20 Gluten-free Options You Knead to Try in Tucson

Gluten, keep your filthy crumbs off me!

Last modified on October 24th, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Spinach Salad at Tumerico (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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

2526 E. Sixth St.
Huevos Rancheros at Tumerico (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Huevos Rancheros at Tumerico (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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

267 S. Avenida del Convento
B8 and B4 burgers at Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

B8 and B4 burgers at Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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.

Calle Tepa

6151 E. Broadway Blvd.

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

7245 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Com Tam Ha Long Bay at Ha Long Bay (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Com Tam Ha Long Bay at Ha Long Bay (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

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.

La Cocina

201 N. Court Ave.

Chicken Nachos at La Cocina (Credit: Gloria Knott)

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 Organic Oven

7065 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Black Bean Tostada from Renee's Organic Oven (Credit: Renee's Organic Oven)

Black Bean Tostada from Renee’s Organic Oven (Credit: Renee’s Organic Oven)

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 Market & Restaurant

756 S. Stone Ave.

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.

The Tasteful Kitchen

722 N. Stone Ave.
Chickpea Soup at the Tasteful Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Chickpea Soup at the Tasteful Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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.

Gourmet Girls

5845 N. Oracle Rd.

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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.

Dedicated

4500 E. Speedway Blvd. Ste. 41

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

3719 E. Speedway Blvd.
Assorted dishes at Feast (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Assorted dishes at Feast (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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.

Maynard’s Market

400 N. Toole Ave.

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.

Eclectic Cafe

7053 E. Tanque Verde Rd.

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.

Tucson Tamale Company

7286 N. Oracle Rd. • 7159 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tamales from Lerua's Fine Mexican Food (Credit: Mark Navarro)

Tamales from Lerua’s Fine Mexican Food (Credit: Mark Navarro)

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.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls

2990 N. Campbell Ave. Ste. 120

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

2616 N. Campbell Ave.
Blue Willow Cafe

Blue Willow Special

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 Indian Bistro

7607 N. Oracle Rd.

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 Fresh Food & Juice Bar

2502 N. Campbell Ave.

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Feelin good(ness) on the worst day of the week?

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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.

The Dutch Eatery & Refuge

943 E. University Blvd.
Fried Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Salad at the Dutch Eatery & Refuge (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Fried Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Salad at the Dutch Eatery & Refuge (Credit: Jackie Tran)

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.

Wild Garlic Grill

2870 E. Skyline Dr. Ste. 120

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.

Chelsey Wade has traveled to 22 countries in search of the perfect fish & chips. She spends her time hiking the trails of Tucson and taking care of her five-pound Chihuahua.
  • malkiyyah

    I’ve been to nearly every restaurant on this list. And while I appreciate the author listing so many good options, it doesn’t sounds like she actually has Celiac or a gluten sensitivity. Otherwise, she would steer folks far away from Lovin’ Spoonfuls (I’ve eaten there three times and been glutened three times) and Tucson Tamale. When Tucson Tamale added non-tamale foods to their menu, they became a wasteland of cross-contamination – no understanding that servers and cooks need to prepare gf foods in separate spaces and wash their hands and change their gloves between handling gf foods and everything else.

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