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3 Reasons Boulder Has My Heart

in Restaurant Reviews

Well hello there, stranger!  It seems we haven’t seen one another in a while.  The past 11 days have been quite the adventure.  Jeremy and I went on a drive for a total of about 37 hours that took us to Omaha, Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs and a few other places in between before arriving back to Iowa on Saturday night.  I spent Sunday and Monday unpacking, cleaning, meal planning, grocery shopping, blogging, and diving back into work.  I’m pretty sure I need a vacation after my vacation.  Or at least some meditation and yoga.

After an amazing trip, I am planning on recapping our adventures (mostly the food, duh) over the next couple of weeks.  I am thinking it will probably equate to about three posts, but we’ll see how lengthy they get.  These recap posts are fun for me to write for two reasons: 1) I love being able to look back on our vacations and the restaurants we ate at years later and 2) it is important to me to share with you which restaurants we loved and are most accommodating for food allergies/sensitivities.  As someone with a lot of “no foods” on my list right now, researching restaurants before a trip is extremely important for me.  Hopefully some of y’all will find it helpful if you find yourself in Colorado or New Mexico!

3 Reasons Boulder Has My Heart

Boulder is literally one of my favorites places on Earth.  It is nestled right near the mountains (AKA gorgeous), it is quaint while being just large enough, it is hip and fun, and it has seriously killer food.  Food that happens to be very gluten, dairy, grain, etc.-free!

Now before I start talking more about my love for Boulder, lets take a quick detour to Fort Collins, where we started this particular day.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comAfter a quick stroll through the Colorado State University campus (I blame my college campus obsession with the fact that I work in higher ed), we hit up a couple of local breweries that Jeremy wanted to check out.  Our first stop was Funkwerks.  There was nothing GF-friendly here, so I stuck with good ‘ole water.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comI just think he is the cutest.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comAfter our brewery stops, we ate lunch at CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing.  I noticed that they had an allergy-free menu on their website, so I thought it sounded promising.  While the online menu was relatively helpful, I was not super impressed with the service.  The waitress wasn’t very knowledgeable, and they did not actually have a copy of their allergy-free menu at the restaurant.  Instead, they had a huge binder with some of the menu items listed with their ingredients/allergy foods.  After about ten minutes of frustration, I finally safely ordered myself the pesto hummus chicken sandwich without the bun, cheese, or hummus (it had dairy in it).  I went with sweet potato fries for my side, which I felt okay eating since they did not contain anything on my “avoid” list.  Everything was pretty delicious, but I’m not sure we’d go back.

Now on to the reasons why Boulder is seriously badass:

Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comRowdy Mermaid Kombucha may be one of my top ten things of all time.  I love that it’s local, it’s made with filtered Denver snowmelt, and they have some seriously unique flavors.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comOn this particular day, the living ginger and flower grow flavors were my faves.  I loved them so much that I even bought bottles of them once we were back in Denver.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comAnd for those of you who are okay with gluten, they now serve kombucha beer!  Jeremy was pretty thrilled with this wild sour cherry version.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comThe view outside their brewery was pure bliss.

The Pearl Street Mall

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comThe Pearl Street Mall is a pedestrian mall that we visit every time we are in Boulder.  It is easy to spend hours there checking out the shops and delicious restaurants.  This bookstore is our absolute favorite place to venture into, and we usually end up spending about an hour perusing through the stacks of books.  I took pictures on my phone of plenty of books that I hope to find at my local library.

While there are quite a few local shops, there are also plenty of chain stores to check out.  I found more than enough items that I wanted but did not buy, and I’m pretty sure my credit card was happy about that.

Another super fun part about Pearl Street is the street performers entertaining the mass of shoppers and tourists.  During this trip, we saw a man balancing a fire torch on his forehead.  I’m telling you, you only see these kinds of things in special places like Boulder.

Paleo-Friendly Food

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comBoulder is probably the most Paleo-friendly town I have ever visited (I’m hoping to add Portland and Austin to my list soon).  Some great options include: Blooming Beets (they have an AIP menu), Shine, Fresh Thymes Eatery, and Modmarket.  But on this particular day, we chose to eat at Zeal.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comWe ordered the cauliflower wings for our appetizer.  Holy moly, these were spicy.  But so, so delicious!

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comAfter contemplating what to order for a good ten minutes (it’s so rare to have so many choices), I went with the local lamb and pork bratwurst.  It was served over sautéed kale, fennel, and roasted beets with a sweet and sour mustard vinaigrette + a super delicious caraway kraut.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comJeremy ordered the pork fried rice, which was seriously veggie-packed and could easily be made Paleo by subbing in cauliflower rice.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comI should mention that virtually every restaurant in Boulder is this cute and charming.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comOur delicious evening of allergy-friendly food didn’t stop with dinner (FYI Zeal had some killer-sounding desserts on their menu, too).  I had been craving ice cream and found that it was nearly impossible to find a version that was gluten-free, vegan, and almond-free.  Fior di Latte came to my rescue.  Big time.

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comWhile this was technically gelato made with coconut milk, it satisfied all of my cravings.  I chose a scoop of the dark chocolate and a scoop of the vanilla with fudge swirl.  They had four other vegan flavors to choose from, and I thought the lemon basil would have been pretty perfect if I wasn’t in a major chocolate mood.

Clearly, Boulder is heaven on earth.

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Heather @Lunging Through Life September 13, 2016, 6:20 am

    This is the second blog post in a week I’ve read on Boulder and now it’s added to my must see!!
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Weekend Snapshots 9/12/16My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 13, 2016, 9:29 am

      How ironic! I think it must be a sign that you need to visit Boulder 😉

  • Lauren OConnor September 13, 2016, 11:03 am

    Sounds awesome. Next time I’m out there, I’ll be sure to check out some of these places.
    Lauren OConnor recently posted…Aquafaba? It’s what’s “new” in bakingMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 13, 2016, 3:02 pm

      You absolutely should! I swear, the restaurants are just THE BEST.

  • Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola September 13, 2016, 9:25 pm

    I have always wanted to go to Boulder! Thanks for sharing part of your trip 🙂

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 14, 2016, 8:05 am

      You should definitely add it to your list. It is one of my favorite places to visit!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul September 13, 2016, 11:44 pm

    That ice cream! That kombucha! I need to visit Boulder!!
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted…Beautycounter for Target is here!My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 14, 2016, 8:09 am

      You and Josh would absolutely LOVE Boulder. Please go!!

  • Lish September 14, 2016, 2:29 pm

    Yay! So glad you made it back out here and can’t wait to read all of your re-caps! We have actually eaten at Coopersmiths a bajillion times and never had bad service, so maybe it was just a random thing 😉
    Boulder is THE BEST. We spend a ton of time there trail running and climbing…always easy to find good food and drinks. Headed there for a film fest this weekend!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 14, 2016, 3:35 pm

      You are so lucky to live so close by. I feel like I’d be there A LOT if I was in Colorado 😉

  • Laurie September 25, 2016, 11:22 am

    That gelato looks delicious! I love so many different areas of Colorado – so many fun places to go and things to do – and talk about beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 25, 2016, 5:36 pm

      For real. Colorado is just a darn good place to be 🙂

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