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Where to Eat Gluten-Free in D.C.

Bakeries, pizza shops, and restaurants that look out for diners with celiac disease

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Eating gluten-free can be a challenge, but finding restaurants to accommodate the diet isn’t that difficult in the D.C. area.

For the uninitiated, gluten is an umbrella term for the proteins typically found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, the substance can damage the small intestine. In the U.S., 2.5 million Americans are undiagnosed and could face long-term health complications from the hereditary disease, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

As more and more people go gluten-free, the restaurant industry has adapted with countless options, ranging from pizza and pasta to cookies and cakes. For dishes that are free of gluten, but packed with flavor, head to one of these gluten-free offerings in the D.C. area.

— Updated by Adele Chapin

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Cielo Rojo Restaurant

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Year-old Takoma Park taqueria Cielo Rojo’s menu helpfully points out its plentiful gluten-free options, like potato and corn masa gorditas or chicken tinga tostadas. 

Lebanese Taverna (Multiple Locations)

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This local, family-run chain serves up many gluten-free dishes on its meze-rich menu, including assorted styles of hummus, seasonal soups, and salads. Grilled eggplant, roasted chicken, and lamb shanks are all hearty, gluten-free entrees.

Rise Bakery

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As the only gluten-free bakery within District lines, Rise Bakery in Adams Morgan is a must-visit for people with celiac disease. Owner Mike Koritko started the bakery years after his celiac diagnosis. From bagels and cheesecake to muffins and pies, this bakery accommodates the gluten-free crowd without sacrificing taste.

Lupo Verde Osteria Palisades

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Go for Lupo Verde Osteria’s gluten-free rigatoni, which is made with corn, then add sauces like pomodoro, bolognese, cacio e pepe, or vongole (clams).

Jetties

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Craving a sandwich? Favorite local shop Jettie’s offers gluten-free bread options at all locations.

O Earth Creamery + Bakehouse

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In October 2019, gluten-free bakery O Earth Creamery + Bakehouse opened an outpost at Union Market in addition to its stalls at farmers markets like the Palisades Farmers Market. Find treats like caramel apple tarts, chocolate ginger scones, loaves of bread like sourdough, and vegan quiche.

Buttercream Bakeshop

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This Shaw bakery from chef-owner Tiffany MacIsaac and partner/lead decorator Alexandra Mudry-Till serves up an enormous, alternating roster of gluten-free sweets including cakes, macarons, candy bars and holiday peppermint meringues. Customers especially crave the bakery’s gluten-free Snickers brownies and red velvet cupcakes.

Busboys and Poets (Multiple Locations)

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From shrimp and grits to sweet potato hash, nearly every section on the menu of this D.C. classic offers a wide range of gluten-free alternatives.

&pizza (Multiple Locations)

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The fast-casual pizza chain that’s all over Washington offers a gluten-free crust.

Flower Child

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Healthful national chain Flower Child is planting a flag in the DMV, with outposts in D.C., Rockville, Tysons, and Bethesda. The menu puts an emphasis on gluten-free offerings, from turkey bolognese and zucchini lasagna bowls to super grain oatmeal with warm date compote.

Karma Modern Indian

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Apart from the breads at this contemporary Indian restaurant, a majority of Karma’s menu is gluten-free.

Quail mussallam from Karma Modern Indian
Karma Modern Indian

Sweetgreen (Multiple Locations)

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This homegrown, ever-expanding chain specializes in signature salads, protein-packed bowls, and seasonal specials that are naturally gluten-free. Top things off with more than a dozen gluten-free dressings — like the signature Caesar dressing — or throw in premium ingredients such as roasted vegetables, salami, and goat cheese.

sweetgreen

Chef John Melfi at the Northern Italian-influenced Modena downtown is experimenting with whipping up gluten-free, house-milled corn flour pasta. Currently, there’s a corn penne and a chick pea pasta on Modena’s menu, and Melfi is also working on perfecting a local oat pasta as well. These gluten-free pastas can be combined with any sauce on the menu.

eat brgz

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This new fast-casual burger counter near Eastern Market mixes all the toppings into its burger patties. Gluten-free buns made out of cauliflower, eggs, and cheese have become a big seller. — Gabe Hiatt

The Happy Tart Falls Church

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In Falls Church, ​Happy Tart owner and executive chef Emma Cech set out on a mission to make gluten-free versions of the French pastries she studied at L’Academie de Cuisine. The long-running bakery serves up crepes, bread, cake pops, petit fours, macarons, and all sorts of pies and tarts.

Oath Pizza - Navy Yard

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Oath Pizza’s multiple locations in D.C. offer a “Mindful Menu” featuring gluten-free crusts. Try the cauliflower crust topped with basil pesto, mozzarella, roasted chicken, grape tomatoes, and feta.

Oath Pizza

Nazret Ethiopia Resturant

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Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema calls out this Ethiopian eatery for its gluten-free injera, made with teff delivered from Ethiopia.

Tim’s top 25 - Nazret Ethiopia Washington Post via Getty Images

Cielo Rojo Restaurant

Year-old Takoma Park taqueria Cielo Rojo’s menu helpfully points out its plentiful gluten-free options, like potato and corn masa gorditas or chicken tinga tostadas. 

Lebanese Taverna (Multiple Locations)

This local, family-run chain serves up many gluten-free dishes on its meze-rich menu, including assorted styles of hummus, seasonal soups, and salads. Grilled eggplant, roasted chicken, and lamb shanks are all hearty, gluten-free entrees.

Rise Bakery

As the only gluten-free bakery within District lines, Rise Bakery in Adams Morgan is a must-visit for people with celiac disease. Owner Mike Koritko started the bakery years after his celiac diagnosis. From bagels and cheesecake to muffins and pies, this bakery accommodates the gluten-free crowd without sacrificing taste.

Lupo Verde Osteria Palisades

Go for Lupo Verde Osteria’s gluten-free rigatoni, which is made with corn, then add sauces like pomodoro, bolognese, cacio e pepe, or vongole (clams).

Jetties

Craving a sandwich? Favorite local shop Jettie’s offers gluten-free bread options at all locations.

O Earth Creamery + Bakehouse

In October 2019, gluten-free bakery O Earth Creamery + Bakehouse opened an outpost at Union Market in addition to its stalls at farmers markets like the Palisades Farmers Market. Find treats like caramel apple tarts, chocolate ginger scones, loaves of bread like sourdough, and vegan quiche.

Buttercream Bakeshop

This Shaw bakery from chef-owner Tiffany MacIsaac and partner/lead decorator Alexandra Mudry-Till serves up an enormous, alternating roster of gluten-free sweets including cakes, macarons, candy bars and holiday peppermint meringues. Customers especially crave the bakery’s gluten-free Snickers brownies and red velvet cupcakes.

Busboys and Poets (Multiple Locations)

From shrimp and grits to sweet potato hash, nearly every section on the menu of this D.C. classic offers a wide range of gluten-free alternatives.

&pizza (Multiple Locations)

The fast-casual pizza chain that’s all over Washington offers a gluten-free crust.

Flower Child

Healthful national chain Flower Child is planting a flag in the DMV, with outposts in D.C., Rockville, Tysons, and Bethesda. The menu puts an emphasis on gluten-free offerings, from turkey bolognese and zucchini lasagna bowls to super grain oatmeal with warm date compote.

Karma Modern Indian

Quail mussallam from Karma Modern Indian
Karma Modern Indian

Apart from the breads at this contemporary Indian restaurant, a majority of Karma’s menu is gluten-free.

Quail mussallam from Karma Modern Indian
Karma Modern Indian

Sweetgreen (Multiple Locations)

sweetgreen

This homegrown, ever-expanding chain specializes in signature salads, protein-packed bowls, and seasonal specials that are naturally gluten-free. Top things off with more than a dozen gluten-free dressings — like the signature Caesar dressing — or throw in premium ingredients such as roasted vegetables, salami, and goat cheese.

sweetgreen

Modena

Chef John Melfi at the Northern Italian-influenced Modena downtown is experimenting with whipping up gluten-free, house-milled corn flour pasta. Currently, there’s a corn penne and a chick pea pasta on Modena’s menu, and Melfi is also working on perfecting a local oat pasta as well. These gluten-free pastas can be combined with any sauce on the menu.

eat brgz

This new fast-casual burger counter near Eastern Market mixes all the toppings into its burger patties. Gluten-free buns made out of cauliflower, eggs, and cheese have become a big seller. — Gabe Hiatt

The Happy Tart Falls Church

In Falls Church, ​Happy Tart owner and executive chef Emma Cech set out on a mission to make gluten-free versions of the French pastries she studied at L’Academie de Cuisine. The long-running bakery serves up crepes, bread, cake pops, petit fours, macarons, and all sorts of pies and tarts.

Related Maps

Oath Pizza - Navy Yard

Oath Pizza

Oath Pizza’s multiple locations in D.C. offer a “Mindful Menu” featuring gluten-free crusts. Try the cauliflower crust topped with basil pesto, mozzarella, roasted chicken, grape tomatoes, and feta.

Oath Pizza

Nazret Ethiopia Resturant

Tim’s top 25 - Nazret Ethiopia Washington Post via Getty Images

Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema calls out this Ethiopian eatery for its gluten-free injera, made with teff delivered from Ethiopia.

Tim’s top 25 - Nazret Ethiopia Washington Post via Getty Images

Related Maps