Gluten-Free and Gourmet: Menus For Everyone at Many of Boston's Top Spots
By Jessica Polizzotti
Boston Local Expert
In big cities like Boston, finding a gluten-free menus at restaurants can be like embarking on a scavenger hunt. 10best has taken the work out of menu hunting and compiled a list of the best gluten-free menus that Boston has to offer. Believing that food allergies should not prevent a dining experience, we've put together a list containing a variety of food styles, with one sure to suit your gluten-free needs. From ultra high end, special occasion spots like L'Espalier to fast casual, marketplace style concepts like Cafe de Boston, and everything in between you'll find it on 10best.
A gluten-free Italian menu is not hard to find around Boston; dig into a plate of pasta or a Neapolitan style pizza at Nebo, indulge in Dante's many gluten-free dishes or enjoy an evening at one of Davio's upscale locations. Asian has never been easier when making a reservation at Ming Tsai's famous Wellesley restaurant, Blue Ginger, where gluten free has been a menu mainstay for years. Those seeking gluten-free that's quite unique should check out the Elephant Walk for their French/Cambodian gluten-free menu fusion. While diners looking to sample a taste of New England can't go wrong at any Legal Sea Foods' location where they've been doing a great gluten-free seafood selection since 2008.
Not Your Average Joe's Watertown
Not Your Average Joe's may be a chain, but it is a chain that does it right. Serving food that is made to order, Not Your Average Joe;s works hard to satisfy its customer's needs. With a dedicated gluten free menu, Not Your Average Joe's ensures you safety while dining at their restaurants. Start with the gluten free bread and dip then move on to their thai chicken lettuces wraps, indulge in a burger on a gluten free bun or take a bite of the smokehouse jambalaya and you'll forget you're eating gluten free. Kids are not overlooked and their unique palates are me ton their very own gluten free menu that tops off each meal with a scoop of their gluten free ice cream. (6179269229)
Cafe de Boston
Whatever you're looking for you are sure to find it at Cafe de Boston. Café de Boston is a marketplace eatery: a new expression of fast-casual dining blending made-to-order, self-serve and take-out fare. Café de Boston offers several stations of diverse global cuisines, making it a convenient option for groups of people, families and travelers, all looking for something specific. The restaurant also accommodates a range of dietary needs (gluten-free, low-fat, vegetarian/vegan) by diligently labeling ready-to-eat dishes and preparing every item fresh according to their customers' specifications. Gluten-free options include: pizza, sandwich bread, frozen-yogurt, and a variety of self-serve Mediterranean meze items. (617-482-1006)
Many authentic Italian dishes are innately gluten free, at dante the menu incorporates the traditions of fine Italian cooking into all of its dishes, including the seasonal gluten free menu that falls in line with regular menu offerings. The menu at dante starts with sfizi; these little tastes of antipasti designed to be shared at the start of your meal, or combined to create a full meal. Some return customer favorite sfizi are: fava bean dip with potato, beet and celery root chips, and baked ricotta with apricot, pistachio, pomodorini, Sicilian oregano. Although known for his house made pasta program, Dante de Magistris is still mastering making gluten free pasta; in the meantime, he imports a special variety from Puglia that is made with 3 grains. (617-497-4200)
Myers + Chang
Myers & Chang is an Asian diner that serves some of the best Taiwanese soul food and Southeast Asian street food you can find stateside. Favoring lighter sauces, and creating new twists on classics as well as developing new dishes with regional flavors sets Myers and Change apart from the competition. The team is passionate about creating food diners will desire to eat over and over again. They're also passionate about feeding those with food allergies. Myers & Chang offers a variety of allergy accommodating menus like their gluten free menu, that are filled with savory sensations that will please your taste buds. Myers & Chang takes specialties like their dim sum and ensures your choices are free of gluten; they also make note of items that may have come into contact with wheat or gluten so that those who are highly allergic will avoid those items. (6175425200)
Davio's northern Italian specialties win rave reviews at all of their locations, but a little known fact is that their gluten free fare stacks up to their regular menu selections. Davio's lets you enjoy dishes topped with satisfying sauces, plates of perfectly al dente pasta and grilled meats and seafood so rich and flavorful you'll forget you're ordering from the gluten free menu. Specialties include a decadent Lobster Risotto with asparagus, fresh herbs and lobster cream, Sautéed Veal Scaloppini served with crispy parmesan polenta, haricot vert and topped with a crimini marsala sauce, and a penne bolognese that could go head to head with their regular bolognese any day. (617-357-4810)
Dramatic combinations of french and cambodian food grace the menus of the Elephant Walk. Here, a meal full of flavor appears at your seat, whether from their regular menu or their gluten free menu. Dressed in rich sauces the meats, vegetables and seafood offered at the Elephant Walk is like no other you'll encounter. Whether you're enjoying an appetizer like the Nataing, ground pork simmered in coconut milk with sliced garlic, crushed peanuts and chili pods; served with gluten-free crispy rice for dipping, or polishing off an entree like the Amok Royal, a Cambodian signature dish - a spicy, steamed, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, shellfish and southeast asian catfish with coconut milk and complex khmer seasonings; garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper, you'll be satisfied by your selection. (617-247-1500)
The defining restaurant of elegance in Boston, L'Espalier serves nothing short of a perfect selection of French cuisine including an impressive list of caviars, cheeses and wines. L'Espalier also reigns supreme when it comes to food allergies. Willing to accommodate any allergy, by modifying the dish to fit your needs, L'Espalier will happily serve you the stylish cuisine you crave without making you feel you've missed out. Taking a meal in the main dining room is an upscale affair, while the less "showy" Salon offers a less expensive solution to L'Espalier's haute cuisine. Wherever you dine at L'Espalier, don't be afraid to ask for your meal gluten free. (617-262-3023)
Nebo Restaurant and Bar
For gravy like grandma made head over to Boston's Greenway where NEBO has made its home. This Italian eatery serves homestyle Italian favorites inspired by their mother's recipes and plates them with pride. A modern industrial space has a cozy feel enhanced by its open kitchen and views of the Greenway outside its doors. A small patio allows for outside seating, while the bar inside allows walk ins, without reservations, the chance to dine in style even on the busies of nights. Dive into a plate of their gluten free pasta with a Neapolitan style bolognese that is packed with flavor and quite similar to the real thing, while their gluten free pizza will have you returning for more. (617-723-6326)
For one of the most elegant Asian meals you'll ever eat make your way to Wellesley's Blue Ginger. Acclaimed chef, Ming Tsai, is a Boston legend for a reason; he prepares some of the best Asian food you can find while using creative ingredients. However, his good eats do not come cheap. Appetizers are in the mid to high teens and entrees can run upwards of $40 a plate. Inspired by his own child's food allergy, Ming put together a sensational gluten free menu, and was one of the first Boston area restaurants to ensure those with food allergies can still enjoy an excellent meal at a fine establishment. (781-283-5790)
Legal Sea Foods
"If it isn't fresh, it isn't legal" is this restaurant's mantra and they pride themselves on offering only the freshest seafood available. Dive into a bowl of their rich, creamy clam chowder, a favorite among locals, enjoy samplings from the raw bar, or order one of the classic Legal dishes that are beyond delicious. For those with a gluten allergy, Legal Sea Foods has had a dedicated gluten free menu at all of their restaurants since 2008 that is full of fresh Legal flavor. The extensive selection of gluten free options are equally as tasty as regular menu items and include: crispy fried seafood, lite clam chowder, seafood casserole, wood-grilled fish, and cioppino. A Boston institution since 1968, Legal has seven locations in the immediate area alone, but the Liberty Wharf flagship is particularly impressive, boasting floor to ceiling windows and outdoor dining with sweeping views of Boston Harbor. (617-742-5300)
About Jessica Polizzotti
Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand. Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. Although Jessica has been a world traveler since her teens, her favorite trip may always be her Italian honeymoon. Living in a city that allows her to experience a change in seasons equals an opportunity to enjoy a shift in activities. As the old New England cliché says, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”
Read more about Jessica Polizzotti here.