Gluten-Free Dining Out
Dining Club News
GF Lunch Bunch
Lunches are held at Tucson restaurants, usually on the second Friday of each month.
Gluten-Free Dining Group
Group dinners are arranged at restaurants supporting gluten-free dining, usually on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
Check our calendar for up-to-date information on venues and dates.
Gluten-Free dining is a challenge for people with celiac disease or anyone with gluten intolerance. Dining clubs help us practice ordering (and screening) our food to insure a safe meal. We learn from our fellow Celiacs how to order gluten free from restaurant menus. Join us for fun and to help raise Celiac Disease (CD) awareness in the food service industry and general community. When dining out we can educate restaurants and food service workers on specific needs of gluten intolerant patrons and help them learn to prepare and serve gluten free food.
If you have had a great (or not so great) GF dining experience please use the form below to notify us.
- Usually it is safer to eat at a more upscale restaurant where chefs tend to make items from scratch and from fresh ingredients. They are typically more knowledgeable about diet and special needs.
- Ideally the kitchen or wait staff can tell you if a menu items contain wheat or gluten, and may offer substitutions or modifications.
- Contacting the chef ahead of time is preferable, and most chefs are at work after 3 PM.
- Call or visit and leave written information on the GF diet requirements with the chef ad manager.† (CSA members have a card to carry that specifies diet requirements)
- You may also mail, email or fax the diet information since the chef may not be aware of hidden sources of gluten or of cross contamination.
- Please go out of your way to thank the Chef and staff for their efforts.†† A good tip will also show your appreciation!†
- A follow-up note with a Celiac brochure builds Celiac awareness - one chef at a time. Carry copies of GF Dining brochures to help distribute reference materials that can be posted on the restaurantís bulletin board.
- For diners in the Southwest, the Spanish translation for wheat flour is harina de trigo (with a silent "h" - "arina") and for bread is pan. Tell your server "no harina" and "no pan." Maíz (corn) is good (bien). Masa harina is the flour (made from corn) used to make corn tortillas and is OK. However, the large "flour tortillas" used for burritos and chimichangas are made with wheat flour and must be avoided.
- We have adapted a very good list of suggested questions to ask when dining out, originally from Alamo Celiac, GIG (by Melanie Psaltakis).
- Restaurant Cards with the name of our group and dietary restrictions printed on the back are also available to our members at any general meeting. Pick up one. They work!
- Restaurant cards are available with membership in the Celiac Support Association. 402-558-0600. www.csaceliacs.org.
- Restaurant cards are available in a variety of languages. You can order commercially printed Restaurant Cards at http://www.triumphdining.com/ with the text adapted for each cuisine. Translated cards are available in English, Chinese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish (Mexican), Thai, and Vietnamese. Printable restaurant cards in 54 languages are free online from CeliacTravel.com.
- Sample Celiac Restaurant Card
I have celiac disease. With this illness, I have very strict dietary restrictions related to certain grains. I cannot eat foods with ingredients that are not GLUTEN-FREE. This means NO Wheat (including Emmer, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt, Triticale), Rye or Barley including these sprouted grains. It also includes Oats, which are usually contaminated with wheat. This means I must adhere to the three "C"s - my food cannot Contain, Contact or be Contaminated by these grains.
The restaurants listed below have been informally screened and frequented by members of CSA of Southern Arizona. We present these establishments based on our personal experience but urge you to be cautious and rigorous when ordering. Owners, chefs and menus can change, which may affect the quality of GF menu items or staff sensitivity to the needs of GF diners. Never be afraid to ask questions about your food and how it's prepared. Comments are current as of the date of the review.
Our Reviewed Restaurant Map
Use our Google map of gluten-free restaurants to locate restaurants by neighborhood. Click on the pointers to get restaurant information.
Show Details - Click for more information about each restaurant.
- Gluten-free menu is available, either online or at the restaurant (or both)
Gluten-Free Dining in Nearby Destinations
Flagstaff & Sedona
- Conifer Bed & Breakfast Inn - recommended by a member: "wonderful, gluten-free meals." Be sure to provide as much advance notice as possible.
- England House Bed & Breakfast - recommended by a member: "...above and beyond what I've ever seen a B&B do for me - blueberry pancakes, amazing omelettes, they even had gluten-free crackers to go with the wine and cheese."
- Picazzo's Pizza also has locations in Flagstaff, 1300 S. Milton Rd. and in Sedona, 1855 W Highway 89A. (see above for details)
- Troia's - 1885 West Highway 89A, Sedona. Offers gluten-free pizza and rice pasta. "Wonderful restaurant...with so much gluten-free choice. not a gluten-free restaurant but rather a delightful restaurant that is knowledgeable about gluten and passionate about their food."
We know of two dedicated facilities in the Phoenix area.
Also see Eating GF in the Valley of the Sun - a Google map of restaurants in Phoenix and also northern Arizona
- Gluten-Free Registry - A useful list, but note that the registry relies on information provided by the restaurants and it may become outdated, so always double check before going and be prepared to ask questions about their gluten-free items.
- Gluten Free Travel Site - Reviews of hotels, resorts and restaurants help you plan a worry-free vacation
- InnSeekers Bed & Breakfast & Country Inn Directory - You can restrict your search to B&B's that offer gluten-free meals. Note: Listings are fee based (paid by the B&B), so they are not comprehensive.
- Special Gourmets - Be sure to check the "Gluten free" option (and verify that it remains checked after doing a search).
You can also check with local CSA support groups for information on local dining options. A list is available at the CSA directory of local chapters and resource units.
Last modified on May 15 2016.