Best Gluten-Free Restaurants in Pittsburgh

July 13, 2011 3:55 PM

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Photo Credit: Erin Marton

Photo Credit: Erin Marton

By Erin Marton

Whether by choice or necessity, more and more people have found themselves making the commitment to a gluten-free lifestyle. It stands to reason, therefore, that we are seeing an increase in restaurants that either cater specifically to, or accommodate those with this special dietary need. We recently sat down to dinner (gluten-free of course) with Jami Broom, the author of the Pittsburgh-based Gluten-Free Diet Blog, and picked her brain on what she thinks are the most “gluten-free friendly” spots in the ‘Burgh. Jami chose to go gluten-free to manage her seasonal allergies. Fortunately for her, she doesn’t suffer from Celiac Disease, which is a complete intolerance to gluten, so a little mistake now and then won’t hurt her. Fortunately for Celiac sufferers, “a gluten-free diet is a little bit of a trend right now,” says Jami. As a result, many restaurants are not only accommodating this special dietary need, but offering alternative gluten-free menus. Here are a few of our favorites.

doublewidesign1 Best Gluten Free Restaurants in Pittsburgh

(Credit: Erin Marton)

Double Wide Grill

2339 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 390-1111
Hours: Mon/Tue 11 a.m. – midnight, Wed – Fri 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sat 10 a.m. – 1 a.m., Sun 10 a.m. – midnight
Business Directory Link

In the heart of the Southside Flats, this iconic vintage gas station turned restaurant is all Pittsburgh. It is unexpected then, to find that it is perhaps one of the most accommodating places to go for those with special dietary needs. In addition to gluten-free, the Double Wide’s clearly labeled menu also caters to a vegan diet. Although many salads offered are obviously gluten-free and are often a go-to choice at this venue, we recently enjoyed the Grilled Summer Veggies, which included a Portobello Mushroom cap surrounded by perfectly grilled peppers, zucchini, and summer squash. Our only wish is that they would add a few gluten-free beers to the menu, since sitting outside on a breezy summer day with a nice cold beer is something even those of us who are gluten-free enjoy.

paris66diningroom1 Best Gluten Free Restaurants in Pittsburgh

(Credit: Paris 66)

Paris 66

6018 Penn Circle South
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 404-8166
Hours: Mon -Thurs 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri and Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Business Directory Link

You may have an unexpected moment of “Pittsburgh Bliss” while sitting on the back deck of this authentic Parisian creperie. Who would think that gazing out on a city alley could be so relaxing, but it is just that. The outdoor seating at Paris 66 is perfect, as is the signature crepe, the Paris 66. Loaded with ham, swiss and eggs and topped with tomato Provençale and sautéed mushrooms, it is the perfect lunch portion. Les Gallettes de Sarrasin (Buckwheat Crepes) are gluten-free, and pair nicely with savory ingredients. Slightly on the more expensive side, Paris 66 also offers a lovely wine selection. It is a popular place for Sunday Brunch, so be prepared for a bit of a wait or be sure to make reservations.

Little Tokyo

636 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
(412) 344-4366
Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday 5pm-9:30pm, Friday/Saturday – 5pm-10:30om
Sunday – 4pm-9:30pm
Business Directory Link

Only a quick trip through the Liberty Tunnel, this Mount Lebanon Japanese Restaurant scores big points on the GF (gluten-free) scale by offering the elusive gluten-free soy sauce. It may seem small to the average eater, but finally being able to properly enjoy sushi could be a major milestone in a person’s gluten-free existence. You will likely be greeted by the owner himself, Frank Lin, who has proudly operated Little Tokyo for almost ten years. He also owns Little Tokyo Japanese Bistro located in the Southside.

Gluuteny Bakery

1923 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 521-4890
Hours: Tue – Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m
Closed Sunday and Monday
Business Directory Link

A good cupcake with loads of creamy frosting can put a gluten-free eater into almost a religious fervor. We were recently gifted a delicious cupcake from Gluuteny Bakery in Squirrel Hill. Put side by side in a challenge with any non gluten-free cupcake, and these would come out on top every time. Rich batter and delectable frosting give a gluten-free girl a glimpse of heaven. They offer a wide variety of baked goods, including breads, and their mixes are also available online!

Soergel Orchards (Naturally Soergels)

2373 Brandt School Road
Wexford, PA 15090
(724) 935-1743
Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Sat – Sun 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Business Directory Link

Completely worth the trip out I-79, Soergel Orchards is a mecca for gluten-free ‘Burghers. They carry the largest selection of gluten-free products locally (over 900), and their website offers an entire section devoted completely to the gluten-fee diet, which includes resources and links to other local restaurants for those with gluten intolerance. Both Soergels and Gluuteny carry Udi’s Breads, which are hands-down the most satisfactory gluten-free breads available. Why so, you ask? Because you can make french toast with them and they don’t fall apart of course!

Eat’n Park

Locations throughout the city (Find one near you here)
Many open 24 hours
Business Directory Link

Surprised at this one? It’s true, Pittsburgh-based Eat’n Park not only offers gluten-free entrees which are clearly labeled on their menu, but you can also take home some of their gluten-free sandwich buns, an item almost impossible to find, even in specialty stores. There are no words that can describe the feeling of biting into a proper hamburger, bun and all, for the first time in years. It will give you a bigger smile than their trademark cookies.

Do you have a gluten-free experience to share? We would love to hear your recommendations!

Erin Marton is a REALTOR® and the Social Media and Marketing Director for PPM Realty in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also the author of the ‘Burgh Living Blog, and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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  • Andy Booth

    You should add Giovanni’s Pizza and Pasta in Dormont. They have gluten-free pizza that tastes like pizza, and a full gluten free pasta menu as well. They rock!

    Thanks for the article!!

    • midatlanticarthritis

      Yes! Giovanni’s is so good! Also — Pizza Fusion and Mandy’s Pizza. Outback Steakhouse, too!

    • Anonymous

      There is also an awesome pizza place in Greensburg~Little E’s Pizza. They also have gluten free hoagies, beer & deserts!

  • Amanda

    I’ve also found that Bella Frutteto (Across from Soergels) is a great gluten free option. Also heard Mandy’s Pizza offers a gluten free pizza – but you have to notify ahead of time. Have not tried, but might try the pizza shell Mandy’s sells at Soergels.

    • Anonymous

      Mandy’s is the Why? Because it doesn’t TASTE gluten-free!! You do not have to call ahead for it, unless you want to order something larger than their 10″ pizza. They also have gluten-free chicken wings & flatbread sandwiches that are equally as amazing. Run, do NOT walk, to Mandy’s!!

      • Anonymous

        Oh, and Bella Frutetto is also fantastic! Their GF Sausage Alfredo is to die for!

    • Renee

      Mandy’s pizza shells taste way better if you get them at Mandys Pizza in West View. It doesnt cook as well as it does in the pizza oven there.

      • Voice of Truth Project

        You do not need to notify Mandy’s Pizza in West View prior to arriving. I’ve eaten there several times without calling first. They have THE BEST pizza in the ‘burgh.

  • Anonymous

    Savoy in the strip. Executive Chef, Kevin Watson, will come out to talk with the guest about his/her likes and create a dish that is gluten free and to their liking. Almost every meal there can be done GF.

  • Anonymous

    PF Chang’s has a great selection for gluten free diet options.

    Olive Garden even offers Gluten Free Pasta even though it is just plain sauce.

    Texas Roadhouse however does not. They were not even sure if their BBQ Sauce was gluten free.

  • Renee

    Also Pazzo Ristorante

    (412) 341-5555
    Mt Lebanon
    1535 Washington Road
    Pittsburgh, PA 15228

    Is a good place for Italian food.

  • Anonymous

    Packs N Dogs on Mt. Washington allows you to by your choice of assorted 6-packs and they do have Gluten Free Beers, several of them.

  • T.J.

    Hi All – I agree very much with comments above and do recommend “Eat ‘n’ Park” , “Mandy’s” and “Belle Frutteto”. Excellent items available! Other places to check out:

    * PF Changs
    * Smokey Bones
    * Atria’s
    * Big Burrito Group (any of their eateries will work with you on GF items)

    Any of the places above mentioned, have great staff and who are really educated on Gluten Free items.

    Also, if you are not familiar….Allegheny General Hospital has a full Digestive/Celiac Disease Center and outstanding doctors and dietitians that are most helpful.

    Continued best to all!

  • Paul
    • Sara

      That title is so misleading… The article says that eating lots of unhealthy, processed gluten-free food is not a good thing (duh!) and that cutting out all carbs is not a good thing (duh!). A gluten-free diet should follow the same basic rules of balanced nutrition that a regular diet should! The lack of gluten itself is not harmful.

  • Barbara

    It may be a little out of the Pittsburgh area, but “Little E’s Pizzeria” in Greensburg has gluten-free and gluten and egg-free pizzas. They also offer glluten-free hoagies that are on a gluten-free Italian hoagie roll. All their GfFitems are made in the dedicated gluten-free kitchen of Herbalicious…The Gluten-Free Store, located on Main Street (Route 31) in Mount Pleasant. They have the largest variety of GF items around and also bake their own bread, cakes, cookies, Banana Walnut Bread, Orange Cranberry Bread and lot of other goodies. It’s definitely worth the trip to check out both of these places.

  • Alyssa

    I was forwarded this from a friend and have to give 2 thumbs and 2 big toes up to Mandys pizza. I actually met the owner who’s son suffers from food allergies and the owner Steve sat with us on a busy friday night. I have suffered with Celiac for 2 years and must say that there is no other restaurant I trust more because Steve and his staff actually “get it.”

    Steve is so passionate about helping people like me and while I was there a little girl who never ate pizza drew Steve a picture and thanked him — her pizza was free and he was speachless.

    I travel quite often for business and live in the South Hills have have tried other pizza shops, even those listed here, and must say this is why I come back to Mandys every weekend.

    PS….you have to try his steak panini(sp). I also think he’s changing his menu to offer more items very soon — YUM!

    Safe and understanding environment will win me over every time.

    Thanks to all of the restaurants who accommodate my problems, and thanks to Mandys for taking it a step further.

    Hmmm….maybe he’ll give me a free pizza for this review since I cannot draw

    • Katie

      A little bird told me that Steve is going to be adding even MORE gluten-free items in the near future!! And, you’re right! Steve & his staff TOTALLY “get it!” They work tirelessly to make sure that there is *zero* chance of cross-contamination. I trust them 150%!!! Three cheers for Mandy’s!!!

    • T.J.

      I agree Alyssa on all your comments regarding Steve @ Mandy’s. He and his staff…they do “get it”. They keep their eatery spotless. There is zero chance for cross contamination. For those not familar…if you or someone you know has Celiac, this by far, is the BEST Gluten Free pizza in town.

  • Michelle

    SPOON in East Liberty understands celiac and will alter any dish that can be altered, to provide gluten free dining. Most of their offerings can be made in a gluten free version.

    Dish on the South Side often has gluten free pasta on hand, in addition to offering many excellent gluten free options.

  • Beth

    I also agree with Mandy’s pizza in westview! Steve is wonderful and very understanding. My son ate his first pizza at 5 years old. He has many food allergies and because the owner knows all about food allergies due to his sons, I felt comfortable enough to let my son try his first pizza that was not made by me!

    • BGJ

      Whole heartedly agree! I am SO thankful for Steve’s generosity to make available the quality products he makes for his son!

  • Clarice

    Harold’s in Hopewell twp. has good gluten free buns, cake and ect. I also agree that Mandy’s pizza is awesome. It was the best gluten free pizza I ever had.

  • Kimberly Sumner Shick

    Mandy’s pizza is definitely the best. My daughter would eat there ever day if I let her!

  • Jami Broom

    Yes — Mandy’s is awesome. One of the few really good GF pizzas around. I wrote a post about Mandy’s awhile back —

    ALSO — One other treat I hadn’t tried prior to my conversation with Erin was Oh, Yeah! Ice Cream’s gluten free waffles — they are AMAZING. You can get all sorts of fun mixins with the waffles (also, vegan). They don’t have a website, but their Twitter is @oysocial and they are located on South Highland in Shadyside. (They have good ice cream, too!)

  • Wendy K. Bradshaw

    Hi, I am Wendy and I have had celiac for 9 years. I have a hard time finding places that are gluten free. Thanks everyone for the info. I will be going to Pitts. soon and will try some of these places.

  • Wendy

    The Good Life on Banksville carries Gluten Free items. I especially like the items from Udi’s; they make bagels, hot dog and hamburger buns that do not fall apart and bread. You can also buy Mandy’s pizza shells from Wholefoods.

  • anonymous

    Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on mt washington will offers manyt items that are gluten free. The staff was very helpful in recommending items for me and even brought me gluten free rolls!!!! I had their crab cakes (which they special made gluten free for me) and they were amazing!!!!!

  • question11

    nice post , please check north face toutle

  • JaneA

    Note to readers: Double Wide Grill lists their items as WF, which means Wheat Free. This is not the same as Gluten Free.

  • jadaf

    One great restaurant missing from this list– UNO! They have several gluten free pizzas (yummy!) with your choice of GF toppings. In addition to a whole gluten free menu, with many choices, including beer! We have gone several times now, (to the Waterfront location, as well as the Cranberry location) and always get great service, no gluten reactions, and the staff is very helpful and accomadting. :)

  • Michelle

    I found the gf pizza at UNO to be, truly, the worst I’ve had in a long time – maybe the worst. The only gf beer on the menu was Red Bridge, which is by the same people who make Budweiser, and tastes about the same – which is fine, if you like Budweiser, I live just across the bridge from the Waterfront, and the gf pizza and beer at UNOs are not something I’d spend the time or money on again.

    Mandy’s pizza, on the other hand, rocks. I’ve traveled from the east end to the north hills for their pizza repeatedly. If I cannot make the drive, I’d rather go to the Whole Foods freezer and buy a gf crust made by Mandy’s, or by Against the Grain, make my pizza at home, and drink a gf beer that I’ve picked up from D’s SixPax & Dogz. If Mandy’s delivered to the east end, I’d eat a lot more pizza. Maybe one day Mineo’s will catch on… .

  • Michelle

    Tip – the Oh Yeah! ice cream/ gf waffle shop in Shady Side is *cash only.*

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