Eight Boston Gluten-free restaurants

This article from Eater highlights some of their fave Boston restaurants that are gluten-free friendly.

For those avoiding gluten but still craving things that are traditionally made with it, here’s a round-up of eight restaurants that offer gluten-free items that will satisfy that hunger, including pasta, pizza, and dessert.” Remember though – depending on how sensitive you are, be careful in a traditional bakery as there will be a high risk of cross contamination. While I can’t risk it with Celiac, my gluten-sensitive son seems to do just fine with cross contamination. Please comment below if you’ve visited any of these forward thinking restaurants! 


Eight Boston Gluten-free restaurants

Eater.com’s Eight Boston Gluten-free restaurants

In 1997, Fired Up Restaurant Concepts acquired the only five existing Johnny Carino’s Italian Kitchen and grew this much loved Italian-American restaurant to include many signature dishes that respect the authentic Italian traditions, while creating unique flavor profiles that express Johnny Carino’s passion, creativity and commitment to quality food at a great value. With over 130 locations in the US and 10 across the Middle East (including Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates), Johnny Carino’s has changed the face of American-Italian dining experience here and around the world.


Skilletini and Spicy Shrimp and Chicken

And now they intend to ensure a safe and tasty dining experience for those of us avoiding gluten.

The new menu includes gluten-free versions of Carino’s classics, such as the Skilletini and Spicy Shrimp and Chicken. As for pizza, they’re partnering with our favorite Colorado-based Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, which will provide a gluten-free pizza crust made with tapioca, brown rice flour and egg whites. Note that it’s gluten-free, but not vegan.

The new menu meets FDA guidelines for gluten-free status, says Johnny Carino’s culinary vice president Chris Peitersen.

“I developed the new recipes by utilizing gluten-free ingredients, consulting nutritional experts, and working in conjunction with Analytical Food Laboratories to conduct the actual scientific testing of the menu items,” Peitersen says.

From Create Your Own Pasta options with gluten-free spaghetti or penne served with choice of Tomato or Spicy Marinara to pizza served on Udi’s GF crust and Shrimp Florentine made with Jumbo shrimp sautéed with fresh spinach, Roma tomatoes and gluten-free spaghetti in a lemon butter wine sauce, Johnny Carino’s has something for every palate. And if your kiddos  are looking for something outside of pasta and pizza, they include a Grilled Chicken made with gluten-free spaghetti and tomato sauce or fresh vegetables.

Check out their Gluten-free Menu here for their current list of options, and this link for a list of Carino’s locations.

As someone who is often a victim of gluten cross contamination, or having gluten sneak into something I was told was gluten-free, I can vouch for how miserable that can make the next few days of your life. So read on to learn more about how you can better prepare yourself so that restaurant outings are fun and delicious, rather than leaving you hanging out in the bathroom.

One of the more potentially dangerous places to find gluten lurking is in a restaurant kitchen, which is true primarily for 2 reasons. First, there is a level of ignorance around which products are safe for gluten-sensitive folks, and second, because great care with food handling has to occur to reduce the risk of cross contamination in any kitchen.

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I’m a lucky girl; I live in one of the most amazing cities in the country and I’m surrounded by some of the best culinary options to boot! Yes, Austin has it’s fair share of BBQ joints and Tex Mex fare, but if you go outside your comfort zone, you’ll discover home-made Pho made with love by a family owned restaurant on West Anderson, trailers serving up delicious crepes, hand-dipped frozen banana desserts, authentic Thai or Mexican fare, a husband and wife team whipping up some of the best chalupas we’ve tasted, an African food cart and top rated burgers made with hormone-free meat. From Vegetarian to gluten and dairy free options, many restaurants in town are happy to accommodate special diets, and we think that deserves some local love.

It takes great dedication to create a quality meal, and a love for their guests to offer such incredibly delicious and healthy options. So, below is a list of some of our fave local Austin allergy-free friendly joints that we visit often and think you should too! Note – these are in no particular order!

14 Allergy-free friendly Austin joints:


zocalocafe Zocalo Cafe

1110 West Lynn (map) (512) 472-TACO

Casual, fun and delicious – order at the counter and grab a seat on their beautiful patio or inside for a quick, tasty and inexpensive meal. Their staff is super helpful and friendly about diet issues, and their manager told me that almost all of their items are gluten-free with the exception of a couple to stay away from. Be sure to tell them your needs and they’re happy to help!

Come experience the bold flavors and colors of a Mexico City taqueria from the comfort of a unique Austin neighborhood. Try our delicious tacos, salads and house specialties. All of our menu items are homemade from the freshest ingredients, including our handmade tortillas and salsas. Check out Zocalo Cafe Taqueria Fresca at 1110 West Lynn.


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PHO Taison

With 6 locations throughout Austin, this family-owned restaurant serves up some of the best Pho in town! And we love their cutesy little play on the word Pho – check out their menu for some ‘Phun” play on words 🙂

Just about everything on their menu is gluten and dairy-free and you can’t beat their homemade bone broths’ healing powers. These guys are healthy, delicious and much cheaper than their more trendy competitors. A must try in Austin!

 Torchy’s Tacos

3005 S. Lamar (map) 512.614.1832 
Hours: M-Th: 7am-10pm, F: 7am-11pm, S: 8am-11pm, Sun: 8am-10pm

Breakfast, lunch or dinner – Torchy’s is a goto in our house and we love their off the wall, exotic combos! It doesn’t hurt that they serve their full menu all day long, so when we head out for breakfast tacos, I can enjoy something from their regular menu that’s egg-free, which typically means I go for the Mr Pink (tuna) or Mr Orange (salmon).

Torchy’s Tacos has several store-front locations, and still held on to their original trailers.  And thanks to their willingness to accommodate allergy-free dining needs, Torchy’s is a great option for those with gluten-free, dairy free and various other restrictions. Grab their gluten-free menu at the counter before ordering and smile as you sit back to enjoy fresh and tasty tacos, Torchy’s style!


 Guero’s Taco Bar

1412 South Congress (map) 512.447.7688 
Hours: M-W: 11am-10pm, Th-Fri: 11am-11pm, S-Sun: 8am-11pm

If you’re looking for some of the tastiest and strongest margaritas in town, head on over to Guero’s where they serve them in tiny tumblers. Check out the decor – much of the old wall hangings are there from when they were a feed store so don’t be alarmed if you notice a stuffed bird or deer head. Random, yes, but it’s an Austin original, and if you’re looking for allergy-free options, Guero’s has you covered. They list their gluten-free and vegan menu on their main menu (no separate ones here) making it easy to know what you can safely order.

Enjoy handmade corn tortillas, specialty dishes and fresh salsa bar. The caldo de pollo and tacos al pastor are just a few tried-and-true favorites. Start off with a hand-shaken margarita in the cantina, or enjoy an icy cold cerveza while listening to music in the Oak Garden. Just sit back and relax, and soak in the local Austin vibes.


 Beets Living Food Cafe  – a Cafe as unique as Austin

1611 W 5th St. Suite 165 (map) (512) 477-2338

Offering a complete Raw Foods menu, Beets is a fabulous option for any health conscious Austin foody. Most all of the menu items are naturally gluten-free,    and the staff is super helpful. We love Beets!   Click here to check out their menu online.

 Freddie’s Place

1703 S 1st St (map) (512) 445-9197 
Hours: Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 12:00 am

This large, outdoor, creekside  restaurant/bar is in an idyllic  setting, under large, shady oak trees.  Freddies has a, laid-back, South Austin vibe, with tasty burgers and margaritas,  a beautiful setting, live music and friendly staff.

Freddies’s fun, laid back vibe finally includes a gluten-free menu (yay!!) So now you can enjoy a burger with a gluten-free bun, or even a breakfast option of french toast. They also have a delicious seared tuna, pork chops, salads and more. And if you’re there on a day that’s hotter than 100degrees, their frozen margs are only 100 pennies 🙂 Can’t beat that!


 Snap Kitchen

Why do we love Snap? It’s the first time I’ve ever walked into a grab-n-go restaurant that actually labeled every ingredient in its food, and caters to allergy-free friendly eating. Not only is about 90% of their food gluten free, but they also offer Paleo options. Gluten-free, allergy-free, Paleo lovin food that’s delicious to boot!

In their words: dedicated to bringing our customers flavorful, handcrafted food that supports our commitment to local, organic ingredients and healthy cooking. Snap Kitchen’s menu offers a selection of “foodie” items made fresh daily, salads tossed-to-order (flagship locations), juices and specialty elixirs, high-energy snacks, and diet-friendly desserts for the person on the go.

1014 W. 6th Street Austin, TX 78703    Phone (512) 479-5959      austininfo@snapkitchen.com



1400 S Congress Ave (map) 512.243.7505 
Hours: Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm Sun: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Handcrafted burgers, beer and a full bar in the heart of SoCo and now on W Anderson too, offering gluten-free buns and salads to satisfy your cravings. Delish burgers, but prep for a line!


 Maudie’s South Lamar

1212 S. Lamar (map) 512-440-8088 
Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm Sunday – Thursday 8:00 am – 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday

Maudie’s is one of our favorite neighborhood stops and we can’t say enough great things about them! They offer a gluten-free menu as well as separate gluten-free chips, and they will give you a separate salsa to avoid cross contamination from the non- gluten-free chips. They’re gluten-free menu is full of delicious options, and I’ve been told on many occasions that they can alter most any of their items to be gluten-free since their salsas are ok, and they make most things fresh on the spot. They take a little longer with their gluten-free orders because they take care to prep their stations and grills to avoid cross contamination, and I’m super grateful for that! Yep, can’t say enough great things about their knowledgeable staff, delicious & healthy mexican fare!



 Matt’s El Rancho

2613 S Lamar Blvd (map) (512) 462-9333 
Hours: M, W, Th, & Sun: 11am-10pm, Fri & Sat: 11am-11pm

For over 50 years Matt’s El Rancho has been 
family owned and operated.
 Since 1952 Matt’s El Rancho has provided the Austin area with
 authentic Mexican food in a great family atmosphere.

Matt’s is another neighborhood favorite joint that we can’t say enough great things about! While they don’t offer a seperate gluten-free menu, they’re quick to send a manager over to your table once you mention gluten-free. They’re extremely knowledgeable about how their menu items are prepared and they’re always willing to accommodate dietary restrictions, beyond just gluten-free. You can absolutely rest assured that Matt’s will take good care of you!

 Piranha Killer Sushi

207 San Jacinto Blvd Ste 202  Austin, TX 78701 (512) 473-8775

Amazingly fresh, delicious and allergy-free friendly options, including rolls wrapped in cucumber (no rice!) and gluten-free soy sauce.
Note that they offer valet parking for $4 next door so you can avoid dealing with downtown parking for just a couple more bucks than the cost of street parking.  Read more about why we love these guys on our review here. 

Mr. Natural

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friendly, these guys serve up amazingly fresh & relish foods that are good for us too. They also stock just about any nutritional supplment you might need, and I always find their prices to be pretty competitive. You can’t go wrong with the Vegan and Gluten-free pastries, and my son claims their GF donuts are the best he’s ever had 🙂

Love their ranchero sauce as a great gluten and dairy free side with fresh tacos or omelet’s, and you can’t go wrong with their fresh juices. Stop by for lunch or dinner and enjoy their full menu found here.

When it comes to Mr. Natural’s Bakery, you probably won’t find a healthier selection of gluten-free or vegetarian baked goods anywhere in town!

2414-A S. Lamar (map) 512-477-5228


Thrice Cafe (formerly Thai Fresh)

909 West Mary St. (map) 512 447 9473

Why do we love Thrice? Fresh steeped loose leaf teas, Kombucha on tap, great selection of beer & wine, and all the Vegan Ice Cream you can imagine! Their menu is almost entirely gluten free, with the exception of their Vietnamese sandwiches  and they’re happy to leave out the grains if you request that they do. We love their curries and our son is a fan of their gluten free chicken strips with homemade rice vinegar dipping sauce.

Thrice believes in sustainable thai cooking…

Thai Fresh is committed to bringing you authentic Thai meals that are made with fresh local ingredients. Their meats are raised within Texas and free of antibiotics and hormones, featuring Buddy’s natural chicken and Dewberry Hill Farms chicken, with pork from Peach Creek Farm and their beef is all grass-fed from Bastrop Cattle Company.  Check out their menu here.


 Shady Grove

1624 Barton Springs Rd. (map) (512) 474-9991 
Hours: Mon – Thu: 11am-10:30pm, Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm, Sun:11am-10:30pm

Our favorite cozy outdoor cafe, Shady Grove is perfect day or night; with plenty of “shade” provided by the abundance of trees, which are adorned with white lights at night, this is a perfectly romantic, casual and fun vibe all in one!

Shady Grove is a frequent choice in this house since they offer several gluten-free options and are always happy to accommodate further dietary restrictions. While they no longer offer a gluten-free menu, their staff is more than happy to point you to the salads, burgers, pork chops, fish and more that are safe for gluten-free needs.

Sushi has long been a favorite of both my husband and I; we love it as a go-to on date nights, for a quick lunch, and now that our son is at the age where he can appreciate seafood, we’re able to enjoy it even more often. I’ve loved sushi for many, many years, and it was definitely one of the harder foods I gave up when going grain-free, so I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out I could enjoy sushi again, thanks to Austin’s local sushi restaurant, Piranha Killer Sushi.

If you’re gluten-free, but not avoiding rice, you can rest assured Piranha can take care of you with a boiled rice that’s free of any gluten; no soy or vinegars used in their steamed rice and if you tell them you’re gluten-free, they’ll make the switch for you with no hassles.

And while I have been able to enjoy sashimi without rice, I’ve missed the experience of picking up a roll, and enjoying the flavor bursts that come from the exciting and unpredictable ingredients in rolls. So when I was at Piranha on my most recent hunt for sushi I could enjoy on a gluten, dairy and grain free diet, I was thrilled to see a roll wrapped in cucumber offered on their menu. They call it their Sashimi Roll and it includes salmon, crab & scallions wrapped with hand peeled cucumber. I swapped avocado for crab since they weren’t sure the crab was gluten-free and I have to admit, I was a happy girl again. Once again I was able to enjoy the feeling of picking up a roll with my chopsticks, savoring the magic of a sushi roll.

Here’s a pic of my new favorite roll: 


Wrapped in chilled cucumber, the Sashimi Roll has salmon, chives, and crab, though I swapped the crab for avocado which was even tastier in my opinion. They’re happy to bring you gluten-free soy sauce on request, and so long as you substitute their gluten-free rice, most all of the rolls without sauces are fine. To be safe, I always avoid crab if its imitation, and since we sit at the bar and watch them prep our rolls, we can see how carefully they handle our food to make sure there’s little risk of any cross contamination. Since my husband is not gluten-allergic, they offer to bring him the dipping sauces which typically come on the rolls so he can enjoy it in the more traditional fashion, yet I can still eat it without worry.

So if you’re lucky enough to live in Austin, be sure to check out Piranha as they are always willing to accommodate a gluten and dairy free diet, and they have yet to disappoint. If you’re not in Austin, perhaps you can ask your local favorite sushi joint to replicate? I’ll keep my fingers crossed they say yes!

Oh, and here’s another helpful tip – in lieu of soy sauce (read here for all the reasons I discourage soy when you have some time)  – I love Coconut Aminos, and use it in place of soy sauce with recipes, sauces, as a dip, in dressings etc. Honestly, it doesn’t have a coconut-y flavor nor is it as salty as Braggs or gluten-free soy sauce, and I carry a bottle with me when we head out for sushi.

A roll wrapped in cucumber, dipped in Coconut Aminos makes me a very happy girl. Thanks Piranha Killer Sushi!


Burgers. Pizza. Italian. Tex Mex. Seafood and Steaks. If they are GF friendly, we have your fave places covered. 

Whether you’re a frequent traveller, playing chauffeur to your kids, or just find yourself dreading preparing dinner, our Gluten Free Chain Menu resource is sure to come in handy! Offering a variety of chains across the county, Our GF Menus offer a brief description and links to their GF menus and locators whenever handy.  While we continue to work on aspects of the site, we are certainly committed to making this tool as user-friendly as possible including adding a search function by location and cuisine as well as an ability for you to review your fave (and not so fave) places. Our community is built on the premise of sharing all things allergy free and it very much relies on your ability to provide feedback. So please continue to be patient while we build our little site to the levels we’re dreaming of, and in the meantime, we hope you find this handy little guide useful. And if you feel like we left off anyone that should be included, please head over to our Stalk Us page and tell us who we forgot, and why they should be included. 

So go ahead and check out our Menu Page and feel confident in your GF travels!


A BIG thanks to the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) for passing along their list of certified Gluten-free friendly restaurants.  This list covers about 200 restaurants throughout the US that have been certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group to meet their standards pf practice in food preparation and handling to ensure safety of cross contamination for those of us with Celiac and Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

Below is a little info on their approval process and here is the link to view the approved restaurants. Bookmark this page and use it when you’re in search of a restaurant that you’re sure will leave you satisfied and safe! My hope is to build out a feature allowing you to search by zip code, but for now, I have the full list on the site.

Click here to read the full list of approved US restaurants!