For those of you who have worked with me in the past, it’s likely we’ve talked about a diet that is free from wheat and gluten. While my bias remains, one of the most challenging aspects for my clients is being able to go out for a nice meal with their friends or family and not have to worry about “paying” for it later.
So, in order to make eating out less of a chore and more of a joy, Ali and I have compiled a list of the best gluten-free options available in the Calgary area.
Full disclaimer: neither Ali nor myself have the refined palates needed to be restaurant critics. Our reviews are more focused on the lack of digestive distress after eating. That’s a big win for us!
Before we jump into the list, I would like to make a clarification between two terms you will often see at a restaurant:
Gluten Aware or Gluten Conscious
This is what you’ll get should you visit a restaurant that also serves wheat or gluten containing products. They will often do everything they can to ensure your food does not come into contact with wheat. However, this cannot be guaranteed. As a patron, you are taking a risk. If you have celiac disease or a known sensitivity, I would recommend avoiding these restaurants.
If you are ordering any food that is deep fried, please ask if the restaurant has a dedicated GF fryer. This is a common area where cross contamination can occur.
This label applies only to those establishments that are entirely free from wheat and gluten. Meaning, that they do not process gluten containing products at their location. This is the safest option for those with celiac disease or known sensitivities.
Mark & Ali’s Top Pick’s For Gluten-Free Restaurants in Calgary
This is an easy choice. At the time of this writing, Calgary only has one GF restaurant. Cochrane has one restaurant that is very close to being GF, they have one menu item that contains gluten. So while I can’t give them the GF certification, they’re a very close second.
We were absolutely overjoyed to discover a restaurant that was 100% GF. Heaven is a delightful taste of Venezuelan cuisine. The staff are incredibly friendly and they even have vegetarian/vegan options.
Needless to say, Heaven is our top choice for GF restaurants in Calgary.
Thai Onzon is located in Cochrane. While it’s not 100% GF — they have only one appetizer that contains wheat/gluten (breaded calamari). This is a vegetarian restaurant; carnivores: you may not be satisfied here.
Overall, Thai Onzon is delicious vegetarian Thai cooking with some of the best GF desserts we’ve found!
Mark & Ali’s Top Pick’s For Gluten Aware Restaurants in Calgary
Clive burger is an awesome burger joint. They use a dedicated fryer to ensure your fries are GF. When we expressed that we had a gluten allergy, they did an amazing job of cleaning the prep counter and utensils.
While they’re not certified GF, they have a great thing going for them. The GF burger buns are stellar. If you’re craving a burger, this is the place to go.
These are our go-to Vietnamese restaurants. Pho soup and vermicelli bowls can both be made GF. The GF spring rolls at Thanh Thy are amazing!
Please note, Thanh Thy currently uses MSG in their soups.
A classic steakhouse. Red Water Grille has plenty of GF pasta and appetizers/sides.
Una Pizza uses care bakery (a gluten-free bakery) for their pizza crusts. They are delicious! A wide variety of toppings make for many unique pizza options. If the pizza craving strikes, Una pizza is the place to go.
If you know Mark, you know about his love for soup — specifically pho and ramen. Goro & Gun is the only place we have found that makes a GF ramen. They also do a great job on sushi. If you’re craving a warm bowl of soup, make a trip here.
Ok, That’s our current best of the best list for restaurants we’ve found (thus far).
Now, I want to hear from you. What is your favorite gluten-free restaurant in Calgary?
Looking for more? Check out our other blog posts about gluten.
Originally published at Flourish Clinic.