Guest post by Taylor Hartanov @hartanovhappyhour
I still remember when my mom came home from the doctor ten years ago and told me she had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and was no longer able to eat gluten. I think my exact words were “no more bread? I’d rather die” … Hmm what a sympathetic teenager I was! As a seventeen-year-old whose diet consisted mainly of pizza and pink sugar cookies, this diagnosis rocked me too. With no other options but to adapt, my mom and I jumped into being a gluten-free household and searched for restaurants around the city that would accommodate the diet.
Back in 2008 the gluten-free scene in Spokane was not much to sneeze at, so we ended up eating a lot of DQ blizzards and Carl’s Jr. “bun flingers”…. a burger with no bun if you have to ask 😉 Well I’m happy to report that being gluten-free in Spokane is now easier than ever with many restaurants catering to special diets of all types. The following restaurants and dishes are tried and true, gluten-free and stomach ache FREE!
Taste Cafe & Fine Art (Moving locations – Downtown Spokane, WA / 509.468.2929)
If you are gluten free and need a casual breakfast/ lunch spot, Taste is the place. It is easy to order gluten free there without making special orders as the gluten free items are clearly labeled. The top shelf of the baked goods section is all gluten free and contains items like their popular banana bread and harvest muffin. The greatest cult following belongs to their gluten free toffee cookie which was already sold out at 10 am on one of my recent visits!
If you want more than just sweets, the deli case has plenty of great gf options like the asian chicken salad, quinoa salad and the golden beet salad. They have a handful of vegan choices as well. Taste has plenty of seating and would be a great spot for a business lunch or to meet a friend for a coffee and a pastry.
Wild Sage Bistro (916 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA / 509.456.7575)
Ahhhh the bread basket, a source of great sadness for the gluten intolerant as they are forced to watch their friends stuff themselves with freshly baked bread while they wait for their *cough salad. Enter the gluten free popovers from Wild Sage. They come to the table piping hot and accompanied by an insanely delicious lavender butter.
The chef at Wild Sage is gluten intolerant and has created a gluten free menu complete with starters, entrees and desserts that will knock your socks off. My personal recommendation is to try the mezze plate that comes with their gluten free house made baguette. Don’t end your dinner without trying the gluten free coconut cake which according to my mom is “so good you forget it’s gluten free”.
The Flying Goat (3318 W Northwest Blvd, Spokane, WA / 509.327.8277)
A life without amazing pizza is like life without sunshine – so sad! So we made it our mission to find gluten free pizza in Spokane that didn’t compromise quality or flavor. Pizza after pizza made us want to cry because let’s face it, a gluten free pizza crust can easily resemble the texture of a sponge. Lucky for us The Flying Goat offers pizza on a gluten free crust that is all things delicious and swoon-worthy. You simply cannot go wrong with your order there because the menu is tried and true. There are a few pizzas that have flour in the sauce but if you alert your server they are happy to accommodate customers with gluten sensitivities and help with ordering.
The space itself has a fun, lively vibe with a patio perfect for summer and an outdoor firepit ideal for cooler nights. The only downside is that everyone and their gluten free mom has discovered The Flying Goat so it can get a little crowded around peak dinner time. An easy fix is to grab one of their ciders on tap, enjoy the ambience, and prepare your heart for the amazingness while you wait to get your gluten free feast on!
Boots Bakery & Lounge (24 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA / 509.703.7223)
If you are of the gluten free or vegan persuasion, Boots will be your personal heaven. They have a deli case full of different gluten free/vegan salads and pastries and I recommend getting the salad trio to try a few.
If you are someone who has no idea what nutritional yeast is and wouldn’t be caught dead drinking apple cider vinegar, there are still many options at Boots that may catch your eye like the gluten free pumpkin waffle. It is one of the best waffles you can find in Spokane and comes with a maple butter that is just kissable. I dare you not to lick the plate! If you are just in the mood for coffee, grab a mug of their drip (Evans Brothers if they have it) and people watch all day because refills are free!
Manito Tap House (3011 S Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA / 509.279.2671)
For those with celiac disease, French fries can be a touchy subject. Many restaurants claim to have gluten free fries (duh they are potatoes) but fail to mention that their fries are put in the same fryer as products like onion rings and chicken strips which are coated in flour. This cross contamination could send someone like my mom with gluten sensitivity into a world of stomach pain.
On a recent trip to Manito Tap House our server announced that they now have a special celiac fryer for French fries and my mom about peed her pants with excitement. Order the Tap House burger on a gluten free bun (OMG the bacon marmalade !!!) and eat those gluten free fries till your heart is content. Wash it down with one of their rotating taps of Cider and you’ve got yourself a great night!
Chandler also wanted to add:
- Method Juice Cafe – 100% Gluten Free, smoothies, rice bowls, avocado toast, cold pressed juice, and more!
- Cole’s Fine Foods is a gluten-free, gluten intolerant, celiac paradise. They serve all 100% gluten-free products including chicken nuggets and french fries, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, pancakes, grilled cheese etc. They work hard to ensure there is no cross contamination in their kitchen.
- Twigs Bistro for their extensive gluten-free menu featuring pizza, sandwiches, pasta, dessert, and more!
- Veraci Pizza‘s amazing gluten-free crust!
- Brunchkin has a completely gluten-free brunch every Sunday at Batch Bakeshop
I hope this post provides you with some new ideas for gluten free dining in Spokane. A wonderful resource to check out is www.glutenfreespokane.com and you will find many more options on their site. Thanks for reading and happy eating!
*Guest Post by Taylor Hartanov, a dental hygienist with a giant sweet tooth. She loves seeing patients everyday and in her down-time you can catch her day dreaming about her next meal. When she’s not planning her next dinner party, she’s most likely reading or dancing in her bathrobe to Top 40 music. You can follow her foodie journey on instagram at @hartanovhappyhour.