A quick guide to the best paleo-friendly spots in Denver, CO
(Click the pins to find out what they are)
When living healthy, travel can throw a wrench into your lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Instead of week of throwing back cheap drinks at the hotel bar, standing in line with throngs of tourists to see another (let’s be honest) boring state capitol building, and falling for the mediocre, overpriced tourist trap restaurants in town, all of which will ultimately leave you disappointed and in digestive distress by the end of your stay…
What if you could enjoy a trip that’s in alignment with your healthy living values?!
Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for business, these are the local healthy hotspots in Denver, Colorado that will give you a cultural experience and keep you feeling great!
#1 MMM… COFFEE
910 Santa Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204
Mmm… Coffee is Denver’s original paleo cafe. The first thing you need to know about Mmm… Coffee is that they have the best paleo granola on the face of this planet. Yes, I’m serious. It’s chewy, crunchy, sweet, packed with nutrient dense nuts and seeds… it’s basically perfect!
But if you’re not feeling granola, Mmm… Coffee has you covered. In addition to a full coffee menu (including butter coffee), they offer everything from paleo baked goods (muffins, bars, brownies, etc) to more savory meals like tuna wraps, stuffed bacon wrapped dates (my favorite!), salads, and soups.
Not sure what to order? The staff at Mmm… Coffee is very kind and always up for a good chat so don’t be afraid to ask questions about any of the menu items or about paleo in general. Then sit on the sunny patio and enjoy a delicious meal under a beautiful Denver sky!
#2 JUST BE KITCHEN
2364 15th St, Denver, CO 80202
Just Be Kitchen is the newest 100% gluten free (and mostly paleo) restaurant on the Denver healthy eating scene. Open for breakfast and lunch, they have a creative menu packed with nutrient dense meals that will keep you coming back for more. They offer lighter vegetarian-friendly fare like chia seed pudding, granola with coconut milk, or muffins as well as heartier meals including a jam-packed burrito with a delicious gluten free tortilla and a sweet potato hash. If you’re in the mood for a butter coffee or a mug of homemade bone broth – you can order that as well!
The decor of Just Be Kitchen is bright and open, full of natural light to wake you up! The staff is bright, bubbly, and very friendly, creating an environment that is warm and inviting. Inspirational quotes pepper the restaurant walls and each menu item is labelled with an empowering word, all of which are sure to leave you not only physically sated, but mentally as well!
#3 AMERICAN CULTURES KOMBUCHA TAPROOM
3233 Tejon Street, Unit 107 Denver, CO 80211
Need I say more? It’s a taproom – that exclusively serves kombucha! How awesome is that?!
American Cultures has 16 taps, all featuring local Colorado kombucha brewers. Can’t decide which kombucha you want? No problem – order a flight to try 4 different flavors! And once you’ve decided on the flavor you love, stock up with a 32 oz or 64 oz growler that can be refilled every time you visit.
The store is beautifully designed and full of natural light, making it a great spot to take a break from your busy life and enjoy some delicious, local probiotic goodness.
#4 MODERN MARKET
Originated in Boulder, CO, Modern Market has become a staple of fast-casual healthy eating in Denver and beyond. While not specifically paleo, ModMarket’s (as it’s nicknamed) philosophy is based on serving simple, real food, free of refined sugars, with an emphasis on sourcing quality ingredients from trusted farmers and ranchers.
Step up to the counter and order one of their delicious salads, sandwiches, pizzas, soups, or sides and within a few minutes, it will be ready for you to chow down on in a stylish setting. Their menu has options for everyone: paleo, vegetarian, vegan. If you’re strict paleo or Whole30, you may have to make some slight modifications to your meal, but the menu has gluten free and dairy free labels, making it easy to identify what changes you may need to make to suit your dietary needs.
#5 ROOT DOWN
1600 W. 33rd Avenue Denver, CO 80211
After breakfast at Just Be Kitchen and lunch at Modern Market, it’s time to change out of your atheleisure outfit and into something a little more dressy (but don’t worry – not too dressy) before sitting down for an upscale meal at Root Down.
Though Root Down is not specifically paleo, it’s another Denver restaurant that places the upmost importance on high quality, locally sourced ingredients to create delicious, nourishing meals. As noted on their website, “Over 50% of our ingredients are sourced locally (within Colorado) and our network of responsible food sourcing supports over 55 local ranchers, farmers, growers & food artisans.” And they’re committed to sustainability, from the materials used to build to the restaurant, to the garden they grow some of the veggies they use at the restaurant, to the wind energy powering 100% of their operations. Root Down is truly a business with a conscience, which is a beautiful thing.
And let’s not forget about the food because it’s INCREDIBLE. All these high quality ingredients are perfectly combined into the most delicious of meals, sure to leave your taste buds singing. Each menu item notes the different dietary values of each dish (vegan, gluten free, etc) so you can be confident about what you’re ordering. And the staff is very accommodating when it comes to dietary allergies so fear not!
#6 SUGAR BAKESHOP
277 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
I know what you’re thinking: “Why are you recommending a bakeshop named Sugar?” Hear me out.
While the majority of the baked goods here are not paleo, there are a few gems that are 100% paleo. These include a small selection of muffins and a deeeeeelicious chocolate chip cookie that’s simply made from almond butter, coconut, and chocolate chips. And if you’re celebrating a birthday, they will make a custom paleo cake for you with 48 hours notice! Everything is made in house, so you’re guaranteed to get a high quality treat.
So come on in and enjoy a cup of local coffee and a guilt-free paleo snack!
#7 MAYU SANCTUARY
1804 S. Pearl Street Denver, CO 80210
Mayu Sanctuary isn’t a dining establishment, but I felt like it was an important place to include when talking about paleo hotspots in Denver. Mayu is a meditation cooperative. They offer group meditation classes, private instruction, and individual drop-in meditation sessions where they’ll set you up with an iPod containing an extensive selection of guided meditations.
Mayu also offers an impressive assortment of meditation cushions and the knowledgeable staff will take the time to help you choose the perfect cushion to enhance your practice. This is actually how I stumbled across Mayu – I came in to purchase a mediation cushion and one of the staff members, Cierra, spent at least 20 minutes educating me in proper mediation posture and walking me through the 5+ different styles of cushions and their multiple uses. With her help, I found a cushion that spoke to me and then she even filled with additional buckwheat to my desired level of firmness. Now I have a mediation cushion I love!
So if you’re looking for a sanctuary during your travels or a quiet place where you can remove yourself from the noise and fast pace of life, Mayu is your answer. The people are calm and nurturing and the energy is peaceful and comforting. This is the perfect place to recharge your inner battery.
BONUS: RED ROCKS PARK & AMPHITHEATRE
18300 West Alameda Parkway Morrison, CO 80465
In addition to being a badass music venue, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is an incredible place to get a workout in! First of all, the scenery is stunning, something you won’t find at the gym down the street. When working out in the amphitheater, you’re surrounded by gigantic, slanted red-tinged rocks that open up to an epic view of the emerald green mountains in the distance.
Red Rocks offers a variety of ways to get your sweat on. You can come workout at your leisure during park hours by running the steps of the amphitheatre or running or biking the numerous trails throughout the park. Or if structured exercise is more your thing, you can come for Yoga on the Rocks or a group fitness class (check local listings).
Whatever you choose, working out at Red Rocks is a truly unique experience and a beautiful way to connect with nature that you’re sure to remember for years to come!