Sunday, February 15, 2015

Must Try Gluten Free Dinning in Chicago!

Every major city has places it’s known for. Places that even if you don’t live there, you know when you visit, you have to check them out. This is what I consider the places that anyone who has Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance Have to check out when they come to Chicago! I was going to stop the list at the top 12, but I see it continuing to grow as more places get awesome GF menu options. Click on the name for the restaurant website and address information.

DaLuciano’s is a neighborhood pizza place that has a Strong following in the gluten free community. What’s great about Daluciano’s is they have a separate kitchen for gluten items. Why? Well several of the owners children have Celiac Disease, so they know how to do it right! But how can you turn down Chicken parmesan (Breaded and served on pasta) and Manicotti, and Tiramisu. 

Chicago’s has 3 locations in Chicago, what makes them so unique is they do a traditional Chicago style deep dish pizza. Having grown up eating Deep Dish, it tickles me pink I can still find a place to satisfy that craving. For anyone new to Chicago, well you can join in on knowing the joys of a deep dish pizza. They also have Calzones, garlic bread, focaccia, and more. 

Mity Nice and the Water Tower Food Court are owned by LettuceEntertain You corp. Which any of their restaurants would be a great treat for someone visiting Chicago, because so many have awesome GF menus.  Mity Nice in particular is known for their popovers they put on the table in their bread basket. They are naturally gluten free, and so darn good, I could go there and just eat those for dinner! The food court will give you a print out of where you can go and what to get at each of their stations.

Sweet Ali’s is a no-brainer. Out in Hinsdale, they are a dedicated gluten free bakery. But besides being 100% they are darn tasty as well. I have yet to eat anything here I didn’t love. Cupcakes, cookies, lemon bars, quiche, bagel dogs. The list goes on and on. Well worth a trip out here to treat yourself to something sweet. Plus they always have several dairy free options each day. 

My boyfriend found this place by a recommendation from a fellow gluten free dinner. The best part about them, is there vast menu options really put most places to shame. I’m not talking, a burger and fries. There is Lobster mac and cheese, goat cheese flatbreads, sweet potato fries, and craft beers. It’s really a treat, great atmosphere and just a fun place to go.

Honesty here, I don’t think I ever ate Mediterranean food prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. So trying something new, and finding a place that does it wonderfully was great! Tell them when you get in line you are gluten intolerant, the person preparing your meal, washes their hands and changes their gloves. If they touch anything else down the line, they go back again, re-wash their hands and get new gloves. What makes them stand out against a lot of the other Mediterranean places around Chicago is they carry the My-Bread Pitas. So you can make a full plate with a pita on the side!

Pancakes, Waffles, and Bacon, Oh my! Walker Brother’s has a long history in the suburbs of Chicago for having great waffles and pancakes. About 2 years ago they got a dedicated gluten free waffle iron. Welcome back Awesome Waffles! I recommend the Bacon Waffle. 

Swirlz is located on the North Side of Chicago, tucked away where you wouldn’t find them right away, but they’re no secret, they make amazing cupcakes. Offering both Gluten free, and non-gf options, they also accommodate dairy free with their gluten free selections. On a recent visit, brownies and lemon bars were in their freezer case. If you can’t make it out to Swirlz, stop by any Whole Foods store in Chicagoland and pick up an individually packaged cupcake from the bakery.
I really like Flat Top for variety. They are a Stir-fry restaurant that really looks to accommodate allergy situations when dinning. The format is simple, you get a bowl you fill with rice or noodles, pick out the veggies and meat you want and add the sauce. Their Wok chefs fry up your meal and you’re all set to chow down. For Gluten Free talk to your server about getting the un-sauced meat from the back, and confirm which sauces are gluten free, and you have a meal that will knock your Asian fusion socks off. 

The Berghoff has a long history in Chicago. They are known for their German American inspired foods and beer. In recent years the daughter of the current owners was diagnosed with Celiac disease so they were inspired to make items on their everyday menu gluten free. Their menu won’t disappoint, and the beautiful interior makes for a great dining experience in a “classic” for Chicago. 

Do-Rite Donuts 
Ok this one is a bonus, it could be lumped up in the other Lettuce Entertain You group places, but this one stands out. You can get the best cake donut of your life here!! You need to get their early in the day so that you have options, or call the day before, ask for the options for the next day and reserve your donuts. Yes… Reserve a donut. It’s worth it. 

Sophie's Great Food -  
Or previously known as Rose's Wheat Free Bakery. This place is a staple, especially for a beginner to really feel the love. Mac and cheese, and baked goods you can't even think up. Nut bars, cheesecakes, dairy free options. This was the first place I went when I was diagnosed, so it's one that I keep near to my heart. 

For anyone who is gluten free these are my top picks for where to go when dining out in Chicago on a gluten free lifestyle. You won't be disappointed.

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