Gluten-free dining out has come a long way — it's now possible to find a gluten-free pizza restaurant in almost every state, plus gluten-free pizza delivery in many major towns and cities.
Large chains such as Uno Chicago Grill and Godfather's Pizza have stepped up to the plate, serving the gluten-free community what many of us crave: gluten-free pizza, served in a restaurant or delivered hot to our door.
Note: Domino's Pizza also offers a "gluten-free" pizza, but you should read the fine print before deciding to order it. Here's some more information: Domino's Launches Gluten-Free Crust ... But Should You Order It?
Here's an overview of the major national and regional chains offering gluten-free pizza for dine-in or delivery. If you know of one I've missed, send me an email and I'll add it to the list.
Uno Chicago Grill, a casual dining restaurant chain with 156 locations in 24 states, offers three types of gluten-free pizza: cheese, pepperoni and veggie. All contain soy, egg and milk ingredients.
The company notes that it "goes to tremendous strides to identify all forms of gluten and gluten derivatives in the foods we purchase or prepare in house." However, it also notes that it cannot guarantee its pizza (or its other gluten-free menu items) won't get cross-contaminated in the kitchen.
As always, proceed with caution and talk with a manager when ordering, even if you're ordering off the gluten-free menu.
Godfather's Pizza, with locations in 40 states, offers six different gluten-free pizzas for delivery or pick-up: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, beef, all-meat combo and classic combo.
All the pizzas are prepared off-site at a facility certified gluten-free to 5 parts per million by the Celiac Sprue Association, and remain individually wrapped until heated in the stores.
Not all of the chain's 600 restaurants offer gluten-free pizza, and some will sell only a bake-at-home pizza (as opposed to a store-baked version). Check here (searching under gluten-free) to see which locations offer gluten-free pizza.
3. Pizza Fusion
Pizza Fusion, an organic and eco-conscious pizza restaurant with locations in seven states, offers gluten-free pizza with almost any topping on the regular menu (barbecue sauce and sausage are the only non-gluten-free topping options).
The chain's GF crust is made with garbanzo beans, fava beans and rice flour. Pizza Fusion also offers a "truly vegan" soy cheese (with no casein) for its vegan customers and for those following a gluten-free casein-free diet (unfortunately, the gluten-free crust is not vegan).
B.J.'s Brewhouse, a dine-in chain with more than 100 locations in 13 states (heavily concentrated in California and Texas), includes a thin-crust gluten-free pizza as part of its fairly extensive gluten-free menu.
The 10-inch gluten-free pizza crust can be topped with nearly all of B.J.'s regular toppings — only the meatballs are not gluten-free, according to the company.
B.J.'s urges gluten-free patrons to talk with their servers about the need to avoid cross contamination.
Boston's Gourmet Pizza, a casual dining restaurant with locations in 23 states, rolled out a gluten-free crust nationally in 2009.
Most of Boston's pizza "masterpieces" are available gluten-free, including the chain's Tropical Chicken, Ultimate Pepperoni and Mama Meata pizzas.
As always, talk with a manager before ordering to make sure your pizza doesn't get cross-contaminated with gluten from other customers' meals.
Garlic Jim's Famous Gourmet Pizza, a western-based pizza delivery chain with locations in five states, offers a thin, crispy crust gluten-free pizza.
The company takes some fairly stringent precautions against cross contamination. It uses separate storage, utensils and sauce containers, and it actually uses a gluten-free flour for "slapping" all of its pizzas in the store, so that the flour floating around every location is gluten-free. In addition, all staff members are trained in avoiding cross contamination, according to Garlic Jim's.
Not every location offers gluten-free pizza; you can use Garlic Jim's location search tool to find ones that do (gluten-free is noted as an option).
zpizza, an eclectic casual dining pizza restaurant with locations in more than 16 states, provides multiple gluten-free and vegan options. Most of its pizza toppings and sauces are gluten-free.
The chain's gluten-free crust, made with rice, tapioca and potato flours, also is vegan, and zpizza offers a vegan gluten-free cheese substitute topping suitable for someone following a dairy-free or GFCF diet, as well.