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Healthy Living Guide: Denver

January 12, 2012

Denver, the Mile High City, has no shortage of healthy people and healthy activities! From hiking and biking in mountain parks like Red Rocks to playing chess at the 16th Street Mall, Denver offers a wide array of outdoor activities. But if the outdoors isn’t for you, no need to fear! The city also has an incredibly rich culture including the beautiful Ellie Caulkins Opera House, the Denver Art Museum, and the Santa Fe Arts District. The restaurant scene in Denver is thriving, and with so many healthy, organic choices, we had a hard time narrowing down the selection!

Here are a few of our favorite places in Denver. Be sure to check out our other Healthy Living Guides for options in your town!



Watercourse Foods
837 East 17th Avenue

This internationally acclaimed restaurant is definitely a favorite among locals. All dishes are vegetarian or vegan versions of traditional comfort foods. This is one spot that you don’t want to miss in Denver!


rootdownRoot Down
1600 West 33rd Avenue

This trendy restaurant uses only natural, organic ingredients in their dishes with the belief that there should be a “seamless bond between the elements and the (dining) experience, which stimulates the senses and draws people in.” The atmosphere is exciting and relaxed, perfect for dinner with friends!


2124 Larimer Street

This new restaurant in the Ballpark Neighborhood is already popular. The seasonal menu features fire-grilled meals using local, organic ingredients. Ignite! is the perfect place for a pre-game burger or wood-fired pizza!


2023 East Colfax Avenue

SAME café, an acronym for So All May Eat, offers a very unique dining experience. The chefs do not have a set menu and instead prepare something different each day with the fresh produce that they receive. They want to provide good food for everyone, so customers are only asked to pay what they can afford for their meal.


mad greensMad Greens
Multiple Locations

This popular salad spot has several locations in the Denver area. We love the variety of salad toppings that Mad Greens has to offer, including grilled Portobello, mango, and snow peas. This will definitely be your new go-to lunch spot!


old blinking lightOld Blinking Light
9344 Dorchester Street

Old Blinking Light is another local favorite, and for good reason. They specialize in seasonal American food with Southwestern soul. The menu has so many good options that it’s hard to choose just one, but we recommend the Hatch Green Chili Cheeseburger and the New Mexico Red Chile Crusted Wild Salmon.


tokyo joe'sTokyo Joes
Multiple Locations

This sushi restaurant has a fun, young vibe and is perfect for a quick dinner or lunch. The menu has several sushi options to choose from as well as noodle and rice bowls. Several of the sauces are available gluten-free or sugar-free.


garbanzo mediterranean grillGarbanzo
Multiple Locations

Garbanzo has multiple locations throughout all of Colorado and several in Denver. This fun, fresh “fast food” joint serves healthy Mediterranean food. All sauces and bread are made from scratch daily. It’s the perfect place for a healthy lunch during the workweek.


gaia bistroGaia Bistro
1551 South Pearl Street

This bistro and rustic bakery is a crepe lover’s dream come true! They have a variety of savory and sweet crepes, all made with organic ingredients. If you would rather have something else, they also have a large selection of very affordable, organic lunch and dinner items.


mercury cafeMercury Café
2199 California Street

This 100% organic café has a funky and exotic vibe. It’s a great place for lunch or tea with friends. Though everything is delicious, we particularly love the No More War Burrito and the Hot and Spicy Tofu with Vegetables.


1313 East 6th Street

This New American restaurant has a strong emphasis on using fresh, local ingredients – so much so that the chef opened his own farm to grow all of his own produce and raise chickens for fresh eggs. In the future, the farm plans to grow orchards and raise sheep for cheese. This is sustainability at its best! 


2030 West 30th Street

Sister restaurant to Root Down, Linger is a fun spot that serves street food from around the world with a healthy spin. The atmosphere is very exciting and features a beautiful view of the Denver skyline. The menu conveniently points out which dishes are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free. We love the African Peanut Soup and the Seasonal Ceviche!


1530 Blake Street Suite A

This laid-back brewery aims to provide good food at a great value. The menu features classic comfort foods with a unique twist. Many of the options are vegan or gluten-free as well!


2339 West 44th Avenue

Hash is a delicious breakfast spot located in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood.  The menu has several breakfast favorites, and, not surprisingly, different varieties of hash! They promote sustainability and use local ingredients whenever possible. Next up for Hash? An on-site garden!


2262 Larimer Street

This breakfast joint aims to change the way we think about breakfast. The chefs use natural ingredients from local farms to create delicious egg dishes, pancakes, oatmeal, and just about anything else that you might be craving for breakfast!



washington park denverWashington Park
701 South Franklin

This park is right in the city and offers a wide range of activities including tennis, basketball, a bike path, paddleboat rentals, and fishing.


rocky mountain parkRocky Mountain National Park

This national park is just a short drive from Denver. It’s a great place for hiking and camping in the summer, and cross-country skiing and sledding in the winter!


red rocks parkRed Rocks Park
16351 County Road 93

This famous large park is just outside of Denver and has several hiking trails and a large amphitheater for outdoor concerts.


For more restaurant options around the country, have a look at all of Integrative Nutrition's Healthy Living Guides, or explore all our recommendations on the map below!

View IIN's Healthy Living Guide Map in a larger map

Do you have any restaurant suggestions for our upcoming Healthy Living Guides? Just send us an email to and we’ll do our best to include your suggestion when we get to your city!