31 Days of Celiac Awareness – 10 Easiest Places to Travel Gluten Free | Rachel Begun, MS, RD

Written by Karen Broussard

As the founder of the GlutenFreeTravelSite.com, I have read thousands of gluten-free dining and travel reviews submitted by members of the gluten free community. As the mother of and dietary advocate for my 8-year old son with celiac disease, I, too, have had to travel gluten free with my family.   Here is my list of “Top 10” Easiest Places to Travel Gluten Free, based on this unique perspective…

Gluten Free NYC

NYC — Awareness is good, and restaurants are eager to cater to the increasing number of local and visiting GF patrons. You’ll find many independent neighborhood restaurants that offer GF menus. Popular favorites: Sambuca, Bistango, Rissoteria, GustOrganics, Lili’s 57, Lumi, Candle 79, and Tu-lu’s bakery.

Boston – A city with plenty of diverse cuisines, gluten free diners will have a wide range of choices. Nebo, an Italian restaurant with a gluten free menu, is consistently a favorite, as are Burton’s Grill (a few locations in the Boston area), Elephant Walk, and two incredible gluten-free bakeries that I’ve personally visited: Glutenus Minimus and Macaroon Sweeterie. If you’re up for a 19 mile drive out to Millis, MA, Twist Bakery and Café is also a MUST visit!

Gluten Free Disney World

Disney World – The Disney parks, hotels, and resorts have become the “gold standard” for GF family travel. They make guests with special dietary needs feel like princes and princesses! Some to try: Raglin Road Irish Pub (Downtown Disney), Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano (Hollywood Studios), Le Cellier Steakhouse (Epcot), and Liberty Tree Tavern (Magic Kingdom).

Chicago – Whether you’re traveling with a little girl (American Girl Place café is highly recommended) or looking for a more adult-oriented fine dining experience (BOKA gets raves), you’ll find plenty to choose from in the Windy City. Other top picks include: Adobo Grill, Marcello’s (tasty GF pizza, with multiple locations and delivery!), Fattoush, and Swirlz Cupcakes (one of the owners has Celiac).

Gluten Free Washington DC

Washington, DC Metro area – Gluten free visitors to the DC area will be met with a wide range of “safe” choices, no matter what type of food is desired — haute cuisine or casual family dining, Italian or Ethiopian. Best bets, including some personal faves (this is my hometown!):  Lebanese Taverna, Rosa Mexicano (same as New York), Mon Ami Gabi, Il Fornaio, Masala Art, Jaleo, and Chef Tony’s.

Asheville, NC – Nestled in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and named a “must-see” destination by Frommer’s, Asheville is becoming quite the spot for gluten free travelers. Many restaurants in Asheville have worked with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to receive their GREAT Kitchens accreditation, so numerous “GF friendly” restaurants abound, including: Grove Park Inn (hotel), Posana Café, Green Sage, and Luella’s BBQ.

Gluten Free San Francisco

San Francisco — Northern Californian restaurateurs, always quick to embrace new food “trends” and healthy cooking, have risen to the challenge and met the demand for gluten-free options. (Just be sure to let the server, manager, or chef know that you require a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity, since there are many folks here – and elsewhere – who follow a GF diet by choice. Places to try: Aurea, Farallon, Gracias Madre, Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, Zadin, Café Gratitude, Crave Bakery, and Mariposa Bakery.

Australia/New Zealand – Considering a trip Down Under? It’s definitely a good place to be gluten free. Awareness of celiac disease is great, so you’ll have plenty of restaurant choices, including Opium Den in Sydney, Pizza Piazza in Melbourne, and the luxury B&B Wisteria Park in Perth. New Zealand favorites include the Goodness of Food Café (described as “Gluten Free Paradise”), Cathedral Café, and Velvet Burger.

Gluten Free Tuscany

Italy – Awareness and diagnosis rates are high here, and most restaurants understand how to prepare safe gluten-free meals (and many offer GF pasta!). Recommendations include Toscano and Antica Pizzeria Dell Arte in Florence, Gioia Mia Pisciapiano and Renovatio Ristorante La Soffitta in Rome, Da Poggi in Venice, and Osteria Il Campino in Sienna.

Ireland – With the highest rate of celiac disease (2%), you will find most restaurants are well aware of what gluten-free means. Hotels recommended include Tailor’s Lodge and Killarney Avenue Hotel (both in County Kerry) and the Mespil Hotel in Dublin. Restaurants to try: Busker Brownes in Gallway, Lady Lucy Rooftop Restaurant at the Carlton Hotel Bunclody, and Cucina Italiana in Killarney.

To read detailed reviews of these vacation getaways and many other places, visit GlutenFreeTravelSite ( http://glutenfreetravelsite.com ), where you can do a broad search of GF-friendly spots by state/country or conduct a more narrow search by town or zip code ( http://glutenfreetravelsite.com/search.php ).

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4 Responses to 31 Days of Celiac Awareness – 10 Easiest Places to Travel Gluten Free

  1. Laura Lynch says:

    gluten free places to eat, how wonderful!

  2. Pingback: Eating Gluten Free on the Road | Rachel Begun, MS, RD

  3. Pingback: Planning a Gluten-Free Vacation is Easier Than Ever

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