With more and more people having food allergies, the restaurant industry has adapted and found ways to provide meals that are free of gluten but full of flavor. D.C.’s dining scene is no exception. In fact, most local restaurants offer at least a few gluten-free alternatives, making it easy to dine out. Some eateries, however, go above and beyond for gluten-free diners, with even pasta and pizza as options. Here are some of the restaurants that have menu items full of taste for those guests with dietary restrictions.
Cafe, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Georgetown’s Chaia offers gluten-free, seasonal plant-based tacos in combinations such as creamy kale and potato, roasted beet and ricotta, or charred green beans with queso fresco. Everyone, not just gluten-free diners, should stop by this light-filled shop and try these tacos.
True Food Kitchen, which focuses on anti-inflammatory food, serves a rotating menu of healthy items. The restaurant offers flavorful gluten-free dishes that are clearly marked on the menus. Favorites include the albacore tataki, the quinoa burger with avocado and feta, the lasagna bolognese, and the spicy Panang curry bowl. The menus vary seasonally, but diners will always find a number of tasty gluten-free choices.
It’s not normally easy to find Ethiopianinjera bread that is gluten-free, preventing some diners from trying one of the most delicious cuisines around D.C. However, the new and improved Etete is solving that problem by providing gluten-free injera on their menus. Use that to soak up the variety of other side dishes that are available, many of which are devoid of gluten. Start with the black eyed pea fritters, and then get a large format platter that includes GF injera and an assortment of sides or build your own with the turmeric chicken, yellow split peas, and more.
Stuffed squash Blossoms | Courtesy of Dino's Grotto
Dino’s Grotto is a fantastic option for celiac diners, as gluten-free dishes include decadent burrata with a red pepper and olive purée, squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta in a tomato sauce, hearty deviled eggs, classics such as eggplant parmigiana, and even pasta made from corn. It is easy to leave happy and satisfied after a dinner or brunch at this Italian restaurant.
Pozole at Firefly | Courtesy of Jennifer Hughes/Firefly
A longtime favorite, Firefly offers full gluten-free menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and brunch. The selection varies from hearty soups and salads to main courses such as shrimp and grits, pot roast, and even a burger topped with cheddar and caramelized onions, all wrapped up in crunchy lettuce. A beautiful restaurant with a large tree inside, Firefly is open for breakfast and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
This new addition to D.C.’s H Street corridor specializes in flavorful chicken plates, salads, and sandwiches. Choose from combinations such as spicy roasted Fresno, avocado basil, or chipotle masala on a bed of basmati or cauliflower rice, and add in GF sides such as the roasted Brussels sprouts, corn and tomatillo salad, or sweet potatoes.
City Tap House Penn Quarter, Washington | Courtesy of City Tap House
City Tap House, a Penn Quarter spot, just updated their menus to include adaptations of their regular menu for gluten-free diners. Options include a decadent roasted bone marrow served with a GF flatbread, mussel bowls in flavors such as white wine and tomato or Panang curry, large plates including a steak and egg fried rice, and a variety of gluten-free pizza selections. Those guests seeking something without gluten will not be disappointed.
You won’t miss the gluten one bit when dining at this upscale seafood-focused spot downtown. Ocean Prime has a separate gluten-free menu that has a lot of the favorites for which the restaurant is known. It includes a custom built shellfish tower, salads, multiple entrées, side dishes, and a sweet ending. All diners are in for a treat here.
Legal Sea Foods strives to dedicate a significant portion of their menu to gluten-free options, including a Caesar salad that has GF croutons, and uses gluten-free crumbs or brown rice flour and cornmeal for many of their recipes. Over 75% of the menu at Legal is available gluten-free, with each item marked as such on the regular menu, making it easy for those guests with dietary restrictions.