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

1021 N. Gammon Road, Middleton

315 E. Linnerud Drive, Sun Prairie

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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

6522 Monona Drive, Monona
(608) 223-1390

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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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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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300 E. Holum Street, Deforest

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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


Willy Street Co-op Deli

All locations have grass-fed roast beef and pastured ham among the sliced deli meat options, and the Middleton store even has grass-fed hamburgers. Any sandwich can be customized, and lettuce-wrapped on request. Produce is often local and/or organic when possible. Great salad bar & hot bar. Check web site for daily specials: The grain-free chicken curry is excellent, as is the grain-free jambalaya. The seasoned meats on Taco Tuesday are good on lettuce, but even better on the roasted sweet potatoes. Breakfast is served in the morning, featuring local pastured meats and eggs. House-made bone broth from the meat case is occasionally found in the hot soup well. Paleo Mama desserts are available. Full service juice and coffee bar stocks house-made almond milk. As long as you’re there, check out the 90% organic produce dept, mostly local meat dept, and good selection of paleo staples. Indoor and outdoor seating.  Paleo catering available.

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1221 Williamson Street, Madison

(608) 251-6776

6825 University Ave, Middleton

(608) 284-7800

2817 N Sherman Ave.

(608) 709-5445

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Norske Nook

I can’t call this a paleo friendly destination at this time. The place specializes in pies and lefse. Still, they advertise being gluten friendly, and there are potentially grain-free options on the menu. I tried the salmon dinner twice. Once I received overcooked sirloin steak instead. The other time I got dry, luke-warm salmon. Both times, I asked for extra vegetables instead of potatoes, and got a small serving of seemingly canned carrots or peas/carrots, again only luke warm. The side salad was edible with the croutons omitted. I also tried the gluten-free desert option they claim to always have. The first time it was pretty good, if a little chalky. The second time they were out. I’m really hoping they accept my offer to coach them with a few simple tweaks, as it’s a block from my house and could be a great place with a little work.

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Corner of Main and Holum, DeForest


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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