Gluten Free in Chicago! – A Celiac’s Visitor Guide


We live in the Midwest and are relatively close to Chicago.  As such, it’s one of our favorite cities to visit.  We typically visit 3 or 4 times per year.

My trip reports [Trip Reports Tag] are typically organized in a chronological fashion.  This one will be a bit different since, over time, it will comprise multiple trips and should grow to more of a GF visitors guide for Chicago.  I will continue to add and update this post as I visit (and re-visit) restaurants.  Restaurants are listed from A to Z.

Note: For restaurants with lots of photos or additional information or multiple visits you’ll see expandable sections.  Expand those for additional information.

I have Celiac Disease [About Me].  I am very sensitive to even small amounts of gluten.  I try to be very careful about restaurant selection, always speak to restaurant staff about my situation and also try to make wise dining choices.  Unless otherwise noted, I did not experience any known reactions to the restaurants listed here.  I suggest looking at reviews, along with asking questions about ingredients and preparation to make appropriate decisions for your personal health requirements.

• Chicago’s Pizza || on Find Me Gluten Free


I read good things about Chicago’s Pizza Chicago-Style pizza on various websites including Find Me Gluten Free.  I went to the Irving Park Rd Location.  I got the deep dish Chicago Special with Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and onions and it was delicious and it reminded me of real Chicago style pizza.  Note: When I originally went to the Irving Park location it was getting 100% Celiac Friendly ratings on Find Me Gluten Free.  Since then I’ve noticed less than 100% ratings, with some mentioning cross contamination issues – [Search Chicago’s Pizza on Find Me Gluten Free].

Defloured – a Gluten Free Bakery

I didn’t have a chance to visit their retail location, but I picked up a piece of their vanilla gluten free cake at Whole Foods and was impressed.

• Do-Rite Donuts || on Find Me Gluten Free

Walking into Do-Rite Donuts… I was nervous.  The location I went to was small, busy and chock-full of gluten.  I talked to staff and was re-assured that they are prepared in a separate fryer and they were celiac friendly.  Donuts were kept in a separate case and at the time, Do-Rite was getting 100% celiac friendly ratings on Find Me Gluten Free [Search Do Rite Donuts on Find Me GF].  With all that, I went for it.  The donuts were great and I’m happy to say I had no reaction.

Do-Rite has three GF options – Birthday Cake (cake donut with sprinkles), Valrhona Chocolate glazed and Cinnamon and Sugar.  This is the chocolate glazed.  For a GF Donut it is large.  Larger than what I would consider a regular cake donut.

More Do-Rite

The Valrhona Chocolate glazed donut was delicious.

Gluten free cinnamon and sugar donut from Do-Rite

• Five Guys


Burger in a bowl and fries at Naperville, IL Five Guys.  I’ve eaten at Five Guys on multiple occasions since being diagnosed.  The fries are delicious and fried in a dedicated fryer and you can get a burger in a bowl or a lettuce wrap.  I typically keep the toppings to a minimum to limit cross contamination risk.  I always identify myself as a Celiac and ask for new gloves and washed hands.  One thing that Five Guys generally does that I DO NOT like is they put a piece of aluminum foil under the bowl as it slides along.  When the burger is done they will take that same piece of foil and cover the lid.  The foil can, of course, have crumbs and such on it.  I ask them to hand it to me directly or use a new sheet of foil.  I also ask to have fries bagged in a completely separate bag.  The bottom of the aluminum boil could have crumbs on it, if they put everything together in the same bag it could contaminate the fries.

• Lyfe Kitchen || on Find Me Gluten Free

Mission Statement – “Our Mission is to consistently provide flavorful, nourishing experiences and extraordinary service. We feature balanced flavors from real, high quality ingredients for the freshest possible meals, making the choices to feed you and your family easier.”

Lyfe Kitchen has locations in the Chicago area, Tennessee, Texas and California.  We went to the Streeterville location on Ontario & Fairbanks.

Lyfe Kitchen's Gluten Free Menu

Lyfe Kitchen has an extensive gluten free menu

Lyfe Kitchen Gluten Free Menu, page 1. Click to zoom

Lyfe Kitchen Gluten Free Menu, page 2. Click to zoom

Lyfe Kitchen Gluten Free Menu, page 3. Click to zoom

Lyfe Kitchen Gluten Free Menu, page 4. Click to zoom

I had the gluten free farmhouse burger with grass-fed beef, organic romaine, tomato, red onion, pickle, dijonnaise and GF bun.  I added an extra patty.  The burger was delicious and substantial.  Talking to staff at Lyfe Kitchen I was told how bins and utensils are color coded in the kitchen to help prevent cross contamination.

• ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen || on Find Me Gluten Free


Chipotle’s try at Asian food.  ShopHouse operates on the same “line concept” as Chipotle.  You start with Rice or a Salad, Add Meat or Tofu, Vegetables, a Sauce and garnishes.  My food was delicious.  The chain is probably more Gluten Free friendly than Chipotle, but I was bummed to see… wraps.  Chipotle just couldn’t help themselves, they had to try and make an Asian burrito.  That means that cross contamination is a real possibility.  Staff was accommodating in changing gloves and wiping down work surfaces, but they weren’t as polished at this as some Chipotle locations that I’ve visited.  Example, my bowl got handed off to someone that had not changed their gloves.  I didn’t get sick after eating here and for what it’s worth… I didn’t see anyone order a wrap the whole time we were there.  If they would ditch the wrap, their menu would be gluten free except for the spring roll.  Of course, I’d love to see them do that, but again… I have Celiac Disease, so maybe my viewpoint is a bit skewed.  I think it’s a solid option and I would go back, but I wouldn’t run back as fast now knowing they have wraps.  Related: See my thoughts on ordering Gluten Free at Chipotle.

• Six Flags Great America


I was flabbergasted to see that Six Flags Great America has a dedicated Gluten Free food venue!  It’s called Kidzopolis Cafe.


Kidzopolis has a limited menu that includes hot dog bites and fries, burger tacos (choose from black bean, veggie burger or cheeseburger) on either tortillas or lettuce wraps, loaded nachos (pictured) and gluten free smoothies.  The nachos were great and I also had the cheeseburger taco on corn shell along with fries.  The burger on a tortilla was good.  Even though it’s limited and the food isn’t what I would call farm-to-table :), it was so nice to have an option.  Thank you Six Flags!

• Snap Kitchen – “The one stop healthy meal shop” || on Find Me Gluten Free

Snap Kitchen has several locations in the Chicago area and beyond.  They specialize in healthy, ready to eat meals.  Everything they sell is… gluten free!  They also deliver to select locations.

I first found out about Snap Kitchen when I stumbled across their store within a store at the Streeterville Whole Foods.

Spaghetti turkey bolognese.

Chicken teriyaki with rice.

More Snap Kitchen

Since Snap Kitchen meals are fresh, not frozen, they are easy to put in a cooler to take home.  Since visiting Chicago I have tried their grass fed beef Lasagna, Spicy Chicken and Mac & Cheese and their Jalapeno Cornbread bites.

Snap Kitchen’s Gold Coast location… all gluten free!!

Snap Kitchen is a gluten free eater’s dreamland.  Ingredients seem simple and healthy and the taste is great.  I’ve enjoyed every single entree I’ve tried and am looking forward to trying more.  Snap Kitchen will become a regular stop for me when I’m in the Chicago area.

If you’re close to a Snap Kitchen location… go there!

The Snap Kitchen app for iOS lets find locations, order ahead, set up a delivery and track points.

• Westwood Tavern || on Find Me Gluten Free

Ribs and fries

Hot wings

As of this posting, Westwood Tavern’s Gluten Free menu is not available online.  Here’s a PDF Scan I received – Daily Gluten Free Menu

I emailed Westwood Tavern ahead of time to explain that I have celiac disease and was met with kind and competent help… “We are more than happy to assist you with your dietary needs.”  The Chef offered to make my food for me and had me pre-order, so they knew what to expect.

• Wheat’s End Cafe || on Find Me Gluten Free


If you have Celiac Disease or are otherwise very sensitive to gluten, Wheat’s End Cafe is one of those special places.  It’s a dedicated GF establishment that just does things well.  The location, staff and food are all top rate.  If you’re able to go to Wheat’s End… go!


Popovers with Sausage Gravy and poached eggs.  This was my favorite breakfast dish.

More Wheat's End

On another visit… Popovers with Sausage Gravy and poached eggs, Breakfast potatoes and an Americano with cream.  The breakfast potatoes are a mix of regular and sweet potatoes and are delicious.


Blueberry Pancakes. These were good.  Of the four breakfast entrees (if you count a donut as an entree), I would put these toward the bottom.  Like I said, they were good, it’s just that I can make a really good pancake at home [See: King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix].  These were my son’s and he let me sneak a bite.


Breakfast sandwich on a gluten free English Muffin.  Very good.  The GF English Muffin even had something like that chewy texture that I remember.


Strawberry donut


If you like donuts and chocolate, the chocolate donut is where it’s at.  It’s served warm with a gooey chocolate frosting.  The fork thing was a plan B.  I started in to the chocolate donut before taking a picture and my son suggesting adding the fork to the picture as a cover up.

Cinnamon roll!  Very delicious.  It had a chewiness that’s hard to find in a lot of gluten free items.  If you had to pick between the donut and cinnamon roll, I’d go with the cinnamon roll.

New York Style Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese

Prosciutto Eggs Benedict

Wildfire multiple locations || on Find Me Gluten Free

Gluten free bread at Wildfire – really delicious, almost a biscuity texture.  I think these double as the the gluten free buns

Mashed potatoes

Ribeye Sandwich

Wildfire was awesome.  One of the best gluten free restaurant experiences I’ve had since being diagnosed.  Really cool interior with an old-school Chicago vibe (we went to the Schaumburg location) and super professional staff.  Although it’s a nicer restaurant, I thought prices were reasonable considering everything.

They seemed to really understand gluten free and take it seriously.  I also know the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center has coordinated gluten free events at Wildfire locations in the past.

I’m excited to return to Wildfire!

Wrigley Field

Wrigley is an awesome place, especially if you’re a Cubs fan.  It’s steeped in history.  In my opinion and experience it merits it’s moniker of “The Friendly Confines”.  Most fans and staff are pleasant and the stadium, albeit older (historical!), is clean and well kept.  I love watching a ballgame at Wrigley.  Love it.  However, it is not known as “The Gluten Friendly Confines” 🙂 Did you see what I did there.  Gluten free options are slim and far between.  Officially the only things GF are Redbridge Beer and a fruit cup [currently listed in Spanish on the Ballpark Food page, even though the rest of the page is in English].  Even the peanuts aren’t gluten free.  As you can see in the photo Fisher is the official peanut of the Cubs and Fisher is too [you choose – lazy, uncaring unprofessional, other nicer word that you pick] to produce a peanut they can call gluten free.  See Fisher Nuts FAQs

Note that I have read conflicting information online on this subject.  Some blog posts I’ve read talk about gluten free Chicago style hot dogs, burgers and more at Wrigley Field.  That may have been true at one time, but isn’t anymore.  I’ve confirmed in person and multiple times via Fan Services.

Dear Wrigley Field: You can do better.  A lot better.  I don’t think anyone expects a full GF food stand, but come on, you can provide a few options.

The bright side: There are two options, probably a few more if you do some digging and… as of this posting, Wrigley Field is pretty generous about allowing food into the stadium.  You can bring a smaller bag and you can also bring sealed water bottles in.  (confirm this is up to date before you go).  So, pack a meal and head out to the ballpark.

• Q BBQ || on Find Me Gluten Free


Q BBQ has multiple locations around the Chicagoland area.  All of the meats and sauces are deemed gluten free along with several sides.  I got the burnt ends, Mexican Street Corn and BBQ Baked Beans.  Before I went, Q BBQ was getting good ratings in Find Me Gluten Free. Update: Check recent reviews.  They call out gluten in their allergy guide and even mark items that are cross contamination dangers.  The cashier seemed knowledgeable about GF and said the kitchen has an allergy protocol that’s followed.  I felt comfortable and the food was delicious.

Tip – Check Hours – This seems basic, but I’ve made the mistake of assuming and establishment will be open when it was not.  Check for current operating schedule and times.  This holds especially true for weekend trips as more places are closed on Sundays.

Where to Stay

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile – 511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, USA

View of Streeterville Whole Foods from the window of our room at Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile

This Embassy Suites location is a favorite of ours. It’s close to the ever important 🙂 Magnificent Mile and close to GF friendly restaurants and shops.  It’s very close (right across the street) to the Streeterville Whole Foods, which has a great selection of gluten free groceries, GF Beer (including Glutenberg), local and national GF baked goods (Defloured bakery and more) and it has a store-within-a-store location of Snap Kitchen!  A Lyfe Kitchen location is a block or so away with Do-Rite Donuts another block.  To get to Wheat’s End (which I highly recommend), you’ll need to take Uber, public transit or drive.  Rooms feature refrigerators and microwaves, which is a must for me.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile

On my list for next time… Smoque BBQ

That’s all for now.  Got a great gluten free and Celiac friendly spot in Chicago?  Let me know, I’d love to give it a try.

Things Change.  Contact businesses and manufacturers for current ingredients, information and availability.  Double check ingredients and procedures to make appropriate decisions for your personal health requirements.


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