Sarma translates to “wrapped,” or evocatively, an embrace—and for people with dietary restrictions, the menu at this Somerville spot does just that. This Mediterranean hot spot envelops us all with a menu of incredible meze, many of which are gluten-free and all of which leave us wanting more. We love Sarma classics like Harissa BBQ Duck, Avocado Muhammara, and Black Bean Falafel.
Where to Find the Best Gluten-Free Dining in Boston
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Where to Find the Best Cookies in Boston
Once upon a time, finding gluten-free dishes in Boston was a challenge. Today, restaurants have generally become more allergen-friendly—and creative. From gluten-free pasta and pizza to desserts made with almond flour, these locals can satisfy any craving without wheat. We recommend always informing your server about any dietary restrictions and intolerances, but folks looking for GF options will find them at standard spots and dedicated gluten-free kitchens alike.
Paying homage to many different cuisines like Chinese, Thai, and Indonesian on a family-style menu from Flour’s Joanne Chang, Myers + Chang is similarly mindful of dietary preferences. The South End mainstay—a favorite for Bostonians and visitors alike—offers separate gluten-free menus, as well as vegetarian, shellfish-free, and nut-free menus. Tuna Poke Two Ways, topped with sesame crisps, is a must-order, and Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) is a GF dish you’ll be talking about for days. If it isn’t cause for celebration, we don’t know what is.
Faccia a Faccia
Faccia a Faccia is a coastal Italian entry from James Beard award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. The Newbury Street newcomer stands out amongst siblings Coppa, Toro, and Little Donkey with a fully gluten-free prep kitchen. Menu items like crudo, Carciofi Fritti (fried artichoke), house-made pasta, and even GF Mozzarella Sticks with caviar are safe for diners with celiac disease. Fans can take home retail bags of Faccia’s GF pasta, too (and stay tuned to Coppa’s social channels for the next gluten-free pizza pop-up).
Initially inspired by the western-coastal and southern cuisines of Mexico, Lone Star Taco Bar has created a menu where the vast majority of food items are gluten-free. Both locations in Cambridge and Allston take allergy concerns very seriously, taking all precautions necessary to ensure there is no cross contact of any kind. So favorites on corn tortillas like Carnitas, Veracruz Fish, and Birria can all be enjoyed with gluten-free confidence. This part’s a no-brainer: Wash it down with a marg or two.
Stoked Pizza Company
Let the good times roll at Stoked Pizza Co. Originally a food truck and still a takeout fave, Stoked opened its first brick-and-mortar in Brookline’s Washington Square before following it up with a mid-century-chic cocktail bar in Harvard Square, Cambridge. The pizza parlor dishes a unique New York-Neapolitan-style with toppings like Hot Honey Bianca, a white pie with applewood-smoked bacon and Mike’s Hot Honey. Stoked is very accommodating to dietary needs: Check out the fully vegan menu and the gluten-free thin crust option (just keep in mind that wheat flour is present in the kitchen).
Carolicious Venezuelan Food
Located inside Aeronaut Brewing Co. taprooms in Somerville and Everett, Carolicious pairs authentic Venezuelan food with local craft beer. The female-founded and owned business shines a bright spotlight on arepas, a traditional handheld street food. Made with corn flour, these sandwich-like snacks are naturally gluten-free, and stuffed with deliciousness ranging from chicken and avocado to plantains and black beans. Carolicious also has a location that’s open to the public inside the MIT Stratton Student Center, and on Thursdays, you can find the Venezuelan food pop-up at the Boston Public Library at Copley.
Sofra, often a go-to pastries, cookies, and other confections, is also a must-visit for the extensive selection of freshly made meze, much of which is gluten-free. Take the Moroccan-Style Carrot Salad, for example; Parsnip Almond Skordalia, or Grape Leaf Dolma, just to name a few. The Mediterranean cafe is also filled to the brim with prepared food to-go and delectable retail items, including gluten-free Olive Oil Granola, Sesame Caramel Cashews, and Sweet & Smoky Pecans, so you can bring the magic of Sofra home.
Nantucket Island favorite The Nautilus has reached the mainland via Boston’s Seaport. The Pier 4 restaurant is rather gluten-free friendly, with options like Vietnamese Beef Tataki, Blue Crab Fried Rice, Thai Sausage Lettuce Wraps, and Charcoal Prawns. Even our fave Two Hawaiian Tuna Poke can be modified to be gluten-free—just ask. Pair with a Nauti cocktail or two and cheers to more GF bites.
For several years, Cafe Sushi has made it a focus to provide many gluten-free options. Most everything made in-house including sauces like ponzu and spicy mayo, and myriad toppings used for nigiri are all gluten-free. The Harvard Square takeout spot requires advance notice for any food allergies where cross-contact is an issue, but the new retail shop, Cafe Sushi Shoten, offers grab-and-go sushi, GF side dishes like Kinpira Lotus Root and Carrot, and an excellent selection of sake (a naturally gluten-free beverage). The shoten even carries Koshihikari Echigo rice lager, a delicious gluten-free beer option.
The nine locations of Life Alive spread across the Greater Boston area are best known as vegan and vegetarian meccas, but the menus at each cafe are just as welcoming to the GF crowd. All of the grain and salad bowls are gluten-free: as a starting point, consider the Green Goddess made with lemon-garlic brown rice, broccoli, kale, tofu, avocado, and ginger tamari sauce. Soups, dairy-free drinks, and smoothie bowls topped with almond granola also fit the GF bill.
Though it’s straight-up named Flour Bakery + Cafe, acclaimed pastry chef Joanne Chang’s nine-location-strong bakery chain cheerfully accommodates dietary preferences, including a gluten allergy and sensitivity. Most sandwiches can be made on gluten-free bread (with the exception of grilled offerings) or served as salads. For dessert, you’ll discover sans-gluten treats like Flourless TCHO Chocolate Brownie and a Brown Sugar Almond Meringue Cookie.
Quickly becoming a Back Bay staple, Krasi is a stunning meze bar serving all things Greek. Krasi crushes the brunch game and pours incredible Greek wines. The passionate staff is well-versed in the menu and can not only guide and translate for dinner, but can educate about what is gluten-free on the menu. Greek cuisine in general lends itself easily to gluten-free meals, but we especially love everything Krasi does to make each bite special. Try veg-forward dishes like Marouli (charred baby gem lettuce, crispy louza, baked goat cheese, egg yolk dressing) and Lahano (spicy tomato sauce-braised cabbage, golden raisins, almonds, puffed rice). The Xtapdo (braised octopus) and rotating Souvla (rotisserie) are also gluten-free options, among many more.
Around since the ’80s when punk rock dominated Kenmore Square, India Quality continues to be a tried and true spot in the neighborhood. The Comm. Ave. restaurant has been a favorite for Chicken Coconut Korma, Saag Paneer (homemade cheese with spinach and fresh herbs), and assorted Northern Indian-style biryani (rice dishes)—all of which are gluten-free. India Quality is also great for anyone looking for more vegetarian-friendly options, too. The restaurant keeps things elevated with white tablecloths and necktie-clad waiters, but is also a reliable takeout spot.
Starting as one of Boston’s original food trucks, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese now boasts brick-and-mortar locations in Allston and Central Square for the sandwiches that made it a household name. And at both locations, one can even enjoy that famous cheese pull on gluten-free bread. Yes, you heard us correctly—gluten-free grilled cheese. Order any of the sandwiches on the menu, such as the Green Muenster Melt, Hot Honey Bacon, or the veggie-friendly Allston (a fancier sammie with herbed goat cheese, fig jam, caramelized onions, and arugula)—all have the option of gluten-free bread.
Originally started as a food truck, Taco Party is now one of the coolest and sought-after vegan restaurants in town. Located in Somerville’s Ball Square, the menu is not only entirely plant-based, but is able to accommodate people who eat a gluten-free diet. Try the Chimichurri Tempeh, Lentils Al Pastor, or Cheezy Potato Tacos. Nachos and the side dish of Mexican brown rice with smoky black beans are also gluten-free favorites.