GF 101: Seven Ways to Find Great Gluten Free Restaurants

You've seen a doctor. You've learned how to figure out what is (and is not) gluten free. You're cooking up a storm, and feeling great to boot.

But some evenings, you just want to kick back and let someone else do the cooking. Where do you start?

Later on, I'll talk about some techniques for ordering gluten-free, especially at places that don't have a gluten free menu. But the first step is really about getting comfortable with eating out while on a gluten free diet. And sometimes you just don't have the time or energy to double check every single thing. Never fear! There are restaurants where you can eat safely, where all you have to do is say "I'm gluten free" and the staff will do their best to make you feel safe.

Here's how to find them:

1. Triumph Dining

  • Lists restaurants by state, then by city. 
  • Includes restaurant contact numbers and addresses
  • My favorite part: includes tips for gluten free diners on what to expect or special ordering instructions

2. Find Me Gluten Free

  • Searchable by city, state, and by your location
  • Includes restaurant contact information and websites
  • Includes gluten free menu items 
  • Allows users to record ratings and reviews

3. Gluten Free Registry

  • Searchable by city and state
  • Includes websites and addresses
  • Includes gluten free menu features
  • Allows users to record ratings and reviews

4. Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG)

  • Searchable by state or zip code
  • Doesn't list as many options, because restaurants must participate in GIG's education program to be listed

5. Blogs!  Gluten Free Traveller, Celiac Chicks, and Gluten Free in SLC, to name three I routinely use.

  • These are usually a review of the author's experience at specific restaurants. I love to read what people really think about the restaurant, wait staff, and most importantly, the food!

6. Restaurant Review Sites, like Yelp and Urbanspoon

  • You can search "gluten free" on these...sometimes it's great and sometimes not.
  • When you're lucky, lots of people will have described their gluten free experiences in the reviews.
  • Sometimes the restaurant description will include the terms "gluten free friendly" or "allergy friendly"

7. Your own really, hear me out!

  • One of the ways I've discovered some great gluten free restaurants is by doing my own research, and I uncovered great places that weren't listed on any of the six resources above. 
  • The simplest technique is to google or bing "gluten free restaurant near ______." 
  • The other way is to settle down with a restaurant guide (you know, the kind designed for tourists in your area) and call, email, or visit the website of While this is certainly time consuming, I've especially liked using this technique to find "fancy" restaurants for special occasions.

Once you've found your restaurant, you're not off the hook. You still need to ask for the gluten free menu (if the restaurant has one) and remind the server you need to eat gluten free. I'll talk about ways to do this soon, but to get you started, consider getting a restaurant card to help you along. There's a free app for them in the Apple store, or you can buy some here.

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