10 Best Places in Phoenix for Gluten-Free Baked Goodies

Photo courtesy of Pomegranate Cafe
By Patricia Escarcega, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson Local Expert

Great gluten-free baked goods are thankfully much easier to find around metro Phoenix these days. Case in point: Gluten Free Creations Bakery, a regional chain that is a great source for hard-to-find baked goods. You'll find their gluten-free buns, breads and pizza crusts at some of the city's best cafes and restaurants, too.

For a quick gluten-free sugar high, stop in at Nami. This excellent little cafe, located next door to Green New American vegetarian restaurant in central Phoenix, bakes up incredibly delicious goodies on a regular basis. Stop in for a gluten-free muffin, or try one of their cakes or cookies.

You also don't want to miss Jewel's Bakery & Cafe in Phoenix. This gluten-free shop specializes in gluten-free pastries and bread, as well as light lunch fare. Owner and baker Julie Moreno has earned a reputation as one of the city's most creative bakers, concocting luscious desserts that are gluten-free yet irresistible. You'll find made-from-scratch cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cakes and breads. 

If you want to indulge in wholesome, vegan baked goods, be sure to stop by Treehouse Bakery in central Phoenix. The counter at this small neighborhood bakery is brimming with luscious, homemade baked goods, including homemade pop tarts. You'll find a rotating selection of delicious gluten free cupcakes, cookies and other baked goodies. 

10. La Grande Orange Grocery

In a neighborhood increasingly known for the quality of its restaurant offerings, La Grande Orange is helping bump up the options. Small and friendly, it limits its menu in order to focus on superb ingredients, and the deliberate formula has elicited great response. Essentially, you can order only a pizza, salad, hamburger, or dessert, but gourmet food combinations and perfect preparation more than compensate for the brevity. Salads feature golden beets, grilled figs, and asparagus while pizzas with thin, crisp, sourdough crusts are loaded with rock shrimp, exotic mushrooms, goat cheese, and herbs. Burgers are sumptuous too. A communal table amid individual ones promotes camaraderie in the small space. For early risers, LGO offers one of the most popular breakfast menus in town, featuring omelets, breakfast burritos, and other assorted breakfast items.

9. Desert Roots Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Desert Roots Kitchen

Desert Roots Kitchen is a vegan and vegetarian cafe tucked away in a colorful alley in downtown Tempe. Chef and owner Leslie Robin, a vegan for more than a decade, dishes out hearty and delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine featuring fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. The menu changes frequently but often features pasta salads, rice and bean dishes, vegetarian tamales, vegetarian chili, soups, mixed greens, hummus, and an array of vegetarian deli items. Deli meals are prepared and ready for voracious diners. Only covered outdoor seating available, but there's plenty of shade to be had for an enjoyable, healthy and delicious lunch.

8. Treehouse Bakery
Photo courtesy of Treehouse Bakery

Treehouse Bakery is a vegan bakery in Phoenix's artsy Grand Avenue shopping district. The small bakery specializes in vegan and gluten free cookies, cheesecake, cupcakes, pies and many other delicious baked good and treats. One of the bakery's specialties are the homemade pop tarts, which are filled with different flavors of homemade fruit jam. The bakery also takes specialty cake requests for birthdays, wedding and other special events. On Saturday mornings, stop by for a gooey, oozy treat in the form of a homemade cinnamon bun. Call ahead to confirm the day's selection of gluten free baked goods, as the selection changes daily.

7. Shelley's Specialty Desserts
Photo courtesy of Shelley's Specialty Desserts

Located in historic downtown Glendale, Shelley's Specialty Desserts uses only the finest farm-fresh ingredients to craft irresistible desserts. Every baked good is made to order and made from scratch. Even all the designs are edible. The bakery caters to those looking for gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free desserts. Try the amazing Kentucky Bourbon Cheesecake. It's made with bourbon and pecans, which are carefully folded into a cheesecake and then served over a light almond crust. It comes garnished with candied Granny Smith apples. Another specialty are the bakery's oatmeal caramelation bars, which feature a rich Belgian choclate ganache.

6. Luci's Healthy Marketplace
Photo courtesy of Luci's Healthy Marketplace

Luci's Healthy Marketplace is a cafe, coffee bar and marketplace specializing in quality organic and natural products. You'll find an excellent selection of meats, seafood, dairy, cheeses, snacks, entrees, wine and beer and more. There are freshly-cooked meals available on the go, too. On the cafe side of things, you'll find delicious breakfast items served all day. There is also a gourmet coffee bar serving local roasted organic coffee, iced coffee drinks, fresh smoothies, frozen drinks, cold blended specialty drinks as well as various herbal teas and other interesting drinks. There is also a selection of fresh made muffins, bagels and tasty desserts, including great gluten-free options.

5. My Gal Sal Bakery & Catering

Just because you have dietary restrictions doesn't mean you don't love the occasional bakery treat. Luckily, eating gluten-free has gotten a lot easier in the Valley of the Sun, especially when it comes to finding high quality, gluten-free bakery treats. My Gal, Sal Bakery & Catering offers an impressive selection of baked goods, including gluten-free options. You'll find from cookies to traditional French macarons to dessert cakes. The bakery even makes traditional South African desserts. This isn't just a bakery, either – this is also a good destination for a light breakfast or lunch.

4. Nami
Photo courtesy of Nami

Short for tSoynami, this charming cafe is adjacent to Green New American vegetarian restaurant. Stop here for sweet dessert made with high quality vegan ingredients. You'll find a good selection of coffees, breakfast items, gluten-free baked goods and, of course, tSoynami ice cream treats. What exactly is a tSoynami? It's a house-made organic, soy-based soft serve ice cream crammed full of toppings. About 75% of the ingredients used at Nami are organic and the restaurant is 100% vegan. It's a good choice for anyone looking for a sweet treat with wholesome ingredients. A specialty here are vegan and gluten-free doughnuts.

3. Pomegranate Cafe
Photo courtesy of Pomegranate Cafe

Delicious meets nutritious at this Chandler-area gem. Healthy, wholesome, yet still delectable, brunch and lunch selections are artfully created and served using only the highest quality ingredients. Try the Breakfast Burrito, made with your choice egg or tofu, seasonal veggies, harvest hash, anasazi beans, vegan or cheddar cheese and then wrapped in a spinach tortilla and served with the house salsa. French toast is an art here, and the a selection of fresh baked goods is available for you to take home. If greasy breakfasts are not your thing, head to the Pomegranate Cafe, where flavor and quality combine for a perfect first meal.

2. Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
Photo courtesy of Jewel's Bakery

Jewel's Bakery & Cafe in east Phoenix specializes in gluten-free pastries and bread, as well as light lunch fare. Owner and baker Julie Moreno has a well-deserved reputation as one of the city's most creative bakers, concocting gorgeous desserts that are gluten-free yet irresistibly delicious. Behind the pastry counter you'll find made-from-scratch cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cakes and breads. In the kitchen, light fare is served for breakfast and lunch. Gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and make-your-own pizza options make this a great stop for light breakfast or lunch. Even diners without dietary restrictions will appreciate the selection and carefully constructed menu items.

1. Gluten Free Creations Bakery
Photo courtesy of Gluten Free Creations

Gluten Free Bakery is a certified gluten free facility making the finest hand crafted gluten free baked goods around. The menu is constantly changing, but you'll find a great variety of hand-crafted baked goods, including muffins, pastries, cakes, cookies, breads, and seasonal favorites. This is Arizona's first dedicated and certified gluten free bakery, so you know they have a great selection and specialty items. There are three locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and you'll find their wholesale products in some of the city's best cafes and restaurants. Stop by to sample the breads, bagels, donuts and other fine gluten-free desserts.