Living with celiac disease doesn’t mean having to eat only healthy meals. Regardless if you want chicken and waffles, decadent chocolate tarts or yes, even a salad – Culture Trip has you covered. Discover seven of the best gluten-free restaurants in Toronto.
Whoever came up with the idea that gluten-free and healthy eating should go hand in hand was clearly not living with celiac themselves. Thankfully, Toronto’s restaurant scene is ever-expanding, and with it, so are the options for gluten-free eats. Whether you’re craving savory barbecue dishes, maple waffles and even scrumptious sweet treats, the city has it. And yes, there are options for healthy eaters, too.
With a big sprawling patio and dark cozy interior, it’s no surprise that those living with celiac disease often visit here. Offering a 100 percent gluten-free menu (though some drinks do have gluten, so double-check with your waiter), this antojitos bar serves up some of the best Mexican food, whether you have a food allergy or not. For a savory dish, try the signature Pocho fries, loaded with avocado, beef barbacoa and jalapeños. On the weekend, skip the stereotypical brunch and instead sample the chilaquiles – crispy tortillas, cotija cheese, scrambled eggs and beans.
Visitors can snuggle up in this tiny all-day breakfast joint located in the famed Kensington Market when nothing will satisfy but chicken and waffles. Hand-breaded in a signature gluten-free flour blend and dripping in buttered maple and savory ‘dirty sauce,’ the ODP waffles make for the perfect combination. Want to skip the long morning line? It now offers delivery straight to your door so that you can enjoy this gluten-free treat in your pajamas.
Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Gluten-free, Healthy, $$$
Created out of the idea that craft cocktails and healthy eating can be a perfect pairing, District Eatery is among Toronto’s healthiest cocktail bars, where people can have a guilt-free and gluten-free night on the town. The King West space is decked out in punchy graphics and playful neon signs, while the rooftop patio is spacious and features twinkle lights overhead and a regular DJ on the weekends. With almost the entirety of the menu offering gluten-free options, it’s hard to settle on just one plate. For a unique twist on a classic, its signature District Mixed Berry Grilled Cheese – topped with aged cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, havarti, berry jam and fresh jalapeños – is as whacky and wonderful as it sounds.
For the aforementioned healthy eaters, Planta Yorkville serves up plant-based, gluten-free dishes in one of Toronto’s most chic restaurants, complete with sky-high ceilings, cushy mint-colored banquettes and plenty of fresh greenery. Not everything is gluten-free, though, so be sure to ask the expert servers before ordering. Favorite dishes include The Frenchie (a gluten-free pizza) and the classic lettuce wraps, stuffed with gochujang tofu and brussels sprouts.
Who says five-star gluten-free smokehouses don’t exist? At Barque Smokehouse, it’s the knowledgeable waiters who really stand out, always sure to accommodate those with celiac. With dedicated fryers for gluten-free items, guests can enjoy everything from pulled-pork poutine to deep-fried brussels sprouts without worrying about cross-contamination. It also offers a Butcher Bar – in case you want to pick up something to save for later. While considered the best barbecue in Roncesvalles Village, it just might be the best in Toronto.
While Korean food may be one of the hardest categories to alter for gluten-free diners, Bi Bim Bap gets it right every time. What started as a mom-and-pop shop is now a franchise free of MSG, shellfish and processed sugar, promising only clean eats. Self-dubbed a ‘Korean Stonebowl Riceteria,’ this traditional-style restaurant offers celiac-friendly chicken, tofu and even steak stone bowl bibimbap. Those who avoid egg will love the simple rice stone bowls for a hearty, stir-fry dinner.
Gluten-free pastry lovers across Toronto rejoiced when de Floured opened its doors in 2013. While the company originally sold its gluten-free baked goods at the Dufferin Grove Farmer’s Market, Sorauren Farmer’s Market and the Saturday market at Evergreen Brick Works, it quickly expanded to a storefront with the growing demand. With a homegrown, family-run vibe and sourcing all of its ingredients locally and sustainably, de Floured offers both savory and sweet goods for those with gluten intolerance, with highlights being the signature smoked salmon quiche and the chocolate caramel tarts.