Gluten Free Restaurants

Those of you who've been following this Blog for a while know that one of my favorite gluten-free friendly chains is Burtons Grill. Although we don't have a location right near us, we've been lucky enough to visit several of their locations when traveling to the northeast (Massachusetts and Connecticut) and recently had the good fortune of dining at their location in Charlottesville, Virginia. This month, Burtons Grill is celebrating their 10-year anniversary (and they unveiled a beautiful new website). What began 10 years ago as one location in Hingham, Massachusetts has now grown into a 10-location restaurant group. From now until May 10, all Burtons Grill locations will be offering vouchers, loyalty prizes, flash sales, and sampling events (check out their Special Events page for details). When you dine at any of their locations, you'll have a chance to "roll the dice" for instant prizes and giveaways. This anniversary falls right in the middle of Celiac Awareness Month, and that's another reason to celebrate. Burtons Grill has unveiled a new Spring and Summer Menu that includes new "gluten sensitive" items. For those of you who've dined at any Burtons Grill, you know they already have one of the most... Read more →


On GlutenFreeTravelSite and on this Gluten Free Travel Blog, we enjoy being able to profile restaurant chains -- both large and small -- that offer Gluten Free Menus…and that take care to keep their Celiac and gluten sensitive guests safe. Today, I want to introduce you to Landry's Seafood, with 20 locations across the following eight states: Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, and Nevada. Just looking at these mouth-watering photos makes me want to hop on a plane right now to dine in one of their restaurants! Landry's Seafood was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1947 and continues its original mission of serving "Gulf Coast cuisine." For guests who are gluten free, this includes many different types of fresh fish that can be prepared various ways, under the "Today's Catch" section of the Gluten Free Menu. There's also oysters on the half-shell, jumbo grilled shrimp, lobster, snow crab, and scallops -- as well as several steak and chicken options for landlubbers. Chefs are also happy to try and tailor any daily specials to make them gluten free, upon request. So if you see something that appeals to you on the "regular" menu or daily specials…but it isn't... Read more →


Our family recently returned from a week in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. We have family out there and therefore are fortunate to visit every so often. As with any trip, we look forward to the chance to discover new "gluten-free friendly" restaurants we haven't tried -- including chain restaurants with Gluten Free Menus that don't have locations on the East Coast where we live. It's a funny thing about Los Angeles...one would think (and I also hear from many people living there) that it's rare to find a restaurant that can't prepare a gluten free meal. However, as you and I both know, catering to the "trend" of gluten free dining choices is very different from being properly trained in providing safe gluten free meals for those with Celiac or gluten sensitivity. So it's almost more of a challenge dining in this land of celebrities and health-conscious folks, since so many are opting to eat gluten free...by choice, not out of necessity. So the onus is on us to find the truly safe restaurants. Before every trip, I do a fair amount of research on restaurants. Before this trip, as with past trips to Southern California, I found... Read more →


I have to confess...French food has always been my favorite. Since I was a young teen and my parents took me out to my first truly French restaurant, I was in love with the food, the sauces, the bread... Ah...the bread. Well, that's not typically something you'll be able to indulge in at most French restaurants (unfortunately, I've found that too few offer gluten free bread), but you can still have a terrific meal while staying safe. Here are a few tips for dining gluten free at French restaurants, whether stateside or in France: 1.) Bring your own bread. To be honest, even if gluten free bread is offered at a French restaurant, I'm always nervous about where it's been baked and cut. There are just too many chances for cross-contact with regular bread and other sources of gluten. 2.) If you forget to bring your own gluten free bread (I always feel terrible if I forget to bring our son a gluten free roll), look on the bright side...you won't fill up on empty calories and will have more room for the wonderful French specialties (and maybe dessert!). 3.) Bring a gluten free dining card explaining your dietary needs,... Read more →


Welcome to my fourth post in a series on the topic of dining gluten free at ethnic restaurants. Today, I'd like to tackle Japanese cuisine, which can be a good and safe choice for gluten free diners, if you keep some key things in mind. To begin, Japanese restaurants will typically offer several styles of food: sushi, tepanyaki-style (grilled in front of you at your table), and tempura. Here's how to ensure a safe meal: 1.) Before dining at the restaurant, call and speak with the manager or chef. Ask them about what they offer for gluten free diners. Their knowledge of gluten free ingredients -- and how they avoid cross contamination -- should be readily apparent based on their answers to your questions. If they seem confused, uninformed, or misinformed, choose another restaurant. 2.) Ask them if they have a menu listing gluten free selections. Also ask if they have gluten free tamari to use as a substitute for traditional (gluten containing) soy sauce. (If not, ask if you can bring your own.) Our family likes San-J brand gluten free tamari, which is available in many varieties. I always try to purchase the organic and low-sodium version. (Travel-sized packets... Read more →


My husband and I have developed a real liking for Indian food over the past 8 years or so. We even take our kids to Indian restaurants on occasion. As long as we stick with relatively mild choices, they enjoy everything we order. It helps that the Indian style of cooking is, by nature, almost entirely gluten free. Of course, you can't have naan, roti, or any of the other breads, but there are plenty of other things that are so delicious, you won't miss the naan! As in China, there are many styles of cooking in India, depending on the region. Most Indian restaurants in western countries, like the United States, tend to focus on recipes of northern Indian origin like tandoori specialties (cooked in an oven) and curries, both shown in these photos. Indian cooking relies on spices for flavoring, all of which are gluten free, with the exception of something called "hing." Hing is a very potent spice, and a little bit goes a long way. The owner of Rangoli, the wonderful and highly acclaimed Indian restaurant in our neighborhood, said it is used more in recipes from southern India. He only uses it in one recipe... Read more →


As we all know, there's a growing number of people who are now following gluten free diets by choice. It's a double-edged sword. It has made restauranteurs more interested in offering gluten free options on their menus, but unfortunately, this is often driven by profit motives. Too many times, restaurants aren't properly trained (by organizations such as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness or the Gluten Intolerance Group) in safe preparation protocol, and diners who must follow gluten free diets for medical reasons (Celiac or gluten sensitivity) can become ill. Italian restaurants can be among the trickiest types of restaurants to navigate, since there are so many wheat flour-based items on the menu...like pizza and pasta. If there is flour flying in the air from the pizza making, that poses another risk. As with dining out in general, everyone needs to personally assess Italian restaurant options and determine their own level of comfort before choosing a specific restaurant. But here are some general questions to ask, preferably before even walking in the door: Visit the restaurant's website. Is there a specific GLUTEN FREE MENU? While this doesn't mean you can let your guard down, it's usually a good sign the... Read more →


I have exciting news to share about some new and helpful functionality we recently added to GlutenFreeTravelSite and our DINE GLUTEN FREE mobile app (free and available for iOS and Android). We know some of you only feel comfortable eating at restaurants, cafes, and bakeries that are 100% dedicated gluten free establishments. So we wanted to make it easier for you to find these places among all the great gluten free dining reviews on our website and app. Now, when you do a geographic search on either GlutenFreeTravelSite or our DINE GLUTEN FREE mobile app, the places that have been reviewed and are 100% dedicated gluten free will be indicated with the icon shown here. Whether you do a narrow search by town/zip OR conduct a broader search by state, province, region, or country, you'll see places within the listing marked with the icon. When searching broadly, you can even sort the display by selecting Dedicated GF. Then the dedicated gluten free businesses will appear at the top of the list. Some of my own family's personal favorite dedicated gluten free spots include Sweet Christine's Bakery in Kennett Square, PA; One Dish Cuisine in Ellicott City, MD; Gluuteny in Pittsburgh;... Read more →


I tried to narrow my choices for gluten-free friendly CHAIN restaurants to just 10, but with so many chains now offering great gluten free selections, it was too hard to do. So here are my 12 Favorites.Some are our family's regular go-to chains with locations around the Washington DC area where we live...while others are regional chains outside our area that we were thrilled to discover on various trips. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano – I love that Biaggi’s is located in mid-sized cities where there may not be quite the same range of gluten free choices of a “Big City” like New York City or Boston…but where diners are sophisticated and want a restaurant that understands their gluten free needs and desire for high-quality food. We've been to the ones in Salt Lake City (now closed) and Maple Grove, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. You’ll find a huge Gluten Free Menu here, including many wonderful GF pasta choices. Here's a photo of a seasonal Caprese Salad they offered over the summer. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – What could be better than meeting up with friends or co-workers at a place that offers gluten free pizza, gluten free beer, and even a... Read more →


New York City is one of the easiest places to find "gluten free friendly" restaurants. Our family just returned from a trip to New York to visit family, and this time we made it a point to go into New York City for a few days -- for some good gluten free dining, as well as some business meetings and sightseeing. I've always loved NYC and actually lived there many years ago, so any opportunity to return to the Big Apple is a welcome one. This time, my husband and I had a couple days to ourselves while my mother-in-law watched our kids, and then they later joined us in the city. We wanted to try several gluten-free friendly restaurants that had been recommended to us, but on the first night our desire was to find someplace in Little Italy that understood gluten free. Fortunately, that was not a difficult task, as most of the restaurants on Mulberry Street in the heart of Little Italy have their menus on display along the street. Many of them had mentions of gluten free options (typically gluten free pizza and/or pasta) on their menus. After asking some questions at various restaurants, we chose... Read more →


P.F. Chang's has always been one of our family's go-to restaurants for a reliable, safe, and delicious gluten free meal. So my son and I were happy when my aunt treated us to dinner at their Natick Mall location in the suburbs of Boston last Friday night, right after we concluded our annual week at Camp Celiac in North Scituate, Rhode Island (this was my son's fourth year attending, and I volunteer as a parent counselor). My aunt and her friend were craving the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken, one of our favorites, too. However, upon being seated, we quickly discovered the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken was no longer on the menu. It had been replaced by Cantonese Style Lemon Chicken, which is described as, "crispy chicken breast sliced and drizzled with warm lemon sauce and chilled broccolini." We asked our server if we could get the chef to make the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken instead, because I'd remembered they often honored customer requests for this dish during a brief period a couple years ago when they'd taken it off the menu. However, we were told they weren't able to do that, because they did not have all the ingredients required... Read more →


Are you familiar with the hot -- literally hot -- new trend in pizza...custom-created, oven-fired pizza that cooks in just minutes? Well now there's a chain that offers this option to its gluten free guests, too. Yep. Pie Five Pizza Co, with locations in 7 states, lets you choose your crust (gluten free), your sauce, your toppings...and voila...you have your own mouthwatering pizza! If you don't live in one of the 7 states where Pie Five Pizza is currently located (Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia), you may still be in luck. They have locations in Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma "coming soon." Best of all, Pie Five Pizza's gluten free crust is made from ancient grains including teff, amaranth, and sorghum flours so the pizza isn't just gluten free...it's nutritionally superior, with more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than most other gluten free pizzas. Almost all their toppings for the pizzas are gluten free, with the exception of meatballs and Alfredo sauce, and salads can be made in to-go bowls, as opposed to their usual bread bowls (all salad makings are gluten free, too, except the Caesar dressing). Although their restaurants are not dediated gluten free... Read more →