Bakeries, Books, Fundraisers, Restaurants, Travel, WASHINGTON D.C.

Gluten-Free Washington, D.C.

28 Comments 09 April 2010

Washington cherry blossoms
This article was graciously contributed by Maria Roglieri and Sara Friedman.

It's cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C. – a great time to take in the sweet sights and smells of all the beautiful flowers as you stroll along the Tidal Basin. The cherry blossoms are peaking a little early despite all the tons of snow in the area earlier this year. And they are spectacular! 

We love D.C. because of all the great museums, monuments, and the Library of Congress (our personal favorite) and also because it is a great place to be gluten-free. So when you're done taking in the cherry blossoms, check out all the gluten-free restaurants down in our nation's capital!

There are a bunch of chain restaurants including Bertucci's (Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom), Legal Seafoods (Chinatown), Morton's (Downtown and Georgetown), Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (Downtown and Dupont Circle), and Uno Chicago Grill (Union Station). And then there are a series of really great gourmet, Zagat-rated restaurants unique to the D.C. area there that have a complete gluten-free menu including:


The Capital Grille (202) 737-6200              cuisine: American

601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.             

Jaleo  (202) 628-7949                              cuisine: Spanish

480 7th St., N.W.                          

Zengo (202) 393-2929                             cuisine: Asian-Latin fusion

781 7th St. N.W.                           

Outrageously delicious lamb from Oyamel Cocina Mexicana


Oyamel Cocina Mexicana (202) 628-1005 cuisine: Mexican

401 7th St. N.W.                           

Zaytinya (202) 638-0800                         cuisine: Middle Eastern

701 9th St. N.W.                           

Gluten-free hummus
Meat, hummus, artichoke salad and eggplant platter from Lebanese Taverna


Lebanese Taverna  (202) 265-8681         cuisine: Lebanese

2641 Connecticut Ave. N.W.          

And don't forget about the CUPCAKE scene in DC:


Sticky Fingers Bakery (202) 299-9700

1370 Park Rd. N.W.


Hello Cupcake (202) 861-2253

1351 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

One flavor of gluten-free cupcake is offered every day. Otherwise you can pre-order any GF cupcakes in any flavor you want.

Red Velvet Cupcakery (202) 822-2066

2029 P St. N.W.

They have a wide variety of cupcakes; one cupcake type (chocolate) is offered gluten-free everyday.


Red Velvet Cupcakery  (202) 347-7895

675 E St. N.W.

As at the other store (just listed above, they have chocolate gluten-free cupcakes every day.


We are so excited about the gluten-free scene in Washington, D.C. that we decided to write a book about it! The Gluten-Free Guide to Washington, D.C.: An Essential Guide to GF Dining, Shopping, and Living in the Nation's Capital and its Suburbs  is designed to let everyone know about all the great restaurants that cater to gluten-free clientele AND to raise money for celiac disease research. The book tells people where to dine, where to shop, where to find support groups, and where to find medical care in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area (DC, Southern suburban Maryland, and northern Virginia). It lists over 600 gluten-free friendly restaurants in the metro area (with 144 of these restaurants in D.C. alone). It's also got a bunch of interviews and commentary from restaurant and bakery owners/managers, celiac activists and Dr. Alessio Fasano.

100% of the proceeds from sale of this book will go to the University of Maryland Celiac Disease Research Center where Dr. Fasano and his team are doing some pretty cool research involving finding a cure for celiac disease and many other autoimmune diseases. You can read an interview with Dr. Fasano in the book and for more information about the University of Maryland Celiac Center you can go to If your D.C. travel brings you to Washington a little later than cherry blossom season, think about participating in the Center's annual International Celiac Walk the first weekend of May — it is a lot of fun and for such a good cause!

Meantime, checkout these useful blogs/meetups/support groups for GF dining in the D.C. area:

If you've never seen the cherry blossoms in Washington, go see them — this is your year to do it! And make sure to explore the great gluten-free scene in our nation's capital.


Brought to you by Maria Roglieri and Sara Friedman, authors of

The Gluten-Free Guide to Washington, D.C.

The Gluten-Free Guide to Italy

The Gluten-Free Guide to New York

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Your Comments

28 Comments so far

  1. 1

    I have eaten at almost all of the restaurants listed and they were great. I love Oyamel and Jaleo. When I remember I write up restaurant reviews on my other blog, The Gluten Free Food Critic. Eating out gluten free in DC is a joy! Can’t wait to get the book and see where else I need to visit.

  2. 2

    We were just in DC for the cherry blossom festival this weekend. Unfortunately the trees lost all of the flowers and did indeed peak early so no blooms to see! so disappointing. Anyhow, I wish I had read this post before the weekend. I would have loved to try the cupcakes. So hard to get good gf cupcakes. (Although heading to nyc this week so need to get to babycakes).

    thanks for an informative article! will keep it on file for the next time we are in DC…

  3. 3

    Great post! Other favorites in the DC area are Evening Star, Rustico, Firefly and Tortilla Coast.

  4. 4
    Betsy says:

    We loved Lebanese Taverna pre-gluten free and are thrilled to see they have gf menu now. Our family favorite was Austin Grill. My children have been gluten-free for years and we always had good luck at AG.

  5. 5
    Tinsley says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! Your website is so informative and it was the first blog I came across once I had been diagnosed (I’m also NYC based). I get down to DC every few months, but now I’m super pumped to try new restaurants where my diet won’t cause a fuss! Thanks again!

  6. 6
    Stephanie says:

    I love D.C. and can’t wait to be back there for a few weeks this fall. For a fancy night out, Blue Duck Tavern at the Hilton (I think) in Georgetown doesn’t have a specifically gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff and chefs are extremely knowledgeable and gave me a great meal. Also, Lilit Cafe in Bethesda is a short Metro ride away and they have great pizza, sandwiches, cupcakes, and gelatto.

  7. 7
    Sara says:

    There’s also Pete’s Apizza in Columbia Heights. They have GF pizza and pasta. The owner created a GF crust in honor of his GF friend. The staff is very knowledgeable and the owner is almost always on hand. Also, the Teaism in Penn Quarter has a GF menu that can also be found on their website (not sure about their other locations).

  8. 8
    Cafe Green says:

    Hey all, please come check out Cafe Green in Dupont @ 1513 17th Street (Between P & Q). Gluten-free is part of the menu, not an addendum.

  9. 9
    Justin G. says:

    Thanks for all the great DC spots! I live in NYC too, but I look forward to my next trip down there to try out some of these places. Also, I would like to add to Sara’s comment about Teaism to say that if you’re into Japanese food, you really should give this place a try. I think all of their locations have GF menus, but only the Penn Qtr location has the afternoon tea set and the rice-tea-soup dishes. Yum!

  10. 10
    Rosemary says:

    Justin, be careful at Teaism. They do have great gluten free options, but the grill meat on a shared grill that has glutenous occupants sometimes.

    You forgot to mention: Hello Cupcake in Dupont, Fancy Cakes by Leslie in Bethesda (which for my money has the BEST GF cupcakes ever), Baked and Wired in Georgetown, Zpizza in Arlington, Argia’s in Falls Church (awesome authentic Italian restaurant that offers GF pasta!). There are new ones every day, but those are some of my favorites!

  11. 11
    mike says:

    There’s a lot of nice places to eat in DC and sites to see.

  12. 12
    MeatHead says:

    Hey guys. There’s also a gluten-free offering pizzareia in Chinatown. It’s called “Ella’s Pizza”. I don’t know too much about it but wil check it out.

  13. 13
    Carol says:

    THANK YOU!!! for your restaurant recommendations. My husband and I recently spent a few days sightseeing in Washington, D.C., and the best meal of our trip was at Zengo. Never would have found it if I didn’t have your website flagged as one of my FAVORITES.

    Thanks so much!

  14. 14
    Gertrude says:

    WE must stay together girls! Thanks so much for these great ideas! Cant wait to try them! 🙂

  15. 15
    Laura says:

    Open City in woodley park (just a block away from Lebanese Taverna) has a great gluten free menu and half price gluten free pizza party every Wednesday night.

  16. 16
    Frank Barron says:

    I will be in DC area in mid-May. I am looking for some suggestions for restaurants that are GF friendly or have GF free menus in the Georgetown as well as Kennedy Center areas. Sounds like you folks are further along on this issue than is Colorado ( imagine my surprise).

  17. 17

    Also, I would like to add to Sara’s comment about Teaism to say that if you’re into Japanese food, you really should give this place a try. I think all of their locations have GF menus, but only the Penn Qtr location has the afternoon tea set and the rice-tea-soup dishes.

  18. 18
    Tanya says:

    I found a great gluten free bakery in Rockville, Md not too far from DC (about a 20 minute metro ride on Red Line). Its called Les Delices French Bakery,

    **Really Amazing gluten free cakes, they are tastey, moist , and unlike any other gluten free dessert I’ve ever had, and prices are very fair.

  19. 19
    Tanya says:

    Also, thanks for all the suggestions, because I was recently diagnosed with Celiac (at first the transition was really difficult)and online communities like this make me feel like I have so many options, and a support group behind me.

    Gluten free is the way to be!

  20. 20

    GR8 POST! So glad to find your blog! My wife was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance a few years ago. Since then, she & I regularly reviewing restaurants and whether or not restaurants have gluten-free options weighs heavily in our ratings. Some of our favorite places include: Cafe Renaissance (Vienna), Not Your Average Joe’s (Lansdowne), Open Kitchen (Falls Church) & Wildfire (Tysons).

  21. 21
    Melissa says:

    Hi everyone! At Washingtonian magazine we updated the restaurant listing of gluten-free restaurants in Washington and included Virginia and Maryland, too! Hope this helps:

  22. 22
    K says:

    We just had lunch at Brix in Great Falls. The we’re very accommodating of my gluten and dairy free requests. The food was excellent.

  23. 23
    Karen says:

    Any suggestions re a restaurant with gluten-free lunch options around 11th & K NW? I’ll be on a short lunch break from a seminar and won’t have time to wander far for lunch. Thanks for any good suggestions!

  24. 24
    Jill Luetkenhaus says:

    We are going to Washington DC in January. I have been very anxious because I have allergies to gluten, dairy, egg, and canola/sunflower oil. It is very difficult to find something when we go out because I get one of these allergies. Thank you for your book and post. I can’t wait to get your book!! Hopefully more restaurants will cater to the allergy population out there. The numbers are increasing and we become good customers because there are not many options!!!

  25. 25
    Morgan says:

    In foggy bottom area, there’s a cool pub called Tonic that has gluten-free HOT WINGS (and other sauces) and gluten-free TATOR TOTS. Their happy hour is great. They also have two types of gluten-free beer and ciders, too.
    Also – if you ever come across it, Green’s gluten-free pilsner is the BEST gf beer I’ve ever had. Got it in Scotland/UK, so they may not export to US.

  26. 26
    scott says:

    Enjoyed your site and info….Finding a gluten free bakery is always the goal for me, but unfortunately, all of the gf bakeries in DC that I visited don’t understand that so many people who can’t tolerate gluten also can’t tolerate dairy and soy. All bakeries I visited use soy…disappointing. There is a bakery back home that is really in sync with the gf free crowd and labels their cupcakes accordingly. I think they use coconut milk in place of soy and dairy. Not so in DC. Maybe next time when I visit.

  27. 27

    I am writing this on behalf of my restaurant Wicked Waffle. My business partner and I have heard about your website though several customers and we are inviting you to stop by sometime and try our fantastic gluten free waffles, waffle sandwiches, and soups. We can make almost our entire menu gluten free with the exception of a few items (mainly the lentil soup, chicken salad sandwich, tuna salad sandwich, and tuna melt). We have a serious passion for not just making a product for people with gluten allergies but, a food that people with gluten allergies can enjoy. Feel free to check out our website and reviews and if you are ever in the neighborhood I would love for anyone stop by and let us know what you think. I hope to have the pleasure of having some of you in our restaurant soon!

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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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