Gluten-Free Austin: Celiac Capital of the World

I’ve only been back from Austin, Texas for a few hours and already I miss the ease of dining as I struggle to figure out where in the world to grab take-out that will appeal to my picky daughter and my celiac self. Because basically, my mind was blown this week as I chowed down in the best city in Texas (and quite frankly, a five state radius).  Here’s what happened in the first 36 hours I was there.

I went to three restaurants in a row that handed me a gluten-free menu. Three! Three gluten-free menus — in a freaking row! They know how to treat a girl who can’t hang with wheat. Also, check out that grocery store aisle above in Central Market. So much g-free business I had to walk away without buying anything so as not to buy EVERYTHING. Whole Foods, you need to take a lesson from the greatest grocery store of all time. Alternately, Central Market — please come to California. You know you want to, especially in the summers.

So here’s where I dined, and you should too if you’re looking for a good gf time in the live music capital of the world.

Maudie’s Tex-Mex

Mexican food is always my go-to when I’m feeling shaky about eating gluten-free, so it’s no surprise that a Tex-Mex restaurant will be celiac-friendly. But these people not only have an entire menu, they stopped me before I ordered a sauce (that I didn’t see on the gf menu, but thought, hey, why not? Yes, that’s how excited I get about chili con carne) that had hidden gluten. Was it good? Hells yes.

Central Market Cafe

I’ve been in love with Central Market since the first one opened when I was a college student at UT. So I actually expected the royal treatment when I went there for lunch, because they can do no wrong. Sure enough, a laminated gluten-free menu was waiting for me. I love you, Central Market. And I always will.

Red Robin

My brother and sister-in-law decided on an easy fast food’ish spot near my mom’s new place, and Red Robin was it. They like the burgers, I like the really large, and detailed gluten-free menu. In a chain/fast food joint! Also, they have this crazy Statue of Liberty thing going on. Good times.


This is my brother and sister-in-law’s restaurant, so there is obviously some bias. But the fact that they had a gluten-free hot dog bun, and beer on their menu before I was even diagnosed, shows that there wasn’t any nepotism involved in the g-free options at this gourmet sausage joint. Nice one, big brother. Nice one. Also, they have Big Buck Hunter. So I temporarily took leave of my senses and let my daughter pretend to shoot a rifle. Sue me, I was high on a gf bun.

Enoteca Vespaio

Unbelievably, I voluntarily went to an Italian restaurant. Guess what? Amazing gluten-free options. You know why? Because you’re in Austin, and apparently everything is magical in this city. They had a buckwheat pappardelle, which I did not have. But instead, the very rad waiter directed me to this Berkshire pork chop and squash goodness and a tuna tartar appetizer that made me a little less frightened to venture into Italian territory. Also, they do have gf pasta, but I decided that pork sounded pretty dang good.

Taco Cabana

I did a quick Internet search before heading to Taco Cabana. What with that whole “gluten in the beef tacos” incident at Taco Bell, I wasn’t going to trust any fast food chain. But like so many times before when I needed a taco after a night of drinking, Taco Cabana did not disappoint. Huge options that are all g-free, and delicious. Margaritas too. You’re not going to get that when you run to that other crappy border.

So basically, Austin rules. Go there, eat, and don’t get sick.


Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Gluten-Free Austin: Celiac Capital of the World

  1. ellen

    you should challenge to have GF menus in their restaurants. how interesting and information for the GF family! thanks!!

  2. Pingback: Gluten-Free Atlanta: Meat is the Word | Gluten Is My Bitch

  3. Pingback: Gluten-Free Austin: Frank, Guero’s & The Barley Swine | Gluten Is My Bitch

  4. Pingback: Gluten-Free Pizza in Austin: Southside Flying Pizza + Potential | Gluten Is My Bitch

  5. Pingback: Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Restaurant, Celiacs | Gluten Is My Bitch

  6. Pingback: Gluten-Free Austin: Thundercloud Subs & The Usuals | Gluten Is My Bitch

  7. Pingback: Gluten-Free SXSW: BBQ, Queso & Cupcakes | Gluten Is My Bitch

  8. Kara

    interested to know if any of these places cooked on GF cookware to avoid cross contamination? We’re headed to Austin in October with two celiac kids who get prettty sick from cross contamination. Any words of wisdom? Thanks! Kara

    • Hi Kara! I now Maudie’s uses separate cookware, and many of the other places are naturally gf so there’s little danger of any cross contact. I can’t recall off the top of my head exactly who else told me every detail about production, but outside of my big mistake in going to Chuy’s, I’ve never been gluten’d in Austin. Have fun!!!!!

  9. Pingback: Top Gluten Free Destination: Austin, Texas | Gluten Free

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s