Gluten-Free Restaurants in Central, East & South Austin
Whether it is Mexican-inspired, Tex-Mex, BBQ, healthy eats, comfort food, drive-through, takeout, casual or finer dining food – here’s your guide to some of the best gluten-free restaurants in central, east and south Austin!
Austin’s Best Eats
One of the things that has really improved in the last few years is that restaurant staff are really knowledgable about celiac disease, dietary restrictions, and sources of gluten cross contamination. Make sure to talk with your server or a manager about what is safe, especially if the gluten-free options aren’t marked clearly on the menu and if you have celiac disease.
It is so exciting to have so many places with incredible gluten-free options in this awesome town. Hope this guide helps you find new favorites or some hidden gems.
ATX Cocina is one of my absolute favorite gluten-free restaurants in Austin. Located downtown overlooking the lake, this venue is beautiful and the service is wonderful. Plus valet parking is available. The kitchen is entirely gluten-free! The delicious corn tortillas are made from non-GMO heirloom corn sourced from Mexico. They take traditional Mexican dishes and elevate them with modern chef techniques while also focusing on natural and clean ingredients.
Pictured above is the decadent barbacoa beef short-rib served with corn tortillas. I also highly recommend the salsa sampler, guacamole, verduras (brussels sprouts, verde chorizo, green mole), and smashed papas bravas (smoked chili aioli, fried herbs, lime). The tamales and empanadas served during happy hour a must try as well!
This is the newest concept from The Peached Tortilla, with a focus on the bar and cocktails while serving up snack plates and tacos. It’s located on W. 6th street and offers complimentary valet on Friday and Saturday. There are a few clearly marked gluten-free options on the menu like kale tempura, charred brussels, wafu salad, and maple roasted carrots. Also available are BBQ brisket, spiced cauliflower, and pork shoulder “steak” tacos.
The original Black’s BBQ from Lockhart now has a location on Guadalupe Street near the UT campus. The brisket, pork spare ribs, chopped beef brisket, giant beef ribs, and turkey breast are all gluten-free. The sausage and sandwiches are not. They also offer several sides that are gluten-free like beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and Mexican street corn.
As the name suggests this diner is open 24 hours and they have a gluten-free menu. It is located in central Austin at 6th and Lamar. They serve gluten-free breakfasts, salads, bunless burgers, roasted chicken, pork chops, and a ribeye. My personal favorite is the 24 hash with nitrate free bacon and housemade sausage. It’s got a little heat in there from the jalapeño, too.
District Kitchen + Cocktails
District Kitchen + Cocktails has a seasonal menu with locally sourced ingredients that offers New American cuisine with some Middle Eastern flavors. Located in the south west Circle C neighborhood, it has has a dog-friendly patio, dining area and bar with a reverse happy hour on Friday and Saturday nights (10 pm-12 am). The menu is always changing but is marked with dishes that are or can be made gluten-free. The staff is well trained about sources of gluten. Some of my favorites are the shishito peppers (sautéed not fried for celiacs) with chile lime aioli, street tacos, moroccan lamb kabobs (served with cucumber) and the bison burger with a gluten-free bun.
There are two locations in Austin, one of which is downtown on 2nd street. They offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free salads, a variety of healthy plates and bowls with your choice of all-natural chicken, grass-fed steak, or non-GMO tofu and a ton of veggies.
Frank is all about the hot dogs and cold beer. The unique artisanal sausages are gluten free. They can serve the dogs on gluten-free Udi’s hot dog buns. The waffle fries have a dedicated fryer so they are safe and delicious. Plus there are lots of GF dipping sauces to choose from, including the signature Frank sauce. Pictured here is a custom-made sausage board featuring the Jackalope, Fico and Texalina sausages.
Probably the most famous BBQ around, Franklin BBQ is located in east Austin. The doors open at 11 am until they sell out. You need to get there early and wait in that infamous line. Almost everything is gluten-free except the bread and dark BBQ sauce.
Fresa’s chicken has two locations in Austin. The 9th & Lamar location is to-go only either by drive-through or walk-up window. The south 1st location has a beautiful dining patio, indoor bar and take out window as well. The wood grilled meats, grilled vegetables and many items on the menu are gluten-free. Of course, order the corn tortillas instead of flour.
On the east side, this popular upscale Tex-Mex restaurant is wildly decorative and colorful. They serve corn tortillas and several gluten-free dishes (ask the server for help because they aren’t marked on the menu). They do not have an entirely dedicated fryer so the chips or anything fried would not be safe for someone with celiac disease. Pictured here is the picadillo taco made with the fantastic Jacoby dry aged ground beef. Also, make sure they bring the corn tortillas wrapped in foil instead of in the tortillas warmers shared with flour tortillas. Beware the frozen margaritas are really, really strong.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
Kerbey Lane Cafe is an Austin institution. Famous for their pancakes and Kerbey queso, they have expanded to several locations around town and a much broader menu. They have gluten free items on the menu but the kitchen is not safe from cross contamination. So not really safe for those with Celiac disease.
Serving more delicious BBQ on the east side, most of the meat is gluten-free but not the sandwiches. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am until 6 pm (or until sold out).
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.
Loro is an Asian smokehouse and bar collaboration between the James Beard Award winners, Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi and Aaron Franklinof Franklin Barbecue. It has a friendly atmosphere and huge patio located on South Lamar. Plus it was named one of Texas Monthly’s top new BBQ Joints! You order food and drinks from the bar. And they will ask you if you have any dietary restrictions or Celiac disease when you order. Then bring your food out! So good!
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
Manuel’s has a location downtown and serves delicious Mexican food with many gluten-free options. The servers are very knowledgeable. The fryers are not dedicated to only gluten-free cooking so pass on anything fried. But the tortilla chips come from El Milagro so they are safe and non-GMO, too.
Maudie’s Tex Mex
Maudie’s also has many locations around town, some more casual than others. Plus they have an extensive menu marked with items that are or can be made gluten-free. They bring chips and salsa to the table as soon as you sit down, but the chips do not come from a dedicated fryer. Ask the server to bring out the gluten-free chips in a bag for you.
Also on S. Lamar, the menu is seasonally-inspired using local ingredients available during each Texas season. They are very knowledgeable about dietary restrictions, especially celiac disease. And the food is fun, unique and elevated.
Old Thousand serves up dope Chinese food on the East Side. The menu is clearly marked with gluten-free and vegan dishes. Don’t pass up the brisket fried rice!
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, BBQ brisket tacos served with creamy apple slaw and smoky roasted peach BBQ sauce, the crispy umami chicken wings, and cauliflower three ways with nori butter. On Taco Tuesday, the tacos are $4 and margs are $5.
Picnik takes all the stress out of special diets. The menus are 100% gluten, corn, peanut and soy free with lots of vegan and vegetarian options. They cook almost everything in avocado oil. The original trailer on South Lamar and the new trailer on South Congress serve grab-and-go breakfast, lunch items, butter coffee, bone broth, and gluten-free pastries. The brick and mortar on Burnet also serves dinner, wine, cocktails, wine, and cider.
Shady Grove is another old school Austin spot that has been around since the ’90s. Located on Barton Springs Road under the tall pecan tree grove you’ll find a huge shaded patio where you can catch a free live music show on Thursdays (starting in April). They have a gluten free-ish menu but there is a lot of potential for cross-contamination so make sure the server knows about your diet restrictions. Here might be a good place to stick with a salad and grilled steak or chicken.
Located on E. 6th street, Suerte is a new upscale restaurant serving the flavors of Mexico using local ingredients. 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.
Some other gluten-free options are the goat barbacoa, grilled sweet papas, and roasted broccoli with broccoli almond mole, mustard seed and tarragon. All of it is so good. Steer clear of the ceviche (contains soy sauce) and dessert.
Thai Fresh serves authentic Thai food made with fresh local ingredients. Plus next door there is an entirely gluten-free bakery and coffee shop. Both are nestled next to each other on West Mary street just west of S. Lamar Blvd. Many of the items on the menu are gluten-free except for the fried items which have an “*” next to them. Other dishes are marked “not gluten free” but the noodles can be substituted. The Pad Thai is definitely a huge favorite with Austin foodies! They also serve homemade vegan ice cream with super creative flavors in the gluten-free bakery. You can order takeout online or download an app for your phone.
Torchy’s sells some “damn good” tacos and are located everywhere around town, including south and central spots. They have a gluten-free menu to help you figure out what will work for you. Pictured here are the Independent (grilled portobello and veggies, black beans and ancho chili aioli) and the Democrat (shredded beef barbacoa) on corn tortillas.
True Food Kitchen
TFK is very much about clean eating and wellness without sacrificing taste. Located downtown they offer a variety of seasonal dishes that are clearly marked as gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. Because they offer pizza, they have a disclaimer that there are allergens in the kitchen that may lead to cross contamination, so make sure your server knows your level of sensitivity.
This is a bright and cheery salad bistro located on College Ave., just east of S. Congress. There are so many healthy salad options, soups, and seasonal specials. Although not marked on the menu, most of it is gluten-free and the staff is knowledgeable about dietary restrictions.
Wilder Wood Restaurant & Bar
Located on E. 7th street, this 100% gluten-free restaurant serves a combo of Mexican and American dishes. 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. Black Angus burgers and delicious hand-cut fries. The gluten-free buns are really good, too (not too much bread, not dry and they don’t fall apart).
Check out all the City Guides from the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance for some of the best eats in the ATX.
Want More Guides to Gluten-Free Restaurants in the ATX?
- Growing List of Gluten-Free Restaurants in Austin, TX
- Gluten-Free at the Hot Luck Festival 2018
- Gluten-Free at the Austin Trail of Lights 2018