Vegan pizza at Ciao Down (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

Exploring Gluten-Free Dining Options in Tucson

September 13, 2023
By Czarina Nafarrate
By Czarina Nafarrate

Gluten! The dreaded g-word for many. But what is it, and why would someone stay away from something so commonly consumed? 

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation gluten is “a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.” These proteins help foods maintain their shape and give bread and other baked goods its “springiness.” It’s perfectly fine to consume… for some.

(Photo courtesy of Tucson Tamale)

For those with celiac disease, the protein causes an autoimmune response that attacks the small intestine and causes a wide array of uncomfortable symptoms that range from intestinal discomfort to skin rashes. While only one in 100 people are affected by this autoimmune disease, many more can be intolerant or allergic to the protein. 

Whether you’re celiac or simply trying to avoid gluten, gone are the days when gluten-free alternatives looked, felt, and tasted like cardboard. We’ve rounded up a few of our Tucson favorites that have dedicated gluten-free menus or a variety of gluten-free options that will delight your taste buds without disrupting your belly!

Gluten-Free Everything

a picture of pastries and cupcakes
dedicated Gluten Free Bakery & Coffee Shop (Photo credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Dedicated. A Gluten-Free Bakery & Coffee Shop

4500 E. Speedway Blvd. #41

Opened in 2015 after a gluten allergy diagnosis, Dedicated has come a long way in its offerings. From weekend bagels and seasonal treats to daily breakfast sandwiches and tasty take-home bread loaves, those avoiding gluten will find their safe haven here.

As the name says, Dedicated is a gluten-free dedicated facility and also boasts vegan and dairy-free options.

For more information, visit

Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro

5845 N. Oracle Rd.

Mary Steiger and Susan Fulton started in the catering business when a client approached them about making a gluten-free cake. Though not gluten-free themselves at the time, the ladies got to work. After researching, experimenting, and adopting the gluten-free lifestyle, the Gourmet Girls were born! After developing a following at local farmers markets, Gourmet Girls opened their brick-and-mortar bakery and bistro in 2011.

Today, the completely gluten-free cafe offers classics that those who can’t eat gluten might be missing, such as scrumptious chicken and waffles, onion rings, and sweet treats like cookies and brownies.

For more information, visit

Mostly Gluten-Free

a box filled with different types of food on a table
Crunchy Cauliflower & Crunchy Potato Mochi (Photo courtesy of Tran’s Fats)

Bawker Bawker Cider House

400 N. Fourth Ave.

If you’re in the mood for a cold pint, Bawker Bawker has your back. With more than 20 flavors of cider, including cider slushies, you’ll find something for every taste. Best of all? All cider flavors are gluten-free and vegan!

For more information, visit

Tran’s Fats

720 W. Silverlake Rd. #302

Head down to Hotel McCoy and get a taste of Tran’s Fats. While the food truck’s specialty dumplings and garlic cucumbers are not gluten-free, the rest of the menu is! Using rice flour to batter their crunchy cauliflower and using a dedicated fryer for their chicken wings, you can still delight in the flavors this eatery has to offer.

For more information, visit

Tucson Tamale Company

7286 N Oracle Rd.

A local icon, Tucson Tamale Company ensures all its tamales are made with corn masa free of gluten. If you find yourself in one of their restaurants, steer clear from their Sonoran Heritage Wheat Tortillas! Otherwise, enjoy their wide and tasty variety of tamales with a side of beans for the ultimate Tucson meal.

For more information, visit

Tuk Tuk Thai

2990 N. Campbell Ave. #130 · 12125 N. Oracle Rd. #169 · 6878 E. Sunrise Dr. #160

If you’re celiac or gluten-intolerant, you know how difficult it can be to eat many Asian foods. With wheat lurking in soy sauce or the delicious crunchy breading, it can be hard to find something you can eat! Look no further because Tuk Tuk Thai’s menu is mostly gluten-free! They use rice noodles for their pad thai and other noodle dishes and use rice flour for all their yummy deep-fried dishes. While a majority of their menu items are gluten-free, they do still have a few gluten-containing dishes, so be sure to check the menu for the GF labels.

Gluten-Reduced Beer

Ben Vernon, Sarah Schille & Tony Zamora of Crooked Tooth Brewing (Photo by Isaac Stockton)

Crooked Tooth Brewing Company

228 E. Sixth St.

If you’re simply looking to reduce your gluten intake, Crooked Tooth Brewing offers gluten-reduced beers. While these are great for those with mild intolerances or sensitivity to gluten, we do not recommend them for those with celiac disease or a gluten allergy.

For more information, follow Crooked Tooth Brewing on Instagram and Facebook.

Gluten-Free Pizza

Ciao Down (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

Ciao Down

3230 N. Dodge Blvd. Suite E

Like gluten-free alternatives without the gluten-free fee? Then head over to Ciao Down where you can make any of their signature pizzas gluten-free at no extra charge. When ordering, make sure you let them know to clear the oven and use separate utensils.

Also, head over to Tucson Hop Shop right next door and perhaps you can find a gluten-reduced beer on tap or in one of the many fridges.

For more information, visit

Several other Tucson pizzerias offer gluten-free crust alternatives, such as Empire Pizza, Transplant Pizza, and Sauce Pizza & Wine

More Gluten-Free Options

Wings at Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Want a little something else with your pie? Rocco’s Little Chicago’s wings are made with no gluten ingredients, and Proof Artisanal Pizza & Pasta offers gluten-free bread for their cheesy garlic bread and bruschettas. Proof, along with Sauce Pizza & Wine, also features gluten-free alternatives for most of their pasta dishes.

Luckily for Mexican food lovers, a lot of Mexican dishes are corn-based offering naturally gluten-free options. When ordering at your favorite Mexican spot, make sure to ask for corn tortillas! However, many of us might miss burritos or chimichangas. Look no further than, El Charro Café which offers gluten-free flour tortillas. 

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