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Sep 10, 2012 03:12 PM

Gluten and Dairy Free

I'm on a temporary gluten and dairy-free diet and have plans to go to dinner with friends this week. Anybody have specific places to recommend that would have more than a couple of options that would work for me? Seems like most restaurants we frequent have cheese in the majority of their menu items.

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    1. Japanese (and call in advance to let them know, and inquire about whether they have gluten free soy sauce available, or whether they mind if you bring your own).

      1. +1 for Gather.

        Encuentro in Oakland is a vegetarian place that has a very transparent menu. They list a "v" next to anything they can make vegan. A bonus is that they have socca, a gluten free chickpea powder based flatbread.

        If you're in for a more fun diner style place, across the street from Gather is Saturn Cafe, which also has a gluten & vegan menu.

        Edit: link:

        8 Replies
        1. re: hyperbowler

          Saturn's sort of a vegetarian hippie diner, the kind of place where they serve textured vegetable protein "bacon" and "chicken." I eat there occasionally because it's open until midnight and I have a fondness for that kind of crap but would not plan a meal with friends there.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Heh, I felt compelled to balance gourmet-ish suggestions with something else, and "college freshman vegetarian" was unfortunately the first thing that came to mind :-)

            lacerise, are you looking for SF or East Bay places? If in the east bay, another option would be Ethiopian if you're looking for something other than Cal-Cuisine. The better places such as Cafe Colucci use teff flour for their injera bread and that's gluten free (you might want to call ahead to verify that they're not cutting it with wheat flour). Most places can substitute oil for clarified butter so you'd be set on the dairy free front.

            1. re: hyperbowler

              Last time I called Colucci, the used wheat flour. There are a few places that will do gluten free injera if you call ahead. Many Ethiopian places use butter as their fat, so that is out if you are truly dairy free.

              Gather is great for dietary restrictions.

              Doesn't sound like you are limited to vegetarian food? If so you will be fine -

              Middle Eastern food is often easy. Just ask to make sure they don't add orzo to rice.
              Sushi is easy - just bring your own soy sauce and avoid any fancy/Americanized rolls and those with fake crab if the place uses it.
              Mexican works with grilled fish, veggie based dishes, grilled meats.
              Thai food.
              Amici's has a dairy free (Daiya) gluten free pizza. I don't know that I would recommend it, but a lot of people like it.
              Italian - grilled meats.

              Honestly many mid-range restaurants will accomodate. The trickiest thing there is the use of butter. If you are avoiding butter (rather than just a low lactose diet), then question carefully and when you make a reservation let them know. Be willing to have extra vegges instead of a starch for instance.

              1. re: jsaimd

                Colucci's Web site ways "for gluten free diet we prepare to order fresh 100% TEFF Injera."

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Nice to know. Maybe we will try again. Thank you

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    wow! thanks, Robert. That's really helpful info about Colucci.
                    Most of the Ethiopian restos (in Oakland) use at least 50% wheat.

                    1. re: escargot3

                      Colucci used to say on their menu that they used 100% teff. Maybe the price went up.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                Most fake meat is gluten filled, so I would avoid.

            2. Thanks so much to all of you for your help and info. I'm probably going to opt for A Cote and stick with mussels and fries and some sort of cheese-free veggie dish. And, yes, I'm not eating vegetarian so this isn't as restrictive as it could be. Still don't understand those vegans.......