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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bloomington's Best Gluten-Free Eateries

Categories: Wine & Culinary

When you're a food enthusiast living with dietary restrictions, eating out can put a serious damper on your appetite. In so many restaurants, the only safe bet is the house salad (hold the croutons), which gets old pretty quickly. Luckily, being the accommodating and food-centric town that Bloomington is, having one or more restrictions doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor to eat safely for your condition or lifestyle. Check out these favorite places to grab delicious gluten-free food in Btown, in no particular order.

*This list is based on the experiences and tastes of the author (who is also a vegetarian) and is not comprehensive. Share your favorite places to go for great gluten-free food in the comments!

The Irish Lion

Irish Lion Patio

The day you go gluten-free, the whole wide world of pub food is closed to you, except at Irish Lion. The Vegetable Medley dish initially seems simple, with stir-fried vegetables over rice, but the seasoning is phenomenal. The portion is huge, so you'll be set for lunch the next day. This dish is great for those who are gluten-free, vegetarian, and/or vegan. They also always have Magners Irish Cider on draft, so you can get a pint too.

Malibu Grill


Malibu Grill's menu has icons showing which dishes are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. A huge selection of their entrees are GF, and many can be made GF with substitutions. Try the Yellow Coconut Curry...it's vegan and gluten-free, but meat can be added if you wish. It has great flavor and a bit of a kick but is still mild enough that a curry rookie would enjoy it. The portion size is perfect, and it is filling without being heavy. Malibu also has an impressive wine list and some fabulous cocktails, for the non-beer-drinkers.

Rainbow Bakery

Rainbow Bakery Donut & Coffee

Rainbow Bakery is all vegan all the time, and also makes a great selection of gluten-free goodies that get their very own (pretty big) case. The donut and cupcake flavors rotate with a variety of classics and unique flavor combos, but there are some go-to treats in the GF case every day like the oatmeal cream pies, marshmallow chocolate chip cookies, and granola.

Uptown Cafe

Uptown Cafe Brunch

The menu at Uptown Cafe has icons on their menu indicating which items are gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan, making it easy for those with dietary restrictions to find something they'll like. Red Beans & Rice is a great comfort food dish that's both GF and vegan. You also can't go wrong with the Huevos Rancheros when it's time for brunch.

Juancho's Munchies

Food Truck Friday - Emily & Arepa

Juancho's Munchies is a local food truck serving up great Venezuelan cuisine. We highly recommend trying an arepa, which is a gluten-free grilled corn patty stuffed with all sorts of goodness, like black beans, cheese, avocado, meat, or veggies. Plus, if you visit them at Food Truck Friday, you can visit all the other trucks and carts for a second meal or dessert.


FARM - Napa Cabbage Tacos

FARM uses locally-sourced ingredients to create original dishes with global flavors. Many of their options are gluten-free, but the staff is very helpful, so if you have questions feel free to ask! While you can't go wrong with the dinner menu, we recommend you stop by for lunch and try the Napa Cabbage Tacos. These unique tacos are filled with spiced walnut "meat," pico de gallo, cilantro, dairy-free sour cream, and lime. 

The Owlery

The Owlery Sandwich

The Owlery is Bloomington's Vegetarian only restaurant. However, one look at the menu and you will think they are pulling your leg. The downtown restaurant is pilled with ethnic-inspired dished. On their gluten-free menu, their jerk tofu tacos are a must. 


Bucceto's - Soup & Pizza

Bucceto's is a great stop for a family of gluten-free food-lovers. You can get one of their specialty pizzas made with the gluten-free crust, or choose your own toppings (try this combo: basil pesto, broccoli, spinach, and ricotta). They also have gluten-free pasta and bruschetta, along with some great soups and gigantic salads to keep everyone happy. You can eat in the restaurant, or get carryout/delivery from either location.


Danielle Lucas

Danielle Lucas