More than just a trend, for many, a gluten-free lifestyle is a health-necessity. Luckily, Chicago, known for its food and restaurant scene, has a plethora of gluten-free offerings good enough for both those purposely avoiding gluten and those tagging along. Gluten-free foodies rejoice, Chicago’s gluten-free fine and not-so fine dining options are endless.
This Andersonville bakery makes everything gluten-free, but you wouldn’t know it. From beautiful birthday cakes to cookies, breads, and brownies, Defloured’s offerings are the real deal, and the list of what they can bake is extensive. The brownies and lemon bars are some of the best around, gluten or no, and for those unable to venture all the way to Andersonville, Defloured cake’s and baked treats can be found in coffee shops and restaurants around the city, as well as most Whole Foods in the city and suburbs. Vegan options are available, too.
Do-Rite has some of the best donuts in Chicago, and their gluten-free menu is available every day with birthday cake, valrhona chocolate glazed, and cinnamon & sugar flavors. The donuts are fried separately, so they are guaranteed gluten-free. With locations all around the city, gluten-free donut lovers can grab a treat wherever they are. Do-Rite also caters to the gluten-lover and those who are vegan, so there are truly options for everyone.
Medici is a Hyde Park favorite for the University of Chicago crowd. The restaurant is always filled with students, and the atmosphere is cozy and lively. Most Hyde Park households know to order Medici pizza for birthday parties, because it truly is the best in the area, and every pizza can be made gluten-free. While the cheese pizza is delicious in its own right, the real winners are Medici’s creative pizza offerings such as the Mediterannean with pesto, goat cheese, and sundried tomatoes, and the Barbeque Chicken.
For those not a fan of pizza, Medici’s menu has plenty of non-pizza gluten-free options. Their salads are fresh, their soups hit the spot on a cold Chicago winter day, and their milkshakes can be spotted in many a hand of a student running across campus to class regardless of the temperature outside.
Majani’s menu is one of the most allergy-friendly menus in Chicago, with each item being flagged with allergens they do and do not contain and with plenty of options for every type of eater. The menu, inspired by Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel’s desire to celebrate fresh, local ingredients and the Southern and African cuisines that are a part of their heritage, is completely vegan. Not only is Majani’s food delicious and inclusive, Majani’s mission is to bring fresh dining options to underserved communities in the city. The first location, opened in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, has expanded to include the South Loop and One Eleven Food Hall.
Wheat’s End is one of the hottest brunch spots in Chicago, and it’s menu is one-hundred percent made from scratch and gluten-free. The Lakeview cafe, with its bright and trendy interior, is the sort of place that has mastered gluten-free dining perfectly. Gluten-loving diners are sure to be impressed, as well. In fact, gluten and gluten-free diners alike are such big fans of this spot, there is a line out the door to get a table for weekend brunch. The menu, which includes brunch and lunch staples such as pancakes, grilled cheese, eggs, waffles, paninis, baked goods and more, also offers dairy-free and vegan options.
Cassava’s empanadas are one hundred percent gluten-free and one hundred percent delicious. The facility is dedicated gluten-free, so those with celiac can ensure that their food is cross-contamination free. Cassava’s empanada flavors are extensive and creative. Savory flavors include angus steak, Greek chicken, and roasted veggies among many others. Breakfast flavors include huevos rancheros and bacon egg and cheese. There are even dessert empanadas with flavors like guava & cream cheese and apple & cinnamon.
For those not in the mood for an empanada, Cassava also offers gluten-free pizzas and cassava rolls, which are essentially dinner rolls made of cassava flour that come in an array of flavors.
A Ravenswood favorite, Spacca Napoli makes authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas in a beautiful, open eatery with a lovely patio for outdoor dining available on summer evenings. Reservations are recommended for Spacca Napoli, as everyone in Ravenswood knows that the Neapolitan style pizza may be the best in the midwest, and the atmosphere is absolutely charming.
Located in Fulton Market, Aba is the perfect place for a celebration or a nice dinner with family. The outdoor patio is bustling on warm evenings with diners crowded around tables to share the delicious offerings. The restaurant, known for its fresh and light mediterranean fare, has many gluten-free options and offers a separate gluten-free menu for dinner and brunch. Inspired by a fusion of mediterannean cultures from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, Aba has options for everyone and takes gluten-free dining and food allergies seriously.