Gluten Free Restaurants

This is a long overdue post to rave about one of the best gluten free dining experiences we've had in a long time. I know...none of us did much in the way of dining out for way too long during the height of the pandemic. But still, I'd put Nebo Cucina & Enoteca up against any gluten free dining experience in any big city. It was that memorable. Another reason it was memorable was because it was not just a meal, but rather a party to celebrate my mother-in-law's 80th Birthday. She didn't want to be involved in the planning, per se, preferring things to be a surprise, but she did request it be held in Boston, which is where she grew up. And, of course, we wanted to find a venue that was very "gluten free friendly," if not completely gluten free, as my mother-in-law (and my son and my sister-in-law) are all Celiac. We wanted my mother-in-law and the other GF folks to be able to eat everything we ordered, without having to "miss out" on anything served. Ideally, we had hoped to avoid chain restaurants and to find a great Italian restaurant, because who doesn't love an... Read more →


Hello again after a long hiatus from posting. Now that our world has "opened up" to dining out again after the worst of the pandemic, I hope to regale you with more dining and travel profiles. This summer, our family didn't do any big trips. However, our younger son (who was diagnosed with Celiac over 17 years ago before he was even two years old and is the inspiration behind my Blog) made many trips down to Harrisonburg, Virginia from our home in northern Virginia. His girlfriend lives down there, and she and her family were always so gracious about finding spots where Ryan could safely eat. So here is the post I begged him to write, complete with all his recommendations. And please, if you know of any gluten free folks in Harrisonburg -- especially students at James Madison University -- send them a link to this post! Now I'll turn you over to Ryan... This summer I spent a good amount of time down in Harrisonburg, Virginia visiting my girlfriend. While there, she and I found a surprisingly large selection of gluten free friendly restaurants. While Harrisonburg is a small city, they offer all of the major chains... Read more →


I realize it’s been some time since I’ve posted. But like most of you, our family has radically limited our travel since the pandemic began. However, to wrap up our summer before taking our boys to college, we planned a 5-night trip out to the San Diego area and stayed at the historic Hotel Del Coronado. Also known as "The Hotel Del" or just "The Del," it sits across the San Diego Bay from San Diego in the town of Coronado, on a strip of shoreline that's part of a narrow peninsula, easily accessible from San Diego by bridge or ferry. While I typically expect that resorts of this caliber will have plenty of gluten free options on the menus (and have them well labeled), that isn’t always the case based on our travel experiences. However, we were beyond impressed with how the Hotel Del goes the extra mile to make dining a relaxed and low-stress experience for anyone needing or opting for a gluten free diet. Gluten Free Notations on the Menus Make Dining Easy. From the first night, when we dined al fresco at Serea, right in the heart of the resort, we were greeted with an impressive... Read more →


Like many of you, our family has been trying to support both independent local restaurants -- as well as our favorite restaurant chains -- during the pandemic. Obviously, as in most areas of the country, we don't have the option of dining out restaurants right now. But after a couple weeks of exclusively cooking at home, we longed for some of our favorite restaurant dishes and felt the risk of virus "contamination" from takeout food was low, based on the reports we were hearing. While we are still preparing most of our dinners ourselves, as we've always done, we try to get takeout 1-2 times per week in order to give business to all the places we know and love -- and who have served our gluten free community so well over the years. We want to do what we can to help them stay in business during these challenging times. Restaurant ownership is a tough business, even without a pandemic to navigate around! Perhaps some of you have been shying away from takeout if you deem it too risky. That's certainly an individual decision, and I encourage you to stick to what's within your comfort zone. Perhaps another way... Read more →


Our family is lucky to have some good options in the Washington, DC metro area when it comes to gluten free dining. Whether we're venturing into DC for a show, game, or a day at museums -- or staying closer to home out in the Virginia suburbs -- there are a good number restaurant chains, as well as many independent restaurants, that "get it" when it comes to preparing delicious and safe gluten free meals. Not Your Average Joe's is one such restaurant chain (with locations in 8 states) that we've relied on over the years. We hadn't been there for a while, so we chose it for my mom's birthday celebration last weekend. The challenge is always finding someplace that pleases adults and teenagers...and where our son can have some interesting choices from a well-thought-out gluten free menu. Not Your Average Joe's, as the name would suggest, meets those criteria. Nothing is average or bland here. Their menu is huge, and you'll find there are tons of gluten free options, listed under their "Fit-For-You" part of the menu, which denotes gluten free, vegetarian, kept, paleo, vegan, and "Signature Joe" items. (When you click on their Menu page, you first... Read more →


Our school system always gives kids a 4-day weekend in late October/early November at the end of the first quarter, and it affords families a nice opportunity to take a short trip when other areas of the country aren't on break. Therefore, you can travel at an off time when you can enjoy fewer crowds and better prices, no matter where you go! Our son, a junior in high school, wanted to visit the Georgia Tech campus, so this gave us an excuse to visit Atlanta -- a town we hadn't traveled to in 20 years. It was great visiting in early November, when the weather is a bit cooler! We stayed with some good friends in the area and also got to visit relatives. Of course, we managed to squeeze in some sightseeing, scooter riding, and wonderful gluten free meals, to boot! Within an hour of landing and renting a car, we stopped at Hell Yeah Gluten Free Bakery, near Inman Park. It's a good thing we swung by here when we did (just before lunchtime), as they were already running out of some of their more popular items. Their specialty is fresh-made donuts, so we got an assortment... Read more →


For the first time in years, our family visited The Melting Pot to celebrate my Birthday a couple weeks ago. It was my choice as a venue...I wanted to go someplace festive -- and that we hadn't been for some time. I'm a big fondue fan, and the place has somewhat of a relaxed and celebratory feel to it. We knew they offered plenty of gluten free choices, but we brought our own gluten free bread for our Celiac son to dip in the cheese fondue appetizer -- and a gluten free brownie for dipping in the chocolate dessert fondue. We had remembered that when we had been there years ago, they only had veggies and apples for gluten free folks to dip in the cheese fondue...and fruit and marshmallows for the chocolate fondue. Well, we were pleasantly surprised to find out when we arrived that our "supplemental" food we had brought wasn't even needed. At some point since our last visit many years ago, they added gluten free bread for their GF patrons to dip into the cheese fondue -- as well as gluten free chocolate brownies and pound cake for the dessert fondue. The Melting Pot locations are... Read more →


We are now well over a decade into the gluten free awakening in our country. By "awakening" I mean when "gluten free" became part of our lexicon, and more people became aware of gluten's affects on individuals with Celiac and gluten sensitivity. Whether you were one of those getting a diagnosis -- or if it was a family member or friend -- "gluten free" was something that was now on your radar. And of course, there have also been plenty of people who have chosen to adopt a gluten free diet, for various other reasons. The point is, the demand for gluten free meals has really taken off over the past decade, and many restaurants have worked hard to help those with Celiac and gluten sensitivity enjoy a safe and thoughtfully prepared meal. Of course, we all know that other restaurants have simply "hopped on the bandwagon" for business reasons, slapping "GF" notations on menu items without much regard for the proper training of "front of house" staff (servers, managers) and "back of house" staff (kitchen). That is a continual challenge for those of us dining out. The more research you can do about a restaurant before setting foot in... Read more →


Pie Five Pizza has been on a tear...opening new locations at a fast clip all over the country. In fact, this "fast casual" concept now has about 300 locations across 20 states...and is expanding into at least 4 other states. This is a big deal because now they have not one, but two, choices for gluten free pizza crust! So perhaps you'll want to see if there's a location near where you live...or where you might be traveling. Their "original" gluten free crust, launched years ago, is particularly unique. First, it's homemade, which you don't find at many places. Secondly, it's made from ancient grains, so it has a nutritionally superior profile versus most gluten free pizza crusts. Pie Five combines teff, amaranth, and sorghum flours which deliver vitamins, minerals, fiber, and great taste! And finally, Pie Five's pizzas are ready in just five minutes (thus the name "Pie Five"...). Quality has always been a huge focus with Pie Five. They use homemade, all natural, preservative-free tomato sauce, sausage without antibiotics or hormones, and other high-quality toppings, almost all of which are gluten free. Back in April, after introducing a "limited time" pizza crust made from a blend of cauliflower... Read more →


Our son has been gluten free for over 12 years now, after a diagnosis with Celiac Disease in April 2005. We have dined out considerably since then...and traveled extensively in the U.S. and to many major European cities. There have been ups and downs along the way -- both pleasant surprises and occasional disappointments. I've written in the past about the Top 10 Mistakes Restaurants Make When Trying to Provide Gluten Free Meals. Don't get me wrong...even as the founder of GlutenFreeTravelSite and the Dine Gluten Free mobile app -- along with this Blog -- I'm actually not particularly hard on restaurants that at least make an effort to serve our gluten free community. And frankly, our 14-year-old son is pretty easy to please as well. As long as there are a few options on a menu -- and they are prepared safely and with optimal taste in mind -- we are happy. At this age, he is content with a juicy steak, a burger on a decent gluten free bun, simply prepared gluten free pasta, most gluten free pizzas, and any chocolate dessert that can claim it's gluten free! My Top 10 listing from months ago hits on how... Read more →


Let me start by saying that dining at Il Canale Italian restaurant in Georgetown made me feel like I was back in Italy, where our family had the opportunity to travel last summer. Part of the reason for this is that they are known for their authentic Neapolitan-style thin crust pizza, cooked in a wood-fired oven imported from Italy. It's also got that lively vibe and friendly service you find at Italian trattorias. Add to that other tradtional Italian specialties on their menu -- fresh and just like you'd find in Italy -- and you've got all the makings of a great night out! To be clear, Il Canale does not offer gluten free Neapolitan-style pizza (at least not cooked in the wood-fired oven, due to cross contamination concerns). But they use an Udi's non-GMO gluten free pizza crust as a base for all their wonderful toppings like fresh Buffalo mozzarella, basil, prosciutto, olives, and more. Then they cook it in a separate conventional oven, so there's no worry about cross contamination if you have Celiac. Il Canale also offers gluten free pasta, an organic variety imported from Italy and made from a blend of rice and corn flour. All... Read more →


For over 12 years, Picazzo's Healthy Italian Kitchen, with 5 locations in Arizona has been continuously raising the bar for high quality dining, especially for those that are gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. Year after year, they have added new menu items that combine healthy ingredients, new flavor combinations, and interesting takes on traditional favorites. Most of all, they continue to deliver on quality and TASTE. My secret wish is that Picazzo's would expand nationwide. We need one of these restaurants in every neighborhood! In the meantime, it's worth a visit to Arizona just to dine at Picazzo's (for every meal of your stay -- after all, with all their tempting menu items, you'd never get bored!). Here are 10 Things to LOVE About Picazzo's: 1.) They're the New Times "Best of Phoenix" Readers's Choice Winner for Best Gluten Free Restaurant in 2015 and 2016. Take it from your fellow gluten free diners...this place is awesome! 2.) Their ENTIRE MENU, full of starters (like the Caprese salad with homemade GF focaccia and pesto above), soups, salads, entrees, pizza, and pastas is GLUTEN FREE, with the exception of 2 of their pizza crust options (Organic Original and Organic Whole Grain). But... Read more →