Best cities in North America for gluten free food

Are you wondering which North American cities have an abundance of gluten free restaurants, gluten free bakeries, and gluten free breweries? Well then you are in the right place! In this article, we discuss the North American cities that have the best gluten free food and drink options.

We start out by describing the different factors that we consider when we evaluate whether a city has good gluten free food options. After that, we discuss the tier system that we use to categorize cities based on their gluten free options. Finally, we list all of the cities with the best gluten free options available. For each city we discuss, we provide a brief summary of the food options available and also share the names of some of our favorite restaurants, bakeries, and breweries with gluten free options. Cities are listed in order of preference, with our favorite cities appearing at the top of the list.

Note that just because a city does not show up, does not necessarily mean that it does not have good gluten free food options available. When we created this list, we only considered cities that we have spent a large amount of time in. If a city does not appear on this list, it might just mean that we have not spent enough time in that city to evaluate the quality of the gluten free food options.

What makes a good city for gluten free food?

In this section, we will describe the factors that we considered when we developed our rankings. This will give you more visibility on how we determined which North American cities are the best for gluten free food.

  • Number of options. First, we looked at the number of different restaurants and establishments that have gluten free food and drinks. In addition to considering the total number of gluten free restaurants, we also considered what proportion of restaurants in the city have gluten free options. We preferred cities where a large proportion of restaurants have gluten free options to cities that have a large number of gluten free options just because they are very large.
  • Quality of food. Next, we considered the quality of the gluten free food that is available in each city. It is no secret that some cities are well known for their delicious food options, whereas others are not. We preferred cities that had high quality food options available for gluten free foodies.
  • Variety of options. In addition to looking at the number of gluten free options that are available in each city, we also looked at the variety that is available. In some cities, most of the gluten free restaurants serve the same type of food or cuisine, whereas other cities have gluten free restaurants that serve a variety of different cuisines. We preferred cities that have a wide variety of cuisines and different types of food available to gluten free diners.
  • Safety and allergen protocols. Finally, we considered the safety of the food options that are available in each North American city. Some regions take more precautions when handling food allergies and similar dietary restrictions, whereas other regions do not take as many precautions. We preferred cities where most of the restaurants have strict allergen protocols that help to prevent cross contamination.

Categorizing cities based on their gluten free food

We will classify all of the cities that we consider in this article into one of three tiers. In this section, we will describe what types of North American cities fall into each tier.

  • Tier 1. Tier 1 cities are cities that perform well on all of the criteria we considered. They have a large number of gluten free restaurants that serve a large variety of different cuisines and types of foods. The gluten free food that they serve is high quality and safe for people who are sensitive to cross contamination. These are cities that we would easily travel to just for the food.
  • Tier 2. Tier 2 cities are cities that perform well on most of the criteria that we considered, but fall short in one or two areas. These might not be cities that we would travel to solely for the food options, but they are cities that we would be excited to eat in.
  • Tier 3. Tier 3 cities are cities that perform okay on most of the criteria, but do not particularly excel at any of them. These are cities where there are gluten free options available and there will certainly be something for you to eat. That being said, they are not cities where the food would be the main motivating factor that would drive us to visit.

Tier 1

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is easily our favorite North American city when it comes to gluten free food options. The sheer number of dedicated gluten free restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and breweries in Portland never ceases to amaze us. And even the restaurants that are not dedicated gluten free often have a plethora of safe gluten free options available. Portland is hands down the best city to visit in North America if you are sensitive to cross contamination and you prefer to eat only at restaurants that are dedicated to gluten free food.

Another notable fact about Portland is that it has a large gluten free brewery scene that is populated with many dedicated gluten free breweries and cideries. Portland is also probably the best city in North America when it comes to the gluten free drink scene.

Best gluten free food in in Portland, Oregon

Here are some of our absolute favorite spots in Portland, Oregon that offer gluten free options. For more information on our favorite gluten free restaurants, bakeries, and breweries in Portland, Oregon – check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Portland Oregon.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts is another great city that has really high quality gluten free food. If you have visited Boston before, you might know that they are particularly famous for their Italian food. This reputation extends to their gluten free food. Boston is probably the best North American city to visit if you are looking for delicious Italian food that is gluten free.

One thing that is great about the Greater Boston area is that many of the popular chain restaurants that have large footprints in the area have extensive gluten free menus. Tavern in the Square, 110 Grill, Red Heat Tavern, and Burton’s Grill are just a few examples of popular Massachusetts chains that have large gluten free menus. That means that it is easy to find gluten free meals even when you are out in the suburbs. In fact, the Boston suburbs probably have more gluten free options than the suburbs of any other major city we have been to.

Best gluten free food in Boston, Massachusetts

Here are some of our absolute favorite places to grab a bite in Boston, Massachusetts. This list also includes some restaurants that are located in the neighboring city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information on our favorite Boston restaurants, check out our articles on gluten free restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts and gluten free restaurants in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is a city that is known for its amazing food, so it is no surprise that Toronto made our list. Toronto has some of the most high quality gluten free food options of all of the cities that we discuss in this article. That being said, the proportion of restaurants that offer gluten free options is lower than some of the other cities we mention in this article.

Best gluten free food in Toronto, Ontario

Here are some of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in Toronto, Ontario. For more information on these restaurants, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Toronto, Ontario.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada is another one of our favorite North American cities to visit when we are looking for good gluten free food. Las Vegas definitely does not have as many dedicated gluten free restaurants as Portland, but many of their restaurants offer gluten free options that are safe for people who are sensitive to cross contamination. The quality of the gluten free food in Las Vegas is really high, so this is a great spot for people who are looking for high quality food prepared by world renowned chefs.

Another fun fact about Las Vegas is that they have a huge number of tapas restaurants that offer gluten free options. If you are a fan of Spanish tapas, then you should consider checking out the Las Vegas tapas scene.

Best gluten free food in Las Vegas, Nevada

Here are some of our all time favorite spots in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you want to hear more about our favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is another city that really blew us away the first time we visited. For one, we were surprised with how high the overall quality of the food was in Minneapolis. We did not know Minneapolis as a food city, but there are some seriously amazing restaurants here. But that’s not all. Many of the most popular restaurants in Minneapolis are entirely gluten free or almost entirely gluten free. And even the restaurants that do use gluten in their kitchens can often make the vast majority of the menu celiac safe upon request. As if all of that was not enough, Minneapolis also has some of the best diversity in all of North America in terms of the number of different cuisines that are available to gluten free foodies.

Best gluten free food in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Here are some of our favorite spots to grab food in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Minneapolis.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is another walkable city that has a large amount of gluten free options packed into a relatively small downtown area. Philadelphia is a great option if you are someone who loves variety. There are many gluten free restaurants in downtown Philadelphia that serve a variety of different cuisines and types of food.

Some of our favorite restaurants in Philadelphia serve Mexican, Venezuelan, Chinese, and Mediterranean cuisine. There are also some fun fusion restaurants with dishes that take inspiration from multiple Latin American cuisines or multiple Asian cuisines.

Best gluten free food in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Here are some of our favorite spots to grab gluten free food in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. For more information on our favorite spots in Philadelphia, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Philadelphia.

New York, New York

New York City is an interesting case because due to the size of the city and its status as a prominent food city, there are bound to be lots of great gluten free restaurants around. And that is true, New York City does have a large selection of amazing gluten free restaurants, which includes a large selection of dedicated gluten free restaurants and restaurants that have separate kitchens for their gluten free food. That being said, the proportion of all restaurants that offer gluten free options in New York City is not particularly impressive when you compare it to some of the other cities on our list. The variety of cuisines that is available to gluten free diners is also somewhat limited. There are some exceptions, but a large portion of the restaurants with safe gluten free options serve American food or Italian food.

Best gluten free food in New York, New York

Here are some of our absolute favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in New York City. For more information, check out our post on gluten free restaurants in New York City.

Tier 2

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is another city that is known to have good food and good vibes. The quality of food is especially impressive when you consider how small the city is compared to some of the other cities mentioned in this article. This is one city that really surprised us with the number of gluten free options that are available.

The quality of the food was not the only thing that surprised us. We were also caught off guard by the variety of different cuisines and types of food that are available. While the variety of options available might not be quite as large as what is available in cities like Philadelphia, it is still great for a relatively small city.

Best gluten free food in Portland, Maine

Here are some of our favorite restaurants, bakeries, and breweries that offer gluten free options in Portland, Maine. For more information, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Portland, Maine.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a city that is known for having great food, and its gluten free offerings certainly do not disappoint. San Francisco has some really high quality gluten free food available. In addition to having great food available, there is also a wide variety of different cuisines to sample from. That being said, the proportion of restaurants that have safe gluten free options that are free from cross contamination available is not as high as some other big cities.

Best gluten free food in San Francisco, California

Here are some of our favorite restaurants, bakeries, and breweries that offer gluten free options in San Francisco, California. For more information on gluten free restaurants in San Francisco, check out our article on the best gluten free restrauants in San Francisco.

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica is another area that has many gluten free options available. Santa Monica is one of the best cities and neighborhoods in the Greater Los Angeles area when it comes to the number of gluten free food options that are available. The proportion of restaurants that have gluten free options in Santa Monica is higher than the proportion of restaurants with gluten free options in neighboring cities and neighborhoods.

One notable fact about Santa Monica is that the area has a huge number of gluten free bakeries. There are probably more gluten free bakeries in the Santa Monica area than there are in most of the other cities we discuss in this article.

Best gluten free food in Santa Monica, California

Here are some of our favorite gluten free restaurants in Santa Monica, California. For more information on these gluten free restaurants, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Santa Monica, California.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is another North American city that we absolutely love to visit. One of our favorite things about Vancouver is how walkable the city is. There are so many delicious gluten free restaurants that are clustered in bustling downtown areas, which means that Vancouver is a great option for anyone who is looking for a walkable city where they can have dozens of gluten free food options within a short walk of their hotel.

Vancouver also has a lot of restaurants that are dedicated to vegetarian or vegan food. That means that Vancouver is a good option for anyone who maintains both a gluten free diet and a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Best gluten free food in Vancouver, British Columbia

Here are some of our absolute favorite spots to grab a bite in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information on all of these tasty Vancouver restaurants, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Tampa, Florida

Tampa is another American city that has some absolutely amazing gluten free options. Tampa has a long list of high quality restaurants run by top notch chefs that have large gluten free menus. The overall food quality is great. Tampa also has a large number of dedicated gluten free bakeries and cafes where you can grab a quick bite to eat. Tampa does not have quite as much variety in the types of food and different cuisines that are available as cities like Portland, Oregon and Las Vegas, Nevada. That being said, there is still some variety available.

Best gluten free food in Tampa, Florida

Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Tampa, Florida. For more information on our favorite restaurants in Tampa, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Tampa, Florida

Austin, Texas

It is no surprise that Austin has some seriously delicious food, but what you might not know is that there are a large selection of restaurants that follow strict allergy protocols and can prepare food that is safe for those with celiac disease. Austin is an excellent place to go if you are a fan of modern restaurants that put a twist on traditional cuisines. Whether you are looking for an experimental Mexican restaurant that seamlessly blends traditional Mexican ingredients with less traditional accompaniments or a creative Japanese spot that combines disparate flavors in exciting ways, this is the spot for you. There are so many different cuisines available, but most of them are served with a little twist. Austin is also a haven for people who eat both a gluten free and vegetarian diet. Vegetarians are seriously respected and accounted for here.

Best gluten free food in Austin, Texas

Here are some of our absolute favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in Austin, Texas. For more information, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Austin, Texas.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando is another city that has great options available for gluten free foodies. One of the reasons that the food options in Orlando are so great is that Disney World is located right outside of Orlando. The company that operates the Disney theme parks is known for being excellent at accommodating food allergies and dietary restrictions.

We will note that while many of our favorite restaurants in the Orlando area that offer gluten free options are associated with Disney, that does not mean that you need to have a Disney theme park pass to eat at all of them. There are some restaurants that are located inside Disney theme parks that will require a park pass. That being said, there are other restaurants that are at Disney Springs or Disney resorts that are open to the general public.

Best gluten free food in Orlando, Florida

Here are some of our favorite gluten free restaurants that are located in Orlando, Florida. For more information on gluten free food that is available in Orlando, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Orlando.

Tier 3

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is a cute little town that has a decent number of gluten free options. There are generally more gluten free food options available in Savannah than similar southern towns in neighboring states. While Savannah does have some gems that serve amazing gluten free food, some of the restaurants can be hit or miss in terms of food quality. That means that you should do your research and make sure that you go to popular restaurants that are known for their food.

The main reason that we placed Savannah in Tier 3 rather than Tier 2 is that there is not a lot of variety in the types of cuisines that are available. Most of the restaurants that we frequent in Savannah serve American food or Italian American food. This is a fairly common pattern in Southern cities.

Best gluten free food in Savannah, Georgia

Here are some of our favorite spots that offer gluten free food in Savannah, Georgia. For more information on these restaurants, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Savannah, Georgia.

Lake Tahoe, California

It is no surprise that the Lake Tahoe area has some great food and even better drinks. What may be more surprising is that there is some great gluten free food available in the Lake Tahoe area. While the number of restaurants that offer gluten free options is not huge, the quality of the gluten free options is excellent. Many of the most highly rated restaurants in the Tahoe area are able to prepare gluten free items that are free from cross contamination. This is a great option for anyone who enjoys fine dining and beautiful lakeside views.

Best Gluten free food near Lake Tahoe, California

Here are some of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free food in the Lake Tahoe area. For more information on our favorite restaurants in the Lake Tahoe area, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Northern Lake Tahoe.

Phoenix, Arizona

For a metro area that is in the southwest, the Phoenix metro area has a surprisingly large number of restaurants and bakeries that offer gluten free options. It can sometimes be difficult to find safe gluten free options in the American south and southwest, but this is not the case in Phoenix. Phoenix is not particularly known for being a food city, so the quality of the average restaurant might not be as high as it would be in a city with a stronger food culture, but there are certainly plenty of gems out there.

In particular, we were impressed with the number of Chinese restaurants that offer safe gluten free options in the Phoenix metro area. Seriously, this place is a haven if you are looking for gluten free Chinese or Chinese American food. Beyond the large array of Chinese restaurants that offer safe gluten free options, there are also many Mexican and American restaurants that have gluten free options available. Note that there are not so many options available if you are looking to branch out into other cuisines.

Best gluten free food in Phoenix, Arizona

Here are some of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in the Phoenix metro area. For more information, check out our article on gluten free restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona

Maui, Hawaii (Lahaina area)

Western Maui is another area that has a decent number of options that are safe for gluten free foodies. While you have to be careful to make sure that the restaurants you eat at truly understand cross contamination, there are some great options if you know what to look for.

Best gluten free food in Maui, Hawaii

Here are some of our favorite gluten free restaurants on the island of Maui. Most of these options are located on the west side of Hawaii near Lahaina.

Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester New Hampshire is another city that surprised us with the availability of gluten free food options. Restaurants in Manchester generally do not have the food quality that you would expect in a large city that is known for its food, but they have some really solid food for a small city. If you consider the neighboring city of Londonderry as part of the Manchester area, the number of options only increases.

Best Gluten free food in Manchester, New Hampshire

Here are some of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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