I have been to Denver, Colorado four times in the past year and a half, and every time I’ve had a chance to try more and more of the gluten free restaurants in Denver. In October 2020, after two weeks in the Denver area, I came to the realization that I needed to take a second look at my ranking of gluten free cities, which prior to this trip went something like this:
- Portland because of the huge selection of gluten free bakeries, breweries, cideries, and restaurants. Plus, even if you have other dietary restrictions besides gluten – dairy free, vegetarian, vegan – there are tons of options for you.
- New York City for the sheer number of gluten free options in the city.
- Seattle for Ghostfish Brewing, basically.
After this trip, I can firmly put Denver on the same level as Portland, tied for the best gluten free city in the US. ESPECIALLY if you count the area surrounding Denver, which has some amazing dedicated gluten free spots that you shouldn’t miss on your trip.
But we’ll get there in a second.
Eating gluten free in Denver is EASY, and in this guide I’ll give you my top picks for the best restaurants, bakeries, breweries, and cafes for eating gluten free in Denver.
The first time I was in Denver a few years ago, my Lyft driver from the airport was telling me about how the rent is skyrocketing because too many people are moving here. First, I laughed when he said he couldn’t find a place for under $1,000 because I live in San Francisco and you can’t find a parking spot for under $1,000 here.
Then, I laughed again, because the next line out of his mouth seemed to be recruiting Alysha and I to move to Denver. He said something like “It is a really nice place to live though – we have the most sunny days of anywhere in the US – even more than Florida. 300 days of sun a year! It’s amazing.”
Maybe Denver should lead with “TRAFFIC IS HORRIBLE! DON’T MOVE HERE!” like every other city, rather than the 300 days of sun.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on one and purchase something, I make a small portion of the sale at no additional cost to you. It goes without saying that I would never recommend something I wouldn’t use or do myself.
Gluten Free Denver: The Complete Guide for GF Foodies
Not only is Denver a great place for people who want 300 days of sun and phenomenal gluten free food, it also happens to be a fantastic place to spend a long weekend. If you’re looking to get outdoors and go for a hike or a bike ride, explore some world class gluten free eats, or try some local Colorado gluten free beer, cider, and wine, Denver is the place for you.
Here are some ideas for your next trip to Denver – from what Celiac-safe gluten free restaurants you should try, to things to do in and around the Denver area, you’ll find everything you need to plan a gluten free Denver weekend getaway.
Here are six must-do things in Denver for gluten free foodies.
Sunset at Avanti Food & Beverage + Quiero Arepas
In the trendy Lower Highlands (LoHi), you’ll find a food hall straight out of Brooklyn complete with several levels of seating, a couple of bars, and tons of food options. That’s Avanti Food & Beverage. Head straight for Quiero Arepas, a 100% gluten free arepa place, and order a queso arepa and the sweet plantains. Grab your food, a drink, and try to snag a seat on the rooftop for sunset.
Dinner at Work & Class or SuperMegaBien
Owned by the same restaurant group, these two spots in RiNo are literally across the street from each other, and while not 100% gluten free, are knowledgeable about cross-contamination (fryers aren’t safe at either spot), and have clearly marked menus with plenty of gluten free options. When we ate at SuperMegaBien on our last trip, about 98% of the menu was naturally gluten free. And the food is great!
Brunch at Root Down
This was the highlight of my first trip to Denver. Your food will come out with a little “gluten free” flag in it, reminiscent of the way Celiacs are treated in Rome. Great food and ambiance in LoHi. They also have a location AT THE AIRPORT!
Holidaily Brewing (Golden, CO)
Stem Ciders Tasting Room
Stem Ciders is one of my favorite cider companies in the country, and their tasting room in RiNo should be on every gluten free foodie’s list while you’re in Denver. Whether you like super dry ciders (like me!) or are more on the sweet side of the spectrum, Stem has a cider that you’ll love, and you can try them all with a flight. If you’ve got a car, head out to the Acreage in nearby Lafayette, where you’ll find an even bigger cider selection, and a food menu with gluten free options (though, sadly, not 100% gluten free).
The Best Gluten Free Restaurants in Denver
Here is a guide to the best gluten free restaurants in and around Denver that are Celiac-friendly.
As always with my gluten free travel guides, you need to double check for yourself.
Always let your server know what your needs are, and if possible, reach out ahead of time by phone, email, or even Instagram DM to confirm that a place meets your needs.
My #1 rule is never take an internet stranger’s word for whether or not something is safe – even mine. Think of this as a starting point, and always, always double check for yourself.
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants in Denver
Here are the best dedicated gluten free restaurants in Denver. Brace yourself – there are a lot of them.
Quiero Arepas: 100% Gluten Free Arepas
I basically stumbled upon Quiero Arepas, mostly by accident on our first trip. That seems to be a theme here.
I was in Denver for the first time with some friends for a weekend adventure, and we wanted to go to Avanti, which I highly recommend, for the rooftop bar and patio.
In the process of researching Avanti, I realized they had an arepa restaurant inside. Those who know me know that I’m always in for arepas (side note: If you’re in San Francisco, go to Pica Pica for arepas made in a dedicated gluten free facility).
Quiero Arepas is very similar to Pica Pica – delicious, handmade arepas in a certified gluten free kitchen with your choice of gluten free adult beverages, like gluten free beer, wine and cider to accompany them.
I Highly recommend an evening at Avanti with dinner at Quiero Arepas for all celiacs exploring Denver. They also have a food truck around town, and a new location that is outside of the city center, but worth a drive!
What to Order: The Queso and Reina Pepiada (basically chicken + avocado) Arepas and the plantains. ORDER THE SIDE OF PLANTAINS TOO!!
Vital Root: Real Food Made From Real Ingredients
The inspiration behind Vital Root is to make vegetable-focused, wellness-focused, healthy fast casual food more accessible by “keeping it real.” They are a 100% gluten free kitchen, and 99% of the menu can be made vegan by request.
Full disclosure, I haven’t actually made it to Vital Root yet. But I certainly want to, and will on my next trip to Denver. We made it, and I loved it.
Stop by for brunch on the weekend, where you’ll find everything from pancakes to pad thai. And definitely don’t miss the pastries – like tiramisu and beet brownies.
Happy hour is a steal – $5 house wine and cocktails, $3 veggie wings, and $2 tofu bahn mi tacos. YUM. Tue – Sun, 3-6pm.
What to Order: The bahn mi tacos and the pad thai are great. And count me in for fried cauliflower any day of the week
River and Roads Coffee
The best gluten free restaurant in Denver that we discovered on this last trip is, hands down, River and Roads Coffee. It’s an amazing dedicated gluten free breakfast (and lunch, but I was particularly into breakfast) spot, which can be hard to find.
They’ve got a full breakfast menu, including breakfast fries and biscuit sandwiches (yes please!), and a rotating selection of baked goods.
We tried the lemon donut holes and the banana pancake muffin. Needless to say, I would get them again.
Oh yeah, and they have amazing coffee. What more could you ask for?
GET THE BREAKFAST FRIES. We ordered the sweet potato version, which is smothered in cheese, topped with a spicy aoli, and two sous-vide eggs. What a way to start the day.
Just BE Kitchen: 100% Gluten and Grain Free Restaurant
Their “why” speaks to me – it boils down to the idea that having Celiac Disease, or needing to eat strictly gluten free, shouldn’t mean you have to avoid food you love. That’s what this blog is all about – finding amazing gluten free restaurants where you can walk in, order anything off the menu, and feel like normal.
Just BE Kitchen delivers on that in spades. The kitchen is100% gluten, grain, refined sugar, soy, corn, peanut & legume free. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get delicious food. It is paleo, so if you’re not used to eating grain free, refined sugar free foods, it might be a little different than what you’re expecting. For example, almond flour pancakes are never going to be quite as fluffy as regular gluten free pancakes. Go in with that expectation, and you’re going to love it.
You can find breakfast all day, featuring delectable dishes like biscuits and gravy or pancakes (among many other choices). The dinner menu has a similarly wide range of choices. Whether you’re in the mood for beef with broccoli or gnocchi, you’ll find something delicious.
Happy hour is a great time to visit – $4 gluten free beer, and a bunch of small plates perfect for sharing. 3-6pm daily.
They also have a Whole30 approved menu – the only place in Colorado with that claim (according to them – I didn’t double check).
What to Order: The cinnamon roll was awesome – super cinnamon-y! The breakfast burrito was also fantastic, and when was the last time you had a breakfast burrito??
MMM… Coffee! Paleo Bistro
At Mmm…Coffee, you’ll find Paleo (gluten, grain, and refined sugar free) baked goods – cookies, brownies, and muffins – along with good coffee. It’s south of Downtown Denver.
Deby’s Gluten Free: THE 100% Gluten Free Bakery in Denver
Deby’s Gluten Free is a 100% gluten free bakery outside the city center by about 20 minutes (by car). It’s also a peanut-free kitchen, for those of you with peanut allergies, or kids who have one. They also avoid soy flour, nut flour, or bean flours in all of their baked goods.
They make over 275 gluten free items.
They have a HUGE selection of gluten free bread – from country white to cinnamon raisin – along with hamburger buns, french bread, and english muffins. You’ll also find an ever-changing selection of muffins, which are dairy free but DO contain egg, cookies, baking mixes and PIZZA CRUST!
Here is the allergen statement about their breads from their website: “Note: Deby’s breads are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and contain only a trace amount of Soy Lecithin (from the nonstick pan spray) All of our Bread Loaves are Egg Free and Vegan, along with our Hamburger Buns, Sandwich Buns, and Hoagie Rolls. Our English Muffins DO contain Egg.”
Stop by on Saturdays from 9am-3pm for their “Fresh-Out” day, where you’ll find selections of all sorts of baked goods on tables outside of their facility, including special selections like donuts.
Whole Sol: Gluten Free Smoothies & Bowls
Note: The oats they use are not purity protocol. If that’s something you care about, like me, order without granola and steer clear of the overnight oats
Whole Soul, with locations in LoDo, Boulder, and coming soon to RiNo and Sloan’s Lake, is a great 100% gluten free breakfast option in Denver. It’s also 100% dairy free, if that’s something you also need.
They’ve got smoothies bowls – like the “I Like You Matcha”, which is a smoothie base of blended kale, pineapple, banana, and matcha topped with coconut, blueberry, and granola – toasts, and hot bowls – like the Primal Bowl with cabbage, two poached eggs, and homemade hemp pesto.
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants Near Denver
Just outside of Denver, you’ll find a bunch of other dedicated, 100% gluten free restaurants where you won’t have to worry about cross-contamination. An absolute dream for Celiacs! I still get giddy when I can order literally anything on the menu.
Holidaily Brewing: 100% Gluten Free Brewery (Golden, CO)
Not really a gluten free restaurant, but a brewery that uses 100% gluten free ingredients, but it’s a must-stop for gluten free beer lovers in Denver. Holidaily Brewing is in Golden, Colorado, which is about a half hour driving outside of Denver.
At their taproom, you’ll find a range of beers on tap, along with food trucks with gluten free options (and some that are 100% gluten free – like Dedicated Bistro & Bakery, which is usually parked outside).
They make 100% gluten free beer. Like, really gluten free. Not gluten reduced. 100% gluten free. AND IT’S GREAT!
This is one of my favorite gluten free breweries in the country, and I bring back a couple of four packs of Fat Randy’s IPA and their Blonde as often as I can. You can find it at local grocery stores in Denver too, if you can’t make it out to their taproom.
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants in Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is ~40 minutes away from Denver by car
Fresh Thymes: Cute eatery in Boulder – everything is gluten free (and peanut free) except a few beers that they serve. REALLY solid food, and they have some great gluten free beers and ciders too.
Kim and Jakes Gluten Free Bakery (Boulder): Discovered this 100% gluten free bakery in Boulder because of a wedding cake I had at a family wedding. Haven’t made it to the bakery yet, but it should be on your list! They do use non-purity-protocol oats in some of their baked goods, so that’s something you’re worried about (I am).
Shine Restaurant and Potion Bar: 100% gluten free spot in Boulder with “potions,” which are kind of like a wellness cocktails sans alcohol, and a bunch of brunch, lunch, and dinner options like Mac & Cheese, a burger, and ramen bowls.
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants in Lafayette, Colorado
Lafayette is ~30 minutes away from Denver by car
Teocalli Cocina: Mexican cuisine in a cool space in downtown Lafayette. And the menu is 100% gluten free. They make their own tortillas in-house using the traditional nixtamal method (corn soaked in lime & water, then ground down to make delicious tortillas), and fill them with everything from classics like carnitas, to more contemporary takes like pork belly. Pork shank pibil and birria de res are the standouts of the main dishes.
I think tacos are our favorite food group (donuts or arepas being a close second), so @teocalli_cocina was a highlight of our time in Colorado.
They’re a 100% gluten free Mexican restaurant in Downtown Lafayette, which is where we stayed for part of our time in The Denver area.
We showed up for happy hour (tons of outdoor seating available) where you can get $1 off all their AMAZING tacos, $5 house margaritas, and deals on chips, salsa, and guacamole.
The highlights for us were:
- The chips with the AWESOME macha – a peanut date salsa (super unique, I could eat it with a spoon) – and the orange habanero salsa.
- The fried fish tacos, which are hard to find gluten free.
- The de birria taco – Tijuana style! Short rib, Oaxaca & Chihuahua cheese, avocado salsa verde.
But really, the peanut-date salsa is incredible. Don’t miss it.
They have great happy hour deals – $1 off all tacos, $6 guacamole, and $5 margaritas. Well-worth the ~20 minute drive!
Other Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants Around Denver
Third Culture Bakery (Aurora, CO – ~20 minutes from Downtown Denver): A 100% gluten free bakery in Aurora, the only flour they use is rice flour, and they are the original Mochi Muffin makers.
No Cow Cafe (Castle Rock, CO – ~35 minutes from Downtown Denver): 100% gluten free and dairy free bakery in Castle Rock. All sorts of baked goods.
Wave the Grain (Cetennial, CO – ~25 minutes from Downtown Denver): Their tagline is “gluten free baking that doesn’t taste gluten free,” which about sums up exactly what I’m looking for in my gluten free baked goods. You’ll find a couple of different breads, pastries like danishes and cinnamon rolls, and various breakfast and lunch dishes like burritos, quiche, and ramen.
Allergy-Free Baking Company (Morrison, CO – ~25 minutes from Downtown Denver): Gluten, tree nut, peanut, and dairy free bakery in Morrison – southwest of Denver. If you have other food sensitivities, like eggs, corn, or soy, they have detailed allergen information that will help you find something delicious for your individual needs. Don’t miss Cinnamon Roll Saturday (YES PLEASE).
Aime’s Love (Longmont, CO – ~45 minutes from Downtown Denver): We loved this place. It’s a 100% gluten free bakery in Longmont, which is 15 minutes north of Boulder, where you’ll find an amazing selection of gluten free baked goods, along with mouthwatering breakfast and lunch menus. For breakfast, choose from sandwiches, crepes (NUTELLA + BANANA YES PLEASE), quiche, and bagels. We had the pesto breakfast sandwich and the curry crepe, and the sandwich was outstanding. For lunch, it’s paninis and chicken pot pie, which you can wash down with one of their desserts – cupcakes, eclairs, whoopie pies, etc. Did I mention they have ECLAIRS? Alysha thinks that if you did a blind tasting, you’d never know it was gluten free. You can also order custom cakes for those Celiac birthdays!
Celiac-Friendly Restaurants in Denver
These places aren’t 100% gluten free, so there’s a higher risk of cross-contamination. Reach out ahead of time to confirm they can serve you, and ALWAYS tell your server about your needs. Don’t be afraid to leave without eating if you don’t feel comfortable – I’ve certainly done it more times than I can count.
Root Down: The Best Gluten Free Brunch in Denver
Honestly, if I could eat every meal – brunch, happy hour and dinner, at Root Down, I probably would.
But if you’re making me choose, I choose brunch.
You should definitely make an effort to fit Root Down in for brunch on your gluten free Denver adventure.
Not only is it super friendly for Celiacs, the food is also GREAT. It’s interesting – going beyond what you’d expect from typical brunch fare with some slight twists that make the dishes that much better. My food came out with a little “ALLERGY” flag in it so I knew which one was mine.
Did I mention that they have a location at the Denver airport? Get your gluten free brunch fix before you get on the plane!
I haven’t made it here for dinner yet, but I will next time I’m in Denver. That or Happy Hour. Or both.
Standout Gluten Free Dishes: I’ve only eaten here once, and I got the Classic Benedict with gluten free corn-based biscuits.
Work & Class: Trendy Restaurant with Solid Celiac-Safe Options
I took a chance on Work & Class, if we’re being honest.
On their menu, they have things marked gluten free. However, I didn’t see any reviews on FindmeGlutenFree, so I wasn’t really sure just how celiac-friendly they would be.
So I decided to stop in for Happy Hour.
If it goes well, great! I get to try some of their delicious-looking gluten free food. If it doesn’t go well and they don’t have processes in place to manage cross-contamination, or the server looks at me like I’m crazy when I say the word “celiac,” I finish my cider and move on. That’s a clear win-win if you ask me!
When we got there, it was packed. At 4pm.
We sat at the bar, and ordered drinks before I sprung my “I have celiac disease” schpiel on him. The bartender didn’t miss a beat, telling me that the friers are not gluten free, and that he would add a note to our food letting the chef know. WIN!
NO RESERVATIONS – you can put your name in and grab a seat at the bar, but expect to wait.
Standout Gluten Free Dishes: the bacon-wrapped asparagus, the blue corn empanadas, and the rotisserie chicken.
Other Celiac-Friendly Restaurants in Denver
La Rola Urban Colombian Food: A Colombian spot in the hip Zeppelin Station, most things are naturally gluten free, including empanadas made of corn, and the fryers are safe. We went here and basically relived our entire six week adventure in Colombia with the arepas, toston (fried plantain topped with goodies), and empanadas. The things to watch out for are the hot dog buns and two desserts – the cheese bread and guava bread, which do contain gluten.
Hapa Sushi: Sushi in Denver, a landlocked city? Skeptical. But Hapa is a solid Japanese-Hawaiian fusion option, with a separate gluten free menu and great happy hour deals. Several locations in Denver, including one in LoDo.
Federal Bar & Grill: First of all, great 100% gluten free beer selection! Plus, dedicated fryers and knowledgeable staff! Food is above average – nothing too special.
Revelry Kitchen: Not a dedicated gluten free kitchen, but staff was pretty knowledgeable. Went here for a dinner with a group and everyone enjoyed themselves, and I felt plenty safe. All menu items can be made gluten free.
Celiac-Friendly Restaurants Around Denver
Reelfish: Dedicated gluten free fryers for their fries and gluten free fish and chips. Locations in Boulder and Lafayette.
The Buff: Great spot in Boulder with a gluten free menu, knowledgeable staff, and a fun vibe.
Lulu’s BBQ: Delicious BBQ in Louisville. I have family that live nearby, and this will be a stop on every single future trip to the area. Great food, cool space, and knowledgeable staff. All the meats and sauces are gluten free, and a bunch of the sides are too!
Yellowbelly: Gluten Free Fried Chicken! They don’t make non-gluten free fried chicken, so cross-contamination is relatively low. A couple of locations in the Denver area, including Aurora and Boulder.
The Acreage by Stem Ciders
We discovered Acreage a few years ago on one of our many Denver trips, and it was one of our favorite spots in the Denver area.
Given our love for both cider and donuts, it was high on our list this time too.
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. 🌅
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 Basque Frites – fries (in a gluten free fryer) tossed with a citrusy vinegarette 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.
Where to Stay in Denver
When I travel, I always try to stay at an Airbnb with a kitchen to give myself a safety net to cook for myself if I can’t find safe gluten free food. (Pssst! Here’s our list of the best Airbnbs in Denver to help you find an amazing place to stay).
However, in Denver, that probably isn’t necessary. There are SO MANY safe gluten free options for Celiacs in Denver that you’ll want to try.
Planning a trip to Denver?
Don’t miss my complete guide to where to stay in Denver to find the perfect home base for your trip.
For families or people who want some peace and quiet, I’d look at the Lower Highlands (LoHi), which is more residential and will give you more space and nice tree-lined streets to stroll. You’ll be close enough to Downtown, but removed from some of the hustle and bustle.
The Best Airbnbs in Denver
Artisan Loft in Historic Five Points (RiNo / Five Points)
Beautiful 2 bedroom loft! Each bedroom has a queen bed, and there’s a full kitchen (and it’s GORGEOUS).
Modern with Mountain Views (RiNo)
Stunning 2BR loft on the border of RiNo, walking distance to Union Station, the best of RiNo, and the Lower Highlands. Tons of natural light, too!
Historic Carriage House (RiNo / Five Points)
Perfect for couples.
The Best Hotels in Denver
I have stayed at the Maven Hotel, and absolutely loved it. They have mini-fridges in the rooms (if you request it) so you can go grab some gluten free groceries at nearby Whole Foods and stock up. The rooms are SUPER nice. And Huckleberry coffee is in the lobby, which is the best coffee in Denver. You should stay there too – it’s a central location near Union Station and is walkable to almost everything in Denver. Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.
Looking for other hotel recommendations? No problem. Check out the Source Hotel, which is a cool boutique hotel in the heart of RiNo that is at the top of my list for my next trip. In LoDo, look at Hotel Indigo (budget-friendly) and the Kimpton Born (mid-range), which are both in the same vicinity as the Maven.
Things to Do in Denver
Get outside! There are a ton of day trip options from Denver that can take you to some of the best National Parks in the Western United States. Try Rocky Mountain National Park. Or Red Rocks. Choose a direction (but mostly West) and drive, and you’ll probably end up in the beautiful mountains.
Explore Boulder, a great mountain town ~30 minutes outside Denver. You can use public transit, or rent a car to get there. Go for a quick hike at Chautauqua Park, then grab some food at Fresh Thyme or the Buff, and finally some coffee at Ozo coffee – the best coffee in Boulder.
Taste local Kombucha on tap at American Cultures, a kombucha bar (yes, that’s a thing) with floor-to-ceiling windows and a bunch of different kombuchas on tap. They’re closed :(.
Visit Stem Cider’s tasting room in Denver for some fantastic dry ciders. The Raspberry is amazing, and the Salted Cucumber is a little more adventurous, but equally refreshing and drinkable.
Planning a trip to Denver? There’s more where this guide came from! Check out our other Colorado travel guides that we put together to help you plan an incredible trip.
- Gluten Free Boulder, Colorado: A Complete Guide to the Boulder Area
- 3 Days in Denver, Colorado: A Long Weekend Itinerary
- Where to Stay in Denver: The 4 Best Neighborhoods
- A Complete Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary
- The Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
Traveling gluten free? You’re going to want to head over and read our complete guide to gluten free travel, which has our strategies for traveling the world 100% gluten free.
More Gluten Free Travel Guides for the USA
Planning a trip in the United States, but need to eat gluten free? We’ve written a bunch of in-depth travel guides to the best gluten free restaurants and bakeries in many of our favorite cities in the US to help you find the best places to eat.