Eating Out on Gluten & Casein Free Diet

Updated on March 20, 2008
R.M. asks from Herndon, VA
8 answers

My son is on the gluten/casein free diet. We've had great success with it, but miss the freedom of eating out. Does anyone know of any gluten/casein friendly restaurants in the area? Thanks!

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answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,

I'm a member of the Ashburn/Leesburg Stay-At-Home Moms group on [ ] and we just had a long thread of posts on celiacs. Here are some of the comments:

"PF Changs has software that the server types in your allergy and you get a print out of everything on the menu you CAN have. "

"I saw an article a month or so back in the Sunday Washington Post about a bakery owned by someone with celiac so all her cakes are wheat free."

"I feel like I have to really search to find celiac friendly places. We pretty much stick with Outback, P.F. Chang's and Bonefish. The biggest frustration for me is the cross-contamination issue. Some places will offer gluten free items (like Chipotle), but then they will touch the food after touching a flour tortilla. "

" has a whole gluten free section and they sell things in bulk. Another good website is One of the best bread/donuts/cookies website is . "

And a little from me: My son was severely allergic (anaphylaxis, with an EpiPen Jr and all) to dairy from the age of 12 months (when I tried to wean him) until 18 months when we cautiously tried dairy again. In that short amount of time, I learned a lot about food allergies. There's a website the pediatrician told me about called The Food Allergy And Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) [ ] and we became members for a year. FAAN has great info on lots of allergies, including I believe celiacs. I even got a cookbook (desserts and sweets) from their website so I could make a dairy-free birthday cake for his 1st birthday.

Good luck! HTH!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My husband is on a gluten free diet as well. Eating out was hard at first, but we have found some restuarants that are good ~ Outback, Burger King (burger w/o bun), Bonefish, Carrabas, Chili's, Qdoba, Five Guys (can ask w/o bun, PF Changs. Most of these I have listed have gluten free menus on their website. I'm not sure about whether any of these do Casein free as well as that is not an issue for us. You can check out as a good resource for gluten free foods. Also, there is a bakery in Cnetreville called "Happy Eatery" that does gluten free cakes.

Hope this helps! Good luck! S.



answers from Washington DC on

I have Celiac disease. I joined the local Reston Celiac Support Group & they emailed me a list of Celiac-friendly restaurants. In addition to the ones mentioned above, Pei Wei, Fleming's Steakhouse, Ted's Montana grill, Legal Seafoods, FirstWatch Daytime Cafe, Austin Grill, Don Pablo's, and Carrabba's have GF menus. Also on the list is Five Guys (no GF menu, but I've successfully eaten a cheeseburger w/out the bun & fries there several times without getting sick). The email address for the Celiac Support group contact is: [email protected]
Also - not a restaurant - but on YouTube, there is a girl named Kimmy Krocker who makes videos of herself in the kitchen making GF/CF foods for her son.



answers from Washington DC on

I ate at Bonefish Grill in Kingstown recently and saw that they had a gluten free menu--so if you get something from that without cheese you should be fine (but check on the casein, I didn't see anything about that.)



answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.! While I don't know of any particular restaurants in the area that are gluten/casein free, a good place to go and get out to eat is Wegman's! They can tell you on all of their food what is gluten free, and they have a great place to grab food and sit and eat.



answers from Washington DC on

Try Coastal Flats. My daughter has a host of allergies but can at least have the fries and burger there. I'm not sure about other things but I know that meal does not have milk, soy, nuts or eggs (which are our main problems). Plus the food at Coastal Flats is amazing! Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

I have the same problem being Wheat-free and gluten-free, so yes there are restaurants out there. Outback now has a GF menu (but doesn't list ingredients), PF CHangs, Olive Garden, Rustic (in Old Town Alexandria, VA has GF PIZZA) and others. You can go to their web pages (for most of them) and get this information. You will need to be more careful if he has other allergies besides this but you can ask the waiter/waitress to check with the chef. I have found that you can eat out at any restaurant if you order sandwiches without bread, salads, meats and vegetables. Again if you ask, most restaurants will work with you. I have had some of them actually make my meal special if the meat is not already pre-breaded. Hope this helps and brings your family together more. You can also go to Gluten-Solutions to buy foods if you don't have a health food store near you and a other websites that have recipes and
ideas of how to enjoy a more normal life.

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