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  • Writer's pictureLiisa Lee


For folks trying to live and enjoy gluten-free, dining out can be a confusing and frustrating adventure. The options on menus have come a long way since the 2000's and now it's become easier again, to have a great meal in and around LA.

Here are some of my favorite restaurants and quick service spots. And doughnuts, did I mention the doughnuts?

Sidecar Donuts - Santa Monica & The Grove - The best doughnuts I've ever tasted. (Krispy Kreme, I miss you) Their weekly gf flavors are all insanely great. My fave? The Butter & Salt. It's almost naughty it's so good. The coffee is also delicious! There's an app and they offer coupons often

Donut Friend - Los Feliz - They have a gf base donut, and you can add your own topping choices from the toppings bar The. Toppings. Bar. The donuts have fun names and unique flavors. They also serve ice cream and coffee. And coupons!

Yummy Cupcakes - Burbank - The best cupcakes in LA. For real. Great folks, great flavors, and seriously the best crumb of any bakes I've ever had. Yes, better than Sprinkles and SusieCakes. Vegan options too.

Naples - DisneyLand Resort - Downtown Disney - Great gf pasta and pizza. The salads and appetizers are lovely and the outdoor bar & patio areas are nice ambience. Cin cin. Carthay Circle - This gorgeous golden era of Hollywood spot is the best ambiance in the parks. Best cocktails and most fun and gracious staff at the lounge and dining upstairs. This is the sister restaurant to Napa Rose inside the Grand Californian, same chef, different menus. My favorite lunch bites are the various rolls on the lounge menu (the Thai chicken roll is delicious) and a Sparkling Mare to drink. Tip: If you have dinner on the upstairs balcony at the right hour, you can savor dessert while you watch the fireworks. Napa Rose - Award winner. This is my favorite menu and dining in the parks. Seasonal wine country fare that's always fantastic. Described as relaxed and refined, I love eating by the fireplace in the lounge, as well as the dining room. Cocktail and wine menus are wonderful and the desserts are magic. Take a peek in the glass walled decanting room, and there are dining alcoves as well.

Mandarette Chinese Cafe - Incredible food and great folks. When was the last time you had gluten-free sweet and sour shrimp? It's all fantastic and I can't tell you how much I love that they've taken these recipes and made them gluten-free. Excellent food.

Inn of the Seventh Ray - This spot is magical. From the indoor, outdoor ambience, the wonderful menu and views, it's an entire experience. Everything gf is marked on the menu and everything is wonderful.

Mr. Chow - Order selectively and tell your wait staff and they're more than accommodating. This is a favorite spot for many reasons, not least of which is, one evening I gave the menu back and said, "bring us what's wonderful". And they did. The pea shoots were amazing.

Settebello - Pasadena - Really fantastic gf pizzas, with a whole dedicated section on the menu. Really nice folks and a cool atmosphere. Va benne! “The pizza at Settebello is closer to real Naples pizza than any place that has ever existed in Los Angeles”

Jonathon Gold- LA Times

Yardbird - Gluten-free fried chicken. Let me rephrase. Excellent fried chicken that happens to be gluten-free. Go getcha some.

Mendocino Farms - Such killer sandwiches and gluten-free bread. Tuan melts, veggie stacks.. and on and on. It's a fun vibe and a great lunch stop. (also next to sidecar Doughnuts at the Santa Monica location - win win!)

BreadBlok - Gorgeous artisan bread and pastry and coffee. The chestnut loaf was a gorgeous peasant round with an amazing bite. I have to try them all. I've not had real gluten-free loaves like this anywhere else. The coffee was gorgeous and staff were really nice. Vibe is lovely. It's a bit spendy. $$ Locations in Santa Monica, Silverlake

Jinky's - Studio City - Sherman Oaks - Gluten free pancakes and waffles. Good old, down home diner food. Brunch is fun and the rest of the food is great.

The Waffle - Hollywood - Gorgeous gluten free waffles. WAFFLES. I love the retro diner vibe and all the food is great. If you haven't been, definitely hit this spot. Yes, that logo is a hat tip to Waffle House. <3

Story Tavern - Burbank - Really Great gf burgers, reubens, mac and cheese, meatloaf, etc. Did I mention the gf Mac & cheese burger? (Bonus: The grilled burgers make it smell like JG Melon in here... ah, NYC, I miss you)

Burger Lounge - Sherman Oaks - The gf bun is great on some really delicious burgers. (yes, better gf bun than The Counter)

Panini Kabob Grill - My favorite kabob house in LA. A great Beverly Hills old school locals spot. Really laid back, friendly, and delicious food. A little airy, a little retro, It reminds me of New York City so much, in the best way.

Rodini Park - Gluten free shawarma and pita?! Yes! Biting into a fresh, warm gluten-free pita filled with shawarma is a delight I'd missed for so many years. Great gluten-free desserts in the case as well. Specials each day of the week.

Vromage - Hollywood - Glorious vegan cheese and food shop. The gluten free bread is delicious and the gent who owns and makes everything is a wonderful chap. Worth every penny. Check out his insta! Salt & Straw - Studio City - DownTown Disney , etc - Gorgeous and different ice cream flavors. So so good. Simply the very best ice cream I've ever had. Kayla's Cake - Disneyland Resort and Downtown Disney - Macarons! The best most lovely, delicious, wonderful macarons in and around the parks. Do yourself a favor and get a few of these beauties. My favorites are the creme brullee, mocha, and the Galaxy's Edge salted caramel. There are edible unicorns. And glitter. There's now a shop in Fullerton, too.

These are the best delivery pies I've had in town so far. A lot of options I haven't tried yet.

Hugo's - Studio City - Hit and miss gf options here, but I'm glad they have them. Gluten free hollandaise for the gf eggs benedict is kind of worth the price, but the muffins are thin and hard. The fried gf cinnamon sticky buns are ridiculously good. A huge portion. Everyone there is really nice, menu is super accommodating and there are a ton of healthy vegan/ dietary options.

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