Gluten-Free Atlanta Has It All

As I sketched out a rough itinerary for our long weekend in gluten-free Atlanta, I quickly realized that the sensational Southeastern food scene my husband and I had been hearing about was no exaggeration. In fact, so many Atlanta-area restaurants, cafés, food halls and bakeries had caught my eye that we would easily have enough to eat to last us for a couple of weeks or longer.

Paring down my culinary wish list wasn’t easy, but ultimately we were thrilled with everything we tried. Get a taste of our favorite gluten-free spots in Atlanta and find out how we explored the city between meals.

Indulge in Southern classics

After arriving in Atlanta, seeking out gluten-free versions of Southern classics was at the top of my to-do list. I’d heard that Bantam + Biddy was a must, and this modern Southern diner didn’t disappoint. While not every menu item at Bantam + Biddy is gluten free, all safe options are clearly marked on the menu. All fried items here are gluten free. That means you can try everything from the fried chicken tenders to the fried green tomatoes. I ordered both, of course.

With their crunchy cornmeal coating and tender interiors, the fried green tomatoes made for a fantastic appetizer. They were particularly tasty when paired with the rich whipped goat cheese. Juicy and well-seasoned, Bantam + Biddy’s chicken tenders hit the spot both with and without the zesty wasabi honey dipping sauce.

Bantam + Biddy

We opted for the Southern breakfast. The huge plate is loaded with three farm eggs and all the fabulous fixings—creamy grits, pimento cheese, fried okra, crispy bacon and jalapeño cornbread. The menu is filled with mouthwatering savory breakfasts like the big chicken skillet and sweet options like the buttermilk pancakes. With so many options, you can’t go wrong with gluten-free breakfast or lunch here.

I also liked that Bantam + Biddy is close to Piedmont Park, a huge green space in Midtown Atlanta. This park is wonderful to visit in any season, but it’s especially lovely in the spring and summer, when trees and flowers bloom and festivals liven up the area. The park is adjacent to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and close to the High Museum of Art. You could easily do what we did and spend a few hours admiring the blooms at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and checking out the High’s latest exhibitions while working up
an appetite for another meal. Naturally, more Southern fare awaited in Midtown.

South City Kitchen

Another favorite find, South City Kitchen has served up innovative Southern cuisine for more than 25 years. This spot has offered gluten-free and other allergy-friendly options since 2010. As Robby Kukler, Fifth Group Restaurants partner, explained, “We see it as our responsibility being in the service and hospitality food business to provide our guests with what they value and define as a great dining experience.”

Today, South City Kitchen has four locations in the metro Atlanta area, and all offer numerous gluten-free dishes and modifications. I recommend starting with the pimento cheese, which arrives in a generous portion that’s more than large enough to share. The bread-and-butter pickles and fresh veggies were just right for scooping up the zesty cheese and perfectly complemented the rich flavor.

Starting with this dish was also the ideal way to prime our palates for the shrimp and Geechie Boy grits. Executive Chef John Spotkill makes the signature grits dish with a rice flour-based roux, a smoky tomato and poblano gravy, sautéed shrimp and tasso ham. As a longtime lover of shrimp and grits, I’m already dreaming up plans to return to South City Kitchen to sample this dish again.

Tuck into global fare


As much as I enjoyed digging into Atlanta’s Southern food scene, I also fell head over heels for some of the city’s Mediterranean and Southeast Asian spots. In fact, no trip to Atlanta is complete without a meal at Mediterranea, the city’s only completely gluten-free restaurant.

Here, co-owners Gerard Nudo, a pastry chef, and Gary McElroy, who has celiac, have joined with Executive Chef Anthony Galletta to design a gorgeous space that specializes in Mediterranean-inspired fare so delectable that it appeals to everyone, gluten free or not. Nestled in Atlanta’s charming Grant Park neighborhood, Mediterranea highlights fresh, creative ingredients with a healthy emphasis on hearty plant-based dishes.


I couldn’t get enough of the quartet of spreads. And I used the crudité and freshly baked focaccia to scoop up every last bit of the flavorful chickpea, labne, eggplant and artichoke olive spreads. I found the involtini to be a standout dish and a fun take on a Mediterranean classic, featuring thinly sliced zucchini wrapped around savory halloumi cheese, topped with a deconstructed ratatouille, and accented by colorful tomato sauce and yellow pepper coulis. I’d also recommend trying the Calabrese shrimp and orzo. It packs a flavorful punch with a spicy tomato-based sauce, salty feta cheese and sweet golden raisins.

If you have as much of a sweet tooth as I do, you’ll appreciate the pastry case, which features a rotating selection of morning glory muffins, cherry pecan scones and the divine lemon Bundt cake that I sampled. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, note that while baked goods are available any time the restaurant is open, you’ll find the best pastry selection on weekends, when Mediterranea also serves scrumptious brunch dishes like buckwheat crêpes with smoked trout and black cherry cream cheese French toast.


Work off your meal at Mediterranea with a stroll through nearby Grant Park or a wander through Atlanta’s lively Poncey-Highland neighborhood. The latter is home to Ponce City Market, one of the most impressive and expansive food halls I’ve ever visited. While I merely window-shopped, I was excited to sample the fare at CO, located just up the street.

At this bright, airy Poncey-Highland spot, Chef Masanori Shiraishi (aka Chef Masa) puts a contemporary twist on classic Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese dishes, many of which you can request gluten free. I recommend starting with the mango summer rolls, which are light, fresh and ideal for warm weather in Atlanta. You can’t go wrong with CO’s fusion sushi rolls. And as a noodle fan, I loved the Hanoi Noodle, which comes with rice noodles, crunchy cabbage and carrots, and a spicy yellow curry sauce. Since CO now has branches in several Southeastern cities, I’ll be adding the other locations to my list for future trips, too.

Stock up on sweet treats

Normally when I travel, I focus on getting to know the city itself. This leaves very little time for exploring the further reaches of the metro area. When I mapped out our Atlanta trip, however, I realized that all of the city’s gluten-free bakeries are located on the outskirts. Since I couldn’t leave without sampling a couple, we set aside plenty of time to visit two tasty spots just north of the city.

Gluten Free Cutie

Our sunny Saturday morning started at Gluten Free Cutie. The chalkboard menu tempted us with the promise of beignets. The farmhouse chic decor invited us to relax and stay awhile. Although I’d been planning to focus on the sweets, I was delighted to find that Gluten Free Cutie had a lengthy weekend breakfast menu packed with savory goodies.

The cheddar biscuit with fried green tomato and bacon made for a delicious weekend breakfast, but the real stars of the show were the beignets with raspberry sauce. The Gluten Free Cutie team makes and fills these babies to order, ensuring that they’re piping hot and the perfect doughy texture. While these sweet treats already made the trip north worthwhile, we had much more to try.

Sally’s Gluten Free Bakery

Next, we headed over to Sally’s Gluten Free Bakery in Sandy Springs. One of the first gluten-free bakeries to open in the Atlanta area, Sally’s opened in 2009. It has been baking up an impressive array of breads, muffins, cakes, cookies and pies ever since. Owner Taylor Owings emphasizes freshly baked grab-and-go goodies that appeal to everyone, and many items are free of soy, dairy or eggs in addition to gluten.

I found Sally’s chocolate chip cookies totally irresistible. Not to be forgotten, the vanilla cupcakes are wonderfully sweet. And the banana bread is delicious for breakfast or dessert. I also loved the bestselling C.R.A.W. bread, a hearty loaf that’s packed with raisins and walnuts and is perfect toasted.

I had unreasonably high hopes for Atlanta’s gluten-free food scene, but the city still managed to exceed my expectations completely. From grab-and-go treats to fine dining and everything in between, Atlanta truly has it all for gluten-free diners. I can’t wait to plan a longer return trip with ample time to sample even more of Atlanta’s gluten-free specialties.

Travel Editor Anna Sonnenberg is a food and travel writer. She has journeyed around the world gluten free since being diagnosed with celiac in 2012.

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Deep In the Heart of Gluten-Free Texas

With its unique blend of cosmopolitan culture and Western style, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area invites visitors to explore everything from its impressive arts districts and lush gardens to its fascinating historical sites and thriving culinary scenes. My visits to gluten-free Texas don’t happen as often as I’d like, but at long last, I was eager to discover what the two cities had to offer.


Get fueled up first

I never turn down a hearty breakfast, so I was glad to find the Kozy Kitchen. It’s the ideal place to fuel up for a full day of exploring Dallas. I wasn’t alone in thinking so. This cozy spot on the southern edge of Dallas’ Highland Park neighborhood was buzzing with activity on a weekday morning.

Over 75 percent of Kozy’s menu is gluten free, but you might not realize that without talking with chef Nick Pavageaux. Being gluten intolerant himself, he began learning how to cook and bake without gluten by necessity. Several years ago, he established Kozy as a gluten-free pioneer. Pavageaux has been a creative force in Dallas’ culinary scene ever since.

The breakfast menu here is extensive, so be prepared for a tough decision. If you’re thinking savory, try one of the many Paleo bowls. Go for the popular Hangover Helper, which comes with grass-fed buffalo, veggies and guacamole. Or be adventurous and order the Bowl of Doom from the secret menu.

Kozy Kitchen

If you prefer starting your day with something sweet instead, treat yourself to the gluten-free Stuffed French Toast. This impressive dish comes piled high with layers of gluten-free French toast, a yogurt and cream cheese filling, bananas and a house-made berry compote. Like many of Kozy’s generous portions, the French toast is large enough to share.

Can’t make it for breakfast? Kozy also serves lunch and dinner, when you’ll find a full range of protein-packed salads, hearty pasta dishes and meaty mains. No matter when you dine here, you’ll want to save room for dessert. Kozy’s dessert case is packed with over a dozen gluten-free cakes every day of the week. If you ask nicely, you can even have a slice of the Oh My God or Peanut Butter Cookie Monster cake for breakfast.

After fueling up for the day, head over to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden to walk off your meal. It’s just a short drive east from Kozy Kitchen, and the arboretum offers a lovely respite from the hustle and bustle of Dallas.

On a warm day, escape to the shady cool of the Palmer Fern Fell and the Crape Myrtle Allee. Don’t miss over a dozen other themed gardens scattered throughout the grounds or the numerous seasonal displays.

Hip food-filled neighborhoods

Downtown Dallas also has plenty to offer, whether you prefer dynamic art or sunny green spaces. Take some time to peruse the Dallas Arts District, a cultural hub that’s home to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center and several performing arts venues. With a mix of groundbreaking performances and traditional exhibitions, there’s something for everyone here.

If you find yourself hankering for some fun in the sun, just head across the street to Klyde Warren Park. This urban park is a great place to wander along the shady lanes, get lost in the butterfly garden, stop to play a board game or check out a performance in one of the many pavilions.

When you’re ready for a bite to eat, head over to Lower Greenville, one of Dallas’ hippest neighborhoods. This area hasn’t always been packed with fun places to drink and dine. Today, it’s lined with more than 2 miles of cafés, bars and restaurants.

Company Café

On the southern end of the strip, one of my favorite spots is Company Café & Bar. It serves up some of the best gluten-free comfort food in town. Whether you come for breakfast, brunch or lunch, almost everything on the menu here is gluten free.

If you’re feeling like breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the creatively named Benedict dishes. I recommend the Benedict Cumberbatch, a classic that comes with poached eggs, veggies and hollandaise sauce on top of the most buttery gluten-free biscuit I’ve ever had. If you’re looking for something that really packs a punch, I recommend the Johnny Rooster, which features gluten-free pancakes, crispy fried chicken, and an amazing bacon and jalapeño marmalade.

Company Café recently debuted its own line of baked goods, so treat yourself to something sweet on site or take a treat to go. The sour cream coffee cake here is top notch, and the coconut macaroons and Crownies—chocolate chip brownies—are excellent picks. You can also order these goodies online if you’d like to try them from home.


For one of the healthiest and most satisfying meals on Lower Greenville, head down the street to HG SPLY CO., where you’ll find a menu that celebrates whole foods and simple ingredients. HG SPLY CO. emphasizes fresh vegetables and lean proteins that pack tons of flavor and nutrition, so it’s tough not to dig every bite.

Everything can be served gluten free here, and each dish is easy to customize with your choice of protein. Split the smoked carrot hummus or some Cochinita Nachos with your table, or dig into the stir fry with locally raised chicken or the yellow curry bowl with dorper lamb meatballs. Can’t make it to Lower Greenville? You’ll find the same fun atmosphere at HG SPLY CO.’s Fort Worth location.

Get wild in Fort Worth

Fort Worth might be just a 30-minute drive away from Dallas, but the two cities seem wonderfully distinct, thanks in part to Fort Worth’s claim to fame as the true beginning of the West. And the best place to experience the city’s Cowtown identity is in Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District.

To jump right in, take a tour of the Stockyards Museum. This attraction houses memorabilia related to the stockyards, legendary cowboys and life in the Wild West. Don’t get so immersed in the photos and artifacts that you lose track of time. Make sure you’re outside on East Exchange Avenue for the cattle drive. This Fort Worth herd happens every morning and afternoon. It’s your chance to get up close and personal with the steers and chat with real-life cowboys as the cattle amble to their stables.

Riscky’s BAR-B-Q

After the cattle drive, head across the street to Riscky’s
BAR-B-Q, a Fort Worth classic. For more than 90 years, this legendary barbecue restaurant has made a name for itself by serving up huge platters of ribs and Texas-sized meals. Snag a table in the outdoor patio area, and you can watch all the stockyards action while enjoying a hearty meal.

All Riscky’s BAR-B-Q locations offer a gluten-free menu. The all-you-can-eat beef ribs are the most popular menu item here, and for good reason. The slow-smoked ribs sprinkled with Riscky dust will definitely give you a taste of the West. You can’t go wrong with the two- or three-meat combo or a platter piled high with beef brisket or smoked chicken.

Kick Back


While the Stockyards National Historic District was one of my favorite spots in town, there’s much more to see. To experience another side of the city, visit Fort Worth’s Cultural District. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art easily match Dallas’ Arts District.

I also recommend exploring Fort Worth’s West Seventh neighborhood. You’ll find numerous bars, coffee shops and boutiques to check out in this lively district. For a drink or a bite to eat, my top pick is Mash’d. This funky spot is named for its moonshine, which the Mash’d team infuses in-house. You can try individual flavors, but your best bet is the fruit-infused moonshine flight. This option gives you a taste of four delicious varieties of this corn-based liquor.

Of course, that isn’t all you’ll want to try at Mash’d. The gluten-free menu features a range of brunch and lunchtime favorites. For brunch, stay healthy with a kale-stuffed egg white K&Q Omelet or dig into the hearty Migas.


For lunch, start with the grilled wings, a rare gluten-free find. These zesty wings come with a cool dipping sauce, making them a delicious accompaniment to the signature moonshine. Follow them up with popular picks like the bacon-topped Rebellious Burger or the superfood-packed Power Bowl. Don’t hesitate to kick back and stay awhile at this welcoming spot before exploring more of the West Seventh area.

Finish your meal with a sweet treat from Steel City Pops, located right around the corner from Mash’d. This spot might be small, but it serves mouthwatering gluten-free popsicles made in-house. Treating yourself to an ice-cold cherry limeade or strawberry shortcake popsicle is the perfect way to cool down.

Whether you’re looking for a flight of moonshine, a killer breakfast or a Paleo-style meal, you’ll find it all in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. I can’t wait to return to the Lone Star State to discover even more of its excellent gluten-free destinations, cultural attractions and outdoor spaces.

Travel Editor Anna Sonnenberg is a food and travel writer. She has journeyed around the world gluten free since being diagnosed with celiac in 2012.

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What to Explore in Gluten-Free Singapore

With its lush tropical gardens, year-round summer weather and unique mix of cultures, Singapore had plenty to keep me entertained and amazed. But what about when mealtime rolled around? This equatorial Asian city-state is known as a culinary mecca, but that doesn’t always mean gluten-free visitors can partake. Though I did find many local dishes to be challenging, several fantastic meals kept me fueled for countless tropical adventures as I toured gluten-free Singapore.

Visit the remarkably green city center

Starting my Singapore visit with a walk through the Gardens by the Bay was a wonderful way to soak in the city-state’s seamless blend of urban and natural spaces, and I recommend that you do the same. The Gardens by the Bay are home to several beautiful heritage gardens that boast a fascinating mix of tropical plants, along with enchanting environments like the Cloud Forest. I found myself completely mesmerized by this misty conservatory, where leafy ferns, waterfalls, colorful flowers and wispy clouds all thrive.

Supertree grove

The main attractions at the Gardens by the Bay are the Supertrees. Some of Singapore’s most iconic structures, the gigantic Supertrees mimic tree forms and support growing vines, ferns and flowers along with an array of environmentally friendly solar panels. Visit in the evening, and you’ll see the Supertree grove come to life with a dazzling light and music show.

Leave the Supertree grove on foot, and you’ll find that Singapore’s cosmopolitan downtown is just a short stroll away. Although this waterfront area buzzes with activity at all times of day, it’s most lively in the evening, when you can walk along Marina Bay, catch the fountain show in front of the Marina Bay Sands and take a photo with the statue of the Merlion, Singapore’s one-of-a-kind mermaid-lion mascot.

Dig into hawker-style dishes

For most visitors to Singapore, tucking into a meal at one of the hawker centers is a major highlight. These popular outdoor food courts are scattered across the island, and they host vendors selling Singapore’s quintessential dishes. For gluten-free visitors, however, touring the hawker centers is more about observing the local culture and less about sampling countless dishes. Almost every stand is off-limits for gluten-free diners due to the omnipresent soy sauce, wheat noodles and language barriers.

The Wholefood Kitchen

Be sure to try The Wholefood Kitchen’s most popular dish, the Heavenly Brown Rice Bowl With Lemongrass Ginger Tofu and Curried Cashew Nuts, which comes with savory, citrusy tofu topped with a zesty sauce, curried cashews and plenty of fresh veggies. Don’t forget to save room for one of Sanye’s incredible raw desserts, like the Strawberry Rosewater or Lavender Blueberry tart. These cool treats are the perfect antidote to Singapore’s steamy weather.

Delve into the culture

After a fantastic meal, I recommend delving into Singapore’s culture with a visit to a couple of the island’s many museums and heritage centers. The National Museum of Singapore, for instance, has enough history and artifacts to fill an entire afternoon. Not only is this the nation’s oldest museum, but it’s also the best place to learn about Singapore’s history, including its early days; its existence under British, Japanese and Malaysian rule; and how it has thrived in its independent state.

Offering an intoxicating mix of Asian art and historical exhibitionshe Asian Civilisations Museum is also well worth a visit. You can see everything from a ninth-century shipwreck to contemporary art here, and you’ll also learn how Singapore has long held a prominent role in the dispersal of ideas, languages and cultures throughout Asia.

Singapore is truly a melting pot of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian and British cultures, and there’s no better way to find out more than with a tour of the various heritage centers. Visits to the Indian Heritage Centre, the Malay Heritage Centre and the Peranakan Museum also give you an opportunity to wander through the surrounding neighborhoods, where you can experience the culture firsthand.

Indulge in a local treat or two


Once you’ve gotten your fill of culture, turn just west of Singapore’s main museum hub, where you’ll find Tiann’s bakery. This welcoming spot is completely gluten free, and it’s the perfect place to grab lunch or an afternoon treat. If you have as much of a sweet tooth as I do, you’ll let the case of beautiful tarts, cakes and bars lure you in. Once you see the full menu, you’ll want to sit down for a complete meal.

While Tiann’s serves plenty of brunch classics and savory waffles, I couldn’t resist the Korean dishes on the menu, especially since they would typically contain gluten in other settings. I liked Grandma’s Bibimbap—which comes with sesame-toasted veggies, savory kimchi and housemade Korean red chili paste—so much that I ordered it on multiple visits.

Of course, you can’t leave without trying Tiann’s waffles with gelato, both of which are made in house. After spotting numerous gluten-containing versions of this sweet treat during my visit, I was thrilled to get to try Tiann’s offering. It’s perfect for sharing, as it comes with two mini waffles and scoops of mouthwatering strawberries and cream and coconut maple cookie gelato. The sweet toffee sauce drizzled on top is quite literally icing on the cake.

Hit the beach

After such an indulgent treat, you’ll need to walk it off, and the beach is the ideal destination. I found that the best beaches in Singapore aren’t designed for swimming. Instead, they’re made for strolling along the boardwalk and taking in the ocean views.

I can’t say enough about East Coast Park, a forested beach with a boardwalk that stretches for several miles along the island’s east coast. While this is a gorgeous place to see the sunrise, it’s really wonderful any time you want to take a long, leisurely walk under the shady coconut palms, inhale the sea breeze or watch the boats in the distance.

Go big for brunch

Singapore is big on weekend brunch, and for gluten-free diners, there’s a clear winner: Open Door Policy. This café turns sustainable dining into serious fun. The moment you step inside, you’ll feel like you walked into an enclosed garden, thanks to the myriad herbs and greens growing on the walls and the numerous skylights overhead. Everything on the menu is free of both gluten and dairy, which means there are no wrong choices here.

Open Door Policy

I recommend splitting a savory and a sweet dish with your dining partner so both of you can try a little of everything. The King Crab Eggs Florentine is always a good choice, with a generous helping of king crab, some spicy sautéed greens, a couple of poached eggs and plenty of house-made bread to soak it all up. For a sweet foil, try the Healthy Granola Breakfast, which comes with house-made granola, caramelized bananas, and a rich combination of banana
sorbet and banana mousse.




Immerse yourself in natural beauty

National Orchid Garden

After brunch, the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens is the perfect place to unwind. For more than 150 years, this stunning spot has welcomed visitors and locals alike to immerse themselves in natural beauty. The moment you walk through the gates, you’ll be transported to another world, and you’ll quickly get lost among more than 10,000 plants, including palms, orchids, ferns and much more.

A large portion of the garden is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and as you wind your way along the paths, you can take detours to explore everything from heritage trees to rainforests to ginger gardens to ponds overflowing with water lilies. Tucked inside, you’ll also find the National Orchid Garden, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous area that’s dedicated to orchids of all shapes, sizes and colors.


Get wild in the national parks

Although the botanic gardens make for a lovely tropical escape, Singapore has much more to offer if you’re looking for something a bit more wild—or if you really need to work off that brunch. In fact, the island is home to an extensive network of national parks and nature reserves, many of which offer hiking opportunities that range from easy to difficult with chances to spot wildlife.

If you really want to get off the beaten path, be sure to visit the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, a massive green space located in the middle of the island nation. It spans about 5,000 acres and has everything from thick forest growth to freshwater swamps to centuries-old original forest cover.

While much of this nature reserve seems relatively wild, it’s home to miles and miles of neatly planned trails and boardwalks that let you wind through the tropical forest. Whatever you do, don’t miss the TreeTop walk, where you can conquer your fear of heights on an 820-foot suspension bridge high above the forest floor. After completing that challenge, you deserve Tiann’s housemade waffles and gelato or a cool raw dessert from The Wholefood Kitchen.

Travel Editor Anna Sonnenberg is a food and travel writer who has journeyed around the world gluten free since being diagnosed with celiac in 2012. 

Want more information, tips and destinations for gluten-free travel? Check out our Travel section!