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Capitol Cider's Burger and Frites; completely gluten-free. (Image: Capitol Cider)

Five guilt-free restaurants to eat gluten-free in Seattle

Gluten-Free.

If ever there were an eating trend over the last 6-8 years that has taken ahold, it’d be eating gluten-free. But that’s the thing, it shouldn’t be considered a trend as gluten has created issues for generations of people, but only recently come to the forefront of eating and lifestyle. Going gluten-free could be due to a sensitivity, for wellness, or for having celiac disease. While going gluten-free can have you wade into murky territory such as cross-contamination being prevalent and the fact that gluten is seemingly in everything, with the right mindset and outlook, the opportunity for ingredients and what to eat is broader. You'll likely have to step out of your comfort zone, but with wheat no longer a fixture in your diet, ingredients like quinoa, sorghum, millet, and amaranth are in play. There are a host of new foods you can try and dabble with, but for a meal about town, Seattle has many restaurants up to the task. Whatever your reason for choosing or needing to go gluten-free, here are a few restaurants around Seattle that do gluten-free well.

Ba Bar. When eating gluten-free, consider cuisines where wheat isn’t overly prevalent to the cuisine. Vietnamese food fits the bill with its fresh ingredients, rice, and rice noodles. However, as with many Asian food, soy sauce is a widely used ingredient for marinades and sauces. Ba Bar uses an exclusively gluten free soy sauce throughout its menu, hitting the spot for gluten-free eating. With two locations (Capitol Hill and South Lake Union and soon to open U-Village), the menu prominently notes the dishes that are gluten-free and you’re good to go with an array of options. Order the imperial rolls, fried and crunchy, or try some of the best pho in town, all in gluten-free delight. Ba Bar also features a robust cocktail and liquor list to imbibe with.

Capitol Cider. Located on Capitol Hill off Broadway on Pike Street sits Capitol Cider. With the largest cider list in the NW, you can try out unique and refreshing ciders, which are naturally gluten free, but you’ll also be amidst a 100% gluten-free menu. When Capitol Cider opened four years ago, they didn't broadcast being gluten-free because they wanted their food to be enjoyed and accepted on their merits, with menu items on par with other pubs and restaurants. From the fish & chips to the hush puppies, all are gluten-free. Scanning the menu you'll see that each dish calls out the common allergens. In talking with Capitol Cider's Julie Tall about their menu, a side benefit of the restaurant being gluten-free is that they keep track of every ingredient that comes through the kitchen, so they've become a safe-haven for eaters with a range of allergies. Brunch and lunch are also offered to cover your gluten-free meals throughout the day.

Juicebox. As home of some of my favorites smoothies, Capitol Hill's Juicebox also has eaters covered for gluten-free eating. In conversing with Juicebox’s Kari Brunson, she wanted to be flexible with customers and meet many needs. When designing dishes, Juicebox accounts for all types of diets and how the dish can be adapted for those that eat gluten-free. Their sandwiches are available with gluten-free focaccia and their salads are gluten-free friendly as well. Check out their weekend brunch for gluten-free dishes like brown rice congee or an egg scramble. And wash it all down with their pressed juices and smoothies.

Jack’s BBQ. Seattle Refined has extolled the virtues of Jack’s BBQ’s smoked meats before, and the wafts of hickory, post oak, and mesquite continues to beckon. If you eat gluten-free, Jack’s will have a few options on the menu for you. As befits slow-cooked meats like bbq, there isn’t much fuss when smoking meats; just salt, pepper, smoke, and time gets you to something glorious and scrumptious. Their sides and appetizers include some gluten-free friendly options as well, like what. Also, Jack’s recently added brunch to their offerings with Migas or smoked meats to start the day. Ask for corn tortillas with your breakfast tacos to further add to the gluten-free noshing.

Mkt. The Ethan Stowell Restaurants will take care of you for gluten-free eating, with their approachable small and large plate options that aren’t always wheat-focused. But if pasta is what you’re after, you’ll be in good shape. In fact, most of the Ethan Stowell Restaurants should have some of their gluten-free pasta available (be sure to call ahead to be sure it’s on hand). You heard that right, call ahead to request gluten free pasta so that you can eat carbs with abandon. Of the roster of his restaurants, I particularly like Mkt. in Tangletown for gluten-free eating. As Mkt. strives for seasonality in their intimate space, the menu is broken down into easy sections with clear listings of what comprises each dish. When I learned more about how restaurants handle food allergies with Ethan Stowell, I felt like those with allergies will be taken care of in any of his spaces.

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