Words by Olivia Bauso; photos by Maria Posato and Olivia Bauso
Many dishes can be made gluten-free by subtracting gluten (sauce, breadcrumbs, crust, bread, bun, the list goes on). But if you’re on a gluten-free diet by choice or due to an intolerance, you know that a lack of gluten often leaves you with a bare plate and unsatisfying meal.
That's why we are spotlighting nine gluten-free friendly restaurants - places where you no longer have to ask your server to hold the bread.
The Owl House
Inside a former home in residential Wadsworth Square, the Owl House has been serving dishes with a focus on vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options since 2010. The daily specials and regular menu showcase a variety of creative combinations and almost all of them can be made gluten-free if necessary.
The Red Fern
Owned by one of the original Owl House cofounders, Andrea Parros, the Red Fern opened in September 2013 with “health, ethics, and environment in mind.” Their menu offers locally sourced or organic entrees, sandwiches, salads, and snacks with house-baked pastries - including GF donuts on Fridays! - that are entirely vegan, and mostly gluten-free. The restaurant itself is small and casual, with some street-side seating.
Aladdin's Natural Eatery
This local Mediterranean and Lebanese chain has been operating since 1980, serving only fresh vegetables and meats without preservatives of any kind. While much of the menu is gluten-free by nature, it notes the remaining dishes can be made gluten-free upon request. Their Pittsford location overlooks the Erie Canal and offers two-story outdoor seating.
Harry G's New York Deli and Cafe
This South Wedge sandwich shop has been creating made-to-order sandwiches, soups, salads, and more since 2012. Harry G’s will make any sandwich, wrap, or burger on gluten-free bread, buns, or wraps - their staff is “willing to help you build your perfect sandwich.”
Established in 2003, this local creperie serves fresh, locally sourced ingredients for all of their kitchen-made recipes. Almost all items on the menu can be made gluten-free by choosing a buckwheat (yep, a 'wheat' that's GF!) crepe.
While many of the items on this Village Gate restaurant’s menu are naturally gluten-free, most of the dishes can also be made gluten-free by request. The warm tortilla chips and salsa are safe to eat, along with the tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and nachos, which are all made with corn tortillas. The staff is knowledgeable and will make any accommodations needed.
This fun hot dog hut has offered Zweigle's franks with 18 unique varieties of [GF] toppings on gluten-free buns, per request, since 2005. They also have burgers, sandwiches, plates, and meatless options - though only their veggie dogs are GF. While the hut itself is small in size, they have a large area for outdoor dining.
And for dessert ...
Donna Marie's Gluten Free Bakery
This bakery was established in 2009 as Rochester’s first dedicated gluten-free baking facility. They not only sell directly to the public, but also supply baked goods to restaurants and stores in the area (including Wegmans). Their variety of cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pies, and more are “gluten-free, not taste-free.” All products are also preservative-free.
Get Caked Bakery
After catering out of her kitchen at home for four years, Kelly Halligan began this allergy-conscious, vegan-friendly bakery in 2013 at Village Gate. As someone with Celiac Disease, Halligan understands the meaning of gluten-free, and offers GF cupcakes, cookies, and cakes for special events. Desserts are baked from scratch daily, and Get Caked accepts requests for substitutions when necessary.