Wish there were more gluten-free options at Starbucks? You’re not alone. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reveals that “…he hears about it at every [shareholder] meeting and he plans to fix it…” More on Puget Sound Business Journal Apparently they are expanding their line of gluten-free options… but they recognize the threat of cross contamination is […]
Since we are happily finding an ever growing number of restaurants both in Colorado and around the country offering delicious and safe gluten free menus, we have created subpage for our Happy Gluten Free Restaurants. We have divided this page by geographical section headings and added links to our more detailed reviews of the restaurant. Some restaurants have more than one location – these are typically listed under Denver Metro.
- The Buff: www.buffrestaurant.com
A favorite in this college town since at least 1995, the Buff boasts an extensive menu and knowledgeable staff that can help you select just the right GF meal. Our complete review.
- The Med (aka The Mediterrean Restaurant): www.themedboulder.com
The Med boasts one of the best happy hours in Boulder with a wide selection of GF tapas and great assortment of wine and other beverages. Its regular menu is also very extensive and gluten free items are clearly labels.
Colorado Springs (amd surrounding areas including Manitou Springs)
- Borriello Brothers: www.borriellobrothers.com
This tasty “New York” style pizza chain in Colorado Springs delivers up a delicious gluten free pizza option. Their 9 inch pizzas are enough to probably feed 2 gluten free adults or make several meals for a child. Delivery, take-out or dine in options available. We review them at Borriello Brothers Makes a Delicious Gluten Free Pizza.
- Coquette Creperie: www.coquettecreperie.com
This gluten free restaurant (yes, they strive to be 100% GF) has an amazingly diverse and tasty menu. From breakfast crepes and treat to appetizers, salads, and, of course, both savory and sweet crepes, the selection and quality is hard to beat. They have a full bar and also seel fresh baked GF baked goods and the flour to make their GF crepes at home. For the complete HGF review of Coquette.
- Olive Branch: www.theolivebranchrest.com
This long time Colorado Springs restaurant has recently started offering a gluten free menu. While the GF menu is not yet on their website, this is the real deal – with fresh GF bread and a wide selection of tasty choices. All the staff (hostess, wait staff even buser) were all very knowledgeable about possibilities of cross contamination and really did their best to ensure our whole party (GF or not) had a wonderful dining experience. Our review is available at Joyful Gluten Free Dining at the Olive Garden.
- The Tapateria: www.tapateria.com
Nestled in Old Colorado City, the Tapateria has a delicious assortment of tapas that are unusual and very tasty! We particularly enjoyed the mushroom options. The wine selection is good with many reasonably priced options. The service was excellent! It is a great place to meet friends and customers are encouraged to take their time and enjoy savoring their mini meals. Best part – 100% gluten free!
Denver Metro Area Restaurants (including Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Littleton and other surrounding subburbs)
- Abrusci’s: www.abruscis.com
If you are looking for a fancy Italian meal while on a gluten free diet, this is a great option. With a complete Gluten Free menu and a knowledgeable staff, dinning at Abrusci’s is a pleasure. They serve lunch, dinner and offer take out. While we have not yet used their catering, it seems like a great option if you have a big function since the food is so good most people won’t have any idea its gluten free. They also have a tasty gluten free pizza available for dine in or carry out!
- Beau Jo’s Pizza: www.beaujos.com
This is a Colorado favorite for both regular and gluten free pizza. It was one of the first places we frequented after our daughter’s diagnosis with celiac because we could enjoy a regular meal out. Most locations also have gluten free beer, great salad bars and limited selection of gluten free desserts.
- Café Colore: www.cafecoloredenver.com
A cozy Italian restaurant in the heart of lodo, this long time Denver favorite can make any of its pastas or pizzas gluten free using GF goods from Boulder-based, the Gluten Free Bistro. While we found the $3 upcharge a bit steep, both the atmosphere and the food are good enough to make it worth the additional expense. The knowledgeable staff can help you determine what else on the menu is gluten free.
- Chipotle: www.chipotle.com
While technically a “chain”, we are including Chipotle here because we have been fans of their burritos since our college days at University of Denver dinning at the Evans original. Generally speaking the only food item in the store with gluten is the flour tortillas, but for those who are very sensitive, ask for the manager and they will be extra cautious for you, including pulling out a brand new bin of shredded cheese. We love their new soft corn tortillas and kids meals!
- Duo Restaurant: http://www.duodenver.com/
I always get excited when I find another great restaurant that offers good gluten free food, especially with knowledgeable staff and amazing service. Since breakfast and brunch seem to be the hardest meal for us to find done well out, Duo’s foray into this offering is especially pleasing. With a daily gluten free pastry offering (made in house by a Udi’s connected/trained chef), GF dinners will feel just as pampered as the rest of the customers at this contemporary farm to table eatery.
- Foul Line: www.foulline.com
This sports bar located just east of I25 on Founders is a favorite of Castle Rock locals. With good drink specials and lots of tvs, the sports fan will be happy. There menu clearly indicates which items are gluten free – we like their nachos, wings (bone in only!) and buffalo chicken dip. Just wish they would add a gluten free pizza…
- Hacienda Colorado: www.haciendacolorado.com
This Metro area Mexican-American franchise has created a “Gluten-Sensitive” menu and associated service policy that makes dining out a pleasant and relatively easy experience. Gluten sensitive food is served only by a manager and on special “salmon” colored plates. While their special menu is a bit limited, it offers enough tasty options for a whole family!
- Kaos Pizza Denver: www.koaspizza.com
This small local eatery on South Pearl in Denver makes its own gluten free pizza crust in a regular (14 inch?) size crust. Tasty and fun to order one pizza for the family instead of the personal size that is most common with GF pizzas. Wednesday night they offer $2 off. Now if they just would also have GF beer…
- Mad Greens: www.madgreens.com
This tasty salad joint has such a wide range of choices that the pickiest of GF folks should find something to make them happy! While they could improve by offering gluten free breads and desserts, there is a board range of dressings and you can substitute their tasty potatoes for croutons!
- Organixx: organixxrestaurant.com
A favorite of my work crowd. Organixx is located in downtown Denver just off the 16th Street Mall on Blake street. This tasty dinner specializes in local and organic foods. Since they try to known the source of everything, most of those working, but definitely the cooks, can tell you what is gluten free. They also will make any of their sandwiches on their standard selection (ie no extra charge) gluten free bread (which is Sami’s at this time!).
- Panzano: www.panzano-denver.com
With a motto like “those who eat well, live well” one knows the food at this high end downtown Italian eatery will be a treat. The seamless way the gluten free menu fits in with the rest of the offerings fits with the rest of the exceptional service. From tasty gluten free bread, a wide selection of salads, entrees and desserts this national recognized restraurant is worth the cost. Only question in my mind is why they don’t offer gluten free pasta. Hopefully someday we’ll have the chance to ask the Chef Wiggins.
- Racine’s: www.racinesrestaurant.com
A Denver favorite for decades, this tasty restaurant near 6th and Speer Blvd has now specifically identified which items are gluten free in a separate menu. From appetizers to salads and sandwiches, Racine’s has put together a nice selection of GF options. This is a great option for a business meeting or a Sunday brunch. Specific restaurant parking and wonderful summer patio are nice extras.
- Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant: www.riograndemexican.com
While this has become a franchise, we enjoyed their food and drinks from our long past days at CU Law in Boulder. Thus we are pleased that this Colorado restaurant now offers a separate gluten free menu. The Rio has worked hard to address concerns with cross contamination by revising its initial menu and training its staff. For example, we will still eat the corn chips even though these have been removed from the GF menu because of possible cross contamination concerns. And yes, their queso is gluten free.
- Root Down: www.rootdowndenver.com
This restaurant deserves its growing reputation! At Root Down, everyone can enjoy delicious, well presented food no matter what their dietary restriction may be. With a focus on farm to table, the food is fresh and fabulous. They even offer a gluten free beer from Spain. Read more about their gluten free options as offered at Rudi’s GF launch.
- Snooze AM Eatery: www.snoozeeatery.com
Yes, the rumors are true. This great local breakfast/lunch joint now has gluten free pancakes. Several of their other menu items are gluten free too. Since their locations tend to be very busy, you may want to speak with the manager/owner/head chef although we have been told all waitstaff should be aware of what it means to be gluten free.
- Swing Thai: www.swingthai.com
If you love thai food but eat gluten free, Swing Thai is a great local option. There are four locations (the downtown one has a great happy hour) and a wonderful, diverse menu, including vegetarian and vegan options. Added bonus – 100% MSG free.
- The Old Stone Church: www.oscrestaurant.com
Though the church was built in 1888, this small local restaurant features an eclectic modern American menu. You need to ask when you are seated for the gluten free menu but our experience has been that if you ask a question like “can I get that with corn tortillas?”, the wait staff will respond by asking whether you have an allergy or a preference. (Nice touch!)
- Tokyo Joe’s: www.tokyojoes.com
If you are looking for healthy fast (and gluten free) japanese food, this is your place. While they have catored to the GF crowd for a while, they now have an official gluten free menu and ever increasing locations around the Denver Metro area.
- Udi’s Cafes: www.udisfood.com
Delicious and healthy, Udi’s cafes are local favorites for both gluten free and old school glutenous baked goods. We love their muffins, cinnamon rolls, bread and pizza crusts but they seem to be coming up with more and more gluten free items that are more widely available. Many of the Colorado King Soopers as well as Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage carry some of their products. The gluten free bakery is located at the Broadway Cafe.
- Vesta Dipping Grill: www.vestagrill.com
This downtown Denver eatery has been a local favorite since its opening in 1997. It is exciting that the owner and chef are knowledgeable about celiac disease and gluten free items, including alcoholic beverages. We recommend calling ahead to make a reservation and perhaps speaking with them about GF menu/options so you know what your choices are before arriving on a busy evening.
- Water Course Foods: www.watercoursefoods.com
This tasty amazing vegetarian restaurant located on 17th in Denver has a wide selection of offerings that are or can be made gluten free. The wait staff is very knowledgeable about allergies and on our visits have been quite helpful. With a vegan/gluten free bakery, this is one place you don’t want to miss!
- White Chocolate Grill: www.whitechocolategrill.com
With its newest location in Lone Tree (South Metro Denver), this tasty and trendy restaurant is doing lots of wonderful things for those on a gluten free diet. Besides having a great gluten free menu that is available online, they have committed to providing safe gluten free food by being a “Gluten Free-Absolutely” restaurant, which means that at a minimum all staff should be trained to know about gluten free ingredients, preparation and possible cross contamination. Our first time tasty favorites: tomato gin soup and the filgon mignon cobb salad with no croutons.
- 730 South: www.730south.net/glutenfreemenu.cfm
This neighborhood bar and grill located in the Bonnie Brae area of Denver has been a long standing favorite for its great happy hours and tasty American food. It has a pretty complete gluten free menu that allows you to dine at any occasion and feel like one of the crowd.
Colorado Mountain Town Restaurants
- Brick Oven Pizzaria (Crested Butte, CO): http://brickovencb.com/
This long time locals hang out on the main strip in downtown Crested Butte has a wonderful patio and a delicious gluten free pizza. Whether you are driving through to check out the fall Aspens or enjoying one of the wonderful holiday parades, this is a great spot to view the happenings on Elk or the Colorado sunshine. For our review of the Brick visit Enjoy A Happy Gluten Free Weekend in Crested Butte.
- Vail Cascade Club (Atwater on Gore Creek): http://www.vailcascade.com/atwater/vail-restaurant-menus.php
We discovered this extensive and delicious gluten free (and “sustainable”) menu recently rather by accident… at a business conference in Vail. The pizza was delicious as were the salads but with a wide selection of entrees, sandwiches served on gluten free bread and nightly specials there is bound to be something for everyone.
Chains (available in Colorado) that have good Gluten Free Menus: Baja Fresh, BJ’s Brewhouse, Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Chick-fil-a, Chilis, Cold Stone Creamery, Ling and Louies Asain Bar, Maggiano’s , Mellow Mushroom Pizza, Old Spaghetti Factory, Outback Steakhouse, Pei Wei, P.F. Changs, Pinkberry, Qdoba, Red Robin, Smiling Moose Deli, Souper Salad, Wendy’s
OUT OF STATE (aka not in Colorado)
- Schlafley’s Bottleworks (St. Louis): www.schlafly.com
A popular craft brewery in St. Louis that has a limited gluten free menu. They did attempt to make a gluten free beer in 2006 but discontinued it. Perhaps spreading the word will help bring it back. CAUTION: A note of caution to those very sensitive that this is a brew house so the air is filled with the usual smell of hops and wheat.
- Bar Breton (NYC): http://chefpiano.com/bar-breton
Open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Saturday and Sunday, this gem in the heart of New York City should be on everyone’s list — not just those eating gluten free. With a GREAT certified menu, this bistro allows for a comfortable delicious meal out. Their specialty galettas are amazing and naturally gluten free. For a complete review of our recent dinning experience visit Galettas Galettas Gluten Free Galettas.