Boulder Restaurants for Gut Health

When you begin to focus on gut health, there are two big fears that usually arise: Can I still be social (without feeling like a total weirdo)? Can I eat out?

Well, it is my mission to be sure that you know how to navigate the realm of "real life" while still nourishing your body, cleansing your life and choosing health.

When you work with me in a program or coaching, I give you personalized information about how to do this. And, how to choose the best places where you live. Not all locations are created equal, but you can always find something nourishing, I promise!

To give you a better look into my community, I am breaking down my favorite spots for a meal in Boulder, Colorado...

Here is my list based on how often I frequent the restaurant, and their top points of being good for your gut.

Turley's Kitchen Favorite Menu Item: #1 Combo Breakfast with soft scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon (or a grass-fed burger) & sautéed kale instead of bread. *GF/DF seasonal pancake if I'm feeling good (pure maple syrup at no extra charge).


  • Well Sourced Ingredients
  • Breakfast All Day (I'm a sucker for breakfast out!)
  • Educated Staff & Allergy/Intolerance Awareness
  • Filtered Water Throughout Restaurant!!!
  • Clean Cooking Oils: Rice Bran Oil
  • Quiet Atmosphere (music is nearly unnoticable)


  • Sweet Potato Fries have Nightshade Dusting
  • Creating Your Own Plate (a frequent Brandi method) can add up in cost

Fresh Thymes Eatery Favorite Menu Item: Changes Seasonally. Counter Sides of steak, chicken (no pesto), arugula kale or Brussels sprout salad & pumpkin bisque soup, pictured above. The Diva or Autumn Salad, with chicken, no cheese or seeds/nuts. GF/DF Mac Attack with chicken & kale if I'm feeling good. Also, Mexican Wedding Cookies!


  • 100% Gluten Free Kitchen, No Hidden Dairy (optional on burger, pizza, etc)
  • Well Sourced Ingredients
  • Educated Staff & Allergy/Intolerance Awareness
  • Clean Cooking Oils: Coconut & Olive Oil
  • Great Treats & Menu Constantly Evolves


  • Often Louder at Peak Hours (typically mellow music)
  • Seating Challenges at Peak Hours, but moves quickly

Lark Burger

Favorite Menu Item: Lark Burger, wrapped in lettuce. No tomato or onion, extra pickles. Simple Salad, no onions, dressing on the side (but, it's clean with EVOO). *Regular Fries if I'm feeling good.


  • Great Prices
  • Great Burger
  • Simple Ingredients
  • Fast & Multiple Locations
  • Nearly Zero Waste Restaurant


  • Often Loud in Boulder Location
  • Long Lines at Peak Hours

Shine Favorite Menu Item: Lamb Reuben, no cheese, no thousand island, over greens instead of bun with Sweet Potato Fries & side of mayo. *Doughnut Eyes (brunch menu) if I'm feeling good.


  • 100% Gluten Free Kitchen
  • Well Sourced Ingredients
  • Educated Staff & Allergy/Intolerance Awareness
  • Clean Cooking Oils: Rice Bran Oil
  • Interesting & Mindful Beverage "Potion" Menu


  • Often Loud Music Playing (which deters me)
  • Those Cool Potions are Pricey
  • Downtown Boulder = Parking Challenge

Blooming Beets

Favorite Menu Item: I haven't eaten here in a while and the menu changes frequently. Used to get pancakes & bacon & greens.


  • 100% Primal Kitchen (well sourced, no grains or legumes but includes dairy)
  • Clean Cooking Oils: Avocado, Coconut & Olive Oil
  • Brunch Daily (11-2), closed Mondays
  • Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) dinner menu available on request
  • Delectable Desserts


  • Current menus have fair amount of Dairy & Nightshades, which I avoid
  • Pricey to get the Balanced Brunch I want: waffles & greens & meat

Blackbelly I have only been here once but it was the best meal I have ever eaten in Boulder. They are a nose to tail restaurant with great service & moderate allergy awareness. The menu changes frequently. I highly recommend it for an occasion, but be sure to make a reservation!


I have no affiliations with any of these places, however the owners of both Fresh Thymes & Shine were my natural chef instructors at Bauman College, so I was naturally drawn to their kitchens.

I don't eat out a ton, but up to two meals a week you can find me at Turley's, Fresh Thymes or Lark. Shine & BB tend to be more "occasion" centered.

When it comes to healing, I find it really important to cook your own food and  know exactly what you are eating most of the time. But, it is also super important to be able to meet a friend out socially or just go and enjoy some quiet time (I most frequently eat out alone, with my journal).

Make eating out something you do as self-care, as a date night, as a celebration. But, don't make it a too-frequent-habit. Get to know what places are safe for your gut and get to know their menu well. Know what you can order and how you most enjoy it! That takes SO much stress out of the situation. If you are going to a new place, check the menu online and even call the manager with questions.

Also know, sometimes it's not picture perfect.

Truth: yesterday I ate bacon & sautéed greens at a place that sources well (not listed). However, I believe they use canola oil. I thought it would be ok but the greens were oily when served. Unfortunately, today was ruled by my proximity to a toilet because of that oil (nothing else I ate yesterday was remotely out of normalcy).

If I had gone to one of my favorite places, I would not have had this experience. Lesson learned.

So, find your safe places that offer you the chance to make diet, detox & desire priorities with your plate. And, enjoy it!

xo, B

Brandi Mackenzie4 Comments