Nitty Gritty

They will do a naked or lettuce-wrapped burger on request. Choices include local grass-fed beef, and sometimes bison. Optional toppings include bacon, egg, and guacamole. Other sandwiches can be made gluten-free also. Steamed veggies available as a side. Most salads ok with omissions. Known as “the birthday bar.”


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223 N. Frances Street, Madison
608-251-2521

1021 N. Gammon Road, Middleton
608-833-6489

315 E. Linnerud Drive, Sun Prairie
608-837-4999

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Red Robin

This was one of the first places to actually offer lettuce-wrapped burgers right on the menu, and they do it well – using a cut stack of iceberg on each side so it’s easy to pick up and eat. (They also offer a gluten free bun choice.) Otherwise, not much to attract paleo customers unless you have wiggle room on gluten, which most do not. They do offer sweet potato fries, but they’re cooked in a shared fryer. Watch out for possible gluten in the grill seasoning. Salads would be another option.


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2440 East Springs Drive, Madison
608-301-0435

6522 Monona Drive, Monona
(608) 223-1390

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Chili’s

Chain offers full menu of appetizers, entrees, salads, burgers, sandwiches , etc. and full bar. Some dishes can be tweaked to paleo or close. For example, try a steak or grilled salmon and replace rice/potatoes with garden salad. Available sides and extras include steamed broccoli, seared shrimp, avocado slices, and bacon. Salads and bunless burgers too.


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4344 E. Towne Blvd, Madison
(608) 242-9300

7301 Mineral Point Road, Madison
(608) 833-8851

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Aranda’s Mexican Restaurant

Good food, but as with most Mexican places, eating paleo takes some effort here. The vast majority of dishes feature some combination of tortillas, rice, beans, cheese, and sauces which could contain anything. There are some salads (remember to omit cheese and croutons), steaks (watch out for sauces) and a few specialty dishes (Jarocha and Cancun Special are tasty) that might pass if you skip the rice (and sometimes cheese/sour cream. They do make a good tequila & soda, and one guy even knew about the Norcal Margarita. I’d be happy to eat there much more often if they put a simple meat & veggies dish on the menu with no grains/dairy/beans/gluten.


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142 Market Street, DeForest

608-509-9404

bb Jack’s

We’ve been there several times and I can’t recommend at this time. Pretty much everything on the menu involves bread/grains of some kind. I ordered the grilled chicken salad without croutons. Each time it came with croutons anyway, except once it came with a dinner roll instead! Paleo customers should (and celiacs must) go elsewhere.


 

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608-846-9000
300 E. Holum Street, Deforest

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Applebee’s

Best paleo options are the simple steaks.  I usually get the New York Strip with double broccoli instead of the usual sides.  Some other dishes are possibilities with minor adjustments.  This is, however, one of those places that can’t/won’t offer any assurances about gluten.  If not concerned about dairy or trace gluten, there are a number of interesting primal-friendly dishes with minimal junk in them.  Preparation of food is generally better than you’d expect.


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660 S. Whitney Way, Madison

(608) 271-5450

4710 E Towne Blvd
(608) 244-1470

 

Weary Traveler Free House

Good food; Nice casual atmosphere. Many dishes made paleo on request. Many quality ingredients sourced locally from Jordandal Farm, Parisi Farm, Primrose Community Farm, Underground Meats, Prairie Bluff Farm, New Century Farm, Lange Farm, etc. Some grass-fed meats and organic vegetables when available. Full bar is one of the most paleo-friendly in town, featuring local kombucha, organic teas, and “The Catfish” (seltzer and your choice of fresh or Rose’s lime juice) or, of course, they’ll mix up a mean NorCal. Would like to see their take on a true paleo dish on the menu, but recommended as is.


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1201 Williamson Street, Madison

(608) 442-6207