San Francisco is one of the cities leading the way in restaurants which offer dining options for wheat and gluten intolerant individuals. With an estimated 10% of Americans currently thought to suffer from a range of gluten-related disorders, fortunately more and more restaurants are providing menu options around this tricky dietary restriction. Consider these picks for gluten free dining out heaven in San Francisco.
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen
Located at 401 Valencia Street in the heart of the Mission District, Pica Pica Maize Kitchen proudly proclaims itself to be 100% gluten free for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, this means 100% worry free from contamination issues since everything here is gluten free. A varied, tasty menu of Venezuelan-inspired dishes with an emphasis on corn and yucca as the base ingredient in empanadas, fries and more. Beer is high up on the no-no list for celiacs, wheat and gluten sensitive folks, so indulging in a gluten free beer is a real treat. The restaurant’s father and daughter founders support the National Foundation for Celiacs Awareness and its kitchen certification program.
Transport yourself to a virtual New Delhi dinner at 995 Valencia Street. This South Indian restaurant boasts a 2012 Michelin “Bib Gourmand” nod for three years running and makes regular appearances as “Best Indian” other reader polls. Dosa is another Mission District gem where gluten free options appear on the menu in abundance including dosa, the signature dish, which is a savory, thin crepe of rice and lentil. Uttapam, an Indian version of pizza, equally safe and delicious. Enquire further and the staff will provide an allergen cheat-sheet to indicate more detail regarding what ingredients are found in which foods. The staff is assuringly clued up on the topic. A second location is now open at 1700 Fillmore.
Three’s a charm for the Mission, so try the original Café Gratitude at 2400 Harrison Street. 100% organic, vegan and locally sourced from their own farm, featuring lots of raw food items. Plenty of attention is paid to avoiding cross contamination by use of a gluten free central kitchen. The menu reflects Sacred Promise, the founders’ experimental business model and philosophy, via selections such as “I Am Giving” and “I Am Grateful”, the menu suggesting diners may elect to donate to community support for the needy.
A small chain, Asqew Grill is another solid choice for the well-informed and passionate; the owner’s daughter is a celiac. Kitchen and wait staff are trained on awareness issues and patrons will find a gluten free menu with a choice of six starters, seven main dishes, salads and side dishes. Appetizers include butternut squash soup, polenta, hummus and grilled asparagus or artichoke. A Caesar Salad comes without croutons. Cross-contamination is carefully avoided in the preparation of main dishes on the barbequed skewers grill.