Gluten free options aren’t always available when dining out. In Gastown, we have plenty of fantastic restaurants that have created tasty dishes, desserts, substitutions and even entire menus that are completely gluten free. For those that eat gluten free, we salute you. Here’s a list that will keep you coming back to Gastown.
For gluten free folk, Meet is the place to be. Essentially almost everything is gluten free and vegan unless otherwise noted with substitutions suggested. The burgers are really good (so are the crispy fries) and what’s great is that most burgers can be made gluten free by removing onion rings and substituting for a gluten free bun & patty. Try their Corn Fritters with spicy chipotle mayo dip – delish!
Bauhaus has firmly established itself as Vancouver’s top destination for German cuisine. The food and the service are exceptional and the interior is decorated.….Bauhaus style! The menu includes the option to indulge in their seasonally inspired Tasting Menu (created by the executive Chef team, David Müller and Tim Schulte) – one can select 4 to 6 courses with many of the dishes being gluten free or flexible to be altered to such requirements. Selections include: duck (beetroot – onion – blackberry), carrot (orange – cream cheese), tuna (avocado – radish – sesame – apple ) and beef short-rib (corn – chanterelle).
Nicli Antica Pizzeria is the first VPN certified Neapolitan pizzeria in Vancouver. Located within a century old building where age-old brick walls stand silently, allowing a contemporary bright interior to dance subtly in and among modern light fixtures and furniture. A balanced wine list pairs nicely with wood fired pizzas, old world recipe inspired antipasti and insalati. And the best part is that any of the pizzas can been substituted with gluten-free crust.
The Poke Shop on Water Street is a Gastown lunchtime hotspot and for good reason. These traditional Hawaiian bowls of pure deliciousness are fully customizable and loaded with gluten free options. Poke is a Hawaiian specialty that began with fishermen seasoning the cut-offs from their catch to serve as a snack. Poke simply means “to cut into pieces”. Traditional poke seasonings have been heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. Poke bowls typically feature seasoned sushi-grade seafood on top of rice and garnished with various ingredients like seaweed salad, green onions and sesame seeds.
Kofta Meatball Kitchen uses locally sourced, free range and hormone free ingredients. Their Bowls can be made gluten free, as you can customize each stage of what goes into it. We selected the vegan lentil koftas with a quinoa and rice base, garlic cashew crème and for the garnish – shaved asiago. Salads rotate daily with fresh seasonal produce – add a meatball for a toonie.
The Irish Heather will crack open a gluten free beer for you. Order the Omission ‘Pale Ale’ from Oregon based craft brewers, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. They also serve a couple of nice gluten free dishes – SUPERFOOD SALAD – spring mix, quinoa, chickpea, beets, apple mustard vinaigrette with options to add chicken, goat cheese or bacon. Or try their BANGERS AND MASH (Gluten free upon request) – custom pork sausages made for the Heather by local butchers Moccia Urbani with mashed potatoes and pan gravy.
La Mezcaleria makes authentic Mexican food right here in Gastown. They specialize in a large assortment of Mezcals – a spirit distilled from mash made out of the steamed hearts of various species of agaves, as well as many types of Tequila. Their gluten free options are plentiful – opting for corn tortillas and chips with many dishes. Indulge in their Molecajetes – a signature molten cheese fondue served in a volcanic pot or their Cazuelas – savory side dishes served in iron pots. The Platos Fuertes are fantastic and many can accommodate a gluten free palate.
Bao Down is one of those places that if you haven’t tried it, you’ll be asking “Why haven’t I come here yet?”. You can’t go wrong with any of their Bao Buns – fushion street food big bites that combine delicious flavours and spices of the Orient with fresh vegetables and proteins of the Pacific Northwest. Any of the Baos can be served in a crisp lettuce cup. Highly recommended is The Jaws – coconut crusted catfish, cabbage, kimchi tartar sauce and thai vinaigrette.
L’abattoir has a fine list of desserts, and for one devoid of glutinous ingredients, The Buckwheat Cake is worth ordering – it will arrive deconstructed – appearing as a Torched buttermilk meringue with a dark malt ice cream on a bed of graham crumble.
Water Street Café, a much loved Gastown haunt, has concocted a totally gluten free dessert– a Flourless Double Chocolate Espresso Cake served with a black cherry compote.
The Old Spaghetti Factory has created an entire menu that is gluten free. Everything from appetizers to salads, with food from the grill along with pastas are listed. The Chef has carefully chosen the appropriate ingredients, so you can order anything from this special menu without having to ask if it’s ok for your diet. Their pasta is a corn based penne which tastes just as delicious as regular pasta.
Bambo Café has been in the neighbourhood for quite awhile and they are known for their freshly prepared dishes. There are 7 delightful salads to choose from including a Lentil soup – (gluten free) and a gluten free cookie.