Traveling on a gluten-free diet can be worrisome at times. Navigating where you can eat and what you’ll have access to can be very stressful. There is no need to worry about that when taking a trip to the windy city.
Below I have listed some of the best gluten-free restaurants in Chicago. These include restaurants with dedicated gluten-free kitchens, gluten-free menus, or gluten-free options.
While some restaurants do have gluten-containing products, their owners are cautious of cross-contamination and note their gluten-free items on the menu.
Best Gluten-Free Restaurants In Chicago
As the world is slowly shifting back to normal, I’m sure you’re all eager to take a much-needed trip; I know I was (using safety precautions, of course).
While travel restrictions have begun to ease, specific restaurants may still have Covid-19 restrictions and are only open for takeout and delivery. While this information has been noted for each restaurant, it can change, so please check their website or call ahead before visiting.
Time to jump into the list. Warning, your mouth may start to water. Please note these restaurants are not ranked in any particular order.
1. Wheats End Cafe
Dedicated Gluten-Free Kitchen
When traveling uptown, stopping at Wheat’s End Cafe is a must. This is a dedicated gluten-free restaurant with a wide range of breakfast and brunch items. No need to worry about cross-contamination here! They also cater to multiple other dietary restrictions.
Another great perk about Wheat’s End is the pre-packaged and frozen items. From cinnamon rolls to pancake mix to gluten-free granola. They have several grab-and-go products you can take back to your hotel or Air Bnb and enjoy at a later time.
Currently, the restaurant is only open for take-out and delivery for precautionary measures due to Covid-19. It does not say when this will change, so make sure to call and double-check before going to the restaurant.
For a closer look at what Wheats End Cafe has to offer, check out this video by Chicago’s Best.
2873 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
2. Do-Rite Donuts
That’s right, you saw correctly; gluten-free donuts. With its five locations in Chicago, Do-Rite Donuts is an easy stop to make. They have three gluten-free donut flavors: Birthday Cake, Cinnamon & Sugar, and Valrhona Chocolate Glazed. As their chefs like to experiment, they may have additional flavors at the shop.
This is not a designated gluten-free kitchen, so cross-contamination may be a concern. To try to limit this as much as possible, I would inform the staff of your medical condition and ask them to kindly change their gloves.
To navigate to the location nearest you, check out their website.
3. Chicago’s Pizza
Did you even go to Chicago if you didn’t enjoy the saucy deliciousness of the deep-dish pizza? I think not. Believe me, I know you have to go without many fantastic foods on a GF diet, but this doesn’t have to be one of them.
Chicago’s Pizza makes its own gluten-free crust in-house. You can order any type of pizza on it, including a GF calzoni. It doesn’t end there. Chicago’s pizza has gluten-free pasta, garlic bread, and desserts.
Alert the server of your allergy so cross-contamination doesn’t become an issue, and as always use your own judgment. With three locations, this is a must-stop. You can get your Italian fill in Lakeview, Ravenswood, and Old Irving. Check out their website for exact addresses.
4. Lyfe Kitchen
After you get your fill of pizza and donuts, head over to Lyfe Kitchen for a healthy and balanced breakfast, lunch, or dinner; the broccoli will cancel out all the grease, right? Lyfe has a highly diverse menu with loads of gluten-free options that range from smoothie bowls to flatbreads.
While they are not a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, they take pride in creating well-sourced food that everyone can enjoy. All allergens are clearly indicated on the menu, and they also cater to the vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free communities.
Another thing I love about Lyfe is its passion for sustainability. Their produce is organic and locally sourced, and they never use artificial ingredients. They are now working towards using 100% biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable packaging.
Due to the pandemic, the restaurant is only open for take-out and delivery. They do not state when this will change, so call or check their website.
270 E Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60611
5. Brightwok Kitchen
Dedicated Gluten-Free Kitchen
This Asian-inspired restaurant is entirely gluten-free; it is also dairy, fish, shellfish, and peanut-free. In other words, this is heaven for anyone with dietary issues. They also have a variety of vegan options and sauces; no one is left out here!
You can choose from the wide range of menu items or build your own bowl or salad. The Sweet Umami Mushroom Bowl was a winner for me!
This gemstone started in downtown Chicago in 2015 and has since grown. They have two locations and a sister restaurant, Double Thai Comfort Rice and Noodles.
Looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy the sunset? Aba’s, equipped with a rooftop patio, is a great option for a dinner date or a night on the town with friends. Enjoy food from around the world without leaving Chicago. This Mediterranean restaurant draws influence from Isreal, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece.
It is easy to spot gluten-free options as they have a dedicated dinner menu. It doesn’t end there; they’ll have you wanting to return the next day with their gluten-free brunch menu. There are over 25 options as well as cocktails.
302 N Green St 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60607
This neighborhood coffee house and restaurant is serving up gluten-free breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Each mealtime has its very own gluten-free menu. Did I mention they roast their own coffee beans? If you’re a coffee fanatic like me, you know this is the sign of a great cup of coffee.
If you enjoy it, you can come back time and time again without ordering from the same menu twice.
834 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607
8. Scoops Dessert Bar
Dedicated Gluten-Free Kitchen
Cure your sweet tooth at Scoops Dessert Bar. Not only is this a dedicated gluten-free dessert bar, but it is also vegan. Indulge in a scoop of cookie dough fudge ice cream or a chocolate oreo cupcake. Can’t decide? Let me be the bad influence and encourage you to get both.
Bringing your furry friend along for the trip? Scoops has treats that are safe for pets to consume. Just make sure you’re not dropping by on a Monday as they are closed. Scoops doesn’t have a website, but they have Facebook and Instagram with all of their information.
838 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9. Tall Boy Taco
Tall Boy Taco is serving up fresh ingredients on hand-pressed corn tortillas that are naturally gluten-free and delicious. Gluten as well as dairy is clearly indicated on the menu. While the majority of the menu is gluten-free, there are still certain menu items that contain gluten, so be aware of cross-contamination.
Pro Tip: Go after 5 pm any day of the week to enjoy their happy hour special. This includes $6.00, margarita, and spiked agua fresca.
676 N St Clair St, Chicago, IL 60611
10. Protein Bar & Kitchen
If you are an active individual looking to refuel, Protein Bar and Kitchen is a great stop to make. They’re serving up protein-packed meals that are quick and nutritious.
They do not have GF indications on the menu; they do things a little different here and state the items that do contain gluten as the majority of the items on the menu are naturally gluten-free. The website also states that the customizable menu allows them to easily serve gluten-free and vegan needs.
When ordering, you should advise your server of dietary restrictions so they can ensure the menu item is indeed gluten-free and limit cross-contamination as much as possible.
They are currently only open for pickup, delivery, and patio dining.
250 E Superior, Chicago, IL 60611
11. Burger Bar
Any of their USDA prime beef burgers can be served on a gluten-free bun for a $1.50 upcharge. They also carry a variety of gluten-free ciders. At times they have gluten-free beer on hand so ask your server to see what’s in stock.
Unfortunately, besides the bun, gluten-free options are not clearly marked on the menu, and you will have to ask your server to explain what options are suitable for you to consume.
1150 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
12. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba
In the mood for small plates and Sangria? Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is the place for you. There is a wide range of gluten-free tapas that are clearly indicated on their menu. But that’s not all they have to offer; if you’re looking for something a bit more filling, you can enjoy any of their four paellas. They are all gluten-free.
2024 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
13. Arya Bhavan
Craving something wholesome and comforting? Arya Bhavan will do just the trick.
The majority of their menu is gluten-free with a few exceptions, such as their naan bread and chapati, but it is clearly indicated that they contain gluten. The restaurant is also 100% vegan.
Something else to love about Arya Bhavan is that they list what meals are high in protein, iron, antioxidants, and specific vitamins, as individuals with dietary issues can sometimes lack in these departments. Take a trip over to Arya Bhavan for a meatless Monday and enjoy their Aloo Gobi and Coconut Macaroons.
2508 W Devon Ave Chicago, IL 60659
Monteverde has a gluten-free menu that will not disappoint. From pasta to ribeye to a full cocktail list, you’ll be so mesmerized by your gluten-free menu so much that any prior curiosity of what’s on their main menu will have quickly subsided.
Another great thing about Monteverde is that they give back to the community. $2 of every spaghetti al pomodoro sold goes to a Chicago-based organization with the mission to inspire youth and empower communities.
1020 west Madison Street Chicago IL 60607
Wrapping Things up
You won’t go hungry in Chicago while on a gluten-free diet. With the 14 options above, ranging from breakfast to dessert, you’ll always be able to enjoy something delicious. Looking for something open a bit later? Check out Taco Bell’s gluten-free options.