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Boulder's Healthy Restaurant Hot Spots: Where to Find Delicious, Nutritious Eats



When it comes to healthy menu options, Boulder corners the market on delicious, affordable, farm-to-table options. Several of the restaurants featured on our list offer gluten-free menus or items and over half of our list includes organic and sustainable meats and produce. 

Topping our list is the vegetarian powerhouse, Leaf. Not only does this restaurant cater to strict herbivores, but it's also just plain wonderful for those hoping to infuse some fresh fruits, veggies, and non-processed foods into their diets during their night out on the town. 

Black Cat and Bramble and Hare, both owned by the famous Chef Eric Skokan, these earthy yet elegant restaurants are farm-to-table and offer healthy seasonal options. Perfect for fall or a special occasion, the Colorado Beef Ribeye complete with orange scented oats, carrots, and crisp capers is sure to delight at Black Cat. 

For a healthy restaurant with not-so-healthy dessert options, The Huckleberry is perfect for eating a light meal and saving room for some sinful pie. You should also consider their Huckleberry Ding-Dong, a home-made take on the Hostess favorite. 

For a completely gluten-free menu, elegant atmosphere, and healthy cocktails, SHINE Restaurant and gathering space is a favorite for those you don't wanna sacrifice uniqueness when they go healthy. 


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This lovely restaurant was a gift from Boulder's sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which donated the building to the city in the late 1980's. The ornately decorated structure was imported and then rebuilt by workers from Tajikistan. Offering a truly one-of-a-kind brunch, you'll find Indian samosas, Greek Meatballs, and Korean Pan Fried Noodles. For something a bit more traditional, you can try the salmon benedict, homemade oatmeal, or greek scramble. Appetizers include Spanish Shrimp and a delicious Humus Plate with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and pickled onions. Entree favorites include the Chicken Tabaka and Spicy Indonesian Peanut Noodles served with our choice of chicken or tofu.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: The Dushanbe Teahouse offers farm-to-table options and their unique spin on your international favorites. Not to mention, their tea is divine.

Hope's expert tip: Stopping by the Teahouse on an early Saturday morning is a perfect way to start the day before visiting the Boulder County Farmer's Market on the very same street.

Read more about Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse →




This high-energy sushi bar and Japanese restaurant transforms a simple meal into an adventurous spectator event. Watch as flashy Japanese chefs prepare your meal hibachi style or at the sushi bar. The contemporary setting is spacious and designed in neutral tones and natural woods. Karaoke and nightly sushi happy hours add to the boisterous atmosphere. Saturday nights, all rolls are $1 and $2 off and there are drink specials that run well into the late night hours. As an added bit of flare, the staff typically joins in for the singing fun. Be sure to try the Gladiator Roll which packs a flavorful punch.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Sushi Zanmai is one of the more affordable sushi options and offers delicious and healthy miso soup along with its low-calorie roll options.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to stop in on the weekend for their killer happy hour and weekend roll specials.

Read more about Sushi Zanmai →




This moderately priced restaurant is a popular spot amongst locals and tourists alike because of its elegant yet relaxed environment and high-quality food. Known for being gluten-free friendly, not only is the kitchen willing to accommodate your dietary preferences but they also offer a number of gluten-free items that need no modification, including Pan Roasted Monk Fish and their savory marinated olives. But never fear, gluten lovers, there's still plenty of variety for you as well, including Hand Rolled Gnocchi with wild mushrooms. Known for accommodating good allergies and preferences, many of The Kitchen's items can be modified to suit your vegan and vegetarian preferences as well.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: The Kitchen is famous in Boulder for its elegant, unique menu options, and its willingness to accommodate food allergies.

Hope's expert tip: Try their Pan Roasted Monk fish and be sure to ask for gluten-free dessert options.

Read more about Kitchen, The →


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Sherpas


Owned by a true Nepalese mountain man, Sherpa Pemba spent his childhood in the Everest region and acted as a guide on more than 20 ascents over 20,000 ft. Colorado acts as his home away from home and his restaurant is an authentic homage to Nepalese cuisine, serving some of the most succulent and savory dishes for miles around. The garlic and cheese nan, Saag, and curry chicken or vegetables will nourish and entice you so that you'll swear you could climb Everest. and has an ambiance that will make you fall in love, eat your fill, and raise of merry glass of your favorite libation.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Sherpas offers delicious nepalese food, including naan and fresh saag. Also, be sure to try their housemade chai tea.

Hope's expert tip: You simply must try the garlic and cheese nan, along with a warm glass of their house chai.

Read more about Sherpas →




Enjoy fine sushi and Japanese cuisine in contemporary-styled Asian surroundings. Appetizers include salmon kasuzuke marinated in miso, green lip mussels, New Zealand mussels served with the chef's special sauce, and lobster pot stickers with a pesto cream sauce. Entrees include beef, chicken and vegetable tempura, salmon teriyaki, sushi, and sashimi. Some of their more affordable and yummy lunch options include the Chicken Teriyaki and vegetable tempura or the stir-fry tofu. Also, be sure to try their light and fresh 4-piece California roll, Japanese lo-mein, or Hand-roll with yellow-tail, tuna, and salmon. For dessert, we highly recommend just a bit of Japango's plum wine. But don't go overboard, as it packs a sweet punch.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Japango boasts some of the freshest sushi in Boulder and is a healthy alternative to the many Italian restaurants and burger joints downtown.

Hope's expert tip: The 4-piece California roll is sure to satisfy.

Read more about Japango →




Located just outside Boulder in quaint Louisville, Colorado The Huckleberry is known for its fresh, delicious, and all-American food. Breakfast and brunch are the time of day when this place really shines, with a variety of eggs benedicts, biscuits and gravy, milkshakes, and homemade pies. Many items can be made gluten free, vegetarian, or vegan to suit your dietary preferences or needs. Tea and pastries can be purchased to take home, as well as a variety of local and handmade gifts such as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, and art work that can be found in The Huckleberry lobby. Also, be sure to have a delicious house chai. For those intent on eating local, organic, produce, The Huckleberry gets a great deal of its offerings from Three Leaf Farm of Boulder County.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: The Huckleberry is a homestyle restaurant with farm-to-table options that are healthy and fresh. They can also be off-set by a piece of Huckleberry pie.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to ask for seasonal dishes that use local ingredients and don't miss out on their Huckleberry Ding-Dongs!

Read more about The Huckleberry →




A sister restaurant to Black Cat, Bramble and Hare boasts an eclectic Happy Hour menu that won't break you bank, exquisite yet approachable entrees, and a variety of beer and cocktails. Your entree choices include, Seafood Ragu with Capers or Choucroute with Mustard and Crispy Potatoes. For your sweet tooth, Banana Split, Chocolate Torte, or Sheep's Milk Cheesecake. For something savory, the grilled cheese or beef pot pie are excellent starters or tasty treats on the late night. Bramble and Hare also boasts a variety of local beer, including Telluride's Face Down Brown and, a Boulder favorite, Upslope's Brown Ale.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Bramble and Hare is an affordable option for fresh farm-to-table options including a delectable Sheep's Milk Cheesecake.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to try their 3 Course Farm Dinner for a variety of flavors at a low cost.

Read more about Bramble and Hare →


Black Cat


Black Cat is the epitome of a Farm-to-Table restaurants, in fact that's what this Boulder favorite is known for. Pulling fresh, seasonal, ingredients from their 130 acre farm paradise situated just outside Boulder, Chef Eric Skokan and his wife, Jill, harvest their farm everyday to bring from-the-vine delights. They also raise sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. One of our favorites, the Beet Potato Napoleon features quinoa cereal crust, elderberry gastrique,house made ricotta, and spinach. Want to splurge a little? Try their Colorado Striped Bass complete with black bean humus and carrots. Keep in mind that this Farm-to-Table gem prepares seasonal delights, so their menu is ever-changing, meaning you can always find something new and fresh.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Touted as one of Boulder's very best, Black Cat offers farm-to-table options and healthy seasonal produce.

Hope's expert tip: The Spiced Carrot Cake is a perfect seasonal delight.

Read more about Black Cat →


Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place
Photo courtesy of SHINE Restaurant and Gathering Space


Locally owned and operated by three spunky and innovative sisters, SHINE Restaurant and Gathering Space offers the perfect venue for building community, mingling, getting down to some local music, or just relaxing with a much needed cocktail at the end of the day. Not-to-be-missed, the beet hummus and mini-pizza with buffalo mozzarella, marinara, and arugula pesto are the perfect appetizers to start off your evening and, when you move on to the main course, be sure to consider the Chicken or Jackfruit Soft Tacos ( we highly recommend the jackfruit) and the Grass-Finished Beef Burger made with local meat, arugula, sunflower seed and garlic scape pesto, house-pickled red onion for a kick of flavor, and hearty cheddar cheese.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: SHINE offers a gluten-free menu, fresh and healthy drink options, and local produce.

Hope's expert tip: The perfect space for gatherings, bring the entire family or meet up with old friends for unique cocktails and delicious soul-food.

Read more about Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place →




This unique all-vegetarian restaurant offers scrumptious gluten-free and farm-to-table options. Furthermore, they pull the majority of their quality ingredients from their local farm in Lafayette, Colorado. Three Leaf Farm not only caters to Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant but also supplies their seven other restaurants in the Boulder County area, including the Dushanbe Teahouse, The Huckleberry of Louisville, and Zucca Italian Ristorante. For you raw lovers, they offer a Raw Kale Salad and raw manicotti made with zucchini noodles, cashew-pine nut "cheese", spinach,sundried tomato marinara, yellow beet salad. If you're looking for something wholly unique, Seared Artichoke Linguini made with sorrel pesto. hazelnuts, and gorgonzola-ricotta.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Leaf is an exclusively vegetarian restaurant offering fresh produce and delicious variety. There are also gluten-free and vegan menu options for those with dietary restrictions.

Hope's expert tip: Try their raw manicotti made with zucchini noodles,cashew-pine nut "cheese", spinach,sundried tomato marinara, and yellow beet salad.

Read more about Leaf →


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Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope

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