If you have a gluten allergy/intolerance/wheat allergy, eating out gluten free can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to look for. It took me several years to be okay with asking for a gluten free menu or telling a server I was gluten free. When I first went Gluten Free, I feel like it was still just a fad diet and lots of restaurants had not caught up yet.
Now that people are being diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease, larger chain restaurants are paying attention and are either adding gluten free options or pointing out their already gluten free items. But how do you know if a restaurant has a gluten free menu or even gluten free options? Well, I have taken the guessing out of it for you and have compiled a list of restaurants (some exclusive to the Northern Virginia area) that have gluten free items or a gluten free menu.
There are still some restaurants that have not caught up (which is their choice). So you have to pay attention when you are ordering a meal. Let your server know about your allergy. Read every single detail about the dish you are ordering. If it is “From the Grill” you are generally safe. Do they serve fried food at the restaurant? Chances are that their french fries are not going to be gluten free then, unless stated otherwise. You are usually safe with a salad. Just make sure to tell the waiter to hold the bread and croutons.
The Husband and I love this place and you can read my review of their Leesburg location here. They have a great gluten free menu and even have gluten free bread for you to eat while you wait for your food!
They have a great gluten free menu! There are not a lot of Chinese/Asian places that are gluten free so it’s nice to have somewhere to go! I love the lettuce wraps.
P.F. Changs younger, fast food sister also has a great gluten free menu!
Burger 21 is one of my favorites. There are two locations in Northern Virginia, one in Sterling and one in Ashburn. Both locations are great! They work with a local bakery to ensure that their gluten free burger buns are delicious. They have an entire part of the kitchen that is dedicated to gluten free food, including a fry vat. You can also get most of their milkshakes gluten free.
This is one of The Husband’s favorite burger places. You don’t feel gross after eating here. They offer a lettuce wrapped burger and they do a good job wrapping it!
Rubino’s has a great gluten free pizza. They also have some salads but I am a big fan of their pizza. You can choose between 10″ and 14″ and you can put anything you want on it.
The Mellow Mushroom is a pizza place with locations all over the East Coast. They have great gluten free pizzas, both pre made and custom.
Coastal Flats has a great gluten free menu that is just a variation off of their normal menu. There aren’t tons of options but plenty if you are looking for something tasty!
Owned by the same company as Coastal Flats, Sweetwater Tavern has a pretty good gluten free menu. My favorite is their flourless chocolate waffle!
Zoe’s Kitchen has healthier food and lots of gluten free options. They have a great limeade too!
Red Robin offers gluten free burger buns, which are pretty good.
I am going to be very honest here. I was excited when I found out Olive Garden had a gluten free menu. The pastas are very disappointing. They use a rice based pasta so it gets mushy really fast. I wouldn’t really recommend but I wanted to put it on the list for your info.
I feel like Domino’s gets a bad rap. Their gluten free pizza crust is good. I am also not a fan of red sauce so I love that I can order BBQ sauce on my pizza instead. It is a bit pricey but if you are ordering in and looking for a pizza place with gluten free, they are all over the country!
CPK is family favorite, so I was thrilled when I found out that they did gluten free pizza. You can order most of the things off of their regular menu with a gluten free crust.
I am going to be honest again. Chick-fil-a offers grilled chicken as it’s gluten free alternative. I don’t think the grilled nuggets are worth getting, especially in comparison to the regular ones. But I do love their fries and shakes!
The Husband and I went to Carl’s Junior all the time when we were dating. They have a great lettuce wrapped burger that is completely wrapped in lettuce.
I have not tried them for myself but I hear that their gluten free breakfast sandwiches are great!
They have a great gluten free menu that does not include the Bloomin’ Onion (BOOOOOO).
I know that there are tons more restaurants that have gluten free options but I think this is a great starting point. Hopefully this is helpful. Tell me in the comments your favorite place to get gluten free food!