10 Casual L.A. Dining Spots for Eating Gluten Free

There seems to be no end to new restaurant concepts in Southern California. But since no one, as of yet, has endeavored to open an entirely gluten free restaurant, those seeking tasty but casual gluten free meals often need to do some recon work. Don’t worry–I’ve got you covered. 

Being gluten free for nearly five years, I’ve seen many restaurants around L.A. (slowly) adjusting their menus to reflect the increasing numbers of gluten free guests. Given that many of these requests are due to medical need, chances of them going away are unlikely.

Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder of Tender Greens, concurs. “Customers are asking for gluten free and vegan-friendly options either for health reasons or because they want to eat healthier, less processed foods,” Oberholtzer says. “In fact, we have more of these requests now than ever before.” 

The majority of the menu at Tender Greens is naturally gluten free (if you skip the grilled baguette) and the staff seems to be well versed in what’s safe and what’s not. While those with Celiac Disease may think twice due to a shared prep area, there are a number of restaurants that go the extra mile by dedicating a prep area and process to ensure there’s no cross contamination. These include Pitfire Pizza–which has a dedicated pizza oven in some of their locations–and Kye’s, a new grab-and-go healthy wrap restaurant in Santa Monica.

Here are some of the best casual (and delicious!) gluten free restaurants in and around L.A.

The Counter
Photo courtesy of The Counter


Touting a 'burger for every diet,' The Counter began offering gluten free buns for their burgers in 2012. While their popular pickle chips and onion rings are off limits, the fries--including their infamously delicious sweet potato fries--are a...  Read More

M Cafe de Chaya
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


If you eat so cleanly that, in addition to going gluten free, you've eliminated refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat and poultry then you might be hard up to find a restaurant to pop into for a light bite. But M Café de Chaya, which bills...  Read More

The Luggage Room
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


This pizza shop housed in the old Del Mar train station (actually it's former luggage room) is one of the few restaurants that offers a pizza with a crust made on site. While it does increase the potential for cross contamination, it's nice to...  Read More

Pitfire Artisan Pizza
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


Pitfire's acclaimed artisan pizza has gained a loyal following, not just because visitors love their gluten-filled crusts but also because the menu offers unusual gourmet topping combinations. Now that those combos can be ordered on a gluten...  Read More

Tortilla Republic
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


Smack dab in the heart of West Hollywood, this hip Mexican restaurant just around the corner from Gracias Madre offers a long list of options for gluten free diners, all noted with a GF symbol on their menu. Rumor has it the owner has celiac...  Read More

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant - Hollywood
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


One of the last places one might expect to find gluten (wheat, specifically) is in soy sauce. But it's there, making a traditional sushi experience a bit challenging. But don't dismay sushi lovers! Kabuki is on it. Not only do they offer wheat...  Read More

Gracias Madre
Photo courtesy of Eric Wolfinger


The chefs at Gracias Madres don't get many gluten free requests from customers and that's because gluten has already been stripped from nearly everything on the menu, along with meat and dairy. This sister restaurant to Café Gratitude focuses...  Read More

Tender Greens
Photo courtesy of Tender Greens


From marinated steaks and herb brushed albacore to grilled and roasted vegetables, the majority of Tender Greens menu items are gluten free (or "gluten friendly" as they like to say) if you skip the crostini. Pick your protein (fish, chicken,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Marie Buck


As if Santa Monica didn't already have some great healthy restaurants, this new addition on trendy Montana Avenue has taken them over the top. Why? Not just because so many of Kye's menu options are healthy (and gluten free) but because they...  Read More

The Misfit
Photo courtesy of LGO Hospitality


Just off Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, this hotspot for 20- and 30-somethings is home to a secret stash of gluten free deliciousness. Along with dishes made with fresh produce from the Santa Monica farmers' market, The Misfit has one of...  Read More


Meet Wendy O'Dea

Born and raised in western New York, Wendy O’Dea moved to Los Angeles to attend the USC graduate School of Journalism and stayed for the innovative and creative lifestyle the city offers. Other...  More About Wendy