Gluten Free Boston

I spent a few days in the pretty city of Boston this summer. I didn’t get to eat out in the city as much as I would have liked as this was one of the first stops on a year of travelling and we had to be careful not too spend too much dinero but I did still find a bunch of restaurants with gluten free options. I also spent quite a bit of time exploring local supermarkets for interesting gluten free foods with which we could prepare meals at our friend’s apartment both for our time in the city and for the extremely long train ride that we would be taking to Iowa.

The first night in town our friend whom we were staying with took us out to his favourite sushi restaurant in the city, Zen Sushi. I checked with the staff that their sushi was completely gluten free and they assured me that it was. I was comfortable that they understood the threat of cross contamination. We ordered lots of nigiri and maki all of which was fresh. When the sushi came it looked amazing and whilst I was almost certain the answer would be no, I asked our waitress whether they had any gluten free soy sauce. Much to my delight and surprise they did have and she brought me the bottle to check and use myself. I told the waitress how pleased I was that they provided this special soy sauce and she said that they have a few regular customers who have celiac disease and wheat allergies. The sushi was delicious and the vino tasty. With the addition of the gluten free soy sauce for mixing with wasabi, my dinner at  Zen Sushi was altogether awesome!

Perfect Nigiri and Maki

Perfect Nigiri and Maki

GF soy sauce

GF soy sauce

Whole Foods Market is a great place to find gluten free foods in Boston. This organic supermarket, which has branches throughout the country, sells lots of different things and various gluten free products throughout the market as labelled so, making it easy for coeliacs to find safe foods. They sell gluten free cereal, cakes, biscuits, bread and hundreds of other products.

The store I visited in Boston, as well as groceries, has a deli section where you can make your own salads or buy hot or cold prepared meals. Each food has a nutritional information label detailing what’s in the food and whether there are any allergens. This is extremely helpful from those of us on a gluten free diet but as always with these types of things, the possibility of contamination puts me off. The store also has a sushi bar. Different rolls have been prepared and the labelling provides information on what’s in each box. Reading the ingredients of the simple maki and nigiri boxes, most of them sounded gluten free but to ensure no cross contamination issues I asked the sushi chef if he would clean the preparation area and make me a fresh batch. He cleaned everything whilst I waited and made me a tuna and cucumber roll. It was delicious.

Whole Foods, Boston

Whole Foods, Boston

Freshly prepared sushi

Freshly prepared sushi

On our second night in town, we decided to buy some things to make a gluten free dinner at our friend’s place. We got ground beef, black beans, salad and sweet potatoes to

Beef burgers and sweet potato wedges

Beef burgers and sweet potato wedges

Gluten free food for the train

Gluten free food for the train

make hamburgers and sweet potato wedges with salad, black beans and a couple of bottle of vino….very tasty! We also bought a few simple ingredients to allow us to prepare a gluten free dinner to take with us on our long Amtrak ride from Boston to Iowa. We made rice with black beans and salad…simple and tastes great either hot or cold!

Gluten Free Restaurants:

I came across a few restaurants with gluten free menus or options that I would have liked to try if I’d had more time/funds.

Sweet gluten free treats

Sweet gluten free treats

Modern Pastry Shop (on 257 Hanover Street) sell gluten free muffins and whoopie pies, which looked like some sort of oreo cookie dessert.



Nebo (on 90 N Washington Street), is an Italian restaurant, which has a full separate gluten free menu with a huge variety of interesting gluten free options such as antipasti, pizza and pasta and even a sweet pizza topped with chocolate, nutella and chopped hazelnuts…sounds very sweet!



Marco, (on 253 Hanover Street) also does gluten free options. There was no special menu to look at but I was told that customers should speak to their server or call in advance to speak with the manager if interested in finding out more about celiac friendly options.

Elephant Walk also does a bunch of gluten free options They have gluten free brunch, lunch and dinner menus, all featuring lots of tasty sounding dishes. Gluten free dinner entrees for example include Gratin de Quinoa, a shrimp and veggie curry and Amok Royal, a Cambodian dish made of crab, shellfish, catfish and coconut milk! They also do a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

A couple of my readers said I should try Charley’s (on Newbury St) next time I’m back in Boston. They have gluten free pasta and pizza options available on request. Another recommendation I was given was Legal Sea Foods who have a bunch of locations in Boston(including State St). I remember walking past this restaurant and they do have a separate gluten free menu which includes sea food, salads and chowders, appetizers, mains, desserts and a couple of choices for gluten free children.

Have you lived or travelled gluten free in Boston? Share your stories of gluten free findings in the comments below..

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  • Sarah_Coopie

    May 31st, 2012

    Thanks so much for this – going to be in Boston in a few months and can’t wait to try some of these places!

  • Julie F

    Jul 24th, 2012

    Boston has a fabulous all gluten free bakery! Glutenus Minimus is on Belmont Street in Belmont MA, just outside of Boston.

  • Glutenus Minimus! What a fantastic name for a gluten free bakery 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Julie.

  • I live in MA – not close enough to Boston to go there regularly though, but thanks for the recommendations. I can use them for when I am there!

    I had an experience at Whole Foods buffet/salad-bar that makes me nervous. They do list ingredients on every item but I saw one item that did not list nuts as an ingredient, but I clearly saw nuts in the actual item. Like everything else, it’s subject to human error, but it’s not really a chance I want to take! It was not the Whole Foods you went to, but another one in MA.

  • BostonG

    Apr 2nd, 2013

    My 3 year old daughter has celiac and we find eating out a real challenge because 3 year olds rarely have an interest in steak or seafood which are the common GF options. We do like dining at Joes American Bar and Grill (Various locations in MA) becuase they offer GF pizza, pasta, burgers and rolls. They also use a dedicated fryer for fries so no cross contamination. Our server was very knowledgeable and said his mom was GF so he offered up some great menu options.

  • I wrote a post for Mommy Poppins Boston highlighting my family’s favorite kid-friendly places to eat gluten free in the Boston area:

  • Michelle

    Mar 12th, 2014

    Some of my favorites across the river in Cambridge, all places I have never had a problem with cross-contamination:

    B.good Burgers. I must eat there at least once a week and I’ve never ever gotten sick as they are very careful about cross-contamination. They have GF buns, GF fries that never touch or share equipment with gluten, not to mention a whole range of salads, smoothies, and shakes if for some reason you don’t want a big juicy beef/turkey/chicken/veggie burger. They have locations in Harvard Square and Back Bay.

    Tasty Burger: a lot closer to a McDonald’s burger in flavor. GF buns. Harvard Square. Unlike B.good, however, they sell alcohol and have pool tables downstairs.

    Darwins: 2 locations in Cambridge, one on Mt Auburn St and the other on Broadway. They usually have GF bread for their sandwiches.

    The Friendly Toast: Diner with all-day breakfast in Kendall Square near MIT. GF pancakes and bacon; also GF bread for sandwiches.

    Wagamama in Harvard Square (it’s a chain, so there are probaby others in Boston). They’re very gluten-aware, although you’re not exactly drowning in choices.

    Kickass Cupcakes!!! In Davis Square. They always have GF cupcakes, sometimes several flavors. Sweet in Harvard Square also tends to have a GF cupcake option from Glutenus Minimus. Also worth mentioning that Whole Foods’ GF cupcakes (they come in chocolate and vanilla) are to die for.

    Stonehearth Pizza: One on Massachusetts Avenue near Porter Square and another on Western Ave in Allston. And apparently they’re expanding to Belmont, Needham, Winchester, and Hingham! Great thin-crust pizza and pasta options. Their salads are great too. They deliver!

    The Dolphin on Massachusetts Avenue in Harvard Square. Nice, simple fish place. Good value for your money. You won’t have a thrilling meal (broiled/grilled/steamed fish, a baked potato, and a salad or veggie with a LOT of butter on it) but it will be sustaining.

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