Independent Restaurants

Last week we had the good fortune to dine at Rasika, a popular restaurant in the "Penn Quarter" area of Washington, DC...just blocks from the Verizon Center, where we were going to see an NHL hockey game with our hockey-playing sons. We'd heard a lot about the restaurant -- and the buzz was that it was very gluten-free friendly. Not surprising, since most Indian restaurants don't use many gluten-containing ingredients in their preparations. It's hard to get a table here...most people have to make reservations well in advance. However, when I called (rather last minute) to inquire about getting a table, I was told that they keep the tables across from the bar open for walk-ins. How nice...I wish more places would do this. Otherwise, it can take weeks to get reservations at popular spots like Rasika. Although they don't have any information about gluten free options on their website, they assured me when I called that almost every item on the menu is gluten free, with a few exceptions. When we arrived (early) and secured a table, our server was most helpful and friendly. He pointed out the few items that would be off-limits due to gluten. This really... Read more →


Pittsburgh sometimes gets a bad rap. Our family, however, loves visiting this city (which says a lot, given that our trips there are always for hockey tournaments in the dead of winter!). We like visiting because there are a lot of fun things to do between hockey games (the Carnegie Science Center and adjacent Highmark SportsWorks complex are always a hit with kids and adults!), and there are some really great places for gluten free meals (and gluten free baked goods!). Each time we're in Pittsburgh, Gluuteny is HIGH on our priority list (just don't make the mistake of planning your visit for a Monday...we did that last year, only to find out that's the one day they're closed!). Gluuteny is a completely gluten free, dairy free bakery. While our Celiac son does not need to be dairy free (and sometimes we're not crazy about the taste of dairy free baked goods), this place nails it in terms of flavor and texture. All their baked goods -- and there are many -- are fantastic. Even the "buttercream" on their cupcakes (made with dairy free margarine) is wonderfully creamy and tasty. I had an almond cupcake with vanilla buttercream icing, while... Read more →


We're always adding helpful content, updating resources, and improving the functionality of GlutenFreeTravelSite and our free companion mobile app, Dine Gluten Free. But for those of you who haven't visited for a while -- or may not be aware of all the ways these valuable resources can help you DINE & TRAVEL gluten free more easily, we thought it might be time for a reminder... First Stop (if you need it): An Overview Under the RESOURCES tab within the navigation bar on our website, there's a section of the site called About Celiac & Gluten Sensitivity that contains 12 "chapters" of information that are helpful to both new and veteran gluten free folks. And if you have friends or family members that need to understand your diet better, send them a link to this page for answers to the questions they may have (sometimes it's easier when it comes from an impartial source!). Also, if you have a friend that suspects gluten may be adversely affecting their health, by all means, pass along this information to them. It could provide the spark that leads them to get tested. We've tried to make the explanations about Celiac, gluten sensitivity, and a... 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 →


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 →


Our family spent last weekend in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Presidents Cup ice hockey tournament with our younger son's Select hockey team. Despite the frigid weather, snow, and grey skies, we were reminded what a cool city this is -- and how many great "gluten-free friendly" places there are to eat. We visited some old favorites discovered on another trip to Pittsburgh a few years back...and also tried a few new places we'd found while researching places online prior to our trip. Our first stop -- literally upon arriving in town -- was Gluuteny bakery on Murray Avenue in the "Squirrel Hill" neighborhood. This gluten free, dairy free bakery is almost reason enough to visit Pittsburgh. We'd been there three years before, and we couldn't wait to go again. It just happened to be Valentine's Day, and I figured it could go one of two ways...either they'd have tons of stuff prepared for "last minute" shoppers, or they'd have sold out of most items by the time of our late afternoon arrival. Fortunately for us, there was a nice selection of items left, and let me tell you, we had a hard time choosing! So we pretty much bought one... Read more →


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... Read more →


As many of your know, this Gluten Free Travel Blog is an offshoot of our popular website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, which was launched over five years ago. I created the website so people would have an easy way to search for "gluten free friendly" places to dine wherever they were planning to travel -- in the U.S. and in other countries. But rather than just providing a name and address of a restaurant (or market, hotel/inn/resort, or bakery), I felt it was essential to include REVIEWS from gluten free folks who'd been there. After all, you want to know as much as you can about a place before dining there, right? For example, do they have a gluten free menu, items marked as GF on the regular menu, or a chef who is able to tailor many items on the menu to make them gluten free? Do they have a dedicated fryer for french fries, chicken wings, or other fried items? (If they make claims that their fried items are gluten free without having a dedicated fryer, you know to be extremely cautious about dining there in the first place!) Are they careful about avoiding cross contamination in other ways? Do they... Read more →


Photo courtesy of Pelican Hill Our family recently visited Southern California to visit my father for Father’s Day. When planning which “gluten free friendly” restaurants to dine at, we wanted to visit some “old favorites” as well try some new restaurants that had come highly recommended. One of those was the Pelican Grill at the incomparable Pelican Hill Resort, which was rated by Conde Naste Traveler as the World's Top-Rated Golf Resort in 2012. And it's no surprise...The Resort at Pelican Hill is hard to beat when it comes to beauty. In fact, when living in San Francisco years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to attend the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. If given the choice of where to play, I’d choose Pelican Hill. It’s that spectacular (although perhaps some avid golfers may have their own preferences!). Since we were dining with a group including children as well as adults, we opted for the Pelican Grill, as opposed to Andrea, the resort’s more formal signature restaurant, which offers a seasonal selection of hand-made, gluten-free pastas. Don’t get me wrong…Pelican Grill is still quite formal (for California, that is – there’s no jacket required) and the surroundings and... Read more →


Our family had the good fortune to travel to Whistler, British Columbia last month for our kids' Spring Break. It had been four years since Easter had fallen early enough to make a ski trip possible. Since their vacation was the last week in March this year, we knew that skiing out West -- especially as far north as British Columbia -- would be reliable. What a surprise it was to encounter temperatures in the 50's most of the week -- and in the 60's the last couple days! "No worries," as the many Aussies and Kiwis that work in and travel to Whistler would say...the skiing was still great. At least on the top two-thirds of the mountain (admittedly, the snow got a bit slushy at the base by the time the afternoon rolled around). Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, adjacent to each other and surrounding the quaint, European style Whistler Village, provide the largest amount of skiable terrain in North America. Several friends had recommended we try it out, and we were glad we did. We're big fans of Park City/Deer Valley, but it was nice to try skiing "north of the border" in Canada. The locals, seasonal workers,... Read more →


Our Celiac college blogger Julie Bourne, a student at University of Denver, goes "on the road" this month and shares her experience dining gluten free in Dallas, Texas, where she was pleasantly surprised by the range of gluten free dining options. I grew up visiting my extended family in Kentucky where my memories are flooded with biscuits fresh out of the oven, warm pies offered at every home, and the best fried chicken you could imagine. I haven’t been over to visit since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2010, but these memories surrounding nothing but glutenous foods of the United States' southern region would make any Celiac weary. While I cannot speak on behalf of Kentucky, I have been visiting my sister in Dallas, Texas for the last week or so and I have found this southern state to be significantly more gluten free friendly than I would have expected. As with any experience, dining out for two to three meals a day, there were some meals that were better than others (and some that sat with me better than others) but overall, I was very pleased to see such great variety of gluten free diners. It is... Read more →


Julie Bourne, our Gluten Free College Blogger, has returned from her semester studying in Rome and is now back at University of Denver. She shares with us her favorite spots for quick and inexpensive gluten free eats at restaurants and coffee shops around the University. She's reviewed all the places mentioned below in depth on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Simply click on the links below to be taken to her reviews. As my Rome experience has come to its inevitable close, I find myself back in Denver for my return to speaking in English and clocking in some time in class! While it’s been hard for me to get back into the swing of things after such a fantastic time abroad, I’m happier than I can say to be back to my familiar territory. As a busy student, I spend a lot of time studying in coffee shops, grabbing meals to eat on the go, and going out for inexpensive lunches with friends. In the past couple of weeks back in town, I’ve compiled a few new places that I can recommend to my fellow Denver gluten-free diners. As mentioned above, I spend almost an obscene amount of time huddled in cozy coffee... Read more →