Dining out can certainly be challenging for people who must follow a gluten-free diet. On your first few tries, if possible, pick a few restaurants close to your home or office that you’ve always liked, go when it’s not busy, and talk to the chef or the owner. They’ll probably be more than glad to tell you what items are safe for you, and they may even modify some of their regular menu items for you. For more advice, review our tips for staying safely gluten-free in restaurants.
When you are ready to branch out, the following directories –- while by no means exhaustive –- can help you find restaurants that offer gluten-free menu items. In addition, local chapters of the national celiac organizations often compile lists of local celiac-friendly restaurants.
Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program
Diners can use this website to locate restaurants that offer gluten-free meals.
Gluten Free Registry
Their free online database has more than 12,000 gluten-free-friendly restaurants, bakeries, caterers, grocers and more. You can also get information from them on your mobile phone at gfregistry.mobi and on your satellite navigation system.
2008 Guide to Gluten Free Restaurants
Angela Meek has provided links to 70 gluten-free menus from popular restaurants in the United States.
Gluten-Free Restaurant Menus
GlutenFreeTravelSite.com has added a new section to its website that presents links to gluten-free menus at major restaurant chains and franchises.
This website -- which is limited to establishments in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York -- is "dedicated to finding...restaurants that provide gluten-free meals with a comfortable dining experience."
The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, 2008-2009
This helpful book lists nearly 4,000 restaurants in the United States that offer gluten-free food. (Read a review here.)
Bob & Ruth's Gluten-free Dining & Travel Club
The stated mission of this club is “to improve the lifestyle of celiacs by making going out to eat and traveling easier.”
This internet guide to celiac-friendly restaurants, cafes, and hotels is a new service from Coeliac UK, the British charity dedicated to improving life for people with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.
Note: About.com cannot verify the accuracy of the information presented within the above websites. Before dining out, be sure to confirm with the restaurants themselves.