Many celiacs, like myself, need to maintain a gluten free diet in order to not trigger their auto-immune disease. Flare ups are intense and I’ll spare you the details from what mine often look like, but I’ll give you one hint: lots of toilet time.
Luckily for us celiacs, gluten free has become extremely trendy the last 5 years or so. This means, gluten free is now commonly marked on menus, people no longer ask you if they can catch your disease when you mention celiac, and products no longer taste like dirt. It also means, that 100% gluten free restaurants and bakeries are popping up left and right all over the globe!
1. Wheats End Cafe — Chicago, IL
Thanks to the lovely gluten free Instagram community I am now a part of, I found this gem of a place in Chicago thanks to fellow celiac, Erika. I was on a trip to Chicago visiting a dear friend and while she was working, I wandered out on a gluten free Chicago food tour for one.
Wheats End delivered in every meaning of the word. It is an adorable and cozy cafe (my favorite), with a non-contaminated kitchen and fantastic coffee.
2. Noglu — Paris, France (and now NYC)
I first visited Noglu a few years ago on a trip to Paris with my now (ex)boyfriend. He was gracious enough to go completely out of our way, because once again, while traveling my focus is FOOD. I had the best gluten free lasagna I have ever had.
Fast forward to a trip I took in 2016 with some girlfriends to Paris. I was the first to arrive to the city and although we had grand plans to have a delightful first evening in Paris, my friend that was supposed to arrive before dinner, was stranded in some terrible city that was not Paris. Instead of being groucy that I was alone in the city and not drinking copious amount of wine with my girlfriends, I put on my big girl pants and took myself out for a solo meal at Noglu. And it was worth every stinkin’ moment. That lasagna. I tell you. It will melt in your mouth.
3. New Day Gluten Free — St. Louis, MO
My hometown of St. Louis is actually cool enough to have this amazing find of a place! No offense, New Day. I love you and love the Lou, but trend setting was never STL’s strong suit (while I lived there anyways). I digress. I was on a trip visiting the good old hometown earlier this year and was able to go to their new location in Clayton. I was able to meet one of the owners, Garrett, and he could not have been friendlier. You can tell that he cares deeply about the mission they are carrying out each day and creates an extremely welcoming environment from the second you step through the doors.
Make sure and check out their sweets. You will be happy you bought that extra cookie or cupcake for later.
4. Rheilander Bakery — Arvada, CO
Call me biased, but Colorado is home. I am currently living as an expat in Korea, but Colorado is home base. I bought a place in Olde Town Arvada a year before I moved to Korea and was spoiled rotten with how close I lived to this amazing German gluten free bakery. Rheilander Bakery is a staple to the Olde Town Arvada community and has been in operation for over 50 years. They even have amazing gluten free, dairy free options or gluten free, sugar free options. And the best part, you have no idea the sugar, gluten, or dairy is missing!
5. Mariposa Baking Co. — San Francisco, CA & Oakland, CA
Mariposa is an absolute treat! I have visited a handful of times in the last few years on visits to San Francisco and it without a doubt is always a highlight for me. Call me crazy, but ever since being diagnosed with celiac, trips revolve around food!
Mariposa was founded by Patti Furey Crane, who was craving high-quality sweets when she was pregnant with her first child. She decided to start baking them herself since there were limited options. In 2004, Mariposa was born. The mission was simple — to create wholesome, hand-crafted food using the finest natural ingredients.
I couldn’t be more excited about this trend in 100% GF establishments. Stay tuned for more places around the globe! Check out my website for the best in gluten free!