LYFE Kitchen -- where everything is under 600 calories -- opening in Park Meadows

Lori Midson

When I was in my late twenties and early thirties, I avoided eating meat. The reasons why aren't important, but looking back on that phase, I wish I'd chosen a different time in my life to go meat-free, because I was living in Chicago, where militant vegetarians were few and far between. This isn't to say that I ate particularly healthy. In fact, on my way to work each morning, my must-have habit was an egg McMuffin -- just egg and cheese -- from McDonald's. And sometimes, a hash brown. My metabolism was much better then; I was skinny -- super-skinny -- but I was still eating junk.

During those years, there was no True Food Kitchen or Native Foods Cafe, no Chipotle or Maoz Vegetarian, and certainly nothing like LYFE Kitchen (the acronym stands for "Love Your Food Everyday"), a restaurant that opened its first store late last year in, coincidentally, Chicago. And in mid-June, as part of an ambitious growth spurt that will spawn 250 locations nationwide over the next five years, LYFE Kitchen will open in Park Meadows Mall, in the space vacated by California Cafe.

The owners-operators of that location? Rachel and DJ Mitchell, a married couple who grew up together in Chicago and worked for McDonalds and McDonald's Corporation.

See also: After fourteen years, Noboru Muraishi closes Oshima Ramen

Courtesy of LYFE Kitchen.

"My mom was a restaurant manager, my grandma was the french fry lady, and I started working at McDonald's when I was fifteen," says Rachel, whose parents eventually went on to become McDonald's franchisees, as did Rachel and her husband, who had three stores in Las Vegas, another trio in Colorado Springs and one store in Alamosa, Colorado, a good ninety miles away from the next nearest McDonald's, which means that it's one helluva busy McDonald's.

Over time, the Mitchells sold off most of the stores they owned, and by October of last year, they had sold them all to pursue a very, very different restaurant landscape -- one that couldn't be more different from the world of chicken McNuggets and egg McMuffins.

It was in January of last year, remembers DJ, that he first heard about LYFE Kitchen. "I was driving to work and listening to Bloomburg Radio, and they were doing a really interesting interview with Mike Roberts, the president and CEO of LYFE Kitchen, and as soon as I got to my office, I started researching the company on my computer, and what I came across was just fascinating," he says. And when he started poking around the LYFE Kitchen website, his interest, part of which hit very close to home, soared.

Location Info

LYFE Kitchen

8505 Park Meadows Center Drive, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Ordering the food made me feel rushed and flustered but as soon as I got my food and drinks I was thrilled. Perfect portions. Delicious ingredients. Excited to go back!


Somehow I don't believe that eating healthy is one of those things that people in Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree are known for flocking to.  More like Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings.  Just sayin'.   Anyway, I'm the only one who's eaten there so I can tell you that they are not a farm-to-table grass fed beef kind of place; they are actually a high end weight watchers restaurant with portion control and calories calculated down to the serving size.  Maybe a fatty like you will take to it, but in my opinion True Foods is the better, tastier approach to eating healthy.  


True Kitchen has not beaten LYFE Kitchen to the punch, at least in the Lone Tree/Highlands Ranch area because there is nothing like it around there.  I am not a vegetarian but try to eat only grass fed beef etc after losing about 50 lbs and just plain wanting to eat healthier. I am looking forward to the opening of LYFE Kitchen down here in the South part of town.


I've been to the one in Palo Alto.  It's pretty good, but a little expensive for an everyday place to eat, although we did meet a couple there that said that that was exactly what they did -- eat there every single day.   (It is Palo Alto, one of the richest towns in the US).   The owners of Lyfe Kitchen were looking at Denver a few years back to open their first site, but I guess they settled on Cali.   My only question is whether True Foods has beaten them to the punch in this area.  IMO, it's the same concept pretty much and True Foods does it much better.  

Selina Maes
Selina Maes

Carlos Macias totally your kinda place ;).

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