Gluten Free: What is it & where are the best restaurants?

Sustainable Warriors 2021-05-24 8 min

Gluten free, have you ever heard about this before? Not long ago we have started seeing this phrase everywhere. Shops, restaurants and markets, they all have a gluten free sign on its entrance or menu. But not all of us are aware of what it means, are we. Far from being a trend, gluten free is a healthier way of eating and it began with the discovery that many people are allergic to a protein present in different kinds of foods: gluten. The discovery of this protein made life easier for lots of people who really need gluten free diets because of a health condition, and this expanded to people who would love to live a healthier life as well. Everyday there are more restaurants offering gluten free options and you can find where the best gluten free option restaurants are in this article.

Wheat grains containing gluten
Wheat grain photo by Pexels

What is Gluten?

First, we really need to know why gluten free diets are getting more and more popular through the days. Gluten is a protein present in wheat, barley, rye and all the products that come from them, so a gluten free diet is purely a régime that absolutely excludes products containing gluten from everyday life. Why do we know this just now? Not long-ago medical science discovered that there is a significant part of the world population who suffers from gluten allergy or is just gluten intolerant, then there is another significant group living with a condition called celiac disease. Celiac disease affects at least one per cent of the population, it is an autoimmune condition that makes the small intestine inflame causing skin rashes, chronic fatigue and anemia, among others.

Who can Benefit from a Gluten Free Diet?

Gluten free diets are not only for people with a gluten disease or allergy but also for those who would like to live a healthier lifestyle. Some of the benefits of carrying out a gluten free diet consist of health improvement, energy boost, weight loss and athletic performance improvement. Not only gluten free diet avoids rye, wheat and barley but also all products that are not linked directly with flours but contains them such as beer, cereals, hot dogs, snacks like tortilla, chips and soup mixes, which are known for causing intestine swelling. Gluten is also present in some medications or supplements turning this into a threat to those suffering celiac disease.

flour\'s types

Gluten is present in most of what we regularly eat
Rachel Loughman from Pexels

So even if you are not suffering from any disease, you can find a lot of benefits in carrying out a gluten free diet. If you are looking for a change to a healthier life, gluten free diet might be the right choice for you. Many athletes have chosen to live gluten free as this way of eating makes energy levels boost. This is it because gluten damages the intestines where nutrients such as iron is absorbed, so if this does not happen people tend to feel much more tired because of a lack of iron in the body.

Gluten free diet will bring calm and heal to the intestines making yourself feel much more energetic. As well, gluten free diet is known in some cases for its healthy weight gain process which allows many athletes to get the muscle they are looking for without loosing nutrients along with a reduction of joint pain and the elimination of bloating.

Also, gluten free relieves any stomach distress making your body feel much lighter. Other also known benefits of carrying out a gluten free diet are reduction of headaches and migraines; reduction of depression and it could help in cases of lactose intolerance.

migraine as a consecuence of gluten allergy
Migraine is related to celiac disease consecuence. photo by Pexels

So, are you ready to improve you health with a gluten free diet?
Let´s find out where the Best Gluten Free Menu Options are.

One of the most common struggles for people who have decided to go gluten free is where to find out restaurants that offer gluten free options. Some people who have gluten disease get really sick of only a small amount of gluten present in their food, so for example if the restaurant does not store gluten and non-gluten food separately some small amounts of gluten get mixed up not being safe for those suffering a disease. So, it is really important to be conscious about this and choosing the right place to go out for dinner.

One of the most easy and useful apps to find gluten free restaurants around you is GF, which you can download for iOs or android here.

Whenever we are looking for some gluten free options, we cannot ignore the best rated ones such like Cocco’s Pizza on 35 E Woodland Ave, Springfield with different varieties of pizzas which are not only gluten free friendly but also vegetarian friendly; or Pei Wei on Baltimore Pike which has an amazing gluten and dairy free menu.

But let´s list all the options below, so you can just save this page and make your next dinner out easier (and also yummy!)

Our favorites:
  • Bertucci’s
  • The Melting Pot
  • Backyard Burger
  • Redstone American Grill
  • Perkin´s Family Restaurant
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • Natives foods cafe
Pizza!

Who would imagine pizza would be a tasty option on gluten free diets? From pizza by the slice to different types of crust and signature pizzas all this restaurants provide a wide range of gluten free pizzas which you will absolutely love: Bertucci’s, Biaggi´s ristorante and East Side Mario´s not only have great gluten free pizza options but also some amazing Italian dishes.

Another gluten free pizza options could be Amici’s, Boston Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, Extreme Pizza, Figaro, Garlic Jims , Gatti’s Pizza, Gino’s, Godfather’s Pizza, Green Mill, Ledo Pizza, Mellow Mushroom, Picazzo, Pinks Pizza,Pizza Fusion, Pizza Pie Café, Pizza Ranch, Old Chicago, Smoky Mountain Pizzeria and Uno’s Chicago.

gluten free pizza

Gluten free pizza. Narda Yescas from Pexels
Traditional American

Burton´s grill, Cheddar´s, Chart house, Jack´s family restaurant and The Melting Pot are some great options if what you are looking for is a traditional American cuisine including some wings, ribs, steaks and even fondue.

Burguers & Fries

Who does not love some burgers and fries dinner over the weekend? There are plenty of options here as well, not only big chains like McDonalds or in ´n´ out offer gluten free menu but some signature ones like Jack in the box, Guru Burger and Crepes, Five Guys, Cheeseburger in Paradise and Burger 21 have different gluten free options too. For example, Backyard burger is a BYO bun restaurant celiac friendly.

Chicken

If meat is not your favorite thing and you are literally craving for some chicken, this are the places you cannot miss: Bojangles, Chick Fil A, Buffalo Wild Wings Chicken Express Golden Chick Gluten, KFC, St Huberts’, Popeye´s and Wingstop. Some of the most common options includes naked style chicken tenders, GF fried chicken wings and roasted gluten free chicken.

Family Dinner

Some other options if what you are looking for is some Family time over breakfast and dinner includes: Perkin´s family restaurant, Denny´s, Carrow´s, Bob Evan´s and Dave and Busters offering eggs and meat, omelets, chicken, salmon, salads and amazing gluten free sundaes.

International

For those looking for some exotic flavors of Asian and foreign cuisines you cannot miss City Wok, Huhot Mongolian, Mama Fu´s, Kona Grill, Flat Top Grill, Noodles and company, Pollo tropical, Roy´s Hawaian fusion, Togo´s and Stir crazy fresh Asian.

BBQ

When you feel like getting a shot of protein through beef briskets, pulled pork and some incredible BBQ dishes this are the pubs and grills you do need to check: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Famous Dave’s, Red Hot and Blue, Smokey Bones, Sticky Fingers, Tony Romas, Applebees, Black eyed pea, CB & pots, dixie chillies, Elephant bar, Redstone American Grill, Logan´s Roadhouse, Champps Americana, TGI Fridays and Weber grill.

Deli and hot dogs

Check these restaurants out: Blimpie, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Cosi, Cousins Sub Sandwiches, Erbert and Gerbert’s, Fresh to Order, Jason’s, Panera Bread, Potbelly Sandwiches, Quiznos, Roly Poly, Runza, Subway and Which Wich. From sandwiches to salads and sundaes you can find all kind of gluten free options in these restaurants.

Saldas and greens

The healthiest of all choices might seem to go for salads at: Chopt Salad, Erik’s DeliCafe, Salad Works, Freshii , Souper Salad, Sweet Greens, Tender Greens. This is a recommended option as well for those thinking of going veggie. (Have you check our last article about this here?)

Cafés

If you are looking for some traditional Cafe Style restaurants that offer gluten free options like breakfasts, coffee, soups, lunch and snacks, this might be your list: Au Bon Pain, Baker’s Square, Boston Market, Cosi, Cotton Patch Café, FATZ Café, Lyfe Kitchen, Native Foods Café, Roti Mediterranean Grill, Zoes Kitchen.

Desserts

Bakery

Some great bakeries do offer gluten free options. Madison Inouye from Pexels

Before choosing a restaurant there are a couple of things that you might need to keep an eye on. First, most of the recognized chains do not truly have a gluten free menu but implement some changes to their actual menu like gluten free buns or sourdough, unlike some real gluten free restaurant which developed a menu based on gluten free needs. Second, sometimes you need to ask several times to check the gluten free menus as some restaurant staff are not even aware they have one. Third, always check if it is safe to go to certain restaurants as usually, they do not separate regular from gluten free options making it hard for people with a health condition.

Did you pick your favorite gluten free restaurant yet?

Sustainable Warriors

Typewriter, earth warrior and curiosity lover.

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