Gluten-free eating used to mean you had to order a salad while dining out with pals. But not anymore. In San Diego, restaurants have stepped up their wheat-free game, serving up drool-worthy options for every meal of the day.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, healthy meal, or decadent dessert, America’s Finest City has you covered. Here are the best gluten-free spots in San Diego that you—and your gluten-loving friends—will love.
With three locations in town, this spot is on a mission to serve up simple, healthy, and gluten-free eats that will have you coming back for more. Luckily, gluten-free doesn’t mean bread-free (phew!). Get your carb fix with The Mission’s homemade gluten-free cinnamon or rosemary bread, served fresh. A tip? Sample the cinnamon bread in all its glory with an order of the French Toast. The sweet dish is topped with blueberries, berry puree, and powdered sugar — a cheat day masterpiece. Watching your waistline? Go for the Power Plato breakfast, jam-packed with local farm fresh egg whites, chicken apple sausage, and black beans.
Civico 1845 offers a fresh and health-conscious spin on Italian classics. And with a vegan menu (filled with gluten-free options), you can now enjoy a plate of light and healthy authentic Italian — who knew there was such a thing? If you’re in the mood for something traditional, order the Melanzana Alla Parmigiana, a clean version of Eggplant Parmesan. Really, everything at the Little Italy mainstay is made from scratch, full of flavor and amore, so you can’t go wrong. Snag a spot on the north end of the patio to enjoy an ocean view while enjoying a glass of wine from their impressive Southern Italy collection. Salute!
Del Mar Rendezvous
It’s a fact that eating a safe gluten-free Chinese meal is tricky with the wheat-containing soy sauce used in almost every dish. But Del Mar Rendezvous makes it a cinch with both a gluten-free and vegan menu. Choose from over 40 dishes including Hot & Sour Soup, Shrimp Pad Thai, and Sauteed Tofu (sourced from San Diego Soy Dairy). Rendezvous with friends on the outdoor patio to enjoy people-watching along Camino Del Mar and a glimpse of the ocean, just a short walk away.
Duck Foot Brewery
If you thought searching for gluten-free food was tough, try finding gluten-free beer. Luckily in San Diego, we have dozens of breweries churning out inventive brew safe for your belly. Enter: Miramar’s Duck Foot Brewing Company. The team uses a natural enzyme to break down the proteins in gluten, making it digestible and safe for those with gluten-sensitivity, including Duck Foot’s founder. We know what you’re thinking, but the enzyme is flavorless and odorless, so it doesn’t affect the taste of the beer. Cheers to that!
BO-Beau’s Brussels sprouts are legendary. Charred in their stone oven and covered in balsamic vinegar, parmesan, and crispy pancetta, the popular appetizer is fit for sharing. But the beautiful (beau, in French) rustic spot in Ocean Beach offers more than vegetables for gluten-free diners. From Moules Lobster Bisque to Seared Pork Chop, French comfort food never tasted so good. Fitt Tip: grab a date and stop in on Tuesdays for a “Cheap Date Night for Two” — a bottle of wine and two entrees for $39.
Everything at the Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo cozy cafes and bakeries is made corn-, gluten-, and soy-free. The cafe menu features everything from omelets to rice pastas to savory pies and pizzas. Craving something sweet? The bakery counter has an assortment of fresh bread, cookies, cakes, and more. 2Good2B is a safe haven for celiacs and chocolate-lovers who want a gooey chocolate ganache cupcake (cheat day, obviously).