2015’s Best Gluten-Free Triangle Restaurants
Huffington Post reports in a poll done by food delivery website Grub Hub, that Raleigh ranks #6 for patrons placing gluten-free orders. Dining in, taking out–however they’re getting it, gluten-free has come a long way in the Triangle.
In just the two years since I sliced the 10 Best Gluten-free Restaurants in the Triangle, the push to provide tasty, safe food has grown tremendously.
To that end, everybody and their sister has caught onto the gluten-free food trend, though not everyone can deliver–pun. Some of the trendier locales and chains boasting gluten-free fare didn’t make my list. They either made significant gaffs in cross-contamination, weren’t as gluten-free as they looked on paper, or didn’t do such a great job keeping it tasty.
My criteria for gauging the best?
Well, I’ve been gluten-free for over 15 years, and I prepare almost everything I eat, myself. When I eat out, it needs to be good, and it needs not to make me sick.
Also in mind when I dine out are both staff and management’s knowledge of gluten concerns, actual service and presentation of food (cross-contamination), and native food options on the menu, and flexibility in customizing dishes.
Granted, varying degrees of exposure affect us all differently. Because I had no ill effects from a meal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed with caution. Foods aren’t exactly the same one plate to the next.
Finally, eateries named in my previous 10 Best article still remain on my “top list”, though there was a notable loss. Fuquay gluten-phobes still mourn the demise of Daniel’s on Main, though Apex continues to enjoy the best gluten-free Italian pasta dishes in the Triangle at Daniel’s Restaurant & Catering.
Here are my top picks for 2015’s Best Gluten-Free Triangle Restaurants:
Totopos is a newcomer on the Cary scene, boasting food truck eats the way of Mexico City. Most of the menu is gluten-free, though between the ceviches and steak fajitas look no further. I do grieve, however, that the carnitas contain beer.
Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh is an eclectic organic food experience. Quinoa Salad and Chile Relleno are yummy regulars on the menu. Inquire about seasonal options and modifications.
If you want gluten-free pizza, I maintain also, that Anna’s Pizzeria in Fuquay is the best. Yes, I’ve tried all of those other places, especially the one who say theirs is so good they sell it in grocery chains. Save yourself the time and money, and just go to Anna’s.
Hidden in Angier is Filipino Cuisine, the best Filipino food to be found in the region. While the menu doesn’t indicate gluten-free options, the staff is prepared to help patrons make informed choices. The Chicken Adobo and rice noodles are wonderful. Adjoining the restaurant is Bitter Melon Asian Market.
Another new restaurant on the scene is Kumo Sushi Hibachi, in Fuquay-Varina. Focused on fresh Japanese cuisine, the staff can inform on menu items, and offer adjustments where available. The sushi is fresh and offers a few combinations that I haven’t seen in other area restaurants, including sweet potato and lobster, and tuna, cream cheese, and mango.
For the last couple of years, Sitti in Raleigh has lit an otherwise ho-hum downtown restaurant scene. Their menu brings authentic Lebanese food to gourmet heights, with many menu options naturally gluten-free. The Goat Cheese & Orange Salad and kabobs are delicious.
Nara, Japanese Steak, Seafood, & Sushi House in Holly Springs can prepare some dishes with gluten-free soy sauce, and point out delectable, safe sushi bites. The Sakura Special Roll is particularly yummy, as is the sashimi.
City Barbeque in Cary does a good job of providing gluten-free fare, in a food genre usually laden with unsafe sauces. All of the meats on the menu are gluten-free, though their allergen information indicates that the sauces they use are produced in facilities that may process wheat ingredients. That said, the Beef Brisket is tasty, as is the Chicken on the Bone. Mashed potatoes, slaw, green beans, and baked beans are also worthy safe sides.
On my visit, Raleigh’s Tupelo Honey remedied some cross-contamination slip-ups in service, though the food, itself, was inspired. The menu notes gluten-free options, and among the most divine are the Shoo Mercy Shrimp & Grist (with chorizo) and the Benne Coated Asparagus.
Sunflowers Cafe in Raleigh offers a range of deli sandwiches, with the option of gluten-free bread. The Reuben and Cran – Brie – Licious are particularly worthy.
Finally, a German restaurant that serves gluten-free entrées. Who knew? Cary’s German Grille does a fabulous job creating classics like schnitzel, Kasseler Rippchen, and pork wursts. The Wiener Schnitzel with red cabbage and lumpy potatoes hit the spot, next time you’re bock haben.
- Food Simply Fresh, outside Raleigh. Private chef and caterer, Kelly DeLaire, provides healthy and delicious GMO-free and organic meals.
- Simply Crepes, Raleigh. Substitute a buckwheat crepe for $1 extra and try anything on the menu!
- Cowfish, Raleigh. Sushi and burgers? That’s right. Inquire about a gluten-free bun (an extra $0.50) to enjoy this fresh take on surf and turf.
- Moonflour Bakery, various baked good available at eateries throughout the Triangle.
- Mediterranean Deli, Chapel Hill. The only gluten-free pita bread you’ll ever need.