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Gluten-Free Guide to Austin, SXSW 2010 Edition

March 10, 2010

{Edit March 19, 2010- This is only a partial list of gluten-free friendly restaurants in Austin, Texas. There are many more! I will be updating soon}

Welcome to Austin!

Eating gluten-free in a new city may be daunting. You don’t know where to go, besides the boring chain restaurants. You are constantly worried about cross contamination (I guess all of us Celiac’s are).  No more worries, folks. I am here to help.  I have come up with a list of places that I frequent often and I hope you have a chance to enjoy them during your visit.

Gluten-Free Restaurants

Wildwood Art Cafe (gluten-free, dairy-free options, vegan options)

3663 Bee Caves Road, #4A , Austin, Texas 78746

Wildwood is tucked away in a shopping center in Westlake Hills (about 5-10 minutes from downtown). They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a variety of items on their menu such as: sandwiches, soups, salads, enchiladas, tamales. They also have a variety of desserts and take-away breads.  I’m obsessed with their tuna sandwich and lemon bars!

Beets Café (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw)

5th Street Commons 1611 W 5th St. Suite 165 , Austin, TX 78703

Beets Café is a raw joint on West 5th street downtown.  One of my favorite vegetarian restaurants, they offer a variety of dishes such as: soups, salads and desserts. You can never go wrong with their Portobello fajita plate, veggies and hummus, and their signature “Beets Me” drink.

Daily Juice (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw)

4500 Duval Street, Austin, TX 78751-3204

With several juice bar locations around town, they also have a sit-down restaurant located on 45th street (about 10-15 minutes from downtown, depending on traffic). Daily juice has one of the bigger menu selections for vegetarian, raw, gluten-free food. Their food is full of flavor and one of my favorite places to go. Their salads are always a great choice and are filling. I am obsessed with their Texicali tacos or the Thai ginger bowl.

Borboleta (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw)

1221 West 6th Street, Austin, TX 78703

Oh, Borboleta, I love you. Borboleta on West 6th street downtown is another great gluten-free establishment. I would go with their specials they have listed on the board. You can never go wrong with a favorite of mine- their mouth-watering sloppy joe or their pizza. Borboleta has a wide variety of sweets, soups, salads, breakfast options and other entrée specials to choose from.

Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants and Cafe’s

Whole foods (gluten-free grocery store, gluten-free friendly)

525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

The flagship Whole Foods store is massive, absolutely massive. If you are with a big group, you should all be able to find something of your craving without a problem.  Whether it is gluten-free groceries, the raw/vegetarian bar, salad bar, or a gluten-free sandwich at the sandwich counter- there is something for everybody. They do serve gluten-free bread at the sandwich counter, make sure and ask for them to put yours on the sandwich wrapper or a different surface to decrease your chance of cross-contamination.  They are always very willing to do so.

Z Tejas (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

1110 W. 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78703

9400 A. Arboretum Blvd, Austin, TX 78759

Z Tejas has a couple locations around town. They do have a gluten-free menu but it is limited. They offer salads and grilled proteins. If a special caught your eye, talk with the waiter to see if the chef can prepare a gluten-free version for you.

PF Changs (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

201 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78701

PF Changs, a well-known chain, has always been one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. They recently expanded their gluten-free menu (Went into effect March 8th across the US), to include more than 12 new dishes.

Guero’s (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

1412 South Congress, Austin, Texas

A local Tex-Mex restaurant located on the famous South Congress strip- Guero’s has something for everyone. They are known for their delicious tacos, which luckily for us- they have a gluten-free version! They have a wide variety of soups, salads, appetizers and combination plates.

Hula Hut (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

3825 Lake Austin Boulevard, Austin, TX 78703

Hula Hut is a great place to sit on their patio in the warm Texas sun, and look at the beautiful views of Lake Austin. They do have a gluten-free menu, and it is probably the smallest menu I have ever seen, but they have good food, drinks and the view is awesome!

People’s Rx Westlake (gluten-free grocery store/cafe, menu available)

4201 Westbank Drive, Austin, Texas 78746

There are several locations of People’s Rx around town, but the one I prefer to go to is the Westlake location. They have a full café with gluten-free chili, soups, salads, pasta salad, cupcakes, smoothies, desserts, sandwiches and more. They also carry a large section of gluten-free snacks on the shelf and freezer.

Zuzu’s (gluten-free friendly)

6317 Bee Cave Rd, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78746

5770 N. Mopac, Suite 500, Austin, TX 78731

Both locations have gluten-free options. Their guacamole is gluten-free, as well as the seasoning they use on their steak and chicken. I love their salads and their breakfast tacos. They make their own corn tortillas and they hold up well to a bunch of ingredients, like mounds of crispy bacon and eggs.

Zoot (gluten-free friendly)

11715 Bee Caves Rd Bee Cave, TX 78738

Zoot is in Bee Caves, about 15-20 minutes from downtown. It might be farther out, but it is worth the drive if you are looking for a private, fine dining experience.  The Chef is well aware about what Celiac Disease is and what it entails. Last time I visited, he showed my waitress what could be made gluten-free on the menu. The food is absolutely fabulous. I would call ahead and let them know if you plan on stopping by and eating gluten-free.

The Grove (gluten-free friendly)

6317 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX 78746

Located in Westlake Hills, The Grove is a popular Italian establishment. They do not have a gluten-free menu but they offer gluten-free rice pasta and gluten-free pizza crusts. Try the top-shelf pizza, made with fresh mozzarella and basil, it is to-die-for.

Plucker’s (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

3909 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704 (Several other locations around town).

Plucker’s is a popular sports bar in town. You wouldn’t think they would have a gluten-free menu, but they do! It is a pretty extensive one also. You can even get wings with your choice of gluten-free sauce. Awesome!

Cantina Laredo (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

201 West 3rd Street, Austin, TX 78701

Located in the Warehouse district, Cantina Laredo is a great chain Mexican restaurant. They do have a pretty good size gluten-free menu. I love their Tacos Cascabel and the guacamole!

La Boite (gluten-free options available)

1700 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704

La Boite is an adorable food trailer on South Lamar. They have fabulous coffee and are now carrying gluten-free products from BlackBird Bakery (including the millet powder bars and almond kisses). La Boite Cafe also mentioned on twitter last week that their macaroons are also gluten-free.

Maudie’s (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

1212 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78704 (Four other locations around town).

Maudie’s is my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin for several reasons. One, it is cheap. Two, their queso is addicting. Three, their drinks are strong!

Apothecary Cafe and Wine Bar (gluten-free friendly)

4800 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78756

Apothecary is a quaint coffee/wine bar located north of downtown. They offer gluten-free bruschetta, cheese cracker plates and paninis.

Java Dive Organic Cafe (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

1607 Ranch Road 620 North, Austin, TX 78734

If you happen to be staying out by Lake Travis, stop by Java Dive Organic Café. They have a large menu and a variety of gluten-free salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts.

Promise Pizza (gluten-free friendly)

1500 S Aw Grimes Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78664

Located in Round Rock, Promise Pizza offers amazing gluten-free pizzas. They are all organic and offer the option to use a dairy-free/vegan cheese called Daiya cheese.

Shoreline Grill (gluten-free friendly)

98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78701

Shoreline Grill is a fabulous restaurant. They have a great wine list and many delicious entrees to choose from. Call ahead and ask what specials may be made gluten-free. The Chef is well versed on what Celiac Disease is and what to look for.

The Carillon (gluten-free friendly)

1900 University Avenue, Austin, Texas 78705

Probably one of the most talked about restaurants in 2010 (for good reason), The Carillon is an amazing restaurant located in the AT&T Conference Center. There are many items on the ever-changing menu that are naturally gluten-free, but always check with the waiter. I normally call ahead and they have no problem preparing a meal gluten-free.

Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse (gluten-free friendly)

1501 South 1st Street, Austin, TX 78704

A vegetarian coffeehouse, they offer many gluten-free options such as Food Smarty desserts and a huge breakfast menu. I am a huge fan of their omelettes!

Black Sheep Lodge (gluten-free friendly)

2108 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704

Located on a South Lamar, Black Sheep Lodge is another bar that has gluten-free options.  Their queso is gluten-free (not the chips), burgers and chicken sandwiches (without the buns), salads (no crutons) + salad dressings. My favorite pairing is their black sheep chili with a Red Bridge gluten-free beer.

Counter Culture (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

120 E. North Loop, Austin, Texas

Another trailer with delicious eats, Counter Culture offers many vegan, raw sandwiches and sides, as well as gluten-free salads.

Emerald City Press (gluten-free options)

915 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78703

A stop and go coffee shop, Emerald City Press is a great place for coffee and breakfast. They have gluten-free baked products from Blackbird Bakery.

Delish Cupcakes (gluten-free options)

209 West 3rd Street, Austin, TX 78701

Have a sweet tooth?  Stop by Delish cupcakes in the 2nd Street District to try one of their gluten-free flavors. You will be hooked at first bite.

Yummy Yo (gluten-free friendly)

360 Nueces Street Austin, TX 78701

Craving some frozen yogurt? Located at the base of the Austin 360 condominiums, Yummy Yo has many sweet yogurt flavors to choose from. On each yogurt machine, they have labels with what flavor they are. Check the labels- this is where they label it “gluten-free”. If you cannot find it on the label- ask a person working there. They all seem to be knowledgeable about the subject. Be careful about the toppings though- cross contamination can be an issue.

Leaf (gluten-free friendly)

419 West 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701

Leaf has some of the best salads in town. They make their own salad dressings and most are gluten-free. Make sure and tell them to not put bread in your bowl or in your to-go box. They tend to do it on habit. No bread!

Uchi (gluten-free friendly)

801 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704

Most likely it will be impossible to get into but if you are craving sushi- Uchi has your back. They also carry gluten-free soy sauce.

Rio’s Brazilian Café (gluten-free friendly)

408 North Pleasant Valley Road Austin, TX 78702

One of my favorite spots in town, Rio’s has a great menu with many gluten-free options including their gluten-free cheese bread.

New India Cuisine (gluten-free friendly, GF menu symbol)

2407 South Congress, Suite A2, Austin, TX 78704

Located on South Congress, New India has a great menu that has a helpful “GF” symbol next to the gluten-free options.

Somnio’s Café (gluten-free friendly, GF menu symbol)

1807 South 1st Street, Austin, TX 78704

Another local restaurant focusing on seasonal eats, Somnio’s has a great menu full of fresh, delicious flavors. They also have the “GF” symbol next to the gluten-free options

Snack Bar (gluten-free friendly, GF menu symbol)

1224 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704

Snack Bar is a cute restaurant on South Congress. They have a great patio which is a good spot for brunch. They have the “GF” symbol next to the items that are gluten-free. I love their sandwiches and gluten-free waffles!

Vespaio (gluten-free friendly)

1610 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704

Another restaurant on South Congress, Vespaio is one of the best Italian restaurants in Austin. They recently began serving gluten-free pasta!

Brick Oven South (gluten-free friendly, menu available)

9911 Brodie Ln, Austin, TX 78748

Brick Oven has several locations around Austin, but the South site has a full gluten-free menu including: pizza, pasta, salad, garlic bread, desserts. The garlic bread is amazing!

Red House Pizzeria (gluten-free friendly)

1917 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722

Red House Pizzeria is now serving gluten-free pizza (upon request). I am glad because I used to love their pizza before I was gluten-free.  Check them out!

Grocery Stores with Gluten-Free Food Products

People’s Rx

Whole Foods

Central Market


Newflower’s Farmers Market



*Side Notes:

As always with gluten-free friendly establishments (that are not certified gluten-free) there is a chance of cross contamination. I am speaking from a personal experience in saying; I have had a positive experience with each of these restaurants more than once and continue to visit them on a regular basis.

I hope you enjoy Austin!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 1:26 pm

    What a GREAT list:-) I knew about maybe six of these places; you’ve opened up a whole new world – and I live nearby in Georgetown! A trip to Austin doesn’t sound nearly so daunting anymore!

  2. Caitlin permalink
    March 12, 2010 9:25 pm

    Great list. I wish there was more up in north Austin. I rarely make it south or even central and I can’t see myself making the trip just for lunch. At least there’s a Sprouts and Whole Foods nearby.

    • atxglutenfree permalink*
      March 12, 2010 9:32 pm

      Hi Caitlin- Thanks for stopping by. In my list I did not list all the GF friendly (not completely gluten-free, and some of these have GF menus) restaurants but there are plenty up north! Such as: Maggiano’s, Eddie V’s, Melting Pot, Fleming’s, North by Northwest, Manuel’s, Maudie’s, Carraba’s, Outback, etc. I hope to do a North Edition of the gluten-free guide soon so stay tuned 🙂 — Jess @ ATX Gluten-Free

      • Caitlin permalink
        March 13, 2010 4:52 pm

        Oooh thanks. A north edition would be awesome.

  3. March 17, 2010 3:15 am

    Thank you! I came here for SXSW and have been referencing your site all week. Ate at several places with no issues.

    One place I didn’t see you list is Iron Cactus. They have a GF menu available on request, and their tableside guacamole and chips are GF. And they are close to the convention center. YUM!


    • atxglutenfree permalink*
      March 17, 2010 4:46 pm

      Thanks Erica for your kind words 🙂 I am glad to help! Yes, I love the Iron Cactus. They are able to do a delish gluten-free friendly brunch too on the weekends. Hope you enjoyed your time in Austin. — Jess @ ATX Gluten-Free

  4. Mona permalink
    March 17, 2010 10:21 pm

    I also found that Outback Steak house has a separate gluten-free menu with cocktails and desserts as well. I had great rack of lamb with vegetables there once. Also the Salt Lick claims their sauce to be gluten-free.

    Thanks for the list of restaurants!

    • atxglutenfree permalink*
      March 17, 2010 10:26 pm

      Hi Mona- Yes, the majority of chain restaurants have a gluten-free menu. I will double check with Salt Lick- I know some people have had problems with their sauces before. Thanks for the heads up and you’re welcome on the list 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Jess- ATX Gluten-Free

  5. March 25, 2010 3:42 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    I visited Austin for SXSW and wanted to say thanks for listing these options. I also wanted to mention that Wheatsville Co-op grocery store has a great gluten-free selection.

    Keep up the awesome blogging!


    • atxglutenfree permalink*
      March 25, 2010 7:55 pm

      Hi Claire! I am glad I was able to help you during your time at SXSW! Yes, Wheatsville does have a fabulous GF grocery selection. I shop there all the time! 🙂 — Jess @ ATX Gluten-Free

  6. June 21, 2010 2:49 pm

    I recently tweeted and stumbled upon your post. Really your post is very informative and I enjoyed your opinions. Do you use twitter or stumbleupon? So I can follow you there. I am hoping you post again soon.

    • ATXglutenfree permalink*
      June 23, 2010 1:25 am

      Hi there- Thanks for the kind words. You can follow me on Twitter @ATXglutenfree. E-mail me at if you have any questions. Thanks for stopping by! — Jess

  7. Bethany permalink
    July 15, 2010 12:35 am

    I would love to see a north addition as well!!! I live in Leander, so finding gf friendly places is a challenge…I also love forgen food…which makes this very hard…lucky for me, the following places have had great offerings:

    Taste of Etheopia
    Clay Pit (the waitress was very helpful and told me things I could have and couldn’t)
    Cedar Park Farms to Market (our new farmers market…great tamallies, indian wraps ,etc!)
    Umiyas Sushi and Korean – awesome!!!
    Food for Life GF Resturant

  8. Tina permalink
    November 12, 2010 5:22 pm

    I wouldn’t recommend Hula Hut for Gluten Free. They don’t have a GF menu, and EVERYTHING is cross contaminated. From the corn chips and anything cooked on the grill top. Plan on having a salad if you eat there.

    • ATXglutenfree permalink*
      November 13, 2010 2:07 am

      Hi Tina- Actually Hula Hut does have a very, very small gluten-free menu and has had one for some time now. They do not advertise it and some waiters/waitresses are unaware of it. I do agree that in many places you will find cross contamination, but some people react differently than others; so it is always important to be careful when dining out at uncertified GF restaurants. The chance of CC is anywhere that is not only gluten-free foods. I personally have not had a bad experience at Hula Hut, but then again, it’s not my go-to stop for GF friendly Tex-Mex. I have other favorites in town when it comes to Tex-Mex food, where I can find more gluten-free friendly options and a larger GF menu. Thank you for your comment and thanks for stopping by. — Jessica


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