Whether you’re in the middle of a program like Whole 30, the Conscious Cleanse or an elimination diet — or are simply being mindful of what you eat — you can dine out at plenty of places in Boulder. In fact, we’re a town of health nuts, and clean eating is a lifestyle for many of us. Here's where to nourish mind, body, and soul with fresh, healthy cuisine in Boulder.
This all-raw, all-gluten-free, all-vegan, all-organic restaurant really walks the talk. Everything at Thrive, which is located a few blocks from downtown, is prepared to order using fresh ingredients that are chock full of unaltered enzymes and nutrients. The dishes are bursting with flavor, and there’s personality to spare here: live-edge wood countertops are embedded with crystals and decks of tarot cards invite you to explore your destiny while you wait.
Run by a team of Boulderites who are passionate about health and whole foods, Fresh Thymes is one of those places you can breathe a sigh of relief if you’re eating healthy. The entire place is gluten-free (and peanut-free, too), and the deli case brims with beautiful dishes, including tons of vegan, vegetarian, paleo and keto options. Just point at what you’d like for lunch or explore their full menu for dinner — from the Dragon Tacos with blue corn tortillas and Korean skirt stead to the pumpkin falafel burger.
This spacious, bright and bustling café serves healthy food made fun and delicious. Flower Child has options for vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free that are as tasty as they are beautiful to look at. The crushed avocado toast has our hearts, as do their nutritious bowls, like the Forbidden Rice bowl, with black pearl rice, red japonica, veggies, and toasted sesame seeds. If you’re coming for lunch, arrive early to beat the rush. (And if you’re coming straight from yoga, there’s a yoga mat “parking” basket by the front door.
Shine is a Boulder institution for healthy eaters looking for a full-service, sit-down meal, surrounded by creative artwork beside a glimmering bar. The kitchen is 100-percent gluten-free, there are tons of veg options on the menu, and the staff is very accommodating in helping you find whatever fits your current diet. Everything we’ve had here has been well executed and flavorful. And did we mention the potions? Shine crafts a line of unique beverages studded with herbs and are "tuned" to special sound frequencies. You can order them boozy or virgin, and adding a shot of CBD is also an option.
Cold-pressed juices and smoothie bowls are just the start at Whole Sol's sleek Pearl Street quick-bite stop. Their 100-percent-organic menu also features warm bowls, like the tofu scramble or the Primal, two eggs, avocado and hemp pesto topped with truffle hot sauce. Hearty toasts are piled high with unique toppings like beets and hazelnuts. And you’ll want to finish it off with a sweet but guilt-free bite of vegan cookie dough.
Modern Market Eatery is a locally grown fast-casual joint that has a rabid following because they make it easy to eat consciously. An informative menu at the order counter is packed with tons of hearty but healthy choices, and your receipt will even break down the calories, fat, carbs and protein values of what you ordered. The chicken, pork and steak dishes get rave reviews, and salads, grain bowls, and brick-oven pizzas are also scrumptious.
Wanting just a quick pick-me-up? Stop in this all-organic, cold-pressed juice and nut-milk shop on Pearl Street to quench your thirst. Wonder also serves smoothies, lemonades, toasts, coffee, kombucha, immunity shots, bone broth tonics, and small bites. The bright, airy interior (with countless laptops aglow on two-top tables) will give you coastal vibes, but the ultra-healthy focus couldn't be more Boulder.