Coffee Bar in Truckee, CA might just be Tahoe’s best spot for gluten free foodies. The italian inspired coffee shop is known for its high grade organic coffee and skilled latte art, but they also serve a number of fresh gluten free baked goods. Quiches, big fresh muffins, and a variety of cupcakes are all made for Coffee Bar daily at a local gluten free bakery. You’ll also find fresh squeezed organic juices, smoothies, teas, and salads on the menu, most made with locally sourced ingredients. A less healthy but truly fantastic treat is the Marochinno, a cup of organic espresso lined in nutella with a scoop of gelato and a swirl of whipped cream.

10120 Jibboom St # 101  Truckee, CA 96161

 

Wild Goat Bistro is a charming cafe located just steps from the riverfront in downtown Petaluma. Serving up gluten free options galore, Wild Goat Bistro offers the lunch items you’re used to drooling over before having to order a salad without croutons. Gourmet pizzas, inspired sandwiches, and even pasta is all available sans gluten. Their in-season pizzas are topped with mouthwatering combinations like fig & goat cheese or grapes & gorgonzola with a pinot noir reduction sauce. Craving a traditional pizza, I opted for their margherita and loved it. I was also delighted to find that a few of their beautiful cakes on display were gluten free. The carrot cake was utterly fantastic.

*Wild Goat Bistro offers Still Riding Pizza crusts for all of their pizzas (aside from the one with meatballs) and local artisan gluten free bread for sandwiches.

Address: 6 Petaluma Blvd N # A5, Petaluma, CA

 

 

In the past couple of years, new restaurants have been popping up all over our neighborhood. What was once considered a no man’s land between Potrero Hill and the Mission is now an up and coming neighborhood dappled with numerous cool bars and acclaimed restaurants. Last night I stumbled upon the brand new Local’s Corner, a cafe just a couple blocks from my apartment. Not quite overflowing with customers yet, this three week old restaurant doesn’t know what’s coming. The menu at Local’s Corner is all about seafood, and appropriately the restaurant’s interior feels like a romantic little cafe in new england. Their cheese and vegetables are farm fresh and the seafood is sourced locally by fishermen committed to sustainability.

Comprised mostly of sharable small plates, the menu lists dishes that feature dungeness crab, rock cod, cured halibut, king salmon, and bay or pacific northwest oysters. We tried four plates, and each one was exceptionally good. Our meal began with a beautiful cheese plate, then an arugula salad (ordered without croutons) tossed with garlic confit and topped with shaved capricious goat cheese, a dish worth more than every penny of the $8. Next we had the dungeness crab which was paired beautifully with delicate spring peas, cara cara oranges and roasted spring onion. To follow were smoked trout rillettes topped with pickled shallot, and finally we had the king salmon served over fava beans and peas. Every dish we tried at Local’s Corner carefully brought out the best of each ingredient, highlighting delicate flavors in a way that made every bite taste impossibly perfect.

Most of the dishes at Local’s Corner are naturally gluten free, but check with your server before ordering.

2500 Bryant Street  San Francisco, CA 94110

 

Mariposa’s brand new bakery in the Ferry Building opened just over a month ago. The 100% gluten free cafe expanded from a small kiosk offering a limited selection of their Oakland bakery’s treats into a full fledged gourmet gluten free bakery. With a wide variety of baked goods ranging from bagels and baguettes to apple tarts and donuts, Mariposa has every single craving covered. After oogling at their gorgeous spread and then selecting some fresh treats, pick up one of their classic frozen pizza crusts, ravioli, or gnocchi from the freezer.

Mariposa’s Ferry Building Cafe serves both breakfast and lunch items like fresh sandwiches (egg salad, tuna, or veggie) and personal sized quiches. It’s rare to be able to grab a gluten free sandwich on the go, much less eat it looking over the beautiful bay and then finish it off with a fresh baked cookie. Mariposa’s new cafe is a real asset to the gluten free community of San Francisco.

 

An endless search for gluten free friendly restaurants often results in dining at some pretty eclectic eateries. Places like Lydia’s Kitchen, for example, might make you feel like part of a modern hippie movement. Her food is organic, amazingly healthy, and 100% gluten free. The quirky atmosphere in her restaurant is just part of the experience.

Last weekend, I sat down for lunch at a cafe inside of a buddhist bookstore in San Rafael. The room was adorned with ornate sculptures, a small stage for enlightened guests, and ceiling high bookshelves. Patrons spoke in hushed tones, and the cafe’s speakers streamed the notes of traditional Indian instruments playing assorted Christmas tunes. At Radiance Cafe, customers order their organic gluten free vegetarian lunch at the counter. A small but well rounded menu features items like warm lentil soup, brown rice with a homemade cashew and vegetable curry, and a spring salad covered in delicious raw dressing. This seemingly sacred yet slightly kitschy space might just serve up the tastiest and healthiest meal you’ve had all week.
 

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of family outings to a hole in the wall restaurant in New York City’s little Italy called La Mela. The walls in the place were plastered with polaroids of their well fed customers, and family style tables were covered in brightly colored plastic cloths. At La Mela, a menu was never offered. Instead of choosing an item or two off the menu, the waiter served course after heaping course of homemade italian food until no one could swallow another bite.

I can’t help but look back on the mountainous trays of fresh ravioli, manicotti, zitti, and lasagna and sigh, because sometimes rice flour just doesn’t cut it. I get my hands on gluten free ravioli maybe once a year. The time I tried to craft my own, the kitchen looked like it had been turned upside down and inside out, plus they didn’t taste that good.

It wasn’t until I attended Jeffrey Larsen’s gluten free pasta class this past weekend that I learned of a world of possibilities in gluten free pasta making. The talented chef has been cooking his whole life and his passion for food seemed to only strengthen after discovering his own gluten intolerance. Instead of settling on store bought brown rice and quinoa noodles like the rest of us, Jeffrey has tirelessly experimented with a gluten free pasta dough, and his seems perfect.

Set in a brightly lit studio in Potrero hill, Jeffrey’s classes run about 2 hours. A thorough demonstration of the entire process will ensure that you won’t leave the place wondering how to accomplish his recipe on your own. Jeffery encourages students to snap photos of the process, and let us all try the finished product: fresh ravioli and fettucini that boiled up in just 3 minutes.

Jeffrey has exciting plans for upcoming gluten free courses. He’s got a great recipe for pizza dough, pies, tarts, and potstickers. After trying a slice of his mock rye loaf, I’ll definitely be at his next bread class. Check his schedule for upcoming classes here.

 

Table Cafe is a great little spot tucked away in Larkspur, a town just 10 or 20 minutes north of the Golden Gate bridge. A perfect place for lunch, Table Cafe offers gluten free dosas with a number of tasty fillings along with fresh salads, soups and homemade spritzers. All of their produce is local or organic, and their meats come from sustainable farms like Niman Ranch, Marin Sun Farms, and Prather Ranch. The cafe’s seasonal menu includes more than 10 different dosas, and an enticing lineup of daily specials. We ordered up two dosas, one stuffed with fresh asparagus and gruyere cheese, the other filled with curried cauliflower, pickled veggies, and wilted greens. I’m pleased to say, both were fantastic.

Most of the menu is gluten free, however there are some items that do have wheat (brownies, lamb meatballs). Be sure to have their friendly waitstaff confirm that your order is safe.

1167 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA

(415) 461-6787