On a gluten free diet, navigating a menu can be pretty tricky.
First of all, some restaurants don’t have a dedicated gluten free menu.
Second of all, if a restaurant just has one menu, it’s sometimes pretty difficult to find something edible to eat (edible in the sense of being 99.99% gluten free).
So what exactly can you choose that is almost positive to be gluten free?
To answer that question, I listed below 11 different types of foods that are almost surefire bets to be gluten free.
Ordering these 11 foods will surely enhance your gluten free dining experience, thus allowing you to focus less on your meal and more on your companions, friends, family, iPhone, or whomever or whatever you are eating out with.
But let me warn you, some will require to a few minor substitutions.
Here we go!
How to Choose the Best Gluten Free Dishes on the Menu
Before we begin, let me just say that you always need to be careful and ask a ton of questions before you make a decision and order something off the menu (this even includes ordering off the gluten free menu as well).
Salads are probably the most gluten free thing on the menu available. No of course, you do need to order your salad without any croutons and you also need to make sure that you have some gluten free salad dressing choices. From my experience, almost all vinaigrettes are gluten free so that’s always a safe choice. Now if you are getting a specialty or premium salad, you do need to make sure what exactly is going to be in your salad. For example, if you’re getting a cobb salad, make sure that the bacon is gluten free. If you’re getting a fruit salad, make sure that the nuts are gluten free and be sure to tell your server to hold the oats (if the salad has oats in it). But if you’re just getting a basic garden salad, like one from Red Lobster, that will usually be a safe bet (without the croutons of course).
2. Steamed Vegetables
Almost always, steamed vegetables such as steamed broccoli and fresh asparagus is almost positively going to be gluten free. Now there are a few times where they may use a seasoning on the vegetables which may contain gluten, but that’s usually very rare.
If you’re looking for a surefire gluten free entree, steak is your choice. If the steak is seasoned with just salt and pepper and doesn’t use a special rub or topping, chances are that it’s going to be gluten free.
4. Ice Cream
Ice cream is almost always gluten free as long as you stick with the original flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry. Once you stray from these flavors however, you will need to ask your server to make sure that the ice cream is gluten free.
5. Eggs and Omelets
Scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, sunny side up, poached, you name it. Eggs are a sure bet when it comes to gluten free breakfasts. Omelets, however may get a little tricky because omelets are usually made from eggs that comes from a liquid container. As a result, you may not always know if the omelet eggs are going to be gluten free or not.
6. Baked Potatoes
If a normal baked potato has gluten in it, then the restaurant is doing something wrong. Just be sure to know which toppings are gluten free or not. Bacon is always a little tricky, so be sure to ask before you order.
7. Cold Seafood Platters (ie. Shrimp Cocktail, Oysters)
Shrimp cocktails, oyster plates, fresh crab legs, and chilled lobster claws will almost always be gluten free. Just make sure that the cocktail sauce is safe.
8. Grilled Chicken
Most grilled chicken is made gluten free no matter where you go. It’s usually the sauce that accompanies the chicken that usually has gluten in it. So make sure that you are getting a plain piece of grilled chicken. Grilled chicken on salads are normally safe.
Sushi is almost always gluten free, as long as you don’t get any that has tempura in it. Just make sure that your soy sauce is gluten free because all soy sauces contain gluten.
Yes coffee isn’t necessarily a dish you would eat, but it is normally something you can get after you eat. Black coffee is always going to be gluten free. It’s just the creamers and flavor syrups that can be a little tricky and deceptive.
11. Fresh Seafood
Fresh fish, fresh Maine Lobster, steamed crabs, and other seafood dishes are usually always gluten free, as long as they are made simply. For example, the fresh fish from Bonefish Grill is normally prepared simply (salt and pepper) with a choice of some gluten free sauces.
12. Mashed Potatoes (hit and miss so it’s usually a last resort)
Mashed potatoes are the trickiest and most inconsistent thing on the menu. Depending on the location, the mashed potatoes may have flour mixed into them. Plus the gravy normally is glutenous. Mashed potatoes truly truly make gluten free dining a little more complicated than it needs to be.
Well that’s it…
Thanks for reading!
Also be sure to check out the original gluten free eating out guide for more information and tips that can make your gluten free dining out experience so much more pleasant.
And if you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment and below. I’d love to hear what you’d have to say guys!