Friday, April 15, 2011

Gluten Free in Waco

I went to college at Baylor and was diagnosed with Celiac disease the day before my junior semester started.  Waco was not the easiest place to begin my gluten-free journey, but I hope that my findings help anyone else going through the same situation.

Non-chain restaurants that cater to gluten-free needs in Waco:

1424 Italian restaurant on Washington Ave. Make sure and call ahead of time and verify they can accommodate you. They don't have a gluten-free menu, but the chef has been great on making my plates gluten free. The only thing I've gotten there, because I love it so much, has been the Chicken Picatta with the lemon carrot rice and steamed vegetables.

Zakarta Hut. I wish this place had popped up sooner, but sooner is better than later! The chef is completely aware of gluten and has everything labeled if it is gluten-free. They also have frozen entrees from epicurious chefs, and often have sales.

135 Prime. Nice steakhouse in Hewitt, however, it is a bit pricey. The chef volunteers at the hospital and had to go through an extensive training process on food allergies-so he completely understands gluten and cross contamination. I've been twice and am so in love with the dish I originally got, I've had no reason to order anything else! (Let me tell you now, I haven't eaten beef since the 8th grade-a different story entirely. But nonetheless, this is why I ordered fish at a steakhouse). My favorite is the giant gulf shrimp basted in extra virgin olive oil with basmati cilantro rice and grilled asparagus. The extra virgin olive oil sauce on the shrimp is divine!

Cafe Cappuccino. Although they don't have a gluten-free menu, there are many breakfast items you can choose from and stay safe.  Most omelets are free of gluten, but make sure you tell them no toast! Also, I always tell them to please cook my eggs on a different part of the griddle from the pancakes. My recent favorite is the Breakfast Burrito with corn tortillas instead of flour, and bacon as the choice of meat. I do have to warn you though, awhile back I got really sick from just eating a fruit cup, hashbrowns, and bacon from here. The only thing I can blame it on would be cross-contamination. Since I've started requesting them cook my eggs on a clean part of the griddle, I haven't had problems!

Chain Restaurants with gluten-free menus:

  • Jason's Deli
  • Pei Wei
  • Carino's
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Cheddars (the only thing I know that is for sure gluten free is the baked potato and a garden salad, no croissant or croutons, with honey mustard dressing)
If you're a fan of Pat Green, you've heard of George's bar in Waco. It's a famous restaurant, bar, and meeting ground for people of all ages. I've spent many birthday dinners, celebrations, and nights out at George's, but it's not easy eating gluten free at a bar known for it's fried food.  I've always stuck to baked potatoes and garden salads (no croutons) with ranch dressing. Adding pico de gallo adds some flavor to the potato, and the ranch dressing is gluten free. 

Also, there is a Wendy's and McCalister's right off I35 if you're ever driving through and need a quick bite! (Both have gluten free menus) Hope this helps with your Waco gluten-free eating!


  1. Just wondering if you knew of any newer places since this post is several years old. Also if you knew of any bakeries for cookies, birthday cakes etc.?

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  3. Amy,
    You can add Chick-Fil-A, Poppa Rollos Pizza, Rosattis, Freebirds, and Torchys Tacos to your list. All of them have gf menus that are fairly easy to find. I have not found a bakery yet that has gluten free options. But I would definitely be interested if you did find one.

    Beware of which Cafe Cappuccino you go to. Some locations are more well versed in gluten free than others. The one downtown is pretty bad about cross contamination. Bummer since it's the closest one to me. Unfortunately, Waco is slow to grow in the gluten free variety and awareness.

    Hope this helps some!

  4. There is a place in spice village that does gf cupcakes