Where do I begin? There are so many great gluten-free lunch options in Austin, TX, I find it hard to decide where I am going to go eat lunch in this fine city of ours! With SXSW starting up this week and 44+ events on tap scheduled through the Austin Convention Center Bureau/Eventbrite, there is a lot of lunch time goodness to be had and this is your gluten-free guide to Austin’s Lunch spots:
Hopdoddy Burger Bar: It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Hopdoddy! Having helped throw their 1st ever food blogger tasting last year, I was a fan from opening day! With a menu of gourmet burgers using locally sourced meats and produce, to healthy salads, the staff at Hopdoddy Burger Bar know how to serve up a gluten-free meal! My favorite burger is the Continental Turkey Burger. It’s so tasty you can eat it without the gluten-free bun! If your feeling dangerous try one of their Mexican Vanilla Milkshakes & go early as line goes out the door!
*Note: Hopdoddy’s Management has gone to extenuating lengths to develop a gluten-free bun and use a separate heated surface to warm buns to prevent any cross contamination.
Whole Foods Market: With the flagship store located at Lamar/5th Street in the heart of downtown Austin, Whole Foods Market offers a SmÃƒÂ¶rgÃƒÂ¥sbord of gluten-free options, ranging from their Indian Food Buffet items, to prepackaged items from Amy’s wide array of frozen gluten-free entrees. Additionally, Whole Foods has their “RAW & Healthy Living” Section, which offers several gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan options. Whole Foods Market is a leading authority when it comes to gluten-free and they’re ever-expanding their gluten-free options.
24 Diner: Chef Andrew Curren (of recent Top Chef fame) and staff have the beat on gluten-free dining! The staff here can help steer you in the right direction on their gluten-free menu even if you’re a pro at eating gluten-free! Chef Andrew Curren also just opened up Easy Tiger which is working on gluten-free and vegan options which will be coming to a dining table soon so stay tuned!
Hillside Farmacy: Chef Sonja Cote’s new East-side eatery is the perfect touch of a classic neighborhood bistro in Paris with local fare sourced from Austin’s local urban farms and fine food purveyors, including Delysia Chocolatier. *Update: As of today 3/12 Hillside Farmacy is serving up gluten-free bread for their fabulous sandwiches!
Parkside: Chef Shawn Cirkiel is a James Beard award-winning Chef here in Austin, and one of my favorites! Having partnered with Shawn on the Gluten-Free Pizza Fest in February 2011, Chef Cirkiel is top-notch when it comes to gluten-free dining. Having just opened Parkside for lunch, pop in to the downtown eatery and enjoy!
Leaf: Salads your thing? When your eating gluten-free it can be one of the best sources of nutrition and easily accessible without any cross contamination issues. Leaf located in the 2nd Street District of downtown Austin is a great spot to eat in or grab a fresh healthy salad to go! My fav – Strawberry Fields Forever! Menu
2nd Bar + Kitchen: Famed Chef David Bull opened 2nd Bar + Kitchen just a little over a year ago just before SXSW last year. What do I love about lunch at 2nd Bar + Kitchen? There are already so many gluten-free options on the menu, but if you’re hankering for a dish on the menu that’s not gluten-free, let your server know and they will check to see if and how they can make it gluten-free for you! Chef David Bull is an award-winning chef here in Austin and is always on the forefront of the latest in food trends and works with local farms to bring sustainable practices to his menu and restaurants (Also check out Bar Congress & Congress).
Cafe Josie: Chef Charles Mays has been a fixture on the culinary scene in Austin for over 15+ years, working with several local non-profit charities and events, including the Green Corn Project. Chef Mays brings an “Equatorial Pantry” concept to his flavors and menu at Cafe Jose, with many gluten-free options available. Be sure to let your server know your gluten-free and what options are available to you on the daily menu.
Bistrot Mirabelle: Whilst I’ve not had the opportunity to try Bistrot Mirabelle personally, it’s my understanding they have a wide array of gluten-free menu items and the buzz surrounding the newly revamped restaurant is nothing but positive! It’s on my list of places to eat soon and an upcoming blog post will certainly be warranted I am sure!
Fino: What can I say about Fino?? One of the best kept secrets in town for sure. It’s just North of downtown, but it’s a gem! There are many gluten-free options on their menu, but my favorite pictured below, is their shrimp with grits (no always on the menu but is a special so ask to hear the specials of the day). You can’t go wrong with this dish!
Frank: Everyone loves a good hotdog & Frank most certainly serves up some delicious gluten-free lunchtime bites! Make sure to ask for the gluten-free hot dog bun!
Jack Allen’s Kitchen: Chef Jack Gilmore know just what it means to dine out gluten-free and he get’s the whole enchilada on cross contamination! With lunch time dishes ranging from trout to bacon wrapped quail, you can’t go wrong with lunch at Jack Allen’s Kitchen!
Snap Kitchen: This is easy-peasy when it comes to gluten-free & Snap Kitchen is a one-stop pre-packaged shop. To me it’s gluten-free heaven, as I can pop in grab fresh gluten-free meals that have been prepared, with dishes ranging from Quinoa Truffle Mac-N-Cheese, Vegetable Lasagna, Spaghetti and Turkey Bolognese to Turkey Meatloaf Wraps.
ZTejas: With rolling out a new gluten-free menu last year, this hot spot on West 6th Street is doing gluten-free the right way! With careful detail to menu development and cross contamination, you can’t go wrong! My favorite of all the dishes on their gluten-free menu is the Wild Mushroom Enchiladas.
Taco Deli: I am so lucky to have a Taco Deli location walking distance from my office, as it’s a quick run down the street for a delicious gluten-free lunch! Their menu calls out items that are gluten-free and they serve up your selection of meats on gluten-free corn tortilla’s – Check out their menu options! I can never pick a favorite, as there are to many to choose from!
Cafe Hai Ky – Located in the Westlake neighborhood, I pop into Cafe Hai Ky for your traditional Vietnamese delights. Make sure to ask for their gluten-free sauce selections.
The Steeping Room: Located in the Domain Shopping Center in North Austin a great location to grab some down time, enjoy a gluten-free lunch and then pop into the Apple Store or one of the other boutiques.
Thai Fresh: This reminds me of living back in San Francisco! Fresh ingredients, healthy gluten-free meals. Jam the Owner of Thai Fresh is so incredibly knowledgeable on the gluten-free dining I never worry when eating here! Just located south of the river, pop in for a delicious lunch and enjoy a dessert made by Jam and then head next door for a Thai coffee at Thrice!
Urban- An American Grill: Also located in the Domain, you will love all the gluten-free options on the menu!
Elizabeth Street Cafe: One of the newest additional on the Austin culinary scene, Elizabeth Street Cafe is offering up French Vietnamese Cuisine that will delight your gluten-free fancy.
Beets Cafe: “A cafÃƒÂ© as unique as Austin. Celebrating the bounty of the earth, come in and experience the vitality of Living Foods. The Chefs of Beets CafÃƒÂ© are passionate, creating uncommonly good food, alive with flavor and nutrition,prepared with love” – Offerings include raw, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free
I have some other favorites too that I’ve not listed that have been covered in other posts for the guide (Fore more gluten-free options: Gluten-Free Breakfast from Salts¬â„¢ Kitchen & Gluten-Free Dinner from ATX Gluten-Free. Also check out “Brunches” from Carla Crownover – My personal favorite is Foreign & Domestic; Austin’s Food Truck Scene by Mike Krell). Check out the remainder of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance 2012 City Guide here!
- Gluten-Free: Turkish Delight Day 1 – Traveling Gluten-Free in Istanbul, Turkey (blindedbythebite.wordpress.com)