Where is your favorite place to eat? I get asked this question all the time. Whether they are newly diagnosed or traveling to Atlanta, gluten-free people want to know where I eat and my favorite menu items. This is a hard question to tackle because my answer only represents a fraction of the outstanding gluten-free cuisine Atlanta’s chefs have created.
Of course, reaching out to bloggers for recommendations is important when traveling. Bloggers know the lay of the land and hold the proverbial key to the best and sometimes lesser-known gluten-free cuisine. They are happy to help because they want to show off all their town has to offer to ensure you leave with a full belly and a warm heart.
We polled our talented contributors to see where they like to eat—whether at home or while traveling. Their drool-worthy selections include funnel cake, fried cheese curds, fresh pasta, Belgian waffles, pizza, pho, and creative burgers and sandwiches.
Let’s start in New York with Susan Cohen’s favorite places.
New York City
In NYC, Susan heads to the West Village to get pizza at Kesté. While not an exclusively gluten-free establishment, it offers many gluten-free options, and Susan raves that it is hands-down some of the best gluten-free pizza she has ever had. It boasts that tug and texture that so many of us look for in gluten-free pizzas. She orders the gluten-free Regina Margherita, which has the perfect balance of tomato sauce, imported buffalo mozzarella, grape tomatoes, basil and extra-virgin olive oil. (Note: Kesté has two other locations in the city, but Susan has not been there so she can’t attest to them.) kestepizzeria.com
Susan’s favorite gluten-free bakery is By the Way Bakery, which is also dairy free. With two locations in New York City as well as its first location in Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester and one in Greenwich, Connecticut, this bakery satisfies her sweet cravings—they even made her wedding cake! btwbakery.com
Laura Hahn Carroll, GF Foodie Cutie
Laura frequents Monsu because most of the items on its expansive Italian menu can be prepared gluten free. But it’s the homemade chestnut gnocchi that is really something special. Gluten-free table bread service is standard. Be sure to save room for a slice of flourless chocolate cake. monsuphilly.com
Hit up P’unk Burger for grilled chicken breasts, beef, turkey, ahi tuna and lamb burgers on gluten-free buns. Do you want a side of fries? How about sweet potato fries and tater tots? Many of the specialty burgers can be modified to be gluten free. Laura’s favorite burger is the Juice Philly, which is stuffed with cheese and topped with big pieces of mushroom and onions. punkburger.com
Michael Savett, Gluten Free Philly
Michael recommends heading to Fox & Son’s dedicated gluten-free stand in the Reading Terminal Market. The entire shop is safe for people with celiac, serving up a full menu of carnival food kicked up a notch—and many of its options can be prepared with vegan sauces and meats. foxandsonphilly.com
From the corn dogs (traditional or sweet potato-battered) to hand-cut French fries topped with chorizo or cheese curds and gravy to fried cheese curds dusted with ranch, these fun treats are sure to satisfy whatever you’re craving. But it’s the funnel cake that Michael highly recommends because you really can’t get anything like it just anywhere. Top it with strawberries and whipped cream for the full experience.
Anna Sonnenberg, Gluten-Free Jet Set
Every time Anna returns to her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, she makes time to eat at two places: Kitchen Table and Modern Love Omaha. Kitchen Table, a farm-to-table café, is one of the friendliest places ever, and the husband-and-wife team behind it, Jessica and Colin Duggan, make sure the menu always includes delicious gluten-free options. You can even order sandwiches served on gluten-free grits rather than on bread. kitchentableomaha.com
Modern Love Omaha features creative upscale vegan dishes, and vegan food fans probably are familiar with the imaginative force behind this spot: Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of the vegan cookbook Veganomicon. The vegan and gluten-free Mac and Shews here is legendary, but the menu changes all the time, so there’s always something new to try. Anna always saves room for an appetizer
and dessert here. modernloveomaha.com
Florida and New Jersey
Originally from Florida and currently living on the Jersey shore, Angela says the baked goods at Craft Kafé in St. Petersburg, Florida, are “the bomb.” The café also provides house-made almond milk for lattes and specialty coffee and tea drinks. A new favorite of Angela’s is Tampa’s The Hall on Franklin, a perfect spot for sipping an ice-cold brew made with cashew milk and house-made butterscotch. The Hyppo, also in St. Petersburg, has “the most amazing popsicles” in wild flavors with herbs and fruits to help cool you down on a hot afternoon. craftkafe.com, thehyppo.com, thehallonfranklin.com
Since moving to the Jersey shore, Angela frequents Wally’s on Long Beach Island for its gluten-free dessert-style Belgian waffles, pancakes and house-made corned beef hash that rival any diner in the state. Truffle oil and Parmesan shoestring fries alongside shredded pork on a grilled arepa at The Local Market & Kitchen in Surf City is a mouthwatering treat, along with either the charcoal lemonade or mint-chocolate (unsweetened) nitro cold brew with a splash of almond milk. Head over to The Woohoo for a swirl of the coconut milk soft serve for an afternoon treat or try the terrific taro tea. Venture a little further north to the town of Brick to visit The Boba House, which makes fabulous pho and matcha boba tea. wallyslbi.com, localmarketlbi.com, thewoohoo.com, bobahousebricknj.com
Colorado and Italy
Erin Smith, Gluten-Free Globetrotter
Erin has traveled the world on a quest for the tastiest and most authentic gluten-free cuisine. She has had so many wonderful gluten-free meals around the world that it was tough to pick just a few favorites.
One of her most memorable meals was the Monte Cristo sandwich at Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery in Colorado Springs. The bistro is 100 percent dedicated gluten free and serves brunch, lunch and dinner. The Monte Cristo has ham and Swiss on a deep-fried hoagie with a side of strawberry preserves dusted with powdered sugar. Sounds divine. coquettesbistro.com
As for overseas destinations, Erin says La Soffitta Renovatio in Rome, Italy, has the best Italian food—and everything can be made gluten free. We’re talking pasta, pizza and everything in between. And it’s within walking distance of the Vatican, a top tourist attraction in the city. lasoffittarenovatio.com
Jennifer Harris, Gluten Free Go-To Guide
A meal at Mediterranea, a dedicated gluten-free bakery and restaurant, is a must. I still dream about its hand-rolled gnocchi topped with a bevy of vegetables and red sauce that tastes even better when scooped up with the house-made focaccia. It serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and also has a bakery and coffee counter open for breakfast. mediterraneaatl.com
Head over to Richards’ Southern Fried for a plate of hot fried chicken topped with pimento cheese and chow and a side of fries. The chicken skin gets its over-the-top crispiness from a blend of cornstarch and potato, rice and tapioca flours. It is just heavenly. richardssouthernfried.com
Good Karma Coffee House is known for its breakfast choices, including fried chicken and Belgian waffles, fluffy pancakes and biscuits smothered in gravy. This dedicated coffee shop boasts coconut and rice milks and natural syrups for its coffee creations along with a case full of gluten-free sweet treats. All baked goods are also free of dairy, soy and nuts, with a large selection of vegan treats, too. goodkarmacoffeehouse.com
Now it’s your turn. Head over to our Facebook page and let us know your favorite places to dine gluten free: facebook.com/gflivingmag. We’ll see you there!