How to Eat Gluten Free at Restaurants

Eating gluten-free is a choice for some people, but for many others, it is a necessity. A condition called celiac disease makes it extremely important for sufferers to refrain from eating anything that contains gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in grain. It actually forms a glue-like substance in bread products and pasta. While it may seem impossible to go about daily life without eating bread or bread products, people with celiac disease learn to live and eat fairly well. In fact, you can actually eat gluten-free at regular restaurants. This guide will show you how.


Step 1

Ask for a gluten-free menu. Over the past few years, awareness of celiac disease has spread. Restaurants want to cash in on that fact. In fact, several large chain restaurants offer gluten-free menus. Typically, a notation at the bottom of a regular menu will announce, "Gluten-free menu available."

Step 2

Tell our server you have celiac disease, or that you are allergic to gluten. Hopefully, awareness of your condition will make her extra-sensitive to your dietary needs. For example, explain that, when you say you want no sauce on your plate, you mean it--with no exceptions.

Step 3

Ask the server not to deliver bread to your table. Some celiac patients have only recently been diagnosed. For them, bread is a temptation, and not eating it is torture. What's more, some celiac sufferers actually have a reaction to the mere smell of bread.

Step 4

Request no dressing or croutons on your salad. Salad dressings, although they do not include bread, typically contain gluten. An easy solution is to purchase your own bottle of gluten-free salad dressing and keep some in your purse or handbag.

Step 5

Order seafood and vegetables, or meat and vegetables. Seafood, meat and vegetables are all safe, as long as seasonings that contain gluten are not added. You can still eat well gluten-free; you just have to be extra careful.

Step 6

Order steamed rice as you side. Rice is not only delicious, but celiac patients can eat it as well. Rice is a substitute for wheat in many gluten-free recipes. Celiac patients typically buy rice flour and rice bread instead of wheat bread and flour.

Step 7

Tip your server well. This means 20 percent. Yes, that's much higher than some people typically leave for a tip, but if you find a good "gluten-free" waitress, you'll probably come back often.

Tips and Warnings

There are entire restaurants created just for individuals with celiac disease. Everything on their menus is gluten-free. These restaurants are popping up all over the country. Don't always count on the "gluten-free" label on store-bought food to mean there is absolutely no gluten inside. The requirements for such a label vary from country to country. Just use caution.

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About this Author

Kendra Dahlstrom has been a freelance writer for five years. She has a versatile background in music, finance and health. When Dahlstrom is not writing web content, she enjoys spending time outdoors playing with her family and working on her first children's book.

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