Are you looking for a sit down restaurant where you can grab a gluten free meal in Charlotte, North Carolina? Or maybe you are looking for a fast casual spot where you can grab a quick bite 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 the Charlotte area.
For each restaurant we describe in this article, we will provide information on characteristics such as the location and the atmosphere to help you decide which restaurant best suits your preferences. We start this article out by discussing which characteristics we will use to provide more information on each restaurant. After that, we discuss some of our favorite sit now restaurants that offer gluten free options in Charlotte. Next, we discuss some of our favorite fast casual restaurants and cafes that offer gluten free options in Charlotte. We will also discuss our favorite ice cream shops and bakeries that offer gluten free options in the Charlotte area.
Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in Charlotte
Here are the characteristics that we will describe to provide more detail on each of the gluten free restaurants that we discuss in this article.
- Gluten free status. First, we will discuss the gluten free status of each restaurant. This will include information on whether the restaurant is dedicated to gluten free food or not. If a restaurant is not dedicated to gluten free food, we will provide further information that can help you assess the risk of cross contamination.
- Other dietary restrictions. In addition to that, we will discuss any other food allergies and dietary restrictions that each restaurant caters too. Some of these restaurants cater specifically to gluten free diners, whereas others provide accommodations for a large variety of food allergies and dietary restrictions.
- Cuisine. Next, we will discuss the type of cuisine that is served at each restaurant. This will help you determine which restaurants serve food that best suits your tastes.
- Atmosphere. After that, we will describe the atmosphere of each restaurant. This can include anything from the energy level and formality of the restaurant to the decor and ambiance in the restaurant.
- Location. Next, we will describe the location of each restaurant. For each restaurant, we will note what area it is in and whether there are popular attractions located nearby. We will also provide information on whether each restaurant is easily accessible via public transportation.
- Seating. Finally, we will describe the seating options that are available at each restaurant. This will include information on whether indoor or outdoor seating is available. We will also include information on whether reservations are generally required.
Gluten free sit down restaurants in Charlotte
Now that we have described the characteristics that we will use to provide more information on each restaurant, we will talk about some of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte. We will start by talking about our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options.
Vana is a fun tapas bar that is without a doubt one of our absolute favorite places to eat in the Charlotte area. There is a lot to love about Vana. For starters, the food is absolutely amazing. We have definitely had some of the best meals that we have had in the Charlotte area at Vana. As if that wasn’t enough on its own, the decor and general atmosphere of the restaurant are also great. It is particularly fun to eat at Vana on days with nice weather because they have a large window that they can open to create an indoor outdoor eating experience.
- Gluten free status. Vana is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu. There are usually many items on the menu that are naturally gluten free.
- Other dietary restrictions. Vegetarian items are also clearly marked on the menu. There are usually a decent amount of vegetarian options on the menu, especially for a nice tapas place in the South.
- Cuisine. Vana is a tapas bar that primarily serves small plates and tapas. Many of the small plates that they offer are Spanish-inspired dishes, but some lean more towards upscale takes on American favorites. In addition to the small plates, they also have pizzas available.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Vana is very upbeat and lively. This is a popular place for people to meet up with friends or celebrate an occasion, so there is always excitement in the air. The restaurant also has a really nice ambiance. The name of the restaurant translates to “wooded area of the forest” and there are a lot of rustic but modern wooden accents that adhere to the theme. Overall, the space is impeccably decorated.
- Location. Another thing that makes Vana great is its location. It is located right in the heart of the South End on a busy street that is lined with many restaurants, breweries, and shops. It is a fun area that has a lot of entertainment options available. Since Vana is in such a bustling area, it is generally fairly easy to access via public transportation.
- Seating. All of the seating in Vana is located indoors. That being said the restaurant is lined with large windows that can be opened when the weather is nice to create an indoor outdoor eating experience. Seating can be somewhat competitive, so we recommend making a reservation a few days in advance.
Sanctuary Bistro is an upscale vegan restaurant that is located in the suburbs of Charlotte. Not only is the food at Sanctuary Bistro entirely plant based, it is also entirely gluten free! That means that there is no need to worry about the risk of cross contamination. Sanctuary Bistro is another family owned business with really warm and inviting staff members that make you feel right at home. That is why it is one of our favorite spots in the Charlotte area.
- Gluten free status. All of the food at Sanctuary Bistro is entirely gluten free.
- Other dietary restrictions. The entire menu at Sanctuary Bistro is vegan friendly. That means that this is a great spot for anyone who maintains a vegan or vegetarian diet. It is also a great option for anyone who has an allergy to eggs or dairy.
- Cuisine. The menu at Sanctuary Bistro is dedicated to vegan cuisine. Most items on the menu feature modern takes on traditional American food.
- Atmosphere. Sanctuary Bistro is a quaint little spot with a nice ambiance and lots of greenery. The servers and staff are extremely warm and inviting, so this is another spot that makes you feel right at home.
- Location. Sanctuary Bistro is located in the suburbs of Charlotte. Specifically, it is located about 10 – 15 miles south of Charlotte. It is generally easiest to access if you have a car.
- Seating. Most of the searing at Sanctuary Bistro is located indoors. This is a small but popular spot that is fairly busy most days of the week. We recommend making a reservation a few days in advance if you want to check Sanctuary Bistro out.
Calle Sol is a Latin restaurant that is located in the bustling Plaza Midwood area. Plaza Midwood is a lively area with a large range of bars and restaurants that are popular with the younger crowd. While there are many restaurants in the Plaza Midwood area, there are not that many that offer safe gluten free options. That means that Calle Sol is a real lifesaver if you are looking for a quick place to grab a bite before heading to a rooftop bar. We will note that while Calle Sol does a great job with food allergies and can make celiac-safe food, there are not that many dishes that are naturally gluten free (especially if you are not there specifically for their ceviche).
- Gluten free status. Calle Sol is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, they have a detailed allergy menu that shows what dishes do and do not contain gluten. The servers are generally well educated about what food items are made with gluten-containing ingredients and what food items may have small amounts of gluten from cross contamination.
- Other dietary restrictions. Calle Sol has a detailed allergen menu that flags items that are made with common allergens like eggs, nuts, sesame, seafood and soy. Vegetarian items are also clearly labeled on the allergen menu. We will note that the allergen menu that is available online is not always up to date with the current allergen menu that is presented at the restaurant.
- Cuisine. Calle Sol serves primarily Latin cuisine. In particular, many of the items on their menu are inspired by Peruvian cuisine and Cuban cuisine. That being said, there are some menu items that draw inspiration from other cuisines.
- Atmosphere. Calle Sol has a fun and lively atmosphere that is sometimes bolstered by live music. The restaurant is tastefully decorated with colorful accents that help to elevate the mood. The servers are very friendly and extremely accommodating to those with dietary restrictions.
- Location. One of our favorite things about Calle Sol is its location. Calle Sol is located right near the heart of Plaza Midwood, which is a bustling neighborhood with many lively bars and restaurants. That means that Calle Sol is a great place to stop by before spending a night out at the bars.
- Seating. Most of the seating at Calle Sol is indoor seating, but they do have a few tables outside. There is a lot of seating available, but this is also a very popular restaurant in a bustling downtown area. We recommend making reservations at least a week in advance if you are planning on visiting during peak weekend dinner hours.
Emmy Squared is a chain restaurant that specializes in pizza. In particular, they specialize in Detroit style deep dish pizza. While their pizza is not all gluten free, they do have a gluten free pizza crust that is light and fluffy just like the real thing. We always struggle to find gluten free pizza crusts that are anything other than thin and crispy, so the pizza crust at Emmy Squared is a real treat.
- Gluten free status. Emmy Squared is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they are generally knowledgeable about food allergens and take precautions to prevent cross contamination where possible. Their website provides information on the precautions they take when making gluten free pizzas.
- Other dietary restrictions. Emmy Squared is conscious of many different food allergies. They have an allergen menu that flags items that contain common allergens like egg, nuts, dairy, sesame, and soy.
- Cuisine. Emmy Squared is a pizzeria so Pizza is the primary focus of their menu. In particular, Emmy Squared specializes in Detroit style deep dish pizza. It is relatively hard to find Detroit style gluten free pizza, so this place is a real gem.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Emmy is nice but casual and the restaurants feature open spaces with lots of natural light. The staff are accommodating and willing to answer any questions you have about the menu.
- Location. Emmy Squared has two locations in Charlotte. They have one location in the bustling Plaza Midwood area and another location in the South End. Both locations are just a few miles outside of the main downtown area. They are both located in popular areas that are lined with shops and restaurants, so they are relatively easy to access via public transportation.
- Seating. There is plenty of indoor seating available at Emmy Squared. Seating is not that competitive and you can generally get a seat without a reservation.
Osteria Luca is an Italian restaurant that is located a few miles outside of downtown Charlotte. While they do not have the best gluten free Italian food we have ever had, they do have a wide range of gluten free options including multiple different kinds of gluten free pizza crust. In fact, almost everything on the menu can be made gluten free. This is a great spot for anyone who likes to have a lot of variety and a lot of options to choose from. The staff are also more knowledgeable about gluten free food and celiac disease than the staff at many other restaurants in the area.
- Gluten free status. Osteria Luca is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, most items on the menu can be made gluten free with substitutions. Gluten free options are not labeled on the menu, but the staff are knowledgeable about what can and cannot be made gluten free.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are multiple vegetarian options available as well. Vegetarian options are not clearly labeled on the menu, but they are generally easy to spot.
- Cuisine. Osteria Luca primarily serves Italian cuisine. They have many different pizzas on their menu and allow gluten free diners to choose between a cauliflower crust and a rice flour crust. They also have many pasta dishes, most of which can be made gluten free by substituting in gluten free pasta.
- Atmosphere. Osteria Luca has a large open space, which makes the dining experience pleasant. The restaurant does not feel as crowded as some spots that are closer to the downtown area. The ambiance is generally nice and the staff are accommodating.
- Location. Osteria Luca is located 4 to 5 miles outside of the main downtown area in a more suburban area. That means that it is generally easier to get to if you have a car. Specifically, Osteria Luca is located south of the main downtown area.
- Seating. There is plenty of seating available at Osteria Luca. There is a mix of indoor and outdoor seating available.
Gluten free fast casual restaurants in Charlotte
Now that we have discussed our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options in the Charlotte area, we will discuss our favorite fast casual restaurants and cafes in the Charlotte area.
Red Clay Ciderworks
Red Clay Ciderworks is a fun cidery that is located just a few miles outside of downtown Charlotte. They generally have many unique and creative cider flavors on tap ranging from pineapple and pomegranate to blackberry. The best part is that all of the ciders they make in house are 100% gluten free. In addition to their cider offerings, they have a small kitchen that serves snacks and flatbreads. While there are items that contain gluten on the menu, most of the food items they offer can be made gluten free upon request.
- Gluten free status. All of the ciders that are brewed at Red Clay Ciderworks are entirely gluten free. Their kitchen is not dedicated to gluten free food, but most of the items that are sold in the kitchen can be made gluten free upon request.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are vegan options available in the kitchen as well. There is information on the menu about substitutions that can be made to make items vegan friendly.
- Cuisine. Most of the food that is sold at Red Clay Ciderworks is typical American food. Most of the menu is made up of flatbreads, but there are a few other options available. We love to order their nachos with cider cheese.
- Atmosphere. Red Clay Ciderworks has an upbeat atmosphere that is similar to that of your typical brewery or cidery.
- Location. Red Clay Ciderworks is located about 5 miles outside of downtown Charlotte, so it is generally easier to access with a car than via public transportation. Specifically, Red Clay Ciderworks is located to the southwest of the downtown area.
- Seating. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available at Red Clay Ciderworks. Since there is so much seating available, is it is generally possible to find a spot to sit without having to wait.
Sunflower Club Cafe
The Sunflower Club Cafe is a cute and cozy little cafe that is located in the outskirts of the Charlotte area. This is a family run cafe with an inviting atmosphere that feels very homey. The cafe primarily serves breakfast foods and they have many waffle-based dishes on their menu. While they do not advertise this fact much within the restaurant, everything that is sold in the Sunflower Club Cafe is gluten free.
- Gluten free status. Sunflower Club Cafe is a dedicated gluten free facility.
- Other dietary restrictions. There are also dairy free options available at Sunflower Club Cafe. Dairy free baked goods are clearly marked. Vegan options are also offered upon request.
- Cuisine. The menu at Sunflower Club Cafe focuses primarily on breakfast foods. Most of the menu is made up of waffle-based dishes that feature waffles that are topped with a variety of creative topping combinations. There are also a few other options like eggs and salads available on the menu. Baked goods are also available in a case at the front register. Some of their items can be hit or miss, so we recommend looking at reviews and ordering an item that is well reviewed.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Sunflower Club Cafe is one of our favorite things about the cafe. The cafe has a very cozy small town vibe that makes it a fun spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The family that runs the cafe is very warm and inviting, which contributes to the homey vibe.
- Location. The Sunflower Club Cafe is located in the outskirts of the Charlotte area northeast of the city. The cafe is located about 25 minutes outside of downtown Charlotte, so you definitely will need a car to get there.
- Seating. There is a limited amount of seating available at the Sunflower Club Cafe. Most of the seating is located indoors, but there are one or two tables that are located outdoors. Depending on the day, the amount of time you need to wait to get a seat can vary. Some days, there are lots of patrons looking to dine in. Other days, things are more quiet and it is easy to get a seat.
Gluten free bakeries and ice cream shops in Charlotte
In this section, we will discuss some of our favorite bakeries and ice cream shops in the Charlotte area. This will include any establishment that primarily serves sweet treats and desserts.
Donut I Love You
Donut I Love You is a food truck that is dedicated entirely to gluten free donuts. Specifically, they make gluten free mini donuts that are loaded with a variety of toppings ranging from crushed snickers to strawberries and whipped cream.
- Gluten free status. Donut I Love You is a dedicated gluten free food truck.
- Other dietary restrictions. Donut I Love You primarily caters to gluten free customers.
- Cuisine. The main focus at Donut I Love You is gluten free mini donuts. Pretty much their entire menu is made up of gluten free donuts with all different kinds of tasty toppings. They also serve espresso, coffee, and similar drinks.
- Atmosphere. Donut I Love You is a fun food truck with friendly staff.
- Location. Donut I Love You is a food truck so the location varies each day. For up to date information on where the Donut I Love You food truck will be in the upcoming weeks, check out their website.
- Seating. Donut I Love You is a food truck and does not have seating of its own. That being said, Donut I Love You often can be found in parks and downtown areas that have public seating.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a cute ice cream shop that carries a range of unique ice cream flavors ranging from brown butter almond brittle to lemon blueberry parfait. This place is a paradise for gluten free foodies who are looking for a scoop of ice cream because they label all of their flavors that are gluten free. Not only that, but they are also very accommodating to patrons with allergies and will grab a fresh bucket of ice cream from the back for those who have food allergies to ensure that there is no cross contamination. This is the perfect spot for anyone who is looking for a sweet treat in the South End.
- Gluten free status. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu. The staff are also happy to grab a fresh tub of ice cream from the back and get you a fresh scoop with a clean scooper if you tell them that you have an allergy.
- Other dietary restrictions. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams carries a range of vegan and dairy free ice cream flavors. They generally have at least a few of these flavors available at their shop.
- Cuisine. As the name suggests, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams serves ice cream and sorbet.
- Atmosphere. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a cute little ice cream shop that is decorated with colorful accents that really brighten the space up. The staff are very inviting and accommodating.
- Location. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is located in the South End just a few steps away from Emmy Squared. Since it is in a relatively popular downtown area, it is relatively easy to access via public transportation.
- Seating. There is a large amount of seating available at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available.
Other gluten free restaurants in Charlotte
Before we wrap up, we will take a minute to mention a few additional restaurants in the Charlotte area. These are restaurants that we are not as familiar with because we have only been to them once or twice. For that reason, we do not have as much to say about them. That being said, these are still excellent restaurants that we highly recommend.
Noble Smoke is a popular barbecue restaurant that is located in the Charlotte area. Noble Smoke is without a doubt one of the best options available for gluten free foodies who are looking for some Charlotte BBQ. Most of their meats, sauces, and veggie sides are gluten free. Gluten free items are not labeled on their menu, but the staff is generally knowledgeable about what can and cannot be made gluten free.
Haberdish is a Southern Kitchen and craft cocktail bar that is known for having a decent number of gluten free options available. They serve a range of traditional southern foods ranging from fried chicken and BBQ ribs to hush puppies and grits. This is a great place for anyone who is looking for indulgent southern food. Haberdish generally does a good job of labeling allergens on their menu and are accommodating of a range of food allergies and dietary restrictions.
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