I’ve been living in LA almost 3 years now. Been a diagnosed Celiac for almost 4. So to say I am constantly bummed about missing out on the incredible LA food scene is an understatement.
While I spend many days scouring gluten-free websites, blogs, Instagram accounts, and Pinterest boards, I realized that I’ve already been to quite a few gluten-free hot spots in my day (so far in LA). And since it’s always nearly impossible to get a real read on actual gluten-free or imposters, L.A. not-so-gluten-free restaurants, I decided to make my own list. Y’know. Take matters into my own hands and all that jazz…
Red: LA knock(it)offs.
Green is good to go! (Celiac approved!)
**Orange: My “beware” category for the few places that claim GF, but employees might need to step their game up and pay better attention to GF needs
Los Feliz & The East Side of the 101
– Home Restaurant (LF & Silverlake) – They’ve got “gluten free” challah bread. But, if I’m being honest, I get sick just about every time I eat here. However, if you’re craving a solid breakfast sandwich, and willing to take a hit, this is the spot!
– Hugo’s Tacos (Glendale) – Gluten Free churros. Need I say more? *also GF-friendly with just about everything else
– Locali Conscious Convenience (Franklin Village) – Craving a delicious GF panini? This is your spot! A wide variety of sandwiches, salads, and drinks. They also have a few shelves and cases stocked with fresh & frozen GF, DF, Veg, and Vegan items.
– Mixto Comida Latina – Good to go! Delicious chipotle-STYLE burrito bowls but amplified. Healthier ingredients and incredible flavors. Customize with all kinds of toppings.
–Sage Vegan Bistro – Incredible American bistro food, and classics that I can’t find very often, but all GF & Vegan. I don’t usually go for vegan options on purpose, but if it’s GF and delicious, I’m in! They also have a little ice cream bar if you’re just looking to satisfy your vegan sweet tooth.
– Spinfish Poke (Pasadena) – They are fairly careful with allergens but need to train their employees better. Make sure they know right off the bat you will need everything gluten free, and double check on which toppings are gluten free (they have an allergen list on the wall for their employees to check on while preparing your food).
– Stamp Proper Foods – Oh Stamp… you’re incredible! SO many GF things on the menu. Incredible breakfast items (my absolute weakness as it’s probably my favorite meal of the day), delicious smoothies, all GF pastries in the pastry case… The list goes on. *I recommend the Mrs. Benedict!
– Elderberries (Hollywood) – when I moved into my 2nd home in LA, I was dead set on finding a delicious GF breakfast place. This place kept popping up but a lot of notes said they were closed. They might have been, but are no longer! Go enjoy a solid GF (and vegan) breakfast!
– Shophouse Asian Kitchen (*Chain) – I think just about every time I opened my app looking for a GF dinner place, this place popped up. For whatever reason I was skeptical, but this place is a WINNER. Basically, it’s the Chipotle of Asian food but all GF (except for their recently introduced egg rolls). It’s a perfect quick and inexpensive meal. And you should definitely try the meatballs (they give taste tests)!
Grand Central Market (A perfect place to head with friends who aren’t GF, as you all can get completely different things)
– Sticky Rice II – There’s a Sticky Rice I & II, so make sure you’re at the right one. Gluten-free Pad Thai. While GCM certainly has quite an assortment of options, I almost always head straight here for chicken pad thai. I’ve found that many restaurants add certain ingredients to their pad thai that take away the gluten-free designation, but this place is clean & simple & DELICIOUS!
– The Oyster Gourmet – Oysters & wine – pretty self-explanatory, but an always gluten-free treat!
– Ana Maria – delicious GF tacos (with corn tortillas)!
More downtown to come…
Burbank & The Valley
– Le Pain Quotidien (Studio City/chain) – A popular east coast chain, but they’ve got some great breakfast items! My favorite was the quinoa tarté, but I think they discontinued it. Plenty of GF items on the menu, though!
– SunCafe (Studio City) – Delicious GF/raw/vegan cuisine! Every time I go, I get excited because there are so many incredible dishes I can eat. I dragged a big group of friends here for a birthday dinner and didn’t tell anyone it was vegan (they found out) but were all patting their stuffed and happy bellies while still trying to put down one of the incredible “milk” shakes for dessert…
–Bay Cities Bakery (SM) – I hesitate to write this because it’s been a while since I’ve been there, so I’ll just say be careful. But yes, Bay Cities has gluten free bread!!! It’s this incredible rosemary focaccia-style/pita bread and it’s incredible! I’m not positive about how safe the cross contamination is. But it’s a damn good sandwich and I have yet to get too sick from eating there. This is one place that makes me miss the pre-GF days… *le sigh*
– Bullet Proof Coffee (SM/Venice) – I didn’t even believe they had GF items at first until I realized they have an incredible menu and the entire thing is gluten free! Price tag aside, (and it’s a big one…) the food is very delicious! With “No crap” “No MSG” “Gluten-free” mottos, you can expect they are going to have some solid dishes.
– Cafe Gratitude (Venice+) – It’s a 100% no for me. I ate here a few years back, but they now explicitly state on their menu that people with allergies or food intolerances should not eat here. They say it’s for the safety of the customer (I think it’s part laziness). Needless to say, I’d avoid. While they’ve got some incredible looking dishes, I will be passing on this place.
–Kai (Brentwood) – This incredible place has an incredible way of opening their seaweed burritos, but once you bite in you will barely remember the funny wrapping. My first time trying the Chicken Curry seaweed wrap, I thought I was going to pass out (Though I still can’t decide if that was because of a fasted yoga workout or whether it really is one of the best creative meals I’ve eaten!). And they know their allergens! You can make sure they know you’re Celiac/sensitive and they will take care of you!
– Rose Kitchen (SM/Venice) – They have GF pizza crust, and they are accommodating with the gluten-free requests, just be on guard. I’ve gone twice and had them mess up a GF pizza order (made a regular one and I knew it looked too fluffy to be GF), and a salad (they added croutons with a no crouton request). I recommend the bar if you aren’t looking for food!
– True Food Kitchen (Santa Monica) – One of the classics. I found Truefood in college (it was one of the go-to’s when my parents were in town and wanted to take me to dinner). Once I got diagnosed with Celiac, I found out how GF-friendly they were! My favorite dish is the spaghetti squash casserole (which I learned to make but have yet to perfect), and I add the meat sauce instead of the regular pasta sauce. Next. Level.
Pizza (it really needs its own category)
– Fresh Brothers (chain) – They are a GF-certified kitchen. The pizza is a bit pricey. But there’s one in my neighborhood and what is better than deliciously hot-out-of-the-oven pizza, instead of a frozen one 😉
– PizzaRev (chain) – Another chain that knows their STUFF. Once you announce a GF order, they ask “allergy or preference?” and go about changing their gloves and preparing your allergy-friendly pizza experience! ❤
Desserts & Bakeries
– Erin McKenna’s Bakery (Larchmont) – Delicious GF & vegan donuts, cakes, and other pastries. They also sell their baking mix so you can bake up your own delicious sweet treats!
– Fōnuts (Mid-City) – These donuts are great! GF & DF & vegan options!
Know of other good Celiac-friendly spots?! Comment below and I’ll go eat there & review. Will be updated as I expand my horizons!