Lake Tahoe is stunningly beautiful, seriously. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it really is as beautiful as they say. Most photographs really don’t do it justice. It’s just a three hour drive from San Francisco and it has so much to offer travellers, gluten free or not. You can ski or snowboard in the winter, you can hike and swim in the warmer months and you can eat delicious gluten free pizza all year round!
Before I share my list of the gluten free friendly restaurants I found during my long weekend at Lake Tahoe (and I found lots!) I wanted to share an interesting thing that happened to me on this trip. I had two very different conversations with staff at two restaurants, both offering gluten free options. One conversation left me running out of the door as fast as I could and the other, having a wonderful, safe, gluten free meal.
I was excited to check out the gluten free selection at Blue Angel CafeÂ as I’d found them in a search for gluten free restaurants and what they had to offer sounded really yummy. Much to my disappointment, on arriving at the Cafe and chatting with staff, eating there was no longer an option. The staff member I spoke with filled with with anxiety rather than confidence. He mentioned a couple of things on the menu which were gluten free then some dishes which ‘may have a little bit of gluten’. Â I had explained that I was celiac and that even the tinniest crumb of gluten would make me sick for weeks. He then said what left me running for the door ‘You’re not going to find many places around here offering gluten free options.’ Instead of advising me on how to choose safely from their menu he was getting defensive. Big Fail. He then tells me that there is a restaurant nearby that does lots of vegan food. Me: ‘I don’t need vegan food, I need gluten free food!’ Him: ‘Oh, ok..’
Next up, Base Camp Pizza. In general pizza places scare me because even if they offer gluten free bases, almost everything a pizza restaurant sells is gluten, gluten, gluten, resulting in a fairly high possibility of me being glutened. Base Camp however filled with with confidence. Staff are extremely well informed on how gluten free pizzas are made and the precautions taken to ensure cross contamination does not occur. The best part about eating here though was that our server was celiac herself! She spoke to me honestly about the bases, toppings and preparation methods as helped me to choose a safe pizza! As a celiac, when the restaurant opened she worked with kitchen staff to teach them how to prepare and cook gluten free pizzas the right way – making them celiac safe. I felt completely comfortable eating here and their gluten free pizza is crazy delicious!!Â Base Camp Pizza can be found at 1001 Heavenly Village Way, South Lake Tahoe . They just opened this summer (2012) and I’m so glad I got to eat here!
Here are some other restaurants I found offering gluten free options in Lake Tahoe..
Freshies RestaurantÂ does lots of gluten free options, including tasty fried things!
Â Lake Tahoe PizzeriaÂ (1168 Emerald Bay Rd) in South Lake Tahoe does gluten free pizza. I’m not sure how they deal with cross contamination issues.
Primo’s Italian Bistro (2180 Lake Tahoe Blvd) in South Lake Tahoe offers a variety of gluten free options if you’re looking for gluten free Italian food.
I was pretty happy to find a Scottish bar/restaurant called MacDuffsÂ (1041 Fremont Ave) which also happens to do some gluten free options. Ask staff which options are gluten free.
Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe (3123 Harrison Ave) also does some gluten free options.
Have you travelled gluten free to Lake Tahoe? Where and what did you eat?