I visited so many different cities and ate at so many gluten-free friendly restaurants in 2019. Just for fun, I put together a list of the best things that I ate in 2019 – ALL GLUTEN FREE – of course.
Gluten-Free Appetizers and Meals
I have to tell you honestly I was not excited to go to Boston for a food festival. Massachusetts is really far from Arizona, and Worcester was really far from the airport. A full day of travel is never my favorite thing. But, along with meeting IRL some of my favorite Boston bloggers, I found some of the best food at local bakeries and restaurants. 110 Grill was so good, I could have eaten there for every meal, every day, and still haven’t tried the best things on the menu! While I went there twice, I know I’ve missed a handful of their best things – everything looked delicious. 110 Grill takes such pride in their food allergy friendly service. This Firecracker Shrimp was so good, sweet and tangy and spicy. I would have ordered a second if I didn’t have a full meal coming afterwards.
I’ve always thought Seattle-based Ghostfish beer was some of the best in the country (along with Portland-based Ground Breaker Brewing and Denver-based Holidaily). But, I had never been to their Ghostfish Brewery taproom. Not only are all of their beers on tap – along with an assortment of taproom only beer – but an entire menu of dedicated gluten-free food. These beer-battered fish and chips are a must-order next time you’re in Washington!
I never thought I’d enjoy Bouchon so much, because it’s a high-end French restaurant. I never thought I could so easily eat gluten-free and dairy-free in a high-end French restaurant. But Thomas Keller changed my mind. This Idaho rainbow trout blew my mind. Yes, a simple white fish blew my mind this year. READ MORE ABOUT MY TRIP TO BOUCHON.
Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen was the first dedicated gluten-free restaurant I visited in San Francisco on my first visit there. Since then, I’ve been annually (or more) because of food shows and festivals. While San Francisco isn’t the most friendly for gluten-free (compared to places like Portland), there are some great finds. I can’t get enough of their yucca fries, and they have a variety of arepas that were seasoned perfectly – this is the Caribe with shrimp, jicama, and avocado.
The Pie Pizzeria is a shocking find in Salt Lake City. They not only have gluten-free pizza, but also dairy-free cheese, and a very safe gluten-free protocol (including a separate room where they make the pizza). I managed to get gluten-free dairy-free cheese bread, and this veggie-topped pizza pie and had leftovers for days. This has to be one of the safest non-dedicated gluten-free pizza places I’ve ever visited. We had a long conversation with the Ogden location manager and I was thoroughly impressed.
C Casa is a small family-run taco shop in a public market in downtown Napa, and honestly – was one of my highlights right along side Thomas Keller restaurants and nationally-recognized wineries. I can’t say enough good things about this duck taco – besides that it is gluten-free, along with everything at C Casa. If you’re going to Napa for a winery vacation, you won’t regret stopping at Oxbow Market for these tacos.
Gluten-Free Baked Goods
While this wasn’t at a restaurant, I still very much count this entry into the Best Things I Ate in 2019. When we were in Napa with the Gluten Free Blogger Retreat, we met with chefs at the Cup4Cup Test Kitchen in Napa. The home of Thomas Keller, we also got to tour their Thomas Keller chocolate factory and saw where the uniforms for the Michelin star restaurants were laundered a pressed. The chefs made a pineapple upside down cake using Cup4Cup’s newest yellow cake mix. It was gluten-free and dairy-free and I’m pretty sure my mouth exploded in happiness. I cannot express how good this cake was. WHY? HOW? This is like a 1950’s housewife basic cake recipe! I guess that’s what happens when famous chefs make a basic cake – it’s not so basic any more!
And I’m not about leaving the savory baked goods out. One of my favorite finds this year was a salted pretzel roll from Starry Lane Bakery in San Diego, CA earlier this year during Digestive Disease Week. I wish I bought a dozen! No surprise, but they tasted exactly like a real pretzel.
You’ll probably see that donuts made the list twice, and honestly, I think every donut is the best donut, but these donuts really killed it. These are the best donuts I’ve put in my face.
I promise, I didn’t mean to find two donuts that look the same. I don’t have a thing for donut holes. These two donuts, however, were earth shaking. I can’t even tell you how many of these I ate, mostly because I don’t want to admit that to myself. You cannot go wrong with any baked goods, including donuts, from these two locations.
Octopus, Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia, PA
Croissant, Sunny Batters, Phoenix, AZ
Fried Popcorn Chicken and Donuts, Jewel’s Bakery & Cafe, Phoenix, AZ
Tapioca Balls, Points South Latin Kitchen, Baltimore, MD (REST IN PEACE – closed Fall 2019)
Jenny Roll, Gluten-Free Sushi, Tsunami, Salt Lake City, UT
Breakfast, Just Be Kitchen, Denver, CO