30 May 2008 ~ 20 Comments

California Gluten Free

Your search for gluten free meals in California will probably start with a study of information that these celiac support groups have published:

Gluten Free in San Diego. This marvelous collection of information includes coverage of DisneyLand and the other southern California tourist attractions.

Ventura County Celiacs. Great information covering the area just north of Los Angeles.

Central Coast Celiacs.. “San Luis Obispo county and beyond”

Sacramento Area Celiacs. El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo counties.

North Bay Celiacs. Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties

Two cities are conspicuously absent from this list. I agree completely with the blogger who wonders why “San Francisco has so few gluten free opportunities.” Los Angeles is close enough to both the Ventura County and San Diego to be mentioned in their listings. I’m sure that there should be many more items on the list..

Here is a partial list of independently owned gluten free restaurants and bakeries in California:

Berkeley. Restaurant Gratitude, with restaurants in Berkeley, Healdsburg,San Rafael, San Francisco (2 locations). Click on the restaurant name for details about locations. The main page indicates that the restaurants are gluten free, but does not give specific details.

Cameron Park. Azna Gluten Free. Shop gluten free at this bakery or pick up items at one of their local partners.

Costa Mesa. Newport Rib Company. You can link to their gluten free and celiac (GF/CF) menu and see the addresses of all three locations.

Culver City. The Sensitive Baker. A gluten free bakery which serves lunches daily Monday through Thursday. Click here for the gluten free menu.

Davis. Farmers Kitchen and Natural Food Works. A bakery and café. The bakery serves gluten free sourdough bread. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read more gluten free information about this restaurant.

Folsom. An enthusiastic customer wrote this about The Ugly Mug Cafe, 157 Iron Point Road: “My husband and daughter went there last week…It was the first time our daughter was able to ‘just eat’ a premade sandwich. She also liked the gluten free muffin.”

Healdsburg, Cafe Gratitude. See the cafe’s listing in Berkeley for information.

Ladera Ranch. Newport Rib Company. This link will enable to get the addresses of their three locations and link to their gluten and celiac menu (gf/cf).

La Jolla. Julian Bakery. sells gluten free products at its bakery in La Jolla and through local grocers. Also ships its bakery products.

Long Beach. Another Newport Rib Company restaurant is located here.

Los Angeles. Sun Power Natural. Located across the street from Universal Studios. This establishment was recommended enthusiastically in an e-mail from a member of America’s gluten free community. Since the restaurant does not mention its gluten free status on-line, I sent them an e-mail on 9/14/09 asking for confirmation.

Manhatten Beach. Fresh Brothers Pizza. Click here to read their gluten free menu.

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Poway, Brick Oven Wood Fired Pizza. Be sure to move from this page to their article describing the procedures for avoiding cross contamination. These people know and care abut us!

Redondo Beach. Fresh Brothers Pizza. For information, see the listing for Manhatten Beach.

San Rafael. Cafe Gratitude.Look at Cafe Gratitude’s listing in Berkeley for details..

Sonoma. Amigo’s Grill and Cantina. Click here to read their gluten free menu. Click on the restaurant name to learn the location.

San Diego. Sammy’s Pizza. Click here for locations, Sammy’s gluten free menu is not mentioned on their website but was documented at the site “Gluten Free in San Diego“.

San Francisco. Cafe Gratitude.(2 locations). Check the listing for Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley for details.

San Francisco (Bay Area) Amici’s, with twelve locations in the Bay Area. Gluten free pizzas are available at all their stores.

San Francisco (East Bay). The East Bay Express recently published an article about gluten free pizza opportunities in the East Bay. The article does not include specific addresses but local pizza-lovers should be able to uncover this information relatively easily.

Southern California (9 locations) The California Chicken Cafe offers these suggetions for gluten free dining.

Windsor. Mangiamo Food. Gluten free items are specially marked on the general menu. Click to read that menu or click on the restaurant name to get the location.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market are your best sources for gluten free grocery shopping in California. and are located throughout the state. Click on the store names to read my articles on these establishments.  Here are other possibilities:

The Sacramento Food Coop may  meet your shopping needs.

Gluten Free Specialty, also located in Sacramento, recently opened. They advertise themselves as “the first all gluten free market in California”.

Elliott’s Natural Foods, 641 East Bidwell, Folsom, was recommended in an e-mail from an enthusiastic customer.

Co-Opportunity, a natural foods market in Santa Monica, states that gluten free products are available but the site does not publish a specific list.  I received an e-mail from a very satisfied customer who mentioned that the shelves are clearly labeled.

GF Meals.com ships fully prepared meals nationally and has a retail outlet in the Woodland Hills.

As everywhere else in America, chain restaurants will provide most of your restaurant meals. These restaurant chains provide gluten free meals in California: Carino’s, Chili’s. Claim Jumper, Lone Star Steak House and Saloon, Outback Steakhouse, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Uno Chicago Grill, Yard House. Click here for menus and locations. These establishments will serve you well!

Obviously, this article is not complete. We need help from people who have first hand experience with these establishments or with other celiac friendly assets.  My hunch is that  this article  will grow.  If you have information to share, please leave a comment at the bottom of this or any article or use the button in the middle column of this page to send me an e-mail.

Information added: 03/30/09

20 Responses to “California Gluten Free”

  1. Kevin Baker 1 June 2008 at 12:39 pm Permalink

    In response to your project to collect gluten free resources state by state, here are the two biggest cities in Kentucky:

    Gluten Free Lexington
    Parent: Celiac Disease Foundation

    Louisville Celiac Support Group
    Parent: Celiac Sprue Association (CSA/USA)

  2. David Kaye 9 September 2008 at 3:23 pm Permalink

    Please add http://www.gfMeals.com to your resource list for glutehn-free food. We provide frozen, ready-to-cook, gluten-free entrees, sides and baked goods, which we ship nationally to your door. We also have a retail outlet in Woodland Hills, CA at 20929 Ventura Blvd., in the Cable’s Restaurant Shopping Center.

  3. Heather 9 October 2008 at 8:26 pm Permalink

    The Ugly Mug Cafe in Folsom, CA has a gluten-free menu (and pre-packaged good). My husband and daughter went there last week. It was the first time our daughter was able to ‘just eat’ a premade sandwich (without taking it apart to not eat the bread). She also liked their gluten-free muffin.

  4. Diane Rinella 23 January 2009 at 3:10 pm Permalink

    Bewitching Elegance (near San Francisco) makes gluten free cakes for weddings and other special occasions. By appointment only.

  5. Lisa Farrell 25 May 2009 at 10:14 am Permalink

    OMG- You must try Sonoma. Amigo’s Grill and Cantina. I found the link here- see above , and its was the best and most stress free gluten free dining experience I have had yet. No worries at all, the wait staff knows and I mean really understands what the hell “gluten free” means. You don’t feel weird or imposing here at all with questions. They help you out!!! And the menu, is HUGE to choose from. The owner has Celiac disease so they revamped the kitchen , and basically , from an already huge item menu, there are only about six things you CAN”T have. The chips you can’t have because of the oil fryer, but they not opposed to you bringing your own, and many times the owners has some on site, just ask:) They are also kid friendly- it is 45 minutes away from our home and worth every mile, and a beautiful scenic drive to boot.
    We have gone three times now, and now family members are excited they can finally eat out with me again , other then the Outback Restaurants, which BTW I have gotten sick at a few times-. So needless to say we are beyond happy with Amigo’s Grill and Cantina. Oh , and they even have an outdoor patio too- awesome!!! not to mention about 15 different Tequilas to choose from. FOOD IS FANTASTIC, TRY THIER FAJITA SIZZLING PLATTERS !
    So even if you are not local , its fantastic for vacationers in Sonoma wine country. And they also serve breakfast -how cool is that!!!!! The web site is old fashioned , so don’t let that deter you from going, the interior is so cute but you wouldn’t know by the pictures on their web site. Out five stars I would give them 10!

  6. A great gluten-free restaurant choice is SunPower Natural Organic Cafe. Not entirely gluten-free but dozens of choices including all desserts. Gluten-free items include 2 pizzas, burgers, lettuce tacos with cashew chez. Desserts include tiramisu, chezcakes (chocolate/banana, mango, blueberry, chocolate/coconut/raspberry), cashew cookies and more.

    Across from Universal Studios by Hollywood Bowl

  7. andrea 9 December 2009 at 5:56 pm Permalink

    Buenos dias, tengo que viajar a Capitola, San Jose, California y quisiera saber donde puedo obtener una lista de tiendas que vendan alimentos libres de gluten,
    Muchas gracias.

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  11. Rachel 5 April 2010 at 6:23 am Permalink

    In the Santa Rosa / Sonoma area, try Stark Reality’s group of restaurants. We ate at two in Santa Rosa: Willi’s Wine Bar and Stark’s Steakhouse. Both offered gluten-free menus that were almost as large as the original menu, plus at least one gf dessert. Willi’s Wine Bar was a great small plates experience for the six of us to share!

    In SF, we just tried Betelnut in the Cow Hollow / Marina area. Their gf menu has expanded, and their staff was VERY knowledgable about food allergies in general – my aunt is allergic to shellfish and our waiter directed her to the dishes that didn’t have oyster sauce. NOTE: I will check out these establishments and transfer the information to the appropriate post as soon as I verify the gluten free status of these establishments.

  12. Kimberly 4 November 2010 at 8:24 am Permalink

    I’m surprised that nobody mentioned Hugo’s in Studio City and West Hollywood. The food is pretty good, reasonably priced and family friendly. They mark each selection to let you know whether they are gluten free, nut free, dairy free or vegan and some are all of the above. The choices range from pasta to Mexican and everything in between. Oh and all the desserts are gluten free. Here is a link: http://www.hugosrestaurant.com/

    PS. Just noticed they are currently serving gluten free, pumpkin bread, French toast. YUM!

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  14. Valerie 27 September 2011 at 3:09 pm Permalink

    PF Changs has gluten free options-including gluten free soy sauce.

  15. Connie 27 September 2011 at 5:28 pm Permalink

    Amigos Cantina and Grill in Sonoma, CA is closed – no longer in business.

  16. glutenfreeinsb 2 October 2011 at 8:31 am Permalink

    For GF options in Santa Barbara, visit glutenfreeinsb.wordpress.com. There are tons of options there now for pizza, pasta and desserts!

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