"Gluten-Free Friendly" Restaurants in Seattle: Here are Some Top Choices from our Resident College Blogger
Julie Bourne, our regular college blogger who also publishes her own Blog called The Campus Celiac, spent the summer in Seattle and shared with us some of her top restaurant picks for gluten free dining. You will find links within the article to her more detailed reviews of these restaurants on our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, where you can also do a search to read dozens of other reviews of GF-friendly restaurants in Seattle. Simply visit our Search/Mapping page and enter "Seattle" or a specific zip code into the Search box. You'll get a list of places that have been reviewed. Click on any business to see it plotted on the adjacent map where you can click through to read the user-submitted review.
While people probably don’t ordinarily associate Seattle with summertime, this is where I spent my summer, working -- and more importantly – eating! I always thought that I had it made, living in Denver, where there is usually an abundance of gluten free options at my fingertips. That was before I spent an extended amount of time in the city of Seattle, specifically the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which is the Pacific Northwest’s hipster mecca. I was working full-time right in the center of Capitol Hill, which is just less than a mile north of Downtown Seattle. Something that I realized about working full time with people you like hanging out with is that you go out for lunch, dinner, and after work drinks often. It never hurts to know where you can eat gluten free near the workplace for these outings.
While I tried my best to save money by bringing a sack lunch most days, there were days where I just couldn’t resist the plentiful restaurant options nearby. To me, the perfect lunch place has to have a takeout option and needs to be relatively casual and affordable. Annapurna Café on the neighborhood’s most happening street, Broadway (recently famous for being featured in Macklemore’s new music video) is a great option for lovers of Indian food. The restaurant is a great hole-in-the-wall space that is perfect for a sit-down meal, but they also do takeout. Their Tandoori Chicken dish is gluten free and is easily transported back to the office for later eating. Also on Broadway is Blue Moon Burgers, which is another great lunch spot. Celiacs rarely get the luxury of ordering food like onion rings or bacon burgers but at Blue Moon, these are regular (gluten free) menu items. They offer up a solution to fast food cravings while employing local food and ethical meat sourcing with tons of gluten free options.
In this neighborhood, dinnertime brings young tech-nerds and designer types out to the fantastic restaurants, which are perfect for unwinding after a full day at work. Barrio Mexican Kitchen and Bar is a staple spot, located centrally on 12th and Pike. The modern Mexican restaurant has a fantastic happy hour with moderate prices on tons of fresh gluten free menu options. The staff is highly knowledgeable about allergies, and there are boundless choices ranging from chips and fresh guacamole (shown here) to mushroom and squash enchiladas smothered in jack cheese. Another great dinner spot is Plum Vegan Bistro, which is similarly moderate in price but offers up strictly vegan menu options. They label gluten free options clearly on their menu. My personal favorites are their yam and beet chips and tangy pesto crepe. This is a particularly great spot in summer, as they have an open air seating area, and their flavors are very bright with simple ingredients.
For brunch, stop by Americana on Broadway and you’ll be greeted by the friendliest servers, who could recite their gluten free options by heart. The owner’s wife has Celiac Disease. Be sure to get their herbed omelet, served with Udi’s gluten free toast along with only the best Seattle coffee. As for nightlife, Capitol Hill is full of options, most of which appeal to younger crowds (under 35). Unicorn on Pike is a particular favorite as they have an extremely entertaining space filled with whimsical circus themed aesthetics and they serve Red Bridge gluten free beer. Friends will love this spot as they also serve tons of carnival foods like deep fried Oreos that can be paired with a shot of cotton candy vodka.
If you are visiting Seattle, be sure to make the climb up to Capitol Hill for all your dining needs! You’ll want to get some exercise anyway -- in preparation for all the great gluten free food you’ll be eating!
Be sure to read Julie's other helpful posts about maintaining a gluten free diet in college.