Tips for Ordering at a Restaurant While Avoiding Gluten

Gluten-free has become such a buzzword in the food industry. Thankfully, if you have a gluten allergy, you are well-taken care of these days when it comes to the products available. It may be slightly frustrating to navigate at times, but for the most part, eating out with a gluten allergy can be very doable with some preparation and awareness.

6 tips for ordering gluten-free

There are several ways to be prepared to enjoy a meal at a restaurant when you have a gluten allergy. Here are 6 tips for dining out when you must be gluten-free!

1. Review the restaurant menu beforehand

Because everything is online now, especially with the pandemic, I highly recommend looking at the menu before sitting down to order. Familiarize yourself with the options and, most importantly, look first to see what gluten-free alternatives they have. Most restaurants now have a "GF" marking you can look for which makes ordering very simple. If your restaurant of choice doesn't have the "GF" label, don't worry, there are always options.

2. Great gluten-free appetizers

I love a good appetizer. Some gluten-free appetizer options I like to order are potato skins, stuffed olives, a charcuterie board, certain soups, and some types of salad. If your soup or salad comes with croutons, ask if there is a gluten-free option. There can also be wheat in certain soups.

3. Have a plan in place

My biggest tip would be to have a plan so you can reduce stress and anxiety. Things can get stressful and complicated when you don't have a plan. Look at the menu beforehand, get situated with meal options, and plan.

Sometimes, I will call the restaurant in advance to ask questions rather than ask at the table. It's a great way to make things more seamless when you do sit down to order. It will also help with any awkward feelings with a group.

4. Suggest the restaurant

Lastly, if you are in a group and have to eat gluten-free, it is always helpful to suggest a restaurant that works for you. This way, everyone can enjoy it, and you don't have to worry about food options. Over time I have built up a personal list of "safe" restaurants that work for me so that whenever a friend wants to grab a bite, I can suggest a spot and it's easier.

5. Be mindful of options at chain restaurants

Overall, I've found that if I go to a privately owned restaurant and not a chain, they are willing to work with me and make things specifically towards my needs. At a chain restaurant, it can be hard because, sadly, many of the menu items tend to be pre-made, making gluten-free substitutions nearly impossible.

6. When in doubt, go for chicken and salad

What restaurant doesn't have a grilled chicken and a salad option when you think about it? You have to go to a very select spot not to be able to order some grilled chicken with a salad, right? Fish and vegetables are also an excellent option. Make sure that if you order protein, it isn't breaded.

So when all else fails, I try to remember that there will usually be some gluten-free option, even if it's not the most delicious.

What tips do you have for ordering gluten-free at a restaurant? Comment below; we love to hear from you.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Allergies.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

When are you allergy symptoms the most severe?