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Gluten Free in USA

From the big cities of New York and Los Angeles, to the beaches of Florida and everything in between. It is no surprise that so many people visit the USA each year. However, where can you eat Gluten Free when travelling across the country? Find previous recommendations here and do share your own as well.

Click on one of the more popular locations or search for where you want to go or what you want to eat. Alternatively, use our Map to find all Gluten Free locations near you!

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S'MAC
East Village, New York City (NYC) View On Map
Sarita's Mac and Cheese (or S'MAC for short) is a chain of mac and cheese restaurants that also caters to the gluten-free crowd. But what makes this place unusual, compared to the hordes of restaurants that claim to cater "gluten-free" , is that this place is actually coeliac friendly. A lot of restaurants with a gluten-free menu will either specifically say they are not suitable for coeliacs, or make such a vague and ambiguous statement that you aren't sure whether to trust them or not. But S'MAC is as safe as you can get. The owner wanted to make a place that would welcome everyone regardless of allergies, but during the process of tasting and developing her recipes, developed gluten intolerance as well! The East Village branch was pretty trendy, catering to a fairly young crowd. There were some carefully calculated bare brick walls, with brand new light fittings but the place still retained a kind of "run-down diner" feel, while remaining new and clean. Every type of mac and cheese they serve is available with gluten-free macaroni, so the choice isn't restricted at all.

Oh this was so delicious! The smallest size was plenty big enough for lunch and it tasted so wonderfully indulgent. I was really keen on the use of figs, which provided a surprising sweetness that worked well with the other ingredients. The only downside is the $1.50 supplement for the gluten-free pasta. This seems to be far more common in the US than over here, where I guess gluten-free is seen as more of a "lifestyle" than a medical necessity.

I enjoyed S'MAC so much that I went back with my friend and got a "take and bake" - where they prepare it for you and you bake it at home. Unfortunately they had put the wrong labels on the boxes, which my friend noticed because the gluten-free pasta is a slightly different colour. It just goes to show that even in a "safe" place, you must always be vigilant.

Overall, S'MAC is a "must try" place for any coeliac visiting New York. It isn't fine dining, but it is delicious, informal, quick, easy and oh so comforting!
Recommended By: @TheHappyCoeliac / thehappycoeliac.com On: 2013-06-02


Tu-Lu's Bakery
East Village, New York City (NYC) View On Map
Tu-Lu's Gluten-free Bakery is the one place you can let your guard down. The entire bakery is, as the name suggests, gluten-free and they bake everything right on the premises. Situated in the East Village, like many commercial properties in New York, it's pretty tiny, so it's good to know there is at least no stray gluten lurking. It's difficult to review a bakery really since service doesn't really come into it and it relies on you sampling the entire menu. Ahem. Which I DIDN'T do, I hasten to add. So I picked the cinnamon sugar doughnut, which was also dairy-free and then I asked what was most popular amongst the customers. The man replied without hesitation, "The red velvet cupcakes". So I bought one of those for good measure. I was the only customer in at the time, so I sat down to savour my baked goods. Although no one else sat down, there was a steady stream of customers coming in and out, and a lot of regulars, it seemed. I was glad it is doing well, since it's a safe haven for coeliacs.

On to The Doughnut. My first since diagnosis and it was wonderful! I can't tell you how much I miss doughnuts these days. But these were freshly baked, lightly spiced, not too sweet and just melt-in-your-mouth yumtastic. I ate the whole thing. I soon realised that I should have sampled a little bit of both because I started to get quite full, but I went on to the red velvet cupcake, lovingly dolloped with an American-sized portion of cream cheese frosting. I can honestly see why it's so popular! Words can't describe, the cupcake was moist and dense, the frosting was creamy with a tangy kick. Even in my state of sugar-crazed delirium, I could only manage half so stowed it away in its box for safe keeping.

Tu-lu's is a must visit for any coeliac or gluten-intolerant visitor to New York. Go there and gorge! It's not cheap, but you will find a premium on most gluten-free items in this city, so suck it up and look at it as an investment.
Recommended By: @TheHappyCoeliac / thehappycoeliac.com On: 2013-06-02


Lilli and Loo
Lexington Avenue, New York City (NYC) View On Map
Lilli and Loo describes itself as "Chinese Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar" and came highly recommended to me by my friend, who I was staying with. The main reason being that it also advertises a gluten-free menu with over 30 items available! Win! It is on Lexington Avenue, a short walk from the south east corner of Central Park, making it the ideal place for hungry gluten-free tourists. Their gluten-free credentials are good, and their reputation for being coeliac friendly is the reason I went there in the first place!

When I first went I cut a lonely figure, eating for one, but when I asked for the gluten-free menu I soon realised that it was probably just as well nobody but strangers would see me make a pig out of myself. Their gluten-free choices are extremely varied and include fried things that are normally off limits - crispy General Tso's chicken, dumplings, sushi with tempura, spring rolls.

To start with I had the pan fried pork dumplings. These were absolutely delicious, although a little different to how regular dumplings are. There was definitely a glutinous texture to them, but they were crispy and chewy at the same time, and came with a tamari-based dipping sauce. After devouring the dumplings I was feeling rather full, but still my plate of crispy General Tso's chicken arrived. We don't really see this dish a lot in the UK, but it is battered and fried chicken pieces smothered in a sort of sweet sauce.

After the first visit, I returned with my friend, dragging her to the Upper East side while I lived out my dumpling fantasies once more. This time I ordered sushi for my main - with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna and avocado, topped with basil. It came very impressively laid out. This was delicious, and very freshly prepared. I wasn't so keen on the basil flavours, so I awkwardly peeled the leaves off. The waitress made a point of telling me that the soy sauce in the little pot was also gluten-free. After a large starter and main, it was all I could do not to try dessert. I mean, they had real gluten-free desserts! I chose the pecan pie. This may be one of the better life decisions I have made, because it was better than any gluten-containing pie I've had as well! The pastry was light, but not bland, and the insides were sweet and nutty.

Overall there isn't much bad to say about Lilli and Loo. The food is delicious. It's not cheap, but not eye-wateringly expensive. The knowledge of gluten-free food is absolutely great, although the servers can be a little surly. For a coeliac in New York City, it's absolutely unmissable.
Recommended By: @TheHappyCoeliac / thehappycoeliac.com On: 2013-06-02


Risotteria
West Village, New York City (NYC) View On Map
When I asked for gluten-free recommendations in New York, Risotteria, situated in the West Village, was the name on everyone's lips. It has become so famous throughout the coeliac community and beyond, that I read tales of lines around the block at lunchtime, and having to wait an hour for a table (they don't do reservations). With that in mind, I decided to go at midday, opening time, figuring at least the queues wouldn't be THAT long. In the end, we were seated immediately, and I could see why the waits were so long; there was only room for about 20 diners altogether. It's in another of New York teeny tiny spaces, spaces that make my small London flat look roomy.

As might be expected, the menu is largely made up of risottos, all sounding absolutely delicious. The difference between this and other italian restaurants is that almost everything on the menu is gluten-free. Some of the menu is not. But this is a restaurant that is safe and switched on when it comes to cross contamination and general understanding of gluten-free.

I generally don't order risotto when I'm out as I feel I can make it perfectly well at home, but the varieties of rice and delicious combinations of ingredients tempted me away from pizza on this occasion. I chose the italian sausage and portobello mushroom risotto with carnaroli rice. While we were waiting, gluten-free breadsticks appeared as if by magic. Surprisingly the breadsticks were chewy, not crispy, not unlike a soft pretzel. Mmm, I could have gone for some more of those! My risotto was everything I could have hoped for, and made me keenly aware of my own risotto-related shortcomings. The Italian sausage was delicious and the portobello mushrooms were great, as portbello mushrooms always are. The worst part of the meal was feeling too full for dessert. And it being my last day in New York, I had somewhat run out of money. Oh well :) I loved their dessert menu though. Risotteria is another stop on the "must visit" gluten-free tour of New York. It's safe, the staff are friendly and set in the very trendy West Village there is plenty to do in the area.
Recommended By: @TheHappyCoeliac / thehappycoeliac.com On: 2013-06-02



Samovar Tea Lounge
San Francisco, California (CA) View On Map
Samovar Tea Lounge is a lovely spot in San Francisco. Samovar is the perfect cozy spot to bring a book or take a break after a long day of walking around town. Their selection of teas is heavenly, each with a unique description, and the servers are more than helpful when it comes to asking for advice about what to order. What's even more delightful? Samovar features some allergy-friendly and gluten-free items on their menu. These items are clearly marked "gf" for gluten free and "v" for vegan next to the items.

For breakfast, their gluten-free ginger and quinoa waffles are delicious - the vanilla palm nectar is a wonderful surprise. Try the Mini Moorish platter if you're looking for an allergy-friendly sampling snack; it consists of edamame hummus, roasted eggplant and more. For lunch or dinner, all three of their current salads and all three of their current rice bowls are gluten-free! The Tea Soup and Jook bowls can be made dairy- and egg-free and the baked tempeh salad can also be made dairy- and egg-free. The grilled tempeh sandwich can be made dairy- and egg-free, but sadly, none of their sandwiches are gluten-free.
Recommended By: @PlateItSafe / plateitsafe.com On: 2013-05-29


Urban Picnic
San Francisco, California (CA) View On Map
Of the many spots off Union Square in the Financial District of San Francisco, more and more are opening up and more and more are offering menus that cater to those with food allergies or gluten intolerance. I stumbled upon Urban Picnic one day and it has become a favorite lunch spot of mine when it comes to allergy-friendly and gluten-free menu items.

Urban Picnic calls itself a "California Asian Eatery" serving pho, rice bowls, salads and much more. It's the perfect place for to-go, sit-in or group / office bulk orders. While there are fish, tree nuts and peanuts noted on the menu, I personally have not had an issue with the way my dishes have been prepared. Urban Picnic notes cute little icons for gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, superfood(!) and nut/seeds. So, if you're gluten free, you'd just scan for all the items noted with a "GF" icon. You can expect to find a lot!

Their fresh pressed juices and gluten-free desserts are total hidden gems of the restaurant. While they're noticeable, they're not the star. But trust! You must try whatever juice they have for the day. My recent jaunt had me drinking cantaloupe watermelon juice. And my dessert was a gluten-free banana walnut cookie. Really enhanced that day's lunch!
Recommended By: @PlateItSafe / plateitsafe.com On: 2013-05-29


Banker's Hill Bar and Restaurant
San Diego, California (CA) View On Map
I was very surprised upon walking in by the decor. "Banker's Hill" as a neighborhood sounds stuffy and pretentious to me and for that reason I expected the restaurant to have a similar stodgy feeling. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was around 6:45pm when we arrived and the restaurant was buzzing with activity; we were lucky to get a seat at the community table! We ordered a few dishes to share, beginning with the Chili Marinated Shrimp Skewers and Local Strawberry Salad. The shrimp skewers were well spiced and served alongside corn tortilla chips and guacamole. The strawberry salad was divine; sitting on a corner of the plate was a delicious cylinder of goat cheese which we wasted no time in dipping our forks into. For our entrees we ordered the Snapper. We both agreed that the corn tamale was perfectly prepared and that the braised tomatillo added great flavor to the dish. The service was great, the ambiance was perfect, and, most importantly, the food was delicious. Just as importantly, of course, was the server's knowledge about which dishes were and were not gluten free (or possibly made to be gluten free). I'll definitely be back.
Recommended By: @glutenfreeways / glutenfreeways.com On: 2013-05-25


Whisknladle
San Diego, California (CA) View On Map
I dove right into the menu after ordering my drink, knowing that I'd likely be ordering a full meal since. I asked the waitress to guide me through some of the gluten free options and she said that most everything could be altered to be gluten free, with some dishes requiring more alterations than others. I had looked at the menu during work so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to order and was glad to hear my hunger wouldn't be stifled by gluten issues.

I began with the Whisknladle Caesar without croutons and it was awesome. It was a pretty plain salad, with long shears of romaine lettuce sprinkled with parmesan cheese. While I know it wasn't the most exciting appetizer on the menu it was executed perfectly; I've had enough experiences to know that while a Caesar salad is a common menu item it isn't always prepared as well as Whisknladle's.

For my entree I went with the scallops prepared "a la plancha." The order was still delicious, with the scallops coming buried beneath a pile of crows pass spinach. I wasn't familiar with that type of spinach but it was very similar to an arugula in its size and texture. The pine nuts added a nice touch to the dish, but the focus was on the five scallops, all of which were grilled to perfection.

I ended the meal with the chocolate mousse. I'll definitely visit Whisknladle again. Our waitress was super helpful, the food was delicious, the ambiance was great, and the location near the La Jolla Cove makes for some nice walking before and after dinner.
Recommended By: @glutenfreeways / glutenfreeways.com On: 2013-05-25



The Mission Restaurant
San Diego, California (CA) View On Map
This morning I visited The Mission, a brunch hot spot in Mission Beach which normally comes with an hour plus wait. After picking up some coffee (and summer fruit passion tea for me) we had . The restaurant has a pretty big gluten free menu and the waitress was helpful with choosing my breakfast dish. Ultimately I went with the Plata Verde con Huevos as it most closely approximated my normal brunch order of huevos rancheros. They were delicious, definitely different than huevos rancheros with the flavor of the sweet corn tamales and roasted tomatillo sauce. I enjoyed the food but was a little thrown off by the ambiance. All in all, I'd visit again, particularly because of its awesome location steps away from the beach. The restaurant also has locations in North Park and the East Village which may bring in a different clientele.
Recommended By: @glutenfreeways / glutenfreeways.com On: 2013-05-25


TOAST Enoteca & Cucina
San Diego, California (CA) View On Map
Recently I was invited to visit Toast Enoteca and Cucina to sample the restaurant's gluten free menu. Regardless of the restaurant's neighborhood the restaurant itself was friendly and welcoming. I was a bit late so I joined my friend at our table and noticed she had an iPad. I joked that she brought her own in case she got bored when it was the restaurant's method of displaying its wine menu. I asked the waitress about the rationale behind the iPad and she explained that the restaurant introduces new bottles of wine so frequently it made more sense to have them displayed on an iPad rather than having to often reprint paper menus.

Moving on to the real reason you're here: the gluten free options. The waitress was helpful in explaining the gluten free options and the menu in some cases speaks for itself, with markings alongside options that can be made gluten free (and/or vegetarian). I ordered gluten free spaghetti with diavola sauce, my friend ordered a gluten free Verde Bianco e Rosso pizza and we decided to split an order of roasted cauliflower with cheese in a tomato sauce. All of the restaurant's gluten free options like the pizza crust and spaghetti are made in house; later on in our meal the manager came over and told us that the restaurant often changes up its gluten free pasta offering, including ravioli, fettuccine, and ravioli.

While we sipped our wine and caught up the cauliflower was delivered to our table. It was dripping in a thin tomato broth and delicately covered with melted cheese. In a word: delicious. It wasn't too heavy nor too light as the beginning of our meal. Our entrees were similarly excellent. The diavola sauce had a great kick to it and the pasta had a texture that closely paralleled the taste of real pasta, not a simple task. The pizza was similarly great and definitely a great item to share. All in all, Toast was a definite success: the service was great, the food was delicious, and the wine flows freely from the various wine taps. While it may not be in the most bumpin' area of town I would definitely recommend it to anybody looking for gluten free Italian options.
Recommended By: @glutenfreeways / glutenfreeways.com On: 2013-05-25


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