Are you a gluten-free eater and struggling to find safe places to eat in Raleigh? Tired of searching on your phone for gluten free options near me and coming up with a salad?
I know how you feel. I am not celiac, but I do react to eating gluten and have done my best to steer clear of it for a decade now.
As a full-time professional travel blogger, this is not easy. I’m often frustrated with how few options there are, and how I can often be treated as a pain in someone’s backside. Don’t get me started on airlines. (BTW, on my recent trip to Canada, United Airlines handed out gluten free snacks. FINALLY!)
But let’s get back to finding gluten free restaurants in Raleigh. There are many establishments that will have a gluten free item here and there, so always be sure to ask for the gluten-free options. Many, however, will NOT have separate cooking facilities so may not be the best option for celiacs – always ask!
For this post, I’ve tried to narrow it down to those Raleigh restaurants that have a large selection of gluten free options, readily advertise it, and have dedicated cooking facilities for it (that’s not common though due to logistical challenges and certifications).
Plus, I’ll throw in where to find a yummy sweet here and there as well as some gluten free beverages. Check each individual restaurant for opening times as they can change. And if you know of any places that we don’t, please share them in the comments at the bottom!
Of course, many Asian restaurants will typically have gluten friendly items. I find Southeast Asian and Indian cuisine to have more options then Chinese, Korean, or Japanese (which is heavy on soy sauce and flours).
Also, Mexican restaurants are a great option to find gluten free dishes. Just be sure to ask for the corn instead of flour tortillas and always check on the chips as they can sometimes be made with flour. And Mediterranean restaurants and steakhouses can also be a good place to find gluten free foods.
I hope this post below will help you discover some delicious gluten free meals, treats, and drinks when you visit Raleigh that won’t make you sick.
- Gluten Free Restaurants in Raleigh
- Fount Coffee + Kitchen, Morrisville
- Raleigh Raw, Downtown Raleigh
- Bartaco, North Hills
- JP’s Pastry, Benson
- Burger Village, Raleigh
- Bida Manda, Raleigh
- Second Empire Restaurant, Downtown Raleigh
- Fiction Kitchen, Raleigh
- Saffron Indian Cuisine, Cary
- Las Ramblas, North Hills
- Happy + Hale, Downtown Raleigh
- Sitti, Downtown Raleigh
- Centro, Downtown Raleigh
- Irregardless Cafe, Raleigh
- Barry’s Café, Raleigh
- The Flying Biscuit (Village District & Brier Creek)
- Tazza Kitchen (Village District & Cary)
- Vivace, North Hills
- Gonza Tacos y Tequila (Raleigh, Cary & Wake Forest)
- Gravy, Downtown Raleigh
- Lovegrass Kitchen, Holly Springs
- Lucky Tree Cafe, Raleigh
- Bella Monica, Northwest Raleigh
- Videri Chocolate, Downtown Raleigh
- Mon Macaron, Raleigh & Cary
- Arepa Culture Food Truck (Glenwood Ave)
- Plant Cakes Bake Shop and Dessert Bar (Wake Forest)
- Gluten Free Treats (in Raleigh & Beyond)
- Gluten free beer, ciders & seltzers
- Gluten Friendly Restaurants Map
- In Summary
Gluten Free Restaurants in Raleigh
Fount Coffee + Kitchen, Morrisville
I must start with my favorite coffee in Raleigh, and one of the few 100% gluten free restaurants in the Triangle, Fount Coffee + Kitchen in Morrisville. It may be a bit of a drive from downtown (and we keep asking them to open more locations), but it’s worth it.
Fount is well known for serving quality food at a reasonable price that accommodates dietary needs. This Triangle Café has 100% gluten free dishes made from organic, high-quality ingredients. Many are also dairy free, vegetarian and vegan.
Walk right in, order what you want, sit down, and relax. Isn’t that the gluten-free eaters dream? They have a range of menu items from smoothie bowls to salads, small plates and baked goods.
I recommend the Avocado on toast and a latte paired with their fantastic coffee cake. On Fridays and Saturdays, they have sliced seasonal cake specialties. I can’t seem to let go of the coffee cake to try anything different.
Fount is the closest to a quality Australian café that I’ve found in North Carolina and probably a lot further than those borders. Why is that important?
Because Australia has one of the best coffee cultures in the world and we are complete SNOBS about coffee. Plus, we invented Avo toast! There have been a couple occasions where I’ve ordered two coffees in a row because it’s too good not to.
Fount also has an inviting and contemporary atmosphere and is often packed with locals laughing and chatting or students and remote workers busy typing away! I’m actually writing this post while sitting here!
The also have a gluten free IPA beer available for you if you want an afternoon drink. No judgement if you make it a breakfast drink!
Raleigh Raw, Downtown Raleigh
Another fully dedicated gluten free place to eat in Raleigh is Raleigh Raw Juice Bar on Hargett St in Downtown Raleigh.
But don’t worry, it’s not a menu full of juices (although yummy for sure). On this gluten free menu you’ll find smoothies, poke and K-bop bowls and gluten free sourdough for some of your toasty faves.
Plus, they have coffee, including seasonal drinks and 100% grass fed bone broth. Want an extra serving of nutritious food? Raleigh Raw is also soy free, refined sugar free, and seed oil free. Many items are also vegetarian and dairy free!
Bartaco, North Hills
For a gluten-free fiesta, look no further than Bartaco in Raleigh. Almost everything on the menu at this trendy taco joint in North Hills is gluten free.
The staff at Bar Taco is knowledgeable about cross-contamination concerns and will happily assist you in crafting a gluten-free feast that will have your taste buds dancing.
The best dishes to do that are duck birria, fried plantains, creamy guacamole and esquites. Fusion tacos are their specialty with Asian, Spanish, Mediterranean, and Mexican flavors.
It also has an upbeat, fun atmosphere and delicious margaritas made from freshly squeezed ingredients. Bartaco also has a location in Chapel Hill. Read our full review of Bartaco.
JP’s Pastry, Benson
If you want a little day excursion, you can drive 40-minutes down to Benson in Johnston County to visit JP’s Pastry’s commercial kitchen and pick up some delicious gluten free food.
But you may not have to go that far. He now also ships, and his treats are found in many locations around the Triangle including Whole Foods and smaller cafes such as Neomonde, Happy + Hale, Diced, Joe Van Gogh, NoRa Cafe, and Pine State Café.
At the time of our visit, JPs was the only certified gluten free bakery in North and South Carolina. I can happily say I overindulged on rare treats such as red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin cheesecake, apple blossom, and brownies.
It’s not just yummy treats though. JP also has gluten free mac & cheese, chicken pot pie, pastas, chicken tenders, breads, biscuits and plenty of vegan options as well. Rest assured this is high quality, yummy, celiac safe eating.
Burger Village, Raleigh
If you’re in the mood for a juicy burger in Raleigh without the gluten, Burger Village in Downtown Raleigh is a fantastic option. This family-friendly eatery serves mouthwatering organic and exotic burgers, with gluten-free buns.
It’s hard to find something on this menu that WON’T cater to a gluten free eater (and vegan and vegetarian)
Almost every item can be adapted (check with server) they take great care to ensure that their gluten-free orders are prepared separately, including separate fryer, providing a safe and delicious burger experience AND giving you the chance to overindulge on seasoned fries and tater tots.
They also have a delicious gluten free chocolate torte to finish off your meal. Read our full review of Burger Village.
Bida Manda, Raleigh
Another one of our favorite downtown Raleigh restaurants with a lot of gluten free options is Bida Manda on Moore Square. Well renowned for its Laotian cuisine, which is a flavorful fusion of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese cooking with French techniques.
As we previously lived in Bangkok and traveled extensively through Southeast Asia, we feel their food is as authentic as you can get and is one of our favorite Southeast Asian restaurants in the USA (we’ve been to 40 states!)
The menu is packed with gluten free options, so you’ll have no problem finding a delicious meal to suit your preferences. My top recommendation is the Crispy Dill and Lemongrass Trout with Papaya Salad, and Manda Amphone’s Curry with Chicken.
Second Empire Restaurant, Downtown Raleigh
Did someone say gluten free calamari? That’s a yes please, extra servings welcome! Executive Chef Daniel Schurr at Second Empire is celiac, so you’ll find many of the meals on the menu gluten free, including their unique gluten free fig bread.
It’s another reason Second Empire shot up the list as one of my favorite Raleigh restaurants for a date night.
Chef Daniel has created meals that blend French elegance with Southern comfort. The dinner menu changes seasonally and features his artful creations from the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Second Empire Restaurant consistently ranks as one of the best restaurants in Raleigh for fine dining, making it perfect for date nights and special occasions.
Popular dishes include Empire Seafood Paella, Grilled Australian Lamb Rack, Roasted Five Spice Pennsylvania Duck Breast, Grilled Chilean Verlasso Salmon, Empire Chocolate Souffle. Reservations recommended.
Fiction Kitchen, Raleigh
Imagine my surprise when researching Fiction Kitchen for our best vegan restaurants in Raleigh post, I then discovered almost everything on their menu is now gluten free. On my previous visits, I had very little options!
This restaurant combines a creative flair with a dedication to plant-based dishes. Their menu features a wide range of options, from classic comfort foods like Southern style “chicken” and waffles to globally inspired plates like Vegan charcuterie board, potato chaat, curry bowl, homestyle meatloaf, and risotto.
They also have fantastic cocktails, house made sodas and yummy desserts – hello Vidieri chocolate flourless torte. Fiction Kitchen is a must-visit for those craving innovative vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
It is probably the most well-known 100% vegan restaurant in Raleigh It’s a small space so be sure to reserve a table in advance.
Saffron Indian Cuisine, Cary
Craig and I recently discovered this Indian restaurant in Cary during Triangle Restaurant Week. It’s an exceptional Indian restaurant with a focus on North Indian-style cooking. Chef Rawat has years of experience cooking in 5-star luxury properties and has earned culinary titles such as Best Restaurant int he City and America’s best restaurant!
Now we get to enjoy those masterful spicy flavors in Cary. Almost everything on the menu was gluten-free, and there were plenty of vegan/ vegetarian options.
Don’t miss their scallops, tandoori jhinga (prawns), and lamb korma.
Las Ramblas, North Hills
There is so much to love about this new to Raleigh and the North Hills area restaurant this year. Not only is it does have a fun ambiance, and delicious tasting Spanish tapas food, so much of the menu is gluten free. Except now you’ll be stuck with analysis paralysis – far too many good dishes to choose from – something a gluten free eater rarely suffers from!
You’ll get three courses here gluten free easily. But since it’s tapas style, you can eat a lot more!
Everything we ate was sublime, but to narrow it down, I recommend the melt-in-the mouth pork cheeks, the Gamas al Ajillo, and the velvety chocolate mousse that snap, crackles and pops with almonds, white chocolate and pomegranate. Read our full review for Las Ramblas in North Hills.
Happy + Hale, Downtown Raleigh
Looking for a gluten free, quick grab and go meal in downtown Raleigh? Yes. I’m talking healthy fast food. Started by two NC State University alumni, they specialize in bowls and salads, plus smoothies, with lots of gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian options.
They’re located in City Plaza, but also have locations in North Hills, Six Forks Station, University Hill in Durham, and 9th Street in Durham (our go-to when we stayed with our friends in Durham for a month!) Don’t miss their Almond Brothers Smoothie and chili lime shrimp bowl.
Sitti, Downtown Raleigh
This popular Middle Eastern restaurant serves up modern versions of authentic Lebanese dishes in an upbeat atmosphere with communal tables or your own space.
You can expect really good food including hot mezze (kibbeh), house-baked flatbreads, chicken/lamb/beef shawarma, falafel, and house-made flatbreads. There’s something for everyone, including vegetarian options and a kid’s menu.
Many of the items on the menu are gluten free or can be adapted. Huge kudos to Sitti for taking the time to label all their menu items (including on the website) to assist those with dietary considerations looking for places in Raleigh where they can eat!
We love the relaxed atmosphere of Sitti, the delicious food, and the relatively affordable prices.
Centro, Downtown Raleigh
Gracias to another Mexican restaurant in Raleigh downtown serving up a menu filled with gluten free delicious food.
Centro utilizes organic and local ingredients in flavorful ways in an energetic setting. You can’t go wrong with any of their tacos. Excellent salsa. The torta. The habanero house made hot sauce. Their vast lunch menu with many items under $10.
We love Gallo Pelón, their Mezcaleria bar upstairs as well. They also have a small bar menu with gluten free items and of course lots of Mezcal.
Irregardless Cafe, Raleigh
One look at the menu at Irregardless Cafe and you’ll know you’re in a safe place as GF accompanies almost every item.
We love this Raleigh restaurant that has a focus on farm to table, gathering with friends, and good vibes (live music often included). This is one of the few places in Raleigh where you’ll find a solid weekend gluten free brunch menu!
Barry’s Café, Raleigh
If you’re looking for an all-day breakfast with plenty of gluten free items, Barrys Cafe will have you covered. I only discovered it in my research on gluten free restaurants in Raleigh and I look forward to checking it out.
Barrys Cafe is known as a welcoming family restaurant in the Swift Creek Shopping Center of Cary (right on the border with Raleigh) that provides all-day breakfast and delicious hamburgers.
The Flying Biscuit (Village District & Brier Creek)
Gluten free breakfast and brunch lovers will easily fill their bellies up with the options at Flying Biscuit. Always a favorite of ours for their upbeat, fun atmosphere, attentive service, affordable prices and broad menu selection.
There is enough variety to cater to any one in your party, including kids. I also love their extensive cocktail list including seasonal varieties. I only wish the biscuits were gluten free!
The Flying Biscuit has a location in the Village District, Raleigh and a newly opened location in Brier Creek.
Here are more ideas for things to do with kids in the Village District
Tazza Kitchen (Village District & Cary)
Tazza Kitchen serves up craft cocktails, regional wines, local brews and seasonal menus with ingredients sourced from dozens of farmers and food artisans Expect prices are very reasonable for the location in the Village District. They also have a location in the Stone West Village in Cary.
Wood fired cooking is Tazza’s specialty with their pizzas smelling and looking good – but they aren’t for us gluten free eaters!
However, they also offer plenty of vegetarian and gluten free dishes with corn tacos, bowls, Scallop risotto, flat iron steak, and plenty of salads.
Food wise, we started with Chips & Guacamole (always goes well with cocktails), followed by Beef Short Rib Tacos (wood oven braised beef, tomatillo chipotle salsa, queso fresco, cilantro lime onion slaw) accompanied by tasty fries!
I (Caz) couldn’t resist the beef short rib either, but I had mine in a delicious Baja bowl with green rice, black beans, tomatillo sauce and crema. On my next visit, I’ll order a slice of their flourless chocolate cake! Check out these date ideas for the Village District.
Vivace, North Hills
Another Italian spot making the restaurants in North Hills Raleigh list that have gluten free dishes is Vivace – known for their outstanding Italian food, and romantic atmosphere. However, our kids love eating here too, so it’s very family friendly.
Vivace has gluten free homemade pasta and pizza (thank you) including other delicious Italian meals like risotto, Steamed Pei Mussels, black pepper spaghetti, chicken Cacciatore, lamb chop, and mini-desserts, gelato and Affogato.
Celiacs will need to speak to the server before ordering (I’m sure you do anyway) as I’ve heard the GF pasta and pizza is made in a shared area, so cross-contamination is real for you.
Gonza Tacos y Tequila (Raleigh, Cary & Wake Forest)
One of our go-to restaurants across Wake County is Gonza Tacos y Tequila. It’s a vibrant Colombian Mexican restaurant with locations in Raleigh, North Raleigh, Wake Forest and Cary.
Their gluten-free menu includes delicious tacos (on corn tortillas), and other entrees, all made with care to cater to the gluten-sensitive crowd. I love the El plátano entree.
Some locations are said to have a separate fryer so ask in advance. If your celiac, you’ll then be able to eat the tortillas. Their guacamole is amazing, so I know you’ll want to.
Gravy, Downtown Raleigh
Another Italian restaurant with several gluten-friendly items on the menu. You’ll have to request to have some of your favorites adapted with gluten free pasta such as gnocchi, chicken alfredo, and chicken parmigiana. Of course, they have risotto!
We love the ambiance of their lighted outdoor patio, which they share with Sitti, in their prime position off Hargett St in Downtown Raleigh.
FUN FACT: It’s quite easy to find gluten free food in Italy. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I was well fed the entire time on our two-week trip to Italy with pastas, pizzas, gelato, and even tiramisu! Our favorite restaurant on the trip was a 100% gluten free restaurant in Rome called Mama Eats. This Mama ate here twice! You can read the content from our Italy trip here.
Lovegrass Kitchen, Holly Springs
Another gluten free restaurant I discovered while researching this post. I can’t wait to try this Lovegrass Kitchen in Holly Springs.
Ethiopian founder, Meron Afework Kassa creates delicious, healthy food using the gluten free grain Teff. On the menu you’ll find gluten free crepes (sweet and savory), waffles, acai bowls and smoothies.
Lucky Tree Cafe, Raleigh
Lucky Tree Cafe is one of our favorite coffee spots in Raleigh, but they can be a little inconsistent. However, do remember we’re coffee snobs from Australia and have high expectations.
We do love the ambiance of this coffee shop AND that they have a completely wheat free cake selection with muffins that are seriously delicious. While here you can also shop local artisan products in their co-op store. And it’s a great resting spot on the Art to Heart Trail.
Bella Monica, Northwest Raleigh
Yet another Italian option. It’s difficult to find an Italian restaurant with a large selection of gluten free meals that goes beyond just a cauliflower pizza base – that’s becoming more of a norm. But what if you want more? Like Tiramisu, parmigiana, or alfredo!
Bella Monica in Northwest Raleigh is an Italian restaurant with a dedicated gluten-free menu – a dream come true for pasta lovers. I’m not sure if it’s handmade pasta, but at least they have it, plus many more dishes.
This is one of the few places on this gluten friendly Raleigh restaurants list that we have not eaten at, yet. It’s in our future for sure. Ciao Bella!
Videri Chocolate, Downtown Raleigh
Just because its chocolate doesn’t mean it’s gluten free, or bad for you. It’s all about choosing the right kind of chocolate and you’ll find that at Videri Chocolate in downtown Raleigh.
No “is this gluten free?” questions required. You can walk out with your hands full of yummy chocolate knowing that they will be gluten free AND peanut free, soy free, egg free, and nut free!
What makes Videri chocolate so great is that they use high quality, responsibly sourced organic ingredients. You can also tour the factory to learn more about the chocolate making process, enjoy samples, or have one of their popular soft serve ice creams!
Mon Macaron, Raleigh & Cary
Thank you to the French for creating such a delicious, gluten free treat. Mon Macaron is a favorite in Raleigh for pretty authentic macarons that come with unique flavors and quality ingredients. They also pay their staff a living wage (Merci beaucoup).
I recently got caught up in Swiftie fever (we had watched the movie the night before and we went to her concert in Philadelphia) and bought a dozen printed Taylor Swift Macarons – one for every era!
Arepa Culture Food Truck (Glenwood Ave)
Just when you thought food trucks were unavailable to you, Arepa Culture comes roaring in with a completely gluten free menu. This local, family-owned business serves authentic gourmet Venezuelan cuisine.
What is an arepa? It’s a white cornmeal bread filled with delicious ingredients like sauteed chicken, BBQ pork, shredded beef and Norwegian salmon. It’s your sandwich on the run. They’re made fresh and handcrafted.
Don’t want to wait until the food truck aligns with your schedule? Then hop in your own car down to Glenwood Ave where you’ll find their restaurant. Their restaurant also has gluten free cachapas and arepa bowls.
Arepa Culture has won plenty of awards for best food truck and restaurant.
Plant Cakes Bake Shop and Dessert Bar (Wake Forest)
Want some delicious gluten free treats that are completely organic, non-GMO, and plant based as well? But wait, they are also free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and preservatives.
Plant Cakes Bake Shop on White Street in Wake Forest has a lot of gluten free doughnuts, muffins and cupcakes.
Gluten Free Treats (in Raleigh & Beyond)
Besides the above gluten free restaurants, other places where I love to get some gluten free items – these are the places that have a one-off item or two. I wouldn’t call them a fully gluten free cafe by any means:
- Idle hour in Raleigh has gluten free treats. I love their gluten free torte (paired beautifully with a latte).
- The Cupcake Shoppe on Glenwood Ave has delicious gluten free cupcakes.
- Bittersweet in Raleigh has a fantastic pumpkin creme brule.
- Edible Art bakery in North Hills always has gluten free cupcakes on the menu. (see more fall treats in North Hills).
- Once in a Blue moon Bakery in Cary has gluten free cupcakes.
Gluten free beer, ciders & seltzers
As a beer lover, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with most of the breweries in Raleigh. I mean I get it. It’s simply not easy to make gluten free beer, ciders, and seltzers due to logistics. So, I’m not THAT disgruntled.
I will not include any bar or brewery that serves White Claw or Truly as their only gluten free seltzer option. Same too Angry Orchard. That’s equivalent to pouring a pint of Bud Light in a craft brewery.
I’m including interesting craft, and preferably locally made options. But here are a few that will have you covered:
- Bull City Cider – Goes without saying that this cider house with locations in Cary and Durham have gluten free drinks. All made from 100% apple and WITHOUT high fructose corn syrup. They have a large selection of flavors and offer cider cocktails at their Cary location.
- The new East Bower Cider Company in the Iron Works has 8 plus ciders, made in house, using apples located within a 350-mile radius. All ciders are gluten free and are made with fresh and real ingredients.
- KōMANA Brewing Company in Cary has gluten free kombucha and seltzers (hard and soft).
- Fortnight Brewing, Cary: I’ve had quite a nice gluten free beer in a can before from this location. Ask ahead as I’m not sure if they always stock it.
- Norse Brewing Wake Forest – had a delicious blueberry lemonade seltzer when we visited. Definitely the best I’ve found in the Triangle. Ask as I’m not sure if it’s seasonal and I didn’t see it on the menu but only got it as I asked, “Do you have seltzer?”
- Raleigh Brewing usually have a seltzer on tap. At the moment it’s watermelon seltzer.
- R & D Brewing have their own brand of seltzers, Isla. They have a variety of flavors from black cherry to key lime! Expect Island Vibes.
- Taphouses – any that serve my favorite Untitled Art Prickly Pear will have me as a return visitor!
- One of my favorite seltzers ever was from Hopfly Brewery in Rocky Mount if you want to travel that far. Hey, we think it’s great for a day trip or weekend away. Their lime and coconut seltzer had depth of flavor that had me feeling like I was vacationing on the islands of Hawaii. Click to read our guide to Rocky Mount Mills getaway and their cute tiny homes.
Gluten Friendly Restaurants Map
Click here to access the map above. Make a copy, save it to your own maps, and adapt as you see fit. Then you can plot out your driving times and directions etc.
Navigating the food scene in Raleigh with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can be a challenge, but in Raleigh and the Triangle area, you’re in luck. These gluten-free-friendly establishments offer a wide range of options to enjoy a diverse and delicious dining experience without worry.
Whether you’re craving Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, or sweet indulgences, the Raleigh food scene has something for everyone.
So, the next time you’re in the area, make sure to explore these gluten free Raleigh gems and savor the flavors of North Carolina with peace of mind.
If you know of any other gluten free places to eat in Raleigh, please leave them in the comments below. It’s very helpful for future readers of this post, and we haven’t’ eaten at every restaurant in the city. There are still so many we don’t even know about!