The following are recommendations from fellow gluten-free diners who shared their experiences within the last two years. The GF information has not been verified by the restaurants mentioned. Please always check each time you order in terms of the ingredients, and discuss cross-contamination issues. If you have a restaurant you would like to recommend, please see the section Contact Us.
3829 Plaza Dr., Oceanside 92056
"I just stopped in to 2Spoons Coffee in Oceanside on my way to
work today and they have GF muffins and biscotti in individual wrapping to
protect from cross contamination. I am enjoying a carrot muffin as I write
this post." Loretta,
Lake Murray area, San Diego. "I wanted to suggest another restaurant to add to the website: Antica Trattoria Franco, the owner, is familiar with Celiac and offers many GF options, as well as GF pasta. The food is delicious!" April H., 12/11
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888 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 92037
". . . 'gluten-free friendly' where my husband and I enjoy eating frequently. When I asked if the sauces are gluten free, the friendly owner said, "the smokin' hot one is and the sweet is not." It was great that he understood my question and could answer without hesitation. The food is delicious." Robin Gerson, 12/09
See also an anonymous review on Debbie Toon's blog "Gluten Free in San Diego" that says the safer choice is the smoked meat rather than the grilled. 10/10
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, Latin Cuisine
11385 Poway Road #106,
San Diego, 92128
". . . 'gluten-free friendly' where my husband and I enjoy eating . . . a small restaurant in a strip mall on Poway Road. We love arepas, which are Latin American corn cakes. Here is a link to a webpage that explains arepas and provides a recipe: www.whats4eats.com/breads/arepas-recipe
Most Latin American food is based on rice and beans so many of their other menu offerings are naturally gluten free. We recently tried this place, loved their arepas and saw many dishes on the menu we'll want to try in the future. They also serve Empanada which is made with the same corn flour, but are fried rather than baked. Roben Gerson. 12/09
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4380 Kearny Mesa Rd
(between Othello Ave. & Armour St.)
San Diego, 92111
"I would like to highly recommend the following restaurant:
Chopstix Too. They are located in the Kearny Mesa area. They have a facebook page, and will soon post GF menu items. Yasu, one of the waiters at Chopstix Too, is extremely knowledgeable, and can tailor the menu to address GF needs.
I've been going to Chopstix Too for years, and love it!" Luz C., San Diego 3/11
Carmel Valley (92130) & UTC (92037)
"Chuao chocolate, a San Diego based company, makes the world’s most divine artisanal chocolates, most of which are gluten-free. The company has an allergen list on site at their two locations (UTC mall and Carmel Valley) and their staff is knowledgeable about gluten. Not only are most of their chocolates gluten-free, their irresistible Caramelo coffee drink is also gluten-free. A real treat for the holidays!" Daphne L. 12/09
3201 Adams Ave.,
"I have eaten a number of times at El Zarape restaurant located at 32nd and Adams Ave. The waiter was very accomodating, and seemed knowledgable about gluten intolerance. He assured me that there was not wheat flour in their corn tortillas, or flour in their sauces. I have never had a reaction from eating there." Tim Mc. 8/10
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4864 Cass Street, SD, 92109
"I highly recommend this small, friendly Italian wine bar/restaurant in Pacific Beach. They have gluten-free pasta available, and are quite knowledgeable about gluten free in general." Karen J., PB, 6/10
Filippi's Pizza Grotto
1747 India Street, SD, 92101
"I called (and have now tasted) about a gluten-free item available at the Filippi's Pizza Grotto in Little Italy. The deli store that you walk through to get to the restaurant offers 3-4 types of pasta made from rice flour. The one I tried was their rice flour gnocchi (they also have corn flour gnocchi). You can order it as a meal at the restaurant and they can get it from the deli (it is not on the menu online).
According to the web-site each Filippi's has a different manager and owner so the items may not be at other restaurants." Sara Y., San Diego, 1/11
960 Turquoise St., SD 92019
"I wanted to let you know that my husband and I ate at "The French Gourmet" in Pacific Beach last night and we were treated to an outstanding gluten free meal. In fact our server, Michael, said that they had gone over their menu and roughly 50% of the food on the menu could be made gluten free. They do not have a dedicated kitchen of course but for those of us who are gluten sensitive but not actual celiacs, this still works.
I ordered the chicken piccata and the chef not only made sure there was no gluten in the sauce or potato mixture but they also cooked my meal with kosher salt rather than sea salt due to another allergy. I was so impressed with their menu and service, and think this is a great option for gluten free folks who love French food. It was one of the best gluten free dining experiences I've had and the waiter and chef were so attentive and careful." Andrea M., 7/21
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1555 Camino Del Mar (
Del Mar Plaza)
Del Mar, 92014, phone 858-755-8876
1333 First St. (next ot the Coronado Ferry Plaza)
Coronado, 92118, phone 619-437-4911
locations have gluten-free pasta upon request. Recommendations: Call before going to verify the GF pasta availability, and request a fresh clean pot with clean water for cooking the pasta. Roxie J., 7/10
1660 Coast Blvd., Del Mar 92014
"Two weeks ago I went with friends to Jakes in del Mar. They took great care of me! I called ahead and let them know that I would have to eat gluten free. The hostess said that they would have no problem accommodating me. Our waitress, Heather, is a celiac and was well versed on what I could and couldn't eat. There were 5 or 6 entrées that were gluten free! Not only does this resteraunt have a nice ambiance, a fantastic beach front location, and great service, they are well aware of the needs of Celiacs!"
Karen in Pacific Beach
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3940 4th Ave., SD, 92103
"One of my favorite places to eat in San Diego is Kous Kous, located at 3940 4th Ave, San Diego in Hillcrest. This is an amazing Moroccan restaurant owned and operated by Moumen Nouri. This place is great for catering to the Gluten and Diary free diet. It allows the entire table to eat the same meal without having to order special Gluten free items. This not only makes it easy but also helps to keep the cost down. Moumen is great at making substitutions, which there is really only a few needed. He makes wonderful garlic mashed potatoes instead of the cous cous.
The only item my co-worker misses out on is the Pita bread, so she gets lettuce cups and extra vegetables for the spreads and tomatoes cucumber salad. The majority of the main dishes are Gluten and Dairy Free." Beth Richey, Atlanta GA, 2/10
3702 Via de la Valle, 92014
"I had a wonderful anniversary dinner last weekend at Market restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe. The chef and server were well-aware of gluten contamination and, in fact, servers are trained to check in with every table about dietary restrictions! The meal was flawless, from the corn chowder (soups are off-limits at most restaurants) to beef with béarnaise sauce, mushrooms, and cheddar potatoes. An exceptional meal for a special event."
4S Ranch, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Old Town, Pt. Loma)
These restaurants are part of the Brigantine "family" of restaurants.
Coronado review: glutenfreedomatlanta.com/2010/03/west-coast-vacation-enjoying-mexican-food-in-coronado-bay/ There is also a Miguel's in Point Loma (92106).
Chula Vista (Eastlake) review: "Miguel's Mexican Restaurant in Chula Vista! The server came out and told me they made fresh tortillas just for me and told me I could have the black beans but not the rice! I LOVE Miguels! Have never got sick there!" Terri A. 9/6 www.brigantine.com/miguels_cocina/location-eastlake.html
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2218 Cable St. San Diego (Ocean Beach) 92107
Read Debbie Toon's blog for a review of this restaurant at glutenfreeinsandiego.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive 11/09
"The OB Noodlehouse was listed on Urban Spoon as gluten free friendly. I checked it out. The proprietor seemed quite knowledgeable, and helpful. As I was about to leave, one of his regular customers came in who is also gluten free. On their menu, the items which are gluten free are indicated with an asterisk." Tim Mc. 9/10
(Gaslamp Quarter, downtown)
904 5th Ave., SD 92101
Read a review from a recent Atlanta visitor about dining GF at this seafood restaurant (formerly Osetra The Fish House). http://glutenfreedomatlanta.com/2010/03/san-diego-an-evening-downtown/
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7420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., 92111
"Just wanted to send a quick recommendation for this wonderful all-natural, organic and some gluten-free cafe called Picasso Naturals. I believe it is a husband and wife that own it and they make everything. Everything I have tried so far has been wonderful and the reviews online are all great too. They have a section on the menu that is gluten free and they also have some products for sale that are gluten-free. The owner did tell me that they are in the process of making a website. ."
Carissa O., 10/09
3659 India St., SD 92103
"They always stock at least one GF beer on tap and have cider. Their menu has several GF options. This is one of my fave bars to hang out at and they feature fantastic homemade chips (order as a side) and several sausage options (bun is not gluten friendly – they will serve it with chips.)" S. MacDougall, Hillcrest 7/12
(Gaslamp district, downtown San Diego)
1047 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, 92101
"We went the Saltbox restaurant in the Gaslamp district and had a great experience. Called earlier to speak with the manager to make him aware of my Celiac Disease. Upon arriving the host and waitress already were aware that I had Celiac. The sous chef came out to let me know he was aware too, and would oversee all of my food. He ever took the menu, highlighted was I could eat on the menu and crossed out certain things that would be substituted for me. The manager checked on us during dinner to make sure that everything was okay. They were super accommodating regarding Celiac disease and the food was out of this world." Adam R. 1/4/12 See Adam's "Un-Gluten Guy" blog for a more complete review.
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215 15th St.
Del Mar 92014
"I had a business lunch today at Sbicca Bistro in Del Mar. When I told the waiter I had a gluten allergy, he said they are starting as of April 15, to mark their lunch and dinner menus, indicating which selections are gluten-free. The server and chef seemed very knowledgeable, which I expected, because I had attended a function in which Susan Sbicca was catering and there were many offerings that were specifically gluten-free. Several of the people in my group also mentioned that Sbicca is excellent for breakfast, and I look forward to trying it for that." Jill E. 4/10
RMJ's note: Evidently Sbicca's is not marking the menus, but is providing the GF information to the servers.
39400 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd.
"I spoke with the owner and his family is GF, which always makes me feel safer. The naan may or may not be GF when you go. It depends on which distributor they are getting the flour from. Most of the menu is GF, including a lot of the fried appetizers (they also know about cross contamination). If you are a distance from the area I recommend calling ahead-it's a family business and sometimes they close early." Jill P., Temecula 10/11
"I went to Tony Roma's in Pacific Beach. When I informed the server that I was gluten intolerant, he seemed clueless on the topic. I had a slight reaction - some tightness in the chest - after eating there. I contacted the management. They assured me that they would put a training class in place on the subject, and invited me to return to the restaurant. I did try them again, and I found that everything was handled very well, and that the server was very well informed and competent." Tim M., 8/10
621 Valley Ave.
Solana Beach, 92075
Read a positive GF review for this Mexican-style restaurant on Debbie Toon's blog. 5/10
"I live in Solana Beach and love Tony's Jacal. They are accommodating
with gluten/wheat issues (I'm Celiac.) Tell them you have a "wheat
allergy" and they will fry their chips in a separate fryer for you.
Their fajitas are excellent and safe (as long as you order corn
tortillas.) Their carnitas plate is also safe. I love Tony's
Jacal--it's one of the best Mexican places in San Diego!" Erica, 9/10
569 S. Pacific Coast Hwy. 101
Debbie Toon reports in her "Gluten Free in San Diego" blog: "Via Italia Trattoria in Encinitas makes all of their pasta on site at the restaurant. They also make their own gluten free pasta and gluten free gnocchi! Just request gluten free when you order. 10/09
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