Whether you dine gluten-free because you suffer from celiac disease, or it’s a lifestyle (and health) choice, here are some top places and dishes in San Francisco where you can feast gluten-free (and feel good at the end of your meal). If you need to be vigilant about cross-contamination and other issues, be sure to ask the establishment directly.
Dosas at Dosa
The menu at both Dosa locations (on Valencia and Fillmore) is full of gluten-free dishes, and the namesake dosa—made with rice and lentil flours—is a choice item for those who are craving something bready, plus you have 12 different kinds of fillings to decide on. There’s also the uttapam, a thicker version that has a pancake-like texture (it’s great for brunch with an egg on it).
Fried chicken at Hard Water
Fried chicken is usually something that has to be crossed off a gluten-free eater’s list, but not here. It’s so, so good: You get three pieces of juicy and plump Mary’s chicken ($20), and the crisp exterior is extremely light and well seasoned (it has a little kick of cayenne, plus paprika, and garlic powder), plus pepper jelly on the side. The secret to that tasty chicken (and its crisp coating)? It’s fried in rice flour!
Gluten-free pizza at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
The kitchen takes gluten-free dining very seriously in this North Beach outpost serving some of the city’s best pizza: The gluten-free pizza they offer is cooked in a separate oven. The dough (which uses rice and tapioca flours, potato starch, and a binding agent) is a favorite among many local celiacs: Chef Tony Gemignani uses egg whites to give it a fluffier texture, agave nectar to sweeten it, and rosemary and thyme to season it. You can also get gluten-free breadsticks and gluten-free pasta, too.
Injera at Moya
This popular SoMa lunchtime spot (which is also open for dinner) has a homey Ethiopian menu with a variety of savory vegetable dishes, spicy steak tartare, and two chicken options. If you're game, you’ll be eating with your hands, and your primary utensil is the spongy injera bread. Gluten-free folks will want to request the version made with teff.
Pasta at Bacco
Craving Italian? This place has you covered, from housemade gluten-free bread (with your own dipping sauce to avoid cross-contamination) to gluten-free meatballs, plus there are a variety of gluten-free pasta options, including ravioli and rigatoni. Buon appetito!
Are there other local places you recommend for gluten-free dining, like Minako, Pica Pica, and more? Please share in the comments below!