Gluten free restaurants in Philadelphia

Are you looking for a nice sit down restaurant where you can grab a gluten free meal in the Philadelphia area? Or maybe you are looking for a fast casual spot where you can grab a 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 in the Philadelphia area.

For each restaurant we discuss in this article, we provide information on a few characteristics such as the atmosphere and the location. This will help you determine which restaurant best suits your preferences. We start out by discussing which characteristics we will focus on throughout this article. After that, we talk about our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free food in the Philadelphia area. When we are done with that, we talk about our favorite fast casual restaurants and cafes that offer gluten free food in the Philadelphia area.

Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in Philadelphia

  • Gluten free status. First, we will discuss the gluten free status of each restaurant. Specifically, we will discuss whether the restaurant is dedicated to gluten free food or not. If the restaurant is not dedicated to gluten free food, we will also provide additional information to help you assess the risk of cross contamination.
  • Other dietary restrictions. After that, we will discuss other food allergies and dietary restrictions that each restaurant caters to. Some of the restaurants we mention in this article specifically cater to gluten free patrons, whereas others cater to a variety of food allergies and dietary restrictions.
  • Cuisine. Next, we will provide more information on the type of cuisine that is offered at each restaurant.
  • Atmosphere. After we talk about the type of cuisine that is offered at each restaurant, we will next talk about the atmosphere at each restaurant. This will include information such as the general energy level and level of formality at each restaurant as well as information on the decor and ambiance.
  • Location. Next, we will discuss the location of each restaurant. This will include information on the general area that each restaurant is in and any landmarks that the restaurant is close to. It will also include information on how easy it is to access the restaurant via public transportation.
  • Seating. Finally, we will discuss the seating options that are available at each restaurant. This will include information about whether indoor seating or outdoor seating is available. It will also include information about how competitive seating is and whether it is recommended that you make a reservation.

Gluten free sit down restaurants in Philadelphia

Now that we have explained the characteristics that we will use to describe each of the restaurants in the Philadelphia area, we will talk about our favorite restaurants in the Philadelphia area. We will start out by discussing our favorite restaurants to grab a sit down meal.

Kalaya

Kalaya is an upscale Thai restaurant in Fishtown that is known for serving some of the best food in all of Philadelphia. We would certainly agree with this sentiment as we recently had one of the best meals that we have had in years at Kalaya. This is a trendy spot with nice decor, friendly staff, and an excellent location. That being said, the food is really the star of the show here – it is unique, nicely presented, and just all around delicious. The food is also almost entirely gluten free. While it is common for there to be one or two items on the dessert menu that contain gluten, the main food menu is usually 100% gluten free. That means that this is a relatively safe bet for those who are sensitive to cross contamination.

  • Gluten free status. Kalaya is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, but they are about as close as you can get without going all in. Their main food menu is entirely gluten free most of the time. That being said, there are often one or two desserts on the dessert menu that do contain gluten. Their menu is not labeled to show which items do contain gluten, but their servers are very knowledgeable about what items can be prepared gluten free. There are very few ingredients that contain gluten used in their kitchen so this is a relatively safe spot for those who are sensitive to cross contamination.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Kalaya also has vegetarian and vegan options available. There are a few options that are naturally vegetarian and a few additional options that can be modified to be vegetarian upon request.
  • Cuisine. Kalaya is a Thai restaurant that serves elevated Thai cuisine. They serve some seriously delicious dishes that use traditional thai flavors in creative ways. We have never had Thai food that Is quite like the food at Kalaya.
  • Atmosphere. Kalaya is a trendy spot with a modern atmosphere. The restaurant is filled with sleek, modern decor and plenty of touches of greenery. In fact, there are full sized trees located in the center of the restaurant. The walls and ceilings are lined with glass windows that let in plenty of sunlight (for the people and the trees). The staff are also very friendly and accommodating, which only serves to enhance the mood. This is an excellent spot to celebrate a special occasion or spend a fancy night out with friends.
  • Location. Kalaya is located in Fishtown on a popular road that is lined with top notch restaurants. It is located just a few steps away from other popular Fishtown restaurants like Suraya and Laser Wolf. Seriously, some of the best restaurants in the city are located in this area.
  • Seating. Kalaya has both indoor and outdoor seating available. This is a popular spot, so we highly recommend making reservations ahead of time. We usually make reservations a few weeks ahead of time if we plan to attend during a busy time like peak weekend dinner hours. If you are willing to eat at an off time later at night, then it is sometimes possible to get a reservation with less lead time.
Tofu at Kalaya in Philadelphia
Shaved ice at Kalaya in Philadelphia

Cry Baby Pasta

Cry Baby Pasta is a popular Italian restaurant that is known for their delicious pasta dishes. While this is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, almost all of their pasta dishes can be made gluten free by substituting in their homemade gluten free pasta. They have some seriously delicious homemade gluten free pasta that is made separately from the regular pasta. Their chef has celiac disease, so they are knowledgeable about how to prepare food for people with celiac disease as well. This is a fun, trendy spot that is the perfect place to catch up with friends.

  • Gluten free status. Cry Baby Pasta is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, a large portion of the menu can be made gluten free with substitutions. They do not have a labeled menu, but their servers are very knowledgeable about what items can be made gluten free and what substitutions need to be made in order to make certain items gluten free. The chef at the restaurant has celiac disease, so they are very knowledgeable about how to make food that is safe for people with celiac disease.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Cry Baby Pasta is most well known for their gluten free options, but they also have a range of vegetarian options available. Vegetarian options are not marked on the menu, but they are generally fairly easy to spot.
  • Cuisine. Cry Baby Pasta is an Italian restaurant that primarily serves Italian food. As the name suggests, they specialize in pasta dishes. They make some amazing gluten free pasta and most if not all of their pasta dishes can be made gluten free by substituting in gluten free pasta.
  • Atmosphere. Cry Baby Pasta is a trendy spot with a nice atmosphere. The restaurant is decorated with sleek, modern decor and fun pops of color. The servers and staff are very friendly and accommodating, so that makes the space feel more warm and inviting.
  • Location. Cry Baby Pasta is located in the southeast of the city in the Queen Village area. It is located in a popular downtown area that is lined with shops, restaurants, and bakeries. It is walking distance from many other popular downtown areas.
  • Seating. Cry Baby Pasta has a mixture of indoor and outdoor seating, though most of the seating is located indoors. This is a popular spot, so we recommend making a reservation a week or two ahead of time if possible. This is especially true if you plan to attend during a busy time like peak weekend dinner hours.
Peaches from Cry Baby Pasta in Philadelphia
Pasta from Cry Baby Pasta in Philadelphia

Zahav

Zahav is another hugely popular spot in Philadelphia with a menu that just happens to be largely gluten free. They serve Israeli food and while they have a few items that are made with obviously problematic ingredients like pita bread and phyllo, the majority of the menu is naturally gluten free. Zahav is known for being one of the most difficult to get reservations in the area. Luckily, you have two different options when dining at Zahav. If you have trouble getting a reservation at the indoor dining room where they serve their five course tasting menu, you can always try showing up to their walk-in only patio where they serve some of the small plates from their restaurant à la carte.

  • Gluten free status. Zahav is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant and they do use a few ingredients that contain gluten like pita bread and phyllo. That being said, the majority of their menu is naturally gluten free and their staff are very knowledgeable and aware of sources of cross contamination. The menu is not labeled to show which items are gluten free, but the servers can help you understand what is safe for you to eat.
  • Other dietary restrictions. In addition to having some great gluten free options, Zahav is an excellent spot for people who maintain vegetarian diets. Many of the items on the menu are naturally vegetarian friendly, especially if you are dining at their outdoor patio. There are also some vegan-friendly items on the menu.
  • Cuisine. Zahav is an Israeli restaurant that primarily serves Israeli cuisine.
  • Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Zahav varies depending on whether you are seated indoors or outdoors. The indoor dining room is more formal and more ornately decorated. Servers at the indoor dining room are very friendly and attentive. Their outdoor patio is a little more casual and has a little more of a laid back atmosphere. That being said, it is still a very pleasant place to dine.
  • Location. Zahav is located just on the outskirts of the bustling Society Hill neighborhood. That means that it is located in an area that is lined with lots of bars and restaurants. It is also just steps away from popular tourist attractions like the Liberty Bell.
  • Seating. Zahav has two different seating areas that have different reservation policies. Their indoor seating area where they serve their tasting menu requires reservations, which tend to book up about 8 weeks in advance. We will note that they do have a few indoor counter seats that accept walk-ins. Their outdoor dining area does not accept reservations and only serves walk-ins. The wait for their outdoor patio can vary lot depending on the day of week and the time of year.
Hummus from Zahav in Philadelphia
Figs from Zahav in Philadelphia

EMei

EMei is a Chinese restaurant located in Chinatown that serves Sichuan-style food. EMei is regularly recognized as serving some of the best Chinese food in the city, and we would even say that they serve some of the best food we have had anywhere in the city. We put them a little farther down the list because they do have a lot of items on their menu that contain gluten by default. That means that there may be a higher chance of cross contamination than there is at places like Kalaya and Zahav where most of the menu is gluten free by default. With that being said, a large majority of the menu can be made gluten free with substitutions. We feel spoiled for choice every time we come here.

  • Gluten free status. EMei is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant and they do have many items on the menu that contain gluten by default. That being said, many items on the menu can be made gluten free with substitutions. They have a labeled menu that shows what is naturally gluten free and what can be made gluten free with substitutions.
  • Other dietary restrictions. EMei is also a great place to go for vegetarian diners. They label vegetarian items on the menu and have a decent selection of vegetarian dishes available. Chinese food can be difficult for vegetarians, so we are impressed with their offerings.
  • Cuisine. EMei is a Chinese restaurant that serves Sichuan-style food.
  • Atmosphere. EMei is a chill spot with sleek decor and a relatively laid back atmosphere. It is on the nicer side for a Chinatown restaurant, so it is not uncommon for people to dress up for the occasion. That being said, there are generally also people there in more casual dress.
  • Location. EMei is located in Chinatown. It is just a few blocks away from popular tourist attractions like Reading Terminal Market.
  • Seating. All of the seating at EMei is located indoors. This is a fairly popular spot, so we recommend making reservations a few days in advance if you have a large party or if you plan to attend during peak weekend dinner hours. That being said, they do have a large space so they often have room for walk-ins.
Greens from EMei in Philadelphia
Greens from EMei in Philadelphia

Laser Wolf

Laser Wolf is another Israeli restaurant owned by the group that owns Zahav. You can think of Laser Wolf as Zahav’s younger, trendier cousin. While Laser Wolf also offers delicious Israeli food and an excellent ambiance, the decor is more modern and trendy than the timeless decor at Zahav. Laser Wolf is a little less formal and less expensive than Zahav, which makes it more popular with the younger crowd. That means that it generally has a more lively and upbeat atmosphere. Our favorite thing about Laser Wolf is that it has even less gluten on the menu than Zahav. Only the pita bread and one topping that is used on the dessert menu contain gluten. It is also one of the best spots on our list for vegan diners. It is seriously impressive how many different vegan items they serve.

  • Gluten free status. Laser Wolf is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, but there are only one or two items on their menu that do contain gluten. That means that the chances of cross contamination are relatively low. They do not have a labeled menu, but their staff are very knowledgeable about allergens and can provide information on what items on the menu do contain gluten.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Laser Wolf is also an excellent option for vegan and vegetarian diners. In particular, we would say that it is one of the best spots on our list for vegan diners. Seriously, you cannot miss this place if you are someone who maintains a vegan diet. This is another thing that sets Laser Wolf apart from Zahav. Zahav has many items that contain cheese or dairy-based sauces, whereas vegetable dishes at Laser Wolf are largely vegan-friendly.
  • Cuisine. Laser Wolf is a fun spot that serves Israeli food. The menu at Laser Wolf is structured in a unique way that is different fro most other restaurants in the city. The way it works is that you pick one meat or vegetable dish that you want as your entree, then you automatically get a salatim platter that is loaded with eight to ten vegetable side dishes. Everyone gets the same platter, so there is no need to choose which appetizers or side dishes you want. This is a great option for indecisive diners who have trouble settling on their final order and grazers who like a little taste of everything.
  • Atmosphere. Laser Wolf has a really fun and upbeat atmosphere. In fact this is one of the most upbeat places on this list. Since it is a little more casual than Zahav and their menu is a little less expensive than the Zahav tasting menu, it draws more heavily from the younger crowd. The restaurant is decorated with modern, trendy decor that features bright pops of color. The space itself is a large industrial building with high ceilings and huge windows that let in lots of sunlight. The space is truly lovely.
  • Location. Laser Wolf is located in Fishtown on a busy street that is home to other popular restaurants like Kalaya and Suraya. This is a popular area that has lots of shops, bakeries, and restaurants nearby. Going to Fishtown can feel like a little bit of a trek if you are heading over from the City Center, but there is a subway line that takes you most of the way there.
  • Seating. Laser Wolf primarily has indoor seating. They have a few outdoor tables, but they are not always in use. This is a popular spot that does not have a huge space, so we highly recommend making reservations in advance. We often make reservations a month or two in advance to make sure that we get a reservation at a reasonable time that is not too late. In particular, their weekend reservations tend to book up a month or more in advance. This includes the late night reservations at inconvenient times.
Salatim from Laser Wolf in Philadelphia
Eggplant from Laser Wolf in Philadelphia

Mission Taqueria

Mission Taqueria is an absolute oasis when it comes to gluten free food in Pennsylvania. Mission Taqueria is a trendy taco spot that offers a wide variety of Mexican options in downtown Philadelphia. This is a beautifully decorated spot with modern decor and it has windows and glass courtyards that provide lots of natural light. Not only is the food amazing, but it is also 100% gluten free. Even their famous churros are entirely gluten free. This is a great option if you are looking for a trendy spot to grab a drink or a meal with friends.

  • Gluten free status. Mission Taqueria is a dedicated gluten free facility. Everything they serve is gluten free, including the churros!
  • Other dietary restrictions. Items that contain nuts are also marked on the menu. There are also vegetarian options available on the menu. The vegetarian options are not marked on the menu, but they are generally fairly easy to spot.
  • Cuisine. The menu at Mission Taqueria focuses on Mexican food. The primary focus is on tacos, but there are some other options available as well.
  • Atmosphere. The ambiance at Mission Taqueria is great. The restaurant is accented with lots of modern, trendy decorations that give it a really nice ambiance. There are many windows and glass courtyards that provide natural light and make the space feel even more special. This is a lively spot that is a fairly popular choice for younger people who are looking to catch up with friends. There is a very fun and upbeat vibe inside the restaurant.
  • Location. Mission Taqueria is located in a bustling downtown area that is lined with many restaurants and eateries. Specifically, it is located just a few blocks away from City Hall. It is also within easy walking distance of other downtown attractions like Love Park. Mission Taqueria is generally easy to get to via public transportation (or even by foot).
  • Seating. There is only indoor seating available at Mission Taqueria. The restaurant is located on the top floor of the building it is in and it does not have a deck or balcony. There is a decent amount of seating available, but this is a popular spot in a trendy area so it can fill up during peak lunch and dinner hours on the weekend. We recommend making a reservation a day or two in advance if you plan to go during a busy time.
Esquites from Mission Taqueria in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Churros from Mission Taqueria in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

El Vez

El Vez is another great option if you are looking to pick up Mexican food. El Vez is generally more popular than Mission Taqueria and is thought to have better food than Mission Taqueria. That being said, they also have more items on the menu that contain gluten and they do not have a dedicated gluten free fryer. That is why we would give Mission Taqueria a slight edge over El Vez. With that being said, El Vez is a really fun spot with a super lively atmosphere so you can’t go wrong here.

  • Gluten free status. El Vez is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, many of the items on their menu are or can be made gluten free upon request. They have a labeled menu that contains information on what items can and cannot be made gluten free. Their servers are also knowledgeable about potential sources of cross contamination.
  • Other dietary restrictions. El Vez also has vegan and vegetarian options available. They have a labeled menu that shows items that are naturally vegan or vegetarian, as well as items that can be made vegan or vegetarian upon request.
  • Cuisine. El Vez is a Mexican restaurant that serves Mexican food. Some of the items on their menu are more traditional, whereas others are more creative and put a little bit of a twist on Mexican classics. There is something for everyone here.
  • Atmosphere. El Vez is a lively spot with an upbeat atmosphere. This is a perfect spot to go to catch up with friends and get drinks. They have a large space, with a huge bar that is located right in the middle of the restaurant. This is a popular spot for people to grab some late night drinks and nachos. The tables and walls at El Vez are adorned with bright colors and accents that make homage to Mexican culture.
  • Location. El Vez is located right near the heart of City Center. That means that it is generally easy to access via public transportation. It is also an easy walk from many areas of the city and many popular tourist attractions.
  • Seating. El Vez has a mixture of indoor and outdoor seating available. It is a very popular spot, but it is also fairly large and has a lot of seating available. You generally need reservations if you want to get in during the weekend, and especially if you want to attend during Friday dinner or Saturday dinner. You may be able to walk in if you plan to attend during a less busy time during the week. We generally make reservations a week or two in advance if we plan to attend during a popular time, or a day or two in advance if we plan to attend during a less popular time.
Guacamole from El Vez in Philadelphia
Tacos from El Vez in Philadelphia

Bing Bing Dim Sum

Bing Bing Dim Sum is a trendy dim sum spot that is located in the heart of South Philadelphia. While the menu at Bing Bing Dim Sum takes inspiration from Chinese cuisine and Chinese dim sum, it is not necessarily a traditional dim sum restaurant. Instead, it is a fun fusion spot that blends together elements of Chinese and American cuisine. For example, one of the more popular items on their menu is their Philadelphia cheesesteak bao bun. While many of the items on their menu do contain gluten, they are generally very knowledgeable about food allergies and they clearly label items that are gluten free on their menu.

  • Gluten free status. Bing Bing Dim Sum is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant and they carry many items that contain gluten. That being said, they are generally very allergen conscious and know how to prepare food with proper allergen protocols. Their menus are clearly labeled to show what is gluten free and their servers are knowledgeable about how different items are prepared.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Bing Bing Dim Sum also has a surprising number of vegetarian options available for a dim sum restaurant. Vegetarian options are labeled on the menu.
  • Cuisine. Bing Bing Dim Sum is a dim sum restaurant that serves Chinese-inspired cuisine. In particular, they serve many Chinese-American fusion dishes that take some inspiration from Chinese cuisine and some inspiration from American cuisine. For example, they are well known for their cheesesteak bao buns. Some of their creations are really unique and delicious, whereas others do not quite hit the mark, so we recommend checking out the reviews and ordering some of their more popular dishes.
  • Atmosphere. Bing Bing Dim Sum is a fun spot with unique decor. The walls of their restaurant are lined with unique black and white drawings that mirror the images on their website and their menu. While the walls are covered in black and white, the lighting and other decorative accents introduce some bright pops of color. This is a trendy spot that is popular with the younger crowd.
  • Location. Bing Bing Dim Sum is located in South Philadelphia on a bustling street that is lined with many shops and restaurants. It is located in a fun neighborhood that always has a lot of action going on. It is a long walk or a short bus ride from the center of the city.
  • Seating. Bing Bing Dim Sum has both indoor and outdoor seating available. This is a somewhat small spot, so it is generally a good idea to book a reservation before heading over. We generally book reservations around a week ahead of time if we plan to stop by during a popular time.
Mapo Tofu from Bing Bing Dim Sum in Philadelphia

Giorgio on Pine

Giorgio on Pine is an Italian restaurant that is located right near the heart of City Center. This is a cute spot with rustic Italian decor and friendly staff who make you feel right at home. This is a solid option with consistently good food. While it is not the best gluten free Italian food that we have had in the Philadelphia area, it is definitely the most celiac-friendly Italian food in the area. Almost everything that they serve can be made gluten free upon request and they are a mainstay for gluten free diners so they know how to prepare safe food that is free from cross contamination.

  • Gluten free status. While Giorgio on Pine is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, almost everything on the menu can be made gluten free upon request. This is one of the most popular spots in the city for gluten free diners, so they seriously know what they are doing when making gluten free food. Their menu is clearly labeled to show which items can be made gluten free and they are well versed in allergen protocols.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Giorgio on Pine is particularly well known for their gluten free offerings. They have a few options that can be made vegan and vegetarian friendly, but most of the items on their menu contain meat by default. This is especially true if you are looking for a gluten free entree.
  • Cuisine. Giorgio on Pine is an Italian restaurant that serves Italian food.
  • Atmosphere. Giorgio on Pine is a cozy spot that is decorated with rustic Italian decor. Their staff are very friendly and talkative, so they make you feel right at home as soon as you walk through the door. This place has a very similar vibe to many of the Italian restaurants in Boston’s North End.
  • Location. Giorgio on Pine is located right near the heart of City Center. That means that it is within walking distance of many popular attractions like City Hall, Love Park, and Reading Terminal Market. That also means that it is very easy to access via public transportation.
  • Seating. There is only indoor seating at Giorgio on Pine. This is a popular spot that tends to draw a large crowd even on weekdays, so we recommend making a reservation ahead of time if possible. That being said, they generally do not book up that far in advance and it is often fine to make a reservation just a few days in advance.
Bread from Giorgio on Pine in Philadelphia
Pasta from Giorgio on Pine in Philadelphia

Shere-e-Punjab

Shere-ePunjab is an Indian restaurant in the suburbs of Philadelphia that has a large menu with many gluten free options. Shere-e-Punjab serves some of our favorite Indian food in the Philadelphia area and we even like it more than many of the Indian restaurants in the city. A lot of the food they serve is rich and indulgent, so this is a great pace to go if you have a large appetite and are looking to eat. They sometimes have live music or other entertainment options that liven up the mood.

  • Gluten free status. Shere-e-Punjab is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, their menu is clearly labeled to denote what can and cannot be made gluten free. There are many gluten free options available on the menu.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Vegan options are also labeled on the menu. There are many vegetarian options available and a decent number of vegan options viable as well.
  • Cuisine. The menu at Shere-e-Punjab focuses primarily on Indian food. The food that is served at Sher E Punjab is rich and flavorful, but does not tend to be that spicy. We find this typical of many Indian restaurants that are located in small suburbs.
  • Atmosphere. Shere-e-Punjab is a relatively casual spot with friendly staff and nice decor. They sometimes host events and live entertainment that make the dining experience even more fun.
  • Location. Shere-e-Punjab is located around 20 miles outside of downtown Philadelphia. That means that it is generally easiest to access if you have a car you can drive there in.
  • Seating. There is primarily indoor seating available at Shere-e-Punjab, but there are sometimes tables set up outside on the sidewalk. Seating is generally not that competitive.
Paneer Tikka Masala from Shere-E-Punjab in Media, Pennsylvania
Indian food from Shere-E-Punjab in Media, Pennsylvania

Amma’s South Indian Cuisine

Amma’s South Indian Cuisine is a popular Indian restaurant that locals regularly cite as being one of their favorite Indian restaurants in the city. While we have never had Indian food in Philadelphia that really blew us away, we would agree Amma’s is one of the better spots we have been to in the city. They do serve some bread products and sides that contain gluten, but they have a labeled gluten free menu and all of their entrees and curries are naturally gluten free. This is a casual spot with fast service that is a good option if you want to grab a quick meal on the go.

  • Gluten free status. Amma’s is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant and they serve various bread products that are made with gluten. That being said, all of their entrees and curry dishes are gluten free. They have a gluten free menu that shows exactly which items are gluten free. After talking to their servers, we did not feel as confident in their allergy awareness as we did for many of the other restaurants in this list. That being said, we are very sensitive to cross contamination and have never had a bad reaction to their food. We have heard similar stories from others who are also sensitive to cross contamination. Their wait staff is accommodating and they are willing to do things like put in a note to the kitchen that you have an allergy even though they typically take orders through an app.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Amma’s also labels items that are nut free and dairy free on their menu. Items that are vegan friendly are also marked. They can accommodate a range of different dietary restrictions.
  • Cuisine. Amma’s is an Indian restaurant that primarily serves South Indian food.
  • Atmosphere. Amma’s is a very casual spot with a laid back atmosphere. Service is generally pretty fast, so we like to go here when we want to grab a quick meal on the go.
  • Location. Amma’s has a few different locations. We are most familiar with their location on Chestnut Street that is located right near the center of the city.
  • Seating. The Amma’s location we are most familiar with on Chestnut Street only has indoor seating. This is a popular spot that tends to fill up during peak weekend dining hours, so we often plan to go a little bit on the early side. This is not somewhere where you need to make reservations far in advance.
Butter Masala from Amma's in Philadelphia
Butter Masala from Amma's in Philadelphia

Gluten free fast casual restaurants

Now that we have discussed some of our favorite sit down restaurants in the Philadelphia area, we will talk about some of our favorite fast casual restaurants and cafes that offer gluten free options. These spots range from standalone restaurants to food stalls in public markets.

Fox and Son Fair Food

Fox and Son Fair Food is another one of our absolute favorite places to grab a bite in Philadelphia. This is a popular food stall in Reading Terminal Market that serves the types of fried foods that you would expect to get at the fair. Their menu contains items like corn dogs, fried cheese curds, and funnel cakes. Everything that they serve is 100% gluten free, so you don’t have to worry about any cross contamination in the fryers. It is usually hard to find gluten free versions of popular fair foods, so this place is an absolute dream.

  • Gluten free status. Fox and Son Fair Food is a dedicated gluten free facility. All of the food that they serve is gluten free, including their famous funnel cake.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Fox and Son Fair Foods is generally allergen conscious and has dairy free and egg free batter available for those who need it. That being said, dairy free and egg free items are made in a shared fryer with items that do contain dairy and egg. Vegan and vegetarian options are also clearly marked on their menu.
  • Cuisine. Like the name suggests, Fox and Son Fair Foods serves the type of foods that you would expect to get at a fair. They have a large array of corn dogs and funnel cakes that come with all different types of toppings and sauces. They also have other fried items like fried cheese curds that are absolutely delicious.
  • Atmosphere. Fox and Son Fair Foods is located in the center of a bustling public market that is lined with hundreds of other food stalls. The atmosphere is lively and fun, but it may be overwhelming for those who do not like large crowds.
  • Location. Fox and Son Fair Foods is located right in the heart of Reading Terminal Market. That means that this is a great place to stop if you are exploring the offerings of Reading Terminal Market with friends.
  • Seating. Fox and Son Fair Foods is a food stall that is located inside a public market, so it does not have its own seating. That being said, there are public seating areas inside Reading Terminal Market where you can sit down to eat your food. These seating areas are primarily located indoors and they can get really busy during the weekends. You may have to wait a short period of time until a spot opens up if you are looking to eat inside of Reading Terminal Market.
Funnel cake from Fox and Son in Philadelphia
Fried cheese curds from Fox & Son in Philadelphia

Lovebird

Lovebird is a fun spot to grab a meal on the go if you are ever in the Bryn Mawr area. Lovebird is a small spot that primarily serves takeout, though there are a few seats available at the counter if you want to dine in. They have some of the most indulgent comfort foods in the Philadelphia area and most of them are naturally gluten free.

  • Gluten free status. Lovebird is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, their kitchen is largely gluten free. The main item on their menu that contains gluten is the bread they use for their chicken sandwiches. Aside from that, most items that would typically contain gluten like their fried chicken and their mac and cheese are entirely gluten free.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Lovebird is generally conscious of a range of allergens and can accommodate multiple different dietary restrictions. They have an allergen menu that marks items that are made with common allergens like dairy, eggs, soy, and fish. They also have vegetarian and vegan options available. Vegan options are marked on the allergen menu.
  • Cuisine. Lovebird serves American food and in particular focuses on indulgent comfort foods like fried chicken and mac and cheese.
  • Atmosphere. Since there is not much seating available at Lovebird, the atmosphere is pretty casual and low key. There are generally not more than one or two people eating in the restaurant.
  • Location. Lovebird is located in Bryn Mawr right off of the Villanova college campus. That means that it is a great place to stop after visiting a friend or family member at one of the colleges in the area.
  • Seating. There is very little seating available in Lovebird. There is a counter that lines the walls of the storefront that generally has a few stools pulled up to it. That is the only seating that is available and almost everyone grabs their food to go.
Brussels Sprouts and Macaroni and cheese from Lovebird in Bryn Mawr

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a casual spot in Queen Village that serves Venezuelan food. They carry many popular Venezuelan dishes like arepas, patacones, and capachas. While they are not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, the vast majority of the food that they serve is gluten free. That means that the chances of cross contamination are relatively low. This is a fun spot that is decorated with lots of bright pops of color to encourage a fun atmosphere.

  • Gluten free status. Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, the vast majority of the menu is gluten free. There are only a few items on the menu that are cooked in separate and contained areas that do contain gluten. The staff are conscious about keeping those items away from the other food, and especially away from allergy food.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Puyero Venezuelan Flavor also has vegetarian options available.
  • Cuisine. Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a Venezuelan restaurant that serves popular Venezuelan dishes like arepas, patacones, and cachapas.
  • Atmosphere. Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a casual spot with walls that are adorned with bright splashes of color. All of the colorful accents and decor in the restaurant make the space feel lively.
  • Location. Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is located in the Queen Village area in the southeast portion of the city. It is located on a bustling street that is lined with other shops, restaurants, and bakeries. It is easily accessible via public transportation.
  • Seating. There is indoor seating available at Puyero Venezuelan Flavor. This is not a very large spot, so it can be difficult to find a seat if there are one or two large parties that are using most of the tables. That being said, it is generally easier to find a seat if there are not any large parties in the restaurant.
Yuca fries from Puyero in Philadelphia
Arepa from Puyero in Philadelphia

Sparrow’s Gourmet Snacks

Much like Fox and Son Fair Foods, Sparrow’s is a food stall that is located in the Reading Terminal Market. Sparrow’s has a more narrow range of offerings that is limited to baked goods and pre-packed snacks, so it is not as popular as Fox and Son. That being said, they have some unique baked goods that are hard to find gluten free versions of like pop tarts and soft pretzels. Sparrows is a dedicated gluten free and nut free facility, so it is a safe place to grab a snack if you have many food allergies.

  • Gluten free status. Sparrow’s is a dedicated gluten free facility.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Most of the snacks that are sold at Sparrow’s are also nut free. They tend to partner with companies that are allergen friendly in general. Any pre-packaged snacks they sell are likely to be allergen friendly and well labeled.
  • Cuisine. As the name suggests, Sparrow’s Gourmet sells a range of snacks ranging from home made baked goods to pre-packaged treats. They usually have some fun baked goods that are not common at other gluten free bakeries like pop tarts and soft pretzels.
  • Atmosphere. Sparrow’s is a small food stall inside a large public market. They generally do not have as large of a line as Fox and Son, so their space does not usually feel as crowded.
  • Location. Just like Fox and Son, Sparrow’s is located inside of Reading Terminal Market. They are actually at a stall that is located right next to Fox and Son, which is convenient for anyone who is looking for gluten free treats.
  • Seating. Sparrow’s does not have their own seating, but there is some public seating located inside Reading Terminal Market for those who are looking to enjoy their snacks in house. Seating is generally somewhat competitive since there are so many food stalls in the market.
Animal crackers from Sparrow's in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rice crispie from Sparrow's in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Other gluten free restaurants in Philadelphia

Before we wrap this article up, we will take the time to highlight a few other restaurants in the Philadelphia area. These are restaurants that we are not as intimately familiar with because we have only visited them once or twice. For that reason, we do not have quite as much to say about them. That being said, they are still restaurants that we highly recommend!

Jay’s Steak & Hoagie Joint

Jay’s Steak & Hoagie Joint is a quaint little sandwich shop that is located in the Philadelphia suburbs. If you want to get a classic Philly cheesesteak to feel like you have gotten the true Philadelphia experience, then this is the place for you. Jay’s Steak & Hoagie Joint comes highly recommended from many people in the gluten free community because they employ many safety measures to prevent cross contamination. That being said, Jay’s Steak & Hoagie Joint is much further out of the city center than any of the other restaurants we have mentioned. It will be difficult to access if you do not have a car and a large block of free time.

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