Denver Gluten-Free Travel Guide

Forget the marijuana tourism hype. Eater editor Andra Zeppelin shows the true reason the Mile High City is one of the nation’s top settling spots for Millennials. With an enviable outdoor lifestyle, fast-growing economy and job market, and burgeoning dining, and museum scene, Denver’s got it going on.

Photography Rebecca Stumpf

Clyfford Still Museum
The Mile High City’s art scene is one of the most dynamic in the country, and this focused and rich collection proves the point. Also visit the Denver Art Museum a block away.

The Source artisanal marketplace in RiNo

River North Art District, home to Denver’s fastest-growing dining and arts scene, is worthy of a half-day wander. Don’t miss the Plinth Gallery and the artisanal-food coop marketplace The Source.

Bear Creek Lake Park
The great outdoors is yours at Lakewood’s dog-, boat-, and bike-friendly park thirty minutes outside of Denver, featuring an eight-mile hiking loop, fishing, and horseback riding.

South Broadway
Walkable and animated, the South Broadway neighborhood is the spot for locally made clothing, antiques, and fantastic people-watching. Decade Gifts, Sewn, and Steadbrook are retail-therapy musts.

Boulder County Farmer’s Market in Boulder

Boulder Farmers Market
A forty-minute drive northwest of Denver, Boulder’s growers-only market is worth exploring and includes diverse and exciting lunch and dinner options. Check it out on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Head twenty-five minutes southwest of town to catch a show at one of the most stunning open-air music venues in the world and see which captivates more—the performance, breathtaking views, or natural acoustics.


A room at the Crawford

The Crawford
This new hotel offers modern luxury in stunning, historic, and freshly renovated Union Station, plus there’s direct access to two of Denver’s best restaurants, Mercantile Dining & Provision and Stoic & Genuine.

Hotel Monaco
A dog-friendly Kimpton Hotel in the heart of the business district, this refined hotel has a fabulous spa and salon.

The Curtis
It’s entirely possible to get a wake-up call from Austin Powers or Elvis or to be part of a Sunday morning Disco Brunch at this more-pop-than-posh downtown DoubleTree hotel.

The study at Hotel Teatro

Hotel Teatro
Steps away from the Denver Performing Arts Complex, this elegant, recently remodeled boutique hotel is a great value.

The Brown Palace Hotel
This classically chic Denver institution celebrates life’s finer things, including traditional teatime and a Sunday Dom Pérignon Champagne brunch.

Williams & Graham
It’s fair to credit this small speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf door for putting Colorado’s cocktail scene on the national map. Expect spectacular cocktails from award-winning bartenders.

RiNo Yacht Club
Though the name and slightly nautical decor are nods to Denver’s Platte River, the only water you’ll see at this communal space in the artisanal-food market The Source is the frozen stuff floating in your cocktail.

Baristas at Crema Coffee House in Denver, CO

Crema Coffee House
Coffee is taken seriously at this eclectic RiNo institution where career baristas use beans from local and nationally acclaimed roasters to make perfect cups of joe.

Cooper Lounge
“Glamorous and timeless” applies to the atmosphere, cocktails, and wines at the most beautiful place in Denver for a drink and bite.

The scene at Linger

A young, hip clientele and hard-to-beat rooftop views make this a prime Lower Heights drinking and people-watching spot. Beware: A tipsy shopping spree is a real possibility with exquisite clothing boutique Goldyn next door.

These restaurants are not 100 percent gluten-free, but their menus and kitchens are gluten-free savvy.

Note: Restaurants change their menus and recipes all the time, so be sure to confirm with your server that all the dishes you order are in fact, gluten-free. 

Digging in at Vesta Dipping Grill

Vesta Dipping Grill
A Denver staple for two decades, this LoDo restaurant has separate menus for several allergies, a touch that puts those with dietary restrictions at ease. Must-tries: Korean barbecue duck (request GF) and any gluten-free dessert by pastry queen Nadine Donovan.

Contemporary to its core, this restaurant inside The Source features co-owner and chef Steven Redzikowski’s balanced, uniquely daring cuisine and superb cocktails by co-owner and beverage director Bryan Dayton. Must-tries: Kale salad or Wood-Fired Colorado Trout.

Potager’s gluten-free Lobster Napoleon

Potager Restaurant & Wine Bar
Denver’s original farm-to-table restaurant has a lot of soul in its warm dining room where guests quickly become part of a community that values tradition, respects ingredients, and honors the seasons. Must-tries: Cheese soufflé or roasted chicken (request GF modifications).

Olive & Finch Eatery, Bakery & Market
Uptown’s charming European-inspired cafe offers a variety of ultrafresh options for lunch or a simple dinner. Must-tries: Nico sandwich—on GF bread.

Frasca Food & Wine
This fine-dining jewel and brainchild of master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson offers the highest level of hospitality, a superb wine list, and carefully crafted dishes inspired by the cuisine of Northern Italy’s Friuli region. Must-try: Frico caldo (a savory potato and Montasio cheese cake).

Blackbelly Market
It’s not easy to get a reservation at the modern flagship farm-to-table restaurant of chef Hosea Rosenberg, winner of Top Chef season 5, but the rib-eye alone makes it worth the effort. Must-tries: Rib-eye or green chile.

Work & Class
As fun and laid back as Denver gets, this instant classic, housed in a building made from shipping containers, features a build-your-own menu by chef Dana Rodriguez, whose new American offerings include shrimp and grits, roasted goat, and myriad GF sides. Must-tries: Blue corn empanadas or Jamaican jerk rotisserie chicken.

Highland Tap & Burger
Lively and gluten-free-friendly, this casual tap house with prime patio dining on warm eves has great food and at least two gluten-free beer offerings. Must-tries: Barrel-smoked chicken wings or Angus flat-iron steak ’n’ fries.

Gluten-free Aspen Ridge Short Rib with Polenta, Charred Asparagus, Turnips, Radish Salsa Verde, and Harissa Jus at Root Down.

Root Down
Try brunch at this LoHi hot spot for bottomless mimosas, almond-flour buttermilk French toast, and quinoa English muffins—all available gluten-free—or do dinner. Must-tries: Brunch tacos or Aspen Ridge Short Rib with Polenta, Charred Asparagus, Turnips, Radish Salsa Verde & Harissa Jus (ask for the gluten-free version).

Quiero Arepas
What started as a food truck hawking Venezuelan arepas (split and stuffed cornmeal flatbread) now has a permanent home in the heart of LoHi’s Avanti Food & Beverage building. Must-try: Pabellon, a beef-centric arepa, or the original, made with avocado, black beans, and plantain.

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