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Jan 17, 2006 02:47 PM

gluten-free in SF

  • c

Any recommendations for GF dining in SF?

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  1. I hope you get lots of responses, because I also have to follow this diet.

    I imagine you already know about Crave:

    When I eat out, I usually opt for sushi and carry my own wheat-free soy sauce. Just steer clear of tempura, pre-marinated or sauced things like eel, or things that use surimi (CA rolls). I live in the East Bay and enjoy Isobune and ManPuku, both on College Ave. in Oakland and Berkeley respectively.

    There are also national chains with GF menus, if you wanted to Google, or take your question to a general board. I would also recommend this tactic to learn more generally about strategies for eating out GF, if you haven't already done this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: WGibs

      Can't believe I forgot this one. It isn't SF and I've never actually done it, but supposedly Pizza Rustica on College Ave. in Oakland will do a rice crust pizza if you call a day ahead. You can choose your toppings once you arrive. If you try this, please report back.

      By the way, I don't see this mentioned anywhere on their website, but I read about it on a gluten-free site.


      1. re: WGibs

        I've worked at several high end restaurants and if you call and let them know your restrictions, they will accomodate. I'd imagine any top tier restaurant will do this for you (for when you want to splurge). Heck, we even did a chocolate dessert using olive oil instead of diary for a guest that was delish.

        1. re: WGibs

          I've had the gluten-free pizza from Rustica. It's fantastic!! Friends of mine you don't have to be on a gluten-free diet have tried it and they liked it. My son was thrilled to be able to order a GF pizza. It really is delicious. The bakery that provides the crust is "I Can Eat That." The "I Can Eat That" bakery also has other products that can be purchased from select stores in the bay area. In addition to their frozen GF pizza crust, they also have two types of frozen breads, a white and brown style. The breads are great for making stuffing and grilled sandwiches. You must try the GF pizza from Rustica.

      2. I don't know about GF dining, but here are some random tips I know of:

        1.) Whole Foods will print out a list of GF and wheat free items they sell. just ask at the customer service desk.

        2.) i hear that Trader Joe's will do the same.

        3.) GF chocolate chip cookies in the frozen bakery section at Whole Foods are good.

        4.) Rainbow sells Crave and Mariposa baked goods. the Crave chocolate cake is good, as are their brownies. i haven't tried the Mariposa biscotti yet though.

        5.) Pamela's pancake mix sold at Rainbow is the best GF mix i've found so far.


        2 Replies
        1. re: baconeater

          baconeater, thanks for these tips! i didn't know that about TJ or WF - I'll be sure to pass this on to my dad who eats gluten free.

          we often get him the chocolate cake at whole foods because it doesn't have gluten and it's wickedly good.

          1. re: baconeater

            I posted recently about the availability of GoMacro GF bars:

            I think you can get them in several places in SF.


            Hello all,

            My apologies - I meant to do this a long time ago, and then I saw today's message with the same question that I posted a while ago..

            Thank you all for the answers regarding SF and the Bay area GF. Some of you sent your own summaries, so I'm posting those as well.

            Stores: Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are the major ones carrying a nice selection of GF stuff in SF. I found that WF (on Franklin & California) have the better selection. Also, supermarkets such as Cal-Mart (Laurel Village) and Cala-Foods have some stuff too.


            Jane recommended Outback which has a GF menu (in Sausalito) and Nick's Lighthouse, where she was able to have the chef make a few changes.

            Terri recommended Crave, A San Francisco Bakery - - brownies, cookies, etc. they have a list of locations where their goodies can be found.

            Jeff suggested for a list of 105+
            national/regional restaurants and their lists of gluten/wheat free items.

            Summary 1:

            Anne forwarded to me the following summary that was posted by Marian from Feb. '05 list:

            Restaurant list:

            Rainforest Cafe
            Lori's Diners
            The Fish Market
            Max's Deli
            PF Changs
            Whole Foods (groceries
            )Trader Joes (groceries)

            Following are excerpts from responses I received:

            Contact Rainforest Cafe at their website and they will accommodate you =
            S.F. =20
            Alioto's and Fisherman's Grotto on the pier. Great view.

            Lori's Diners...a chain. Just make sure your eggs are not mixed in with =
            the pancakes, etc.=20
            They're all designed like 1950's era.

            Marin county.... Frantoio's or something like that,=20
            where they actually press olives in a real olive press in front of the=20
            diners....behind glass. Expensive. Not kid oriented.

            ... Scoma's, where I've had great Sausalito...
            I think there is also a Scoma's at Fisherman's Wharf in=20

            South of the airport in the San Mateo area is The Fish Market. Loved =
            food. Lots of choices.=20

            Max's Deli, where you can buy lo-carb....just meat...dishes and I'm =
            sure, salads. Not sure of the night,=20
            but the waiters sing opera sometimes. There are other Max's Deli's in =
            city. The portions are enormous and everyone enjoyed the ice cream =

            "Hobee's" in the Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale area.=20
            They are kid friendly, they have veggie=20
            meals, BUT I can not guarantee that you will get a gluten-free meal.=20

            PF Chang's in Sunnyvale w/ GF menu.

            PF Changs. Outback. Both of those places are kid friendly and would =
            have veg. options. Maybe not so much at Outback but they do have salads =
            and steamed veggies. =20

            I sent a summary to the list regarding SF and the Cuppertino areas for =
            food options. Here is one of the links I got for information:
            Click here: San Francisco Bay Area Celiac Support Groups Restaurants =
            with Gluten Free Items=20

            Try going to for a list of 59 =
            restaurants and their lists of gluten/wheat free items. There's also a
            gluten free dining card that can be presented to restaurant personnel to
            ease the ordering process.

            Summary 2 ( by Shereen):

            Hi, Thanks to all for your suggestions. First there is a website,
            >, which is a blog on restaurants
            >in the Bay Area. They don't have restaurants that have gluten free menus
            >except for the usual Outbacks and PF Chang's, etc. That was disappointing.
            >I am from New York and we are fortunate to have numerous restaurants with
            >special GF menus courtesy of GFRAP. The Bay Area should too!
            >Old files were generously provided, but some restaurants and cafes that
            >were accommodating are no more, like Alma's. The Dolores Park Cafe's gluten
            >free baker passed away,I was told, and not replaced.
            >I went to an organic live food restaurant, reasonably priced and lovely,
            >Cafe Gratitude, located at 1336 9th Ave, which is near Golden Gate
            >Park. It is also at 2400 Harrison St in SF and 1730 Shattuck Ave in
            >Its web site is at They said that most of their menu
            >is gluten free except for what contained soy sauce. I felt okay after eating
            >their pizza, no stomach complaints nor telling DH symptoms. I would highly
            >recommend them.
            >I went to Eric's, a Chinese restaurant in Noe Valley (Sanchez and 27th) that
            >was recommended. They were not very communicative about the gf, and I was
            >disappointed in this. I was steered away from the mango chicken by the
            >who said that it might have soy sauce. He would not let me talk to the cook
            >or manager (not there he said). I had a cod dish and veggie/tofu with white
            >sauce dishes. I did not get sick, but was turned off to their lack of
            >communication. Would not go back there.
            >I went to Amberjack Sushi, also on 27th and Sanchez. It was fine. My friend
            >insisted on my getting vinegar free rice and they were accomodating. My
            >friend recommends this restaurant for the quality of the sushi.
            >I was told that the Daily Grill at 347 Gearywas accomodating. I went to
            >Buckeye's in Marin. The waiter's mother in law had celiac disease,
            >miraculously, and he was helpful. However, I itched my DH the next day. I
            >eaten simply with salad fish and veggies.

            Eat well and stay healthy!



            1. Two more resources:

              Gluten Free By The Bay

              Celiac Bay Area

              I've found Indian food and Sushi (when I bring my own GF soy sauce) to be the best bets here. Also don't forget the entirely gluten-free restaurant in North Berkeley, Socca Oven (

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