Are you looking for a place where you can get a nice gluten free sit down meal in Austin? Or maybe you are looking for a place where you can grab a quick gluten free meal on the go? Well either way, you are in the right place! In this article, we talk about all of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in Austin, Texas.
For each restaurant that we discuss in this article, we will provide information on a few characteristics to help you determine which restaurant best suits your tastes and preferences. We start this article out by outlining the characteristics that we will use to provide additional information on each restaurant. After that, we will discuss our favorite restaurants in the Austin area that offer gluten free options. This will include a mix of dedicated gluten free restaurants and restaurants that have rock solid allergy protocols and know how to avoid cross contamination in their kitchens.
Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in Austin
For each restaurant that we discuss in this article, we will provide information on the following characteristics.
- Gluten free status. First, we will discuss the gluten free status of each restaurant. Some of these restaurants are dedicated gluten free facilities, whereas others also serve products that do contain gluten. If a restaurant is not a dedicated gluten free facility, we will provide additional information to help assess the risk of cross contamination.
- Other dietary restrictions. After that, we will discuss other dietary restrictions that each restaurant caters to. Some of these restaurants can cater to a range of food allergies and dietary restrictions, whereas others are primarily known for their gluten free offerings.
- Cuisine. Next, we will discuss the type of food that is served at each restaurant. This will include information on the main type of cuisine that the menu takes inspiration from. It will also include information on any specialties that the restaurant is known for.
- Atmosphere. After that, we will discuss the atmosphere at each restaurant. This will be a broad category that includes everything from the ambiance and decor at the restaurant to the level of formality at the restaurant.
- Location. Next, we will discuss the location of each restaurant. We will provide information on what area of the city each restaurant is located in to help you determine whether the restaurant is convenient for you to get to.
- Seating. Finally, we will provide information on the seating options that are available at each restaurant. This will include information on whether indoor or outdoor seating is available. It will also include information on whether reservations are recommended or required.
Gluten free restaurants in Austin
Now that we have laid out the characteristics that we will use to provide more information on each of these Austin restaurants, we will discuss our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in the Austin area. These are restaurants that we come back to time after time. Note that these restaurants are listed roughly in order of preference, with our favorite restaurants appearing towards the top of the list.
Wu Chow is an upscale Chinese restaurant that is located right in the heart of Downtown Austin. This is one of our favorite restaurants in all of Austin because they serve some seriously delicious food and they have dishes that are inspired by a variety of different Chinese cooking styles. We always love to go places where we can try out different types of dishes and cooking styles in one meal, so we appreciate the variety. In addition to knowing how to make delicious food, the staff are also very knowledgeable about cross contamination and celiac disease. We always feel safe eating here. We could go on and on about the food at Wu Chow, but we would be remiss if we did not mention the atmosphere at the restaurant. This is a really nice modern spot with sleek decor and an excellent ambiance. They do a great job of making the space feel like an intimate spot for a special meal, despite the fact that they do have a large space with high ceilings.
- Gluten free status. Wu Chow is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, a large portion of the menu is gluten free or can be made gluten free upon request. Items that are or can be made gluten free are labeled on the menu and the staff are very knowledgeable about celiac disease and cross contamination. The staff at Wu Chow take many precautions to prevent cross contamination and have a gluten free fryer available to make all of their fried items. There are staff members employed at the restaurant who have celiac disease and know what precautions need to be taken in order to make a dish that is safe for someone with celiac disease.
- Other dietary restrictions. Wu Chow also has a large range of vegetarian options for a Chinese restaurant. While it is common for items served at Chinese restaurants to contain hidden sources of meat, you do not have to guess whether an item is vegetarian-friendly at Wu Chow. They clearly label items that are or can be made vegetarian on their menu.
- Cuisine. Wu Chow is an upscale restaurant that serves Chinese cuisine. Their menu takes inspiration from a range of different Chinese cuisines, with their website noting that there are items on their menu that represent eight different styles of Chinese cooking.
- Atmosphere. Wu Chow is an upscale spot that is decorated with sleek, modern decor. The restaurant has an excellent ambiance and feels surprisingly intimate, despite the fact that the restaurant is located in a large open space. We find the atmosphere to be very relaxing, so this is one of our favorite spots to go to destress after a taxing day of work. The friendly and accommodating staff members only help to reinforce this vibe.
- Location. Wu Chow is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Austin.
- Seating. Wu Chow has a mixture of indoor and outdoor seating available. This is a popular restaurant, but they do have a decently large amount of seating available. It is often possible to stop by without a reservation if you come on an off night or during off hours. That being said, we recommend making a reservation around a week in advance if you want to come during peak weekend dinner hours.
ATX Cocina is a trendy restaurant that serves creative takes on traditional Mexican dishes. If you are looking for an upscale Mexican restaurant that uses traditional Mexican ingredients in creative ways, then this is one of our top recommendations. Not only is their food unique, but it is also entirely gluten free! That means that there is no need to worry about cross contamination. This is also a great spot if you are looking for an upbeat spot with a lively atmosphere. No matter whether you show up during prime time dinner hours on a Saturday or during off hours on a Wednesday, this place is always buzzing with excitement.
- Gluten free status. ATX Cocina is a dedicated gluten free restaurant. While they may serve some beverages that contain gluten, their kitchen is a dedicated gluten free space.
- Other dietary restrictions. ATX Cocina has a range of vegetarian options available. While pretty much all of the entrees contain meat, many of their small plates and masa-based dishes are vegetarian or can be modified to be vegetarian-friendly upon request. We were impressed with the number of options that could be made vegetarian friendly, especially given the fact that traditional Mexican food often contains meat products like lard.
- Cuisine. ATX Cocina is a modern Mexican restaurant that serves traditional Mexican food. While some of their dishes incorporate nontraditional ingredients to put a unique twist on a classic Mexican dish, ATX Cocina leans heavily into flavors and ingredients that are commonly used in Mexican kitchens.
- Atmosphere. ATX Cocina is a very lively and upbeat restaurant that is crowded pretty much every day of the week. The level of activity is more characteristic of a restaurant that is located in a large city like downtown Manhattan or Los Angeles than a mid-sized city like Austin. That means that this is a great place to go if you are looking for an upbeat spot with excitement in the air. ATX Cocina has a large open space that is decorated with sleek modern decor. The space is adorned with delicate accents and warm lighting, which makes the large open space feel more warm and inviting.
- Location. ATX Cocina is conveniently located right in the heart of Downtown Austin.
- Seating. ATX Cocina primarily has indoor seating available. This is a popular place that draws a large crowd even on off days, so we highly recommend making reservations ahead of time. We generally make reservations a few weeks ahead of time if we plan to attend during peak weekend dinner hours. If we are looking to go during an off time or a less popular day, it is generally possible to make reservations a few days to a week ahead of time.
Uchi is an upscale Japanese restaurant on South Lamar that is often noted as being one of the best restaurants in the Austin area. While they are not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, their staff are extremely knowledgeable about the menu and they know how to make food that is safe for someone with a food allergy or celiac disease. The servers can guide you through the extensive menu (seriously, their menu is huge) and help you determine which dishes best suit your situation. It is easy to say that Uchi has some of the absolute best food and the best service that we have had in all of Texas. They have an army of attentive staff who make sure that no glass of water goes unfilled and no empty plates are left on a table for more than a few moments.
- Gluten free status. Uchi is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant and they do not have a labeled gluten free menu. That being said, their servers and kitchen staff are extremely knowledgeable about celiac disease and cross contamination. They can easily help you determine what is and is not safe for you to eat. They do not have a dedicated gluten free fryer, but most items that are not made in the fryer can be made gluten free (and free from cross contamination). This is an upscale spot with knowledgeable staff that take food allergies and dietary restrictions very seriously, so we always feel safe here. The servers are always conscious about reiterating that items are gluten free, celiac safe, and allergy-friendly when they deliver them.
- Other dietary restrictions. Uchi has a very large range of vegetarian options. In fact, they may have the largest range of vegetarian options that we have ever seen at a Japanese restaurant that specializes in sushi. They have some seriously yummy vegetarian sushi rolls, and they often have some additional rolls that are not on the main menu listed on their happy hour menu. They even have a vegetarian tasting menu available. The staff at Uchi are also extremely knowledgeable about food allergies, so this is likely a safe bet for those with a range of different food allergies.
- Cuisine. Uchi is an upscale Japanese restaurant. While they do serve a variety of dishes, they are particularly well known for their sushi offerings.
- Atmosphere. Uchi is an upscale sushi restaurant with an intimate atmosphere. The restaurant employs a large army of attentive staff that are there to tend to your every need. Your water glass will never be left unfilled, you will never be served a cold dish that has been sitting around in the kitchen, and you will absolutely never have an empty plate on your table for long. The service here is just impeccable.
- Location. Uchi is located on the main strip of South Lamar Boulevard, which is south of downtown Austin. This is a popular street that is lined with some of Austin’s best restaurants. Uchi is located on a very accessible and convenient part of the strip that is still within easy walking distance of downtown Austin.
- Seating. Most of the seating at Uchi is located indoors. This is an extremely popular spot that is often quoted as being one of the best restaurants in the city, so we highly recommend making reservations in advance. We often make reservations a few weeks in advance if we plan to stop by during peak weekend dinner hours.
El Naranjo is another Mexican restaurant that stays loyal to traditional Mexican ingredients and flavors. Specifically, the food at El Naranjo takes inspiration from Oaxacan cuisine. While the dishes at El Naranjo do incorporate some creative flair, they are not as experimental as the dishes that are served at ATX Cocina and they are less likely to incorporate non-traditional ingredients. This is a nice spot with a warm and inviting atmosphere that is not overly formal. It is a really great place to meet up with a large group of friends and catch up. They have super friendly staff who really enhance the experience as well.
- Gluten free status. El Naranjo is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, the vast majority of the items that they serve are gluten free. They generally only have one or two items on their menu that are made with gluten. That means that the chances of cross contamination are relatively low. Items that do contain gluten are clearly marked on the menu.
- Other dietary restrictions. El Naranjo also has a range of vegetarian options available. Notably, all of the moles that they serve are vegetarian friendly. We find this to be a special treat as it is common for mole sauces to be made with chicken or beef stock and lard.
- Cuisine. El Naranjo is a traditional Mexican restaurant. In particular, their menu centers around dishes that are inspired by Oaxacan cuisine. While there are some dishes at El Naranjo that are unique and creative, they generally stick to using traditional Oaxacan ingredients and flavors.
- Atmosphere. El Naranjo is a nice restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere, but it is not as formal as many of the other restaurants that we mention in this article. This is one of our favorite places to go if we are looking for a spot that is on the nicer side, but does not necessarily make us feel like we have to dress up and wear overly fancy clothes. El Naranjo also has very kind staff members who are extremely knowledgeable about the menu, so we always love interacting with their staff.
- Location. El Naranjo is located in South Lamar, which is a few miles south of downtown. It is located on one of the main streets that cuts through the neighborhood, so it is fairly easy to access via public transportation. That being said, it is far enough out of the main downtown area that you will need to take a bus or a car to get there.
- Seating. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available at El Naranjo. Since El Naranjo is located a little bit outside of the main downtown area, it is not generally as crowded as the restaurants that are located downtown. While you likely still do need to make a reservation in advance if you plan to attend during peak weekend dinner hours, it is easier to get in without a reservation during the week.
Clay Pit is a modern Indian restaurant that is conveniently located right between the Capitol building and the University of Texas campus. There is a lot of impressive architecture to check out in the surrounding area. Clay Pit is a relatively laid back spot with a large space. That means that it is a good option if you are trying to meet up with a large group. While Clay Pit is not a dedicated gluten free facility, a large portion of their menu is gluten free and items that do contain gluten are clearly marked on the menu.
- Gluten free status. Clay Pit is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, a large portion of their menu is gluten free. They do serve naan as well as battered and breaded appetizers that contain gluten, but the majority of their curries and entrees are naturally gluten free. Items that do contain gluten are clearly marked on their menu, and their online menu contains information on items that may be exposed to cross contamination. Their servers are also helpful and make sure to leave a note for the kitchen if you let them know that you are sensitive to cross contamination.
- Other dietary restrictions. Clay Pit has a large selection of vegetarian options available. Their online menu clearly separates the vegetarian options from the options that are not vegetarian friendly.
- Cuisine. Clay Pit is an Indian restaurant that primarily serves Indian cuisine.
- Atmosphere. Clay Pit is a relatively casual spot with a laid back atmosphere. This is a popular place for people to gather with groups of friends or coworkers, so there is usually lots of chatter in the air.
- Location. Clay Pit is located a mile or two north of Downtown Austin. It is conveniently situated right between the Capitol building and the University of Texas campus, so there is a lot to see in the neighborhood.
- Seating. Clay Pit has both indoor and outdoor seating available, but the majority of their seating is located indoors. They have a large space with many different rooms. While they do have a large space with many seating options, they are surprisingly busy most days of the week. We generally make a reservation a day or two in advance to make sure that we can get a seat in a timely fashion.
TenTen is an upscale Japanese restaurant that is conveniently located right near the heart of downtown Austin. While many upscale sushi restaurants feature austere spaces and more serious atmospheres, TenTen is a fun spot with more of a hip, vibrant vibe. That means that it is a really fun place to enjoy a nice meal. TenTen is not a dedicated gluten free facility, but they do have a labeled gluten free menu and the servers are careful to leave notes for the kitchen that separate utensils and appliances should be used if you let them know that you have celiac disease or an allergy. That being said, we have found that the servers themselves have varying levels of knowledge about what may make an item unsafe for someone with celiac disease. We recommend being explicit about what you can and cannot eat if you are looking for advice when choosing what food to eat.
- Gluten free status. TenTen is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, but they do have a gluten free menu that shows which items can be made gluten free. If you let the servers know that you have celiac disease or a severe sensitivity, they will make sure to leave a note for the kitchen staff so that they will use separate utensils and kitchen spaces. We have found that the servers themselves have varying levels of knowledge about celiac disease so we recommend telling them that you are sensitive to cross contamination directly.
- Other dietary restrictions. TenTen also has a large range of vegan-friendly options. This is one of the best places to go in the city if you are looking for some creative vegan-friendly sushi.
- Cuisine. TenTen is a Japanese restaurant that serves classic Japanese food with a little bit of a modern twist. A large portion of their menu is made up of sushi dishes and they are well known for their sushi selections.
- Atmosphere. TenTen is an upscale restaurant with a really fun atmosphere. Much like the average upscale sushi restaurant, TenTen does have some understated furniture that features clean lines and neutral tones. That being said, they also have some brighter pieces that liven up the vibe. The fun, funky vibe makes TenTen a very popular spot with the younger crowd. It is common to see groups of young adults gathered to celebrate birthdays or other occasions here.
- Location. TenTen is conveniently located right near the heart of downtown Austin.
- Seating. TenTen primarily has indoor seating available. This is a popular place that often books up a week or more in advance, so we highly recommend making reservations before heading over.