Gluten-Free Miami/South Florida

I’ve decided to redesign this page to hopefully make the gluten-free options in Miami I’ve blogged about more accessible and easy to find. Instead of having to scroll through all the posts, below are Miami’s gluten-free options broken up by type of food and with a short description.

A lot of restaurants that I’ve blogged about that aren’t on this list have gluten-free options (of course since I eat there), but I try to save the list for special things like gluten-free versions of foods we can’t usually eat. With some of these (especially pizza, sandwiches) the risk of cross-contamination is higher. I try and gauge the likelihood and my assumption of risk from the knowledge of the servers and their willingness when I ask for extra diligence. Please use your best judgement and make your needs clear to your server. I’ll admit I don’t always do the 100% due diligence I should with celiac. I ask about things that are questionable or likely to contain gluten, but might forget to ask about something in a sauce or something like that. So far haven’t had any bad incidents or reactions (except for the soy sauce randomly in the balsamic vinaigrette at Cheesecake Factory….), but please still ask your server about the menu items you order even if you see they are included on my general restaurant list. The general restaurant list is here

Take a look at the comments section far below for some of my thoughts about cross-contamination and these places for celiacs.

100% Gluten-Free:

  • Joey’s Home Bakery Gluten-Free (Boynton Beach)– a 100% gluten-free bakery with so much variety of baked goods (both savory and sweet)! They also have vegan, dairy-free, and paleo options. Their savory baked goods (breads and bagels) are very impressive. They don’t use any artificial flavors, preservatives, refined sugar, etc. so they’re food tastes very pure and wholesome.
  • Weezie’s Gluten-Free Kitchen (Oakland Park): a bit of a drive from Miami proper, but man is it worth it! An entirely gluten-free bakery/restaurant. Delicious breakfast items (like banana waffles and buttermilk biscuits), sandwiches (so good!), pizzas, and baked goods! Wish it was closer, because I would go all the time! Unfortunately Weezie’s has closed, but I would be on the lookout for her food potentially online or at farmers markets in Broward.
  • unReal Food (online ordering and different farmers markets/cafes)– a non “bricks and mortars” gluten-free and vegan bakery with some of the best textures I’ve found for gluten-free baked goods (especially considering it’s vegan). It just seems very close to the “real thing.” Taste is also very on point for the chocolate mocha cupcake and chocolate chip walnut cookie I had. It’s at the Coconut Grove Organic Saturday Market, plus a few other farmer market locations on other days and you can find their products at the Cafe at Books and Books at the Arsht Center.

Arena Food:

  • American Airlines Arena (Miami Heat basketball)– this is where I first discovered gluten-free arena food. The hot dog bun I had was awesome! Super fluffy and not too dry. Unfortunately since then the buns have seemed to be a lot more dry and typical for gluten-free bread. Sometimes there is also gluten-free sandwiches available. Worth checking out the options when you visit for a Heat game or event at AA Arena.
  • Marlins Park (Miami Marlins baseball)– the gluten-free stand at Marlins Park usually has gluten-free hot dog buns, sandwiches (sometimes made with the gluten-free hot dog buns), and nachos (guessing the regular nachos are not gluten-free). The gluten-free bun/bread is so-so, but the chili dog is pretty delicious (especially since the chili and cheese helps make up for the dryness of gluten-free bread).

Arepas (corn pancakes):

  • La Latina (Midtown)– arepas (corn pancakes) are naturally gluten-free, although sometimes they are made more cheaply with flour. Most arepas are gluten-free, but you should definitely double check at each restaurant. La Latina is great because they clearly advertise their arepas as gluten-free. Even better is they are awesome! Arepas come in a variety of types such as more crispy vs. more soft and fillings between two arepas like a sandwich vs. one arepa split open and stuffed. La Latina are Venezuelan arepas and are more on the soft side with the fillings stuffed inside. There are a lot of more traditional fillings (beef, chicken, black beans, etc.) and also some specialties (bacon and avocado, cheese and sweet plantains). They also have chachapas, which are larger sweet corn pancakes with cheese and/or toppings.

Breakfast:

  • Original Pancake House (Aventura, Doral, South Miami-Dade)– the original location is in Portland so you know it has to be awesome! Gluten-free options vary by location (with locations across the nation), but the the Aventura location as gluten-free pancakes, crepes, and pigs-in-a-blanket. The Delray Beach location also has gluten-free eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles. Doral location only has gluten-free pancakes. Very recommended for breakfast!

Burgers:

  • Burger and Beer Joint (Brickell/South Beach)- delicious burgers and they now have gluten-free buns. Put the two together and they are some pretty incredible burgers for a gluten-free. Favorite is the Thunder Road (Angus beef, bacon, and American cheese!). Note that the South Beach location has changed names and am not sure if they still offer gluten-free buns.
  • The Counter (Miami International Airport and Aventura)- such a clutch option in the Miami Airport. Custom burgers with a delicious gluten-free bun! Worth stopping if you’re anywhere near D-terminal at MIA and then also a great option in Aventura for burgers. Not only are gluten-free buns rare in Miami, but these are ones are quality buns. They don’t fall apart and aren’t dry. Burgers themselves are really delicious. The burgers are a little on the expensive side, but worth it.
  • Hurricane Grill and Wings (Midtown, National Chain)– a national chain in Midtown that recently added gluten-free buns. The gluten-free buns are pretty good. The burgers are what you’d expect from a casual chain, but if you’re in the area and craving a gluten-free burger (or your friends want wings) then it could be a good choice. Some of the staff is familiar with the gluten-free menu and others are not, so go in with caution if you’re celiac (they do also state it’s only a “gluten-sensitive” menu).
  • Pincho Factory (Coral Gables, Brickell, Hialeah, Westchester)- a local chain with a lot of guilty pleasures like cheesy bacon ranch fries, sweet potato tots, and specialty burgers like a pastelito burger (not gluten-free). One of their specialties is their Toston burger, which is a burger in between two tostones as the bun! One of my favorites, especially since their burger is made of short rib, ground chuck, and brisket (mmmm)!

Cheese Bread (Brazilian- Pao de queijo)

  • Boteco (Upper Eastside)– delicious Brazilian food (most of which is naturally gluten-free), plus the incredibly delicious Brazilian cheese bread- pao de queijo- which is made out of tapioca flour. If you’re looking for Brazilian food without the expense and gut-busting of a Brazilian steakhouse Boteco is a great option.
  • Fogo de Chao (South Beach)– awesome Brazilian steakhouse with the usual unlimited meats (great variety), gourmet salad bar (way more than just salad), and the pao de queijo/Brazilian cheesebread.

Chinese:

  • PF Changs (Brickell, Aventura, Kendall)– national chain with a great gluten-free menu when you’re craving Chinese. I really enjoy it, because they provide more options (like spicy chicken, Mongolian beef, fried rice) than the typical neighborhood Chinese restaurant (that can sometimes do beef and broccoli with white sauce)
  • Pei Wei Asian Diner (Aventura, Coral Gables, Kendall, Miami Lakes, and other locations across South Florida) a fast casual version of PF Changes with a more limited gluten-free menu. They have Vietnamese chicken salad rolls, salads, and then chicken or shrimp/chicken in spicy or sweet and sour sauce. The spicy chicken (and possibly the sweet and sour chicken) is breaded so it’s still a great option for special gluten-free Chinese. It’s quicker and less expensive than PF Changs and there are more locations across South Florida.

Cupcakes (also see 100% gluten-free places farther above): 

  • Bunnie Cakes (Midtown)– a bakery that specializes in vegan and gluten-free cupcakes. The gluten-free cupcakes happen to also be vegan, but they still are delicious and moist (not always true of a lot of gluten-free cupcakes). Tons of my friends that are fierce gluten-eaters give thumbs up for the gluten-free cupcakes, which is always a good sign. There always is a great variety of flavors available, especially for the mini-cupcakes. You can also pre-order large personalized gluten-free cakes and other goodies.
  • Mmmm Cupcakes (Downtown)– a small bakery that usually has a few gluten-free cupcakes available each day (although some have been frozen). It’s in a small storefront downtown that’s a little hard to find, but if you’re around downtown it can be worth a visit (especially if you prefer to not do gluten-free/vegan cupcakes at Bunnie Cakes).

Grocery: 

  • Nutrition Cottage (Boynton Beach)– a small health store with a wide-variety of gluten-free products. The store has since moved to Boynton Beach from Delay Beach, but I’m guessing the options shared in my blog post are similar at the new location.
  • Publix (locations across the South)– a blog post about one of the Publix locations near where I used to live. It’s reasonably representative of the gluten-free items you can find at many locations around Miami (although you might have to ask for help finding them since their locations vary by store).
  • Whole Foods (Downtown Miami)– blog post about the gluten-free options in downtown Miami’s Whole Foods. SPOILER: there’s a lot! Additional locations (but don’t know the gluten-free options) in North Miami, Aventura, South Beach, Coral Gables, and Pinecrest.

Italian (see also pizza below):

  • Cafe Europa (Fort Lauderdale)– a great Italian restaurant on Las Olas (one of my favorite parts of Fort Lauderdale) with gluten-free pasta and pizza. I haven’t had the pizza, but the pasta is really good! They can do a lot of their pasta combinations with gluten-free pasta and it certainly takes care of those pasta cravings.
  • Cafe Prima Pasta (North Beach)- this is a cool, kind of old-school Italian restaurant in North Beach. The inside has some great tables to sit outside and inside is sort of glitzy with chandeliers and old school framed photos. The gluten-free pasta (penne) is also pretty good quality and you can get different sauces put on top of it.
  • Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita/Crazy About You (Brickell)– these are two sister restaurants, both in Brickell. I would describe them more as International/Latin, but they both have zucchini pasta that is gluten-free and pretty delicious. Dolores does a “pasta” Bolognese, while Crazy About You does a “pasta” Carbonara. They both have a “prix fixe” menu of sorts where there are three categories (based on the price of the entree) and then an appetizer is included. There are other naturally gluten-free options besides the zucchini pasta.

Macarons:

  • Laduree (South Beach, French)– Some of my friends who have been to Paris (especially those that studied abroad there) go nuts when they find out that Laduree has a location on Lincoln Road in South Beach. Macarons are naturally gluten-free and Laduree does have some delicious ones (although a bit pricey).

Mexican:

  • Rosa Mexicano (Brickell)– Rosa is a more upscale Mexican restaurant with a separate gluten-free menu. The items are typical of what you’d find at most Mexican restaurants and what is usually naturally gluten-free, but it’s nice to have the peace of mind with what you’re ordering.

Other:

  • Bin No. 18 (Omni/Edgewater)– a wine bar with a pretty eclectic menu (Italian, French, American). Nothing is gluten-free “special” (like GF pasta, bread, pizza, etc.) but gluten-free items are clearly marked on the menu. Bin salad is one of my favorites (and I am not a big salad eater trust me)
  • Blue Collar (Upper Eastside)– Blue Collar is just an awesome restaurant all around (one of my favorites in Miami). On the gluten-free end I want to shout them out for their latkes (potato pancakes). Instead of using flour to hold the latke together, they use Parmesean cheese. Incredible latkes and something I have to get every visit (which is pretty often).

Pizookies:

  • BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Doral, The Falls, Pembroke Pines)– Worth creating a special category just for BJ’s gluten-free Pizookies (pizza cookies)! If you’re gluten-free and especially if you have been for a while (ie. deprived of delicious gluten food), make sure to try one of these incredibly gooey and sinful Pizookies. So good! BJ’s also has gluten-free pizza.

Pizza:

  • BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Doral, The Falls, Pembroke Pines)– see the description above about the incredible gluten-free Pizookies. The gluten-free pizza is also very solid here. Medium thickness crust, not crumbly or dry, a little flaky and crispy. Also a traditional American style pizza in terms of the toppings and sauce (and a bit of grease).
  • Harry’s Pizzeria (Design District)– one of my favorite gluten-free crusts. More “gourmet” topping combinations (ex. shortrib, rock shrimp, braised fennel).
  • Ironside Pizza (Upper Eastside)- very authentic (in my opinion), wood-fired Italian pizza in a cool, renovated industrial space on the Upper Eastside. Crust is a thin crust, but slightly thicker/puffier than others. It’s also not super charred (a plus in my opinion), despite being wood-fired. Very high quality ingredients.
  • Lemoni Pizza (Design District)– pretty good gluten-free crust. It’s thin, but no too thin. Reminds me somewhat of a flatbread crossed with a gluten-free cracker texture (which I enjoyed). The ingredients and topping options are all fresh and pretty healthy. A great option when you’re in the area.
  • Mellow Mushroom (Delray Beach, South Miami)– a solid pizza place with gluten-free pizza that’s pretty good. Typical American toppings and decent variety. Great option in the Delray area. A location to open in South Miami (at Sunset Place) in January 2015.
  • Pizza Dude (Mid-Beach)– Pizza Dude has gluten-free crust, although it’s a more typical gluten-free crust (not the best, but not terrible). Their Buffalo Chicken pizza is pretty awesome (topping wise). You can also do the “Kramer Experience” where you make your own pizza at your table and they bake it for you (like Kramer’s idea on Seinfeld).
  • Pizza Rustica (locations across Miami)– decent gluten-free crust and a lot of different toppings. With locations around Miami it’s a good option for gluten-free pizza. Now that I live close to one and they have online ordering/free delivery, I’ve found myself ordering it a ton…
  • Spris Pizza (Midtown, Downtown, South Beach)– my other favorite crust along with Harry’s. Spris has more variety of topping combinations (over 20) and many are more “American traditional” than Harry’s.

Sandwiches:

  • Cheese Course (Midtown, Downtown, Aventura, Pinecrest, plus locations in Broward)– a small chain with good quality sandwiches, salads, and soups. Recently added a gluten-free baguette that you can get any of the sandwiches on. Have been very impressed with the quality of the baguette. It’s soft and not dry. Would put it as one of the best gluten-free sandwiches in Miami and certainly if you’re craving a baguette type sandwich.
  • El Bajareque (Wynwood)– delicious and authentic local Puerto Rican restaurant in Wynwood. Tons of delicious food that is naturally gluten-free (rice and beans, churrasco, mofongo). They also have jibaritos, which are sandwiches with two tostones as the buns. Very delicious. Would recommend this restaurant to anyone for the Puerto Rican food, but think gluten-frees will enjoy the jibarito especially.
  • Jason’s Deli (nationally, Pembroke Pines is closest location to Miami)– Jason’s Deli is a national chain. They use Udi’s gluten-free bread (my favorite) and although you can buy Udi’s at most grocery stores Jason’s knows how to make a mean sandwich with that bread. Take a look at the link to get some incredible gluten-free “food porn” sandwich pics. They also are incredibly considerate of preventing cross-contamination as best as possible.
  • NY Bagel & Deli (Brickell)– has gluten-free sandwiches (plus waffles). Pretty standard gluten-free bread (although in hoagie form), so it’s a little dry and crumbly. However, the meat and fillings are good quality and it’s nice to at least have as an option in Brickell/downtown.
  • Also see Weezie’s Gluten-Free Kitchen above under “100% Gluten-Free” for awesome sandwiches! Again Weezie’s has closed but I know she sold her bread at farmer’s markets previous to opening the storefront. Likely of all the food from Weezie’s her bread or sandwiches is what you might be able to eventually find online or at farmers markets in Broward.

Seafood:

  • Semilla (South Beach)- tapas/small plates restaurants with a lot of gluten-free options- lobster pasta, fish and chips, truffle linguini, tempura Brussel sprouts, and fried calamari- plus other naturally gluten-free dishes like steak and fish. Forgot to ask about separate fryers, so celiacs double check on that when visiting. Didn’t have a reaction to the fish and chips or tempura Brussel sprouts though.

Southern:

  • Yardbird Southern Table and Bar (South Beach)– Yardbird is one of my favorite restaurants in Miami and is critically-acclaimed. It has a separate printed gluten-free menu (previously it was a regular menu crossed-out and written all over, but hey that’s better than nothing). For those who are only gluten-sensitive you should consider trying the gluten-free fried chicken depending on your sensitivity! Unfortunately it’s made in a common fryer so it’s not really safe for celiacs. This was shared with me on a recent visit after I had the gluten-free fried chicken on an earlier visit. I don’t remember it affecting me then, but I’ve decided not to risk it since finding that info out. They have a lot of other great Southern options however (the ribs are incredible!).
The gluten-free fried chicken at Yardbird!!

The gluten-free fried chicken at Yardbird!!

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20 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Miami/South Florida

  1. I lived in Miami 42 years before moving to Portland in April of 2013. My wife and I just this week closed on a condo on the beach in Surfside since the winters seemed to be getting a bit longer each year. I went to Laurenzo’s Italian Market in N.M Beach yesterday and they have by far the best GF section I’ve seen. The pasta is the same brand I had in Italy and they have Scharf brand breads and cookies plus various flours and candies. We head back to Portland Tuesday and hopefully a bit of sun.

    • Thanks for your comment and follow! I’ll have to check that market out. I just moved to a little south of Surfside so it’s pretty close. Was just on the West Coast for work (San Diego) and as far as Miami has come in the last three years I’ve lived here you just can’t beat the West Coast in terms of GF options. Let me know any other discoveries you find!

  2. Awesome blog, great to see some Gluten Free love in the Miami area. Sadly until recently this town has seemed a wasteland of GF friendly places to eat! Let me know if we can collaborate in any way; I own a small Gluten Free Baking business and would love some support!

    • Hey Tom thanks for stopping by! I checked out your website and the pics look pretty awesome. You also have some glowing reviews on Yelp, congrats! I noticed on your website hours listed, but no location. Do you have a storefront or bake from home?

  3. Pingback: Rare sighting of gluten-free sandwiches in Brickell- NY Bagels & Deli | portlandermiamian

  4. Love this blog! Are these places “safe” for us with Celiac disease? I see that you write that Oolite and Weezies kitchen are dedicated 100% gluten free, what about the others? I experienced a few years ago on holiday in Florida and Minnesota that even though they offered gluten free food in restaurants, it wasn’t really safe to eat for me with Celiac disease.

    Weezies kitchen is in Fort Lauderdale, but can you recommend other places in Fort Lauderdale?

    • Hi Janne! That is always an important question. I will preface this by saying relative to my mom (who also have celiac) I have less of a “reaction” with some cross-contamination (I feel the terrible stomach pain and feel worn out, but my mom is out of commission for at least a day). So I haven’t had any bad “episodes” at places on this list, but that’s not to say I haven’t been exposed unknowingly. Probably not the “safest” thing for me to go off just that, but I’ve found restaurants understanding when I specify things not being able to touch and it being a serious allergy vs. a preference.

      I am not as familiar with Fort Lauderdale, but Weezie’s is great and then I’ve also been to Cafe Europa on Las Olas. Italian, pizza, and sandwiches places are where I am most worried about working to prevent cross-contamination. However at Cafe Europa my waiter at the time was understanding of my request to use clean dishes and utensils, etc. My aunt, who is also gluten-free, had it without trouble. I’ve also found national chains (PF Changs and Jason’s Deli) to be pretty great about cross-contamination and both have locations around Fort Lauderdale. Jason’s especially is great (they ask if it’s preference or allergy, use new gloves, even have told me without prompting they’ll cook panini type sandwiches in a pan instead of the panini maker because of the cross contamination).

      If you come down to Miami, the gluten-free stands at the arena are entirely separate stations. Bunnie Cakes is both vegan and vegan-gluten-free, so it’s not a 100% gluten-free kitchen, but I know they make a very strong attempt to prevent cross-contamination as much as possible. Most of the non-Italian/pizza restaurants I’d say you run the same risk of cross-contamination as going to any general restaurant as a celiac, but I felt that Yardbird (owner or chef’s wife is celiac), Bin No. 18, and Rosa Mexicano made good attempts. La Latina also is a smaller restaurant that only has a few gluten items and is easy to ask for taking special steps. Only restaurant I’d stay away from is Cafe Prima Pasta in North Beach. It didn’t settle well, but I don’t think it was a celiac reaction (think it maybe had something to do with the olives or something). But I felt less sure about that place vs. others.

      Hope that info helps. Thanks for your message and taking a look at my blog!

      -RBK

  5. Thank you so much for your answer, and yes – this info helps! Looking forward to visiting Fort Lauderdale and Miami now, will use all of your helpful tips!
    Janne 🙂

  6. Crisis!
    Am in South Beach now, booked a table at Oolite, and when we came there IT WAS CLOSED!
    Where can we go now? Around here?
    Help 😊

    • Hi JK,

      Sorry to hear Oolite is closed tonight.

      Close by is Yardbird, which is Southern food. They have a gluten-free menu. They have gluten-free fried chicken, but unfortunately if you’re celiac there isn’t a separate fryer and isn’t safe. They do have other delicious dishes. I love their ribs!

      There also is Fogo de Chao in South of Fifth (SoFi). Quite the undertaking as a Brazilian buffet, but they have pão de queijo, which is cheese bread made with tapioca flour and naturally gluten-free. Plus then plenty of meats and salad bar stuff.

      Burger and Beer is also close in Sunset Harbour and they have gluten-free buns I like. Plus relative to other restaurants I feel like a burger place can watch for cross contamination easier.

      Rosa Mexicano very close on Lincoln Road also has a gluten-free menu. Nothing special, but makes it easier to order.

      Finally just a normal restaurant I’d recommend is Barceloneta in Sunset Harbour. It is Spanish tapas and many are gluten-free. Nice to sample a lot of different (and delicious) flavors.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Hi, and thank you for responding so quickly, that was so nice of you 🙂

    However, the combination of little/no internet, we were really hungry and I was really pissed off (pardon my French!) made us just choose a restaurant yesterday – with all the risks and problems that may cause 😦

    This was so unprofessional of Oolite. We booked this table last week, they confirmed the resevation on the phone, and we even went there on Saturday evening to eat and check out the place. We talked with them about the reservation then as well (we wanted a specific table), and they said “See you on Monday” when we left – and then we came there yesterday and they were closed!

    We had invited friends as well yesterday, so this made it even worse, and I had researched quite a lot before we chose this gluten free restaurant.

    Not a good way to do business!

    JK

  8. This is such a valuable resource!!!! My four year-old son was recently diagnosed with celiac and I really appreciate all the time you have spent putting this blog together.

  9. Pingback: Great taste and texture that is “unreal” for gluten-free and vegan- unReal Food (Bakery, Advance Ordering + Farmers Markets) | portlandermiamian

  10. Thank you for sharing this info. We are from Italy and my daughter needs gluten free meals. We have been spending 4 days in Miami and went to eat mainly at the restaurants listed on this page. It was great and valuable info. Of all the pancakes at the original pancake house and the chicken at yardbirds have been a true experience. One place which is not on the list but has an extensive gluten free menu is Capital Grille. Maybe you want to check it out. Waiters have knowledge of the issue and really helpful. Thanks again. Should you ever travel to Italy let me know and I’ll provide you with a list of safe restaurants

  11. This is great, so informative. Looking forward to my holiday in August now that I know I won’t go hungry!! Thank you 🙂

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