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Gluten Free in Boulder, CO: A Complete Guide for Celiacs

Ah, Boulder. Tucked away in the foothills of the Rockies, Boulder has everything we love in a town: good coffee and tea, incredible hiking trails just outside the city limits (in this case, inside the city limits), and, of course, great gluten free food. There are a bunch of dedicated gluten free restaurants in Boulder itself, and if you’re willing to venture half an hour outside the city limits to the surrounding suburbs, you’ll find even more bakeries, breweries, and restaurants. If you’re heading to Boulder, you’ll be happy to know that eating gluten free in Boulder is easy.

In this guide, you’ll find my picks for the best gluten free restaurants, bakeries, and even a dedicated gluten free brewery near Boulder, Colorado. In addition, I’ll give you my top coffee spots, an incredible teahouse, three places to find amazing cider, and the best grocery stores to stock up on gluten free goodies.

Pssst! Heading to Denver too?
If you’re headed to Boulder, you might also be heading to Denver, which is just down the road. Don’t miss my guide to gluten free Denver, which has the best gluten free spots in Colorado’s capital.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, I would never recommend something to you that I don’t stand behind 100%.

A Complete Guide to Eating Gluten Free in Boulder, Colorado

Below, you’ll find the 100% gluten free spots in Boulder, then the safe gluten free options in Boulder (not dedicated gluten free), and finally, the gluten free restaurants near Boulder in places like Lafayette, Longmont, and Golden. 

As always, make sure to double check my work. One of my rules for gluten free travel is to never, ever, under any circumstances, take an internet stranger’s word for it. That includes mine. Things change in kitchens all the time, and while I do my best to keep my guides updated to the best of my knowledge, I can’t constantly check every single restaurant.

Double check that things are still safe for your particular needs in advance by emailing, DM’ing on Instagram (I’ve had surprising success with this) or calling the restaurant.

If there is a spot in this (or any, really) guide, shoot me an email at matt@wheatlesswanderlust.com and I will double check and get it updated ASAP. 

With that semi-lengthy disclaimer, onto the other two gluten free options in Boulder that I’d recommend. 

Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants In Boulder, Colorado

Here are the dedicated gluten free restaurants that you’ll find in Boulder, Colorado. Personally, I try to eat at dedicated gluten free spots when I eat out, both to minimize cross-contamination risks, but also to support the restaurants that are doing the right thing for the gluten free community. 

Fresh Thymes Eatery

This was our favorite discovery in Boulder. Fresh Thymes is a 100% gluten free restaurant, delivery, and catering company on Pearl Street. It’s a little less than a mile away from the heart of the action at the west end of Pearl. They have a full lunch and dinner menu (with PIZZA) and a selection of pre-made meat and salad combinations to choose from to build a plate. That part reminds me a lot of the Big Fig, one of our favorite gluten free restaurants in Queenstown and Wanaka in New Zealand. 

We tried both ways of ordering with the verde pizza and a plate with a golden beet salad, a brussels sprout slaw, and a deliciously succulent slow roasted pork. Then we got some desserts to go, because obviously we did. We tried the orange cashew cheesecake, which was great, and the server recommended the Magic Bar, their signature dessert that is a layered combination of caramel, chocolate, cookie, and coconut that was incredible. It’s no wonder that their best-selling dessert. 

We wish we’d gotten the falafel burger after we saw it delivered to a table nearby. 

This is a great 100% gluten free lunch or dinner option in Boulder. It’s a little pricey – expect to pay $15-20 per person – but it’s worth it for safe, fresh, and delicious gluten free food made with high quality ingredients. 

They have another location nearby called “the Marketplace” that is part grocery store, part bakery. You can find pre-made salads and meals that you can reheat, along with a selection of local gluten free products. 

Quiero Arepas

Quiero Arepas is one of my favorite gluten free restaurants in Denver, and I was ecstatic to find out that they are opening a location in Boulder on Pearl Street at Avanti Food & Beverage Boulder. It’s 100% gluten free, and they have arepas that are incredible. The queso arepa, stuffed full of fresh mozzarella, fried sweet plantains, and avocado, is a must-order, along with the side of plantains that comes smothered in melted cheese and a delicious green sauce. 

The food hall it’s located in – Avanti Boulder – is a cool spot for a dinner meetup with friends or family because it has a wide selection of different food stalls and a couple of bars, so everyone can find a place that they love. Quiero Arepas also has a stall at the Avanti location in Denver

Kim & Jakes Gluten Free

Important note up front: Kim & Jakes were unable to confirm whether or not they use purity protocol oats, but noted that they are certified gluten free by GFCO. Personally, I avoid oats that are not confirmed purity protocol out of an abundance of caution. Therefore, because all of their products use oat flour as a base, I have not actually eaten at Kim & Jakes or tried their products. But I recognize that your preferences might be different than mine, which is why I included them here so that you can make an informed decision for yourself. 

Kim and Jakes is a gluten free Bakery in Boulder that makes all sorts of breads and sweet treats. I actually discovered them years ago at a family wedding in Boulder. Actually, at two family weddings in Boulder. Usually, I assume that all desserts at weddings are a no-go, so I skipped the cake at the first one even though someone told me it was gluten free. Then, after the wedding, someone told me that Kim & Jakes, a dedicated gluten free bakery in Boulder, made the cake and I Googled it and was sad that I’d missed it. 

Fast forward a few months, another family wedding and ANOTHER Kim & Jakes cake. I went to town on that one, and it was delicious. That was, of course, before I had realized the whole oats situation. Oh well. 

Fast forward a few years to today, where you’ll find their gluten free baked goods at their bakery in Boulder, and also at just about every grocery store in Colorado including Whole Foods and Alfalfas in Boulder. 

Outrageous Baking Co.

Outrageous Baking Co is another gluten free bakery that you’ll find in Boulder at the Saturday Farmers Market and, similar to Kim and Jakes, at all sorts of grocery stores in the greater Denver area, including Alfalfas and Whole Foods.

The highlight here is the loaves – we tried pumpkin chocolate, orange cranberry, cherry, and traditional and loved every last crumb of all of them. If you made me choose, it’s the orange cranberry, though. They also have other things, but that’s what I had seen on social media and that’s what I decided to buy. 

You can find their products at their farmers market outpost in Boulder (Saturdays 8am-3pm) or at Whole Foods.

NOTE: Whole Foods gets the whole loaf and then cuts it in-house, which means it is exposed to allergens in the Whole Foods kitchen. If you buy it at Whole Foods, make sure to buy the entire sealed loaf to avoid cross-contamination with other baked goods. 

Shine Potion Bar

We didn’t actually eat at Shine because we showed up for lunch only to realize they’re only open for dinner, which is completely my fault. They’re also 100% gluten free, with selections of main dishes, elixirs, juices, smoothies, and more. It’s in a shopping center pretty much in the middle of Boulder, just off of Pearl Street. 

Even More Gluten Free Restaurants In Boulder, Colorado

These are not dedicated gluten free, but I had a conversation with each place either over email or in-person to confirm that they take the necessary precautions against cross-contamination that are important if you have Celiac Disease, like I do. Remember to double check for yourself – things change in kitchens all the time and might be different than when I was there last. 

The Buff

If you’re looking for brunch in Boulder, this is the spot. They’re super knowledgeable about cross-contamination, which is not usually the case at breakfast places where they are juggling toasts and pancakes all over the place. They have separate surfaces and utensils for gluten free meals, and dedicated gluten free fryers.

Yellowbelly Chicken

I would go as far to say that Yellowbelly is a must-stop for Celiacs in Boulder. It’s actually in the same shopping center as the Buff and Shine, just a few blocks away from the main drag of Pearl Street. 

The reason? FRIED CHICKEN. That is gluten free. Like, it’s all gluten free, so there’s no risk of cross-contamination in the fryer. The hush puppies were also fantastic, served with a creamy honey butter that I would eat with a spoon if given the chance. Sauces are gluten free too – loved the barbecue and green buttermilk ranch.

The only gluten is the buns for sandwiches and the mac & cheese, and the staff were happy to explain how they keep them separate and change gloves when they handled my food. The menu is clearly marked with what is safe and what isn’t, so double check before you order and ask the staff if you end up having any questions. 

They have roasted chicken too, but I don’t know why you’d bother ordering that when there is GLUTEN FREE FRIED CHICKEN on the menu. 

Gluten Free Restaurants Around Boulder

Not only are there a bunch of gluten free restaurants in Boulder itself, but the area around Boulder is also littered with Celiac-safe dining options. Here are our favorites.

Gluten Free Restaurants in Lafayette, Colorado

Lafayette, Colorado, is a cute little suburb of Boulder with a charming downtown strip and a surprising number of gluten free options. We actually stayed in Lafayette for part of our time in Colorado and loved every second of it. It’s a perfect place to stay if you want a quieter and low key experience while still being within 15-20 minutes of the action in Boulder.

Plus, there’s some awesome gluten free food in Lafayette. 

Teocali Cocina (100% Gluten Free)

I loved Teocali, and it’s definitely is a new favorite after we showed up for happy hour and devoured a huge range of chips, salsas, and tacos. It’s a 100% gluten free Mexican restaurant along the cute downtown Lafayette strip with patio seating and a lovely light-filled ambiance.  

It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Boulder, and definitely worth the drive. Especially for happy hour, when you’ll get deals on chips & salsa, guacamole, and tacos and margaritas (3-6pm weekdays). 

The salsa trio with chips is a must-order. Particularly the macha salsa, which is a peanut and date-based salsa that I had never seen before. If you had been sitting next to us, you would have probably been amused at me eating it with a spoon when we had finished the chips #nosalsaleftbehind. The orange habanero salsa was also a star. 

The serving of guacamole was gigantic too, which makes it a steal during happy hour, when it was $5. As were the house margaritas. 

Let’s talk tacos.

Our favorites were the fried fish taco, which is hard to find gluten free and in a dedicated fryer, and the braised beef taco – Tijuna style – which is loaded with melted Oaxaca cheese and avocado salsa. 

We were stuffed after all that happy hour food, so we never actually made it to entrees. But if we had, the cochinita pibil would have been our first stop. It’s a slow roasted pork marinated in achiote and traditionally cooked underground, and it’s one of our favorite Mexican staples.

Don’t miss the 100% gluten free churros for dessert!

Acreage by Stem Ciders

We love Stem Cider, and we love Acreage, which is their restaurant perched on a hill in Lafayette, Colorado. It’s on a hilltop facing West over the Rockies, which makes it a perfect spot to drink cider, eat donuts, and watch the sunset.

Given our love for both cider and donuts, it was high on our list this time too.

They have a dedicated gluten free fryer, kitchen space, and the menu is clearly marked with items THAT CONTAIN gluten. Most items can be modified to be gluten free, but we stuck with the naturally gluten free options on the small plates menu.

Most of the mains contain gluten, and I generally avoid ordering things that might require modification and cause confusion and stick to the naturally gluten free options.

The highlights:

  • The Basque Frites – fries (in a gluten free fryer) tossed with a citrusy vinaigrette and topped with grated manchego.

  • The Grilled Greens + Burrata – first of all, I’m always down for burrata. Secondly, the sauce on this was incredible. I basically licked the bowl, because #nosauceleftbehind.

  • The Apple Cider Donuts – the highlight, obviously. They were still warm when we got them which made them 10x better.

The menu has changed since we last visited (RIP that cast iron cornbread), but it’s still one of our favorite gluten free spots in the Denver area.

Reelfish Fish & Chips

Gluten free fish and chips in a dedicated gluten free fryer? Sign me up! And by dedicated gluten free fryer, I mean that all fish and chips at Reelfish are gluten free, so there’s no worry of mixing up fryers or accidental cross-contamination! It’s not just fish either, they have all sorts of fried goodies to choose from, all gluten free. 

The only thing that contains gluten is the bread for sandwiches, which is made in a separate area of the kitchen from where the fish and chips are made. 

They have Holidaily beer and Stem Cider, the perfect pairings for your fish and chips. 

Aime’s Love: A Dedicated Gluten Free Bakery in Longmont, Colorado

We stopped by Aime’s Love, a gluten free bakery in Longmont, on a whim on our way into the Boulder area from Yellowstone, and it was one of the biggest surprises of the trip. They don’t have much of a social media presence, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. 

We walked in and I was immediately drawn to the huge list of cakes on the wall that you can pre-order for special occasions (sign me up for the Dirty Chai Cake), but Alysha pointed out that we PROBABLY didn’t need an entire cake between the two of us, so I moved on to the breakfast menu and the baked goods. 

The pastry case had everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more, from eclairs (a must-order) to cupcakes, cookies, and brownies, and pretty much everything in between. Sweet and savory. 

The food menu, which has quiche, breakfast sandwiches, and crepes for breakfast and paninis and chicken pot pies for lunch, was our next stop. We got the pesto breakfast sandwich and the curry crepe, and were blown away by the sandwich in particular. Everyone knows that the first key to a good breakfast sandwich is plenty of butter or oil to get the bread nice and crispy, and they nailed that part. 

We ended up with basically the equivalent of an entire cake between the cupcakes and éclair that we ordered, and the highlights of the desserts was, by far, the éclair. Alysha is convinced that she’d never have known the difference if you hadn’t told her it was gluten free.

I highly recommend a stop here along the way if you find yourself heading north to either Fort Collins or Rocky Mountain National Park.

Holidaily: A Dedicated Gluten Free Brewery in Golden, Colorado

If you love beer but need to eat gluten free, I have some great news for you. Holidaily Brewing Company in nearby Golden, Colorado, is the answer to your prayers. It’s in what is basically an office park, which is an odd location for a brewery, but don’t let yourself be dissuaded by the location. The beer is incredible, and the back patio is a great spot to enjoy a beer on one of the 300+ sunny days a year in the Denver area. 

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I love discovering new gluten free breweries. And I mean 100% gluten free – made entirely with gluten free ingredients – none of that gluten-reduced garbage here (don’t sue me, please). 

Holidaily is one of my three favorite gluten free breweries in the US, and I’ve been there multiple times before this last trip. On our last visit, I got to see just how far they’ve come over the past several years. Before, I knew them for their Blonde and Fat Randy’s IPA – my two favorite flagship beers that they make.

Now, they have all sorts of experimental and small batch beers on tap – pumpkin ale, coffee stout, and a fresh hop IPA to name a few. Maybe they had them before and I missed it, but I was thoroughly impressed on this go-around. The best might have been the pumpkin spice latte, which was a blend of their pumpkin ale and coffee stout. 

You can get a flight if you’re wanting to try a few, and you can get cans of the flagship beers or growlers/crowlers of the more experimental beers to-go. I recommend bringing an extra suitcase to fill it with beer on the flight home, but that’s just me. 

Our favorites were the Globetrotter Gose and the guava blonde, which we got a crowler of that we later drank as we watched bugling elk during the rut on our Rocky Mountain National Park itinerary.

Most days, there’s a food truck onsite that is 100% gluten free (aptly named “Dedicated Bistro”), so you can satisfy the beer munchies with beer-friendly snacks like fish and chips. 

Where to Find Gluten Free Groceries in Boulder

If you’d rather cook for yourself or, like me, you’d prefer not to eat out for every single meal while you’re traveling, here are the best places to find gluten free groceries near Boulder. I included one place in Denver – Leevers Locavore  –  because it was my favorite grocery store in Colorado. 

  • Alfalfa’s – High end local chain with quality products, including Outrageous Baking and Kim & Jakes when we were there.
  • Whole Foods Market – You know this one. They have both Kim & Jakes and Outrageous Baking in the bakery section, but don’t miss my note above about both of them.
  • Natural Grocers – More expensive than Whole Foods with slightly better selection.
  • Leevers Locavore – My favorite grocery store in the area, but it’s 30 minutes away in Denver.

Boulder’s Best Coffee and Tea

If you’re looking for the best coffee in Boulder, I’ve got three options for you.

  • Ozo Coffee: The OG in Boulder specialty coffee, at least in my book, Ozo has about seventy two locations around Boulder. Whether you want a flavored latte or a freshly brewed single origin pour over, Ozo has you covered. They have TWO locations on Pearl Street, along with three more spots in the greater Boulder area.

  • Boxcar Coffee: Another great option for coffee at the east end of Pearl Street, Boxcar is another option for great coffee in Boulder. The highlight here is the Boilermaker, which is like cowboy coffee, but actually good because of the lower boiling point at higher elevations.

  • Ampersand Coffee: I showed up here at exactly 7am on a Saturday, and was the only one there. Mostly because the Airbnb we stayed in was just up the road in Gunbarrel, just north of Boulder. This was my favorite coffee experience, because the friendly barista told me their story, which is super interesting (more in a second), brewed me a cup of pour over, and then offered me a shot of espresso on the house so that I could try the same coffee as a pour over vs. espresso. The simplified version of their story is that they work with an organization that helps them purchase coffee from female farmers, primarily in Latin America, because research shows that female farmers are more likely to re-invest their profits in the farm and local community compared to their male counterparts. Super cool.

If you’ve been following us for a while, then you know that while I guzzle coffee like it’s the elixir of life, Alysha actually never drinks coffee. Ever.

But she loves tea! And if you’re in Boulder and you’re in the same boat as her, you should definitely head to the Dushanbe Tea House, which has an incredible loose leaf tea list, along with delicious chai. We bought a carton of it to bring home with us, and it made it a month in the hot Utah desert heat before we enjoyed it back home in California with no issues.

Final Thoughts

Boulder is a great town to explore before you even think about gluten free eats. But when you combine the outdoor activities, the proximity to Denver and the Rockies, and the plethora of great gluten free restaurants, bakeries, and breweries, it doesn’t get much better than Boulder in terms of gluten free travel destinations.

Heading to Colorado? Don’t miss my other Colorado Travel Guides:

Like this gluten free travel guide? There’s PLENTY more where that came from.

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