Gluten — a protein found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley, and hybrids of these grains — has become a bone of contention in society today.
Several groups of people have benefitted by avoiding gluten in their diet. These include those with a wheat allergy, Celiac disease, and those with a gluten sensitivity. A possible solution is to stay away from gluten and find dietary alternatives to bread, pizza crusts, and pastries — common dishes with gluten.
Many gluten-free flours — such as those made from whole grains, seeds, and beans like quinoa, flax meal, and almond — have become readily available on the market and are sources of iron, calcium, and vitamin B — which are essential in a gluten-free diet.
What a relief that there are alternatives to our much-loved cereals, breads, crackers, and pastas. Exploring new foods and grains — including the likes of teff and buckwheat — creates the opportunity to expand our food choices and embrace the gluten-free lifestyle, if we so choose.
Here are 20 tried-and-tested restaurants to add to your gluten-free dining repertoire.
Tumerico’s mission is to help heal the community through food. One of their healing methods — especially for those sensitive to gluten — is their provision of abundant gluten-free options.
Let them know your restrictions when you walk in and they’ll recommend bold-flavored dishes to keep your body happy and healthy.
For more information, visit tumerico.com.
Beaut Burger —recently opened in the Mercado San Agustin has already impressed both the vegetarian community and Tucson locals.
Their vegan menu has delicious choices, such as their B7 — peanut butter tamarind chutney burger — and B8 — a frizzled onion, pickled poblano burger. A $2 charge gets you the gluten-free bun, but it’s house-baked and slow-fermented, so make good choices.
For more information, visit beautburger.com.
Owners of Calle Tepa describe the restaurant as a “passion project” — one that fuses cultural elements of Jalisco, Mexico with casual and aromatic food.
All but the enchiladas on the menu are gluten-free. You can also exchange any flour tortilla for a homemade corn one to accompany the meats, salads, and soups, where applicable.
For more information, visit calletepa.com.
Ha Long Bay’s menu has several items without gluten, such as the beef broth pho dishes or com tam plates.
If you let your server know that you have gluten sensitivities, they are really good about making substitutions. For example, they can substitute gluten-free soy sauce for the regular and swap out egg noodles for rice noodles.
For more information, visit halongbaymenu.com.
A beautiful courtyard, music, and gluten-free options galore? Count me in. Request the Thai Seaweed Salad (any salad can be made GF) or try the Quinoa Bowl. They have several keto dishes, too — all marked with an asterisk to help you distinguish between plates.
For more information, visit lacocinatucson.com.
Renee’s proudly offers gluten-free pizza crusts, baguettes, and pastries. Check out the Black Bean Tostada and the Chevre Sandwich — celiac-friendly choices.
For more information, visit reneesorganicoven.com.
5 Points are coffee connoisseurs and have perfected the ability to combine unexpected ingredients that complement each other well. This restaurant has gluten-free menu options, including colorful dishes such as Huevos Rancheros and Forbidden Rice Chilled Pudding.
For more information, visit 5pointstucson.com.
Although not exclusively gluten-free, most of The Tasteful Kitchen’s menu comprises of gluten-free dishes. Using seasonal vegetables in their dishes, they specialize in “modern vegetarian cuisine.”
For more information, visit thetastefulkitchen.com.
The chefs at Gourmet Girls are devoted to creating delicious and satisfying gluten-free options — from a Pancake Sandwich to a Tuna Melt. People with gluten sensitivities or a preference for the GF lifestyle will rejoice over this 100% gluten-free restaurant. Just looking at the menu is a mouth-watering experience.
For more information, visit gourmetgirlsglutenfree.com.
Cream puffs, pastries, and cookies are just some of the gluten-free bakery and coffee shop’s delicious finds. It’s a small, cozy space with different styles of seating and helpful staff. I’d recommend ordering their sandwiches or custom cakes.
For more information, visit dedicatedgf.com.
Feast’s menu changes monthly, but one thing that doesn’t change is the array of GF dishes. Bitter Cocoa Risotto, Crispy Turnips, and Black Garlic Compound Butter followed by Chamomile Panna Cotta with Bailoni Wachauer Golden Apricot Liqueur and a Honey Tuile are just a few of the menu’s gluten-free choices.
For more information, visit eatatfeast.com.
Gluten-free bread is an amazing creation, but for some, the basics of eating a diet free of gluten is sourced at the roots — salad roots that is. Stop by Maynard’s for lunch and try their incredible gluten-free salads. The Avocado Grapefruit Salad is a light, refreshing meal. Or try the Duckin’ Kale for a blend of savory and tart.
For more information, visit maynardstucson.com.
Some people delight in opening a menu with the dishes marked with a little gluten-free sign. Make your way to Eclectic Cafe for such an experience. It’s a cute Southwestern restaurant that serves up oodles of keto options. Try the Carne Asada for a filling, hearty meal — add your choice of toppings.
For more information, visit eclecticcafetucson.com.
All tamales at Tucson Tamale Company are gluten-free. Yes, you read that right, all the tamales. Popular options at the highly-acclaimed tamale restaurant are Red Chile Beef and Green Chile Pork. Vegetarian tamales include blue corn and vegetable curry.
For more information, visit tucsontamale.com.
Gluten-free choices at Lovin’ Spoonfuls range from Thai Curry to Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. This vegan restaurant is big on flavor while promoting plant-based meals. Most of their salads are also GF, including the tempting Spinach + Arugula Salad with spinach, arugula, tempeh bacon, strawberries, bell peppers, carrots, and walnuts.
For more information, visit lovinspoonfuls.com.
Blue Willow is known for their amazing breakfasts and brunches, but they also make gluten-free comfort food. They have an adorable patio and a gift shop with unique goods. Try the Blue Willow Special or Chorizo Scramble — with beef chorizo made in-house. They're served with eggs and topped with cheddar cheese.
For more information, visit bluewillowtucson.com.
Saffron’s buffet has a great variety of food — a good majority of it being gluten-free. All the soups and salads, spiced vegetable dishes, and “treasures” —kabobs, seafood, and chicken dishes — are gluten-free and keto. The Chicken Tikka Masala is rich and creamy and smells as good as it tastes.
For more information, visit tucsonindianrestaurant.com.
Goodness serves rice and protein bowls, acai bowls, and juices to keep you going all day long. The colorful presentation of food is always bright and immaculate. Their goal is to provide tasty fruit and vegetable-based foods to the community.
For more information, visit fukushuconcepts.com.
Both owners of The Dutch have roots in Holland. Their love of Holland and for food brought them together and they have created the open, airy space that serves breakfasts, sandwiches, and salads as you know it today. The gluten-free Fried Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Salad or the Flash Fried Brussel Sprouts are appetizers that taste heavenly.
For more information, visit thedutchtucson.com.
Everything on their menu — except the bread and pasta — is gluten-free. They have many drool-worthy selections like the San Francisco Pier Stew with white fish, shrimp, mussels & roasted peppers in a garlic, tomato basil, and chardonnay broth. Influenced by training in France, the chef always keeps plenty of fresh garlic on hand.
For more information, visit wildgarlicgrill.com.