The Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Restaurants in Tampa Bay

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The Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Restaurants in Tampa Bay

If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you know the struggle is real when it comes to finding viable options when going out to eat. Since having to take on the gluten-free (GF) life last year, I’ve made it my personal mission to find the best GF options in Tampa beyond boring salads and bun-less burgers. From quick bites to romantic date nights and sweet-tooth satisfiers, you can find it all broken down for you here, including my favorite gluten-free menu items at each restaurant!

*Important note: If you are sensitive to cross-contamination, please call ahead or check with your server, as some of these locations may not take measures against cross-contamination or be Celiac-friendly.

Quick & Easy

Fresh Kitchen

Locations: Various locations around Tampa Bay

Favorite Menu Item: Sweet Potato Noodles, Golden Spice Chickpeas, & Baked Almond Chicken

Let’s start out with one of the most obvious gluten-free options in Tampa Bay: Fresh Kitchen. If you’re not familiar, this healthy bowl restaurant is 100% gluten free, making it a quick, safe option. The sweet potato noodles and baked almond chicken have appeared in my dreams a few times and I’m not even mad about it. It’s hard to remember what it was like living in Tampa before Fresh Kitchen existed and I’m so glad we’ll never have to again!

Fresh Kitchen is one of many gluten-free restaurants in Tampa Bay
Image credit: Fresh Kitchen

Little Leon

Location: South Tampa

Favorite Menu Item: Spicy Rice Noodles & Lemon Garlic Shrimp

If you’re looking to avoid cross-contamination and grab a delicious bowl or salad, head to Little Leon. This completely gluten-free concept is relatively new and offers a wide variety of unique options, like vegan meatballs and spicy rice noodles. Make sure to try one of their house-made teas when you’re there!

Taco Dirty

Locations: South Tampa & St. Pete

Favorite Menu Item: Avocado Citrus Rice & Crispy GF Fried Chicken Strips

If I have learned anything in my 7+ years in Tampa, it’s that if it’s part of the Ciccio Restaurant Group, it’s going to be good. Taco Dirty is no exception. Think Chipotle, but fresh ingredients you can feel good about eating. While not every single menu item is gluten free, most things are. I’ve been obsessed with the Vegan Queso and the Crispy GF Fried Chicken Strips since Taco Dirty opened, and I don’t think my love for them will ever die. They just opened a location in St. Pete, too!

Image credit: Taco Dirty

Bolay

Location: St. Pete & Brandon

Favorite Menu Item: Tuscan Zucchini & Miso-Glazed Tofu

Surprise, another bowl option! Bowls are clearly trending in Tampa Bay, which tends to favor us gluten-free folks, so I’m certainly not complaining. Bolay is a nutritious build-your-own-bowl restaurant with yummy options like Tuscan Zucchini, Miso Glazed Tofu, and more. The best part? Everything is gluten free, so you don’t need to stress.

Love Food Central

Location: St. Pete

Favorite Menu Item: Roasted Veggie Wrap & Awesome Burger

If you’re following a plant-based and gluten-free diet, Love Food Central in Downtown St. Pete will be your new favorite place. Everything on the café-style menu is gluten free, vegan, and absolutely delicious. I’ve been eyeing their Loaded Cheeze Plate as a great alternative to a charcuterie board for a while now and plan on heading back there ASAP to try it out! They are closed on Tuesdays, so keep that in mind before you head over.

Naked Farmer

Location: Downtown St. Pete, Sparkman Wharf, & Water Street (coming soon!)

Favorite Menu Item: Charred Broccolini & EVOO Avocado

Naked Farmer is one of my favorite spots for a bowl in Tampa Bay. It’s one of the only gluten-free options at Sparkman Wharf, but it’s so good that I don’t mind getting something from there every time. They even have a sign that tells you the exact farm your ingredients come from! It’s such a great concept and the charred broccolini is *chef’s kiss*. I always add an avocado to my bowl to really elevate it. FYI: Not all menu items here are gluten free.

 

Date Night Approved Gluten-Free Restaurants

Cooper’s Hawk

Location: Tampa

Favorite Menu Item: Shrimp & Scallop Risotto

One day earlier this year, I was doing a personal deep dive into romantic restaurants for a date night when I stumbled upon Cooper’s Hawk. I knew of them previously for their iconic wine club, but had no idea they had an entire gluten-free menu! I was thrilled to find out about this, so I ended up making a reservation there and was blown away by the plethora of options. I ordered the Shrimp & Scallop Risotto and devoured it. They even have gluten-free pretzel bread, so you don’t have that feeling of dread when the bread arrives. Overall, a solid 10/10!

Forbici

Location: Hyde Park

Favorite Menu Item: Cavatelli (with GF Fusilli) & Fiore Pizza (on GF dough)

The days of avoiding Italian restaurants because of a lack of gluten-free options have come to an end, thanks in part to Forbici. They offer gluten-free pasta, as well as gluten-free pizza crust that is one of my all-time favorites. Sadly, their famous Impossible Meatballs aren’t GF, but I’m hoping that one day they’ll adjust. They always have delicious specialty cocktails to go with the seasons, so make sure to ask your server about those if you plan on grabbing a drink with your meal.

bartaco

Location: Hyde Park

Favorite Menu Item: Spiced Chicken Verde Tacos & Guacamole with Chips

Bartaco is one of my all-time favorite places when I’m craving tacos and a sangria, which is quite often. All of the tacos come on corn tortillas, plus they ask you if you have any allergies when you place your order on your phone. This is a bold statement, but their guacamole is my favorite in the Tampa Bay area. I’m a huge fan of their Pomegranate Limonada (non-alcoholic) and their sangria, too. They don’t accept reservations and there can be long waits, so make sure to put your name down on the waitlist before you arrive, or pencil in some time to explore Hyde Park Village!

Image credit: bartaco

Casa Santo Stefano

Location: Ybor City

Favorite Menu Item: Spaghetti Aglio, Olio E Peperoncino (with GF pasta)

Casa Santo Stefano is one of the newest concepts from the Columbia Restaurant Group, known for the famous Columbia Restaurant. Housed in a former macaroni factory, Casa Santo Stefano dishes out some of the best Italian food in a setting that will make you feel like you’re truly in Sicily. While not listed on their website, but they do offer gluten-free pasta. The rooftop bar, Santo’s Drinkeria, is a must-visit, offering stunning views of Ybor City.

Luv Child

Location: South Tampa

Favorite Menu Item: Basico Platter, Yucca Fries, & Vegan Queso

One visit to Luv Child and you will be hooked. The decor is super trendy, the food is incredible, and the vibes are immaculate. Luv Child puts a modern twist on Cuban cuisine, with menu offerings such as Yucca Fries, Crispy Tostones, and Cuban sandwiches. They have plenty of gluten-free options that are all labeled on the menu. I always get the Basico Platter and truly will never get sick of it. If you’re going out on South Howard, Luv Child is a great first stop to fuel up.

Image credit: Luv Child | Pictured: Masa de Puerco

 

Water + Flour

Location: South Tampa

Favorite Menu Item: Plant-Based Avocado Toasta (on GF crust) & Fitness Bowl

Water + Flour is another Ciccio Restaurant Group concept that just gets it. They have a variety of plant-based and gluten-free options that are all labeled on the menu. The Plant-Based Avocado Toasta can be made on a gluten-free pizza crust and tastes like a giant avocado toast. They also have a variety of bowls that can be made gluten free. If you’re into brunch, the Three Egg Omelet is a great GF option.

 

Casual Bites

Oak & Stone

Location: St. Pete

Favorite Menu Item: Build Your Own Pizza

As someone who is both dairy-free and gluten-free, finding a good pizza spot can be tough. I’ve found that a lot of places have gluten-free dough, but not many have vegan cheese. Enter: Oak & Stone. They have changed the game, offering both GF crust and vegan mozzarella! I love the build-your-own pizza option, as well as the $15 bottomless mimosas during Sunday brunch. They also have an innovative beer wall that usually has multiple gluten-free options on tap. Make sure to go during Happy Hour every day from 2-6pm for 25% off the beer wall, $2 off all pizzas, and $5 Tito’s cocktails.

Oak & Stone offers gluten-free pizza crust and vegan cheese on the menu
Photo Credit: Oak & Stone | Pictured: Pepperoni Pizza

Tampa Pizza Company

Location: Downtown Tampa, South Tampa, & Westchase

Favorite Menu Item: The Big Al Pizza (on GF crust), Gluten Free Brownies, & Chicken Tenders

While I’m on the topic of pizza places that accommodate dietary restrictions, it’s time to introduce you to Tampa Pizza Company. With three convenient locations, delivery, and tons of gluten-free options, this is my go-to for when I want to order pizza to enjoy from the comfort of my own home. They have GF crust, as well as two versions of dairy-free cheese: a soy blend and Daiya mozzarella. Their gluten-free brownies do have dairy, but I will admit I’ve sacrificed my lactose intolerance for them before and would do it again.

First Watch

Locations: Various locations around Tampa Bay

Favorite Menu Item: Monterey Club Sandwich

First Watch is one of the best breakfast/lunch spots I’ve found in terms of gluten-free options. They have gluten-free bread that can be used as a side for your breakfast order, or for a sandwich if lunch is more your thing. The bread doesn’t fall apart AND it’s a normal size, which is something you don’t find easily! I love the Monterey Club Sandwich, especially with a side of potatoes. They also have an allergen guide online that breaks everything down for you, so no questions have to go unanswered.

Daily Eats

Location: South Tampa

Favorite Menu Item: Gluten-Free Pancakes!

Whoever decided to add gluten-free pancakes to the menu at Daily Eats deserves a raise and a formal love letter. Pancakes used to be my favorite breakfast food, and I missed them dearly until I discovered the GF alternative at Daily Eats. They are so fluffy and delicious that you will forget they’re gluten free! I believe that pancakes taste even better when they’re for dinner, which must also be the mindset at Daily Eats, because they’re on the all-day menu. Run, don’t walk!

Photo Credit: Daily Eats | Pictured: Regular Pancakes (GF Available!)

World of Beer

Location: Various locations around Tampa Bay

Favorite Menu Item: BYO Burger 

My weaknesses? Watching every football game on Sundays and going to any restaurant that has gluten-free buns. World of Beer allows me to combine those two things, and for that, I am immensely grateful. Next game day, head to your closest WOB, ask your server for a gluten-free menu, and thank me later!

Doc Ford’s

Location: St. Pete Pier

Favorite Menu Item: Yucatan Shrimp Tacos & Maine Lobster Roll

Is there anything better than a restaurant that has an entire gluten-free menu? I think not! Doc Ford’s is one of those places, and the menu is extensive. They have GF buns, GF flatbreads, and corn tortillas, which allows most of their dishes to be made gluten free. If you’re heading to the St. Pete Pier, Doc Ford’s definitely has the best gluten-free selection.

Photo Credit: Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille | Pictured: Yucatan Shrimp Tacos

 

Treat Yo’ Self to these Gluten-Free Sweets

Hale Life Bakery

Locations: South Tampa, Downtown St. Pete, & Clearwater

Favorite Menu Item: I cannot pick!

If you haven’t been to Hale Life Bakery yet, where have you been?! This 100% gluten-free and vegan bakery has some of the best sweet treats I’ve ever tried, as well as freezer staples like bread and hamburger buns. When I tell you I run there at every minor inconvenience life throws at me, I truly mean it. Their donuts are top tier, with flavors like Midnight Espresso and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, plus seasonal flavors that will blow your mind. They also have cinnamon buns that even my gluten-eating partner loves. When you go, make sure to sign up for their email newsletters and you’ll get a free donut at your next visit.

Photo Credit: Hale Life Bakery

 

Craft Kafe

Location: St. Pete

Favorite Menu Item: Apple Turnovers & Blueberry Muffins

Craft Kafe is a 100% gluten-free café in Downtown St. Pete that serves up sandwiches, omelets, and salads, as well as baked goods and delicious coffee. I’ve only been once to pick up some baked goods so I can’t give a proper review on their food offerings, but I can tell you the bakery items I got were so incredible I had to double-check that they were gluten free. I plan on going back ASAP to try their food menu, particularly the pancakes and Ed’s Vegan Burger.

 

Feature image credit: bartaco


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