Health-conscious people have found the benefits of a gluten-free diet. Foods that are completely free of ingredients derived from wheat, barley, rye, malts and triticale are known to assist in dieting and aiding in eliminating various allergies. Fortunately the word is out and restaurants have climbed on the bandwagon and now offer satisfying and delightful gluten-free menu items that attract those who return again and again. With Fort Lauderdale being the popular vacation destination that attracts millions of visitors annually, local restaurants have called upon their talented chefs to offer menu items that are gluten-free and that uphold the standard of tasty and satisfying. It comes as no surprise that Market 17 has attracted those who order gluten-free and who enjoy their organic delights as well as the very popular Sublime. Other popular restaurants that have a clear following of locals and visitors who seek them out will be happy that their palate has been considered. Such eateries as J Marks Restaurant and Bar, The Chimney House Bar and Café offer such items along with regular favorites. And don't forget that should you enjoy Asian food, Coco Asian Bistro and Bar and he very popular P.F. Chang 's is ready to serve. Pizza lover? Don't fret. Pizza Fusion has been a popular stop for pizza lovers. So vacation does not have to mean eliminating a sensitive diet or option. Fort Lauderdale knows how to welcome all visitors and for those who prefer to eat gluten-free dishes. Bon Appetite!
10 Whole Foods
For those who desire to eat healthy organic and gluten-free food, the real Granddaddy of all stores and eateries is Whole Foods, and Broward County is lucky enough to have three locations Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Coral Springs. This cherished national grocery store is also a great place to dine and not just take out. Offering a buffet-style setting, patrons choose from an amazing selection of fresh entrees, many of which are gluten-free (just ask), amazing prepared vegetables and desserts. Seating is offered inside or out and there is no doubt that first-timers will declare right then and there that they will be back. (954.565.5655)
9 Seasons 52 - Ft. Lauderdale
With a focus on healthy and satisfying dishes, this fine-dining restaurant is the perfect choice for those who want the best quality along with impeccable service. The menu here is seasonally-inspired and represents a unique blend of art and science. Using natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking. For the health-conscious, menu items are naturally lower in calories and the restaurant prides itself in the fact that nothing on their extensive menu is over 475 calories, and considering the enticing choices such as Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon, Caramelized Sea Scallops, Wood-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Mesquite-Grilled Garlic Shrimp, diners can enjoy guilt-free! The result is great tasting, highly satisfying food that is conducive to most every diet, and has become the talk of the town! (9545371052)
8 Pizza Fusion
Gluten free does not have to mean pizza free. Everyone loves pizza but this Italian delight is often frowned upon by those watching their diet due to the carbs and the calories. But there is an alternative, which sets a standard in healthy, gluten-free, Vegan-friendly and kid-friendly pizza and other delicious menu items. Pizza Fusion caters to those with gluten intolerance with a gluten-free crust. This is made from a mixture of garbanzo beans, fava beans and rice flour, and their cheese and sauce are gluten-free as well. Check out their Fusion Life Menu which includes ingredients that are known to promote heart heath, eliminate toxins and boost brain function. (954-358-5353)
Sublime has become one of Fort Lauderdale's favorite restaurants for health-conscious diners. This delightful eatery is an innovative concept in vegetarian dining with its cholesterol-free menu, but has been known to satisfy even the most ardent meat-lovers. Sublime's award-winning menu features mouth-watering and tantalizing dishes featuring natural and organic foods and spirits from around the world. Ask about specific gluten-free appetizers and entrees and enjoy the restaurant's beautiful and relaxing décor with skylights that enhance the dining area with its cascading waterfalls, Italian glass tiles and exotic trees that celebrate nature. This restaurant's dedication to animal welfare and the vegan lifestyle is confirmed as they give 100% of their profits to organizations that promote both. (9546151431)
6 Casa D'Angelo
Casa D'Angelo is a traditional Italian restaurant and serves classic dishes served in a formal and elegant setting. Locals rave of this place and it is a good place for toasting the important moments in life. Chef Angelo Elia created the restaurant's menu with recipes handed down to me from generations of passionate Italian cooks. Seafood, veal, and beef dishes are complemented by rich sauces, the wine list is extensive and well chosen, the dining room is elegant, and the service is extraordinary. Don't be afraid to ask about gluten-free items that are excellent and satisfying. Reservations recommended. Business attire. (954-564-1234)
5 P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Should you find yourself on a shopping trip at the glitzy Galleria or the incredible Sawgrass Mills, consider stopping at the always-popular P.F. Chang's China Bistro for a lunch or dinner to remember. Along with their legendary menu items that have delighted patrons for many years, also available are the vegetarian plates for those preferring to skip the meat dishes, and ask for gluten free items if there is any question. The Fort Lauderdale outpost of this fashionable Chinese bistro gets high marks for its contemporary interior and eclectic menu. Lunch is served Monday-Saturday until 4 p.m. Visit their website to make a reservation. (954-565-5877)
4 Coco Asian Bistro and Bar
Located near Port Everglades on the popular 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale is the Coco Asian Bistro and Bar. This elegant, upscale restaurant is a draw to locals and the many visitors that visit annually. Asian food lovers savor striking flavors and international wines in this sophisticated dining room. Chef Mike Ponluang has taken Asian dining to the next level of fine dining. With his more than 30 years of cooking experience, 15 of which were spent at the acclaimed Thai Pepper, he has transformed this cuisine to a level rarely seen. The menu features mouth-watering dishes that must be tasted. Coco Asian Bistro and Bar is an experience not soon forgotten. (954-525-3541)
3 The Chimney House - Grill & Cafe
The Chimney House Grill & Café, a Latin-American Spanish grill at the corner of West Las Olas and SW 7th Avenue in the historic Sailboat Bend. Situated in a charming older house built in the early part of the last century, this welcoming restaurant with a wood-burning fireplace, as well as pleasant outdoor seating, has an extensive menu offering expertly prepared ceviches and salads that can be a meal in themselves, as well as mouth-watering main dishes. Diners expecting gluten-free options will be pleasantly surprised. The Chimney House offers classic favorites with a twist of their own such as grilled skirt steak la chimenea, the very delicious lomo satado which is stir-fried steak strips, onions, tomato and soy sauce. Incredible! ((954) 900-5352)
2 J. Mark's Restaurant & Bar
Whether your lunch or dinner is for business or pleasure, or perhaps both, J. Mark's is just the place, and an excellent choice for those seeking gluten-free menu options. With two popular locations, one on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale and the other on Copans Road in Pompano Beach, J. Mark's has a delicious lunch and dinner menu consisting of Soup & Salad, Spinach Salad, the popular Ahi Tuna Sliders, Buffalo Chicken Sliders, Footlong Hot Dog for the more traditional lunch. Dinner options include unbeatable steak and chicken dishes with memorable sides. Prices are very affordable, starting at $8.99, and dinner options keep diners coming back. (954-782-7000)
1 Market 17
With more and more people searching out organic foods in farmers markets and specialized supermarkets, there has been much talk about town concerning Market 17 Fresh Farm Restaurant and Bar. Unique, as there aren't many restaurants that boast of an enticing farm-to-table organic menu, what they like to call "wine country cuisine", something you don't see much of in South Florida. Serving only clean, fresh food, the fish and seafood are caught by fisherman, the meat and poultry produced by ranchers, and the produce provided by farmers and none of it will not contain any unnecessary pesticides, chemicals, hormones or steroids. Now that that's settled, think about the menu options. Each is served in a eye-catching, beautiful plating, and every taste can be satisfied here. The menu changes depending on what is available so each visit offers delicious options that will keep you coming back. (9543990017)
About Dale Mack
Dale Mack has been involved in Fort Lauderdale tourism and promotions for over twenty years. Working for Travelhost Magazine in Dallas, Texas, he was especially drawn to the edition published by the Fort Lauderdale Associate Publisher; the city's beauty, its energy and the fun-in-the-sun atmosphere. When an opportunity came to relocate to Fort Lauderdale by another company, Dale accepted. He has spent the last eight years discovering "the Venice of America" and South Florida itself.
Dale is the author of three children's books and numerous articles. He has also worked as a copywriter for the South Florida real estate market.
Read more about Dale Mack here.
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