I’ve previously exalted The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen for serving up perfect house made gluten free bread, but somehow until this morning it hadn’t dawned on me: the place serves breakfast sandwiches. If you’re gluten free, you know how hard it is to get your hands on anything other then eggs, yogurt, or fruit when getting breakfast on the go. Sometimes being deprived  from bread in the morning can mean starvation by 11am. If you’re in the neighborhood, do everything in your power to stop at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen for a perfectly crafted gluten free egg and cheese sandwich.

Pictured above: “Breakfast Piglet” sharp cheddar, artisan cured ham, egg, and rosemary butter on gluten free bread.

1 South Park Ave.
Suite 103A
San Francisco, 94107

 

In the past couple months, a seemingly exponential growth in gluten free awareness has resulted in an explosion of new gf products, related news articles, and menu options at local restaurants. The whole thing really hit home at the AT&T park the other night during a Giants game when I came across a sign for gluten free hot dogs. Yup, they were serving gluten free hot dogs outfitted with a tapioca flour bun and a gluten free Red Bridge beer. Seated behind home plate, I enjoyed the first all out hot dog I’ve had in over 5 years. Up until this month, gluten free hot dog buns could be described only as dense, crumbly rolls you might find packaged at the bottom of the freezer section in Whole Foods. Giving up on the bun all together, I decided eating a hot dog on a plate was too unappetizing to bear. Now with popular brands like Udi’s and Rudi’s debuting their new line of BBQ friendly gluten free breads (that are actually amazing in texture and flavor), getting a gluten free hot dog at the ballpark may seem like less of a novelty in a short time. For now, the hot dog, the bun and the beer were a total thrill. I’m not sure as to where the tapioca buns are sourced, but they resemble any other sweet white bread hot dog bun you’d expect to find at a baseball game. The hot dogs and Red Bridge beer are sold at the Budweiser Brew Pub in Promenade Section 112.

 

Although I’m typically not one for chain restaurants, Roy’s Restaurant in SOMA has a gluten free menu I’d be happy to revisit. With locations in major US cities, their menu features elegant Hawaiian fusion cuisine in an upscale setting. Gluten free items like citrus tarragon grilled salmon or blackened ahi tuna served with spicy mustard sauce are  prepared with gf tamari making these dishes an unusual treat.  You’ll also find outstanding entrees such as their braised short rib with mashed potatoes. Complete your dinner with Roy’s melting hot chocolate souffle: a warm, gooey chocolate masterpiece served with vanilla ice cream.  My meal at Roy’s wasn’t in any way compromised by being gluten free, it’s refreshing to dine at a restaurant that fully accommodates their gf customers from first course to last. Their website offers a link to their local gluten free menus which are updated seasonally.

575 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA

(415) 777-0277

 

If you’re on a gluten free diet and have never tried Ethiopian food, you are depriving yourself of a meal where utensils are replaced with injera, a thin spongy bread made from teff flour (an ancient and gluten free grain). Celiacs beware: although the tangy, crepe-like bread is traditionally made solely of teff flour, many Ethiopian restaurants mix their teff with wheat flour to cut costs, rendering a naturally gluten free item inedible for those with gluten intolerance.  It’s a good thing Moya restaurant in SOMA offers gluten free injera (teff flour only) for $2 extra. Now those of us on the gf diet have somewhere to enjoy the rich and unique flavors of traditional Ethiopian food without fearing for our intestinal villi. Choose a selection of vegetarian, vegan and/or meat options to be served atop the large, flat injera and expect to get your hands dirty.  Most of the items on Moya’s menu are naturally gluten free, and the wait staff can let you know which items are not safe.

Featured Dish (served 3 people): Vegetarian combination along with Ye Doro Wot (marinated chicken sauteed in a rich sauce) and  Bozena Shuro (roasted chickpeas slow cooked with traditional spices and strips of sirloin).

1044 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA

(415) 431-5544

 

When was the last time you had really good pizza delivered to your door step? Yeah, I didn’t think so. At select locations, Extreme Pizza serves Still Riding 12″ gluten free pizza crust, and it’s the best I’ve tried in the city.  If your unfamiliar with Still Riding Pizza, definitely take a look at their website, they supply gluten free New York style pizza crusts to hundreds of restaurants across the country. Still Riding Pizza educates new clients about cross contamination while setting up safe kitchen practices to ensure their 100% GF crust remains that way. If your house does not fall within Extreme Pizza’s delivery zone, enjoy your crisp gluten free crust in one of their many locations in the bay area. Pictured above is their pizza titled “Green with Envy,” topped with homemade pesto sauce, fresh tomatoes, feta, mozzarella and basil.

1062 Folsom Street, San Francisco
(415) 701-9000

1730 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
(415) 929-9900

1980 Union Street, San Francisco
(415) 929-8234

 

Find exquisite, traditional Thai food at Manora’s Thai Cuisine. Although their location near costco in SOMA isn’t fantastic, the food and mellow atmosphere make it worth the visit. Manora’s pad thai and curries do not contain gluten, nor do their soups or spring rolls. After trying out several thai restaurants in the city, I am happy to have chosen my go-to spot for reliably delicious food and good service. Please check with your server regarding the GF status of your order.

1600 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 861-6224

Featured dishes: Pad thai and green curry (both vegetarian)

 

House made gluten free sandwich bread is served at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, located just off of  SOMA’s beautiful South Park.  Step up to their lunch counter and order from a selection of gourmet grilled cheese options. Sit at the bar or outside and enjoy the feel of this historic part of town. When your grilled cheese is served, prepare to be blown away because a.) you’re about to eat a sandwich and b.) the thickly sliced, moist yet crunchy GF house made bread is pretty darn perfect. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen also serves soups, salads, and homemade pickles. The extra .50 cents for gluten free bread is a welcomed compromise for the opportunity to indulge in a good old grilled cheese.

Featured item: “Jalapeño Popper”- chèvre, monterey jack, applewood-smoked bacon, apricot-jalapeño relish.