Thank you to Ken Scheer of Rock A Healthy Lifestyle for writing this fantastic guest post on living gluten free in Phoenix. Whether you live in Phoenix or decide to travel there, it sounds like there are lots and lots of celiac friendly cafes and restaurants to keep you safe and satisfied! I know I’ll be checking out a bunch of these gluten free places when I find myself in that part of the country.
I was originally born in New York but have lived most of my life in Phoenix. I was diagnosed with celiac disease seventeen years ago and I’ve seen a tremendous increase in the amount of gluten-free options since then. I guess I should say that any increase is better than the choices we had back then which was nothing. Even though this article was written back in 2009, it highlights the most gluten-free friendly cities in the U.S. Little did I know that Phoenix didn’t make the list but all in all I feel we do a good job. The main purpose of Rock A Healthy Lifestyle is the Gluten-Free Foodie Tours which brings about awareness to restaurants about the importance of offering gluten-free options and doing it the right way.
As far as Phoenix goes, I feel it’s overall a relatively gluten-free friendly city, not even close to Denver or New York City, but if your travel plans take you here you will be impressed with the selection. So let’s get going shall we?
Nourish 123 - Hands down my favorite gluten-free restaurant in the valley and a must see if you visit. Honestly, the reasons why are simple….they’re the only 100% gluten-free restaurant as they don’t introduce gluten into the kitchen, their menu clearly defines what food sensitivities are in each dish, the food is incredible and the knowledge of the staff makes you feel extremely comfortable. They have a nice bar area, food ranging from meats, pastas and vegan. The owner has celiac disease and has really put a gem together as far as how gluten-free should be handled. The restaurant is located near the heart of Old Town Scottsdale in the Optima Towers and has a great patio that you can enjoy outdoor seating when the temperatures are not so hot.
Indulge Burgers and More - If you’re looking for a great burger and an owner that takes gluten-free extremely seriously then look no further than Indulge. They hosted one of my gluten-free foodie tours and really get the importance of safe practices while offering plenty of appetizers, different types of burgers, desserts and a special menu just for those that are ordering gluten-free. They also have a nice bar with gluten-free beer selections, hard alcohol and wine.
Bombay Spice - This is another restaurant that has hosted my gluten-free foodie tours and I’m amazed at how they handle gluten-free practices in such a small kitchen. I personally know the owner of the restaurant and he take gluten-free extremely seriously. They use separate cutting boards and utensils but introduce very little gluten into their facility. They proudly service New Planet Beer which is my favorite.
Morton’s The Steakhouse - The key here is making sure you go to the one in Kierland as the Executive Chef Steve Anderson is a personal friend and understands gluten-free safe practices. I’m not sure how other Morton’s handle gluten-free but you will not be disappointed. They have happy hour seven nights and week all night long in the bar so the price is more affordable than you think. The food is fantastic and it’s a perfect date night establishment.
Fleming’s Steakhouse - I recently held one of my gluten-free foodie tours at Fleming’s Steakhouse and they are dedicated to making dishes gluten-free. I personally know the Executive Chef Russell Skall for all 64 Flemings and he assures me the safety of their restaurants. The recently rolled out their gluten-free small plate appetizers which again make Fleming’s Steakhouse relatively affordable to dine at. The food is incredible and is always worth a treat.
The Vig Uptown - There is a Vig as well and they have the same owner but I’ve found the Vig Uptown more gluten-friendly. They have several different options but if you’re looking for a place that has wings and my favorite gluten-free cider Strongbow then this is the place for you. They grill the wings and their sauce is gluten-free.
White Chocolate Grill - This is probably one of my favorite restaurants in the Phoenix area that has a nice gluten-free selection. Personally, I feel the baby back ribs are the best along with the shrimp cocktail. My advice though is try making happy hour because the prices are a lot more affordable then regular dining. Oh and the chocolate dome cake is pretty tasty as well.
True Food Kitchen - this restaurant offers a fair amount of gluten-free choices but what I like most about it is how fresh the food is. This is definitely a great date night restaurant and I would highly recommend ordering the Turkey Bolognese. (I ate at True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica and loved it!)
Tryst Cafe - This is a quant little restaurant located in the north valley that does some amazing things for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ve become friends with the owner and she is very dedicated to offering safe gluten- free meals. The price is extremely affordable and they have a nice patio if the weather is nice.
The Herb Box - There are several locations around the valley and the owner/chef of the restaurant takes gluten-free and all food allergies seriously. They have a wide array of salads and other dishes that fit into this category and a must visit if you find your way to Phoenix.
Yogurtology AZ - There are multiple locations of this Fro Yo establishment but only the Fashion Square, Kierland Village and the Scottsdale Store locations offer gluten-free toppings.
All in all I feel Phoenix does a fairly decent job with offering gluten-free selections and I definitely see it on the rise. As always the key is for constant improvement so those with celiac and gluten intolerance feel safe when eating out.