Gluten free restaurants in Portland, Maine

Are you looking for a place where you can enjoy a gluten free sit down meal in Portland, Maine? Or maybe you are looking for a spot 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 discuss all of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in the Portland area.

For each restaurant we discuss in this article, we will provide information on a few characteristics to help you determine whether that restaurant suits your tastes and preferences. We start this article out by laying out those characteristics. After that, we will discuss some of our favorite sit down restaurants with gluten free options in the Portland area. Next, we will discuss some of our favorite fast casual restaurants and cafes that offer gluten free options. Finally, we will discuss some of our favorite breweries and cideries with safe gluten free options. We will also mention some bakeries and ice cream shops that are a great option if you are looking for gluten free dessert in the Portland area.

Note. If you are looking for gluten free restaurants in Portland, Oregon then we also have lots of opinions on that. Check out our article on the best gluten free restaurants in Portland, Oregon.

Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in Portland, Maine

What characteristics will we use to provide more information on each of the gluten free restaurants in this article? Here are the characteristics that we will 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 the restaurant is not dedicated to gluten free food, we will provide information that can help to assess the risk of cross contamination.
  • Other dietary restrictions. After that we will discuss whether each restaurant caters to other food allergies and dietary restrictions. Some of these restaurants cater to a variety of food allergies and dietary restrictions, whereas others cater specifically to gluten free foodies.
  • Cuisine. Next, we will describe the food that is served at each restaurant. This will include information about the main type of cuisine that the menu draws inspiration from. It will also include information about any specialties that the restaurant has.
  • Atmosphere. After that, we will discuss the atmosphere at each restaurant. This will include information on the decor and ambiance of each restaurant. It will also include information on the energy level and the level of formality of each restaurant.
  • Location. Next, we will provide information on the location of each restaurant. This will include information on whether the restaurant is located in a concentrated downtown area or whether it is a little bit off of the beaten path.
  • Seating. Finally, we will discuss the seating options that are available at each restaurant. This will include information on whether indoor seating or outdoor seating is available. It will also include information on whether seating is competitive and whether reservations are recommended.

Gluten free sit down restaurants in Portland, Maine

Now that we have discussed the characteristics that we use to provide more information on each of these gluten free restaurants, we will discuss some of our favorite restaurants that offer gluten free options in the Portland area. We will start out by discussing some of our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options.

Empire Chinese Kitchen

Empire Chinese Kitchen is without a doubt one of our favorite places to grab a meal in the Portland area. In fact, Empire may be one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in the United States. Empire is a trendy spot with sleek modern decor that is conveniently located right in the heart of downtown Portland. They serve some of the most flavorful food in the Portland area. Empire has a decent range of gluten free options, which includes a variety of dim sum style small plates and dumplings. They also have options that are vegan and vegetarian friendly, which is not always the case at dim sum restaurants.

  • Gluten free status. Empire is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they have a clearly labeled menu that shows which items can be made gluten free and they take precautions to prevent cross contamination if you let them know that you have an allergy or celiac disease.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Empire also has vegetarian and vegan options available. Vegetarian and vegan options are clearly labeled on their menu.
  • Cuisine. Empire is a Chinese restaurant that primarily serves Chinese food. They specialize in dim sum, so their menu features a large range of dumplings and small plates. They also have some larger dishes that are sized to be shared family style.
  • Atmosphere. Empire is a trendy spot with sleek modern decor and upbeat music. This is a common place to go to grab a meal with friends or family so the atmosphere is generally pretty lively. The staff are also very attentive and accommodating, which makes that atmosphere feel even more inviting.
  • Location. Empire is located right in the heart of downtown Portland. It Is on a busy street that has many other shops and restaurants nearby. Since it is so centrally located, there is plenty of parking and public transportation around.
  • Seating. Empire only has indoor seating. This is a very popular spot that can get very busy, especially during peak weekend dining hours. That being said, they do not accept reservations. We recommend going during off hours if you do not want to wait long for a seat.
Broccoli and noodles from Empire in Portland, Maine
Green beans from Empire in Portland, Maine

Gluten free fast casual restaurants in Portland, Maine

Now that we have discussed some of our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options in the Portland area, we will take a moment to discuss some of our favorite fast casual spots that offer gluten free options.

Maiz Colombian Street Food

Maiz Colombian Street Food is a casual Colombian restaurant that is easily one of our favorite restaurants in the Portland area. And no, Maiz is not our favorite just because it is a dedicated gluten free restaurant with a wide range of gluten free offerings. Maiz is known by gluten free foodies and gluten eating foodies alike for having some of the tastiest and most indulgent food in the Portland area. Even those who otherwise favor fine dining often mention Maiz as a great place to pick up a quick meal on the go.

  • Gluten free status. Maiz is a dedicated gluten free facility. All of the food that they make in their restaurant is entirely gluten free. That means there is no need to worry about cross contamination in their kitchen.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Maiz also has a range of vegetarian and vegan options available. Vegetarian and vegan options are not labeled on the menu, but they are generally pretty easy to spot.
  • Cuisine. Maiz is a Colombian restaurant that primarily serves Colombian food. Their menu features items like arepas, empanadas, arepitas, and pan de bono.
  • Atmosphere. Maiz is a casual spot that has a laid back atmosphere. This is a popular spot, so it can get crowded from time to time. It generally is a little more high energy during peak weekend dining hours when there are lots of people lined up to order food. It is a little calmer during off hours and weekend nights.
  • Location. Maiz is located on a busy street that has an array of shops, restaurants, and bakeries on it. That being said, we would not necessarily say that it is located in a bustling downtown area. That means that it is not located close to many popular tourist attractions.
  • Seating. Most of the seating at Maiz is located indoors. There is not a lot of seating, so it can be difficult to get a seat during peak dining hours. That being said, many people take their food to go and eat outside. It is generally easier to get a seat when the weather is nice outside.
Arepa from Maiz in Portland, Maine
Arepa from Maiz in Portland, Maine

El Rayo Taqueria

El Rayo Taqueria is a cute taqueria in downtown Portland that has a large range of gluten free options. They do not use many ingredients that contain gluten and they take precautions to prevent cross contamination when they are handling allergy food. That means that this is a safe spot for anyone who is sensitive to cross contamination. They have generous hours and a lot of seating, so this is a great place to stop in when some of the smaller restaurants in downtown Portland are full and have long waits. While they do not make the best Mexican food we have ever had, their food is still solid and also affordably priced.

  • Gluten free status. El Rayo Taqueria is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, a large portion of their menu is or can be made gluten free. Their menu is labeled to show which items are naturally gluten free and which items are not. Their staff are also knowledgeable about what items can be made gluten free and how different items are prepared. They take food allergies seriously and take precautions to prevent cross contamination if you let them know that you have an allergy.
  • Other dietary restrictions. There are vegan and vegetarian options available at El Rayo Taqueria. There are many items that are made with cheese and crema, so there are notably more vegetarian options than vegan options.
  • Cuisine. El Rayo Taqueria is a Mexican restaurant that serves items like tacos, quesadillas, and burritos.
  • Atmosphere. El Rayo Taqueria is a cute little shop that is carefully decorated with Mexican-inspired accents and bright pops of color. This is a laid back spot with friendly staff and a fairly casual atmosphere.
  • Location. El Rayo Taqueria is located in downtown Portland. It is on a side street that is about a block away from the main street that runs through the center of downtown Portland.
  • Seating. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available at El Rayo Taqueria. There is a lot of seating available, so it is generally possible to get a seat without waiting much.
Queso from Rayo Taqueria in Portland, Maine
Taco from Rayo Taqueria in Portland, Maine

Roots Cafe

Roots Cafe is a dedicated gluten free cafe that is located a few miles outside of the city of Portland. Specifically, it is located in the neighboring city of Westbrook. This is a casual spot that serves a variety of American-inspired breakfast and lunch foods. They often have some gluten free desserts and baked goods available as well.

  • Gluten free status. Roots Cafe is a dedicated gluten free facility. Everything that they sell at their store is entirely gluten free.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Roots Cafe also has many dairy free options available. Not all items that are or can be made dairy free are marked on the menu, but some of them are. Their staff is very knowledgeable about how items are made and can provide information on what items contain dairy.
  • Cuisine. Roots Cafe is a traditional American cafe that serves breakfast and lunch foods. Their breakfast menu contains items like bagels, omelets, hash browns, and toast. Their lunch menu contains items like sandwiches, salads, and soups. They also have many drink options that include items like frappes, espressos, and smoothies.
  • Atmosphere. Roots Cafe is a fairly casual spot with a laid back atmosphere.
  • Location. Roots Cafe is located in Westbrook, just a few miles outside of the city of Portland. The area it is located in is fairly residential, though there are a few other restaurants and businesses around.
  • Seating. There is a large amount of indoor and outdoor seating available at Roots cafe.
Smoothie from Roots Cafe in Portland, Maine

Gluten free breweries and cideries in Portland, Maine

Now that we have discussed our favorite places to grab a meal in the Portland area, we will discuss some of our favorite places to grab a drink. In this section, we will discuss our favorite gluten free breweries and cideries in the Portland area.

Apres

Apres is an adventurous craft beverage company in Portland that makes gluten free hard ciders and seltzers that come in a range of unique and creative flavor combinations. Apres is one of our favorite places to spend time in Portland, and that is not just because their gluten free hard ciders and seltzers are delicious. They also have a carefully curated atmosphere that feels very warm and inviting. They have a large industrial space that is decorated with sleek wooden accents, touches of greenery, and unique lighting fixtures that really bring it to life. This is one of our absolute favorite places in Portland to catch up with friends for a drink.

  • Gluten free status. Apres is not necessarily a dedicated gluten free facility, but the vast majority of the hard ciders and seltzers that they make in house are gluten free. That being said, they have a rotating selection of snacks available and sometimes bring in food trucks and other external food sources. There may be some food items sold at Apres that are not gluten free.
  • Other dietary restrictions. There are often vegetarian-friendly snacks available at Apres.
  • Cuisine. Apres is a hard cider and seltzer company that makes ciders and seltzers with a variety of unique flavor combinations. They make some of the best hard seltzers that we have ever had. Along with the drinks, there are often snacks available to munch on. They generally have some low key bar foods like cheese and crackers available in their own kitchen, but they also bring in food trucks and external food vendors periodically. That means that the type of food that is available can vary depending on the day.
  • Atmosphere. Apres has a very warm, inviting atmosphere and an excellent ambiance. The atmosphere feels much more cozy than that of the average brewery and cidery located in a large industrial building. Apres has modern, industrial tables and chairs that feel right at home in their large, industrial space. The walls and floors are decorated with touches of greenery, unique lighting fixtures, and sleek wooden accents that really bring the space to life.
  • Location. Apres is located in East Portland, just a few blocks away from the water. It is on a street that is lined with many other breweries and tasting rooms. This street is a really fun spot for anyone who likes to hop from brewery to brewery.
  • Seating. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available at Apres. There is a lot of seating available, so it is generally possible to find a seat without waiting long.

Gluten free bakeries and ice cream shops in Portland, Maine

There are also some great bakeries and ice cream shops that offer gluten free options in the Portland area. Here are some of our favorite bakeries and ice cream shops that offer gluten free options in Portland, Maine.

Sticky Sweet

Sticky Sweet is a cute little ice cream shop that is dedicated to gluten free food. In addition to being entirely gluten free, it is also 100% vegan and dairy free. That means that it is a great place to stop if you have a variety of food allergies and dietary restrictions in your party. Sticky Sweet is a fun spot that makes some really unique and creative ice cream flavors. The exact flavors that they have can vary from day to day, but they always have lots of bold flavors with fun mix-ins.

  • Gluten free status. Sticky Sweet is a dedicated gluten free facility. All of their ice cream flavors and waffle cones are entirely gluten free.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Sticky Sweet is also a dedicated vegan facility. That means that all of the ice creams that they sell are free of dairy and eggs. This is a great spot for those who maintain a vegan diet, as well as those with egg or dairy allergies.
  • Cuisine. Sticky Sweet is an ice cream shop that primarily sells ice cream. Their ice creams can be served in a bowl, a homemade waffle cone, or a store bought waffle cone.
  • Atmosphere. Sticky Sweet is a cute but casual spot with a serving window that is located outdoors on a street corner.
  • Location. Sticky Sweet is not located in the main downtown area. Instead, it is located in an adjacent area just under a mile away. It is also in a concentrated area with many shops and restaurants nearby.
  • Seating. There is not much seating available at Sticky Sweet. Most people take their ice cream cones to go, but they do have one or two benches located outside on the sidewalk.
Ice cream from Sticky Sweet in Portland, Maine
Ice cream from Sticky Sweet in Portland, Maine

Other gluten free restaurants in Portland, Maine

Before we wrap up, we will take a moment to talk about some other restaurants that deserve a mention. These are restaurants that we have only been to once or twice, so we can not say as much about them. That being said, they are still spots that we found to be accommodating to gluten free diners.

Boda

Boda is an upscale Thai restaurant that has the best Thai food in the Portland area. In fact, they probably make some of the best Thai food in all of New England. Boda serves tapas-style small plates that are bursting with bold Thai flavors. All of their dishes feature fresh ingredients and creative flavor combinations. They have a labeled gluten free menu that features many items that are or can be made gluten free. The restaurant is decorated with sleek decor that combines industrial fixtures with more rustic accents. There are also some bright pops of color and delicate lighting fixtures that make the restaurant feel more warm and inviting.

Fore Street

Fore Street is another popular restaurant that is known for serving some of the best food in all of Portland. This is an upscale spot with rustic wooden accents and large windows that let in lots of natural light. Fore Street is a farm to table restaurant that is known for using only the freshest ingredients. They serve American-inspired dishes that feature a variety of meats and seafood. They do not have a labeled gluten free menu, but most of the items that they serve are naturally gluten free and their staff are very knowledgeable about allergies. We will note that their menu is light on vegetarian options and even dishes that appear to be vegetarian at first often contain animal products, so this is not a great option for vegetarian diners.

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