Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Apr 6, 2009 08:23 AM

gluten free in markham and surrounding area?

i meant to get this post up a long time ago for a friend... but if you had a very bad gluten intolerance, children, lived in markham and would like to keep costs in the low-mid scale... where would you go?

i would say they're limited non-traditional canadian experiences as well and so places that were a bit more mainstream would be best. part of their reluctance with trying much cross-culturally has been because of a fear of not being able to communicate their gluten-free needs with service staff though and so perhaps they will eventually branch out.

thoughts and suggestions are welcomed! thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. check this out

    and cards that have never failed to get the point across to any ethnicity

    1 Reply
    1. re: CoffeeAddict416

      thanks. doesn't seem to be many markham options there though with a focus on downtown. curious if anyone has had experience with restos around the markham area.

    2. Sorry I don't know Markham well at all.
      My suggestion would be to look up some big chains in the area and go online and see if they have a gluten free menu or at least state which items contain gluten. Most of the major family restaurants do this these days. Cross contamination may be a problem so it would depend on their sensitivity but I have had the odd success with this.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bacchus_is_watching

        thanks. that is as i suspected... chains are where it's at for gluten free in places as far out as markham. i was hoping to get some interesting suggestions but it looks like a bit of an unexplored territory.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          it's wierd that way with gluten free
          you either have to go with chains like il fornello or pizza pizza or you have to go high-end where the kitchen is used to substitutions or knowing their ingredients inside and out.

          It's not so bad for dinner when you can safely go out and have steak frites or a nice piece of lamb or some grilled or poached fish but to do that at lunch gets super expensive.

          Again I would stress that Chinese food is not an option because of cross-contamination. I would only trust a restaurant like Riz that specifically offers gluten-free options and therefore would know to use specific woks and sauces to cook all their gluten-free dishes.

          1. re: CoffeeAddict416

            i've actually tried to convince them that vietnamese or thai might work but their fear of communication issues is understandable and so i haven't pushed it. i've specifically not bothered with suggesting chinese though because they make such awesome gluten fake meat veg products.... no way that i think a lot of them would understand gluten = bad for some people.

            speaking of which, i don't think i've met a gluten intolerant asian... perhaps this is the upside of not being able to process alcohol as easily. all the bread you can eat!

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              i know asians who have gluten sensitivites. nothing so drastic that requires super vigilant elimination from their diets, but definitely better off if not consumed at all (one of those trade-off things, esp if one has a love for certain gluten/wheat heavy foods!)

              in relation to gluten free in markham, sadly i would agree about the lack of options. even with chains, it can be very limited.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                the celiac cards i posted here have done wonders for communicating the gluten intorlerance to people. We've had no porblems whatsoever communicating with people so i would try and convince them that they'll be fine with those cards. This includes japanese, korean, thai and english speaking people :)

                I also find that you have to be careful what kind of language you use when you ask about gluten. If you say "we can't have anything with gluten" it sounds like a wierd fad diet to them. If you say "I have an allergy to gluten and i will get very very sick" then they understand. The word "allergy" seems to be the big trigger for people. Even though gluten intolerance isn't an allergy this little white lie makes communicating a lot easier.

                BTW I haven't come across a vietnamese pho dish that my GF can't eat.

                As far as the Asian/Gluten thing goes I would think it's because we have a heavy rice based diet as opposed to a heavy bread based diet in western culture. I'm probably totally wrong but that's just my logic.

                P.S. As an aside glutinous rice desserts in Thai cooking and glutinous rice balls are both gluten free. "Glutinous" only describes the texture and not the presence of gluten. Just thought I'd put that little tidbit out there :)

        2. there is a small shop in markham on main street i dont know what its called tho
          i think i was told that its over a dr office or something but they carry gluten free foods at a cheaper cost.
          my son has been diagnosed at 15mths with celiac and im looking for more ppl that make the foods themselves and sell it. I found an amazing store out in Picton called Schroedter's.
          They have a lot of gluten free products and they taste better than our own!

          1. Frankie's Ristorante in Uxbridge is 100% Gluten Free. Phone: 905-852-1011
            It's not Markham but then it's not downtown either ;-)
            Food is terrific, no traffic and worth the drive. They even sell some of their own flour as well.