The best gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix (according to me)

by inspiredrd on January 29, 2013

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

My head is a mess, my body is aching, and my tummy is rumbly.  All because I tried a new restaurant for lunch yesterday.  A restaurant that had gluten-free options and a waiter who seemed to understand my celiac spiel.  Twenty minutes after eating my beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios, I was flying over speed bumps to get to a Barnes & Noble bathroom.

This is especially frustrating considering the fact that I’ve felt good, almost great for more than two weeks.  A day like today makes me never want to try a new restaurant again.  I know I’m overreacting, but that’s how I feel today.

So, in the interest of being constructive with my foggy time, I thought I would put a quick list together of the restaurants in Phoenix that I trust to do gluten-free food safely.  Just in case you’re ever in the area and want to catch a bite with me or your closest celiac friend.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Beckett’s Table – Whether I had to be gluten-free or not, this restaurant would be my favorite.  It’s just amazing.  Chef Justin Beckett scours the local farmers markets for seasonal produce and features an ever-changing menu.  When you bring up “gluten-free” and “celiac”, the servers go into detail about how careful they are in the kitchen and how they have extensive training in preparing safe food.  Fancy enough for a date night, but relaxed enough for the whole family, this place is the best.  I only wish I lived closer to it.  If you go, make sure to order the s’mores with chocolate covered bacon, homemade peanut butter and marshmallow (leave out the graham crackers obviously).  Holy yum.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

True Food Kitchen – Another restaurant I wish was closer to my house, this one is a partnership between Fox Restaurants and Dr. Andrew Weil.  Fresh healthy food served beautifully and safely.  Watch them work in the open kitchen as you sip on a Kale-Aid.  Don’t be intimidated by the fact that this is a “health food” place.  We took one of our friends who openly hates vegetables (and would have rather been at Wienerschnitzel), and he loved everything about his dinner and can’t wait to go back.  My recommendation is the Winter Ingredient Salad.  It just might change your life.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Liberty Market – This restaurant in downtown Gilbert uses fresh ingredients from Agritopia farm and is a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  When I tell the server that I need safe gluten-free food, they know exactly what to do, and I’ve never had a problem there.  Make sure to order the rice pudding for dessert, it’s magical.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Kona Grill – I’m consistently impressed with the knowledge and care of the servers at Kona.  Whether we go for happy hour sushi rolls or for traditional dinner, they know exactly how to tweak my order to make it not only gluten-free but delicious.  Every time they bring me my food, they assure me that a new cutting board was used and that the entire area was wiped down before my order was prepared.  For sushi, this is my place!

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Nourish – I was just at this restaurant for a gluten-free meet up, and everything was incredible.  The owners work hard to use fresh, local ingredients and it shows.  Colorful and mouth-watering, I could eat there every day and never get tired of the food.  It’s also the perfect place to visit if you are meeting a friend with multiple food allergies or intolerances as their menu is color coded based on just that.  Egg free?  No problem!  Vegan?  Great!  Nourish is a must-visit if you’re in the Scottsdale area.

 Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Indulge Burgers – When I want to feel like a normal, gluten-eating person, I visit Indulge Burgers.  I can order a burger and fries, and they bring it out on a gluten-free bun with any toppings I want.  Usually I get something fun like spring mix, caramelized onions, herbed goat cheese and cranberries.  The fries are baked crispy, just how I like them.  Take the whole family, they have something for everyone, and your gluten-free order will be prepared in a separate space, very safely.  All of their meat is humanely raised, and they also have turkey, buffalo and veggie burgers to choose from.  Go ahead, indulge a little. – Indulge Burgers is now closed.  Such a bummer.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Pita Jungle - This is a relatively new find for us, even though it’s just right down the street.  The first time we ate at Pita Jungle, I was a little worried about the gluten-free offerings, especially since the word “Pita” is in the name of the restaurant.  I was put at ease when the server brought out my salad and called it the “gluten-free broiled chicken salad that was made on a clean surface with new gloves”.  And it was excellent.  I’ve since tried a few other things on the menu, including the hummus with cucumber slices and oh the yumminess.  This is a great place for takeout too.

flemings11

Fleming’s has a registered dietitian on staff that tests every single ingredient for food allergens.  They do a wonderful job and completely understand the issue of cross-contamination.  Plus, the food is delicious.  This is a great place to go if you are looking for something a little fancier.  They also have a happy hour menu.

 

When we’re in a rush, I have a few “fast-food” places I can count on, though we try not to do fast-food very often.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Pei Wei – Though the gluten-free offerings are limited, I’ve never had an issue with the safety.  I usually go for the spicy chicken or the Vietnamese rolls, depending on my mood.  They also have gigantic orange and lemon slices for your soda water, which Jeff and I absolutely love.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

Chipotle – When I walk into Chipotle and say I’m placing a gluten-free order, everything stops.  They wipe down the counter, take off their gloves, wash their hands, put on new gloves, and get new spoons for the line.  One person prepares my order start to finish and makes sure everything is free from cross contamination.  This happens no matter what Chipotle I walk into anywhere in the country.  If there is a long line of people, I sometimes feel guilty for holding them up, but then I get over it and am thankful to eat a safe meal.

Safe gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix via InspiredRD.com

In-N-Out Burger – Yes.  In-N-Out Burger.  It’s actually one of the safest places I can eat.  I even ate In-N-Out on Christmas Eve because we were away from home and headed to a lasagna fest at Grandma’s house.  When you place your order, just ask for the “gluten allergy burger” protein style.  You will get a burger wrapped in lettuce that was cooked on a clean grill with no buns hanging around.  Their french fries are cut fresh in the restaurant, have no coating, and nothing else is fried in the oil, so they are safe.  And delicious.  Like, dangerously good.

So there you have it, my safe list so far.  I hope it grows because even with good restaurants, you tend to get sick of the same thing after a while.  For more on gluten-free eating in Phoenix, check out my friend Ken’s post.

 

If you’re ever in the Phoenix area, let me know and we’ll hit up one of these great places together!

 

  • http://threeblondesandatomas.wordpress.com sara

    this is such great timing… i am going to be in phoenix (scottsdale actually i think) in the next few weeks on a business trip with my husband and was wondering about where we could eat! i have never been to arizona so i’m not sure how close phoenix is to scottsdale – is it a doable drive for dinner? if not, is there anywhere you could recommend in scottsdale? hope you’re feeling better!!
    cheers!
    sara

    • inspiredrd

      Hey Sara! Glad this is perfect timing for you :) Scottsdale is actually part of Phoenix. Do you know where you’re staying yet? I bet you won’t be far!

  • http://www.celiacandthebeast.com Erica D.

    Except that one time I got served REGULAR pasta at Beckett’s Table and haven’t been back after the worst glutening in my life…

    Everything else is SO amazing, and I should really give Beckett’s another chance. I love love love True Food and Indulge, just wish it was closer to me. And Liberty – sigh – my favorite, again, wish it wasn’t a million miles away.

    Chelsea’s Kitchen is really awesome for me – always get the kale salad, fries (only thing fried in there), ceviche and swordfish tacos, and they’re really nice about their gluten-free menu and all the servers know what I’m talking about.

    • inspiredrd

      Oh no! I’ve never ordered gluten-free pasta because I’m too nervous about it. Definitely give Beckettt’s another chance. I’ll have to check out Chelsea’s Kitchen, thanks for the suggestion!

  • Renee

    Picazzo’s is AWESOME as well :) Thanks for the new suggestions!

    http://picazzos.com/

    • Mary

      Picazzo’s is definitely one to add to the list!

  • http://www.katilda.com katilda

    I so love you for posting this! Totally ate In ‘n Out for lunch :) I’ve tried most of these except Beckett’s and Indulge. So excited to go try them!

  • Robin

    Even though we don’t live anywhere near Phoenix, it was nice to see some familiar restaurants on your list. I’m scared to take my daughter out to eat, but I want her to be able to live as ‘normal’ of a life as possible.

  • http://www.aroundmyfamilytable.com Wendy @ AMFT

    Great list! I’m still so new to eating wheat and dairy free and have no idea where to eat. I’ve found a few places, but this is a great list that has doubled my options. Thanks!

  • http://metropolitanmama.net Stephanie

    Our family doesn’t need gluten-free dining options, BUT you & I seem to have similar “tastes” when it comes to restaurants…so I’ll be bookmarking this post for future reference. :)

    P.S. You still haven’t given me the pro/con rundown of living in the East Valley compared to Tucson. ;)

    • Sylvia

      Stephanie, do you live in Tucson? Do you have any suggestions for gluten free restaurants in Tucson? My daughter goes to the UofA so I visit there a lot and would love to know about what restaurants offer gluten free options.

  • Wendy

    I just recently was diagnosed and Chipotle was my favorite restaurant. I have a question though if they are just switching out the spoons isn’t the food in the container already contaminated? I would think they would have to serve you out of a new container of beans, rice, meat, etc. If they used the spoon and touched a flour tortilla and then put the spoon back in the beans then I would be hesitant to eat out of those beans even if they got a new spoon. Have you had any troubles with this?

    • inspiredrd

      Hey Wendy, it seems like some Chipotle restaurants go all out and change everything, while others just do the minimum. I’ve never had a problem, but I do ask for new lettuce (they always have a new one in the cooler right below the line).

  • Yanina

    this is awesome. Im new to the gluten free world, I will definitely will be trying these options out. I live in Scottsdale so these are all pretty close to me

  • Bonnie Helzer

    Thank You. My husband and I were in Phoenix from out of town and my usual app would not work and I was at a loss as to where to eat. I found your page and we tried Kona Grill for the first time. It was great to have Sushi for the first time in 1-1/2 years.

    • inspiredrd

      Oh yay! I’m so glad the post was helpful. We love Kona!

  • Paula

    I just wanted to let you know that Indulge Burger is now closed. Sad so sad.

    • inspiredrd

      SO SO SAD!

  • Tiffany

    I live in Vegas with my family and celiac 10-year-old Type 1 diabetic. Eating out has never seemed worth the hassle or the risk. That said, we do hit In N Out for a treat occasionally, and I have NEVER HAD A PROBLEM with them. The one time they put my protein style burger in with the regular burgers I pointed it out and they threw it out, started over and apologized profusely. That was years ago before they added the allergy button on the cash register. Doesn’t matter which location I go to, they all do a great job. Maybe we’ll have to give Chipotle and Pei Wei a try.

  • Rob

    We have been in PHX for a few days – few more to go and have found the following to be excellent for GF options:
    Phoenix – Picazzio’s Pizza Gluten Free – we grabbed a GF Hawaiian pizza to go and it was delicious 12″ and about $20…friendly staff too
    The Yard-House at the Scottsdale Fashion Mall (30 minutes from Paradise Valley where we are staying…lettuce wrapped burger with cheese and tomatoes – knowledgeable friendly servers and the price was right too
    OUTBACK steakhouse Paradise Valley – great steak and the GF Chocolate Thunder (we make sure we have at least one dinner at the Outback wherever we travel to…Maui, Las Vegas, California
    And if you are ever heading for Palm Springs – you gotta check out Lulu’s – they have a 4 page GF menu and the chocolate -chocolate cake, is amazing
    Happy in Paradise and getting some sun :-)
    Rob

  • Holly

    Thank you so much!!! I live in Scottsdale and I am only 3 weeks in to this gf diet. Definitely challenging. I love to go out to eat but get frustrated when the waiter looks at me all confused and then takes 20 minutes to muster up some paper print out of a food allergy menu. This list definitely helps!

  • Jenn

    Bummer about Indulge – I used to love to go there. (Back in Phoenix for a few days for a funeral, and looking for places to go try.) Last time I was visiting, we did Lucille’s BBQ in Tempe Marketplace. They have a gluten free menu, and the jambalaya was on it. It was so good, and I felt so good afterwards. The gluten free menu on their website isn’t quite the same as when I went. I highly recommend it.

    I also put in a vote for Picazzo’s. When I last went there, I was surprised to find their menu is mostly gluten free, and a small portion is NOT gluten free friendly.

    I also recommend San Tan Brewery in Chandler. They get Udi’s buns on steroids for the burgers (I actually compared my burger to my husband’s because I couldn’t believe it was gluten free). They seemed very aware of the issues, and always have a cider to serve since none of their brews are gluten free.

  • LeAnn

    This is so helpful. My husband and I are moving to Phoenix for the military and we are so so excited. We’re coming from a very small town in Texas so no gluten free restaurants. We’re happy to be able to go on dinner dates ago. Thank you for doing this.

    • http://inspiredrd.com InspiredRD

      Where in Phoenix are you moving?

  • Lacey

    I know this is an old post for you, but just wanted to say thanks for writing it! We are headed to Phoenix at the end of August and I’m already starting my planning :) I’m also an RDN and I have Celiac too! I work as a gluten-free Nutrition consultant for restaurants/businesses and families, so I’m both looking forward to and nervous about the trip.

    On a side note, I know the Diamondbacks do a Celiac/gluten-free awareness night every season – I think we may be going to a game when we are there…do you know if the stadium provides gfree concession options all season long or just during the awareness night? Thanks again :)

    • http://inspiredrd.com InspiredRD

      I’m glad it was helpful! Be sure to check out Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe while you’re in town. It’s new and SO GOOD. 100% gluten-free.

      The Diamondbacks have a small gluten-free concession cart just behind right field. There is a pretty limited selection, but it’s something :)

      Have a great trip!

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