I’m on a mission to try out all of the gluten free restaurants in Austin. I’ve found a bunch of non-dedicated restaurants with gluten free options. And I’ve even found two 100% gluten free restaurants in Austin.
But I’ve also had my fair share of GF busts. Find Me Gluten Free lists a place, and when I get there the only GF option is a side salad. Or, they have a gluten free menu, but a big disclaimer tells me I should expect “trace gluten” in my gluten free food. Then there’s the classic – It’s really gluten free… but it tastes like craft foam. That will be one dollar extra, please.
This doesn’t have to happen to you. Not in Austin. Not on my watch.
Five Gluten Free Restaurants in Austin
Two of these are 100% dedicated gluten free restaurants (Wild Wood Bakehouse and Picnik Austin). At a third (Tacodeli), the entire menu can be made gluten free with a simple modification.
All of these Austin restaurants have lots of interesting GF options that are main players on the regular menu – IE not just a spongy bun added as an afterthought to the menu to capture those extra GF dollars. Even better, these restaurants actually seem to care about providing safe gluten free food.
I’ve personally eaten at every one of these restaurants. While they aren’t all 100% gluten free restaurants, they do all take gluten free requests seriously in my experience and I’ve never gotten sick eating at any of them.
Only you know your sensitivity level and your needs, though. Always talk to your server, explain your needs, and make sure the restaurant can accommodate them.
1. Hat Creek Burger Company
Type of food: American fast food
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 7AM – 9PM, Friday – Saturday 7AM – 9:30PM
Locations: (1) 5400 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78756 (2) 5902 Bee Cave Road, Austin, Texas 78746
Get the chicken flashers. Seriously. Get them.
These little nuggets of crispy chicken goodness are fried in a dedicated fryer, and finished in the oven. They’re super flavorful, moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside. The breading is light, but there’s enough to make you feel like you’re eating fried chicken.
Other GF options include fried pickles that are fermented in-house, and french fries from a dedicated fryer. If you want to eat all the fried, this is the place for you.
I go to the WestLake location, but there’s also one on Burnette Road if you’re North of downtown.
Type of food: tacos
Hours: MON-FRI 7AM TO 3PM, SAT-SUN 8AM TO 3PM
Locations: (1) 1500 Spyglass Dr. Austin (2) 4200 N. Lamar Blvd. Austin (3) 12001 Burnet Rd. Austin (4) 701 S. CAPITAL OF TX HWY. Austin (5) 7301 Burnet Rd. Austin
I. Love. Tacodeli.
Yes they have a weird name. And yes, they’re only open til 3:00pm. And yes, there’s always a line.
But, there are lots of them, so no matter where you are in Austin, you can probably find one. And you can order ahead online so you don’t actually have to stand in that long ass line.
You want options? They got options. The entire menu is gluten free if you order with corn tortillas (all of the tacos you see above are on white corn tortillas). That doesn’t mean it’s a dedicated GF restaurant, but it does mean the only point of contamination to worry about is the flour tortillas.
Possibly even better, they have a really good process for communicating gluten allergies. Every time I’ve eaten at Tacodeli the cashier has not only marked my order with a gluten allergy note, but they’ve also personally gone back to let the kitchen know my GF order is coming in so they don’t overlook it. That one extra step makes me feel really, really good about eating there.
The tacos are abundant and delicious and I can’t pick a favorite. Let your heart be your guide. You won’t be disappointed.
Honorable Mention – Torchy’s Tacos
I ate at Torchy’s a lot when I moved to Austin. I mean, A L.O.T. They’re yummy and cost effective. They’re also everywhere. Unfortunately I’ve had some accidental glutenings from Torchy’s, even when I’ve said I have an allergy. On more than one occasion I’ve ordered GF versions of tacos and been given gluten filled sauces to go with them.
So yeah, if you’re just “avoiding gluten” (no judgement) try Torchy’s – they’re an Austin institution. But if you’re very sensitive or you have celiac disease, I’d stick with Tacodeli.
3. Picnik Paleo Food Trailer
Type of food: Paleo/primal picnic foods
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm, Sat-Sun 8am – 5pm
Locations: (1) 1700 South Lamar 400-B, Austin, TX 78704
This is Austin’s only 100% paleo dining option – actually it might be more primal if you want to split hairs. It’s also one of the two 100% gluten free restaurants in Austin that made it on this list.
Everything is already prepared and packaged in to-go containers, so when you order the tasty carnitas tacos on almond flour tortillas, or your rich lamb meatballs with olives, you’ll be eating them straight out of the fridge. But don’t worry, they taste surprisingly great cold.
They usually have a few grain free baked goods, and they make butter coffee that tastes so good you’ll forget the concept of butter coffee is weird. Even if you don’t forget, it’s OK. You’re in Austin. Weird is good.
Down sides are the limited menu, fairly high price (they use super high quality ingredients so it might be worth it to you), and there’s only one location. But it’s a pretty convenient location if you’re anywhere near South Lamar already.
I recommend planning a lunch at Picnik the day after you gorge on fried stuff at Hat Creek. Your body will thank you.
4. Galaxy Cafe
Type of food: American diner
Hours: 7:00AM – 10:00PM Every Day
Locations: (1) 4616 Triangle Avenue Austin, Texas (2) 1000 West Lynn Austin, Texas (3) 9911 Brodie Lane Austin, Texas (4) 8127 Mesa Drive, Ste A100 Austin, TX 78759
K, so I’ve only eaten here once, but I was really really happy with what I saw. There are a lot of gluten free options on the menu including pastas, sandwiches, wraps, and entrees. They use dedicated fryers for gluten free fried items, and they’re happy to know about and accommodate people with sensitivity.
Check out the disclaimer at the top of their GF menu:
Please specify with your server any and all allergies. It is encouraged that you discuss all of your specific dietary restrictions with a manager. Because our kitchen is not 100% dedicated as gluten-free, we want to ensure that the options you choose from this menu are safe. Further modifications can be made for varying sensitivity levels.
Often enough disclaimers feel like the restaurant is trying to back out of their gluten free claim- like they want to say they offer gluten free options without actually making sure the food actually will be gluten free.
This is not that kind of disclaimer. It’s an invitation for discussion. I appreciate that approach.
Anyway, I had the Grilled Skirt Steak With Chimichurri Sauce and I enjoyed it verily.
5. Wild Wood Bakehouse
Type of food: Bakery and American classics
Hours: Mon – Sat: 10AM – 9PM, Sun: 9AM – 2PM
Locations: (1) 3016 Guadalupe St., Ste. 200 Austin, Texas 78705
Last but not least, Wild Wood Bakehouse is an awesome 100% gluten free restaurant in Austin that also has an in-house dedicated gluten free and bakery. They’re a great choice for dinner, and dessert.
Their menu indicates dairy free options for those of us with lactose issues, and they even have vegan options.
They have full breakfast including waffles and french toast. If you’re in Austin on a Sunday, they do a brunch buffet all day (till they close at 2:00pm). But be warned the buffet is your only option on Sunday and it’s not exactly cheap, so come hungry.
I recommend the Chicken Fried Steak because, I mean, how often do you get to eat chicken fried steak? It’s a huge meal, and it’s really well prepared. Crispy breading, savory gravy, tender green beans, a huge slice of home made Texas toast, and a loaded baked potato… what’s not to love? The lasagne is also fantastic.
Map of Gluten Free Restaurants in Austin
If you’re anything like me, reading a restaurant’s address isn’t even a little helpful. I need to see it on a map to know if it’s close. So, for your convenience and perusing pleasure, I’ve put together just such a map. See? Lots of gluten free options all over Austin.
Now, quit reading about gluten free food and go eat some before you get hangry.
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Not really a fan of Wild Wood. Their desserts have a bit of that GF texture that we’re stuck with too often. Not as good as some of the other options around Austin.
I totally agree about their desserts. I haven’t really liked any of them and think there are better options in town. But, I’ve been really happy with their regular menu.