farms. Every single thing is prepared in-house, so you can feel good knowing exactly what they’re putting on your plate. Enjoy your paleo plate and then grab some goodies for the grill on your way out.
If you’re looking for some fast food you won’t feel bad about, hit one of Larkburger’s seven Denver locations. They serve a burger for every craving‚ from beef and turkey to ahi tuna and portobello. And for their paleo friends, they happily serve them in a lettuce wrap rather than on a bun. Top off the meal with a chopped kale side salad, or go paleo-ish and try their famous truffle-parmesan fries.
**Updated by Hillary Bennetts, October 2018