Gluten-Free at the Austin Trail of Lights 2018 #AFBAHH #atxlights

Gluten-Free at the Austin Trail of Lights 2018

The Austin Trail of Lights 

I’ve always loved the Austin Trail of Lights, but this year was extra special.  I’m a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and we enjoyed our December happy hour hosted by the Austin Trail of Lights.  They were so wonderful to us!  And it was super fun to hang out with the nicest people and fellow food bloggers.

I have to say I was blown away by how much bigger the Trail of Lights event is now.  There is so much more to do.

When Brett and I went on one of our first dates back in 2007 (when Austin was way less crowded), we basically just took a nice stroll around the trail and that was it.  And we’ve gone back several times over the years.  But this year was really different.

There are even more displays and installations, several bars and food trucks along the trail, the ZIP Lounge and tent, live stage events, workshops and even a new holiday market with local venders selling unique holiday gifts.  

There is a pretty cool new mirror installation where the lights reflect off of the mirrors arranged in a circle near the Kringle’s Kantina Bar.   

You can even buy s’more making kits at the holiday market and then roast marshmallows at the Yule Log in Zilker Village.

For the Austin Food Blogger Alliance Happy Hour we were given the ZIP Fast Passes and it really did make everything so convenient.  You get early access to the trail an hour before it is open to the public.

There is an exclusive entrance and you end the trail at the ZIP Lounge (with a private bar next to the performance stage).  As well as a heated tent with comfortable seating, washrooms, and they serve cookies and hot cocoa.  

And since it’s at then end of the trail so you can hang out and have a few drinks while listening to the live music after walking around the park and enjoying all the activities.  

Eating Gluten-Free at the Austin Trail of Lights 

They have several food trucks along the trail at Candy Cane Lane, North Pole, Zilker Village and at the Zilker Tree.  We were treated to several of the food trucks at Candy Cane Lane and the North Pole.  

I was really excited to see so many gluten-free and dairy-free options available.  

Keep in mind that if flour is used to make homemade things, it probably won’t be safe for people with Celiac disease.  Cross-contamination is very likely in such a small space.

I wasn’t sure which exactly which food trucks would be part of the happy hour so I did a little menu research beforehand.  Here are some of the food trucks with gluten-free options available:

Candy Land

  • Bohemian BBQ (all sauces and rubs are GF, coleslaw is DF)
  • Ranch Hand (GF bowls with pasture-raised protein, local grains and greens – will accommodate all dietary restrictions)
  • RedFin Seafood Kitchen (several GF options on the menu)
  • Tamale Addiction (all tamales are GF and made with 100% organic masa, no lard or trans fat)
  • Wholly Cow Burgers (possibly GF friendly options on the food truck)

North Pole

  • La Fantabulous Taqueria (possible GF options, corn tortilla tacos)
  • Shawarma Point (Mediterranean bowls with lots of GF, DF options – ask them what is safe)

Eating gluten-free at the Austin Trail of Lights - Bohemian BBQ

Of course my favorite bite (well pretty nice sized plate) of the night was the BBQ.  The Bohemian Sandwich from Bohemian BBQ is their signature specialty.  They made me a GF, DF version of it without the bun.  It was a super tasty plate of chopped beef, pulled pork and sausage topped with cole slaw (no dairy) and sauce.  Yum!

We took our food to Kringle’s Kantina Bar across from the food trucks where there are picnic tables and a designated drinking area.  You can’t walk around with alcoholic beverages but you can enjoy them in the several designated bar areas along the trail.  

When we were done eating and walking along the trail, we went back the ZIP Lounge.  Here we listened to the live music show on Zilker Stage while sipping on cocktails.  What a really great event.  Had such a great time with my food blogger friends and their plus ones.  Thank you so much Austin Trail of Lights!

Want More Guides to Eating Gluten-free in the ATX?

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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