gluten free boy and chef Tony Priolo at Piccolo Sogno, Chicago.
The food allergy thing definitely takes the spontaneity out of grabbing a quick bite to eat—so we don’t usually do that. Parents of food allergic children most times make a reservation, speak with the manager or chef and have back up potato chips and gluten free tamari close by.
Many of the Chicago restaurants listed below have become our families ‘go to’ safe food places. I have indicated with a bold GF the restaurants that have a gluten free menu. As always- please call first, make a reservation and inform the manager about your gluten allergy.
If you are from out of town and worried about finding a safe gluten free meal- pick any restaurant from the Lettuce EntertainYou company- they are on it!
Adobo grill-GF menu mexican-chips, guacamole, corn tortilla quesadillas etc---amazing! gluten free menu
Athenian Room- Greek, Chicago- Lincoln Park. 807 west webster avenue- no reservations. Athenian room is a little lincoln park family run greek restaurant. they do not have a gluten free menu and there is cross contamination- IF you can eat "fried in the same fryer as..... or grilled on the same grill as.... you will enjoy a divine meal of grilled chicken kebob, fries smothered with olive oil, red wine vinegar and seasonings. crisp greek style salad, skirt steak, hamburger, roast greek chicken. The red sauce does not contain gluten and the fries are not coated with wheat flour- they are fried in the same fryer as items containing gluten.
Beatrix- GF menu, modern frenchy type food. great burgers and salads, they also have GF bread for breakfast, brown sugar bacon and crispy hashed browns! yes- this is a lettuce entertain you restaurant!
Big Bowl-GF-Asian--gluten free menu—they now used colored plates to differentiate the gluten free meals. Part of Lettuce Entertain you restaurant group.
Black Dog Gelato- authentic and divine gelato at its best!!! Black dog has two locations- theur gelto is made in small bathches with interesting flavors like Mexican hot chocolate, blood orange sorbet and maple cayenne bacon- gluten free peeps will share in the fun of a safe gelato desert
Bob Tail icecream--located on Broadway in Uptown this icecream is handmade, divine and gluten free-ask for a clean scooper
Burger Bar- Lincoln Park. they have come a long way since our first vist when they opened approx 5 years ago. Back then the manager didn't even know what gluten free was- now you can order gluten free fries- they have GF buns and separate oil for the GF fries. NO GF menu. Burger Bar is across form the Apple store off North Avenue in Lincoln Park.
Cafe Ba-Ba Reba-- located in Lincoln Park on North Halsted street- another lettuce entertain you restaurant, of course! Spanish Tapas at their gluten free best! Gluten free menu!
Cantina Laredo This Mexican restaurant might be a chain but OMG- it is divine! Freshly made table side guacamole, house fried corn tortilla chips, salsas, Mexican rice, gluten free menu. Fajitas served with corn tortillas. GF menu.
Chicago Cut Steak house, Chicago- River North no gluten free menu but the managers/servers are ALL OVER IT! Steak, fish, chicken and amazing side dishes. need reservation! The food here is first rate, highest quality and divine! Tons of gluten free options on the menu.
Chicago Q- divine BBQ place located in the Gold Coast of Chicago- they have a GF menu, the BBQ flight appetizer is reason enough to go here! reservations needed!
Chipotle- GF menu -several locations. Although they do have a “gluten free” menu this place makes me very nervous. They are always busy and you must speak with a manager. Its almost not worth the stress.
Coco Pazzo-Chicago--Italian-call ahead, owner Jack will ask chef to prepare anything for you! The grilled vegetables, cheese, chicken, fish and meats are all gluten free—call ahead and let them know about your gluten allergy to be safe. The food is DIVINE!
Dairy queen--dilly bars--GFB only gets the packaged ice cream treats
Dalucianos--GF menu -Chicago-Italian--the mecca in West Chicago for Gluten free food! Gigantic gluten free menu
Doc B's Kitchen new in 2014 and so thankful for this place!!! located right off michigan ave- they do not have a dedicated fryer. burgers, salads, gluten free pizza and buns. as always- be very specific if you have an allergy. no gluten free menu but servers knowledgeable about GF items.
Eleven City Diner Finally a real deli in Chicago for glutenfree peeps!!! They have a huge GF menu, GF bread (udi's), not a dedicated fryer but they have potato chips (lays). Best turkey pastrami in Chicago, blonde root beer , coleslaw, potato salad- all gluten free!
Father and Son- GF-casual family atmosphere. They have a gluten free menu. Gluten free pizzas are made separate from the 'normal pizza'.—also gluten free pasta, salad and brownies.
Fattoush-GF menu -Lebanese—practically the entire menu is gluten free. Casual neighborhood place—divine garlic roasted potatoes and gluten free pita- from Rose's Bakery!
Flat Top GF menu Asian create your own stir fry-- call ahead and let the manager know about your allergy. When you arrive--the manager will get fresh rice, vegetables and sauces for you from the kitchen refrigerator. DO NOT TAKE items from the bar-cross contamination risk is too high. The chefs use separate woks and utensils for allergy meals-also a colored stick places in your order will indicate your specific allergy.
Francesca’s on Clark- GF menu -They have an extensive gluten free menu. Call ahead to make a reservation—alert them ahead of time to your gluten allergy.
Five guys--fries, burger--craving it now!
Four Seasons Hotel--Chicago they will accommodate most allergies--this hotel group doesn't say NO.
Garrett's popcorn there are a few locations in Chicago for this divine snack! Popcorn is all gluten free--the Chicago mix is caramel corn and cheese corn mixed! mmmmmmmm
Gemini Bistro- Classic bistro located in the heart of Lincoln Park- reservations needed. Gluten free menu
Happ Inn-- Northfield, Illinois--mexican/american, gluten free menu
Homers ice-cream-local and handmade icecream. mint chip and coffee chip are favorites! available at whole foods or their store in wilmette--ask for a clean scooper!
Hub 51 great atmosphere- large, fun and lively place- again owned and run by the lettuce entertain you group- thank god for them! Guacamole, corn chips, pulled chicken tacos- from their menu "Please Ask For Corn Chips And French Fries To Be
Fried Separately In Oil Used For Only Gluten-free Products
Please Ask For A Manager With Any Questions Or Concerns" gluten free menu
Hugo's frog bar/gibsons--huge list of items which are naturally GF--they will make fries in clean oil--crispy and perfect. They will keep your allergy information in their system and upon arrival your server will ask about the allergy- and recall your previous order.
Joe’s Seafood, Crab house and Steak- GF-Gluten free menu. Part of the Lettuce Entertain you group. They have an allergy protocol—food is divine- hash browned potatoes and perfectly cooked steak! Ice cream and hot fudge for dessert—couldn’t be better.
Le Colonial--GF-Vietnamese,perfectly seasoned- they can make most thing from their regular menu gluten free- they are very accommodating and friendly here. servers knowledgeable about food allergy. gluten free menu
LYFE Kitchen Thank goodness LYFE kitchen has opened in Chicago! The GF menu is extensive and delicious. A GF diner can eat here without worry- Divine homemade guacamole, corn tortillas, salad and even GF pizza!
L Woods- no this is not named after the character in Legally Blonde- Elle Woods. L woods is short for Lincolnwood- the name of the town where this Lettuce Entertain You restaurant is located! divine french onion soup ( without bread), classic wedge, perfect grilled steak are among our few favorites. extensive GF menu
Melting Pot GF fondue--fun place! they have a gluten free menu!
Mi-Te nice grill conveniently located inside Water Tower place- in the back of Foodlife. If you want to sit and be served instead of serving yourself (as is the case at Foodlife) Mi-Te nice is a great option. Fresh made guacamole, burgers served on a gluten free bun! great salads, fish and GF chocolate cookies for dessert! Gluten free menu
Mon ami gabi --GF--GF bread, hamburger, perfect fries, salads,steak, fish and chicken- another Lettuce Entertain you restaurant- servers totally knowledgeable about gluten free. always a great gf experience. gluten free menu
M burger--hamburger, fries, lemonade--only fries in the fryer. Again part of Lettuce Entertain you—allergy protocol in place. Order your burger wrapped in lettuce with extra fries! M burger also makes milk shakes--ask them to clean the blender first--they make some shakes with malt (barley extract)
Oak tree--perfectly located on the 6th floor of the Bloomingdales building- amazing and perfectly seasoned hand cut fries, burgers, salads, omelets, fruit smoothies, house made vegetable soup- You can pretty much order anything on th emend to be made gluten free. Be sure to tell Hal, the owner that Matthew sent you!
Pf Changs GF- They are usually on top of the GF items. I write usually because one time out of the dozens we have eaten there- we had a wheat noodle stuck in the GF stir fry. Disaster in the form of an allergic reaction was averted because Matthew with his eagle eyes spotted the noodle before eating the food. We have been back because human error happens- it really is the scariest part of eating out with an anaphylactic food allergy. Asian, extensive GF menu.
Prasino--GF Mediterranean/greek influence-modern sleek atmosphere. Alert manager to your gluten allergy. Gluten free menu.
Piccolo Sogno--chef/co owner Tony Priolo will make GF pasta with any of his sauces. The divine antipasti of roasted vegetables,cheese and meats are all gluten free. Call ahead because you WILL definitely need a reservation--this is a HOT place--divine food and fun people watching. If your grandmother could cook--and she was Italian, maybe--just maybe her food would taste like Tony's.
Quartino: Gf they do have a gluten free menu BUT.... beware because the GF pasta is generally cooked in the same water as pasta containing gluten. Both times we visited Quartino- we had to educate everyone from host to server- not worth the hassle!
Riccardo Trattoria- IF you can get in....this place is an authentic Italian trattoria situated in the center of Chicago's Lincoln Park! Gluten free pasta prepared in a separate pot/strainer can be ordered with any of their divine homemade sauces! They are accommodating to gluten free as well as other food allergies! Call ahead for a reservation!
RISE and their sister restaurant SHINE- Rise is sushi and Shine is supposed to be Chinese. Here's the deal with these sister restaurants- although they started offering gluten free soy sauce- thats it for the GF at these places. When I called to ask about GF options I was told about the GF soy sauce. Baby step but thats it. When I asked about the pad thai, I was told emphatically the noodles are not GF. When I pressed the issue (because aren't PAD THAI NOODLES ALWAYS RICE?) I WAS TOLD THE NOODLES ARE RICE BUT THE SAUCE HAS GLUTEN. When I asked if the sauce can be modified I was told, NO. Aside from the complete obnoxious attitude of both managers (Rise and Shine) I can't believe these places aren't willing to educate their staff better, throw some ginger, garlic, GF soy and chili sauce into a clean wok and make some customers happy. I hope that both Rise and Shine enjoy their day in the sun and fade off into the sunset with other restaurants whose mindsets are in the dark ages. If all you want is sushi with GF soy this is the place for you- enjoy!
RPM Italian- GF-this place is new and a major scene! They have a great gluten free menu. RPM is part of the Lettuce Entertain You group. Brussels sprouts, roast chicken , homemade GF fettuccine and more! They have an allergy protocol and the food is great! Gluten free menu.
Senza located on Broadway in the Uptown area of Chicago- this restaurant is 100% gluten free! The menu is a bit gourmet for our group- but friends who have tried Senza have only reported good things!
Shang Hi Terrace, Penninsula Hotel Chicago--phone ahead and let the manager know about the gluten allergy--remind them again when you arrive- chef will make you a divine meal!
Spiaggia cafe/ or restaurant--located on Michigan Avenue at Oak Street. Upscale Italian, no gluten free menu but call ahead--they will safely accommodate a gluten allergy. Divine vegetable side dishes, fish, salads- possibly the best gelato outside of Italy!
Sprinkles cupcakes our favorite cupcakes in Chicago- Sprinkles gluten free red velvet are divine! Although not made in a dedicated kitchen- they wipe down the equipment each morning before making the GF cupcakes.
Summer House Located in Lincoln Park- this newest from Lettuce Entertain you has an extensive GF menu. Servers, as usual for this restaurant group are extremely knowledgeable about food allergy. Burgers, house made guacamole, salads- something for everyone! They have a bakery in the front which offers divine GF cookies- they are not made in a dedicated kitchen. Gluten free menu.
Stella Barra Pizzaria located in Lincoln Park- right next door to Summer house! Stella Barra is a fun and lively place with a cool vibe. There is a pleasant patio in back which has a retractible roof during warm weather! We have eaten at Stella several times with the gluten free boy- he orders GF pizza (which is made in a separate oven) salad without croutons, brussels sprouts without bread crumbs) and everyone is happy! Gluten free menu.
Teuscher chocolates-- a favorite of the gluten free buy! He eats truffles and all molded animal chocolates--this is the BEST CHOCOLATE--EVER! When you go, tell them the gluten free boy sent you!
Thai Wild Ginger GF extensive gluten free menu, Thai food!
Tocco--Trendy and cool looking Italian restaurant--call ahead, they will make gluten free pasta with any of their sauces—antipasti, salads, fish and steak also gluten free!
Tom and Wendee's Italian Ice. Located on Armitage in Lincoln Park this place is open from March thru October--they have the best Italian ice in town! Everything is gluten free--eat without worry here!
Vinci-GF- Italian--gluten free menu- casual neighborhood place. They hare very knowledgeable about gluten free food preparation. Owned by the same group as Adobo grill.
Wildfire GF part of the lettuce entertain you restaurant group. Like all LEYE restaurants, Wildfire has an allergy protocol. Steak, BBQ chicken a lot of salad options. Gluten free menu.
WOW BOW yes, another lettuce entertain you place- there are a few wow bows in chicago- quick asian. very fresh as always from this company- and they know their GF stuff! one is conveniently located in the lobby of water tower shopping.
Jewel Grocery store--Chicago on Broadway-has a great selection of gluten free items
Whole Foods-several locations in Chicago-they have large selection of gluten free products.
M Burger, Chicago!
Perfect M burger fries!