Are you looking for a sit down restaurant in Boston where you can grab a gluten free meal with friends? Or maybe you are looking for a quick spot to grab a gluten free meal on the go? Well either way, you are in the right place! In this article, we discuss all of our favorite gluten free restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts.
For each restaurant that we discuss in this article, we will provide information on a few key characteristics of that restaurant. This will help you decide which restaurant is best for you. We start this article off by describing the characteristics that we consider. Next, we will discuss our favorite sit-down restaurants in Boston that offer gluten free options. After that, we will discuss our favorite fast casual restaurants and cafes in Boston, Massachusetts.
Note that in this article, we will specifically discuss restaurants that are located in Boston proper and Brookline. We discuss restaurants that are located in the neighboring city of Cambridge, Massachusetts in our article on gluten free restaurants in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Some of our favorite restaurants in the Greater Boston area are located in Cambridge and Somerville, so we highly recommend checking this article out as well.
Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in Boston
For each restaurant that we discuss in this article, we will provide information on the following characteristics. This information will help you determine which restaurant best suits your preferences.
- Gluten free status. First, we will talk about the gluten free status of each restaurant. Specifically, we will talk about whether each restaurant is dedicated to gluten free food. If the restaurant is not dedicated gluten free, we will talk about the precautions taken to help you 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 cater to a variety of dietary restrictions and food allergies, whereas others only cater to gluten free clients.
- Cuisine. Next, we will talk about the cuisine that is served at each restaurant. This will give you more of an understanding of the type of food you can expect to find there.
- Location. After that, we will talk about the location of each restaurant. This will include a discussion of which neighborhood each restaurant is in and what attractions each restaurant is located near. Most of these restaurants are located in Boston proper, so they are pretty much all accessible via public transportation. As such, we will not spend as much time talking about how easy they are to access via public transportation.
- Atmosphere. Next, we will discuss the atmosphere at each restaurant. Some of these restaurants have a more lively and upbeat atmosphere, whereas others have more laid back environments.
- Seating. Finally, we will talk about the seating options that are available at each restaurant. This will include a discussion of whether outdoor seating is available. It will also include a discussion of whether reservations are needed,
Gluten free sit down restaurants in Boston
First, we will talk about some of our favorite sit down restaurants in Boston. These are some of our favorite spots to grab a nice meal with family and friends. Note that this list is ordered roughly in order of preference, with our favorite restaurants appearing towards the top of the list.
Nebo Cuicina & Enoteca
Nebo is an upscale Italian restaurant that has an extensive gluten free menu with a wide range of gluten free food, drink, and dessert options. Unlike most of the other Italian restaurants that we talk about in this article, Nebo is not located in Boston’s North End. It can be a little tricky to get in and out of the North End, so Nebo may be easier to access if you are coming from an area that is not directly adjacent to the North End. Nebo’s upscale atmosphere and elevated menu makes it the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion with close friends or family.
- Gluten free status. Nebo is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, they have a dedicated kitchen space that is only used for gluten free food, as well as a dedicated gluten free fryer. They often designate a specific oven that is only used for gluten free pizzas as well. That means that the risk of cross contamination is relatively low compared to other Italian restaurants. Nebo has a gluten free menu that makes it explicitly clear what can and cannot be made gluten free.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are also a wide range of vegetarian options that are available at Nebo. The options are not clearly marked on the menu, but it is generally fairly easy to identify what is and is not vegetarian.
- Cuisine. Like many popular restaurants in the Boston area, Nebo serves Italian cuisine.
- Location. Nebo is located South of Faneuil Hall just across the bridge from the Seaport. That means that it is a great place to grab a meal after a long day exploring the Seaport. Nebo is also a short walk from the Boston Commons.
- Atmosphere. Nebo has a nice, upscale atmosphere that makes it a great place to celebrate a special occasion or to take a date that you are trying to impress.
- Seating. There is only indoor seating available at Nebo. This is a popular spot and the seating tends to fill up fast. We recommend making reservations at least a week or two in advance if you plan to go during peak weekend dinner hours.
Benevento’s is another fabulous Italian restaurant that is located in Boston’s North End. This is a great spot if you want to experience the culture of the North End and see some of the historic sites in the area. The dining area at Benevento’s is relatively small, so this is a great place to go if you are looking for a more low key spot where you can grab a nice meal in the North End. Benevento’s is located a little off of the main strip where most of the tourists dine, so the seating is a little less competitive at Benevento’s than it is at some other North End restaurants.
- Gluten free status. Bevenento’s is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, many of the items on their menu can be made gluten free upon request. Items that can be made gluten free are marked on the menu. They take precautions to prevent cross-contamination in their kitchen and we have never had a negative reaction there, despite going many times. That being said, the kitchen space is relatively small so they are not able to put as much distance between items that contain gluten and gluten free items as some other restaurants.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are also a variety of vegetarian options available at Benevento’s. Vegetarian options are not marked on the menu, but they are relatively easy to identify.
- Cuisine. Like most of the restaurants that are located in Boston’s North End neighborhood, the menu at Benevento’s has a strong focus on Italian food.
- Location. Benevento’s is located in Boston’s North End near many historic sites and landmarks.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Benevento’s is nice, but it is a little more laid back than some of the other restaurants in the North End. That means that it is a great spot if you are looking for a low key spot to grab a meal in the bustling North End. Like most North End restaurants, the atmosphere and the staff are warm and inviting.
- Seating. Before the pandemic, there was only indoor seating available at Benevento’s. Since the pandemic, there has been some outdoor seating set up as well. That being said, outdoor seating is limited. Since Benevento’s is a little bit off of the main strip, seating is not generally as competitive as it is at some other North End restaurants. We still recommend making reservations if you plan to go during peak dinner hours, but you may be able to make reservations the day of or a few days before. Many restaurants in this area require reservations to be made up to two weeks ahead of time, so this is a nice option if you are not planning as far in advance.
Bencotto is another popular North End restaurant that serves delicious gluten free Italian food. Bencotto is a little larger than Benevento’s, so it might be a better option if you want to dine with a larger party. Bencotto has large floor to ceiling windows that can be opened on nice days, so this is also a great spot to go on days with nice weather. We absolutely love grabbing lunch here on sunny days in the spring and summer.
- Gluten free status. Bencotto is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, the staff do take precautions to avoid cross contamination. The menu is labeled with some information on what kind of dishes can be made gluten free. If the information on the menu does not answer all of your questions, the waitstaff are also very helpful.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are also many vegetarian options available at Bencotto. The vegetarian options are not marked on the menu, but they are generally pretty easy to identify.
- Cuisine. Like most other North End restaurants, Bencotto primarily serves Italian cuisine.
- Location. Bencotto is located in Boston’s North End.
- Atmosphere. Bencotto has a nice atmosphere that is relatively similar to that of most North End restaurants. The staff are very attentive and the atmosphere is very inviting overall.
- Seating. Bencotto primarily has indoor seating available. That being said, the restaurant opens their windows on warm days to create an indoor-outdoor dining experience. Bencotto has more seating available than Benevento’s, so it may be a better option if you want to eat with a large party. That being said, seating is a little more competitive overall. We recommend making a reservation a few days in advance if you plan on showing up during peak dinner hours. They sometimes have room for walk-ins, but the wait can be long.
Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona Wine Bar is one of our favorite places in Boston to hit up when we are looking for something other than Italian food. Barcelona Wine Bar is an upscale tapas spot with amazing food and even better drinks. This is a trendy spot that is a great option if you are looking to grab drinks and catch up with friends.
Note that while there are multiple Barcelona Wine Bar locations in the Boston area, we are most familiar with the Brookline location. Most of the comments we make about the atmosphere and seating options will be based on our experiences at the Brookline location.
- Gluten free status. Barcelona Wine Bar is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. The standard menu is not labeled with gluten free options, but the staff will take a menu back to the kitchen and mark the gluten free options if you tell them that you have a gluten intolerance.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are also many vegetarian options available at Barcelona wine bar. The vegetarian options are not clearly marked on the menu, but they are fairly easy to spot.
- Cuisine. The menu at Barcelona Wine Bar focuses primarily on Spanish cuisine. In particular, most of the menu is made up of Spanish tapas and small plates. There are also many cheese and charcuterie options available if that is your thing.
- Location. Barcelona Wine Bar has multiple locations in the Boston area, including spots in Brookline, Cambridge, and the South End. We spend most of our time at the Brookline location, which is conveniently located right on Beacon Street. This is a convenient place to stop before attending an event on or near the Boston University campus.
- Atmosphere. Barcelona Wine Bar is a trendy spot with an upscale atmosphere. The entire restaurant is beautifully decorated with unique accents, so this is a great spot for anyone who appreciates some nice ambiance.
- Seating. There is a large amount of indoor and outdoor seating available at Barcelona Wine Bar. You may need to make a reservation if you are going during peak dinner hours on Saturday night, but there is generally room available for walk-ins.
Five Horse Tavern
Five Horse Tavern is a fun bar and restaurant that offers some delicious gluten free and vegetarian food options. This is a little more of a lively spot, so it is a great option if you are looking for a place to grab a bite before a fun night out. It is also conveniently located a few blocks away from Symphony Hall. That means that it is a great spot to go before seeing a show at Symphony Hall.
Note that while the Five Horse Tavern also has a location in Somerville, we are most familiar with the location in Boston. That means that most of the comments we make about atmosphere and seating options are based on our experiences at the Boston location.
- Gluten free status. Five Horse Tavern is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, gluten free options are clearly labeled on the menu.
- Other dietary restrictions. Vegetarian and vegan options are also clearly labeled on the menu. There are a variety of vegetarian and vegan options available.
- Cuisine. Five Horse Tavern primarily serves American food. They have a variety of options that range from salads and sandwiches to wings and tacos.
- Location. Five Horse Tavern is located in the South End. It is near the Northeastern campus and popular attractions like Boston Symphony Hall. That means that it is a great spot to go before seeing a show at Symphony Hall.
- Atmosphere. Five Horse Tavern has a lively atmosphere and is popular with the younger crowd. It has a large bar and can get a little rowdy late at night. This is a great spot to go if you are looking to have some fun.
- Seating. There is some outdoor seating available at Five Horse Tavern, but most of the seating is indoor seating. There is a decent amount of seating, so there is often space for walk-ins. That being said, things can get a little more crowded if there is a large show or event at Symphony Hall.
Gluten free fast casual restaurants in Boston
Now that we have talked about our favorite sit down restaurants, we will discuss some of our favorite fast casual spots. These are our favorite places to grab a quick meal on the go.
Grainmaker is easily our favorite chain of fast casual restaurants in the Boston area. They serve delicious Asian-inspired bowls and noodle dishes that are made with a variety of flavorful sauces and toppings. They also have some fun tacos with Asian-inspired fillings and delicious gluten free dumplings. Grainmaker is a dedicated gluten free establishment, so there is no need to worry about cross contamination.
Note that while Grainmaker has multiple locations, we will base our comments on our experiences at the Boston Location. That being said, we have also had great experience at their Somerville and Woburn locations.
- Gluten free status. Grainmaker is a dedicated gluten free establishment.
- Other dietary restrictions. Grainmaker is also a dedicated dairy free establishment. Vegan options are also labeled on the menu. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available.
- Cuisine. Grainmaker serves Asian-inspired food. While they do have some other options, most of their food comes in the form of noodle bowls and rice bowls with flavorful sauces and toppings. They offer a DIY bowl option that allows you to customize your meal to your liking.
- Location. Grainmaker is conveniently located in a bustling downtown area that is just steps away from many popular performance venues like the Orpheum Theater. It is also just steps away from the Boston Common.
- Atmosphere. That atmosphere at Grainmaker is similar to that of most nice fast-casual restaurants.
- Seating. There is ample indoor seating available at the Boston location. Most people grab their food on the go and eat it elsewhere, so there is not a lot of competition for seating.
Other gluten free restaurants in Boston
In this section, we will mention a few additional restaurants that we did not cover above. These are restaurants that we have enjoyed, but are not as familiar with as we have only been to them once or twice. While we may not be as familiar with them, they are still great options that we highly approve of.
La Familia Georgio’s
La Familia Georgio’s is another very popular restaurant in the North End that serves Italian food. The food there is both delicious and safe for gluten free foodies. That being said, we do not go there as often because seating is competitive and reservations need to be made far in advance. They recommend making reservations two weeks ahead of time.
Poke by Love Art
Poke by Love Art is another great spot to grab a gluten free meal on the go! This is a casual poke spot that has a kitchen that is 100% gluten free. That means that you can grab a quick meal without having to worry about any cross contamination. They are also conveniently located just steps away from North Station and the TD Garden.
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