Gluten-Free Restaurants in Austin, Texas
Gluten-Free Eats in the ATX
Hi everyone! I made a list of our favorite gluten-free restaurants in Austin, Texas. It’s really nice to live in a city with so many options!
I’m super sensitive to cross-contamination so gluten friendly or gluten free-ish places didn’t really work for me. But lately I’ve been impressed with how knowledgeable chefs and staff are and how easy it is to safely eat out. And so many 100% gluten-free kitchens are popping up.
Sometimes we’ve had to sit down with a manager and talk to them about food preparation and potential cross-contamination. We had a great experience at Kerbey Lane and many different restaurants around town that aren’t necessarily thought of as gluten-free restaurants.
Whereas we probably ate at PF Chang’s in The Woodlands fifteen times before I got gluten-ed really bad.
Every restaurant is unique even if it is part of a chain well known for gluten-free options. And when a new restaurant opens the dedicated fryer might start out gluten-free but then get contaminated, suppliers may change, chefs may change.
It is a learning process for everyone.
I feel safest when the server asks if I need to eat gluten-free for my diet or because of celiac disease. Then I know that they understand the difference. And they will try to reduce cross-contamination and keep it safe for my level of sensitivity.
It has been pretty incredible as I’ve started to eat out more often in this town. It’s so exciting to have so many options and an ever-growing list of gluten-free restaurants!
Alamo Draft House
Although it is a movie theater and not a restaurant, they do have a gluten-free menu. It’s so fun to catch a movie, eat and drink here. I usually order the Once Upon a Time in Mexico Salad + Flat Iron Steak (South Lamar location). The popcorn with clarified butter is pretty great, too.
Black Walnut Cafe
We discovered the Black Walnut Cafe when we lived in Houston. It’s one of those places that has something everyone will like so we went with family several times and met up with friends. I haven’t been to the one in Austin yet but plan on trying it out next time we are up on the North side.
They have an updated gluten-friendly menu. They also have a nice toasted gluten-free bread they offer. There is not a dedicated fryer so avoid fried foods. When you place your order at the register make sure to tell them about your food allergies and restrictions.
This place is so cool. Huge bar, live music, games, great pub food. Our server was so knowledgable about dietary allergies and restrictions, too. There are things you can eat here that are gluten-free. I went with antipasti and goat cheese and it was awesome. Seems like a perfect place to watch the Horns play, too.
District Kitchen + Cocktails
This is probably one of our favorite gluten-free restaurants in Austin. The menus change seasonally and are sourced from local farms and vendors. All gluten-free dishes have a little “gf” next to them on the menu. We first went for Sunday Funday happy hour on the dog-friendly patio. We had fabulous margaritas with house made Triple Sec and some tasty apps. They have a great wine list and specialty drinks, too.
We really like the Moroccan lamb kabobs (no bread for gluten-free) and street tacos. The bison burgers are fantastic. Salads are amazing! The servers are super knowledgeable and fun and the food is consistently good.
They have an extensive, expensive and delicious gluten-free menu at Fleming’s. We’ve been a few times and enjoyed our dinners. I had a steak, of course.
Hot dogs, cold beer! And waffle fries! German potato salad, too. There are lots of gluten-free options here and very knowledgable, friendly and helpful servers. The fries are cooked in a dedicated fryer and were so good dipped in Frank Sauce (they have several gluten-free sauces). They have recently relocated from downtown to the Drag so make sure to ask about the gluten-free options at the new location.
I’ve had the Texalina artisan sausage served on an Udi’s bun. The manager helped me create a GF, DF sausage board with the Jackalope, Fico and Texalina housemade sausages. So fun and really awesome, unique sausages. They also have a few gluten-free beers, but we opted for the Miss Margaret (vodka, blueberry basil syrup, peach puree, soda) since it won first place in Tito’s Vodka National Contest!
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
I’ve read some bad reviews from people who were gluten-ed here, but I’ve had several meals there safely (salads and green chile pork tacos). The reviews make it seem like the servers are not well trained when it comes to what is and is not gluten-free but that may have gotten better. They now have a menu for gluten intolerance patrons, but do not guarantee cooking techniques or utensils free from cross-contamination. So it is definitely dicey for people with celiac disease but they do have a fun bar and atmosphere.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
So Kerbey Lane has a gluten free-ish guide to their menu. Some of the items on the menu can be made gluten-free, but I was really worried about cross-contamination because they make a lot of pancakes. One night we were literally driving in circles trying to figure out where to eat because I was really craving was a burger. So we decided to try it out.
The manager was so nice and sat down with me and discussed how the Black Angus Bacon Burger was prepared. He assured me that he would personally clean off an area of the stainless steel flat top in the back section. The bun is individually wrapped (one of the best gluten-free buns I’ve tried so far). Everything was cooked in the cleaned area. I couldn’t order fries because there is not a dedicated fryer, but the garlic mashed potatoes come in sealed containers.
Serving up dope Chinese food on the East side, Old Thousand is a super cute spot with lots of gluten-free options on the menu.
Outback has a great gluten-free menu with lots of options, too. Since it is a popular chain, it can be a safe and easy place to go when travelling. We’ve been so many times in many different places and were never been disappointed or gluten-ed. The gluten-free menu even lists directions to help you order safely. I usually get a Sirloin Steak, Steamed Veggies and a Baked Potato (no cheese, sour cream or butter for dairy free), Grilled Chicken on the Barbie or the Alice Springs Chicken (no cheese for DF).
The Peached Tortilla
The super popular Peached Tortilla food truck now also has a brick and mortar location on Burnet. This original concept combines Southern comfort food with an Asian flair. The gluten-free offerings are clearly marked on the menu.
Some of the GF dishes are Asian pear miso salad, charred brussels with bacon jam (amazing!), BBQ brisket tacos served with creamy apple slaw and smoky roasted peach BBQ sauce (awesome!), the crispy umami chicken wings, and cauliflower three ways with nori butter. On Taco Tuesday, the tacos are $4 and margs are $5.
Pho Thai Son Vietnamese Cuisine
I was craving beef pho so I looked around for a place that served takeout close by and came across the menu for Pho Thai Son, which clearly marks foods that are gluten-free. And there are a lot of gluten-free options on the menu. We ordered takeout from the Southpark Meadows location and the broth was nice and hot. The rest of the stuff came in a separate container to be assembled at home. I’m in no way an expert on Vietnamese cuisine but I thought it was pretty good.
The Shady Grove
Shady Grove is another Austin place we’ve been going to since our college days. There is a huge patio outside and free live music on Thursday nights (starting in April). They do have a gluten-free menu in the restaurant with a cross-contamination disclaimer. I try to find things to eat with the least possibility of contamination (usually a salad and grilled meat if the meat is cooked on a clean non-porous surface) and talk to the server.
South Congress Cafe
We’ve been to South Congress Cafe about five times so far for dinner (still haven’t made it to the very popular brunch) and I’ve never been gluten-ed. The menu is always changing so do a little research online and talk to your server about your GF options. They have some amazing specialty drinks and wine, too.
Another one of our regular rotation gluten-free restaurants. Love the food here. I die for the Pad Thai with beef! Most of the menu is gluten-free and they have an entirely gluten-free bakery. They make vegan ice cream with some pretty interesting flavors. You can order online and there is even an app you can download onto your phone to order takeout then swing by to pick it up. Cooking classes and catering are also available.
True Food Kitchen
We finally made it to True Food Kitchen during Austin Restaurant Weeks and got to try a few of the dishes. The food is super clean and really delicious. Between us we tried six different dishes including desserts. I loved that there were so many gluten-free and dairy-free options. They have this vegan coconut lime yogurt to replace sour cream, which is fantastic. And vegan ice cream. I have to say my two favorite dishes were the charred cauliflower appetizer and the strawberry rhubarb crumble. The menu changes seasonally so there is always something new.
I really like this place, too. It’s a diner and open late night. I love the hash – probably the best I’ve had so far in this town. Perfect potatoes, jalapeños, sausage, bacon and medium eggs for me because I don’t like runny raw eggs. They have a gluten-free menu with tons of options and servers know to ask if it is dietary or celiac disease for cross-contamination purposes.
Wilder Wood Restaurant & Bar
This restaurant serves a combo of Mexican and American dishes and it is a 100% gluten-free kitchen! They serve lots of fried goodies, too! Starters like hand-cut onion rings, calamari and super nachos or entrees like chicken fried steak and country fried chicken. They have street tacos, fajitas and enchiladas. Salads. But I was really drawn to the burgers and hand cut fries because I also have to avoid cow’s milk dairy (i.e buttermilk).
You don’t get to eat fries many places because they share the fryer with other items that contain gluten. But the fries here are safe and were delicious. The black Angus beef burger was really good, too. Honestly the bun was one of the better gluten-free hamburger buns I’ve tried. We’ll be frequenting this place because there are so many things I want to try now.
My MIL really likes to have dinners here. They do have a limited gluten-free menu, mostly salads and grilled fish, chicken or steak. I usually order a salad with a vinaigrette dressing like the Z’ Salad or Smoked Chicken & Black Bean Salad (without cheese for dairy-free). They serve fun specialty drinks here, too.
Mexican, Tex-Mex & Tacos
This is another one of our favorite gluten-free restaurants in town. It is absolutely delicious modern Mexican food and a 100% gluten-free kitchen. The corn tortillas are hand made from heirloom varieties of corn grown by small family farms in Mexico (non-GMO) and really wonderful. Everything was so fresh and elegant.
I highly recommend the salsa sampler, guacamole, verduras (brussels sprouts, verde chorizo, green mole), smashed papas bravas (smoked chili aioli, fried herbs, lime), and the barbacoa beef short rib (sooooo gooood). It’s a little pricey but worth it. Valet parking is available, which is always nice downtown. They also have a daily happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 with a changing menu – the tamale and empanadas are a must try!
We were told that there are lots of gluten-free options on the menu and that the wood grilled chicken is awesome. So we tried it out and it quickly became one of our favorite places, too! They have two locations in Austin. The South First location has a take out window, beautiful patio and a bar. Stick to the corn tortillas for gluten-free. The chips are outsourced and we still aren’t sure if they are celiac safe so I just enjoy the guac with corn tortillas. The chimichurri skirt steak and grilled achiote & citrus chicken dinners are the bomb!
Gloria’s serves Latin cuisine. We’ve been to the one at the Domain and many times and to the one in Dallas. I love the hand made tamales wrapped and steamed in banana leaves, gently spiced and stuffed with chicken, potatoes and bell pepper. Plus they have really great black beans and rice. I don’t think the chips are safe and may be fried with other gluten/flour foods (no dedicated fryer). Talk to the server about what else is safe – I think there are a few other items listed on a gluten-free guide to the menu. Love the margaritas!
This space is so eclectic and pretty. The frozen margaritas are really, really strong. This is the prickly pear fro mo (frozen margarita). I love suggesting this place to friends when they are in town. Everybody has such a great time. The menu doesn’t specify gluten-free dishes but there are several gluten-free options. The chips do not have a dedicated fryer. But the corn tortillas are gluten-free and awesome. If you let them know, they will bring them wrapped in foil instead of in the tortilla warmer that may be cross-contaminated from the flour tortillas. I absolutely love the picadillo tacos with Jacoby aged ground beef. It’s a good idea to make reservations for dinner because this place is pretty popular.
Guero’s Taco Bar
Guero’s has a nice gluten-free menu, but I have not actually eaten inside the restaurant yet. We went to watch a band play in the patio area on a Sunday. The chips and salsa were safe. So it was more of a fun activity than a dining experience. But the menu looks good.
So Lupe Tortilla is another one of our favorite Tex-Mex places. Almost everything is gluten-free, including the tortilla chips (they do have a dedicated fryer). The menu has a little wheat symbol next to menu items that contain wheat or flour and are not gluten-free. They have great skinny margaritas, frozen and regular margaritas, too.
Some of my dinner favorites are the Lime Pepper Beef Fajitas (with corn tortillas – NOT flour), Carne Asada (it’s lime marinated beef fajita steak – basically the fajita meat with rice and beans only), Barbacoa Tacos (no queso fresco) and the Soft Tacos with Seasoned Beef (no cheese). The fresh guacamole is wonderful.
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
Manuel’s has great Mexican food and offers several gluten-free choices. Every time I’ve been, the server was very knowledgeable about gluten free options. The fryers are not dedicated to only GF cooking so pass on anything fried. But the tortilla chips come from El Milagro so they are safe and non-GMO.
Maudie’s Tex Mex
Maudie’s is another favorite spot for Tex-Mex and margaritas. The menu is marked with gluten-free items and those that can be made gluten-free.
There is not a dedicated fryer, but they will bring you gluten-free tortilla chips in a plastic bag. However, they are quick to bring you the other chips so don’t eat those. You need to ask for the GF chips. Some of my favorite dishes are the Carnitas Tacos, Seasoned Beef Soft Tacos, Beef Lover’s Enchiladas (no cheese) and Skinny Sheryl’s. Also FYI, the guacamole has a little sour cream in it so it is NOT dairy free.
Although the dinner menu isn’t marked as gluten-free, most of the options are safe and the staff is knowledgeable. They make homemade masa tortillas from corn, which are divine. Pictured here are the Suadero tacos with confit brisket, black magic oil and avocado salsa crude. One of a kind and super delicious!
We also tried the goat barbacoa, grilled sweet papas, and roasted broccoli with broccoli almond mole, mustard seed and tarragon. All of it was so good. Steer clear of the ceviche (contains soy sauce) and dessert.
The tacos are damn good and they have a gluten conscious menu. So these are gluten-free items they serve. But there is a disclaimer that cross-contamination is possible because of a shared kitchen. I personally have not felt gluten-ed after eating there.
The corn tortilla chips are safe at some locations (make sure to ask if they have a dedicated fryer). They have many locations around Austin, including Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. Be careful with to-go orders though, check the food. For instance, the he portobello mushroom in The Independent should NOT be breaded.
We finally got to try a full plate of the amazing BBQ at Franklin when I won tickets to the Hot Luck Festival. It was so good. Everything is gluten-free except the bread and dark BBQ sauce.
Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue
Located downtown, Lambert’s has many items on the menu besides barbecue that are gluten-free. Although not marked on the menu, the staff is very knowledgeable as to what is safe for the celiac. Don’t miss out on the spicy deviled eggs with smoked trout roe, olives and pickles. You can also catch live music upstairs on the weekends, too.
Everything is gluten-free at the Salt Lick except the bread and dessert. Usually we make the trip out there (Driftwood, TX) for special events or when friends come to town. But now we live a little too close because we’ve been driving out there on a weeknight just for dinner. It’s so good. Check out that beautiful meat pit.
You can order family style, which is all-you-can-eat ($25 per person), or by a variety of different meat combos per plate ($15-18 per person). Each plate comes with a lot of beans, potato salad and coleslaw (sometimes I have leftovers, sometimes I can eat the whole plate…). Remember it’s cash only at the Driftwood location (they do have an ATM) and it’s BYOB. They also have a lovely wine tasting area and sell beer and wine now, too.
Texas Monthly BBQ Fest
Although we haven’t been to the gluten-free restaurants themselves, we did get to try lots of GF deliciousness from these BBQ joints at the Texas Monthy BBQ Fest held here in Austin.
Cranky Frank’s BBQ in Fredericksburg (he told me the meat and sauce were gluten free)
Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas (all meat except sausage is gluten free)
So cheers y’all! I hope this helps you find safe and fun places to eat out gluten-free in and around Austin.
The To Do List
Chi’lantro – They have cheat sheets for GF items on menu
Darna – Moroccan & Mediterranean Cuisine
Hopdoddy Burger Bar – Gluten-free buns available
Loro – I’m not sure if they have any gluten-free dishes yet but I really want to find out.
Mighty Fine Burgers – Gluten-free buns available, not sure about prep or fries
Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar – Sister restaurant of District Kitchen & Cocktails
Odd Duck – The menu is always changing depending on what is local and seasonal but they have a solid track record for gluten-free dining.
Picnik Austin – The menu is 100% gluten, corn, soy and peanut free
Ramen Tatsu-Ya – Ramen noodles are wheat based so not gluten-free, but they may be able to use rice noodles instead and GF soy sauce.
Red Robin – Burgers can be ordered on a gluten-free bun & fries might be available from a dedicated fryer.
Thai Spice – Catering is also available
Vera Cruz All Natural
Wild Chix & Waffles – Will be a 100% gluten-free kitchen Dec. 11, 2018
Wild Wood Bakehouse – 100% gluten-free kitchen