Gluten-free dining has become more accessible in recent years, but these spots in various North American cities do an exemplary job of creating completely gluten-free fare. There are no special menus at these restaurants, markets and bakeries, so simply sit back and dig in.
In the land of fried chicken, waffles and biscuits, one might expect it to be difficult to dine gluten-free in Nashville. But at AMOT (short for, “a matter of taste”) all diners can enjoy the culinary spoils of the South. With a menu that spans brunch, lunch and dinner, you can enjoy classic dishes such as sausage rice-flour biscuits drowned in white, shrimp and grits in a tomato gravy and sweet buttermilk-glazed apple fritters.
Must-try: Chicken and waffles made with buttermilk-fried chicken in a gluten-free spiced flour mix, served on a cornbread waffle with pickled jalapeños and jalapeño maple syrup.
This pop-up, gluten-free food fair returns for its sixth year on May 28 at Artscape Wychwood Barns. Gluten Free Garage is the largest food fair of its kind in Ontario. Expect a mix of more than 60 food vendors and trucks selling food such as gourmet gelato bars from Bar Ape, cupcakes from Almond Butterfly, bread loaves from Whisked and quesadillas from 50 Pesos. Be sure to visit the covered courtyard to sip gluten-free beer, cider or vodka.
Must-try: Ontario retailer Chickapea Pasta’s gluten-free products made with lentils and chickpeas.
There are plenty of tasty dishes to choose from at this popular spot in the trendy Riversdale neighbourhood, but Leyda’s impresses most with its in-house baking. Both the burger buns and sandwich bread have a pleasant texture that resembles the real deal (something that is not so easily found in gluten-free baking). The Leyda’s Fave pizza, topped with mushrooms, arugula, truffle oil and brie, proves slice-by-slice that gluten-free pizza dough can hold its own. Desserts like the spiced carrot cake with goat cheese frosting will leave everyone at the table feeling satisfied—gluten sensitive or not.
Must-try: Sundried tomato chicken salad sandwich (lunch only) with sundried tomato mayo, sprouts, tomato, avocado and red onion.
For those with gluten allergies, saying goodbye to baked goods like brownies, chocolate chip cookies and croissants can be rough. But at Mariposa Baking, you can indulge in all of this and more. Pop by either of its two locations (in San Francisco’s Ferry Building and just outside Oakland’s Temescal neighbourhood) to pick up everything from packages of homemade graham crackers and crunchy biscotti to citrus-glazed lemon cake and streusel muffins. This is gluten-free heaven.
Must-try: Cinnamon rolls made with a rice, tapioca and potato flour blend.
Housed in an historic character home in the upscale James Bay neighbourhood, the atmosphere at Nourish Kitchen and Café is warm and inviting with large bay windows, white accents and comfy fireside seating. Pop into the café for an iced almond chai latte and a sweet treat or settle into the restaurant for brunch or dinner. At the restaurant, a health-conscious menu includes dishes with creative ingredients such as rutabaga, which is shaved, blanched and transformed into linguine “noodles” served with charred broccoli and carrots in a cashew cream with pickled shallots, fried sunchoke chips and grated cured egg yolk. (Note: this seasonal menu has included barley in the past).
Must-try: Cultured cashew “cheese” with buckwheat seed bread.