Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Celiac Safe Restaurants or Cafe's in Chicago
I recently moved to Chicago from Toronto and I have been looking for a Celiac-saavy restaurant or Cafe. Can anyone suggest places for me to check out?
Whether it is a place that has Celiac considerations on their menu, or a cafe/coffee shop that offers a gluten free dessert or sweet options as a part of their selection.
I do the whole calling ahead to the restaurant thing, eating at Whole Foods, but I was wondering if anyone can direct me to specific venues to check out.
I have heard of a couple, such as:
MUSE CAFE (817 N Milwaukee @ Chicago) - They sell some Wheat/Gluten Free stuff that tastes like regular desserts, but no meals.
DaLUCIANO's - (www.DaLucianos.com) I haven't been here yet but it has been highly recommended. Hubby and I will likely go for our anniversary. I'll update this post should anyone wish to read a report!
Any advice on other places to check out would be awesome.
A colleague of mine who needs wheat/gluten free meals has said that Wildfire is incredibly helpful in pointing out which menu items are okay for her.
I want to say that the menu even has a gluten free section, or designation, or something. But I haven't been in a while so I can't recall for sure.
Welcome to Chicago!
- As mentioned above, Wildfire has a gluten free menu (ask). They have a great gf bun for the burgers.. if you are there at dinner, ask for one on the side if you want bread.
- The Weber Grill just recently has added a gluten free menu.
- Adobe Grill (wicker park and at North/Wells) has a gluten free menu (great guac served with jicama chips)
- Vinci (on Halsted near North Av) has a gluten free menu - awesome polenta appitizer.
- Fogo de Chao (brazilian). Almost everything is GF (except bread at salad bar). The little cheese buns served at the table are made with tapioca flour!
- If you are ever north... Bonefish Grill in Northbrook, Michell's fish market in Glenview, Flemings Steakhouse and another Wilfire in Lincolnshire all have GF menus, too.
in the northern 'Burbs
apparently Vinci and Adobo Grill have gluten-free menus:
Citysearch has a list of low-carb options
For more discussion on gluten-free dining see
Think Cafe on Western Avenue will make Gluten-free pasta for you during off-peak hours (bring your own pasta)...Sunday thru Thursday. This is a great restaurant and even better...it's BYOB.
I have Celiac disease as well. Here are several cuisines that traditionally offer a ton of gluten-free items;
Greek Food: Try Greek Islands & Santorini
Middle Eastern: Babylon, Kan Zamman, Old Jerusalem, Middle Eastern Bakery (lot's of fresh made eats here for take-out but don't eat the bread), Al Kayyamm, Noon-O-Kabab, Reza's, and Andies.
Mexican: Pancho Pistolas, Fernando's on Lincoln Avenue, Salpicon, Chipotle Grill, etc.
Indian: Viceroy on Devon Avenue, Ghandi on Devon Avenue
Gluten-free baked goods: There's a bakery at Webster and Sheffield (can't remember the name) that stocks gluten-free baked goods. Also, can you recommend a gluten-free brand of bread crumbs?
FYI: I you haven't already tried Pamemla's Pancake mix it's fantastic! It's available at Whole Foods and Treasure Island.
Welcome to town!
One of the over-night radio hosts has celiac, and in checking in the show's Yahoo group I found this posting: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stevean...
of resources for restaurants in the area. It looks like some of the places have been mentioned in this thread, but there's probably more information to be mined in there for you.
Marcello's on North Ave has a thin crust GF pizza that's decent. For Chinese food, the best option I have found so far is Dee's on Armitage. You just need to request that they make your dish with their GF soy sauce, other Asian restaurants with gluten free menus include Big Bowl, Ben Pao and PF Changs. Also, there's a GF bakery in Wilmette called Rosie's. and Deerfield Bakery has a pretty good GF selection as well.
The Gluten Free bakery is on Central in Evanston, just touching Wilmette and it's "Rose's Bakery."
As a non-Celiac person I think their food is great. They have an excellent breakfast sandwich (the roll is really good) and their french toast is also very good. Haven't tried their pizza, but I hear it's very popular.
They use the low-glycemic-index agave syrup as a sweetener so they're also diabetic-friendly.
The Balanced Kitchen on McCormick just South of Devon is vegan and GF:
My non-celiac girlfriend turned me on to Rose's Bakery in Evanston. The gluten-free scones and bread is outstanding, the best I've ever tried!! I just sent my dad back to NOLA with two loaves. Haven't tried the food yet, I hear it's quite good.
The Chicago Ale House on Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square has a pretty diverse menu with American bar & grill fare, plus Thai and Persian cuisine...the partners are Thai and Persian (of Cy's Crabhouse). Anyway, the Thai owner/Tom is Wheat intolerant so he only uses Thai soy sauce which he claims is made without wheat, this is welcome news for us Celiacs!!! Apparently it's Korean or Japanese soy sauce that's typically made with wheat, not the Thai variety.
TAC Quick only uses Thai soy sauce, which apparently is gluten-free...you may want to verify this. I've had no reactions at all to the dishes made without the rice & wheat noodles.
That's great that they offer GF soy sauce, the problem (can be quite dangerous for some Celiacs) is that they're using the same wok...major cross-contamination issue's.
It's nearly impossible to convince a cook to dedicate a separate wok and cooking utensils for GF cooking. As far as I know, Thai soy sauce is GF and made without incorporating wheat, however, many Thai restaurants use the more readily available Japanese or Korean soy sauces made with wheat. The owner of The Chicago Ale House on Lawrence in Ravenswood/Lincoln Square is Gluten-intollerant. Anyway, he uses GF Thai soy sauce only! Oh yeah, I should mention that they serve Persian, Thai, and American cuisine, which is pretty unique!
Maggiano's serves GF pasta (ask the server - they usually bring out a chef). I was at the one in Woodfield and the chef made a fantastic GF seafood pasta dish for me. The person who brought out the dish stuck two pieces of bread in it (thinking it was the regular seafood dish). Other than that, it was excellent - delicious!
I presume you've also heard about the GF store up on Dundee and Milwaukee (Northbrook?). It's got a decent selection of products.
Aurelio's Pizza makes a very good personal sized
gluten free thin crust pizza. Their regular thin pizza is quite good! Locations all over, including one at Harrison and Canal in downtown Chicago.
Most if not all of the Lettucce Entertain You restaurants have many gluten free options, ie: Wild Fire for burgers, Maggiano's for pasta! i must say, the gluten-free pasta dishes are pretty darn great at Maggiano's....better than DaLuciano's.
Windy City Burger is a hidden treasure I just discovered recently in Lakeview for gluten-free food in Chicago. It's great if you're just looking for a casual and affordable place to get a gluten free meal. It looks like a typical burger joint on the outside but inside the menu is overflowing with gourmet burgers and gluten-free, low carb, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. There is literally something for everyone here and can satisfy any special diet and/or appetite.
The best part is if you decide to skip the bun completely, instead of throwing your lonely patty on a plate, the chef serves on a generous bed of greens, red pepper, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, whatever you want really...so you basically get a full salad in lieu of the bun. Its extremely healthy and tasty...and the sweet potato fries are to die for. http://windycityburger.com/
Windy City Burger
3109 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657
Wow! Windy City Burger looks amazing. It could turn out to be one of my regular stops! Thanks for the tip :)! DaLuciano's is rather ordinary, in my opinion. Actually, Maggiano's (yes, Maggiano's) serves up the best gluten-free pasta that I've tasted! Yep, they'll make pretty much any pasta dish, gluten-free!
Here a couple of solid gluten-free recs:
Thai Wild Ginger accross from the Regal Webster Theatre (Clybourn and Webster in Lincoln Park) is quite good. They are extremely accomodating and will make just about any dish, gluten-free. Fish sauce is the go to seasoning/salt in Thai cuisine, which is typically gluten-free...plus, they use a gluten-free soy sauce when needed.
Father and Son Pizza / Marcello's serves the best gluten-free pizza in the city! The pan pizza is nearly identical to the regular pizza.
Roti Medditerranean Grill: Pretty decent fast casual food. Think of a Middle Eastern Chipotle, only slightly less casual. They have gluten-free pita too!
4 downtown locations and two north suburban locations.
Thai Wild Ginger Restaurant
2203 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Windy City Burger
3109 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657
I wanted to revive this thread to see if there's any new gluten-free spots or places with gluten-free options that have opened recently? Or any of the places above that are a must try? I'm visiting in a couple of weeks and looking for great places to try.
Any yummy spots for pizza, or are the places above still open?