Grain Expectations: Accommodating Venues for the Gluten-Free Foodie

First rule of gluten-free eating? DEFINITELY TALK ABOUT GLUTEN-FREE EATING. Staffers at the below venues will be happy to discuss their ingredients and kitchen practices with you before you order, which is precisely what you should do before taking a bite. And for those living with gluten allergies – or simply trying to eliminate offending grains from their culinary repertoire – Orlando’s list of options is growing exponentially. At venues such as Dandelion Communitea Café or Infusion Tea, GF diners will find myriad selections rife with fresh crisp, crunchy ingredients, creamy spreads and hearty soups, but let’s face it: not every gluten-free eater is all about organic, sustainably farmed, green foodstuffs. Those with a penchant for the fryer will find sinful solace at either Disney Springs or Universal’s CityWalk. At Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, you can have your cheeseburger in paradise with a gluten-free bun (not to mention Volcano Nachos and a decadent Chocolate Hurricane dessert). Over at the Raglan Road Irish Pub, they keep a whole separate fryer on hand, which means usually-off-limits delights such as fried fish, calamari and onion rings are on tap – along with some excellent GF cider. For those on the go, check out the drive-through at the Green Day Café, where gluten-free quesadillas are an everyday occurrence.

Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

There aren't many restaurants anywhere that can claim a 100 percent vegan menu, but even as Orlando's roster of options grows, Ethos has been carrying the plant-based diet torch here in town since 2007. After several years building a devoted...  Read More

Serving up tasty fast-casual eats from its comfortable Dr. Phillips digs, this cheery "paninery" does up a multitude of classic pressed sandwiches with fresh, locally made bread and house-roasted meats, which makes a big difference when it comes...  Read More

Lime, tequila and salt are all – mercifully – gluten-free, but one wouldn't think the same about a cheeseburger in paradise. But Jimmy, bless his heart, made sure that GF customers at his Universal CityWalk establishment could enjoy just...  Read More

The Nile ain't just a river in Egypt, as the saying goes (sort of). In Orlando, it's one of a handful of independent restaurants amid I-Drive's sea of chain offerings, one serving up authentic Ethiopian fare in traditional style. What does this...  Read More

Disney Springs ®

Cold pints and warm, convivial vibe are always on tap at Raglan Road, which isn't lying when it calls itself a genuine Irish pub. In fact, the whole place was built in Ireland and then shipped to Orlando where it was lovingly reassembled to the...  Read More

Super Veggie, Holy Guacamole and the Big Tahuna are just some of the fun salads (make it a wrap, regular or gluten-free, it's your choice!) available at the Green Day Café, a newish healthy fast-food franchise with an outpost in North Orlando....  Read More

Infusion Tea: it's the happy hub of the College Park Sunday Brunch Market and a haven for both tea lovers – and healthy eaters. Infusion boasts a wonderful array of healthful eats and pays heed to vegans, gluten-forgoers and a host of other...  Read More

The dandelion, an edible flower that we're quick to call a weed, is a mascot of sorts for this quirky organic teahouse. You'll first be reminded of the café's namesake when you view the exterior (bright green with yellow shutters) and then...  Read More

Sensual. Spiritual. Savory: three words that express the emotional enlightenment Dragonfly Robata Grill tries to evoke with its service and cuisine. Dragonfly's interpretation of Japanese pub culture is taken quite seriously, making for quite...  Read More

Cooper's Hawk is a winery based in Chicago. How's that, you ask? Simple: they fly in high-quality grapes from west coast regions – California, Oregon and Washington – and craft the wines in Chi. Since 2005, its tasting room/bar/restaurant...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

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