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Gluten Be Gone: The Space Coast's 10 Best Gluten-Free Restaurants



Gluten-free travelers will love the Space Coast. This beachy stretch of Florida has plenty of top-notch restaurants, and healthy ones, too. This health-conscious and diverse spread means plenty of gluten-free menus. 

Some restaurants go full-out, with completely gluten-free fares, like our favorite, Happy Healthy Human, which is raw, organic, vegan and naturally gluten-free. Rodizio Grill is nearly 100 percent gluten-free, as well as free of peanuts and MSG. This Brazilian chain specializes in meats, carved at your table, and also has an unlimited salad bar with dozens of options. 

Other restaurants, like D.I.G. Bistro, aren't completely gluten-free, but offer an impressive selection, from smoothies to salads to quinoa recipes. In fact, smoothie options – gluten-free, of course – abound at many coffee shops, like the Sunrise bakery, which also prepares gluten-free baked goods daily. Juice N Java Cafe serves up smoothies for breakfast and even sells gluten-free beer for later. 

Want a bigger, sit-down meal? The Jungle Organic Restaurant is known for its gluten-free veggie burger. Most items here can be prepared gluten-free, and often for no additional charge, which is a rarity. When it's time for dessert, head to the Fat Donkey, where gluten-free diners can indulge in a jumbo peanut butter cup.


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Dessert is the speciality here. In fact, that's all the Fat Donkey offers. It's a popular dessert restaurant and ice cream parlor ideally located in downtown Cocoa Beach. Pick up classic favorites, like soft-serve ice cream, as well as some unique offerings, like dessert jars – try the maple bacon jar, trust us – and "smashers," which are basically pie smashed into an ice cream cone. This restaurant also offers seasonal menu items (don't miss the cherry eggnog baked jar if you're visiting the Space Coast in the winter) and also participates in community events around town. Warm churro ice cream sandwiches are another awesome, indulgent reward after a long day surfing. At the Fat Donkey, you can also find raw, organic, vegan and gluten-free dessert options. If you're avoiding gluten, try a jumbo peanut butter cup for just $6.

Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: This dessert restaurant offers gluten-free options, as well as raw, organic and vegan treats.

Aimee's expert tip: If you're avoiding gluten, try a jumbo peanut butter cup for just $6.

Read more about The Fat Donkey →


Sun Shoppe and Cafe


Sun Shoppe and Cafe, located in the heart of downtown Melbourne for more than a decade, features good selection of coffee, dessert, muffins and bagels. This popular, quirky coffeehouse serves breakfast all day. Coffee here comes from custom-roasted beans, and the blended "frappe" selection includes some unique concoctions, such as the PB + Mocha. Pastries are made fresh daily. You can also choose from vegetarian and vegan offerings. Looking for a cool, lighter option? The long list of smoothies at the Sun Shoppe are refreshing and inexpensive. If you're more of a tea-drinker than coffee-addict, the Sun Shoppe's selection of teas will warm your belly and start your morning right. Enjoy free wifi by day, and live music at night.

Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Plenty of smoothies, frappes, salads and egg-centric breakfasts cater to the gluten intolerant.

Aimee's expert tip: Enjoy your breakfast and custom-roasted coffee outside on the patio.

Read more about Sun Shoppe and Cafe →


The Jungle Organic Restaurant
Photo courtesy of The Jungle Organic Restaurant & Market Facebook page


This organic restaurant and grocery store features a large selection of gluten-free goodies. Find new homemade soups every day, with many gluten-free options available for not additional charge (a rare bonus!). The veggie burger is a consistent fave. As expected in Florida, you can also choose from a variety of delicious seafood offerings, such as the also-beloved smoked salmon cristini. Add the freshly grilled catch-of-the-day to your salad or indulge in Caribbean fish tacos with white wine and mango salsa. Although the prices are a bit higher than other restaurants in the area, the wide selection and atmosphere will not disappoint. Relax by the waterfall and enjoy one of the Space Coast's best gluten-free hangouts. Here, you can also pick up vitamins, herbal supplements, organic alcohol, natural beauty products and even pet food.

Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: This restaurant offers a large selection of gluten-free options and many more that can be made gluten-free for no additional charge.

Aimee's expert tip: Get the glu-free veggie burger. It's a consistent fave.

Read more about The Jungle Organic Restaurant →


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Juice N Java is a great place to get fresh-roasted coffee wine, craft beers and healthy, fresh, farm-to-table menu options inspired from around the world. This shop is a local fave and has been voted the No. 1 coffee house in Central Florida. For healthy options check out the fruit smoothies, salads and artisan cheese trays. For a healthy snack, try the chocolate-covered strawberries. Sandwiches come with a variety of bread options to meet your dietary needs or culinary cravings. Juice N Java also offers vegetarian options, like the roma sandwich. Come and plan to stay; wifi is free and service is excellent. Grab a table outside on a nice day.

Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Gluten-free eaters can enjoy smoothies, salads, gluten-free beer, soup, lattes and more.

Aimee's expert tip: This is a great place to work or meet friends. There's plenty of seating indoors and out.

Read more about Juice N Java Cafe →


Sunrise Whole Grain Bakery and Coffee Shop
Photo courtesy of Sunrise Bakery


Sunrise opens at 6 a.m. and stays open until 6 p.m. This family-fun business is a hot gathering place to work, relax and meet. In fact, a local running club and knitting club meet here regularly. There's plenty of space to meet and wifi is free. Sunrise doesn't only offer (delicious) whole-grain breads. It also bakes muffins, cookies, scones and cinnamon rolls – most from scratch. Bread here is made from 100 percent whole wheat with no additives, and flavored using pure Florida honey. Most bread doesn't contain preservatives, fats or oils. Gluten-free eaters will be happy to see a small selection for them, too. Curl up with a book, a coffee and a light breakfast upstairs, and prepare for your fun day on the beach. Craving something to cool off? Order a smoothie or iced blended coffee drink.

Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: This bakery has a small selection of gluten-free fares.

Aimee's expert tip: Try a smoothie, made with fruit and 100 percent real fruit juice.

Read more about Sunrise Whole Grain Bakery and Coffee Shop →


Happy Healthy Human
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Notahipster.


Visit Happy Healthy Human for the best "real food" on the Space Coast. This organic, raw, vegan cafe is also a "community life center" that is all about healing the body, as well as nourishing it with delicious food. Everything here is delicious, high quality, organic and free of pesticides. Even if you're not on a vegan or gluten-free diet, you will enjoy the food here. Get a shot of energy in the delicious green smoothie with wheatgrass. Munch on some kale chips instead of potato chips. Also enjoy green juice, salads, the acai bowl, nut cheese and "mylk shakes." The onion bread sandwich is the most popular item on the menu. This restaurant is small and casual, but friendly with great service. It also organizes various healthy events, such as group cleanses and raw food samplings and demonstrations.

Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Happy Healthy Human is an organic, raw, vegan cafe – so gluten is entirely off the menu.

Aimee's expert tip: Try green juice for an energy boost.

Read more about Happy Healthy Human →


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Meet Aimee Heckel

Aimee Heckel’s passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the...  More About Aimee

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