Gluten-free is a growing trend in San Diego whether it's because of health conditions such as celiac disease or a lifestyle preference. We've done the research and narrowed a list of the 10 best gluten-free bakeries in San Diego for you to choose from.
Award-winning 2Good2B holds our number spot. Their entire menu is gluten-free, totally eliminating the risk of cross-contamination. From pizza to cinnamon rolls, dine-in or take away, this bakery and restaurant is a favorite of those avoiding gluten. Plus, they'll ship.
Cupcakes are a huge trend in San Diego and the retail shops have gluten-free guests in mind. The famous Sprinkles store offers gluten-free red velvet cupcakes, for example. And Cupcakes Squared makes gluten-free cupcakes... in the shape of a square.
Gluten-free bread enables people to enjoy basic foods like sandwiches and french toast. Pick up a loaf at Claire's on Cedros or GNI Bakery up in Escondido (though Ralph's grocery stores carry some GNI items, too). Gone are the days of chewy, flavorless bread and bunless hamburgers.
Embrace the gluten-free lifestyle by indulging in pies, cookies, cakes and more created by these San Diego bakeries. Serve them to guests, even. We bet they won't know the difference.
With lines out the door and new stores popping up all over California, Sprinkles cupcakes are quite the craze. Now, people who eat gluten-free can join in. The Gluten Free Red Velvet cupcake is available daily and marked with a big, red "G" to indicate that it's gluten-free. It's topped with the regular buttercream frosting and fans claim there's very little difference between the gluten-free version and the normal version. Because these cupcakes are made with the freshest ingredients, it's best to indulge on the day otherwise freeze them in an airtight container. Sprinkles can also add custom decorations to any order. ((858) 457-3800)
As the name implies, the cupcakes are in a square shape. They take extra care to avoid cross-contamination when baking gluten-free cupcakes, using rice flour. Most flavors can be made gluten-free by request, however, they make sure to have one gluten-free flavor available in the store daily. They can also make really neat cupcake cakes. In addition to cupcakes, these decadent brownie-type creations called "squares" are now also available gluten-free. Choose from chocolate chip, peanut chocolate, cranberry white chocolate and more. Everything is baked daily using the freshest ingredients and without preservatives. The vanilla flavor is popular as is s'mores. ((619) 226-3485)
Claire's on Cedros
Claire's on Cedros, located in Solana Beach, is an award-winning breakfast and lunch spot. The in-house bakery produces breakfast delights such as scones, cookies, muffins and more. The rest of the breakfast and lunch menu is made up of bistro classics using the finest, locally-sourced ingredients available. The goal of Claire's is to make each diner feel like they're at home. Claire's is the first LEED Platinum certified restaurant in San Diego for use of eco-friendly building materials and continues to implement sustainable practices. Gluten-free baked goods are on offer to-go such as breads, chewy chocolate chip cookies and huge brownies. The gluten-free dine-in menu features plenty of choice for lunch and breakfast (the GF fritattas are popular). (858-259-8597)
Sugar and Scribe
Sugar and Scribe now has an expanded menu included seated dining in a brand new La Jolla location. Gluten-free options include cakes, cupcakes, pies and cookies that are available in-store, however, they are so popular that you may want to call ahead to check availability. Of course, those that think ahead can order in advance based on the online menu. Gluten-free pies will need 72 hours of notice. Sugar and Scribe also is known for featuring Irish favorites that are the owner's family recipes. They are also a popular choice for catering weddings and parties. Strapped for time? Order a meal from their to-go menu. ((858) 274-1733)
Rum Cake Lounge
Rum Cake Lounge is a bakery located in San Diego's Kearny Mesa neighborhood that specializes in rum cakes. Gluten-free vanilla rum cakes are light, moist and tender and made with rice flour along with other all-natural ingredients. The cakes are baked daily, hand-glazed with their signature Madagascar vanilla bean glaze and lack preservatives. Baked goods are pre-ordered online for pick-up at the lounge or delivery nationwide within two to five business days. Vacuumed sealed and long lasting, these rum cakes make excellent gifts. The gluten-free cakes have been lab tested and certified for less or equal to <5ppm of gluten. (619-309-6677)
Chef Karen Krasne earned a Certificat de Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and it has put her in good stead with area gourmets who flock here for a slice of coconut cream torte, a wedge of tangy-sweet tart, a scoop of intensely-flavored ice cream, or a handful of unbelievably awesome chocolate-tea cookies. Offerings vary from day to day, but frequently incorporate fresh fruits and flower garnishes, making them as gorgeous to look at as they are wonderful to eat. Gluten-free menu items include English muffins, baguettes, flourless banana cream cake, creme brulee, dark chocolate cookies and more delights. (619-294-2132)
The Cravory is a San Diego-based cookie-only bakery known for unique and delicious flavor creations. Their first flagship cookie shop is open in Point Loma but they also sell cookies at various San Diego Farmers' Markets and via an online retail shop where cookies can be ordered by the dozen or in monthly subscriptions shipped freshly baked directly to your door. The Cravory has 11 signature cookie flavors including Red Velvet and Ultimate Chocolate Chip, as well as six new seasonal cookies created each month. Gluten-free options include chocolate chip and birthday cake. Both certainly taste like the real deal. (619-795-9077)
Owner Deanna Smith hadn't baked a loaf of bread in her life until her niece was diagnosed with celiac disease and didn't like the flavorless bread options available back then. Deanna started baking with the goal of her niece enjoying PB&Js just like other kids. Word of mouth quickly spread about her gluten-free delights and a business was born. Now, not only are her pies, breads, rolls, and pizza crusts available at GNI, major grocery stores carry the brand too. People especially rave about the pizza crust, that the bread tastes like just like regular wheat bread and that products freeze well. ((760) 432-6100)
Starry Lane Bakery
Starry Lane Bakery believes that the simple pleasure of a baked cookie should be enjoyed by everyone. And, not only that, it should be a decadent and delicious cookie. The menu is free of animal products or the six most common food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, gluten, and soy) which means there's zero risk of cross-contamination. Their mission is to educate the public about food allergens. People rave about the pies, from chocolate silk to apple with a crumb topping. Not to mention you can enjoy macaroons, cupcakes, pound cakes, specialty cookies and more. This is indeed a gluten-free sweet lover's paradise. ((619) 328-0500)
Though a number of restaurants are dedicated to serving some gluten-free food, 2Good2B is dedicated to serving an entirely gluten, corn and soy-free menu full of comfort food without compromise. Not only can they cater special events like weddings, fans can stop in for favorite to-go items or all-day dining. Try the cinnamon swirly buns with vanilla frosting, french challah toast, or open-faced turkey sliders. You can even shop online for deliveries shipped straight to their doorstep. This award-winning bakery definitely lives up to its name as patrons believe menu items are so delicious that they're too good to be true, except they are. ((760) 942-4663)
About Katie Dillon
Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as expats in London and Hong Kong. After traveling the world, they returned to the La Jolla sunshine, with a young daughter in tow.
Katie now writes a lifestyle site called La Jolla Mom and is the author of a book called, “Flying With Kids.” Her work can be seen on NBC San Diego, Red Tricycle, Yahoo! Shine and Have Family Will Travel, a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts blog.
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