Gluten free restaurants in San Francisco

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Are you looking for a place where you can get a nice gluten free meal to celebrate a special occasion in San Francisco? 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 San Francisco, California. In particular, we will discuss restaurants that are safe for those with celiac disease and those who are sensitive to cross contamination.

For each restaurant we discuss in this article, we will provide information on a few characteristics to help you decide which restaurant best suits your preferences. We will start out by laying out the characteristics that we will use to provide additional information on each restaurant. After that, we will discuss some of our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options in San Francisco. Then we will discuss some of our favorite fast casual spots that offer gluten free options in San Francisco.

Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in San Francisco

In this section, we will provide more information on the characteristics that we will use to describe each of these gluten free restaurants in San Francisco.

  • Gluten free status. First, we will discuss the gluten free status of each restaurant. This will include information on whether each restaurant is dedicated to gluten free food or not. If a restaurant is not dedicated to gluten free food, it will also include information that can help to assess the risk of cross contamination.
  • Other dietary restrictions. After that, we will discuss any other food allergies and dietary restrictions that each restaurant caters to. Some of these restaurants cater specifically to gluten free foodies, whereas others can accommodate a range of dietary restrictions.
  • Cuisine. Next, we will discuss the cuisine that is served at each restaurant. This will include information on the primary cuisine that the menu takes inspiration from. It will also include information on 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 at the restaurant. It will also include information on the energy level and the level of formality.
  • Location. Next, we will discuss the location of each restaurant. We will provide information on which neighborhood each restaurant is and whether it is located in a concentrated downtown area.
  • Seating. Finally, we will discuss the seating at each restaurant. This will include information on whether indoor or outdoor seating is available. It will also include information on whether reservations are required.

Gluten free sit down restaurants in San Francisco

Now that we have laid out the characteristics that we will 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 San Francisco. We will start out by discussing some of our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options. Note that we will list these restaurants roughly in order of preference, with our favorite spots appearing close to the top of the list.

Firefly Restaurant

Firefly Restaurant is a trendy spot in San Francisco that is popular with gluten free foodies and gluten eating foodies alike. This is a popular restaurant that is known for having some of the best, most indulgent dishes around. The menu at Firefly focuses on American food, and in particular American comfort foods. That means that there are lots of rich dishes like macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. While they do carry a few items that contain gluten, the vast majority of the food that is served at Firefly is or can be made gluten free. That means that this is a great spot with lots of options for gluten free foodies.

  • Gluten free status. Firefly is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, the vast majority of the menu is gluten free or can be made gluten free upon request. This is true even if you are sensitive to cross contamination. The menu is not labeled, but the staff are knowledgeable about how dishes are prepared and can easily alert you to any items that cannot be made gluten free.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Firefly also has plenty of vegetarian options available, especially considering that they are an upscale restaurant that focuses on American comfort foods. The vegetarian options are not labeled on the menu.
  • Cuisine. Firefly is an upscale American restaurant that primarily serves American-inspired cuisine. In particular, the menu at Firefly focuses on American comfort foods. That means that the food is rich and indulgent.
  • Atmosphere. Firefly is a trendy spot with sleek, modern decor. There are touches of greenery and art pieces scattered throughout the restaurant that make it feel more cozy and less sterile. This is an upscale spot that is known for having excellent food, so people often come here to celebrate special occasions or achievements. That means that there is always excitement in the air.
  • Location. Firefly is located in the Noe Valley, just a little bit south of the Castro District. It is not located in the main downtown area in the Noe Valley, but it is located just a few blocks away from downtown. That means that it is still an easy walk away from other shops, bars, and restaurants.
  • Seating. Most of the seating at Firefly is located indoors, but there are a few outdoor tables available. This is a popular spot that often books up a week or two ahead of time, so we recommend making reservations a few weeks ahead of time if you plan to eat during a popular time.
Corn fritters from Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Bella Trattoria

Bella Trattoria is an amazing Italian restaurant that serves upscale Italian food without having an overly fancy atmosphere. That means that this is the perfect place to go if you want to get some truly upscale food without having to dress up too much. While this is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant, their homemade gnocchi is entirely gluten free and most of their pasta dishes can be made gluten free by substituting in the gluten free penne.

  • Gluten free status. Bella Trattoria is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, a large portion of their menu is or can be made gluten free. Most of the items that can be made gluten free can be made in a way that is safe for those with cross contamination. They do not have a labeled menu, but the staff can provide information on which dishes can and cannot be made gluten free. They are also knowledgeable about the precautions that are taken to prevent cross contamination.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Bella Trattoria has vegetarian options available as well, especially if you are comfortable with eating parmesan cheese that may have been made with animal rennet. Vegetarian options are not labeled on the menu, but they are fairly easy to spot.
  • Cuisine. Bella Trattoria is an Italian restaurant that serves traditional Italian cuisine.
  • Atmosphere. For an Italian restaurant that serves such upscale food, the atmosphere at Bella Trattoria is relatively casual and laid back. This is a great place to go if you want to get some fancy food without having to dress up too much.
  • Location. Bella Trattoria is located in the Inner Richmond District, just north of Golden Gate Park. It is located in a concentrated downtown area that has lots of other shops and restaurants nearby.
  • Seating. Bella Trattoria primarily has indoor seating available. It is often possible to get a seat without making a reservation, but it may be a good idea to make a reservation if you plan to attend during peak weekend dinner hours.
Pasta from Bella Trattoria in San Francisco, California
Afogado from Bella Trattoria in San Francisco, California

Camino Alto

Camino Alto is a dedicated gluten free restaurant that is located on Union Street in San Francisco. This is a relaxing spot with a laid back atmosphere. While the restaurant does have a fairly laid back vibe, it is nicely decorated with sleek modern decor that provides a nice ambiance. The menu at Camino Alto takes inspiration from multiple different cuisines, but most of the dishes are inspired by either Mexican cuisine or American cuisine.

  • Gluten free status. Camino Alto is a dedicated gluten free facility.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Camino Alto also has vegetarian options available. The vegetarian options are not clearly marked on the menu, but they are generally easy to spot.
  • Cuisine. Camino Alto has a varied menu that draws inspiration from a few different cuisines. Some of the menu draws inspiration from American cuisine, whereas other dishes take inspiration from Mexican cuisine.
  • Atmosphere. Camino Alto is a trendy restaurant that is decorated with sleek, modern decor. It has a fairly laid back atmosphere, so it is a great place to go to relax after a long day of work.
  • Location. Camino Alto is located on Union Street in the northeastern area of San Francisco, not far away from popular attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf. It is located on a street that is lined with many other shops and restaurants, so it is fairly easy to access via public transportation.
  • Seating. Most of the seating at Camino Alto is located indoors. This is a fairly popular spot, so we recommend making a reservation if you plan to attend during a popular time like peak dinner hours on Friday or Saturday.
tacos from Camino Alto in San Francisco, California
tacos from Camino Alto in San Francisco, California

Gluten free fast casual restaurants in San Francisco

Now that we have discussed our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options in San Francisco, we will discuss some of our favorite fast casual restaurants that offer gluten free options in San Francisco. We will also list these in order of preference, with our favorite spots appearing closer to the top of the list.

Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen

Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen is a dedicated gluten free restaurant that is located on one of the main streets in San Francisco’s mission district. This is a quaint little spot that is located on a street corner in a concentrated downtown area. It is also just a short walk away from parts of the Castro District. In addition to being centrally located, Pica Pica serves some of the most flavorful dishes we have had in San Francisco proper. This is a Venezuelan spot that serves a variety of Arepas and sides that are loaded with bold Venezuelan flavors.

  • Gluten free status. Pica Pica is a dedicated gluten free facility. All of the food that they sell is gluten free.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Pica Pica also has vegetarian and vegan options available, both of which are clearly marked on the menu. Many of their vegetarian items contain cheese, so there are more vegetarian options available than vegan options. That being said, they can definitely accommodate vegans.
  • Cuisine. Pica Pica is a Venezuelan restaurant that primarily serves dishes that are popular in Venezuelan cooking. In particular, they specialize in sandwich style arepas.
  • Atmosphere. Pica Pica is a casual spot with a laid back atmosphere.
  • Location. Pica Pica is conveniently located on one of the main strips in the Mission District. That means that there are many options available when it comes to public transportation. It also means that it is not necessarily easy to find parking near the restaurant. It is also just a short walk away from popular attractions in the area like Dolores Park.
  • Seating. There is primarily indoor seating available at Pica Pica. Many people grab their meals to go or order delivery, so it is generally possible to get a table without waiting.
Arepa from Pica Pica arepa kitchen in San Francisco, California
Plantains from Pica Pica arepa kitchen in San Francisco, California

Proposition Chicken

Proposition Chicken is a fried chicken restaurant that is located just a few blocks north of the University of San Francisco. While they are not a dedicated gluten free facility, the vast majority of the items on their menu can be made gluten free. These items can be made in a way that is safe for those with celiac disease and those who are sensitive to cross contamination. In addition to having gluten free options available, Proposition chicken also has vegetarian options that are made with tofu rather than chicken.

  • Gluten free status. Proposition Chicken is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, most of their menu is or can be made gluten free. The menu is not labeled, but the staff are knowledgeable about how their food is prepared and can provide information on any items that can not be made gluten free. While they do make items that contain gluten on their premises, the staff are knowledgeable about cross contamination and take measures to prevent cross contamination where possible.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Proposition Chicken also has vegetarian options available. Most of their dishes can be made with tofu rather than chicken to make them vegetarian friendly.
  • Cuisine. Proposition Chicken sells American food. The menu at Proposition Chicken centers around fried chicken. They serve fried chicken sandwiches, salads, and similar chicken entrees.
  • Atmosphere. Proposition Chicken is a casual spot with a laid back atmosphere. The restaurant is thematically decorated with lots of bright pops of color.
  • Location. Proposition Chicken has multiple locations, but we are most familiar with their Presidio Heights location. This location is situated just north of the University of San Francisco campus.
  • Seating. Most of the seating at Proposition Chicken is located indoors. Most people take their food to go, so it is often possible to get a seat without waiting.
Tofu Sandwich from Proposition Chicken in San Francisco, California
Tofu Sandwich from Proposition Chicken in San Francisco, California

Panchita’s Pupuseria

Panchita’s Pupuseria is a quaint little pupuseria that is located on the same block as Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen. While Panchita’s does technically carry one or two items that contain gluten, these items are generally made offsite in a different kitchen. That means that there is very little chance of cross contamination here. One thing we find particularly notable about Panchita’s is their wide range of vegetarian pupusas. In addition to the standard vegetarian options, they have some non-traditional flavors like basil, mushroom, zucchini, and spinach that give vegetarians a lot of choices.

  • Gluten free status. Panchita’s is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, the vast majority of the items they carry are gluten free. This includes their range of pupusas, which are all gluten free. They generally only have one or two items on the premises that contain gluten, and most of these items are made offsite.
  • Other dietary restrictions. Panchita’s has a large range of vegetarian items available, especially for a pupusa shop. They have some non-traditional flavors like basil, mushroom, zucchini, and spinach that provide vegetarians with a large range of options. They also have vegan options available, but the vegan options are limited. That being said, vegan items are clearly labeled on the menu.
  • Cuisine. Panchita’s is a Salvadoran restaurant with a menu that takes inspiration from Salvadoran food. In particular, they specialize in pupusas.
  • Atmosphere. Panchita’s is a casual spot with a laid back atmosphere.
  • Location. Panchita’s is also located in the Mission District, on the same city block as Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen. That means that there are many public transportation options and popular attractions located nearby.
  • Seating. There is primarily indoor seating available at Panchita’s. Many people take their food to go, so it is often possible to get a seat without waiting.
Pupusa from Panchita's in San Francisco, California
Pupusa from Panchita's in San Francisco, California

Other gluten free restaurants in San Francisco

Before we go, we will take a moment to mention a few other places that have safe gluten free options in the San Francisco area. These are places that we have been to once or twice, but we have not spent as much time at as the places that we mentioned elsewhere. That means that we do not have as much to say about them.

The Game Parlour

We couldn’t discuss gluten free restaurants in San Francisco without mentioning The Game Parlour. The Game Parlour is a unique restaurant and boardgame cafe that offers a variety of gluten free options. This is a perfect place for any board game lovers who want to try out some new games. In the gluten free community, they are best known for their gluten free waffles that are made with a dedicated waffle iron and their gluten free waffle fries that are made in a dedicated fryer.

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