While temporarily living in the Denver area, we spent a bit of time in two areas outside of Denver (check out my post on the Denver Metropolitan Area as well). We took a few trips out into the Rockies along I-70 stopping at a few cities. Generally speaking, we didn't have too hard of a time finding gluten free options, but if you were stopping in smaller towns, you may have to plan ahead more. It was not quite as easy or accessible as in the main Denver or Boulder areas.
We also took a few trips up to Boulder and Estes Park. We even did our first backpacking trip in the Rockies (though I only included restaurants below)! Boulder is full of gluten free options or really, options for any type of dietary restriction. I found Denver and Boulder to be super easy eating! Unfortunately, I forgot to write down more places we ate, sorry about that!
Spring Cafe (7/2016)
119 S Spring St, Aspen, CO 81611
We found Aspen to be surprisingly difficult to find gluten free options. After stopping at a few restaurants that said they couldn't accommodate, we were sent to Spring Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant with gluten free options. The huevos rancheros were fantastic! We also had fresh made lemonade.
1710 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
A restaurant that is for the health conscious. Most of their menu ended up being gluten free as well. I had the Pesto Chicken
BKT on a collard green wrap with a side of coconut curry to dip (because I was torn between this and veggie coconut curry bowl, the waiter said to try dipping it). And in the background of this picture, a glass of kombucha on tap (I do really get into kombucha).
Claire's on the Park - NOT recommended (7/2016)
225 Park Ln, Estes Park, CO 80517
Beware! I saw a lot of suggestions to eat here, but I had a terrible experience. There was a huge misunderstanding by a number of waitstaff for what was truly gluten free or not, despite there being a gluten free menu. Some items on labeled as gluten free were not, and some items that weren't on the menu I was told were gluten free. The meatloaf was on the gluten free menu, which surprised me. I asked the server a few times, and she finally went and got the manager. I was told the meatloaf was 98% gluten free, but that they used some bread crumbs. I explained that it wasn't gluten free then! After extensively complaining and telling them I should just leave because I couldn't trust they could feed me, the manager explained that it was because most people don't need gluten free. They did however, comp my meal....which was a nice gesture. And I think they were terrified of me, they made a special meal with extra precautions and I did not get sick.
330 7th St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
And...we ate here twice in one day. Online, I didn't see anything about gluten free on their menu, but I know when I asked they were easily able to accommodate. We tend to find restaurants that focus on culinary skills tend to be easier to eat at. We at the grilled ceasar salad for lunch (being that the salad was grilled, they said they would clean the grill for us first) and for dinner the lamb sirloin and beef flat iron. They even noted that the garlic in the garlic mashed potatoes is normally fried, so they offered to bake mine instead. For desert there were a few options.
Sacred Grounds (6/2016)
725 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
We love checking out little local coffee shops. After an amazing hike to Hanging Lake at 6:30 am, we stopped here for a coffee. They also had gluten free bread and were able to make a sandwich on the grill top after cleaning, so we stuck around for lunch. The sandwich wasn't anything super special, but it was nice to have the option and they were very accommodating!
Smoke Modern BBQ (6/2016)
713 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 (another location in Basalt, CO and one in NC)
What amazing bbq! They were very aware of gluten free needs. All of the BBQ sauces were gluten free and lots of food options. They did not, however, have a dedicated fryer. We shared the brisket, spare ribs, grits (fantastic!), baked potato, beans, and slaw.
Beau Jo's (6/2016)
616 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
A pizza joint that offers incredibly greasy food. I do not like greasy food - but if you do - have at it. The pizza was really good, and they had cheesy bread which I don't think I've ever seen gluten free. It was WAY too dense for me, but again, if it's your thing, you may love it!
100 E Meadow Dr #25, Vail, CO 81657
A cool little Bavarian restaurant, aptly set in this Bavarian Alps stylized town. We tried the knackwurst entree (naturally gluten free) and also the cheese plate. On that day they had gluten free crackers, but it sounded like this wasn't common.