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Eating gluten-free in the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted on March 13th, 2009 by Alison Read 49 Comments - Add Your Own »

goldengatebridge3Looking for gluten-free restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area? A while ago I questioned why there were so few restaurants in the Bay Area that offered gluten-free menu options. Since that time, I have discovered some more and received information from readers about restaurants that are doing a good job with gluten-free. I’m still not very impressed with the selection, given the number of restaurants there are in this area, but it is getting better and I expect that we will see more and more restaurants start to have gluten-free menus. One great thing about the Bay Area is that there are so many restaurants that cook with fresh, local ingredients that it is not too difficult to find a gluten-free meal. I just wish there was a little more awareness on the part of the restaurants.

Whether you live here or are just visiting, I hope these suggestions help you find a great (and safe) meal! I’m sure that there are more restaurants that should be on the list. If you know of a place that has a gluten-free menu or is gluten-free-friendly, please let me know in the comments or via email and I will consider adding it here. If you are a restaurant owner looking to offer a gluten-free menu, please inquire about consulting services.

Before you embark on gluten-free dining, I recommend reading the following articles — they can make things much easier and more enjoyable for you!
Dining Without Gluten – Course by Course

Restaurant Tips for Dining Without Gluten

RESTAURANTS WITH GLUTEN-FREE MENUS OR MENU OPTIONS:
(in alphabetical order)

Betelnut

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Contemporary Asian cuisine
  • Special notes: Ask for the gluten-free menu.
  • Bay Area Location:
    • San Francisco
      2030 Union St., San Francisco, CA 94123
      Phone: (415)-929-8855

Cafe Gratitude

  • Website/menu
  • Read a description of the restaurant from another gluten-free blogger
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Vegan
  • Special notes: Everything on the menu is gluten-free. It is recommended that those with severe nut allergies do not dine here.
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • San Francisco
      2400 Harrison Street (@20th Street), San Francisco, CA 94110
      Phone: 415-830-3014
    • San Francisco
      1336 9th Ave, (@ Irving), San Francisco, CA 94122
      Phone: 415-683-1346
    • Berkeley
      1730 Shattuck Ave (@ Virginia), Berkeley, CA 94709
      Phone: 510-725-4418
    • San Rafael
      2200 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
      Phone: 415-578-4928
    • Healdsburg
      206 Healdsburg Ave (in the Olive Leaf), Healdsburg, CA 95448
      Phone: 707-723-4461

Crepes Cafe

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Crepes
  • Special notes: The “Savory” crepes are made with 100% buckwheat and they told me that they cook them on a different surface than the wheat crepes. Make sure to tell them you are gluten-free to be sure.
  • Bay Area Location:
    • Menlo Park
      1195 Merrill St., corner Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
      Phone : (650) 473-0506

Dosa

  • Website/menu
  • Read about my experience
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: South Indian
  • Special notes: Look on website or ask for Chart for Special Dietary Needs
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • San Francisco – Fillmore
      1700 Fillmore Street (@ the corner of Post), San Francisco, CA 94115
      Phone: (415 ) 441-DOSA (3672)
    • San Francisco – Valencia
      995 Valencia (@ 21st Street), San Francisco, CA 94110
      Phone: (415) 642-DOSA (3672)

E & O Trading Company

  • Website/gluten-free menu
  • Chain restaurant? Yes.
  • Type of food: Southeast Asian Grill
  • Special notes: Make sure you ask for and order off of gluten-free menu
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • San Francisco
      314 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
      Phone: (415) 693-0303
    • Larkspur
      2231 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA 94939
      Phone: (415) 925-0303
    • San Jose
      96 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
      Phone: (408) 938-4100

Mangiamo

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Italian and Pizza
  • Special notes: Regular menu indicates which items are available gluten-free. Call ahead to make sure that pizza is available.
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • Windsor
      740 McClelland Drive, Windsor, California 95492
      Phone: (707) 838.1616

Outback Steakhouse

  • Website/gluten-free menu
  • Chain restaurant? Yes.
  • Type of food: Australian steakhouse
  • Special notes: Make sure you ask for and order off of gluten-free menu
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • Sausalito
      196 Donahue Street, Sausalito CA 94965
      (415) 331-6193
    • Daly City
      371 Gellert Blvd., Daly City CA 94015
      (650) 756-3691
    • Pinole
      1361 Fitzgerald Dr., Pinole CA 94564
      (510) 758-7386
    • San Mateo
      66 31st Ave, San Mateo CA 94403
      (650) 287-4329
    • Pleasant Hill
      150 A Longbrook Way, Pleasant Hill CA 94523
      (925) 687-2225
    • Dublin
      6505 Regional Street, Dublin CA 94568
      (925) 833-9335
    • Fremont
      5525 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont CA 94538
      (510) 252-1595
    • More locations

PF Chang’s China Bistro

  • Website/gluten-free menu
  • Chain restaurant? Yes.
  • Type of food: Chinese
  • Special notes: Make sure you ask for and order off of gluten-free menu
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • Corte Madera
      301 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, CA 94925
      Phone: (415) 413-9890
    • Emeryville
      5633 Bay Street, Emeryville, CA 94608
      Phone: (510) 879-0990
    • Walnut Creek
      1205 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
      Phone: (925) 979-9070
    • Pleasanton
      1330 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588
      Phone: (925) 224-9916
    • Palo Alto
      900 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304
      Phone: (650) 330-1782

San Francisco Soup Company

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? Yes.
  • Type of food: Soup
  • Special notes: Menu is updated daily on the web and gluten-free soups are shown with a (G). They also have (V) for Vegetarian and (D) for Dairy-free.
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • San Francisco
      50 Post Street, Crocker Galleria, 3rd Level, San Francisco, CA  94104
      Phone: (415)-397-SOUP
    • San Francisco
      One Market, Bayside Cuisines Food Court, San Francisco, CA  94105
      Phone: (415)-495-4765
    • San Francisco
      221 Montgomery (Between Bush & Pine), San Francisco, CA  94104
      Phone: (415)-834-0472
    • Palo Alto
      1950 University Avenue @ Woodland Ave, East Palo Alto, CA  94303
      Phone: (650)-322-7687
    • Oakland
      Oakland City Center (1300 Clay Street), Oakland, CA  94612
      Phone: (510)-763-7687
    • San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3
      Phone: (650)-821-7687
    • Berkeley
      2512 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
      Phone: (510) 781-7687
    • OTHER LOCATIONS too!

Sol Food

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Puerto Rican
  • Special notes: Everything on the menu is gluten-free except bread, but you can subsitute “tostones” for the bread on any sandwich. Tostones are green plantains that are fried, smashed and fried again. Rice bran oil is used for frying.
  • Bay Area Locations:
    • San Rafael – Larger location
      901 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901
      Phone: (415) 451-4765
    • San Rafael – Takeout and limited outdoor seating
      732 Fourth St., San Rafael, CA 94901
      Phone: (415) 451-4765

The Plant Cafe Organic (formerly Lettus Cafe)

  • Website/gluten-free menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Organic — juices, salads, sandwiches, soups, entrees and desserts
  • Special notes: Regular menu denotes gluten-free items with “gf”
  • Bay Area Location(s):
    • San Francisco
      3352 Steiner Street @ Chestnut, San Francisco, CA 94123
      Phone: (415) 931-2777

Zadin

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Contemporary Vietnamese Cuisine
  • Special notes: Dishes on regular menu are marked with “GF”
  • Bay Area Location:
    • San Francisco
      4039 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114
      Phone: (415) 626-2260

RESTAURANTS THAT SERVE GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA:
(in alphabetical order)

Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? Yes.
  • Type of food: Thin-crust pizza baked in brick ovens, pasta
  • Special notes: Crust is made by Still Riding Pizza, staff is trained to prevent cross-contamination. They deliver!
  • Bay Area Locations (only these Amici’s locations are currently serving gluten-free crusts):
    • San Francisco
      2200 Lombard Street @ Steiner, San Francisco, CA 94123
      Phone: (415) 885-4500
    • Dublin
      4640 Tassajara Road, Dublin, CA 94568
      Phone: (925) 875-1600
    • Mountain View
      790 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041
      Phone: (650) 961-6666
    • San Jose
      225 W. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113
      Phone: (408) 289-9000
    • Vacaville
      1679 E. Monte Vista Ave., Vacaville, CA 95688
      Phone: (707) 451-7777

Mangiamo
See info in section above

Mariposa Baking Company

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Gluten-free bakery and cafe
  • Special notes: Pizza by the slice is served daily from 12-3 pm, or you can buy a frozen crust to make your own pizza at home.
  • Bay Area Location:
    • Oakland
      5427 Telegraph ave, Unit D3, Oakland, CA 94609
      Phone: (510) 595.0955

Mary’s Pizza Shack

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? Yes, family-run.
  • Type of food: Italian
  • Special notes: Crust is made by Still Riding Pizza, staff is trained to prevent cross-contamination. They deliver!
  • Bay Area Locations:

RESTAURANTS THAT ARE GLUTEN-FREE-FRIENDLY (they understand and accommodate well):
(in alphabetical order)

Cyrus

  • Website/menu
  • Read about my fabulous experience.
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Contemporary Luxury Cuisine
  • Special notes: Very important to call ahead and let them know you are a gluten-free diner!
  • Bay Area Location:
    • Healdsburg
      29 North St.,  Healdsburg, CA
      Phone: (707) 433-3311

Dragon Well

  • Website/menu
  • Chain restaurant? No.
  • Type of food: Healthy Chinese
  • Special notes: The rice noodle dishes are gluten-free and almost anything can be made gluten-free (you’ve got to try the stir-fried pea shoots!). The restaurant is aware of allergies and cross-contamination issues.
  • Bay Area Location:
    • San Francisco
      2142 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123
      Phone: (415) 474-6888

Comments

  1. Alison, what about Dona Tomas in Oakland, I have a patient whose Mother tested them up and down and says they are great…and unfortunately Socca Oven closed in Berkeley…I actually really liked their pizza!
    :)
    Anita

  2. Another great list!!! Thank you!

  3. Sprout is a new cafe on Univ. Ave. in Palo Alto. (I call it the Facebook cafeteria.) Both my celiac daughters and my wheat-allergic daughter have eaten successfully there (even Molly, the canary in the coal mine). Here’s their menu:

    http://cafesprout.com/tempsite/tempmenu081808.html

    HIGHLY recommended. Thanks for the list, Alison!

    Debbie

  4. THANK YOU for posting this! What a helpful suggestion list! I plan on starting at the top and eat my way down! :D

  5. This is the best list I’ve seen. Not just because it is local but because you added the details I’ve been looking for. Thank you!

  6. I live in Marin County (Mill Valley) and was diagnosed Gluten Intolerant one month ago. I have passed through a significant period of grieving for all the foods I won’t be eating any more, but I am now feeling positive about embracing this new life.

    I am excited to find your site! Thanks for this list. I am thrilled to know that one of my favorite Marin spots–Sol Food– is GF!

    I would love to know about any Marin (or SF) support group or advocacy groups. We need a strong voice in the Bay Area–as you note, there is astonishing little awareness of GF among Bay Area restaurants.

  7. I have so many friends that need this list. Now I know where we can have dinner. Thanks!!

  8. Please help. My 18-year old daughter was diagnosed w/celiac at age 12. An endoscopy today 4/7/09 shows that she is still ingesting gluten although she has been strictly GF for 6 years. Before I begin my own investigation, does anyone have any recos for GF shampoos, soaps, and makeup?
    Thanks.

  9. Here are some suggestions for gluten free beauty products:

    Nars – the entire line of makeup in GF. Great colors. Available at Sephora.

    Dessert Essence Organics – shampoos and body lotions all GF. Available at most health food stores.

    Burt’s bees – Many of their products are GF. On their website they have a list of all GF products.

    Good luck!

  10. California Baby super sensitive line is gluten free also

  11. Greens is also really informed. They always have a good variety of gluten free menu items and the staff are happy to point them out to patrons

  12. We ate at Flytrap @ Zares (2nd & Folsom) last night & the host knew what gluten was, the waitress pointed out the gluten-free items on the menu & the head chef/owner (Hoss Zare) came out & chatted with us for a bit. The bonus? The food was incredible. The salmon with yogurt sauce was melt-in-your-mouth good. Definitely a recommended place – we’ll be going back before we leave & we’re only going to be here three days!

  13. New restaurant in Berkeley on Oxford called Gather has gluten free and vegan options listed on the menu. Some items can be made Gluten free on request and they use mainly local organic ingrediants.

  14. Thanks Elaine – someone else alerted me to this restaurant also… I need to update this list and more and more restaurants are offering gf menus — finally! Yay!

  15. Thanks for the restaurant list Alison. My family and I traveled to San Francisco over spring break and used a couple of your recommendations. We found Mariposa Baking Co. at the Ferry Building and enjoyed their muffins and bagels. They were a bit hit!

    We also tried Dosa, but I wanted to warn everyone that if you have multiple food allergies, this might not be a good choice. Shortly after beginning our meal, my youngest daughter broke out in hives from something in the food (she has dairy and nut allergies). We ordered from the Special Dietary Needs menu and spoke with our server before ordering. Luckily, Benadryl stopped her reaction.

    I’d also like to recommend Alamo Square Seafood Grill on Fillmore Street. They serve fish and seafood with simple but delicious ingredients and preparations. We had an awesome gluten-free (and dairy-free for my daughter) meal that wasn’t crazy expensive.

  16. Selina,
    That’s terrible about Dosa! I know they do use a lot of nuts in Indian food — do you think that was it? Scary! I haven’t brought my kids there. I am wary of Indian with nut allergies.

  17. Teacake Bake Shop (www.teacakebakeshop.com) just added a gluten free cupcake to their menu that is delicious!!!!! It’s a Vanilla Almond Cupcake with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream! They also offer $1 Frosting shots that are GF! Thats right, I said frosting shots! Locations in Corte Madera, Lafayette, Emeryville, and Burlingame.

  18. Empress Pavilion at the SunValley mall in Concord/Pleasant Hill. If June is working she will make chicken and shrimp in cornstarch and cook anything without soy sauce for you. If you bring your own GF sauce, she will have them prepare the food with it if you like. We really love the Singapore Rice Noodles and the Hawaiian Fried Rice. I don’t suggest eating there unless June is working. We also get the sizzling rice soup.

  19. Harmony in Mill Valley has a gluten free menu & wheat free soy sauce.They also have gluten free beer.

  20. Hello there,

    Hot Spud in San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf also offers Gluten-Free options. Actually, 95% of the menu is naturally Gluten-Free (only a few add ons for the salads have gluten such as the crutons, wonton strips and the cheesecake and the brownie, although we are working on the Gluten-Free brownie). So come on down and check us out!

    Thank you.

  21. Arbonne products are also Gluten Free. They have make up, skin care, and beauty products. Also, vitamins and protein powders that are Gluten Free and all natural.

  22. Farenheit in San Jose has a new Chef who is GF Friendly. He personally came out to discuss GF options with us, and modified other dishes for us so they would be GF. I have learned he trained as a nutritionist and is very welcoming of GF customers. Their food is described as “Modern Global”, and his emphasis is on fresh, local and organic food. The food is a good value, too, as most of the entrees are under $20.

  23. Renee,
    Thanks for the info!

  24. Piatti in Danville added a gluten free menu (largely because a lot of women in this area are doing a 28 day cleanse that has them eating gluten free). They have restaurants in Mill Valley and Santa Clara too and given the popularity of their gluten free menu in Danville (and from what I’m told by the manager their increased business as a result) they could probably be talked into adding it a their Mill Valley and Santa Clara sites as well.
    Amber Bistro in Danville also a number of gluten free items on the menu.

  25. Thanks Mary,
    I’ll look into this!

  26. Thank you so much for the idea of asking for a gluten free menu! My hubs and I went to PF Changs tonight after seeing it on your list here and I ate with total confidence… SO yummy!

  27. Zest Bakery in San Carlos is all organic and gluten free. They have delicious bread, muffins, and desserts.

  28. zpizza has gluten-free pizzas that are delicious. They just opened a restaurant in SOMA on Mission and Fifth Street. You can see their reviews at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/zpizza-san-francisco

  29. Well, we had a couple of great dinners at Mezes, in S.F. on Chestnut St. They have a regular menu, and upon request will produce an entirely Gluten Free menu! Very tasty Greek food.

  30. My neighborhood pizzeria in SF just started making house made gluten free pizza dough and they also carry gluten free beer! There are also quite a few other GF items on the menu too. Now i can have pizza and beer with my boyfriend!!!

    (The Pizza Place on Noriega is the name of the place.)

  31. Carol,
    I have wondered about Mezes — glad to hear it was good and they have a gluten-free menu! That is great news!

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  33. Thank you for listing all of these restaurant options. I was hoping that there would be more in the southbay (San Jose-Santa Clara area).
    I would like to add that Pizza Party Restaurant on Homestead, near Lawrence Expressway has gluten free pizza and gluten free beer and it is delilcious!

  34. WOW, thank you all so much, just about to set off on a trip around california from the UK and I am getting info of the site on GF restaurents and food. Thank God I found this site. I am no longer worried……….thanks again. will let you know how I get on..

  35. Jean,
    There are really so many more restaurants now than what I have listed here! It’s getting easier and easier. Have a great trip.

  36. If you work in the financial district, Power Source on Fremont in between Market and Mission is fantastic. They have a build your own bowl option and ALL the choices including the sauces are gluten free….and really delicious!

  37. I am headed out to the Peninsula from Atlanta for a trip and need to eat Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free. Does anyone have any recommendations for the Burlingame, Millbrae, San Mateo area? Thanks!

  38. Thanks for the great list. I would NOT recommend eating at Cafe Gratitude if you have allergies. They now have a disclaimer on their menu that says something along the lines of “if you have severe allergies do not eat here”. When I told the waitress, I have celiac disease she said that they could not guarantee anything and repeated the disclaimer on the menu.

  39. Cafe Gratitude has gone out of business.
    PF Chang’s has a place downtown San Jose.
    Oaxacan Foods has mobile trucks at some of the South Bay Farmers Markets…Campbell on Sunday and the ones in Palo Alto. These are fabulous and gluten free. The Campbell Sunday Market is awesome. Look for Raw Daddy for unique and amazing flax seed cones with gluten free ingredients. Yummy.

    Z Pizza in Mountain View has a very good Gluten free crust and Paxtel’s (hope I got the spelling right) on Emerson in Palo Alto and 24th St in SF has a very good gf crust also.

  40. Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon offers many gluten free options on their menu.

  41. Thanks Melissa – there are so many more options now since I wrote this article in 2009!

  42. hi, we’re an independently owned pizzeria in san francisco. we offer homemade gluten-free pizzas to our guest and have many GF items on the menu. we do monthly farmers market dinners and last night’s dinner was gluten free and a huge hit. i’ve been GF for 5 years and it’s great to see the increase in interest in GF (whether for allergies or to live a healthier lifestyle)
    thanks for the great website, alison!

  43. Cindy,
    What is the name of your pizzeria?

  44. My daughter has celiac and we will be visiting San Francisco soon. We will be staying at Fisherman’s Wharf. What are the best GF restaurants within walking distance?

  45. There is an In n Out Burger right there — that’s a good go-to when you need something! Order the burger without a bun or “protein style” in a lettuce wrap. They only do fries, not onion rings. Watch out for all the sourdough bread everywhere! If I think of more, I’ll let you know. (in a hurry right now)

  46. Hi there,

    Cups and Cakes Bakery at 451 9th St. in SF, 94103, offers a gluten free flavor every Friday in the case. Also, any of our over 80 flavors can be pre-ordered in Gluten Free! Minimum for pre-order are 1/2 dozen classic or 1 dozen minis per flavor.

    We thoroughly clean and disinfect our dishes, but if you have a severe allergy, we don’t recommend using us.

    Hours: Tue-Fri 10-6:30, Sat 12-7
    http://cupsandcakesbakery.com/dietary-restrictions/

  47. Sadly Z’s pizza in Mountain View is closed. I believe Asian Box is taking the space

  48. Staying at fishermans wharf (4th trip)and still not had Glutenfree clam chower have promised my wife this, can you please tell me where we can have nice meals including Chower.Thanks Ron mason Australia

  49. Patxi’s Pizza has an amazing gluten free crust! They have four locations in SF and 3 more within the Bay Area. Their locations are not a gluten free establishments. However my friend, who has Celiac, and I go there all the time and she has never had a reaction. You should try it!

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