Thanks to Celiac disease awareness and diet trends, nowadays finding gluten-free options at most restaurants isn't so challenging. But while you're pretty safe dining on sushi, ordering a steak with potatoes or nibbling on a salad, sometimes the gluten-averse crave other staples like pizza, burgers, pasta and scrumptious desserts. That's why these ten eateries have gone above and beyond to make their guests happy by offering a superb diet-conscious menu. Here are the ten best gluten-free menus in town, in alphabetical order. So go ahead, sit back, relax, and order whatever your gluten-free heart desires.
10. Beast + Bottle
719 East 17th Avenue
Get ready to dine on chef Paul Reilly's delectable dishes whether you consume gluten or not. The menu at this Uptown eatery marks each gluten-free dish with a simple GF next to the item, and if you have any questions, the helpful staff will gladly steer you in the right direction. Keep in mind that the options at this seasonal restaurant frequently change as the chef whips up new creations, butchers whole animals and works with what's coming out of local farms. Past gluten-free items have included charred-octopus crostini, smoked lamb ribs with chimichurri, heritage pork with chorizo, and pan-seared black bass with spring vegetables. Dessert proves a little more tricky, but since the team constantly has freshly made ice creams and sorbets available, chances are one of those will work just fine with your diet.
9. Beatrice & Woodsley
38 South Broadway
Once seated in the forest-like setting that is Kevin Delk and John Skogstad's Beatrice & Woodsley, all you have to do to get the super-special gluten-free menu is ask. The waiter will bring over your own bill of fare, a list that could include such gems as an artisan cheese board, pan-seared Niman Ranch pork chops with caramelized Brussels sprouts, poached octopus or grilled baby carrots topped with spiced Greek yogurt. Pair your meal with a naturally gluten-free glass of wine or ask your server if any of the cocktails are safe for you to consume. After that, all you have to do is nestle into the nature-inspired venue and wait for your meal to arrive.
8. Blue Pan Pizza
3930 West 32nd Avenue
This Highland pizza joint doesn't have an extensive gluten-free menu, but it does offer crusts made with flour blends from Boulder's Wild Flour Gluten-Free Baking Co. This means you can still go for Blue Pan's famous Detroit-style deep-dish crust. True, you can only order this pie in the small size, but that's actually a boon given that each slice will have the oh-so-tasty caramelized cheese edge on two sides. Get it topped with your favorites, whether green chiles, crisp arugula, creamy New York ricotta, kalamata olives or even white anchovies. Accompany that with a fresh salad and gluten-free bread sticks, and voilà! — dinner is served.
7. City, O' City
206 East 13th Avenue
It shouldn't surprise you that this vegetarian and vegan restaurant would also cater to the gluten-free crowd. The Cap Hill favorite does, in fact, have one of the best brunches for those looking to eschew the usual gluten-heavy offerings. The menu includes spicy chilaquiles, huevos rancheros with corn tortillas and tofu, a power waffle laced with nuts and berries, as well as plenty of egg dishes. The options continue throughout the day with dishes such as the chilled rice-noodle bowl, kimchi stew and savory waffles with vegan fondue. Eat your meal with a crowd at one of the hearty tables, or grab a bar stool late at night and enjoy an all-day breakfast sammie with a cocktail or hard cider.
6. Highland Tap & Burger
2219 West 32nd Avenue
Burger lovers, rejoice! You can have your meat patty on a gluten-free bun at this LoHi eatery — and there are plenty of other options, too. While the Tap doesn't offer a separate menu for dietary restrictions, the regular roster has symbols showing what items can be made gluten-free — like the fabulous duck-fat fries with white-truffle aioli, the perfect companion to gluten-free, barrel-smoked chicken wings. Regular fries also fill the bill, as well as the candied-chili-bacon-topped wedge salad, organic quinoa salad and pan-seared Colorado rainbow trout. Sadly, most of the beer doesn't jibe with this theme, but there are plenty of wine and tequila cocktails from the bar. And, given twenty rotating taps, it wouldn't surprise us if an occasional gluten-free draft popped up from time to time.
Keep reading for more gluten-free menus from top Denver restaurants...
909 17th Street
Have your pasta and eat it too at this Downtown Italian restaurant. Here, the kitchen not only churns out comforting pizzas and panini for wheat-eaters, but for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner, there are great gluten-free menus for those in need. Start your day with Panzano's eggs Benedict, a dish that features polenta cakes with smoked mozzarella rather than the usual English muffin. Then, come back for lunch and dine on mushroom pizza with truffle oil, and bruschetta with goat cheese and roasted beets. Dinner, too, produces great gluten-free dishes — for example, the prosciutto and grilled asparagus risotto and a grass-fed veal scallopini over mashed potatoes and spinach. All of this can be had in the restaurants laid-back yet elegant dining room, perfect for any occasion.
4. Ophelia's Electric Soapbox
1215 20th Street
Catch a show and delve into a feast of gluten-free delights at this swanky downtown hot spot. Owner Justin Cucci is known for creating eateries that offer menus featuring local, sustainable and diet-conscious foods, and this location proves no different. The menu carefully maps out what items are gluten-free and vegan, so there's no mystery about what you're ordering. Highlights from the menu include the pineapple pico arepas, a savory lamb gyro, dry-rub ribs and a charcuterie-and-cheese board. Also, for $1 extra, you can get a gluten-free bun on items such as the Wagyu beef sliders with tomato jam and bacon.
650 Sherman Street
For those looking to dine sans gluten, Racines in Capitol Hill has a separate bill of fare just for you. Simply request the gluten-free menu and a friendly server will hand you a list of tantalizing treats. Such items include hot artichoke dip with tortilla chips, double-fried buffalo wings, and an array of sandwiches like the Reuben, the tuna melt and Baja fish tacos. And for dessert, order the flourless chocolate cake. Add a gluten-free bun, toast or roll for just $1 more, and you won't miss out on a thing. Thanks to owners Lee Goodfriend and David Racine, the eatery hands out this special menu for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, so every meal is covered.
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2. Root Down
1600 West 33rd Avenue
Given that we already told you about Ophelia's great gluten-free menu, it shouldn't shock anyone that Cucci's other establishments offer the same sort of service. This proves especially true when it comes to Root Down, where a hodgepodge of seasonal, globally influenced eats are served. You can tell which items are gluten-free, or can be made such, by looking for a GF next to the dish. Right now this includes wild mushroom risotto, roasted baby beet salad, lamb andouille sausage and green garlic chickpea fries. In fact, more than half the menu caters to this dietary restriction, so the chances of you liking at least one, if not all of the food items remains high. Keep in mind if you're flying out of state, you can get the same dedicated menu in the Denver International Airport location as you can at the LoHi spot.
1610 Little Raven Street
What do Hong Kong, Tokyo and Thailand all have in common? In the case of Richard Sandoval's trendy downtown eatery Zengo, they are the areas that inspired the chef and restaurateur's menu from his travels abroad. They are also cuisines that sport many foods naturally sans gluten; the detailed menu displays little stalks of wheat to denote these items. Choose from the signature chicken salad, vegetable fried rice, duck confit and daikon tacos, Thai seafood ceviche and the spicy-tuna-spiked Angry Zengo Roll, to name a few. Overall, a pretty good collection of various foods in a venue that features eclectic fusions.