Gluten Free San Diego, CA

Gluten free nachos!

Veggie stirfry

San Diego is an awesome city with a bunch of celiac friendly options for gluten free travellers. Sometimes gluten free travelling is quite the challenge and celiacs have to take whatever they can find but it really wasn’t too much of a challenge at all to find safe places to eat here.

If you’re anything like me, you can’t resist stopping to look for gluten free signage as you walk by new places. Generally this activity doesn’t result in many positive discoveries but in San Diego I’m happy to report it did.

We spent a large part of our time in San Diego exploring the fantastic and beautiful Balboa Park. It’s huge and it’s awesome. The famous San Diego zoo is here, there are lots of fun trails to walk and part of it is a desert area filled with cacti and amazing flowers. We even spent some time in the park listening to a man reading ‘The Raven’ whilst a woman played eerie music on the organ. It was a really fun day. El Prado, a restaurant in Balboa Park has a variety of dishes clearly marked on the menu with ‘GF’ which can be prepared gluten free on request.

El Prado, Balboa Park

Gluten free options 🙂

We chose to eat at Lotus Cafe in the Hillcrest neighbourhood of the city (3955 5th Ave). Their menu is pretty huge and includes a wide a variety of gluten free options to choose from. They have veggies entrees, fish and chicken dishes, salads, all day breakfast and lots of smoothies, juices and shakes. They also do lots of yummy sounding desserts. I opted for a veggie stir fry and John had some awesome gluten free nachos. For dessert it was a choice between a gluten free chocolate brownie or cupcake, both of which are huge! We shared a delicious chocolate brownie covered in walnuts. It was really, really good!!

Lots of gf options!

Fantastic chocolate brownie!

Other options for gluten free travellers headed to San Diego and looking to eat out include..

Urban Solace ( on 3823 39th St) offers fun gluten free lunch, dinner and weekend blunch (more lunch than breakfast I guess!) menus. Gluten free blunch items include eggs, bacon and grits,  spiced honey yogurt with home-made granola or more lunchy things like burgers, salads or pork loin. This place is a bit pricey but their dishes sound tasty.

Ritual Tavern (on 4095 30th St) has a bunch of gluten free options on their dinner menu clearly marked by a wee star. I thought this place sounded really tasty. Gluten free mains include shepherd’s pie, local catch of the day and sirloin steak.

Deli Llama (quite possibly the best name for a deli ever!) on 3702 5th Avenue in San Diego offers Udi’s gluten free bread for sandwiches.

Local Habit (on 3827 5th Ave) offers a bunch of gluten free options clearly marked on their menu. They offer a gluten free crust for pizza, gluten free starters and salads and some gluten free sandwiches and desserts. When I found this place I wish I hadn’t eaten already because some of their pizzas sound pretty amazing. Listen to this: Homemade Andouille with Marinated Chicken, Bell Pepper, Caramelized Onion Garlic Oil and Aged Gouda. Wow!

Trails Neighborhood Eatery (on 7389 Jackson Drive) offers a full gluten free menu with lots of tasty sounding options. They serve gluten free pancakes, omelettes, sandwiches and also gluten free beer and cider if you fancy a drink! This place looks pretty cool but it’s only open for dinner wednesday through sat (and breakfast-lunch every day) so I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in San Diego.

Deli Llama offers gf bread!

More gluten free options!

Capriccios Italian restaurant (on 9349 Mira Mesa Blvd) offers gluten free pizza, pasta and bread options.

The Yard House in the Gaslamp district of town (on 1023 4th Ave) has a ‘gluten sensitive’ menu. Their menu lists gluten free options with directions on how to order to ensure they come gluten free.

Are you a celiac living in San Diego or have your gluten free travels taken you to this lovely city? Share your gluten free findings in the comments below..

Fun in San Diego


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  • If you are ever in San Diego again you absolutely MUST!!! Take the drive up to encinitas in North County and stop by Healthy Creations ( They were the first all gluten free cafe/bakery in san diego opening in 2007, and to top it off they are almost entirely organic/non-gmo/ low to no processed foods. Plus they are friendly to many other allergies as well. And did I mention there food is outstanding?