Having been diagnosed as Celiac two and a half years ago, it has taken some getting used to. Travelling to new cities is always hard because I have to find new places that can accommodate my needs but also don’t taste like cardboard. I’ve found a few here and there, but now that I’m back in Vancouver, I can revisit my favourite places for a bite.
Okay. Gluten. Free. Waffles. What more could you need in the world? There’s like a gazillion things you can eat here and they know what they’re talking about when it comes to gluten. These waffles are crispy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. They’re a little bit sweeter than your average waffle, which I swear makes the savory waffles so much better because it balances out the salt.
My Pick: Savory – The West Coast Waffle (sub GF waffle) | Sweet – Veganessa
2. The Mexican
This isn’t specific to the Mexican, I suppose. But it is my favourite spot for Mexican eats. The nice thing about Mexican and Latin cuisine is that they tend to use corn flour for most things rather than wheat flour. This makes it waaay easier for us gluten free girls (and guys) to have a large selection.
My Pick: Enfrijoladas (add chicken)
The nice thing about SMAK is that everything there is gluten free. I don’t love anything there, but I do enjoy that it’s a quick spot for lunch, with a nice atmosphere and a strictly gluten free menu. I also love that it’s local to Vancouver, because who doesn’t love supporting local businesses?!
My Pick: Coconut Pork Bowl (sub for Quinoa)
Okay, I know – I didn’t try Freshii actually until I was in Ottawa. I actively avoided it because it sounded like just another healthy chain, which I was not on board with. The nice thing about travelling though, is that you try new things. So I tried Freshii for lunch one day.. and then went back the next day.. and a couple more times that week. Freshii is not dedicated gluten free, but they know exactly what they’re talking about. The food is fresh, feels good for you but doesn’t TASTE good for you. The winning combination.
My Pick: Oaxaca Bowl with Chicken (No wontons, sub for cilantro-lime sauce)
5. Cartems Donuterie
Cartems was like a god send when I discovered it. I had just been diagnosed and therefore very disappointed with every gluten free product I could find. I had heard some babble around town about a shop downtown that had gluten free donuts. I was obviously intrigued. When I tried it I knew immediately it was going to be a problem. Their donuts are dense, yes – but they are also moist and delicious. No cardboard here.
My Pick: Honestly, they’re all good. Try all of them.
6. Two Daughters Bakeshop
I have found few really good gluten free bakeries over the years. Two Daughters is the only one I have found in the Greater Vancouver Area that I would genuinely recommend. I have by no means tried everything they offer, but everything I have tried has been delicious. The kind of delicious where you forget you’re eating a gluten free dessert.
My Pick: Banana Bread and Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
There’s also so many good chains that offer great gluten free menus. I tend to frequent Cactus Club, White Spot and Carlos O’Briens for an easy night out with friends or a working lunch.
What are your favourite Gluten Free spots on the Lower Mainland?
*none of the photos used in the article are my own, and I do not assume credit for them*