Gluten-Free Providence: Small State, Big Menu

Though Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, the amount of gluten-free choices in the Providence area is impressive! 

Providence, Rhode Island is the third most populated city in New England, making it a fun-filled destination that can trace its roots back to the colonial era. Today, Providence is a thriving city with numerous universities, public parks, historic monuments, and restaurants. The culinary institute at Johnson & Wales University has helped establish Providence’s reputation for great food. 

In Providence, there are various delicious gluten-free dining options – from Italian food on Federal Hill to Peruvian and American eats downtown. You can find everything from gluten-free menus to dedicated kitchen spaces, and even entire facilities that are gluten-free. If you plan to visit the Providence area, your next gluten-free meal won’t be far away.

The view outside Costantino’s Venda Bar & Ristorante on Atwells Avenue in Providence. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

For restaurants with gluten-free menus, try Flatbread or Uno Chicago Grill for pizza, Luxe Burger Bar and B.Good for burgers, or the Malted Barley for snacks such as beer and pretzels. Always ask questions to ensure your dining experience is safe and at the standard you require.

Gluten-Free Peru: Hiking the Inca Trail with Celiac Disease

Hiking the Inca Trail was one of those bucket list travel experiences I had dreamt about. Peru was the first stop in my six months of round the world travel in 2019. Despite the concern of hiking almost 30 miles in the rainy season combined with my dietary restriction, I was pleasantly surprised when our trip was a sunny success and I had no issues finding gluten-free food. I wasn’t about to let celiac disease or the threat of rain stop me from trekking this ancient path!

Before beginning my adventure on the Inca Trail, acclimatization was necessary. Cusco, Peru is the starting point for multi-day hikes to Machu Picchu and sits at over 10,000 feet.  I spent four days getting used to the elevation before beginning the Inca Trail trek. Cusco is a historic and charming city – and the former capital of the Inca Empire. The Plaza de Armas, the main square, is lined with vendors, shops, restaurants, and beautiful architecture. Many restaurants in this area cater to tourists and will be more cognizant of food allergies and dietary requirements.


gluten free Peru
(photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)


Cusco’s main area boasts numerous restaurants, cafes, and a few markets for food.  My first stop was at Per U.K., which offers an extensive gluten-free menu and dedicated kitchen space.  The service staff explained to me in Spanish that the head chef has celiac disease and understands cross-contamination. I snacked on Inca corn while awaiting the main course – chicken soup and stuffed peppers with ricotta cheese. Both kept me warm as the rain pelted the cobblestone streets outside.

Restaurants with gluten-free options can be found in other Cusco cafes and restaurants in the main square area. Nuna Raymi has a gluten-free menu as well as Green Point Restaurants.  For a rooftop experience that offers traditional Peruvian food, try Marcelo Batata.  They also offer cooking classes and cater to those with food allergies.  Wherever you choose to dine, be sure to sample chicha morada.  Chicha morada is a Peruvian corn-based drink flavored with fruit and spices that is absolutely delicious!

When dining out, be very careful ordering a hamburger or cheeseburger. While without the bun they may appear to be a safe option, they are often filled with bread or breadcrumbs. A piece of grilled chicken may be a better choice – if it is safe.  Most fryers usually contain only French fries, but you should double-check with the waitstaff. A gluten-free restaurant card translated into Spanish is an invaluable resource when traveling in Peru. Most Peruvians in Cusco speak Spanish and Quechua, the indigenous language in this region.


Gluten-Free Madrid: Revisiting the Foodie Scene 10 Years Later

Stepping foot in Spain this June brought back a lot of memories. In 2010, only months after being diagnosed with celiac disease, I began my study abroad program in Madrid. 

I had no idea what to expect as a celiac in Spain. Back in America, gluten-free products had just begun to arrive on grocery store shelves. My gut had only started healing, and I still struggled with adjusting to my gluten-free diet.  Combined with the stress of leaving everything familiar behind, I had additional concerns: How will I communicate with my host family about my diet in Spanish?

I was lucky to have a wonderful host mother who understood how important it was that I not eat gluten. I never went hungry and she prepared every meal for me from scratch – always making sure it was gluten-free. 

Would restaurants understand my needs?

Going out to eat in restaurants was challenging.  I had to choose menu items that were naturally gluten-free, and there was little understanding of safe kitchen practices regarding cross-contact. Halfway through the semester, I discovered one of the hot chocolate drinks I enjoyed regularly at my school actually contained barley malt. The lack of knowledge surrounding celiac disease and the gluten-free diet was extremely frustrating.

Fast forward about 10 years and the gluten-free scene in Madrid is completely different!

I was overjoyed by the changes, improvements, and awareness of the gluten-free diet in Madrid. Gone were the concerns from my early celiac days, and instead, they were replaced with sincere understanding, community, and the chance to truly embrace the Spanish cuisine and culture. 

gluten free Madrid
Paella (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Where would I find gluten-free food?

Many restaurants today have the “F.A.C.E.” blue sticker in their windows, on signs, or menus. It stands for Federación de Asociaciones de Celíacos de España – the Association of Celiacs of Spain. If you see this, it’s a sign that a particular restaurant has been deemed safe or good for those with celiac disease! Use the words “sin gluten” or “Yo soy celiaco/a” to communicate gluten-free or celiac in stores, restaurants, and hotels.  A translated restaurant card with your dietary needs written in Spanish can serve as a useful tool for your travels if you do not speak the language.

Here are some of the most delicioso spots for gluten-free food in Madrid, Spain!

The Spanish eat a predominantly Mediterranean diet. While the regional foods may vary, they generally consume large amounts of olive oil, fish, and fresh vegetables, along with grains such as potatoes, rice. Common dishes throughout the country include paella, tortilla de patatas, and a variety of tapas (called pintxos in the Basque region). Red wine, olives, cured ham, and sheeps’s cheeses are also found on many menus.  Coffee is enjoyed in small cups, and one of the most famous dessert items in Madrid is chocolate con churros (chocolate with churros). Finding these dishes as gluten-free during my first visit to Madrid was minimal. Today, you can find all of them around this bustling and cosmopolitan city!

There are multiple dedicated gluten-free facilities in Madrid, many of which are bakeries and cafes. Head to Sana Locura, LAIB, or Celicioso for pastries, sweets, cupcakes, and other treats to enjoy with a cafe con leche. The strawberry cupcake I tried at the Puerta del Sol location of Celicioso was divine, and the staff is super friendly. My husband and I went twice to Celicioso and were never disappointed!

One of the most exciting culinary moments during our time in Madrid was the chance to actually try Spanish churros. I spent my entire study abroad semester watching friends enjoy these delectable treats, but I never got to partake. Thanks to Maestro Churrero, I  was able to enjoy gluten-free churros. Maestro Churrero offers churros are fried separately in their own fryer and served with a warm and thick chocolate sauce. A perfect mid-morning snack!

Spaniards typically enjoy a small breakfast. It’s best to hold out for lunch, the biggest meal of the day, which is eaten around 2 p.m.   For delicious and filling lunch, visit El Arrozal for their paella valenciana. While the ingredients in paella like rice, chicken, vegetables, and spices are usually safe, the broth used to thicken the rice can contain gluten. El Arrozal specifically makes their paella’s gluten-free, and even bakes fresh bread from scratch to serve at your table. The fresh bread is served with an herb butter and tastes so good, you won’t believe it’s gluten-free! 

gluten free madrid
Gluten-free bread at a Spanish cafe. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Bread is a big component in Spanish meals, but you’ll be able to find gluten-free versions in many local places. Check the supermarkets of Mercadona, Lidl, Carrefour, and Dia for gluten-free products. El Corte Inglés, one of the most popular department stores in Madrid, has everything from clothing to housewear to food. They have an extensive selection of gluten-free products available, especially products from Schar. There are multiple locations of El Corte Inglés around the city.

After a siesta or sightseeing in the afternoon, it’s time for tapas. Spanish families typically eat much later in the evening, around 9 or 10 p.m., so it’s common to enjoy a small snack earlier in the evening. You can try out some of the local tapas bars for a glass of wine and plates of patatas bravas, or plates of jamon Serrano, maybe even some manchego cheese. The best tapas bars with safe options included Bar Mentrida, Taberna la Concha, and La Lina. 

gluten free madrid
(photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

A favorite tapas dish for many is a plate of croquetas, which are deep fried and filled with cheese, meat, or other savorey items. It may seem like a no-go for gluten-free eaters, but the restaurant Solo de Croquetas is a must stop. It is a dedicated gluten-free facility serving up celiac safe versions of croquetas for everyone to enjoy.For a late dinner, visit the other dedicated gluten-free facilities in Madrid, such as As de Bastos or Kint. If you are vegetarian, visit Restaurante Vegetariano Aremesia Sol, for a facility that is not only 100 percent gluten-free but also vegetarian! 

gluten free madrid
Celicioso in Madrid. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

The nightlife in Madrid is not to be missed, and both restaurants and bars will stay open very late. After dinner, visit a flamenco bar.  Flamenco bars offer a chance to enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the music and dance of flamenco. Visit Las Carbonaras, just off Plaza Mayor, for an excellent show and a drink.

Coming back to Madrid after all these years was like reuniting with an old friend.  As I strolled through Puerta del Sol, marveled at the Spanish spoken around me, and remembered my time here, I did so with a new confidence. There are so many safe places to enjoy a gluten-free meal in this historic capital city. Madrid’s gluten-free scene has changed for the better, and I look forward to returning again soon!

gluten free madrid
(photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Gluten-Free Bali: Gluten-Free Options Abound in this Island Paradise

I distinctly remember the moment the plane touched down in Bali this February. As we coasted along the runway at Ngurah Rai International Airport, my eyes took in everything I possibly could out the small plane window. Looking out over the city of Denpasar, I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

I definitely wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

The architecture of the buildings, the swaying palm trees, and the alphabet on the advertisements were the first clues that I was now in Indonesia. I had never been to this part of the world. While I knew that everything here would be foreign and different, my biggest concern was my stomach.

What on earth was I going to eat?

As a world traveler with celiac disease, I have to be extra careful with food and restaurant choices. Just a teensy amount of gluten can make me very sick. With the presence of soy sauce in many Asian dishes, I felt nervous about finding food that would be not only gluten free but safe from cross-contamination. I spent a lot of time researching, asking questions, and learning as much as possible.

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Despite my initial concerns, I was amazed by the amount of safe gluten-free options available in Bali! This small island proved to be one of the most health-conscious, eco-friendly, and gluten-free aware destinations of our round the world travels. Finding dedicated gluten-free facilities in a place that has little issue with food restrictions was such a welcome surprise. I cannot wait to visit Bali once again sometime soon!

Here are some of the best places in Bali to enjoy a gluten-free meal

Bali is one of the many islands that make up Indonesia, located just south of the equator.  This island retreat has become more and more popular in recent months. Bali is a known hotspot for yoga retreats, spa treatments, sandy beaches, healthy cafes, and a culture of hospitable and friendly locals.

Due to the warm and tropical climate, you’ll find an abundance of fresh fruits, including unique choices of lychees, passion fruit, and dragon fruit. There are also plenty of mangoes, papayas, and bananas. Smoothies abound, as well as Açaí bowls. Fresh fruit dishes can be found almost everywhere, especially with breakfast. Be careful if any restaurant menus include cookies in their smoothies, as there is a risk of cross-contamination.

Gluten-Free Croatia: Where to Eat When Exploring Southeast Europe

Croatia’s idyllic seaside towns, towering waterfalls, and rich history are only some of the reasons I fell in love with this beautiful country. The other reason is the strong presence of gluten-free products in every town! While celiac disease is not as prominent here as it is in neighboring Italy, Croatia is well aware of the condition. There are ample resources and products available for those who follow a gluten-free diet, and a growing number of gluten-free options in restaurants.

The Croatian Society for Coeliac Disease has a letter to visitors on their website, informing gluten-free eaters about what to expect when visiting Croatia. Croatian citizens are able to obtain gluten-free flour through their health insurance for free, so many choose to bake their own breads and pastas at home. The numerous gluten-free items you’ll find at the grocery stores are largely imported from other countries.

Croatia’s natural beauty has made it an increasingly popular tourist destination. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Gluten-free breads are readily available in most grocery stores, which are the perfect component for a gluten-free picnic. You can find salami, cheese, fresh fruit, and wine for fairly cheap. Be sure to look for “Bez Glutena” on the packaging, which is Croatian for “gluten-free”. Find a public park, a bench by the Adriatic Sea, and enjoy gluten-free dining al fresco for a few kunas.

Croatia’s coastline has become widely popular in recent years. Famous for stunning beaches, and pristine towns like Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar, the culture thrives on freshly caught fish from the nearby Adriatic. If you are choosing to dine in restaurants, stick to dishes that are usually safe, but be sure to communicate your needs.  Seafood dishes and risotto are usually gluten-free, but always ask. A gluten-free dining card translated into Croatian will be extremely handy.

In Dubrovnik, be sure to stroll the maze-like streets of the old town, climb the city walls seen in Game of Thrones, and hike Mount Srd for a look at this town’s historic importance. Try Mex Cantina, an Italian/Mexican spot in the grid of the old town, with outdoor tables in the sun and the shade. Many of the restaurants in the old town are geared specifically for tourists, which will make life easier.  Servers are more likely to speak English, understand your dietary needs, and be aware of food allergies.

In Split, visit Toto’s Burger Bar for a veggie loaded burger with a gluten-free bun. Views from your table overlook the promenade, Roman ruins, and the sea. The Spar grocery stores have plenty of gluten-free products, including cereal, breads, cakes, cookies, pastas, and snacks. If you are staying in an AirBnB or guesthouse with a kitchen, you will have more than enough to make meals on your own time.  For a tasty gelato with gluten-free cones, go to Don Dino.

Gluten-free Croatia
There are plenty of gluten-free aware options in Croatia, you just have to know where to look

In Zadar, 2Ribara restaurant has excellent choices, gluten-free options listed clearly on the menu, and scrumptious food. The vegetable risotto medley was perfect and gluten-free! Pizzeria Pizzara offers gluten-free pizzas in extremely large sizes, so come hungry. Proto Food & More has eclectic dishes and fresh offerings, which they are able to customize for you gluten-free.

Even in smaller, family run establishments, I was well taken care of. For my birthday, my husband and I visited B&B Millenium House in Jezerce, just outside Plitvice Lakes. The host went out of his way to make sure everything was safe for me to eat. He specifically ordered gluten-free bread, cereal, and pasta to include in their daily breakfast and dinner menus, and was diligent about preparation in his kitchen.

Pizza from Pizzeria Pizzara. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Upon learning it was my birthday, the host even tried to contact a baker to inquire about a gluten-free cake! The kindness and generosity of B&B Millenium House, as well as the careful attention to my dietary restrictions went above and beyond anything I anticipated. Rather than a cake, the staff sang me “happy birthday” with a plate of fruit, and presented me with a bottle of local white wine after a gluten-free dinner. What a treat!

Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, speaks strongly to its history as part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. The architecture, gardens, and numerous outdoor public spaces make this city come to life! Try Le Mika, a French Creperie that makes buckwheat galettes and gluten-free options. Make sure to visit Vis à Vis by Vincek, a gluten-free facility with cakes that will knock your socks off! Try the chocolate or carrot cake, and enjoy a slice with a cup of tea or coffee. 50 A Burger & Champagne bar is another safe choice for quality burgers with a highly-aware staff.  

Gluten-free ice cream in Croatia
Gluten-free ice cream in Croatia. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Some of the best gluten-free products I encountered in Croatia were GoFree gluten-free corn flakes, Stark Lisac hard cider, and Moje Malo Zlato gluten-free bread!  This bakery is one of the few gluten-free products actually produced in Croatia. They make gluten-free and lactose-free bread which can be found in grocery stores all over the country.

You’ll also find Schar to be one of the most popular imported products for gluten-free snacks. Be sure to look closely as the Schar products in Europe have more variety than in the United States. Having plenty of snacks on hand will make traveling through Croatia a more pleasant experience for any gluten-free visitors. The grocery stores became a safe haven for me during our time in Croatia, providing a small comfort while navigating new towns and places. I stocked up in each destination to be well prepared for whatever our next adventure would be.

gluten-free Croatia
Gluten-free risotto in Croatia. (photo: Jennifer Fitzpatrick)

Croatia has become one of the most visited places in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. For those traveling with a gluten-free diet, it can be one of your next destinations too. You can explore the beauty of Croatia with the knowledge that eating gluten-free won’t be an impossible task. There’s a wide range of gluten-free choices calling your name in this wonderful place!

Your Essential Gluten-Free Guide to Thailand

Out of all the countries my husband and I planned to visit in our six months of travel, I was the most nervous about visiting Thailand.

I was completely unfamiliar with Thai food.  I had never been to a Thai restaurant in my life, nor had I eaten any Thai dishes.  Prior to my diagnosis with celiac disease in 2009, I had been a very picky eater.  My bravest food exploration had been trying tacos at a friend’s birthday party in fifth grade!

My quick searches online had warned me to be very careful in Thailand as a celiac.  Despite the overwhelming presence of rice and vegetables, the use of soy sauce and oyster sauce in most dishes are the culprits.  I anticipated our time in Thailand to be a challenge.  I’d never even have the opportunity to experience the flavors, spices, and traditional dishes of Thai cooking because I was convinced I’d have nothing to eat.

Thailand may have been challenging, but overall it was such a pleasant surprise!  There’s a growing number of dedicated gluten-free restaurants popping up, along with gluten-free sauces and imported gluten-free products in local supermarkets. I quickly figured out what dishes were safe and unsafe to eat.

During our three weeks in Thailand, I learned how to navigate eating as a celiac in one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia without getting sick.

Here are all the delicious gluten-free options waiting for you in Thailand!

Your Essential Gluten-Free Guide to Thailand

Your Essential Gluten-Free Guide to Thailand

Gluten-Free Bangkok

Bangkok is an enormous, bustling city with multiple neighborhoods, huge skyscrapers, exciting shopping malls, outdoor markets, palaces, and plenty of beautiful architecture.  As you peruse this massive city and take in all the many parts of Bangkok, you will in fact have gluten-free food choices!

There are a number of dedicated gluten-free facilities in Bangkok, including Rice Bakery, Theera, and Broccoli Revolution.  Rice Bakery doesn’t have a sign out front, but don’t miss it! The gluten-free bread is raved about by gluten-free travelers near and far.  Theera offers vegan and gluten/allergen friendly meals, snacks, and desserts.  Broccoli Revolution is an entirely vegan restaurant with vegetable based meals and cold-pressed juices!

The malls in Bangkok are overflowing with food vendors and restaurants.  While most of these will be off limits due to the presence of soy sauce, there are still some options!  In the Siam Paragon I found a great gluten-free açaí bowl and asked for it without the granola. They changed gloves for each order and were very careful!  There’s even an enormous grocery store that had an entire aisle dedicated to gluten-free foods, imported from other countries.

Peeps Thai Eatery was a gluten-free friendly restaurant with a cognizant staff. They have a separate gluten-free menu, prep area in the kitchen, and specifically use gluten-free soy sauce in their gluten-free dishes. They show you the bottle right on the menu and table so you can see exactly what goes into your dish. I tried the traditional fried rice with vegetables and egg, which was wonderful!

Gluten-Free Chiang Mai 

Researching restaurants before going out to eat became a more intense process in Asia.  Concern for cross-contamination was huge, especially due to the amount of soy sauce used in so many dishes.  Chiang Mai was our next destination and I was extremely hopeful for this laid-back city.  Thanks to Carrie from For Gluten Sake, Chiang Mai quickly became one of my favorite destinations!

Carrie shared her experience eating at Pink House in Chiang Mai, a 100% gluten-free outdoor restaurant with freshly baked cakes and local Thai cuisine.  I knew I had to try it, and eagerly walked the ten minutes from our hostel to get there.

Pink House was my first opportunity to try real Thai cooking without any concern for getting glutened.  I sampled pad thai for the first time and discovered I absolutely loved the flavors! 

The owner’s husband has celiac disease and originally began baking gluten-free and vegan cakes for takeaway.  Now she runs a restaurant right in her backyard and it’s a celiac dream come true!  Pink House became our go-to spot in the evenings.  My husband Dylan and I ate here so often the server knew my order – pad thai with egg and a huge bottle of cold water!

For other gluten-free options in Chiang Mai, you can try Salsa Kitchen where you can find great tacos on corn tortillas. There’s also Butter is Better, a 1950’s style diner with an entire gluten-free display of cakes and pastries, and their gluten-free menu offers buttermilk pancakes as well as their own gluten-free bread.  Blue Diamond and Free Bird are both vegan cafes that are allergen friendly with gluten-free options. 

If you happen to visit the Pratu Chiang Mai Market, be sure to visit Pa’s Fruit Smoothie Stands.  She’s friendly and serves the best and cheapest (less than $1) fruit smoothies in the local markets.  The only ingredients in her smoothies are fresh fruit, sugar, ice, and coconut milk, so there is no risk of any cookies or cross-contamination.  Cookies such as Oreos are very common among smoothie vendors in Thailand and so be careful!

If you are planning to cook your own food in Chiang Mai or have access to a kitchen, consider investing in MegaChef sauces.  MegaChef has both gluten-free soy sauce and oyster sauce and they are sold in the local supermarket, Rimping. 

You can even bring these sauces with you to attend Thai cooking classes like those offered at Mama Noi’s Thai Cookery School!  Each person has their own cooking station, ingredients, wok, and tools, so you can customize the menu to whatever you are able to eat. 

I learned to make gluten-free pad thai, and it’s now one of my absolute favorite recipes to cook back at home!

Taking a Thai cooking class was one of the best ways I learned about the ingredients and dishes in Thailand.  This way, I was much more prepared and knowledgeable in restaurants when I was unable to find a dedicated gluten-free facility. 

There are Thai cooking classes all over the country, but make sure to ask questions and inquire beforehand about how they handle food allergies.

The Beaches & Islands

Thailand is famous for it’s beautiful tropical islands, beach bars/restaurants, and stunning coastlines!  If you are planning to spend time island-hopping or just soaking up the sun, here are some places to look out for.

In Phuket, try Bake Free.  They are a dedicated gluten-free bakery and coffee shop,

serving up breakfast, sandwiches, coffee, and soups! They also cater to other allergies and dietary preferences.  

In Krabi, head to Cafe 8.98 for gluten-free sandwiches, smoothie bowls, and more.  Items are marked on the menu that are gluten-free.  Buzz Cafe Coffee Shop serves serves allergen-friendly, healthy dishes as well.

On the island of Koh Lanta, try Happy Veggie for an entirely vegetarian restaurant with gluten-free options, including pasta made from vegetables like zucchini and carrots!

General Tips for Navigating Thailand Gluten Free

Taking a Thai cooking class was the best way I learned about what ingredients, sauces, and spices go into the most common dishes you see throughout Thailand.  Generally speaking, safe dishes include most curries such as massaman curry, panang curry, and green curry, as they do not use soy sauce.  Always double check with the restaurant staff and be careful of cross contamination.

In the outdoor street markets, mango sticky rice is a delicious and sweet snack that is naturally gluten-free, colorful, and super delicious!  You can also find freshly cut fruit for sale, like pineapple and mango, and small bags of white rice you can grab on the go. 

The more information and knowledge you have, the better you’ll feel navigating Thailand.  I spent three weeks in Thailand without getting glutened at all.  Do your research, ask questions, and learn more about Thai cooking to have a positive gluten-free experience and enjoy your time there!

Gluten-Free in New Zealand’s South Island

New Zealand is a wild landscape filled with unique biodiversity, thrilling outdoor adventures, and a very allergen-friendly society. New Zealand is a country where many of its citizens have a diagnosis of celiac disease. This means gluten-free food is both easy to find and very common all over the country.

Coeliac New Zealand Incorporated (CNZ) is a non-profit organization that advocates for families and individuals with celiac disease. CNZ has a specific dining out program which provides a certificate to restaurants who have undergone gluten-free training. It helps ensure that gluten-free eaters and those with celiac disease can dine out safely. 

Gluten-Free Guide to New Zealand

Gluten-Free Guide to New Zealand

In all of New Zealand, you will find the local grocery store shelves packed full of various products, baking mixes, bread, snacks and more gluten-free items. Pak’N Save, a chain supermarket in New Zealand, has an extensive gluten-free aisle. They even have Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, gluten-free, made without barley malt.

Health food stores are very popular in New Zealand and you can locate one in any town. They will have organic produce and allergen-friendly products. You can stock up on any gluten-free products you may need for your vacation.

The South Island of New Zealand offers fabulous destinations for solo travelers, couples, and families. If you are planning to visit New Zealand and adhere to a gluten-free diet, you can rest easy. There will be no shortage of gluten-free choices!


Always be sure to ask questions wherever you are in New Zealand. Food allergies are common among New Zealanders, and as a population, they are very cognizant of cross-contamination. Most restaurants and eating establishments are very accommodating! The Christchurch Airport also has gluten-free options. Even some of the lounges offer gluten-free food upon request, including bread and cereal.

Christchurch is a small city with inviting outdoor spaces and a lively atmosphere. Though still rebuilding from the earthquake of 2011, there is a charming downtown area and plenty of great dishes to be sampled. There are two 100% dedicated gluten-free facilities: Totally Gluten Free Bakery and Pavillion Foods Gluten Free Choice. Both offer baked goods, pizza crusts, breads, cakes and more!

“Takeaway” is common at restaurants and many have gluten-free selections. It’s New Zealand lingo for carry out service rather than dining in.

Supreme Chinese Takeaways and 1040 Takeaways have dedicated fryers and delicious gluten-free foods to take away. This is a great on-the-go option which can save you time while also being safe for you to eat. 

Don’t forget to try Rollickin’ Gelato, one of the most popular ice cream stops in Christchurch. The servers will tell you which flavors are gluten-free and will also share with you their cross-contamination procedures. They even have gluten-free brownies and chocolate sauce you can have alongside your ice cream. Yum!


Queenstown is an action-packed and fun city. It’s known for adrenaline-packed activities like skydiving and bungee jumping, but also for having the best burger in New Zealand – Fergburger! It is a definite must if visiting Queenstown. From the outside of the Fergburger restaurant, you can see paragliders overhead!

The lines here may be long, but the food is worth the wait. Fergburger has set procedures to avoid cross-contamination and they pay special attention to guests with allergies. They have gluten-free buns and a dedicated fryer & kitchen space. You can even enjoy their fries with their famous gluten-free aioli sauce!

If you are craving tacos, try Taco Medic. It’s a dedicated gluten-free facility with various taco flavors and fillings! There’s also Rehab for an east lunch or takeaway, and Winnie’s is known for delicious gluten-free pizza. This pizza joint was even named by Lonely Planet as a “must go” stop! For some middle eastern wraps and salads, check out Habebes. They offer Lebanese food with gluten-free selections.

Fiordland National Park

There are numerous tour companies in New Zealand that visit different sites of natural beauty on the South Island. Fiordland National Park is famous for the Milford Sound, offering boat cruises, day hikes, and gorgeous scenery. It’s become one of the most visited destinations on the South Island and gets more than 200 days of rain a year! The vibrant colors of the greens and blues here are a testament to that large amount of rainfall!

Most tour companies in Milford Sound will offer a package that includes a boat ride and meal, which may be combined with another activity like kayaking. While the meal might be daunting if you are gluten-free, some companies take great care to provide allergen-friendly options so you don’t have to worry!

Southern Discoveries is an excellent choice for a day trip to Milford Sound. They offer various daytime packages as well as allergen-friendly picnic lunches!

The gluten-free lunch includes a turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread, potato chips (called crisps in New Zealand!), a cookie from a Christchurch gluten-free bakery, plus an apple, kiwi, and a bottle of water. Being able to participate in tours while not having to worry about packing lunch is truly a wonderful thing!


Wanaka is another well-visited location on the South Island, alongside a lake appropriately named Lake Wanaka. It’s quieter than Queenstown yet filled with plenty of beautiful hikes, swimming, and gluten-free food.

There’s an excellent fish and chips place in Wanaka – Erik’s, which is a dedicated gluten-free facility. They have a sister location in Queenstown too! Erik’s also has other delicious fried foods including chicken tenders, sausage, and cauliflower. They are also certified by Coeliac New Zealand.

Craving a good cup of coffee? Try Ritual Espresso Café. They have lattes and various teas that are gluten free and can offer small plates and snacks as well. For a tasty slow food experience, try Big Fig. They have scrumptious vegetables, meats, and other healthy dishes and the vibe is very relaxed. You order what you’d like buffet style, and almost everything is gluten free. After, walk across the street to the lake and have a picnic with a view!

Lavender Fields

If you are lucky to visit New Zealand in the spring or summer, the lavender fields are not to be missed! Located in various areas along the South Island, you can find these beautiful fragrant fields of lavender in bloom in January or February. The smell is heavenly and there are plenty of lavender based products to sample!

At New Zealand Alpine Lavender by Lake Tekapo, they have a small store filled with lotions, creams, and soaps that utilize the fresh lavender, right alongside the enormous fields. They also make lavender-infused ice cream!

The ice cream is made fresh to order and the staff prepares gluten-free orders separately. The lavender mixed berry ice cream is the perfect gluten-free treat on a warm summer day!

No matter where you travel on New Zealand’s South Island, there will be gluten-free friendly establishments, groceries, and products for everyone to enjoy!

Gluten-Free Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with a romantic flair.

Buenos Aires

Tango dancers, soccer games, and a good asado are just a few things that embody the Argentine culture. It’s one of the most visited cities in South America. You’ll find a recent trend growing in popularity among the restaurant scene in Buenos Aires— eating gluten free!

1 in 100 Argentines has celiac disease, and as such the need for gluten-free products, restaurants, and cafes has popularized.1 in 100 Argentines has celiac disease, and as such the need for gluten-free products, restaurants, and cafes has popularized.














The National Program of Food Controls, a branch of the Argentine government, established a logo to appear on gluten-free foods. Known as “Sin T.A.C.C.”, it stands for “Sin trigo, avena, cebada, centeno” – “Without wheat, oats, barley, rye”. This is what to look for and ask for when in Argentina, and there are plenty of options!

Argentina has a history of receiving immigrants from all over the world. You can find so many different types of food and restaurants here due to the city’s multicultural background.

There are a number of gluten-free restaurants in Buenos Aires that have great food and lots of delicious dishes to try!

GOUT Gluten Free

GOUT Gluten Free

GOUT Gluten Free is a gluten-free cafe and bakery with cakes, pastries, and awesome gluten-free versions of a milanesa, a local sandwich with ham and cheese. The milanesas come with roasted potatoes and a drink of your choice!

Sintaxis is also a highly recommended 100% gluten-free restaurant with items you can also take home.


They are a wonderful choice for a nice sit down meal. At Sintaxis they bring gluten-free bread to your table, which is such a treat! Try their empanadas – gluten-free, of course!

Celigourmet is another dedicated gluten-free facility, offering cakes, pastries, and more.

Their salads are popular as well as their homemade bread. You can buy gluten-free staples here to take back to your accommodation and cook yourself.

Despacho de Sabores has similar offerings and is also 100% gluten-free! Vichenzo has gluten-free pastas and ravioli that you can take home and cook too!

With all the choices of dedicated gluten-free facilities offering such delicious baked goods, it may be difficult to choose! You can always bring back items to your accommodation to have with tea or coffee. Or, you can have a coffee around town.

There are plenty of coffee shops in Buenos Aires, like Dorina Coffee.

They offer gluten-free toast and marmalade for you to have with tea or coffee.  At Cocelia, you can enjoy a cappuccino with a gluten-free pastry, made from a dedicated gluten-free bakery! Argentines love their coffee, and usually have it with something sweet.

Gluten-Free Cafes

To get the most out of your time in Buenos Aires, be sure to visit some wonderful sites that explore Argentina’s history, local culture, and city life.

Check out the San Telmo market on Sunday afternoon for artisan craftsmanship, street vendors, and leather jewelry.  Make a trip over to La Boca neighborhood to see colorful homes, art and spontaneous tango.

Things to do

You can also visit the rose garden of Palermo and enjoy the fabulous outdoor spaces available to the public. Relive history as you stand in front of La Casa Rosada in Plaza de Mayo, where the Argentine President lives. Political demonstrations have taken place in the square for decades.

Rose Garden of Palermo

For dinner, try La Querencia for an excellent gluten-free menu offering appetizers, main courses, snacks like empanadas, and desserts. They also have gluten-free pasta and a dedicated cooking area for gluten-free food preparation.

If you are missing home, and would rather a burger, try Kary’s Burger Bar. It’s small burger joint that offers enormous cheeseburgers on gluten-free buns and fries that are celiac safe. Don’t be surprised to find an egg on your burger.  Argentines are big on adding fried eggs to lots of dishes!

At the grocery store, you’ll find plenty of gluten-free snacks.

There is a dedicated aisle or section in Coto, one of Argentina’s supermarket chains. Gullón makes gluten-free rice cakes, cookies, and sweets that are reasonably priced and tasty. Dos Hermanos makes rice based chips including cheese puffs that are Sin T.A.C.C. – check for the label on the front of the bag!

At the grocery store, you’ll find plenty of gluten-free snacks

For dessert, Freddo is an ice cream shop with multiple locations around Buenos Aires.

Freddo ice cream

Say you are Sin T.A.C.C. at the counter and you’ll be given a copy of their allergen list. Specific flavors that are safe will be indicated, and they will clean the ice cream scoops and open new tubs to prevent cross-contamination as well. Try the dulce de leche flavor – a true Argentine favorite!

For an authentic Argentine experience, visit a parrilla, a grill, for some late night asado – barbecue!

Authentic Argentine experience

If you can, try going with a local. They will know exactly what to order and can communicate your dietary restrictions in Spanish as well. There are loads of parrillas all over Buenos Aires, and each person will have their favorite one!

Most asados are gluten-free naturally. They roast a variety of meats with spices and often serve them with potatoes, garlic herb butter, and more! Be brave and try something outside your comfort zone, like blood sausage or intestines (they are tasty!)  or stick to the classics of beef and chorizo.

With a glass of local wine in your hand, you’ll be speaking Spanish and living as a gluten-free Argentine in no time!

Jennifer Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. Follow her gluten-free travels & more on Instagram @jefinner589 or her website

Live Gluten-Free in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, is a quick drive from Boston and popular hiking destination in New England. With the tallest mountain in the region (Mount Washington), covered bridges, lakes, and small towns, New Hampshire is a stunning place to visit in all seasons.

Besides the natural beauty of New Hampshire, you can’t go wrong eating there either! The gluten-free options from the coast to the mountains are plentiful, and there are so many scrumptious restaurants calling your name!

Here are some of the best gluten-free places in New Hampshire, guaranteed to make your mouth water and have you planning your next weekend getaway.

Traveling elsewhere in New England? Check out our gluten-free travel guides for Boston, Massachusetts, Salem, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine.

Live Gluten-Free in New Hampshire

Hampton Beach/Rye

Though New Hampshire has the smallest coastline of any state (it’s less than 20 miles!), the beaches of Hampton and Rye still provide plenty of fun in the sun, night life, and delicious seafood. The elegant mansions along the coastline will make you swoon, and to see the beach even in winter is like something out of a storybook!

In Hampton Beach, the strip is the place to be. The bungalows, shops, pubs, and live music make Hampton especially popular in the summer months. If you are looking for entertainment, try catching a show the Casino Ballroom. They offer concerts, comedy shows, and more!

To make the most out of your time in New Hampshire’s fun beach town, check out Victoria’s Kitchen for their gluten-free breakfast sandwiches. They have a separate gluten-free menu, offer gluten-free English muffins, and will toast your bread in a separate area to avoid cross-contamination. The manager of Victoria’s Kitchen has a daughter who eats gluten free, so the staff understands the importance of preparing food carefully.

For lunch or dinner, the 401 Tavern is an excellent choice, providing great prices and a friendly atmosphere. Though there isn’t a specific gluten-free menu, the chefs are happy and willing to safely prepare for you any dish – custom made and gluten free!

Live Gluten-Free in New Hampshire

Hampton is also known for a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery – Gluten Free Territory! This homemade and family-run business of baking delectable gluten-free sweets has been featured on the New Hampshire Chronicle and at the New England Gluten-Free Expo. Their products are definitely worth a taste! You can find them online or in person at Hampton Natural Foods store. Try their gluten-free brownies, cakes, cookies, and prepare to be blown away.

If you are craving a fresh catch, stop by the Atlantic Grill in Rye Beach, another six miles up the coast from Hampton. Their extensive gluten-free menu includes all fried dishes, like their fried clams. They also have the classics like New England Clam Chowder, fish and chips, fresh lobster, and homemade potato chips – all gluten-free.


Portsmouth is a historic port city along the water with an excellent downtown atmosphere. You can spend the day walking the pier, strolling the shops and 17th century homes, or sampling some of their gluten-free specialities in the Market Square area.

For a gluten-free burger and milkshake, head to BRGR Bar. The staff are cognizant of allergies and can accommodate you with a gluten-free menu and gluten-free buns. The Kitchen restaurant offers gluten-free bread and pastas, and most of their menu can be made gluten-free. They are famous for their spudsters – deep fried cones of mashed potatoes which include your own choice of seasonings and dips. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t! The Kitchen utilizes corn flour in their fryers so there’s no gluten to be found.

Looking for something light? For a sweet treat of macarons and good coffee, try the French bistro Maison Navarre. They have gluten-free macarons in every color.

Live Gluten-Free in New Hampshire

For healthy and allergy friendly options, try Durbar Square Restaurant. Their fresh foods can be altered to support your dietary needs. Also check out the Fresh Press – a perfect stop for smoothies, salads, and bowls, with most items naturally gluten free.

If you can tolerate dairy, consider having the best macaroni and cheese of your life at Mr. Mac’s. They can make 95% of their entrees gluten free, utilizing gluten-free pasta. They use separate cheeses for gluten-free orders, and cook each macaroni and cheese individually in its own container. Try the Cheeseburger Mac – complete with lean ground beef, Cabot cheddar and American cheese!


Manchester sits along the Merrimack River in southern New Hampshire, further inland than Portsmouth. It’s one of the most populous cities in New England and boasts plenty of gluten-free eating establishments. Manchester is an easy stopping point from Boston if you are continuing north for a vacation or weekend away.

Try The Purple Finch Cafe in Bedford for breakfast. They have Udi’s gluten-free buns, as well as gluten-free pancakes, waffles, and hash browns. This cafe serves home cooking that is both gluten free and tastes like mom used to make!

For lunch, the British Beer Company is a solid choice. They have locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and boast a plentiful gluten-free menu. They offer gluten-free buns for sandwiches and burgers, gluten-free pizza, and the servers are well educated on cross-contamination. You can also find gluten-free ciders on tap.

Bite Me Kupcakez is another 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery and cafe, just south of Manchester in Merrimack. They are known for their cupcakes, of course, but you can also get delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis.

There’s also a second location of Mr. Mac’s in Manchester, in case you are in the mood for more comfort food.

Conway & The White Mountains

Conway & North Conway are the gateway towns to the White Mountains. The Main Street has five and dime stores, candy shops, parks, an antique train station with a scenic railroad, and plenty of restaurants. In this area you can also find numerous outdoor activities from hiking to ski resorts and even ziplining.

Bagels Plus has your morning bagel fix with a gluten-free twist. They have plain and everything bagels gluten-free, and they are homemade! Just ask to have yours toasted separately, which they are happy to do. For a sit down breakfast, try Peach’s for a fantastic brunch without the gluten – complete with eggs, French toast, waffles and more.

The Flatbread Company caters to all types of food allergies and celiacs as well. Their gluten-free pizzas are prepared separately, away from the regular pizzas and in their own aluminum tin. Their servers are cognizant of cross-contamination precautions so you can dine comfortably.

For a delicious burger and fries with a special sauce that rivals In-N-Out, Wicked Fresh Craft Burgers can’t be beat. With a dedicated fryer, gluten-free buns, and absolutely outstanding loaded fries, you’ll be counting down the days until you can have their burgers once again! Wicked Fresh grows their own herbs used in their sauces and the staff will take special care with gluten-free orders.

If you visit Conway in the months of June and July, you can spend the day exploring Diana’s Baths State Park and snack on some freshly grown strawberries. Schartner Farm opens every summer, and they sell their own fresh jams and jellies in addition to their mountain grown berries. Their strawberries are beyond sweet, and you can use them at home to make tarts, scones, muffins and more.

Live Gluten-Free in New Hampshire

To have the ultimate gluten-free experience in New Hampshire, consider spending a weekend at a dedicated gluten-free hotel. The Riverside Inn in Intervale is just the place! Located just north of Conway and surrounded by the White Mountains, this beautiful bed and breakfast is 100% gluten-free. There’s nothing better than enjoying the comforts of home while in a gorgeous setting. You can rest easy knowing your food is coming from a dedicated kitchen space.

New Hampshire’s natural landscape will leave you speechless regardless of what time of year you visit. You can spend your days exploring the outdoors, hiking the mountains or strolling the coast. Whatever part of New Hampshire appeals to you, dining gluten-free won’t be a challenge. You can travel across the granite state and eat gluten free with ease.

Jennifer Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. She is currently traveling through Europe as part of a six month round the world trip with her husband. Follow her gluten-free adventures on Instagram @jefinner589 or on her website

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

The state of Maine is the largest in all of New England, with over 15 million acres of land. Maine’s seacoast stretches for 3,478 miles—more than 50 miles longer than the state of California! Lighthouses dot the rocky beaches, lobster shacks offer fresh catches and outdoor activities abound. The seaside towns in Maine truly embody “the way life should be,” or, to put it better, the way gluten-free life should be!

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

Here’s a taste of what delicious and fun gluten-free options are waiting for you along the seacoast of Maine.


As you cross the border from New Hampshire into Maine on I-95, the first town over the bridge is Kittery. Kittery is home to a US Navy Base on Seavey’s Island and excellent shopping. The Kittery Outlets are your best option for discounts, especially at Maine stores like L.L. Bean. You can also visit the Kittery Trading Post, which has outdoor equipment, clothing, and supplies.

For a great gluten-free sandwich, try Henry VIII Carvery. This lunch stop has hand carved roast beef, turkey, and pork sandwiches available on tasty gluten-free rolls.

If you’d rather have seafood and a true New England classic – a lobster roll, look no further than Robert’s Maine Grill. The staff is cognizant of gluten-free dietary needs and cross-contamination. Having a gluten-free lobster roll is a must when visiting Maine!


Continuing north another 10 minutes on I-95 is the small town of York. York is well-known for its famous lighthouse, Cape Neddick. This popular tourist attraction is more commonly referred to as Nubble Lighthouse, due to its location on Nubble Island. The lighthouse has been in use since its dedication in 1879.

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

One of the best parts of York in addition to this charming seaside lighthouse is a restaurant that most people with celiac disease can rarely attend. If you are gluten-free, you are aware of how challenging eating at a Chinese restaurant can be, due to the presence of soy sauce and cross-contamination. At Greenleaves Chinese Restaurant in York, your dreams of enjoying gluten-free Chinese food can come true!

Greenleaves has a separate and extensive gluten-free menu as well as high standards in their kitchen. Not only do they utilize special labeling and plates for their gluten-free dishes, but they also have a dedicated gluten-free cooking space and pay close attention to hidden locations for cross-contamination. With gluten-free options like sushi, fried rice, miso soup, and more, this Chinese restaurant is definitely worth the trip to York!


Another 10 minute drive on I-95 north is the town of Ogunquit. Ogunquit is well known for its pristine beaches and adorable Bed and Breakfasts. Nicknamed “Beautiful Place by the Sea,” it’s been called one of the best beach towns in Maine.

In addition to being known as one of the best beach towns, Ogunquit also has some of the best gluten-free food. At Roots Cafe & Bistro, you can enjoy many items from the gluten-free menu for brunch, including house made granola, egg sandwiches, or a Maine twist on a classic brunch item: Lobster Benedict.

To dine seaside, try The Trap. They offer seating outside on the patio that overlooks the beach. This restaurant also has a dedicated fryer for items like fried oysters and crab cakes made gluten-free! The Trap has a separate gluten-free menu as well as gluten-free buns for their sandwiches.

For a sweet treat, check out Rococo Ice Cream. This ice cream shop offers handcrafted ice cream that rotates through fourteen different flavors every day. They also have gluten-free cones and will carefully adhere to requests for fresh tubs of ice cream and clean scoops.


Portland is one of the biggest cities along the seacoast with an outstanding gluten-free scene, including 100 percent gluten-free restaurants! From Ogunquit, Portland is a 45 minute drive north on I-95. It’s the most populous city in the state of Maine and an excellent weekend getaway for celiacs. It’s another fabulous destination and boasts live music, local festivals, art museums and nautical history.

Bam Bam Bakery is well known for their fantastic desserts and for being a dedicated gluten-free facility. Besides baked goods they also offer breakfast sandwiches, scones, snacks, and more! If you visit any Portland supermarkets, check for Allergeena Gluten-Free Baked Goods. They are made by a small business owner in South Portland who also eats gluten free.

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

Lunch and dinner options in Portland include the Portland Pie Company for some wonderful gluten-free pizza, MAÍZ Colombian Street Food, where everything on the menu is gluten free, and for a special treat, The Holy Donut. This place is quintessential Portland— freshly made potato donuts with all different flavors and a special selection of gluten-free donuts as well.

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be


On your drive to Camden, make sure to stop in at Wildflours Gluten-Free Market & Bakery in Brunswick. It’s adorable and scrumptious- and their prices are very reasonable for gluten-free products! It will take you approximately a half an hour to get there from Portland on I-295.

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

Continuing an hour and 20 minutes up the coast will bring you to the charming town of Camden. Camden overlooks Penobscot Bay and has various walking trails. It’s known as the “Jewel of the Coast.” You can stroll the historic district on High Street, hike Mount Battie, or maybe catch an outdoor concert at the Harbor Park & Amphitheatre.

If you can stay at the Windward House B&B, it’s worth a try. They cater to those with celiac disease and go above and beyond in their breakfasts. If not, check out the Camden Bagel Cafe for fresh Udi’s gluten-free bagels and various cream cheeses for a yummy start your day.

For lunch or dinner, the Sea Dog Brewing Company has locations throughout New England, including a spot in Camden. They offer gluten-free ciders, gluten-free buns for their burgers,and a detailed gluten-free menu. You can also dine by the water for stunning views and gluten-free options at Waterfront Restaurant. Waterfront’s menu includes gluten-free seafood and salads.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park, located on Mount Desert Island. Heading north along the coast from Camden, it will take a little less than two hours of driving time. Acadia is a beautiful spot for camping among the Maine pine trees while still in close proximity to the beaches and ocean. In the town of Bar Harbor, there are various activities such as kayaking, bike riding and hiking.

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

Bar Harbor and Acadia are a wonderful vacation spot for couples, families, and groups of friends. If you enjoy camping, stay at Blackwoods Campground for a few nights. You can hear the waves from your campsite as you relax by the by the fire enjoying a gluten-free s’mores— just bring your own graham crackers!

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

Geddy’s Restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor has an outstanding gluten-free menu with fried options that seem too good to be true! From gluten-free nachos to gluten-free fish and chips, Geddy’s does a solid job with their dedicated fryers and foods. This restaurant provides any gluten-free customer visiting Bar Harbor a chance to enjoy classic comfort foods—without the stomachache.

For a healthier option, Thrive Juice Bar has clean eating down pat, including smoothies, green juices, quinoa bowls and salads. They are keenly aware of cross-contamination prevention and know what foods and drinks are safe to order off the menu.

The Side Street Cafe is another gluten-free friendly place and one of the best stop for food in Bar Harbor. This restaurant is off of the main drag and their decor is funky, but fun. The tables themselves look like shadow boxes with Maine related souvenirs and memorabilia inside. Their macaroni and cheese is outrageously good, and you can make this a true Maine dish by adding an extra ingredient: lobster!

Maine’s Seacoast: The Way Gluten-Free Life Should Be

The gluten-free scene along Maine’s seacoast won’t leave you disappointed or hungry. No matter what charming beach town you choose to visit, you’ll have a chance to embrace Maine and enjoy the way gluten-free life should be.

Gluten-Free Vermont: Hippie Hotspot of Gluten-Free Delights

Vermont is a hippie hotspot overflowing with farm fresh produce, outdoor enthusiasts, and a funky 60’s vibe.  The Green Mountain State’s lush landscape of rolling hills make it a prime spot for ski resorts, hikers, and nature lovers. It’s an excellent place to vacation and has so much to offer visitors of all ages. And if you follow a gluten-free diet, you’ve come to the right place!

The city of Burlington, Vermont is situated along Lake Champlain in the northwest corner of the state. Burlington’s population is naturally health conscious. They focus on organic farming practices, local foods, and protecting the environment. 

Gluten-Free Vermont

Burlington’s farmer’s market is a prime example of these efforts.  The sheer amount of fruits, vegetables, sharp cheddar cheese, grass-fed meats and green smoothies will make you want to move here right away.  Eating healthy is encouraged, and those with food allergies don’t have to worry—everyone is cognizant of what they are eating and how to help you eat safely.

Gluten-Free Vermont

If you are planning to visit Burlington in the near future, you’ll definitely want to check out Church Street. It’s the main area downtown and the entire street is paved for easy pedestrian access.  Many people spend warm days strolling Church Street with their dogs, but you can also find street performers, outdoor yoga classes, food stalls, and during the holiday season, a tree lighting.

Gluten-Free Vermont

For a morning coffee or chai latte, especially in the winter months, check out Uncommon Grounds or Muddy Waters. Both are located close to or directly on Church Street.  They are cozy, feel good places where you can warm up, read a book, or just people watch.  Down by the water on Lake Champlain you’ll find The Skinny Pancake, which is famous for it’s gluten-free crepes! The lake area is also a beautiful spot for an afternoon stroll or bike ride along the Burlington Bike Path.

Gluten-Free Vermont

There are lots of cute places for shopping on Church Street as well. You can sample local olive oils from the Saratoga Oil Company – all gluten-free, just don’t eat the bread!  There’s a Ben & Jerry’s, of course, if you need your ice cream kick.  Ask your server to clean their scoop and they will also open a fresh tub of cream to avoid cross-contamination.  Outdoor Gear Exchange will have everything you need for hiking, skiing, or any activity in nature, plus jackets, coats, and winter wear if you visit during the colder months.

If you enjoy the outdoors and are looking for an easy day hike, visit Mount Philo.  It’s less than a thousand feet of elevation gain and only 2 miles roundtrip.  Or, save yourself the trouble and drive to the top.  The views at the summit of the Champlain Valley are breathtaking. My husband proposed at Mount Philo and from then on it’s been my favorite spot!

Gluten-Free Vermont

Before your hike, grab a picnic lunch to enjoy when you reach the summit.  Make a stop to City Market supermarket & co-op.  It’s on Winooski Avenue, just one block parallel to Church Street.  This is a grocery store but it’s more like a miniature Whole Foods. They have a hot and cold bar, a deli, and a sandwich shop.

If you’re at the hot or cold bar, everything is clearly labeled and you’ll see “contains wheat” or “contains gluten” listed in addition to the ingredients. They have foods available for all types of diets and even offer products in bulk. There’s a gluten-free locally made granola with chocolate chips and cranberries that’s super tasty!

When ordering a sandwich, tell the employee behind the counter if you have celiac.  They will change their gloves, place everything on separate areas, and make strong efforts to reduce cross contamination. The sandwiches here are served on Udi’s gluten-free bread. You can have it toasted (they put the bread on foil and keep it apart from others) or cold. Try the North Country Melt- made with real Vermont cheddar cheese. It’s delicious!

Gluten-Free Vermont

Local products are readily available in Vermont. Maple syrup is very popular, and while you are here you can visit a sugar shack to see how the stuff is made! The best times to go are the late winter/early spring months of March or April.  Maple syrup is also readily available in most stores, shops, and grocery stores.  This is the real stuff – no Aunt Jemima here!

You can also try a maple creemee, which is vanilla ice cream sweetened with maple syrup.  Double check with the owner that it’s gluten-free.  At some places, they even offer GF cones! This gluten-free creemee is from Palmer Lane Maple in Jericho, just outside of Burlington.

Gluten-Free Vermont

For dinner in downtown Burlington, you might be craving Mexican food and El Cortijo has authentic cuisine and fantastic dishes.  They let you know which of their foods are gluten-free on the menu, but most of it is fairly safe.  They are located on Bank Street right across from City Market.

For local gluten-free hard cider and a menu featuring a dedicated fryer, try out Citizen Cider. This cider joint and restaurant can be found on Pine Street just a short distance from downtown Church Street.  You’ll also find Citizen Ciders sold in the supermarkets as one of Vermont’s other famous local products.

My favorite restaurant is Sweetwater’s, a converted bank turned restaurant right on Church Street.  It has an old vibe with both indoor and outdoor seating. Their cheeseburgers are tasty and they come on a locally made gluten-free bun with mashed potatoes and salad.  You can also enjoy the spinach artichoke dip with gluten-free tortilla chips (safe from cross-contamination) as an appetizer!

Gluten-Free Vermont

Just outside of Burlington and in the surrounding towns you can find other great gluten-free options. In Essex Junction, try Mimmo’s for Gluten-Free pizza and pastas. Their menu also lists the importance of understanding the differences between celiac disease and gluten intolerance. There’s also a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery called West Meadow Farm offering biscotti, scones, cookies, and muffins.

For a more upscale dining experience, try the Essex Resort and Spa. They are a culinary institute that do cooking demonstrations and have their own restaurant called The Tavern. The Essex makes large strides to naturally cook their foods gluten-free to make accommodating for those with celiac easy. Their menu options are extensive and everything gluten-free is clearly labeled. They have gluten-free bread for sandwiches and also have a dedicated fryer.

Local produce and farmer’s markets are some of the best reasons to visit Vermont, especially in the summer and fall months.  Vermonters know the importance of investing in farmers and their products, and they value them highly.  Some great ways to contribute to these local businesses include visiting the Burlington Farmer’s Market on the weekends.  There’s even a bakery called Barrio with a booth that sells gluten-free treats.

Gluten-Free Vermont

Another way to support local farmers is to do some berry picking in the summer months at a place like Mazza’s farm in Colchester.  Colchester is another small town right next to Burlington.  It’s a fun outdoor day trip and you’ll have fresh fruit to use in your own gluten-free recipes.  Above is sample of a homemade gluten-free chocolate cake with whipped cream topped with Vermont farm fresh strawberries and blueberries.

If you have a chance to visit Vermont in the months of September or October, you’ll enjoy the beauty that is the fall season.  You can continue to support local farmers by going apple picking at places like Burtt’s Orchard in Cabot.  You can also stop by the Cabot Cheese Factory and try free samples of all their various cheeses inside the visitor’s center, which are all labeled gluten-free!  The foliage in autumn is stunning and this excursion a little outside Burlington (about one hour and fifteen minutes south) is well worth it.  Just don’t arrive too late in the season – it can snow as early as Halloween!

Gluten-Free Vermont

Vermont’s the kind of place that once you visit, you’ll want to come back.  Every season has different activities, foods, and outdoor fun to enjoy.  Thankfully, Vermont is passionate about providing options for those on a gluten-free diet year round, making it one of the best destinations in New England for a vacationing celiac. 

Gluten-Free Vermont

Jennifer Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. She and her husband are traveling the world for the next four months. Follow her gluten-free adventures on Instagram @jefinner589 or @thenomadicfitzies724 or on her website Fitzpatrick’s series on Gluten-Free New England will be shared at Gluten-Free Living for the next four months. Check out her guide to Boston here and her guide to Salem, Massachusetts here

Salem, Massachusetts: Your Gluten-Free Guide to Witch City

If you’ve never been to Salem, Massachusetts, especially during the month of October, it’s quite an experience.

Known as “Haunted Happenings”, thousands of people flock to this waterfront town to learn about its history of witchcraft while celebrating Halloween. With the leaves changing color, crisp cool air, and pumpkins galore, Salem embraces its spooky past and makes the most of the fall season.  The culmination of this month long celebration is of course October 31st, when the streets are filled with people in costume, radio DJ’s, dance parties, and fireworks. It’s the most popular time to visit Sale. They make the most of Halloween and have an absolute blast doing so!

Gluten-free Salem

Salem in the fall season can be thrilling and lots of fun, but very busy. If you can make a trip in the spring or summer, or even brave the cold and go in winter, you may have less crowds and more flexibility. Whatever time of year you do visit Salem, there are plenty of gluten-free options in store for you!

Salem’s gluten-free food scene is packed with possibilities.  It’s got the best gluten-free bakery, an eclectic pizzeria, wine and cheese shops, a funky ice cream parlor, and an amazing local cidery. Salem’s culinary world is filled with delicious treats and goodies just calling your name.

Salem’s downtown area is easily accessible by car or train. The Boston commuter rail goes directly to Salem and once you exit the commuter rail station on Bridge Street (Route 107), you are right at the start of downtown. If you plan to drive, try the public parking lot located behind the Peabody Essex Museum between Church Street & Federal Street. Prices are very reasonable and it’s free after 6 p.m.

The one place anyone visiting Salem on a gluten-free diet absolutely must go to for breakfast, is not actually in Salem, but the next town over. Heading north across Route 107 another 2.2 miles is Crave Café and Bakery in Beverly. A quick jaunt no matter how you get there, but one thing is for sure – Crave is so good you’ll be trying to find ways to go back the next morning.  Almost everything at Crave is gluten-free. You are going to want to sample it all, so pace yourself!

Gluten Free Salem

There are gluten-free scones, gluten-free macarons, gluten-free cupcakes with flavors like Nutella, lemon raspberry, maple bacon, peanut butter chocolate and tons more. They also offer hot and cold teas, coffees, and various hot chocolates with homemade marshmallows. And let’s not forget their breakfast sandwiches (get the North Shore, it’s my favorite!) served warm on their homemade herb-cheese bread. This sandwich doesn’t have regular bacon, but maple candied bacon. Yum!

Crave cupcakes are so fantastic that my husband, who does not have any dietary restrictions, specifically requested them for his last birthday. I always bake a cake every year, but this was the first time he specifically requested something different. He told me, “All I want for my birthday this year are Crave cupcakes and nothing else.” I didn’t argue!

Gluten Free Salem

Once you’ve sufficiently stuffed your face at Crave and have made your plans to return for breakfast the next day, you’re ready for a day exploring Salem.

Back on Washington Street, begin at the Bewitched Statue, on the corner of Washington & Essex Streets. You can snap a photo of Elizabeth Montgomery as your first introduction to the witch city. Here you’ll be centrally located to shops, stores, restaurants, and bars. Everything is walkable and without large distances. Salem’s downtown is small and easily managed on foot.

Gluten Free Salem

For souvenirs, book shops, fortune tellers, and both the Farmer’s Market & Flea Market (In summer and fall), walk the cobblestone streets of Essex Street east of the Bewitched Statue. It leads to more restaurants and cute shops as well as the previously mentioned Peabody Essex Museum. Check out Oak & Moss for decorative items, Roost & Co. for stationary, and Artist’s Row for crafts and creations of local artisans. There’s a ceramic shop, wood turning shop, and hat shop all within close proximity to one another.  You can also view the Old Town Meeting House, which was used for the town dance at the end of the movie Hocus Pocus.

After perusing the shops and maybe having your fortune told, you might be hungry for lunch. You have your choice of gluten-free options. Off Artist’s Row, The Lobster Shanty has excellent seafood, and The Adriatic offers a mix of Italian and Greek dishes, like their mouthwatering pasta bolognese and Caesar salad. Back on the cobblestone walkway, Village Tavern offers typical American pub fair, such as burgers and sandwiches.

If you take Essex Street all the way to the east end, you’ll wind up at the Salem Common, an open green space with walkways, a playground and benches. The Common is often the location for outdoor summer concerts, carnivals (during Haunted Happenings), and anyone looking to enjoy a local public park.

Directly across the street from the Salem Common is the Witch Museum. If you are truly passionate about witches and the history of witchcraft in Salem, it’s worth the small entrance fee to attend. Go at night for some ambiance!

Gluten Free Salem

Down to the right on Congress Street & then a left on Derby Street will take you toward the waterfront and the Salem Wharf. There’s a lighthouse you can walk to where you can see the ocean and all the boats docked in the harbor (unless it’s winter!) On a sunny day many dog owners take this walk with their four legged pals. You can also find The Friendship of Salem, a replica of an East Indian Trading Vessel, docked at the wharf which you can board and explore. If you need a pick me up after your walk on the wharf, Jaho Coffee on Derby Street is the perfect stop for a latte or cup of tea.

Gluten Free Salem

From here, continue further east along the peninsula to the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the House of Seven Gables. Admission for both homes teaches you about the life of this author who helped popularize the city of Salem.

Even further east is the Salem Willows Park on Memorial Drive. They have old fashioned arcades, a space for outdoor concerts, plus barbecues and a nice spot for a picnic or a walk by the water!

Gluten Free Salem

Heading back west on Derby Street toward Washington Street, stop at the Old Burying Point Cemetery on Liberty Street. You can view where some famous Salem citizens have been buried, including a Mayflower pilgrim! Two blocks further on Lafayette Street is the Cheese Shop of Salem. They carry imported goods, various cheeses and wine.  On Fridays they do wine tastings at a reasonable price and at anytime you can sample whatever cheese you like, for free! They also stock gluten-free crackers and mead, which is a honey-based liquor.

If you are still up for more walking, head down to Far From The Tree on Jefferson Avenue and Jackson Street. While a little removed from downtown proper (it’s about a half mile from The Salem Cheese Shop) this cidery makes hard cider all gluten-free with the most amazing combinations and seasonal specials. Try the Cord if you prefer a dry cider; or Lei if you are brave (it’s pineapple and jalapeño!), or for a happy medium, Apple or my Chai, which is sweet and tastes like chai tea and apple juice. They make all their ciders using local ingredients and you can see their fresh herbs growing on the patio.  The bartenders are friendly and they have picnic tables; board games, corn hole, and more.

Heading north toward downtown, take a left on Essex Street this time to view some of the most beautiful Georgian homes in Salem. The houses on this street are my absolute favorite, especially The Ropes Mansion, which you may recognize as Alison’s house from the movie Hocus Pocus. Adjacent to Alison’s House is the Salem Witch House where you can learn more about Salem’s history with witchcraft – the home belonged to a former judge of the witch trials.

Gluten Free Salem

If you are hungry for dinner, you can find lots of options on Washington Street. Ledger has great cocktails and appetizers. For some awesome sci-fi memorabilia as well as gluten-free garlic knots, pizzas, and more, try Flying Saucer. Opus has delicious burgers with garlic aioli served on gluten-free bread, and Turner’s has some of the best seafood on the North Shore.

To finish your day, you may be looking for something sweet and Melt is just the place. Dedicated to being allergen friendly, they have fantastic gluten-free ice cream flavors (like maple banana walnut) and gluten-free brownies. They go to extra lengths to clean off ice cream scoops and use fresh tubs of ice cream, plus the workers always give their hands an extra wash before serving someone with an allergy. While these details may be small, they make a huge difference and provide those of us on a gluten-free diet with peace of mind.

Gluten Free Salem

If you are still down for more fun, head over to Bit Bar on St. Peter Street just around the corner from Melt. This throwback pub is packed with pinball machines and old school arcade games you can play for just quarters each. Their menu is full of weird and cool items, of which, many are gluten-free!  Try the pulled pork! Or just check their menu- everything is clearly labeled.

If you are a night owl who is interested in hearing a ghost story or two about Salem, sign up for an evening ghost tour. Led by a local guide usually in traditional Puritan dress, you’ll be guaranteed to finish your evening with a few laughs and maybe a few screams.

Salem is filled with funky yet relaxed people, unique and traditional places, and a hip vibe that’s only encouraged by the local college of Salem State. There’s always a band playing, a pop-up, food truck, or festival to attend. It’s vibrant atmosphere combined with the quaint waterfront views gives Salem an advantage over other seaside towns. With the amount of new restaurants opening left and right, there’s usually another gluten-free treat just waiting to be sampled.

Jennifer Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. She is currently dreaming of Crave cupcakes as she and her husband travel the world for the next five months. Follow her gluten-free adventures on Instagram @jefinner589 or @thenomadicfitzies724 or on her website Fitzpatrick’s series on Gluten-Free New England will be shared at Gluten-Free Living for the next five months. Check out her guide to Boston here.

The Gluten-Free Freedom Trail: Your GF Guide to Boston

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red brick-path that takes you through sixteen important and historically significant sites in downtown Boston.  After years of eating gluten-free while living in the Boston area and being an avid history buff, I’ve created my own gluten-free version of the Freedom Trail.  This self-guided walking tour combines many of the historical sites you’d find on the Freedom Trail, plus a few local stops every Bostonian knows and loves.  It’s a little bit longer than the traditional Freedom Trail and you can choose to do all of it, parts of it, or whatever you prefer. Along the way, you’ll be able to sample some of the best gluten-free foods in Boston.  Brush up on your middle school history lessons and come hungry – Boston has a lot to both teach and feed you!

Boston Public Market

Start your morning at Boston Public Market, located near the Haymarket green and orange line subway ‘T’ stop.This central location allows you to see a lot of Boston proper before heading out to the specific Freedom Trail.  The indoor small cafeteria of Boston Public Market has vendors of all kinds selling baked goods, fresh honey, groceries, natural products, cheeses, and more.  Jennifer Lee’s Gourmet Bakery is a 100 percent gluten-free facility that always has muffins and pastries on hand for a mid morning snack. Mother Juice, a vegan and gluten-free juice bar, utilizes products from local farms in the area.  If you prefer a more substantial breakfast, check out Inna’s Kitchen, a Jewish deli offering delicious gluten-free baked goods & sandwiches.

Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market

Upon exiting the Public Market, continue down Union Street to Faneuil Hall, where the Sons of Liberty met to discuss their plans during the American Revolution. Entrance is free and often a National Parks Ranger will give regular talks about the history of Faneuil Hall and how it is still used today! Downstairs you can find various historical gifts, goods, and Boston related souvenirs.

Directly behind Faneuil Hall is Quincy Market, an indoor food court. Here you have a chance to try the famous New England clam chowder (made gluten-free) at Fisherman’s Net. They use cornstarch instead of flour so it’s safe to eat! For a sit down meal, try Bostonia Public House, offering an extensive gluten-free menu with seafood, burgers, and more.


The North End

Across Surface Road and Cross Street will lead you to the North End.  This area is small but packs a lot of history and delicious Italian cuisine.  The North End is known as the Little Italy of Boston. It has two main streets you’ll want to walk down: Hanover Street and Salem Street.  Both have various restaurants and small cafes, plus gelato shops, bakeries and pizzerias.  The smells wafting from the windows will make your mouth water and the random bursts of Italian you hear from the gentlemen on the corner will make you smile.  Modern Pastry is one of two famous bakeries in this area that make gluten-free cannolis and whoopie pies. Mike’s Pastry across the street also offers gluten-free whoopie pies and cookies. You will often find festivals throughout the North End at different times during the year honoring various saints and religious figures.

For an authentic Italian grocery store, stop in Salumeria Italian on Richmond Street. They sell fresh meats, cheeses, and imported Italian products like gluten-free pastas. Around the corner is the home of Paul Revere. For a small price, you can tour the inside and learn more about his famous ride.

Al Dente and Benevento’s on Salem Street will make all of your dreams of classic Italian dishes come true as gluten-free masterpieces. The pasta bolognese, antipasto salad, and thin crust margherita pizzas are out of this world good! Their attention to detail, knowledge of gluten-free diners, and excellent recipes make either of these places a great stop for lunch.

Once you’ve had your fill of Italian food, take a look at the ground you are walking on.  If you see a thin red-brick line in middle of the sidewalk, you’ve found the official Freedom Trail.  Anywhere along this path will take you past a site of historical significance.  Boston is a city on a smaller scale where you can see so much in one day! If it becomes too much walking, the T (subway) is easily accessible and straightforward to use.

Before you leave the North End, stop in the Old North Church. This famous steeple is where two lanterns were hung to let the colonists know the British would be arriving by sea, and not by land.


Continue over to Charlestown to see the Boston Navy Yard or the monument on Bunker Hill which commemorates the battle of the American Revolution.  If you want to get your sea legs, head to the USS Constitution, which is the oldest working naval vessel still afloat.  Admission is free and you’ll have a chance to go below deck and meet current sailors stationed there. If you are feeling hungry on your way back from Charlestown, Tavern in the Square is the perfect stop for a drink or a snack. Their Parmesan truffle tater tots are delicious and almost everything on the menu is gluten free.

Downtown Boston

Back down Congress Street through Government Center, you will pass the Old State House, site of the Boston Massacre, Granary Burial Ground, where patriots like Samuel Adams are buried, and both the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden.  The Public Garden is especially beautiful in the spring and summer due to the flowers in bloom and warmer temperatures. Bostonians appreciate any warm weather they can get!

The houses lining the Boston Common are some of the most beautiful homes in the city. These brownstones are along the same side of the Common as a famous bar where everybody knows your name! The Cheers Bar is a great stop for a gluten-free local cider and you can take home the glass.

For a sit down meal filled with delicious local fish, try Legal Seafood in the theater district, right alongside the Public Garden. There are so many seafood options available with their gluten-free menu you won’t feel deprived. Get the fish and chips – fried in a dedicated fryer, they are crispy and perfect. If you prefer a steakhouse, try Davio’s. They have gluten-free menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Plus, their pasta dishes are served with gluten-free pasta or gluten-free gnocchi!


Copley Square

If you’re still up for more, continue into Copley Square and check out the Boston Public Library. The finish line of the Boston marathon is in this area as well, and on weekends you can find flea markets and farmer’s markets during the spring and summer.  Luke’s Lobster, while a little pricey, offers the famous New England classic of a lobster roll, made gluten-free.

Papa Razzi on Newbury Street is a nice sit down restaurant with more delicious Italian food and an excellent gluten-free menu.  Everything is made to order and it’s all fantastic. It’s become my go-to place for birthdays and all types of celebrations, especially for the fried mozzarella appetizer made gluten-free and served with homemade marinara sauce.

Back Bay & Fenway

If you are a baseball fan, continue down to the neighborhood of Back Bay and check out Fenway Park, one of the oldest ballparks in America. Don’t wear any Yankees gear or you will undoubtedly be a target for some name calling.  Boston fans take their baseball very seriously!  If you are able to see a game, I would highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t a Red Sox fan, the atmosphere and the sheer intensity of Boston fans is an experience to remember!

Fenway Park has an entirely gluten-free kiosk offering hot dogs on Udi’s buns and gluten-free brownies.  It’s located behind Grandstand 21 and I stop by during every Red Sox game for my own gluten-free treats.  After a full day of sightseeing, there’s nothing like watching a baseball game with your own gluten-free hot dog.


Another area of Boston I enjoy exploring is Cambridge.  This neighborhood across the Charles River is home to the prestigious universities of Harvard and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Walking around the red brick buildings surrounded by college students just makes you feel smarter!

More delicious gluten-free stops in Cambridge include Violette Bakery, a 100 percent gluten-free bakery, and The Friendly Toast, an awesome local diner that has plenty of gluten-free options and a tasty brunch. Also, check out Naco Taco for eclectic tacos fried in a dedicated fryer.

Whether you decide to see as much of Boston as you can, or just one neighborhood, you’ll be able to find plenty of local gluten-free eats. This Gluten-Free Freedom Trail will show you the best of Boston’s history, character, and charm, and all the delicious gluten-free stops to go with it. At the end of your tour, you’ll be wicked smart not only in Boston facts and trivia, but how to navigate a major city with a limited diet.

Jennifer Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. She is currently traveling the world for the next six months with her husband. Check out her website or her Instagram @jefinner589 for more tips on traveling gluten-free. Fitzpatrick’s series on Gluten-Free New England will be shared at Gluten-Free Living for the next six months.