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Published December 12, 2013

10 Best Gluten-free Restaurants in the Triangle

Relatives in town for the holidays and one of them is gluten free? Instead of jumping hurdles to prepare a gluten-free meal, take them out! Maybe you’re holiday-partied out, and a safe, gluten-free meal in the Triangle would hit the spot?

Here are my top 10 picks for best gluten-free restaurants in the Triangle:

 

Daniel’s Restaurant & Catering (Apex)
Daniel’s on Main (Fuuay Varina)

Substitute in a Gluten-free crust!
Substitute in a Gluten-free crust!

They point you to gluten free options on their Italian and Mediterranean menu, and they understand the precautions and preparation of gluten free foods.

Daniel’s offers gluten-free pasta and pizza crust, and is open to customizing a safe dish, just for you! They don’t often have gluten-free desserts, though if you read on, I’ve got you covered there!

 

Red Robin (Five Triangle locations)

Not exactly the coziest place to dine out, though they are incredibly astute to food allergies and intolerances, and they have great burgers. You can count on their attentiveness to food prep, as they were among the first chain restaurants to provide strict safe handling for food sensitives, and a fully customized gluten-free menu. Among their modifications for gluten-phobes is the option of no bun, a lettuce wrap, or a gluten free bun made by French Meadow Bakery.

10 Best Gluten-free Restaurants in the Triangle - Red Robin Gluten free bun
Delish burgers with Gluten-free buns!
RELATED: Nine Ways to Help Gluten-Free Folk Enjoy the Holidays Safely.

P. F. Chang’s China Bistro (Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, and Durham)

One of the hardest things for me to give up after going gluten-free was soy sauce. Thanks to P. F. Chang’s, I don’t have to worry about it! Not only do they offer a full gluten-free menu with classic Asian faves, like Pepper Steak and Fried Rice, they also offer rice noodle and quinoa dishes. I can even stay for dessert, and enjoy their Flourless Chocolate Dome, a sinfully rich treat smothered in raspberry sauce!

Stir fried awesomeness!
Stir fried Gluten-free awesomeness!

 

Pei Wei Asian Diner (Two locations in Raleigh, and one in Cary)

The faster little brother of P. F. Changs’, it’s worth mentioning in its own right. While the menu is limited, if you are craving a more down and dirty takeout approach to Asian food, their crisp Pei Wei Spicy Chicken or Shrimp is wonderful. They have several gluten-free options, though their menu changes. Inquire about their current offerings before ordering, and do specify that you need the gluten-free version.

Jackpot! Gluten-free deliciousness!
Jackpot! Gluten-free deliciousness!

 

Zayka Indian Cuisine (Brier Creek)

While they do not have a specific gluten-free menu, they are knowledgeable about their ingredients, and are gluten-free friendly. Did I mention their food is delicious? Pakoras, curries, tanrodi, and biryanis are tasty and safe, and they offer several desserts to tempt your sweet tooth.

Gluten-Free Friendly Indian Restaurant.. yes!
Gluten-free Friendly Indian Restaurant.. yes!
RELATED: 2015’s Best Gluten-Free Triangle Restaurants!

Moe’s Southwest Grill (Two locations in Cary)

If you want quick dine-in or take-home southwestern food that is free of trans fats, hormones, msg, steroids, and you guessed it–gluten-free! Their menu boasts over 20 gluten-free items, including freshly prepared chicken, beef, pork, tofu, and fish, on soft corn tortillas, over lettuce or rice, with the fixins.

Mild to Wild.. and Gluten-free!
Mild to Wild.. and Gluten-free!

 

Mellow Mushroom (Raleigh and Cary)

Specializing in fresh pizza, Mellow Mushroom offers tasty pies, on safe, gluten-free crusts. Choose from several of their Specialty Pies, or create your own, from a long list of approved ingredients. And if you can’t pass up a good brew to wash it all down, they have a selection of gluten-free beers, as well.

10 Best Gluten-free Restaurants in the Triangle - Mellow Mushroom
The Mellow Mushroom has rolled out their own new Gluten-free pizzas!

 

Jason’s Deli (Two locations in Raleigh, One in Cary)

If you’re taste is more along the lines of tried-and-true Americana, Jason’s Deli has a full menu of soups, salads, enormous stuffed potatoes, and sandwiches to please gluten-sensitives. Do note that while you can remove bread from any order to stay safe, it costs extra to substitute gluten-free bread.

Jason's Deli Gluten Free Sandwich. "om nom nom"
Jason’s Deli Gluten-free Sandwich. “om nom nom”

 

And for after dinner:

 

Sugar Buzz Bakery & Cafe (Saltbox Village in Cary)

Gluten-free flour blend!
Gluten-free flour blend!

Best Red Velvet Cake you’ve ever put in your mouth. I swear, it was like eating a svelte Oreo. This bakery has the biggest range of gluten-free baked goods that I’m aware of in the Triangle, and they are wonderful. They blend their own flour (which doesn’t contain gums, and they also sell it), and can inform you of its exact contents. They host Gluten-free Friday, a bounty of safe cupcakes, cookies, bars, cakes, and whatever other amazing treat they can think of. Along with the Red Velvet Cake, my faves are the Apple Almond Cake, and Peanutbutter Cookies.

 

CupCakeBite (Fuquay Varina)

10 Best Gluten-free Restaurants in the Triangle - CupCakeBiteBelieve it or not, one of the hardest gluten-free pastries to prepare is a vanilla cake, plain and simple, and CupcakeBite has got it down.

They regularly have Gluten-free Mocha Cupcakes, and offer other flavors available for custom order.

They also frequently have French Macarons in various flavors (Pumpkin is divine!), a range of cookies, and the best Peanutbutter and Jelly Bar you’ve ever had, for gluten-safe treats.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

So there you go. Lots of options for yummy and safe gluten-free tasting around the Triangle.

 

Tips for dining out gluten-free:

  1. Plan ahead. Most restaurants aren’t listed in gluten-safe registries yet, so you will have to research them on your own.
  2. Call ahead. It’s easier to rule out unsafe establishments before you’re hungry.
  3. Always inform the wait staff that you have a gluten intolerance.
  4. If possible, make a reservation so that you have plenty of time to ask about safe menu items.
  5. Ask questions. Sometimes ingredients aren’t obvious in food descriptions, while other dishes that seem unsafe can be healthily modified.
  6. Where possible, speak directly to the chef. The staff may be informed, but the chef is the one who knows.
  7. When in doubt, go without. If the chef can’t inform you about an item or you don’t feel safe with the information provided, skip it.
  8. Generally speaking, avoid fast food. The ingredients aren’t as easily identifiable, staff are less informed about the menu, and allergen-free prep areas are not likely.
  9. Add your favorite gluten-free restaurants to gluten-safe registries.

 

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  • Kelley Harrell

    Kelley

  • Kelley Harrell is a bestselling author, rune reader, and modern shaman in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. A lifelong intuitive, she has worked with a local and international client base since 2000. Find her blog, Intentional Insights, at Soul Intent Arts. All my articles.

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