Top Gluten Free Cities

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 →

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 →

If you're an American looking for a fun international travel destination -- where there's no language barrier (except for the great accents!) -- and where maintaining a gluten free diet is relatively easy, you'll want to consider London. As our Featured Reviewer on GlutenFreeTravelSite this month will attest, shopping for gluten free grocery items is easy (items are well-labeled so you can readily tell what's gluten free). And dining out during her recent trip to London over New Year's went even better than Aimee anticipated. She found that many restaurants had Gluten Free Menus, and others were knowledgeable and able to communicate exactly which menu items were safe too eat -- and tailor certain offerings to make them gluten free, if needed. Aimee shares three of her favorite "gluten free friendly" restaurant discoveries in our Featured Review this month, starting with an elegant restaurant between Chelsea and South Kensington (and not far from great shopping in Knightsbridge or on King's Road). Whether you dine there for lunch or dinner, you'll find the wait staff friendly and their knowledge of gluten free options impressive. Aimee enjoyed a perfect Italian dinner consisting of a wonderful endive, pear and Gorgonzola salad, followed by... 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 →

You may remember that each year GlutenFreeTravelSite anoints one particular location with the title of "World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination." It's based on the number of reviews GlutenFreeTravelSite receives for each geographic area over the previous year. This year, we're happy to announce that the state of Pennsylvania received top honors. This is due in large part to the many, many Philadelphia-area restaurants that have undergone training through the GREAT Kitchens program run by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The GREAT Kitchens program was created to rigorously train restaurants and their staff in the safe preparation of gluten free meals. The NFCA program provides a "Train the Trainer" course for chefs and food service managers, which gives them the knowledge and tools to educate their entire kitchen staff on safe gluten-free food handling. You will find many GREAT Kitchens trained restaurants within the Pennsylvania section of our site. To search more specifically by zip code, town, or city (i.e. Philadelphia) for GREAT Kitchens restaurants and other reviews, simply enter a town or zip at the top of our Search Reviews page. You'll find reviews from many other areas of Pennsylvania as well. And if you're interested in reading about the... Read more →

Our "Gluten Free in College" Blogger Julie Bourne joins us this month with a report on the gluten free dining scene in Rome, where she is studying abroad for the semester. Though it seems like I just left Seattle yesterday, I have already been in Rome for nearly a month. Where has the time gone? I now truly understand what people mean when they tell me to “savor every moment” of my abroad experience since it will be over before I know it. I like to think that I’m taking advantage of every day here. I can certainly assure you that I’m taking advantage of the plethora of gluten free foods available! It is a common misconception that Italy -- being the decreed land of pasta and pizza -- would be a miserable place for gluten free eaters, let alone those of us with full blown Celiac Disease. Quite the opposite is true: Italy happens to be one of the best options for gluten free travelers due to the prevalence and general awareness of Celiac Disease throughout the country. Before the age of seven, Italians are tested for a variety of diseases and allergies (Celiac Disease included), so nearly everyone... Read more →

Whether you've been gluten free for a long time -- or are newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity -- you'll likely agree that maintaining vigilance when dining out and traveling can be a real challenge. You never know what level of gluten free savviness you'll encounter at restaurants, stores, and travel destinations. But there is one thing you can do to virtually ensure success...plan ahead. After tackling these challenges first-hand as the parent of a Celiac child -- and reading the thousands of gluten free dining and travel reviews submitted to our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, over the years -- I have a comprehensive "mental checklist" of sorts that I rely on when planning any trip. Recently I shared these 12 tips for gluten free travel success with The Daily Meal website. Some tips may be common sense and ones you yourself use, while others bear repeating. Check out the article and corresponding slideshow showcasing the 12 Ways to Eat Gluten-Free on the Road, and be sure to forward to your fellow GF friends or family members. For a more detailed explanation of these and other tips for successful gluten free dining and travel, you may want to refer to... Read more →

BLOG HOP, DAY 3: Yesterday, I recommended some top cities in the U.S. for gluten free travel. I touched on the Orlando area of Florida, noting how "gluten free friendly" Disney World and its parks, hotels, and resorts are. (To read peer reviews of Disney's restaurants from a GF perspective, enter Lake Beuna Vista into the search box on our Search/Mapping page of GlutenFreeTravelSite). In fact, whether you are a fan of "the mouse" or not, it's hard to argue with the fact that Disney World has become somewhat of the “gold standard” for “gluten-free friendly” travel destinations. They were early to embrace special dietary needs of all sorts, likely due to the rising prevalence of Celiac Disease, dietary intolerances, and allegies -- especially in children. They know that family travelers are their bread and butter, and no family destination wants kids to feel left out for any reason. So instead, they make kids (and adults) with special dietary needs feel like rock stars. Their attention to detail and desire to accommodate all diners has earned them an especially devoted following in the gluten-free community. When you dine at a sit-down restaurant at any of Disney World’s hotels, resorts, or... Read more →

BLOG HOP, DAY TWO: In this second installment of my Gluten Free Dining and Travel Series, I wanted to cover the subject of gluten free DOMESTIC travel opportunities. I'll be covering international locales in another post. When it comes to locations in the U.S. that afford gluten free travelers plenty of safe dining options, there's no better place to start than our annual contest winners. Each year, GlutenFreeTravelSite awards one particular location the title of “World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination.” The contest recognizes locations that offer a wide range of dining choices for people following gluten-free diets. The results are determined by tallying the number of user-submitted dining and travel reviews received throughout the year for each location on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Here's what I'd recommend if you want to if you want a true "vacation from worry." These destinations have so many GF dining options, you'll want to extend your trip! 2008 Winner: New York Not surprisingly, New York was the winner in the first year of our contest. New York -- especially Manhattan -- is a great place to visit if you have Celiac Disease. Awareness is good, and restaurants are eager to cater to the increasing number of local and... Read more →

As some of you may remember, each January we tally the prior year's gluten-free dining and travel reviews submitted to our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite. We then name the location with the most reviews from the prior year the "World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination." In 2009, when we first started the contest, the winner came as no surprise: New York. As most of us know -- whether we've visited the Big Apple or not -- New York City is fast to embrace food trends, although using that word sometimes makes me shudder, since we all know that gluten-free diets are not a choice -- and a lot more than a "trend" -- for many of us. Nonetheless, New York City was among the first cities to give gluten-free diners dozens of safe restaurant options. Many of these restaurants are NON-chain restaurants...independent, neighborhood restaurants who may have initially been motivated to create gluten-free choices (and safe practices) for a family member, employee, or regular customer who was suddenly diagnosed with Celiac. In the contest's second year, Florida was bestowed with the honor, due to the Disney theme parks and resorts -- and the surrounding Orlando area -- emerging as a gluten-free diner's magical paradise.... Read more →

GlutenFreeTravelSite, our sister website, today announced that the Washington, DC area, which includes its Maryland and Virginia suburbs, is this year's winner of our “World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination” contest. Now in its third year, this contest recognizes locations that offer a wide range of dining choices for people following gluten-free diets. New York was the winner the first year, and Florida was the winning destination last year, due in large part to how accommodating Disney World and the surrounding Orlando area are to gluten-free guests. Each year, the results are determined by tallying the number of user-submitted dining and travel reviews received throughout the year for each location on GlutenFreeTravelSite. The Washington DC metro area had a particularly impressive showing over the past year. GlutenFreeTravelSite benefits from a close relationship with the DC Celiacs support group, and many of its members have contributed to the site by providing personal, detailed feedback on DC-area restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. Reviews of many independent restaurants as well as chain restaurants offering gluten-free menus give residents of and visitors to the D.C. area a wide a range of “safe” choices. “Many cities in the DC area, like Bethesda and McLean, offer numerous gluten-free... Read more →