Gluten Free Las Vegas

I spent 4 nights in Las Vegas this June.  My favourite thing about Vegas is that they give you free drinks if you are gambling. In some awesome casinos this is the case even if you are only gambling 50 cents a time!!

For those who want to eat as well as drink there are hundreds of places to eat on the Las Vegas strip, most of

Hard Rock CafeHard Rock Cafe

which are popular US chains like Outback Steakhouse, Hard Rock Cafe, Applebees and Denny’s. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of restaurants but as this is pretty much what Vegas is all about, I thought it would be a good idea to discover what these places have to offer in the way of  gluten free options. My research of eateries was limited on this trip as during our stay we tended to buy food at a local supermarket to prepare our own meals but when I popped in to discuss gluten free options with a few different restaurants my findings were very varied. Overall I was not greatly impressed.

Hard Rock Cafe brought me their gluten free product list. This wasn’t  a menu of gluten free dishes but rather a short list of menu items. Of the 22 items on the list,  8 were dressings, 4 were sides and 3 were ice cream. The only decent food items were steak, salmon, wings and nachos. I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of eating here but at least they do have a few gluten free choices. I’ve eaten at various Hard Rock Cafe’s in the past (and I actually remember enjoying a really tasty meal at the one in Minneapolis) but I’ve always found their food to be ridiculously overpriced food which is difficult to justify these days unless there are a lot of tasty gluten free options to choose from!

Outback

Outback

Outback Steakhouse was better. They had an actual gluten free menu with lots of  variety including meat dishes, burgers, salads and seafood. I was impressed by the choice but it was the preparation of the food I was concerned about here. I asked the woman at the welcoming station whether they had a separate area in the kitchen for preparing gluten free dishes and she said she didn’t think so. She also said that if my intolerance to wheat was serious then I shouldn’t order anything fried as it would be cooked in the same place as gluten containing foods. In my opinion, eating somewhere like this probably isn’t the best for those of us who really need things to be completely gluten free….their gluten free menu seemed to be catering for the gluten or wheat intolerant rather than for coeliacs. Have you eaten gluten free at an Outback Steakhouse? What were your experiences?

One place that had a gluten free menu and whose staff appeared to know a little about the importance of

P.F. Chang's

P.F. Chang's

preparing gluten free meals was PF Chang’s in the Planet Hollywood Casino. They had a full gluten free menu with lots of tasty sounding meals and when I spoke to the restaurant manager she said that the gluten free meals were cooked in a separate pan to avoid contamination. I would have felt much better eating here than at either Hard Rock or Outback. I’ve since eaten at PF Changs and I really enjoyed my gluten free meal there!

As we walked the miles up and down the strip, I would take a look at the literally hundreds of menus we passed, to see if I could catch a glimpse of any that even mentioned ‘gluten free’ but this was a rare thing to find. I would have expected that a city visited by over 30 million people annually would be far more gluten free friendly and I was disappointed that this wasn’t the case. I’m sure that in a large number of the restaurants on the strip,  if you ask, many of them will have either a gluten free menu or gluten free advice on ordering but be sure to check how things are prepared as my experience of Vegas was that this crazy town doesn’t cater as well as it should for coeliacs. This being said there are options to be found and I would be interested, and very happy, to hear from any gluten free travellers to Vegas who have had a more positive experience of eating out gluten free.

Since my trip to Vegas I’ve heard about a couple of other restaurants with gluten free options.  Lazy Joes Fish and Chips ( on S Rainbow Blvd) is one of them. They use a breading which is gluten free. Double check if eating here that all fish is breaded in gluten free breading and that there are no cross contamination issues. Mint Indian Bistro (on E Flamingo Rd) is another place with a gluten free menu in Las Vegas. They do various gluten free curries as well as a buckwheat flatbread which is gluten free!

In a city which is so insanely hot, something sweet and cold is the perfect afternoon delight. I did manage to find some tasty frozen yoghurt, marked as gluten free, which fit this bill perfectly…..mmmmmm! The ** on the sign was to state that 2 varieties (both obvious cookie ones) were not gluten free but this store only sold vanilla and chocolate so no chance of evil cookie contamination there. Success!

The perfect treat on a hot day

The perfect treat on a hot day

Yummy Yoghurt

Yummy Yoghurt

 

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Comments

  • Hey I love your blog.
    Something interesting you might look into:
    I have recently stumbled up some gluten free foods that I think all people trying to live Gluten Free lives should try. The brand is Gluten Free & Fabulous and I’ve tried the cookies and pizzas. They were delicious and there’s more I have yet to try. Also, they are easy to find; basically any grocery store has them. I hope this helps. Let me know what you think and keep up the great blog!
    -Miles

  • This is a great blog, Laura, thanks so much to share your experience!
    I am a celiac person, I have been diagnosed 5 years ago.
    I am travelling to US next saturday so found your blog very useful.
    I am from Uruguay, if you ever come back, just let me know!

  • Where did you buy the YoCream? I’d love to go there – thanks!

  • Lin, I can’t remember the exact location but from Google street view it looks like you can find this place around 3676 Las Vegas Blvd between Hard Rock Cafe and Walgreens on the East side of the strip. Enjoy!

  • Nice Las Vegas blog post. I’ve always found Las Vegas to be great for Gluten Free food and it’s one of my favourite places to go to dine out!

    P.F. Changs do an absolutely brilliant job of making sure that Coeliac diners are made to feel welcome. They also serve the tasty Redbridge GF Beer :-)

    If you venture off strip there are some excellent places like The Cracked Egg (we’ve been to 2 of the 4 locations) and The Yard House.

    There’s a Whole Foods Market at the Town Square Mall too. Worth making a trip there to stock up on GF food, treats and Beer (the Yard House is there too).

  • Thanks a lot for sharing, Richard! I agree that PF Changs do a great job of catering for celiacs. I’ve since been to PF Changs at other locations in the States and I was impressed.

    The Cracked Egg sounds pretty good. I notice they have a ‘Gluten Sensitive Menu’ with lots of options. I’ll definitely check this place out if I find myself back in Vegas. http://www.thecrackedegglv.com/index.htm

  • Hey Laura! I think that McDonalds also did a good gluten free job because they offered me a fresh salad that they would eliminate the gluten full meats and crutons and cheeses that i couldnt eat due to lactose intolerance.

  • I have a gluten free menu at the Market Grille Cafe. Please check out our website http://www.marketgrillecafe.com

  • I am a little bit concerned that some of these restaurants don’t seem to understand that Coeliacs have to be completely gluten free. There is no such thing as mild Coeliac or full blown Coeliac.
    Also that frying supposedly gluten free product in the same oil as those containing gluten is practised…do they not understand how “cross contamination” happens?
    But I suppose at least if you are given this information you can avoid glutinised food in these restaurants.
    Great blog by the way keep it up.

    Prakash
    Cambridgeshire Coeliac Group Organiser

  • Thanks, Prakash. Yes, it’s definitely worrying that many restaurants don’t understand that gluten free means entirely gluten free for us but I guess if they are honest rather than suggesting it’s safe when it isn’t we can at least make informed choices about where we eat. :)

    I never liked chains before I was gluten free and I’m even less of a fan now. I much prefer to find local, independent places, especially if have a good reason for offering gluten free food such as a friend or family member being celiac. Then they truly get it!

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