gluten-free restaurants in chicago pancakes from wheat's end

Compiling this list of my favorite gluten-free restaurants in Chicago – as well as the best gluten-free options at other spots – has taken years of interrogating waitstaff, trial and error, and yes, even heartache (I legit cried when Rose’s in Evanston and the Cookie Bar in Ravenswood closed. RIP gluten-free chocolate croissants and bourbon chocolate cake, respectfully.)

As gluten-free restaurants in Chicago continue to multiply and menus continue to diversify, rest assured that my quest for the best gluten-free eats will go on. It’s a delicious job, and someone’s gotta do it. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’ve focused mainly on the major Midwestern food groups: brunch, pizza and baked goods.

Note: I do not have Celiac Disease, so I can’t speak to whether these dishes are Celiac-safe. It’s always best to call ahead and speak to someone knowledgeable about the restaurant’s protocols for food allergies before you go.

GF = entirely gluten-free kitchen
POC = person-of-color owned
W = Women-owned
WOC = Woman-of-color owned
Check out our full running and delicious list of women-owned restaurants in Chicago.

Got a favorite that we missed? Let us know!

Fave Gluten-free Restaurants in Chicago

Bright Wok Kitchen
Cuisine: Entirely gluten-free menu of Asian-inspired dishes
Don’t-miss dish: The Crunchy Crave
Don’t-miss dessert: It’s called Magic Cake for good reason
Locations: The Loop, River North
Bonus: GF

Defloured – A Gluten Free Bakery
Cuisine: The most mouth-watering desserts I’ve ever had
Don’t miss: The gluten-free red velvet cake pop is life-changing
Location: Andersonville
Bonus: GF

CheSa’s Gluten Free Food Truck
Owner: Chef Chesareé Rollins, Ph.D.
Cuisine: A range of globally inspired gluten-free delights
Don’t-miss dish: All Hale Kale Salad
Locations: Wrigley Field, Whole Foods, Pete’s Fresh Market salad bars; around downtown during lunchtime
Bonus: GF, WOC

Wheat’s End Cafe
Owners: Susan McMillan and Amelia Fonti
Cuisine: Gluten-free breakfast & bakery
Don’t-miss dish: Popovers with you’ll-want-to-drink-it sausage gravy & eggs
Location: Lakeview
Bonus: GF, W

Best Gluten-free Dishes

11 Degree North
Don’t-miss dish: The Take it Easy arepa is my go-to; all of the arepas are gluten-free.
Location: Lakeview
Bonus: W

Don’t-miss dish: All-you-can-eat chilaquiles bar
Pro Tip: Vigilance pays, so keep an eye out for when the fresh trays arrive.
Locations: River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market

Do-Rite Donuts
Don’t-miss dish: The gluten-free Valhrona chocolate glazed donut is the breakfast of champions.
FAQ: Are these really worth standing in line for? Yasssss.

Flaco’s Tacos
Don’t-miss dish: The Cowboy Tacos are my hands-down fave.
Pro Tip: On Saturdays, the Sangrita (a holy union of sangria and margarita) is on special for $4.
Locations: Water Tower, Printer’s Row, Edgewater

Lady Gregory’s
Don’t miss dish: Gluten-free lobster mac & cheese. I’m not drooling, you’re drooling!
Special shout-out: When I went gluten-free several years ago, Lady G’s, as my partner calls it, was one of the first restaurants I came across with a sizable menu of gluten-free options, including flatbreads and sandwiches.
Locations: Andersonville, Old Town

Lyfe Kitchen
Don’t-miss dishes: I have either the grilled chicken & avocado sandwich or the Margherita flatbread a LOT.
Locations: River North, Streeterville, Gold Coast

Don’t miss dish: The gluten-free red velvet cupcake gives me hope for the future of our species.
Location: Gold Coast
Bonus: W

gluten-free restaurants in chicago pizza
Sausage and green pepper goodness from Union Squared

Union Squared Pizza
Don’t-miss dish: I deeply cherish both the gluten-free sausage (above) and the pepperoni pizzas, but I’m carnivorous that way. Any of their pies can be made gluten-free.
Pro-tip: They make each pizza to order, so set aside some extra time.
Locations: Revival Food Hall in the Loop, Evanston

Photo: Heaven on a plate, aka, gluten-free pancakes garnished with Nutella from Wheat’s End

Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...