Are you looking for a nice restaurant where you can grab a gluten free meal to celebrate a special occasion in Tampa? Or maybe you are looking for a casual spot where you can grab a gluten free meal with friends? Well either way, you are in the right place! In this article, we talk all about our favorite restaurants in Tampa.
We start out by going over a list of characteristics that we will use to provide more information on the restaurants we discuss in this article. This includes things like the location, atmosphere, and gluten free status of the restaurant. After that, we discuss some of our favorite sit down restaurants in Tampa. After we talk about our favorite sit down restaurants, we also take a moment to mention some of our favorite fast casual restaurants in Tampa.
Characteristics of gluten free restaurants in Tampa
For each of the Tampa restaurants we discuss in this article, we will provide information on the following characteristics of the restaurant. This will help you determine which restaurant is best suited to your tastes and preferences.
- Gluten free status. First we will talk about the gluten free status of the restaurant. This will include information on whether the restaurant is dedicated to gluten free food. If the restaurant is not dedicated to gluten free food, we will also include information to help you assess the risk of cross contamination. This includes things like whether there is a gluten free menu available, whether there is a gluten free fryer available, whether the staff is knowledgeable about allergens, and what proportion of the menu contains gluten.
- Other dietary restrictions. After we talk about the gluten free status of the restaurant, we will provide information on other allergens and dietary restrictions that the restaurant caters to. Some of these restaurants specifically cater to gluten free diners, while others can handle a wide range of allergens and dietary restrictions.
- Cuisine. Next, we talk about the type of cuisine that is served at each restaurant.
- Location. Next, we talk about the location of each restaurant. This includes information on the neighborhood that the restaurant is located in and any popular attractions that it is located near.
- Atmosphere. After that we talk about the atmosphere of each restaurant. This is a broad category that includes everything from the energy level and formality of the restaurant to the decor and ambiance in the restaurant.
- Seating. Finally, we talk about the seating options that are available at each restaurant. This includes information on how plentiful the seating options are and whether reservations are required. It also includes information on whether indoor seating or outdoor seating is available.
Gluten free sit down restaurants in Tampa
First, we will talk about some of our favorite sit down restaurants that offer gluten free options in Tampa. These restaurants are arranged roughly in order of preference, with our absolute favorite restaurants appearing closer to the top of the list.
There are so many things to love about Olivia Restaurant. Olivia is a popular spot that is well decorated with modern, trendy decor. The service is also excellent and the food is even better. They have homemade gluten free pasta, crispy gluten free pizza crust, and a wide range of creative appetizers. Their roasted grape bruschetta with whipped ricotta and spicy honey is one of our personal favorites. Olivia restaurant is a really fun spot to grab a few drinks and a meal with friends.
- Gluten free status. Olivia Restaurant is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. That being said, most of the menu can be made gluten free with appropriate substitutions. Olivia restaurant has a separate gluten free menu that shows exactly what can and cannot be made gluten free. There is generally not a gluten free fryer available, but most items that are not made in the fryer can be made celiac safe.
- Other dietary restrictions. Olivia Restaurant also has a wide range of vegetarian items available. There are many items that are both vegetarian and gluten free.
- Cuisine. The menu at Olivia restaurant focuses primarily on Italian food. They have a wide range of gluten free options ranging from homemade pasta to cheesy pizzas.
- Location. Olivia Restaurant is located in South Tampa near a major road that has a mixture of commercial and residential properties. There are convenience stores, exercise studios, and beauty salons nearby, but it is not in a bustling downtown area with lots of restaurants and shops.
- Atmosphere. Olivia Restaurant is a trendy spot that has a lively atmosphere. This is a popular spot for people to go when they want to celebrate an occasion or impress a date. That means that there is generally excitement in the air. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with modern accents that provide some nice ambiance.
- Seating. Olivia Restaurant is a large spot with a decent amount of indoor seating. That being said, it is a very popular spot. We highly recommend making reservations at least a week ahead of time if you plan on visiting during peak weekend dinner hours. If you plan to go during a less busy time, you might still want to make reservations a few days in advance.
Oxford Exchange is another spot that is a must see if you are in Tampa. Oxford Exchange is a really unique restaurant that is located inside of a carefully curated book store. The restaurant has a literary theme and is embellished with a lot of fun accents that support that theme. This is a really special spot that was clearly put together by a team with great attention to detail. The staff are also very accommodating and well informed about food allergies.
- Gluten free status. Oxford Exchange is not a dedicated gluten free restaurant. Items that are naturally gluten free are clearly marked on the menu. Many of the items that are not naturally gluten free can also be made gluten free with substitutions. The staff is very knowledgeable about food allergies and will proactively ask you whether you are sensitive to cross contamination if you mention that you have a gluten intolerance. There is not a dedicated gluten free fryer available, so fried items will be susceptible to cross contamination.
- Other dietary restrictions. Vegetarian and vegan options are also clearly labeled on the menu. There are only a few options that are naturally gluten free and vegetarian, but many of the vegetarian items can be modified to be gluten free as well.
- Cuisine. Oxford Exchange serves modern American food. They also have a large beverage menu that includes a large selection of teas and coffees.
- Location. Oxford Exchange is located in Hyde Park near the University of Tampa. It is located near one of the major rivers and is not too far away from the Tampa Riverwalk. There are also other popular restaurants like Edison Food + Drink Lab relatively close by. There are fun downtown areas within easy walking distance.
- Atmosphere. Oxford Exchange has a really special atmosphere that is unmatched by any other restaurant we have visited in Tampa. The restaurant has a literary theme and there are so many fun accents and touches that play into that theme. All of the special touches make it such a fun place to eat. The restaurant is also beautifully decorated and all around has a great ambiance.
- Seating. Most of the seating available at Oxford Exchange is indoors. That being said, there is a large courtyard with a beautiful glass ceiling and lots of greenery that feels like it is fully outdoors. This is a popular spot, so we recommend making a reservation a few days in advance if you want to go during a busy time like weekend brunch.
Green Lemon is our favorite place in Tampa to go when we are looking for indulgent comfort food. This is one of the only spots we frequent in Tampa that has a dedicated gluten free fryer, so we love to order all kinds of crispy fried foods. Most of the menu at Green Lemon is naturally gluten free, so this is a relatively safe spot for anyone who is sensitive to cross contamination. The atmosphere at Green Lemon is really fun and upbeat, so this is also a great place to grab a meal before a fun night of drinking and dancing.
- Gluten free status. Green Lemon is not a dedicated gluten free establishment. That being said, the vast majority of the menu is naturally gluten free. There are a few items that are made with flour tortillas, but other than that, there are not many gluten-containing ingredients used in the kitchen. The menu is clearly labeled with information about what items are gluten free.
- Other dietary restrictions. The menu at Green Lemon is clearly labeled to support patrons with a variety of food allergies and dietary restrictions. Items that contain gluten, dairy, and shellfish are all clearly labeled on the menu. Vegetarian items are also clearly labeled on the menu.
- Cuisine. The menu at Green Lemon focuses primarily on Mexican food. They have many fun dips and appetizers ranging from queso and black bean dip to loaded fries and crispy cauliflower. They also have a range of tacos and Mexican-inspired rice bowls.
- Location. Green Lemon is located in the historic side of Hyde Park farther away from the river than Oxford Exchange. It is near a popular downtown area that has many other restaurants and stores. It is close to other restaurants we mention in this article like Bern’s Steakhouse.
- Atmosphere. Green Lemon has a fun, upbeat atmosphere that makes it an exciting place to grab a bite. The restaurant is decorated with bright and colorful accents that help to lighten the mood and provide some nice ambiance. The lively vibe here is contagious, so this is a great place to go if you are looking for a pick me up.
- Seating. Most of the seating at Green Lemon is located indoors. The restaurant can get busy during peak dinner hours on the weekends. We recommend heading over a little bit on the early side if you plan to go during a busy time.
Cooper’s Hawk is a restaurant and wine bar that has an extensive menu with a large number of gluten free options. That means that it is a great choice for people who like to have a lot of options at their fingertips. Cooper’s Hawk also has one of the largest and most comprehensive allergen guides we have seen in Tampa, which provides information on pretty much all major allergens. That means that it is a great place to go if your party has a variety of different food allergens and preferences.
- Gluten free status. Cooper’s Hawk is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they do have an extensive gluten free menu and they have great allergen protocols.
- Other dietary restrictions. Cooper’s Hawk does a great job providing information on allergens that are found in each of their dishes. They have an allergen guide on their website that can be used to determine whether each dish contains common allergens like dairy, egg, soy, fish, nuts, wheat and sesame. They can accommodate a wide range of allergens and dietary restrictions.
- Cuisine. Cooper’s Hawk primarily serves American food. They have a large menu that contains items ranging from pasta and risotto to steak and seafood. Cooper’s Hawk has one of the largest menus we have seen and also one of the largest gluten free menus we have seen.
- Location. Cooper’s Hawk is located in a more industrial area that is near the Tampa airport. It is not necessarily in a popular downtown area, but it is close to some popular attractions like Raymond James Stadium.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Cooper’s Hawk is nice, but not overly formal. This is a spacious restaurant that has a few large seating areas, so it is a common place for larger parties to go to celebrate special occasions. That means that the vibe at the restaurant is generally fairly upbeat.
- Seating. Cooper’s Hawk has a large amount of indoor and outdoor seating available. Most of the seating is located indoors, but there is a patio that has some outdoor seating available. There are large umbrellas on the patio that provide shelter for the outdoor seating when the weather is not ideal. Despite the amount of seating that is available, this is a popular spot that does fill up during weekend brunch and dinners. If you plan to visit during peak weekend meal hours, we recommend making reservations at least a few days in advance.
The Bricks is a trendy coffee shop and bar that is located right near the heart of Ybor City. Ybor City is a bustling neighborhood in Tampa that is lined with restaurants, boutiques, performance venues, and nightclubs. It is our absolute favorite neighborhood to visit in Tampa. That means that we frequently make stops at The Bricks after a long day or night running around Ybor City. The Bricks is also one of our favorite places in Tampa to grab a drink and catch up with friends – whether that be a coffee in the morning or a cocktail in the evening.
- Gluten free status. The Bricks is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, gluten free options are clearly marked on their menu
- Other dietary restrictions. Vegetarian options are also labeled on the menu. There are a decent number of vegetarian options available.
- Cuisine. The Bricks serves standard American food like salads, sandwiches, and rice bowls. They also have some delicious appetizers that are perfect to share with friends.
- Location. One of our favorite things about The Bricks is its location. The Bricks is located right near the heart of Ybor city, which is one of the most lively neighborhoods in Tampa. It is located in a bustling downtown area that is lined with restaurants, bakeries, entertainment venues, and nightclubs. That means that it is a great place to stop before or after visiting another popular Ybor City landmark. That also means that it is relatively easy to access via public transportation.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at The Bricks varies depending on what time of day it is. During the day, The Bricks has an atmosphere that is more similar to a trendy coffee shop where people go to take a break from work. During the night, the atmosphere is more similar to that of a laid back bar. Either way, this is a casual but lively place where people often go to meet up with friends.
- Seating. There is only indoor seating available at The Bricks. There is lots of seating available and there are many other restaurants and eateries available nearby, so it is generally feasible to get a seat without a long wait.
Columbia Restaurant is a popular spot that is known for being one of Florida’s oldest restaurants. It is a nice Spanish restaurant that is absolutely massive, with many different rooms and seating areas. Since it is so large, it is a popular spot for large gatherings of friends and family. It is particularly common to see large family gatherings take place here. Some areas of the restaurant offer entertainment options like flamenco shows that you can enjoy while eating your meal.
Note that while Columbia restaurant has multiple locations, we are primarily familiar with the Ybor City location. That means that most of our comments on the seating and the atmosphere at Columbia restaurant are based on our experiences at the Ybor city location.
- Gluten free status. Columbia Restaurant is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they do have an allergen menu that clearly marks items that can and cannot be made gluten free. The kitchen is generally good with allergens, but the level of knowledge that the servers have can vary a lot. Some of the servers have in-depth knowledge about what can and cannot be made gluten free, whereas others are not well informed.
- Other dietary restrictions. Columbia Restaurant has an allergen menu that is marked with other allergens like peanuts. Vegetarian options are also marked on the menu.
- Cuisine. Columbia Restaurant serves Spanish cuisine. Some of the menu consists of small plates and tapas, whereas other parts of the menu contain larger dishes and entrees. They are particularly well known for their black bean soup, which is truly unlike any other black bean soup that I have ever had.
- Location. Just like The Bricks, Columbia Restaurant is located in the bustling neighborhood of Ybor City. Columbia Restaurant is a few blocks outside of the main downtown area, but all it takes is a short walk to be right back in the center of the action. Since it is near such a bustling downtown area, it is relatively easy to access via public transportation.
- Atmosphere. Since Columbia Restaurant is such a popular place to host large gatherings, it has a lively atmosphere. The entertainment options like live bands and flamenco shows help to reinforce the upbeat mood. The restaurant is lavishly decorated with lots of Spanish accents, so it has a great ambiance.
- Seating. There is a huge amount of seating available at Columbia Restaurant that spans across many different rooms with different vibes and entertainment options. That being said, this is a very popular spot and reservations tend to book up a week or so ahead of time for peak weekend diner hours. We recommend making reservations around a week in advance (or more) if you plan to go during peak weekend dinner hours.
Gluten free fast casual restaurants in Tampa
Now that we have talked about some of our favorite sit down restaurants in Tampa that offer gluten free options, we will talk about some of our favorite fast casual restaurants in Tampa. These restaurants are listed roughly in order of preference, with our favorite restaurants appearing towards the top of the list.
Fresh Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant that has multiple locations throughout the Greater Tampa area. This is a dedicated gluten free restaurant that offers rice, noodle, and salad bowls with all kinds of flavorful toppings. They are great with allergens and label multiple different items and dietary restrictions on their menu. That means that this is the perfect place to pick up a quick meal if you are eating with people with an array of dietary restrictions.
Note that Fresh Kitchen has multiple locations throughout Tampa. We have been to many of their locations, so our comments are based on our experiences at a few different locations.
- Gluten free status. Fresh Kitchen is a dedicated gluten free facility. Everything that they make is entirely gluten free.
- Other dietary restrictions. Fresh Kitchen also labels other allergens like dairy and nuts on their menu. Vegan items and items that are made without processed sugar are also clearly marked on the menu.
- Cuisine. Fresh Kitchen serves noodle bowls, rice bowls, and salads that are made with a variety of American-inspired ingredients. Some of the menu items take inspiration from Asian cuisine.
- Location. Fresh Kitchen has multiple locations throughout Tampa.
- Atmosphere. The atmosphere at Fresh Kitchen is similar to that of most nice standard fast casual restaurants. Their seating area is decorated with lots of colorful accents.
- Seating. Most of the Fresh Kitchen locations in the Tampa area have a decent amount of indoor seating and a small amount of outdoor seating. Many people grab their food to go, so it is not that competitive to get a seat.
Other gluten free restaurants in Tampa
Now that we have talked about the restaurants that we frequent most often, we will take a minute to mention a few other Tampa restaurants that we visit occasionally. These are great spots with delicious food that we did not mention in the previous section because we have not been to them as many times and are not as familiar with them. Most of these are places that we have only been once or twice.
Bern’s Steakhouse is a fabulous steakhouse with an upscale atmosphere and even more upscale food. They also have a dessert room that is dedicated to indulgent desserts and sweet treats. This is a great place to go if you want to get a really nice meal to celebrate a special occasion. The menu can get a little pricey, but it is absolutely worth the cost.
- Best North American cities for gluten free food
- Gluten free restaurants in Orlando, Florida
- Gluten free restaurants in Savannah, Georgia
- Gluten free restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Gluten free restaurants in Vancouver
- Gluten free restaurants in Toronto, Ontario
- Gluten free restaurants in Portland, Oregon
- Gluten free restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Gluten free restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts
- Gluten free restaurants in Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Gluten free restaurants in Santa Monica, California
- Gluten free restaurants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania