When it comes to picking a restaurant to dine in, those who need gluten-free meals or have restrictions are sometimes left with little or nothing to chose from when perusing the menu. And trying to find mouth-watering baked goods like waffles, bread, cupcakes and muffins? Forget about it – until recently. Washington, D.C. has a number of top-notch bakeries or restaurants that offer baked goodies for those with or without dietary needs.
If you desire choice, Rise Bakery is where you want to go with everything on the menu being made gluten-free. French macarons are a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth and you'll find several great options in the nation's capital like Happy Tart Bakery, The Sweet Lobby and Macaron Bee. Since breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, hit up Wicked Waffle where they prepare gluten-free waffles on a designated iron.
Whatever baked good you desire, the district has great places that will make them to fit your every dietary needs.
A desire to bring sinfully good sweets and treats to the masses using animal-free products spurred owner Doron Petersan to start her business in 1999. Located on Park Road in NW, the bakery is known to attract foodies and health conscious alike. While they are known for their cupcakes (cookies n' cake or rich red velvet anyone?) be sure to sample some of their other items including cookies, cheesecakes, pies and pastries. The sticky buns featuring sweet dough filled with walnuts and cinnamon covered in sugar frosting is not to be missed. Wheat-free items are available but it is not a gluten-free facility. ((202) 299-9700)
With two locations in nearby Virginia – Arlington and Alexandria, this bakery is dedicated to bringing fresh baked goods to the masses including those with gluten dietary needs. Dig into gluten-free items such as peanut butter cookies, coconut macaroons, egg croissant sandwich and vanilla or chocolate cake with your choice of vanilla bean or chocolate frosting. They even sell a gluten-free vegan blueberry muffin from Rise Bakery. For those not on dietary restrictions, patrons can chose from a variety of breakfast items like muffins, scones and homemade granola, cookies, brownies, breads and sandwiches. (703-650-9676)
Busboys & Poets
This community gathering place, which provides an artistic outlet for poetry, art and books, is also a great spot to grab some breakfast which is served daily until 11 a.m. Chow down on some oatmeal, a bagel with lox, organic granola or a western omelette. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available. Brunch is quite popular here and is served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Beef chili, Neptune Benedict and sweet potato pancakes are ones to sample. Be sure to check out the food events menu to find out what meal packages are being offered at the time. (202-789-2227)
The Sweet Lobby
Now here is a lobby group in the district that everyone can enjoy! Advocating for guest sweet tooth rights, this Barracks Row delight brings elegant French macarons to the masses including those with gluten dietary needs. Made with five ingredients or less, these colorful culinary delicacies come in a wide variety of flavors from basic chocolate and vanilla to more exotic tastes like pecan praline, green tea chestnut and passion fruit. Don't leave without checking out their other mouth-watering menu items including cupcakes, madeleines, shortbread, éclairs', mediants. (202-544-2404)
Red Velvet Cupcakery
Featuring locations in both Penn Quarter and Reston (Va.) Town Center, this bakery offers both gluten-free and vegan options for patrons with dietary needs. Employees make the batter for the gluten-free cupcakes first and use specially marked pans to bake them to perfection. The finished product is also kept separate from other delicious desserts. Both locations' menus features two options for patrons: the black velvet and white velvet. If you can't leave the office, fear not because they deliver on orders of one dozen or more within the D.C. and Northern Virginia area. (202-347-7895)
Taking two years to perfect their recipe, this restaurant offers light and fluffy gluten-free waffles for guests with dietary needs. Using a specially designated waffle iron, their ingredients include rice flour, eggs, tapioca starch and corn meal. Be sure to talk to staff when it comes to filings and toppings as not all are gluten-free. As if the waffles aren't enough, the restaurant also offers a number of savory sandwiches, sweet treats, delicious soups and side dishes. They have a second location in Bethesda at the Westfield Montgomery Mall. (202-944-2700)
Founded in 2012, this Georgetown shop offers handmade, gluten-free French macarons along with serving up afternoon tea. Some of their regular macaron flavors include milk chocolate, Earl Grey, vanilla bean, lemon and almond. Don't forget to check out their seasonal flavors too such as spiced pumpkin, white chocolate peppermint, spiced rum gingerbread and key lime. Check their Facebook page which often announces when they are introducing new flavors. Looking for a colorful centerpiece for a party? Try their macaron tower but don't expect your guests to resist for long. (202-333-2308)
Baked & Wired
This destination is heaven for those who crave both sugary treats and crafty caffeinated concoctions. Any type of baked good you can think of – they offer: biscotti, breakfast breads and coffee cakes, brownies, muffins, pies and quiche to name a few. They even serve zillabonez – baked goods for dogs. You will want to try their savory 'cakecups.' The GF cakecup is gluten-free. Some even come with hilarious names like Unicorns & Rainbows featuring vanilla and confetti mix, Pretty Bitchin' showcasing chocolate flavor with crunchy peanut butter frosting and Elvis Impersonator offering banana flavor with peanut butter frosting and drizzled chocolate. Make sure to wash all these treats down with a selection off their coffee menu made by one of their professional baristas. (703-663-8727)
Happy Tart Bakery
Finding delicious gluten-free baked items can be tough but look no further than this bakery. Making all items from scratch, classic French pastries have been transformed into gluten-free treats using products such as eggs, butter, cream, premium chocolate, and fruit. The menu is mouth-watering and many items – cakes, cookies, cupcakes and pies to name a few – offer multiple flavor selections. They even sell different flour blends for customers to use at home. Sometimes, they sell out of an item so be sure to call the bakery before coming in to check a product's availability. ((571) 244-3662)
When people who need gluten-free options go to restaurants, they usually must comb through the menu to discover one or two options available. That's not the case at this Adams Morgan venue because everything is gluten-free here. Owner Mike Koritko was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease in 2004 so he decided to open his bakery in 2014 to give residents with food allergies an expansive menu of choices including croissants, cupcakes, cookies, pies and pastries. Looking for vegan options as well? No problem. They have taken favorite gluten-free options and created vegan versions including banana nut bread, blueberry muffin, carrot cake and nutty vegan bar. (202-525-5204)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
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