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Jul 22, 2008 07:52 AM

Gluten Free in Calgary & Western Canada

Not exactly a mainstream topic to start with, but living with a Celiac I think it may be worth it to start a thread here.
If you know of any Celiac friendly places, please reply. We moved back to Calgary from Las Vegas, where GF options were everywhere.

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  1. Since you are also asking about Western Canada, and not just Calgary, I will say
    that in Edmonton, you can ask for gluten-free meals at:

    Dish and the Spoon
    The Creperie

    I'm sure there are more, but those are the restaurants that I know that have worked for people with celiac, especially those who have severe reactions to cross-contamination. Also, the catering company called A Cappella (Edmonton) will cater a gluten-free event. Other restaurants that seem to work for people with celiac are Indian (including the buffets), but avoid naan bread and a number of the desserts; Vietnamese - check ahead, but in many of the restaurants, the vermicelli bowls and rice dishes are fine, and some will substitute a salad roll for a spring roll (for extra $).

    Kinnikinnick Food Inc. (gluten-free) has a main food store and bakery in Edmonton, but I think other retailers may carry their products elsewhere.

    You should also check with the local (i.e. Calgary) celiac association, because they will often have a recommended list of restaurants and food places to shop.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Libertycafe

      Also in Edmonton, Sorrentino's and Sceppa's offer gluten-free pasta.

      I'm sure you know this already but in any Asian restaurant be careful because if they use soy sauce instead of wheat-free tamari then you'll have reactions. You won't always be able to tell just on sight either, as I know some places may use soy sauce to marinate the meat. Some sesame oils have soy sauce added to them as well.

      1. re: Libertycafe

        We will visit Edmonton in August and your recommendations are great.
        Kinnikinnick we knew, but the rest, new. Great, thanks.

        1. re: Libertycafe

          Wow. The Creperie sounds like a nice place. On the schedule for our trip in August.

        2. Welcome to the Board & to Calgary worldwidestuff :)

          Calgary resources and stores: <--their site has a list of GF friendly restos put together by members

          Community Natural Foods:

          Earth's Oven: 2133B - 33 Ave. S.W.
          Marda Loop, also available at Community Natural Foods...

          Great Canadian Superstore: Has a decent selection of GF products in their natural foods aisle.

          Lakeview Bakery 6449 Crowchild Trail South (south end of Lakeview Shopping Centre) their GF products are also carried at Amaranth, Community Natural Foods, Co-op and Planet Organic.

          Kinnikinnick Foods:

          Planet Organic:

          Hope that helps get you started :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: maplesugar

            Thank you very much. Great suggestions.
            Since back from the States (and before) we dined at Fleur du Sel and they are great with GF options. Even Gluten Free bread on request.

            1. re: maplesugar

              Just a note to this: Earth's Oven is no longer in Marda Loop, though a quick search still gives that address.

              They are at 2066-18th Ave NE, the website is up to date, but all other listings still show the old address.

            2. Hi,

              In response to your above have to try "A Tasty Menu - Gluten Free Gourmet" - Calgarys only 100% gluten free restaurant. They have menu options of Burgers (The best in the city), Pizza, Sandwiches and a great assortment of entrees. Breakfast Menu available on Saturdays and Sundays. Phone: 403-235-0031 for more information.

              Hope this helps!

              1. Yes, we have been to that resto a few times. My wife is the Celiac and she likes it. As for me, take it or leave it. Either way.
                For GF food however, you cannot beat the feeling of safety when going there. That's the common thread I hear from Celiacs.

                1. My dad is a celiac so we've tried a new places listed on the site whenever my parents are in town for a visit.

                  Joey's (Eau Clair): Joey's offers a specific gluten free menu, that lists items they can guarentee don't have any gluten in them. Selection was relatively good and even included items with BBQ sauce (somewhat uncommon to find since many sauces include malt vinegar and malt vinegar can effect celiacs). Service was very friendly and professional with the waitress confirming gluten free status with the kitchen...and they get bonus points for offering a dry cider (Strongbow) on tap, Dad's bev choice now that he can't drink beer. Overall a really pleasant experience and best of all no headaches or gastro-distress the next day.

                  Big Fish: No specific gluten free menu offered at Big Fish, but the waitress confirmed every order with the kitchen. Gluten free items we tried included pork and crab with bearnaise sauce (no cheater flour to thicken), beautiful pan fried pickerel (but with an only so-so bacon and spinach topping), yellow curry mussels (great), and corn shelled fish tacos (ok). Service was helpful, friendly and reserved, and we all loved the comfortable neighborhod feel.

                  El Sombrero: Ordered the house special, but I can't remember if they had to make any substitutions to avoid flour tortillias. They were a little unsure about the communication with the waitress, but had no problems in the end. Good food, great atmosphere, live music, and even if you can't drink Coronas you can still have tequilla.

                  Breakfast stops included Diner Deluxe, Cora and Ricky's, and all places were able to accomodate (eggs, bacon, toast, pretty easy).

                  Only problem stop was a dinner in Brooks at Egan's Irish Pub. Wait staff didn't really seem to understand what might have wheat in it (like croutons in a salad) and despite our best efforts, something with gluten managed to get through (malt vinegar in a steak marinade we thought).