Photo courtesy of EatDrinkNRepeat.
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18 min read
According to WalletHub, Denver is the eighth-best city in the US when it comes to keeping New Year’s Health Resolutions. And why is that? Well, the endless nature nearby for outdoor activities— and easily accessible healthy grocery stores and restaurants. Luckily, our city’s chefs know how to take local, organic ingredients and turn them into flavorful provisions. Being healthy doesn’t have to suck— check out our round-up of healthy spots in Denver broken down by breakfast (brunch), lunch and dinner.
READ: Best Vegan Comfort Food in Denver
Photo courtesy of Beet Box.
Where:1030 E. 22nd Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:Desperately craving a doughnut? Beet Box is an all-vegan haven with an array of pastries, and most importantly, the vegan/gluten-free donuts. You can get them with gluten, but in our opinion, the gluten-free ones are actually better. Flavors come in vanilla, chocolate, pumpkin and apple with icing flavors like blackberry and raspberry. Other fares include veggie-packed sandwiches for lunch, coffee and tea drinks.
Photo by Bridget Burnett.
Where:2630 W. 38th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:If you’re trying to kick the coffee or booze, kombucha is a great replacement— it’s a fermented tea that gives you a jolt of energy and is full of antioxidants and probiotics.American Culturesis a kombucha taproom with 14 rotating varieties from around Colorado with flavors ranging from ginger peach to orange basil. As for healthy food options—pair some oatmeal, a vegan Beet Box pastry or a veggie breakfast burrito with your kombucha.
Rivers & Roads Coffee
Photo courtesy of Rivers and Roads on Facebook.
Where:2539 Bruce Randolph Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:The cozy, community-driven coffee shop, Rivers & Roads in the Clayton neighborhood is all about scratch-made food. If you have a food allergy or dietary restriction or regimen — this place is perfect. Everything on the menu lists if it is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free or dairy-free. The employees are accommodating if you needto make substitutions or have any questions about ingredients. Overall, it’s a great place for breakfast and lunch—plus the coffee is of high quality and roasted in-house.
Photo courtesy of The Weathervane Cafe on Facebook.
Where:1725 E. 17th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:Weathervane Cafe has a ’70s mountain cabin vibe with lots of space serving coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch. The oatmeal and yogurt here are anything but ordinary— the pumpkin chia pudding ($4.50) is absolutely delicious. The menu also has a breakfast sandwich and burrito made with local eggs and greens. Sandwiches for lunch are served with dill and pepper seasoned cucumbers— a much healthier side than the average fries or chips.
Photo courtesy of Thump Coffee Capitol Hill Roastery on Facebook.
Where:1201 E. 13th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:If you love avocado toast, this is your spot. Thump Coffee is serving up all the thick toast with avocado smash, red pepper and a poached egg to satisfy your millennial cravings. Other brunch offerings are almond butter blueberry toast ($8), a fruit and chia bowl ($8), breakfast bowls with greens, avocado, poached egg and toast ($10)— and for a more lunch-inspired dish— kale and quinoa salad with blood orange ($8). If you’re avoiding caffeine, choose instead from a huge list of teas.
Photo courtesy of Whole Sol Blend Bar on Facebook.
Where:1735 Chestnut Pl., Denver
The Lowdown:Acai bowls have been all the rage for the past few years due to the health benefits of berries used in them. Whole Sol opened downtown last year serving smoothie acai bowls. A sample bowl is the I Like You Matcha ($10) which has a supercharged green base topped with coconut, blueberries, banana and granola. You can upgrade your bowl with vegan plant protein or almond butter for $1. Other good options are cold-pressed juices and savory and sweet toasts.
House Ricotta + Zucchini at Stowaway. Photo by Amanda Piela
Where:2528 Walnut St., Denver
The Lowdown:Stowaway is everything that epitomizes attention to detail— ingredients, dish concepts and ambiance. All of the menu items are creative and made with local and seasonal produce and meats. A lite breakfast option is the chai spiced porridge with earl grey prunes ($9) and a more filling plate is the Japanese Asa-Gohan ($15)— a bowl of grilled salted salmon, avocado, carrot + ginger slaw, toasted nori, poached eggs and rice with black sesame seeds. The coffee program is carefully sourced and several teas and other drinks are available as well.
Photo courtesy of Vert Kitchen on Facebook.
Where:704 S. Pearl St., Denver
The Lowdown:Vert Kitchen focuses on slow food and French cooking techniques. The menu changes with the season and is full of healthy sandwiches, salads and soups. Several vegan options are available like the vegan lentil bisque ($6/$10) and the vegan de la saison sandwich ($11)— made with golden beet hummus, ginger pear compote and roasted squash. Any sandwich can be made as a salad for $1 or subbed with gluten-free bread.
Comal Heritage Food Incubator
Tacos Dorados de Pollo. Photo by Lucy Beaugard
Where:3455 Ringsby Court #105, Denver
The Lowdown:If you’re an adventurous eater, Comal is a lunch spot featuring several women chefs from all ethnic backgrounds. The food consists of traditional dishes passed down from generations— therefore it’s all about fresh ingredients and scratch-made. The menu changes almost daily— one day it may be Middle Eastern, the other Mexican. And there is always a special of the day which could be anything from an Ethiopian plate or a chicken mole plate.
Just BE Kitchen
Photo by Bridget Douglas.
Where:2364 15th St., Denver
The Lowdown:Paleo counter-style restaurant, Just BE Kitchen is 100 percent gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free— the ultimate spot for the extremely food conscious. In addition, the menu changes with the season using seasonal produce. Many menu items are nut-free and the meat is 100 percent grass-fed. Some winter dishes include spicy parsnip soup ($7) with chia yogurt and a chicken and dumplings entree ($8) made with bone broth. And if you need a little coffee, you can get a latte blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil.
Photo courtesy of Sub-Culture.
Where:1300 Pennsylvania St., Denver
The Lowdown:Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than a big sub (and we’re not talking Subway). Sub-Culture has about 60 sub-combinations — some hot, some cold. This Capitol Hill spot is famous for their subs made with local Colorado meats and their vegetarian subs which you can make vegan when you take off the cheese. You can even upgrade to gluten-free bread— $2 for a seven inch and $4 for a 12 inch. If you don’t want a sub, they have salads made with scratch in-house dressings and house-made soups.
Biju’s Little Curry Shop
Photo courtesy of Biju’s Little Curry Shop on Facebook
Where: 4279 Tennyson St., Denver
The Lowdown:Dairy-free curry? Count us in. Biju’s Little Curry Shop has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for its famed curry bowls— and hey, they’re pretty healthy. These bowls come filled with rice, lentils, meat (chicken or beef) or veggies and other toppings like potatoes or stewed cabbage. Other fare includes potato-stuffed samosas, rolled roti and sides like crisp lentil cakes and sauteed green beans & coconut. Items are listed as being either vegetarian, gluten-free and or dairy-free. Grab a vegan chai while you’re at it.
Photo by Alden Bonecutter.
Where:1300 S. Pearl St.
The Lowdown:The new Chook Chickenis an Australian style charcoal rotisserie joint serving responsibly sourced chicken. You can get a quarter, half or whole of chicken with the choice of a Piri-Piri, chimichurri or gravy sauce. The salads are extremely nutritious and come in half or whole sizes and you can add pulled chicken to any for just $3. Some healthy sides include charred mixed veggies, roasted delicata squash and celery-apple slaw.
Namkeen. Photo courtesy of EatDrinkNRepeat.
Where:3501 Wazee St. #100, Denver
The Lowdown: Zeppelin Station is a huge food hall off the beaten path by the train tracks in RiNo. It’s home to a retail shop, two bars and eight food vendors. Indian stall, Namkeen offers dishes like curry rice bowls and samosas ($5) — a potato and pea filled pastry. Injoi Korean Kitchen serves a nourishing rice noodle bowl ($10) made with house kimchi, carrots, cucumber, red pepper and onion. And just last week, OK Poke opened up and is serving poke bowls with the choice of ahi tuna, crab, tofu or salmon. FYI — if you can’t make it in person, every food stall offers delivery through DoorDash.
Photo by Brittni Bell photo.
Where:3330 Brighton Blvd. #201, Denver
The Lowdown:Safta— located in the Source Hotel + Market Hall— is a restaurant that’s based around Middle Eastern flavors from countries like Israel, Bulgaria, Morroco and more. The name Safta is Hebrew for ‘grandmother,’ so you know it has to be good. The dishes are minimalistic — meaning not a lot of filler, just straight fresh ingredients that go together well. The dinner menu consists of an array of salatimwhich is a term for Israeli side dishes — for example, roasted beets with sumac onions, tahini and coriander. But the true delicacy of Safta is their hummus — of which there are five different kinds. A small plate example is the Morrocan carrot salad ($13) and a large plate is the whole roasted cauliflower ($24).
Lamb Kofte at Ash’Kara. Photo by Giacomo DiFranco.
Where:2005 W. 33rd Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:The newly openedAsh’Karais of Mediterranean influence featuring hummus, snacks, dips, small plates and feasts (large plates). You’ve got your babaganoush, labneh, falafel, dolmas, Israeli salad—all the healthy, Middle Eastern goodness. Feast plates include duck tagine ($42), vegetable tagine ($34) and wood-fired whole fish ($36). And the restaurant fully encourages you to alert the server of any food allergies you may have.
Photo by Glenn Ross.
Where:Various locations; see here.
The Lowdown: Think of the same concept as Chipotle and Qdoba but with a more local feel and you’ll have Illegal Pete’s. It’s a small chain with 11 stores, nine in Colorado and two in Arizona. Serving upburritos, burrito bowls, tacos, salad bowls and nachos — all with a little punk rock flair. You can make your burrito bowl or salad as healthy as you want by building it and throwing in all the veggies, beans, rice and pico de gallo— you can even put diced potatoes in there. And most importantly, if you leave off the cheese and sour cream, you can get guacamole free of charge.
Fresh Thymes Eatery
Photo by Kyle Cooper.
Where:28th St, Boulder
The Lowdown: Catering to almost any dietary restriction, Fresh Thymes out of Boulder is all about eating well.The restaurant is entirely gluten-free and serves up tasty dishes like grilled cauliflower tacos($11.75) on top of seasonally rotating goods. They even have a dessert bar, for your splurge days.
Photo by River + Root Photography.
Where:837 E. 17th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:If you’re a vegan, then you probablyalready know about or have been toWatercourse Foods.They serve up what the team calls ‘vegan comfort food’ and it shows with dishes like theBBQ pulled jackfruit ($13). In addition, there are salads and wraps, breakfast is served all day, kombucha is on tap— you get the gist.
Photo by Lucy Beaugard.
Where:3915 Tennyson St., Denver
The Lowdown:Vital Rootis a favorite among the vegan and vegetarian community here in Denver—serving flavorful dishes using organic oils, unrefined sugars and organic flours. It has a versatile, multi-cultural menuusing Korean, Indian, Japanese and other influences — including soups, salads, small plates, woks, sandwiches and more. If you’re one of those queso dip lovers, try the cashew ‘queso’ dip ($9) so you can have the taste without the growing waistline.
Photo courtesy of Mercury Cafe on Facebook.
Where:2199 California St., Denver
The Lowdown:Mercury Cafe is known for its live music and dance lessons, but it’s also a restaurant serving up organic dishes. Entrees include grilled tempeh with black bean sauce ($18), Alamosa striped bass penne ($22), hot & spicy tofu ($16) and several others. The menu also has salads, sandwiches, soups, appetizers and enchiladas. Oh yeah, and everything is gluten-free, except for their bread. What’s better than organic food and dancing?
Photo by Glenn Ross.
Where:1600 W. 33rd Ave., Denver
The Lowdown:The sister restaurant to Vital Root,Root Down has the same healthy, local and sustainable philosophy, but it’s not vegetarian. Although there are meat dishes, you can request to it be made vegan or gluten-free. And 75 percent of the menu is sourced organically. Fun small plates include sweet potato fries ($8) with curry-lime yogurt and Dungeness crab & avocado tacos ($18). Some entrees include tofu paneer ($24) and rockfish tom kha($29). And there’s soup, salad and good non-alcoholic drinks.
How do you eat healthy dining out? ›
- Remember “no BOSS.” Whenever possible, ask that your meal be prepared without butter, oil, salt and sugar. ...
- Don't drink your calories. ...
- Choose a healthy appetizer. ...
- Look at portion sizes. ...
- Fill up on vegetables. ...
- Watch your toppings. ...
- Avoid sneaky salad saboteurs.
Start off with a soup or salad: If you start your meal with soup or salad, you tend to eat less during the rest of your meal, according to research. Vegetable-based soups and salads are a good way to get some fiber and other nutrients into your meal, which starts to fill you up.What is the healthiest dinner to eat? ›
- Stuffed sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beneficial nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber ( 1 ). ...
- Grain bowls. ...
- Veggie loaded frittatas. ...
- Dinner salad. ...
- Loaded brown rice pasta. ...
- One-pot soups. ...
- Curry. ...
Thumbs Up: Grilled chicken, chicken fajita pitas, turkey sandwiches, baked chips, or frozen yogurt. Thumbs Down: Jumbo burgers, fried fish sandwiches, fried chicken, tacos, French fries, potato chips, milk shakes, cheese, mayonnaise, bacon.What food can you eat everyday and survive? ›
- Rice. Rice can be purchased in bulk at very low prices and has a shelf life of over 10 years, when stored properly. ...
- Beans. Beans have a solid reputation as a survival food due to their complete nutritional profile. ...
- Grains. ...
- Salt, Sugar & Raw Honey. ...
- Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates. ...
- Eat lots of fruit and veg. ...
- Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish. ...
- Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. ...
- Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults. ...
- Get active and be a healthy weight. ...
- Do not get thirsty. ...
- Do not skip breakfast.
Avoid meals that contain large amounts of breads, pasta and rice such as burgers, pizza, pasta dishes, tortillas, pastry and risottos. These meals tend to be high in calories, but loaded with empty carbs with little nutrient dense ingredients.What 3 foods should you eat daily? ›
- Leafy Greens. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, fresh lettuce and others, are a great way to increase the portion size of your meal, without actually increasing the calories that you consume. ...
- Eggs. Eggs are high in protein as well as in healthy fats. ...
Some of the healthiest fruits include pineapple, apples, blueberries, and mangos. You should eat three servings of fruit a day as part of a healthy diet. Eating fruit improves heart health, reduces inflammation, and boosts your immune system.What is the healthiest junk food restaurant? ›
- Reduced sodium across the menu by 15 percent since 2008, with a push to have a total 25 percent reduction by 2025.
- Removed artificial flavors and colors and replaced them with natural alternatives.
What is the number 1 healthiest fast food restaurant? ›
According to Amy Shapiro MS, RD, and member of our Medical Expert Board, the healthiest fast-food restaurant you can visit is Chipotle Mexican Grill.What are the top 5 healthiest fast food? ›
- Arby's Roast Chicken Entrée Salad. ...
- Panera's Napa Almond Chicken Salad on Country Rustic Sourdough. ...
- Chick-Fil-A's Grilled Chicken Sandwich. ...
- Starbuck's Tomato and Mozzarella Panini. ...
- Dunkin's Veggie Egg White Omelet. ...
- Wendy's Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potato.
Shrimp is a great food to include in your diet. It's not only high in protein but also low in calories, carbs, and fat. Three ounces (85 grams) of shrimp contain 12 grams of protein and only 60 calories ( 11 ). Shrimp is rich in selenium, choline, and vitamin B12.What is a healthy meat for dinner? ›
- Poultry: Skinless, white-meat chicken or turkey; ground turkey breast.
- Beef: Flank steak, top loin, sirloin, porterhouse, T-bone steak and tenderloin; 90% lean ground beef.
- Veal: Any trimmed cut.
- Pork: Pork chops or tenderloin.
- Lamb: Look for the word “loin”
- Game: Rabbit and buffalo.
Subway offers a better variety of healthy meal options than many other fast food restaurants. In general, Subway's meals are low in sugar and a decent source of fiber and protein, however, many are also loaded with fat and sodium. Part of Subway's appeal is that you can customize your meal.What can I eat besides salad to lose weight? ›
- Asian Pesto Chicken Noodle Stir Fry. Did you know? ...
- Prawn, Lime and Avocado Bowls. ...
- Loaded Sweet Potatoes. ...
- Gluten Free Homemade Pizza Bowls. ...
- Vegan Quinoa and Kidney Bean Burgers. ...
- Moroccan Lentil Stew. ...
- Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. ...
- Easy Peasy Pasta.
- CHIPOTLE BURRITO BOWL.
- WENDY'S BAKED POTATO.
- TACO BELL BEAN BURRITO.
- BURGER KING'S IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER.
- DUNKIN DONUTS BEYOND SAUSAGE.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Frozen fruit.
- Fruits canned in water or their own juice.
- Whole grain bread, crackers and cereals.
- Lower fat yogurt.
- Lower fat cheese.
- Unsalted nuts and seeds and their butters.
- Perfect Foods. (Image credit: XuRa (opens in new tab) | shutterstock (opens in new tab)) ...
- Beans. (Image credit: USDA) ...
- Kale. (Image credit: Justin Jernigan) ...
- Cantaloupe. (Image credit: stock.xchng) ...
- Berries. (Image credit: Ohio State University.) ...
- Barley. (Image credit: USDA) ...
- Seaweed. (Image credit: NOAA) ...
Rice. Rice can be purchased in bulk at very low prices and has a shelf life of over 10 years, when stored properly. ... Beans. Beans have a solid reputation as a survival food due to their complete nutritional profile. ...
What is the simplest diet you can live on? ›
Under the diet, each meal should consist of four handfuls of food — one handful of protein, one of carbohydrates, and two of vegetables — plus a spoonful of fat. This means no calorie counting or weighing food portions, which can be difficult if you're on the go or don't own kitchen scales.What is the number 1 healthiest food in the world? ›
Spinach is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, it is packed with energy whilst low in calories.What is the healthiest breakfast to eat? ›
- Eggs. Eggs make a simple, nutritious breakfast choice. ...
- Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great option if you're looking for a quick breakfast. ...
- Coffee. Aside from water, coffee is the world's most popular beverage. ...
- Oatmeal. ...
- Chia seeds. ...
- Berries. ...
- Cottage cheese. ...
- Whole wheat toast.
Overall, shorter and lower-heat cooking methods cause less cholesterol oxidation and help retain most of the egg's nutrients. For this reason, poached and boiled (either hard or soft) eggs may be the healthiest to eat. These cooking methods also don't add any unnecessary calories.Is it good to eat out every day? ›
Why Frequent Eating Out Impacts Health. Researchers suggest there is a relationship between dining out often and a shortened lifespan. In other words, if you eat out twice a day or more, you could be putting your health at risk.How to lose weight fast? ›
- Do not skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. ...
- Eat regular meals. ...
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg. ...
- Get more active. ...
- Drink plenty of water. ...
- Eat high fibre foods. ...
- Read food labels. ...
- Use a smaller plate.
If you really want to save money, Gidus recommends limiting yourself to once a week. But, she adds, “if you can get a nice nutritious lunch from the deli next door, you can do it every day.” You can also make the most out of your meals out by saving leftovers and getting more meals out of them.Should you eat eggs everyday? ›
For most healthy adults, it's safe to eat 1–2 eggs a day depending on how much other cholesterol is in your diet. If you already have high cholesterol or other risk factors for heart disease, it may be best to eat no more than 4–5 eggs per week.What's the healthiest drink? ›
Water is the best choice for quenching your thirst. Coffee and tea, without added sweeteners, are healthy choices, too. Some beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation, including fruit juice, milk, and those made with low-calorie sweeteners, like diet drinks.What food is best to eat with empty stomach in morning? ›
- Chia seeds.
- Honey with water.
What is one food you should eat everyday? ›
- Salmon. This oily fish, known for its bright pink color, is rich not only in healthy protein but also in omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit both your heart and your brain. ...
- Brussels sprouts. ...
- Blueberries. ...
- Nuts. ...
- Plain yogurt.
- Kale is especially high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K1. ...
- Kale may be even healthier than spinach. ...
- Kale and other greens are also high in various bioactive compounds, including isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol, which have been shown to fight cancer in test-tube and animal studies ( 11 , 12).
The answer is yes. One of the goals of HEED is to help you make healthier dietary choices no matter where you eat. Whether you're at a fast-food establishment or a sit-down restaurant, defensive dining strategies will help you stick to your healthy eating goals.How do you eat mindfully when eating out? ›
- eating slowly and without distraction.
- listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you're full.
- distinguishing between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.
- engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures, and flavors.
Order Wisely—Choose grilled, steamed, or broiled dishes over fried foods or remove the breading from fried foods before eating. Beware of Large Portions—Choose the smallest size burger and fries. Skip the super- sized meal and order from the kids menu. Or, share your meal with a family member or friend.