One of the hardest parts of eliminating gluten from your diet is when you dine away from home. Gluten is often hidden in many restaurant foods and can be tricky to avoid. In this article we’ll give you some insight into finding gluten free restaurants so you can enjoy eating out without worry.
There are a few organizations that maintain directories of gluten free restaurants. Here are a few:
The Gluten Free Registry
This is a searchable database of over 17,000 restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and other establishments that offer gluten free food selections and menus. This database is also searchable via cell phone for added convenience. Restaurants do not have to be 100% gluten free to register – but they do have to offer items on the menu that are gluten free. There are many well-known national chains that belong to this registry such as P.F. Changs , Red Robin, Olive Garden and The Outback to name a few.
The Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program
This website is run by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America and lists over 1600 participating gluten free restaurants. Restaurants must fill out an application to be a part of this list.
There are a variety of gluten free handbooks available at local and online retailers. One popular guide is The Essential Gluten Free Restaurant Guide. Let’s Eat Out! Your Passport to Living Gluten And Allergy Free is another popular title. Keep an eye out for these titles at your local bookstore or pick them up from Amazon.
In addition to the many organizations that maintain lists of restaurants for people with gluten intolerance, there are lots of online resources. From personal blogs that review gluten free restaurants to online dining guides, there’s a good chance you can find what you’re looking for. Also check for a local gluten free bakery. While some only do retail sales others are full service restaurants and are definitely worth investigating.
Another way to find great gluten-free restaurants is to ask your friends, neighbors and even your doctor. Personal recommendations is always a great way to discover a new place to eat. Also, if you’ve got a few favorite restaurants, why not ask to speak with the chef or the owner? Often, if you explain your situation they are more than willing to accommodate special diets.
Just because you’re eating gluten free does not mean you need to give up eating out. More and more restaurant owners are realizing that it’s a good idea to offer gluten free menus. With more and more people having gluten intolerance’s or allergies it’s just a wise business decision.