Whether you have allergies or you’re just trying to cut back on grains, eating gluten-free while out and about can often be a challenge. These Chicago spots prove that everything from comfort food to pasta can be both gluten-free and delicious.
Brightwok is another 100 percent gluten-free restaurant and it also happens to be dairy-free, too. The Asian-inspired menu features flavorful offerings like Coconut Curry Spiced tofu, Thai Basil chicken and Creamy Cashew Steak. If you’re unsure of what to order, there’s as a build-your-own bowl option where customers can choose a sauce, base, protein and veggies. Make sure to grab the popular sweet potato fritters as a side — regular customers say they’re a must-try!
21 E. Adams St. and 631 N. State St., Chicago
This stylish Mediterranean spot in River North caters to gluten-free diners in a big way. The restaurant offers g-free menus with plentiful options for brunch, lunch and dinner. Diners can enjoy flavorful items like Spicy Hummus, Lamb Shakshuka, Chicken Kefta Kabobs and Green Falafel without worrying about consuming wheat. The restaurant’s kids menu is also impressive, with mini versions of the adult fare, plus a frozen Greek yogurt treat comes with each meal.
74 W. Illinois St., Chicago
This cute Lakeview cafe is 100 percent gluten-free, but still serves up some of the best pizza, bagels and pancakes around. The menu caters to those who still love carbs despite their g-free diet, with blueberry pancakes, cheddar chive biscuits and a homemade brownie ice cream sandwich as part of their weekday rotation. Grab brunch on the weekends and you’ll be treated to double chocolate donuts and a waffle burger with lamb and goat cheese. Vegans and vegetarians will find plenty of goodies to nosh on here, too, from spinach vegan pizza to avocado toast. With a totally worry-free menu, this is truly a gluten-free diner’s heaven on earth.
2873 N. Broadway St., Chicago
You may think the words “gluten-free Italian food” don’t go together, but RPM will happily prove you wrong. Their g-free fettuccine (served with traditional sauces like Carbonara and Bolognese) is drool-worthy, plus the rest of their wheatless menu is just as appetizing. If you’re not in a pasta mood, there’s chicken, steak and seafood options and plenty of small plates. Insider tip: advance reservations are highly recommended for this busy River North restaurant.
52 W. Illinois St., Chicago
While Lyfe isn’t a completely g-free joint, the health food chain does have many wheatless options available. Munch on chips and guac or baked sweet potato fries for your app, then enjoy a Quinoa Crunch Bowl or BBQ Chicken Flatbread as the main course. For dessert, indulging in a Coconut Chia Seed Pudding or a Chocolate Whoopie Pie is the perfect way to end your meal. Added bonus: the cafe has tons of vegan and nut-free options, so it’s easy to accommodate all of your family’s dietary restrictions here.
Various Chicago locations
This Gold Coast cafe features fresh ingredients (with many vegan options) and also happens to be totally g-free. Menu items like the Mushroom & Black Bean Burger, Chipotle Pork Carnitas Tacos and Roasted Shrimp Salad will please both the wheat-free and the not. Allergy-sensitive little ones have plenty to choose from here, too, like the Grass Fed Burger and Rigatoni. Check out the restaurant’s weekday Happy Hour specials for $7 cocktails and inexpensive nibbles.
845 N. State St., Chicago
Welcome to gluten-free paradise. Described as “magical” by many reviewers, Defloured’s 100 percent wheat-free selection of baked goods will blow you away. A rotating menu of cookies, bars, whoopie pies, cupcakes, breads and scones awaits you at this Andersonville shop. A few favorites include the S’mores Bar, Chocolate Ginger Cookies and Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Bring your skeptical family members here and they’ll be ready to give up gluten for good.
1477 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago
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