13 Best Gluten-Free Restaurants Washington, D.C.

13 Best Gluten-Free Restaurants Washington, D.C.

Best Gluten-Free Restaurants Washington, D.C. 2018

Washington D.C. is best known for its politics, museum exhibits, world-class cultural events, festivals, and cherry blossoms. There’s no shortage of culture and history here. When you’re out exploring the city, there’s no doubt you’ll be craving delicious gluten-free eats. Fortunately, D.C.’s vibrant dining scene has plenty of gluten-free options. These restaurants are the best dedicated gluten-free and gluten-free friendly restaurants Washington D.C. has to offer. Hear directly from the chefs, owners, and management of these restaurants the specific steps they take to ensure a safe gluten-free dining experience and the delicious gluten-free dishes you’ll try and love.

Best Dedicated Gluten-Free

100% dedicated gluten-free restaurants in Washington, D.C. Considered the gold standard for diners with Celiac Disease.

Rise Gluten-Free Bakery

In Northwest D.C., you’ll find one of the stars of D.C.’s dedicated gluten-free eats scene, Rise Gluten-Free Bakery. From baked breads and bagels to cupcakes, brownies, eclairs, and pies, Rise has the irresistible gluten-free goods you’ve been craving.

Rise Bakery | Official

Relax in a cozy seating section and enjoy locally roasted coffee and espresso with made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches on gluten-free bagels or croissants. Owner and celiac, Mike Koritko, says “the bagels are wildly popular and have a nice chewy texture…and we have really amazing gluten-free croissants. Our ham and cheese croissants are chewy and moist in the inside and taste like an actual croissant!” Add freshly prepared eggs, sour cream, chives, cheese, and applewood smoked bacon, and you’re all set to tackle the sites.

Rise Bakery | Official

On the side, have a pastry or two…or three! “The eclairs are a highlight of the pastry menu—A traditional pate-a-choux shell filled with light, airy diplomat cream (a mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream!) and finished with a chocolate glaze.”

Rise Bakery | Official

Before you go, grab a piece of rich, flourless chocolate cake made with almond flour. Keep an eye out when you’re dining elsewhere, since many of the D.C. restaurants offering gluten-free options serve Rise Bakery’s breads and desserts.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

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Chaia

Chaia | Facebook

If you thought tacos needed meat to deliver big flavors and be absolutely delicious, think again. Chaia’s “farm to taco” approach is a unique relationship between farmers and urban-style street food. Located in Georgetown, this stylish, fast casual restaurant brings the farmer’s market to every single dish it serves. Expect the staff to be knowledgeable about gf, the food to be healthy, and everything to be amazing and 100% gluten-free!

Chaia’s management says, “vegetables are the most labor-intensive part of any meal (cleaning, prepping, cooking – takes longer); hence, why vegetables are the most luxurious things on your plate. At Chaia, each produce delivery is a gift from nature: flawless, just-picked vegetables that are sweeter and more flavorful than most anything you can get at the store. We cook vegetables with the aim of preserving that perfection.”

Chaia | Facebook

Every taco is served on a hand-griddled corn tortilla and topped with hyper-local micro greens. For $12, you can get three tacos ranging from mushroom with feta, red sauce, and cilantro to the creamy kale and potato with pepperjack, poblano crema, green sauce, and pickled onions.

Chaia | Facebook

For dessert, hand-crafted Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies are baked fresh daily and created in partnership with Rise Bakery (dedicated gf)

Also accommodates: dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

The Happy Tart

At its locations in Alexandria and Falls Church, you’ll find The Happy Tart, a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery café satisfying sweet tooths and savory palates alike. Gluten-free guests can enjoy everything from cakes, crepes, and ciders to cookies, quiches, and turnovers.

The Happy Tart | Facebook

The inspiration for this gluten-free patisserie? Owner and executive chef, Emma Cech, ​learned she was gluten intolerant while training in a professional pastry arts program. Since then, she has “spent years researching, baking, tasting, and refining my recipes to come up with fantastic gluten free French Pastries.”

The Happy Tart | Facebook

So what baked goods and sweets do customers enjoy most? Customer favorites include lemon meringue tartlets, macaroons, and chocolate chip cookies. Made with oodles of premium Callebaut chocolate chips, these soft, chocolate chip cookies won’t disappoint.

Looking for an uncommon dessert dish you can’t get at most other gluten-free bakeries? Try the tiramisu! It’s a heavenly composition of layered, almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup with mascarpone mousse topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, nut-free

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

The Little Beet

The Little Beet | Facebook

If you’re looking for healthy, fast casual that’s 100% gluten-free, you’ll want to stop in at The Little Beet in Northwest D.C. “The veggie-forward, seasonal menu is 100% gluten-free, mostly vegan, always fresh, and void of refined sugar.”

Yes, food that’s good for you can taste great! Each dish is packed with global flavors and exciting, nutrient-rich ingredients that better the mind and the body.

The Little Beet | Facebook

Try the chef made power sweets bowl with sweet potato, green beans, avocado, white bean spread, piquillo garlic sauce, and super seeds. You can also build your own bowl by adding in your own combination of tasty gluten-free grains, greens, proteins, and veggies. Top it off with one of many sauces including turmeric tahini and sweet chili garlic. Everything is beautifully served, totally satisfying, and 100% gf.

If you’re around NYC, be sure to check out their other locations in Manhattan and Long Island.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

The Red Bandana Bakery

For dedicated gluten-free treats just outside of D.C. in downtown Bethesda, stop into the healthy, happy Red Bandana Bakery. Enjoy a gf egg sandwich and pastry breakfast or lunch with scratch-made soups salads and sandwiches.

Red Bandana Bakery | Official

Owner Jaimie Mertz has a deep connection to gluten-free baking “When they put my little brother on a gluten-free, casein-free diet 5 years ago to help with some behavioral issues linked to autism, I decided to steer my career as a pastry chef toward desserts that were better for people, and that all kids could enjoy without causing them harm. It really makes my heart happy when a kid walks into the bakery and they’re so excited to hear their parents say ‘you can have ANYTHING in here!’”

Red Bandana Bakery | Official

Jaimie’s personal favorite is the Bonfire Brownie cake—four layers of rich chocolate cake, topped with scratch-made marshmallow fluff, filled with vanilla buttercream, sprinkled with house made gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.

Red Bandana Bakery | Official

Customers love the moist and eggy, tomato basil cheezy breads which may very well be “the best gluten-free bread you’ve ever had.” What better to go with cheezy bread than gf cake pops—decadent little bites of gluten-free cake, dipped in white chocolate and topped with sprinkles. Don’t leave before trying the vegan meringue cookies—colorful, puffy confections in a variety of flavors made of aquafaba instead of egg whites.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, sugar-free, vegan, most other allergies with 48 hours notice.

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

Seoul Spice

Fast casual Korean comfort food is probably not the first thing that pops into your head when planning gluten-free dining out…but if you’re in D.C., it should be! At Seoul Spice you’ll find traditional Korean flavors, farm-fresh meats and veggies, scratch made sauces, all brought together with a modern twist.

Seoul Spice | Facebook

Everything you’ll find here, with the exception of a few bottled beers, is 100% gluten-free, organic, non-gmo, and no msg. A simple, modular menu makes ordering easy. Choose your style: rice bowl, Korean style sushi burrito (Korrito), street tacos, or salad. Add beef, pork, chicken, or tofu. Then pile on the veggies, sauces, and toppings and dive into a deeply nourishing and flavorful experience.

Can’t decide what to order? Try one of the signature combos like the Klassic: Bulgogi beef, bean sprouts, carrots, cukes, kale slaw, Korean hot sauce, scallions, sesame oil, and roasted sesame seeds.

Also accommodates: corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

One Dish Cuisine Café, Deli & Bakery

One Dish Cuisine | Official

Though closer to Baltimore and a bit of a drive from the D.C. area, this allergy-friendly and dedicated gluten-free café, deli and bakery is a destination in itself. Owner, Maureen Burke, says “We make almost everything from scratch and specialize in the foods that those with Celiac Disease and food allergies crave but never can enjoy. We’re known for our American and Italian cuisine, pizzas, pastas, subs and sandwiches…because our crust and bread is so good. We also have a fully stocked bakery case with whoopie pies, cinnamon buns, cupcakes, muffins, pretzels and more!”

One Dish Cuisine | Official

Maureen was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1988 after being sick for just about her entire life. She spent the next thirty years creating some of the tastiest gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes in the U.S. The grilled reuben on mock “rye” bread is one of Maureen’s favorite dishes. “The bread took 23 years to perfect, and the corned beef is NY first cut, extra lean and sliced fresh here!”

Customers love the pizzas with homemade gf crust and fresh toppings! Also a big hit, the cheese steak subs—homemade gf sub rolls topped with freshly sliced, premium black angus roast beef and provolone cheese.

Also accommodates: corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, grain-free, oat-free, peanut-free, soy-free, treenut-free, vegan, vegetarian

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free


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Best Gluten-Free Friendly

Not dedicated gluten-free restaurants but have taken steps to ensure a safer gluten-free dining experience.

B (DC Penn Quarter)

b | Facebook

While B restaurants are not dedicated gluten-free, they do a fantastic job accommodating gf patrons for a lively lunch, happy hour, and dinner. The “b” stands for burgers, beer, and bourbon. While the latter two are out, most of the burgers are fair game and can be prepared gluten-free.

b | Facebook

The burgers contain no antibiotics and are always fresh ground in-house daily. You can get most of the burgers on a gluten-free roll or “in the grass” (bun-less, atop iceberg lettuce). Aside from an awesome burger, you have plenty of yummy fried gf sides. Parmesan fries. Check. Sweet potato fries. Check. Tater tots. Check. Onion rings. Score! All fried in a dedicated gf fryer. All clearly marked “gf” on the menu. With a staff that understands the importance of proper gluten-free food handling and procedures. Enough said.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, vegetarian

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

RPM Italian

RPM Italian | Facebook

Feeling like upscale gluten-free dining with classic Italian dishes? RPM Italian is a must visit. The atmosphere is modern, comfortable, and lit for special occasions. For gluten-free patrons, you’ll have an extensive separate menu with plenty of options ranging from fresh salads and antipasti, to gluten-free pastas, slow-roasted meats, prime steaks, and seafood.

Rest assured, the staff is well-trained in gluten cross-contamination and handling, and takes allergies and intolerances seriously.

RPM Italian | Facebook

For starters, customer favorites include the lobster caprese with mozzarella and basil and a refreshing tuscan kale and spinach salad with pecorino and lemon.

RPM Italian | Facebook

A popular main dish—the gluten-free carbonara with black pepper pancetta topped with an egg yolk and freshly shaved parmesan. Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds and looks! The pasta used is gluten-free fettucine, prepared in separate cookware with separate water. Another classic that won’t steer you wrong is the eggplant parmesan with a flavorful red sauce and fresh, melted mozzarella. Ask about the gf dessert options available that day. You’re in for a treat!

Also accomodates: most allergies

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

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True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen | Official

What happens when you bring together integrative medicine expert, Dr. Andrew Weil, and award-winning chef, Sam Fox, to create a restaurant for foodies with an anti-inflammatory focus? True Food Kitchen. That’s what. This seasonal kitchen and scratch bar offers a variety of gluten-free options for brunch, lunch, and dinner using real food ingredients that change with the season.

True Food Kitchen | Official

With so many gluten-free dishes on this flavor-forward menu, you may be wondering where to start. True Food’s management says the inside out quinoa burger is one of its most popular creations. Quinoa is shaped into two patties and filled with a blend of hummus, tzatziki, tomato, butter lettuce, cucumber, red onion, avocado, and feta. Grilled fish or steak tacos are another favorite served on organic corn tortillas with smashed avocado, pico de gallo and cotija cheese.

True Food Kitchen | Official

Customers also love the gluten-free spaghetti squash casserole—a delicious blend of roasted spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, zucchini and caramelized onions baked in a casserole dish with fresh mozzarella, garnished with herb mix and grana padano cheese.

True Food Kitchen was founded on the basic principle that food should make you feel better—not  worse. And you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthier lifestyle. No doubt they’ve achieved that with their gf options.

Also accommodates: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, dairy-free, whole-30

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

Miss Shirley’s

Miss Shirley’s | Official

A short drive outside of D.C. to Anapolis and you won’t be far from Miss Shirley’s. A breakfast through lunch café specializing in Southern favorites. If you’re gluten-free or have allergies, this is one place that goes above and beyond to make sure you can enjoy a safe, delicious meal.

Miss Shirley’s management says, “We take food allergies very seriously. It’s something that’s near and dear to our hearts, because the owner’s child has severe allergies. One of the restaurant’s policies is to require all servers to ask guests, ‘are there any food allergies at the table?’ before any orders can be placed. If an allergy is present, the server must notify a manager so they may speak to the guest prior to entering the order into the computer. Then the ticket is flagged as an allergy and the chef is notified.”

Miss Shirley’s | Official

Miss Shirley’s is known for its gluten-free pancakes made with yellow corn flour, white rice flour, soy flour and natural vanilla flavor. Berries, chocolate chips, and gf cinnamon Danish sauce can all be added on top. The pancakes are then prepared at a dedicated kitchen station on a dedicated griddle. Breakfast items like omelets, hash browns, fried eggs, and breakfast meats will all be prepared in a separate pan with dedicated gf utensils.

Miss Shirley’s | Official

If you’re creating your own salad, chefs are required to change their gloves before any gluten-free salad is prepared to make sure croutons are not touched before preparing.  On sandwiches, gluten-free bread is available to substitute. Only clean utensils and cutting boards are used to assemble and cut sandwiches after gloves have been changed.

Miss Shirley’s | Official

One of the most popular dishes among gf customers is the farm fresh quinoa bowl—Tri-colored quinoa, grape tomatoes, roasted corn, broccoli, asparagus, arugula, sunflower seeds and black-eyed peas, are tossed in a lemon basil vinaigrette and topped with sliced avocado. All items are placed in a clean pan and cooked to order.

The only thing Miss Shirley’s doesn’t have is a dedicated gluten-free fryer, but with the options above you’ll have plenty to leave satisfied and full!

Also accommodates: peanut-free, seafood-free, treenut-free, vegan, vegetarian, most allergies

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge

Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge | Facebook

For tasty gluten-free Greek food, local seafood and new American cuisine, head to Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge. Located just outside of D.C. in Millersville, Maryland is where you’ll find this gluten-free friendly gem for lunch and dinner.

Owner, Michael Stavlas, says it’s a must vist if you’re in the area. “Many of our recipes are naturally gluten-free and many more are easily convertible with the substitution of few ingredients. We have dedicated a food prep area with utensils, cooking vessels and equipment for gluten free production and cooking. All our staff has been trained on the severity of Celiac disease and importance of proper food handling to prevent cross-contamination. As the impact of celiac disease became more prevalent in society, we felt it our responsibility to learn more. We thoroughly researched the disease and conducted a walk through of our establishment with members of the Chesapeake Celiac Society to evaluate our operation and work closely with them to create a Celiac friendly environment.”

Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge | Official

Michael’s favorite dish, the gluten-free Maryland crab cake. “This dish is synonymous with Chesapeake Cuisine. Our family has been known for serving amazing chesapeake crab cakes for almost four decades and they are the signature dish of our restaurant. Unfortunately for those suffering from Celiac disease, a central ingredient in crab cakes is bread/bread crumbs. Our first order of business in creating a gluten free menu was adjusting our recipe to create a Celiac friendly version of the dish that was just as good as the original. We were successful and our guests loved it, now for the first time guests suffering from gluten intolerance can finally enjoy this iconic dish.”

Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge | Official

Here are a few other gluten-free customer favorites to try while you’re at Hella’s: Oysters Rockefeller—Chesapeake oysters on a half shell baked with chopped spinach in parmesan cream, bacon, jumbo lump crab and provolone cheese.

Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge | Official

Grilled lamb chops—tender, char-grilled, hand cut lamb t-bone chops.

Hella’s Restaurant & Lounge | Official

Greek ouzo mussels—farm raised mussels steamed in ouzo (Greek licorice liquor) with green pepper, tomato, chopped parsley, Greek oregano and Feta Cheese.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, vegan, vegetarian, most allergies

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free

Cheng’s Asian House

Right by Dulles International Airport, Cheng’s Asian House is a perfect place to grab a gf meal for lunch, dinner, or carryout right after you land or before you head out. Really, it’s a great stop anytime.

Owner Louis Cheng says “I have been offering gluten-free menus in my former restaurants since the 80’s when allergy to Celiac Disease was first becoming aware and some of my guests started requesting this special dietary attention. Cheng’s Asian House is constantly seeking new gluten free products in the market to create new menu items.  We are considered one of the few Asian restaurants to offer a gluten-free menu with well-selected options for customers…We use clean cooking equipment for all gluten-free dishes. Besides many of our house made gluten-free sauces, we do also offer gluten-free soy sauce, chili sauce, hoisin sauce and oyster sauce.”

Cheng’s Asian House | Official

Gluten-sensitive patrons have plenty of unique and tasty options. The amazing rainbow chicken is prepared with chicken crispy fried in water chestnut batter, mixed with an array of colorful shredded veggies, and glazed with a tangy, spicy, sweet chili sauce. Customers also love sam shen soup, a flavorful combo of meats and fresh veggies in chicken broth. Louis also recommends the scallop and shrimp with macadamia nuts dish. For dessert, banana flambé—fresh bananas sautéed` in citron brown sugar sauce, set aflame and served over vanilla ice cream.

Also accommodates: dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan

Visit Website | Visit Find Me Gluten Free


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2018-07-16T10:30:45+00:003 Comments

About the Author:

Kevin Ellis
We're on a mission to improve the lives of the millions of people living with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity through food, travel, and well-being. We're laying the foundation for what we hope will one day be the world's most trusted gluten-free brand with products and services specifically catering to celiacs and the gluten intolerant. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.   – Kevin, Celiac & Founder of Me & Gfree

3 Comments

  1. […] Traveling to Washington, D.C.? Read Best GF Restaurants D.C. […]

  2. […] Gluten-Free Restaurants in New York City Previous Next Best Gluten-Free Restaurants in New York […]

  3. in hop giay September 16, 2018 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Keep on working, great job!

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