Going out to eat if you’re a person with food allergies, let’s just say… it can be a little difficult.  It can come off as annoying when you’re telling your friends you don’t want to go to so and so place because you can’t eat any of their food. Thankfully, Denver being the foodie city it is, has several restaurants that cater to the unfortunate souls that can’t eat regular cheese and bread, in addition to serving the stuff that your friends want. Here’s a list of places that do great substitutions AND dishes for friends that can eat whatever they want:

Postino 

Photo by Meg O’Neill Photography

Where: 2715 17th St, Denver

Neighborhood: LoHi

When: Monday-Thursday, 11a.m. – 11p.m.; Friday 11a.m. – 12a.m.; Saturday 9a.m. – 12a.m.; Sunday 9a.m. – 10p.m.

Wine bar usually means Italian food, and Italian food means Gluten. Luckily, Postino is looking out for the gluten-sensitive people of the world. This gem of a spot started in Phoenix, Arizona with six locations there, and opened here in Denver in the LoHi neighborhood in 2015 – and we’re really glad they did. Eater Denver voted Postino one of the best Rooftop Patios in the city.

They’ve got a variety of Bruschetta options – you can choose four out of the 12 options for a $15 plate – and for a $2 upcharge, you can make it Gluten-Free. The ones depicted above are Brie & Apples with Fig Spread; Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jam with Goat Cheese; Smoked Salmon with Pesto and the current Seasonal – a Cauliflower Romesco. And there are several delicious Paninis ($11) which can also be made Gluten-Free ($2).

They’ve got all the staple wine bar appetizers – Olive, Cheese and Meat boards – but perhaps the most fascinating/healthy is The Bounty ($15.50) – a ‘bountiful’ veggie board of Grilled Cauliflower, Asparagus, other assorted veggies, Spicy Marcona Almonds, served with herb cucumber dipping sauce and smoked almond hummus.

And of course, the wine: they’ve got a few Sommeliers on staff, so they can school you on what wine you’re really craving with their huge wine list that changes with the seasons. They even have a few signature wines that can only be found at Postino – exclusive! Happy hour is everyday til’ 5 p.m. – $5 for ANY glass of Wine and pitchers of beer of which you can choose from any of their 10 craft draft options.

Park & Co

Photo by Bridget Douglas

Where: 439 E 17th Ave, Denver

Neighborhood: North Capitol Hill

When: Monday-Thursday, 11a.m. – 11:30p.m..; Friday 11a.m. – 1a.m.; Saturday 10a.m. – 12a.m.

Park & Co. serves up some of the best burgers in town – sister restaurant to Park Burger. They’ve got fun combinations like the Boomer ($11) with roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, and truffle garlic Aioli – and the Au Poivre ($11) donned with a peppercorn crusted patty, caramelized onions, brie cheese and Béarnaise Aioli.

But what if burgers just don’t agree with you? Not to worry my friends, Park & Co. has some tantalizing alternatives: A most flavorful Veggie burger (one of the best I’ve ever had) with a house-made patty consisting of black beans, barley, and brown rice, topped with Thousand Island dressing ($8.50). It does contain gluten, so it’s more for the veg people.  A healthy/gluten-free alternative is the Turkey Burger ($11) – a house-made patty topped with ranch, bacon and guacamole. Add a Udi’s Gluten-Free bun for $2. If you aren’t allergic to gluten, their regular Aspen Bakery Potato buns are unbelievable.

On top of that, they’ve got a full bar with 20 beers on tap and 30 bottles & cans, unique appetizers (Stuffed Tater Tots $7.50), yummy salads and much, much more. Can’t forget the patio – this place doesn’t disappoint.

Hops & Pie 

Photo by Kacie Loura

Where: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver

Neighborhood: Berkeley

When: Monday, Closed; Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30a.m. – 10p.m.; Friday 11:30a.m – 11p.m.; Saturday 12p.m. – 11p.m.; Sunday 2p.m. – 9p.m.

Beer and pizza – the most coveted culinary pairing of all time. There is no class, race, or political affiliation that will deny its power. But what if you love pizza and beer, but can’t have gluten or dairy? No problem. The hip, Hops & Pie on Tennyson has you covered. In addition to their great pizza and craft beers, they have a popular gluten-free pizza ($15, 0.75 cents per topping) made with Gluten-Free Explorer crust. Take it to the next level of healthiness with Vegan Daiya cheese, Vegan Sausage or Smoked Tofu for all you veg-heads. The pizza sauce is homemade, too.

As for the toppings, there are several unique Veggies to choose from, like Caramelized Onions, lightly dressed Arugula, Roasted Garlic Cloves and Pineapple. And for the animal lovers: Smoked Ham Hock, Beer Braised Brisket, Blue Cheese and House Made Fresh Mozzarella – to name a few.

If you don’t love pizza, go for an Organic Roasted Beet Salad ($11) full of baby arugula, feta, pistachios, red, yellow, and candy-striped beets and Sherry vinaigrette. Or you might enjoy a Vegan Sloppy Joe made with Tempeh ($11) on a Gluten-Free bun for $1 extra. Any meat on a sandwich can be swapped for Smoked Tofu. And if you can’t have a beer (which they have a lot of), there’s always wine and cider.

Morning Collective

Photo by Morning Collective

Where: 2160 S Broadway, Denver

Neighborhood: South Broadway

When: Monday-Sunday, 7a.m. – 2:30p.m.

Brunch is the best: a big greasy plate of eggs and potatoes, along with a hair of the dog concoction or a nice cup o’ Joe. But at Morning Collective, it’s a little different – it caters to every palate and sensitivity. They’ve got your standard breakfast plates with fancy twists, but they’ve also got breakfast bowls and plates that you’re able to swap out things like white toast for gluten-free, sausage for vegan chorizo, or eggs for tofu. The Heirloom Tomato Bowl (half $6/full $10) consists of cage-free eggs (cooked your way), Ricotta fritters, Olive oil roasted Fingerling Potatoes and sliced Heirloom Tomatoes. There’s even an option for Gluten-Free pancakes!

If you’re more of a lunch person, try a BLT ($9) with thick-cut coffee rubbed bacon, fresh heirloom tomatoes, arugula and a schmear of bacon & egg aioli. In addition to brunch and lunch, they’ve got great beverages: Cappuccino, Horchata, Bloody Mary, Iced Irish Coffee and even Wine Beer shots? Cool!

If you’re looking for a delicious brunch, that won’t irritate your tummy, and will also satisfy your friends that like old Fashioned dairy and gluten-laden breakfast, this is the perfect place.

Fire on the Mountain

Photo by Marita Meyer

Where: 3801 W 32nd Ave, Denver

Neighborhood: The Highlands

When: Sunday-Thursday, 11a.m. – 10p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11a.m. – 11p.m.

If you’re a Grateful Dead fan (many Denver-ites are), you know the Dead song: ‘Fire on the Mountain.’ Maybe you love wings, too? If you’re a fan of both, Fire on the Mountain in The Highlands is your spot. This cozy neighborhood spot has some of the best wings in town. Most importantly, they use hormone-free, antibiotic free, cage-free chicken from Redbird Farms – that’s never frozen. They even use trans-fat free oil…I’m sure you can’t find that at Buffalo Wild Wings.

If you’re still not keen on chicken or if it just doesn’t agree with you – they’ve got some great Vegan wing options. The delectable Seitan wings come tossed in the sauce of your choice, and you can get them in quantities of 6 ($6.50) up to 250! There are 12 different wing sauces, some are Vegan, Gluten-Free, and even Sugar-Free. Some of the unique ones are Raspberry Habanero (V, GF) and Lime Cilantro (V, GF, SF).

If you’re not a Tofu person or just have a soy allergy, the Cauliflower wings (9 for $7) are for you. The little white vegetable is fried in a vegan/gluten-free batter – mmmm. There are many other veggie options like the Portobello Mushroom sandwich ($10) which comes with Grilled Pineapple and chili garlic aioli, and a Quinoa Burger ($11). If you want to take your Dad to get some great wings and watch the game, while you munch on Seitan wings, get over to Fire on the Mountain.

Just Be Kitchen

Photo by Sarah Addy Photography

Where: 2364 15th St, Denver

Neighborhood: The Highlands

When: Monday-Sunday, 7a.m. – 3p.m.

The new Paleo concept Just Be Kitchen in LoHi is by far, breaking new ground. Open every day from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., served up counter style. The menu consists of brunch items, sandwiches, soup, salads and the drink options are perhaps the most impressive. Did somebody say Paleo cocktails? Grain-free tequila, vodka and gin, as well as zero refined sugar in their crafted drinks. Their Kombucha Mimosa ($6.50) looks pretty and might make you feel pretty, made with Health-Aide brand Kombucha. One of the other many unique creations is the PALEO Boat Drink ($7) an Island concoction of coconut cream, vodka, lime juice, agave and pineapple.

Another impressive beverage that’s non-alcoholic is their Bullet Coffee ($6.50) which is a blended coffee made with Copper Door beans, grass-fed butter, and healthy fatty acids called MCT oil. It comes in several varieties like Chai and Maple.

For food, the Bone Broth soup (mug $6/ pint $8/ 32oz. $12) is truly something you can’t find anywhere else.  Each bowl comes with a choice of two toppings: Garlic, Ginger, Cayenne, Turmeric, Jalapeno, Butter, Sea Salt or Scallions. You might also want to try their Fulfilled Breakfast Burrito with a Paleo tortilla ($13).

Illegal Pete’s

Photo by Michael King

Where: www.illegalpetes.com

Neighborhood: Several Locations in Denver

When: Monday-Wednesday, 7a.m. – 12a.m.; Thursday-Friday, 7a.m. – 2:30a.m.; Saturday, 9a.m. – 2:30a.m.; Sunday, 9a.m. – 12a.m.

What if I told you, you can get a delicious, healthy Burrito bowl somewhere else other than Chipotle? Well, you can at one of Illegal Pete’s five locations in Denver. Pete’s has all the staple Mexican favorites: quesadillas, burritos, tacos, nachos and breakfast options. And of the course the bowls, for those of us that love Mexican but should really stay away from the tortillas and cheese. The burrito bowls and salads you can get with Chicken, Steak, Carnitas, Beef, Beer-Battered Fish, or Vegetarian/Vegan ($6.79-7.79). Other toppings include potatoes, green chile, guacamole, poblano pesto, and queso ($0.99-1.49). They’ve even got potato bowls instead of rice bowls! And Guac is free if you don’t get sour cream and cheese…yes, please. Customize your own perfect Mexican dish to cater to all of your dietary restrictions.

They are open super late on the weekends, so it’s the perfect spot to feed your munchies, have Mexican and still be healthy. Their South Broadway location has one of the coolest patios in the city – the perfect spot to sip a Margarita. Anywhere you live in Denver, you can find an Illegal Pete’s nearby – they’ve also got locations in Boulder, Fort Collins and even Tucson.

5 Responses

  1. Dana

    You probably shouldn’t bother with the gluten-free bun at Park & company because the veggie burger has gluten in it. The ingredients listed in the article state it has barley in it.

    Reply
  2. Ola Douglas

    If I ever come to Denver I’ll be sure to try most of these restaurants. Thank you for your informative reviews.

    Reply
  3. Anna

    Hmmm, since few of the Top 8 allergens are discussed here, maybe the title of the article should be different, such as best restaurants that offer Gluten Free substitutions.

    Reply

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