For those  newly diagnosed with celiac disease, restaurants can be particularly difficult, especially
for those who are shy about asking questions.

1. Don't start out hungry.
  • The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to make a mistake. If you must go to a restaurant hungry,
    bring some GF crackers to munch on while everyone else is filling up on the rolls.

2. Be familiar with the gluten-free diet.
  • This means not only knowing which grains to avoid but also where they're likely to be hidden and the
    need to protect yourself against cross-contamination.

3. Select the right restaurant.
  • Look for the menu online. (In the column to the left, click and print the gluten free menu and take it with
    you). If you're still not sure whether anything safe will be available for you, call ahead, preferably when
    the restaurant isn't busy around 2-3pm, and speak with the chef or the manager.

  • Note: If you'll be dining at an Italian restaurant, call to ask whether they have GF pasta.  Could you bring
    your own? Many restaurants will happily prepare your gluten-free pasta and top it with their own fresh

4. Tell your server you're on a special diet.
  • Don't try to explain your needs to a server who's standing on the other side of your table. Ask him or her
    to come closer so you don't have to shout.

  • Celiac disease is not an allergy, but if you think they don't understand, now is not the time to explain
    autoimmune. Tell them you can't have wheat or barley, and you are on a gluten free diet.

  • Consider bringing along a GF dining card to explain what you can and cannot eat. Cards are available
    in a wide variety of languages (Triumph Dining is 1 example).

5. Pick a few dishes on the menu that look as if they might be safe, and ask questions.
  • You might find it easier to be the last person in the group to place your order. That way you'll know
the server is going directly back to the kitchen and is less likely to forget what you've told him.

  • Start by saying something like:" I can't have anything made with wheat & barley like flour, or bread
    crumbs, or soy sauce. Could you please ask your chef whether the _______ would be safe for me?"

  • Don't assume that anything is gluten-free. Even if a menu item looks safe, you might not realize that the
    chef's secret recipe includes gluten.

6. Here are some additional questions to ask:

DUSTING - Ask if any of your food, especially meats, have been dusted with wheat or other gluten
containing flour before being sauteed or fried.  Avoid anything that says it has "Grille Baste"  on it.

EGGS - Request that eggs, no matter the style, are prepared in a clean pan and not on the grill so as to
avoid cross contamination.  Be cautious when ordering an omelette as some contain pancake/waffle
batter to make them fluffy. If ordering scrambled eggs, ask if they are made from fresh eggs or from a
mix as some egg mixes may contain flour thickeners.

HERBAL TEAS - may contain barley.

ICE CREAM - Request that a cookie is not put in or next to it.  Ask that a clean scoop be used for your
serving so "cookies and cake" crumbs from previously scooped ice creams are not still adhering to the

BACON - Is it cooked in the oven or deep fried?  If deep fried, is the fryer "dedicated" so no other items
that have breading or wheat flour are cooked in it?  Is the bacon drained on bread?  (Restaurants that
make their own croutons sometimes drain on bread to capture the flavor from the drippings.)
BACON BITS - Are they or other "meats" on potato skins and in salads artificial?  If so, they must be
BBQ SAUCE - Be cautious as some contain beer or other "secret" ingredients that may contain gluten.
HAMBURGERS - In addition to requesting they be cooked in a clean pan to avoid cross contamination
from a shared grill, do ask if there are bread crumbs in them.  Some restaurants incorporate bread into
their ground beef to make it more moist.

PIZZA - Be especially cautious if you are eating in an independently owned pizza restaurant.  You
definitely need to call ahead to find out if they are purchasing pre-made GF pizza crusts that are kept
separate from their "regular" ones.  If the restaurant makes their own GF dough, it must be made in a
separate area as wheat flour remains in the air for up to 24 hours and the fine dust will settle into and
onto everything. The mixer must be dedicated to GF dough. Toppings and sauce must be from
separate, GF containers; the pizza pans and prep utensils must be dedicated to GF pizzas and ideally
will look different from their regular pizza pans.  Some people with celiac disease will  only eat pizza from
restaurants with separate, GF ovens due to concern something may fall on their GF pizza from the
ceiling of the shared oven.

BAKED POTATOES - Ask that your baked potato be brought to the table uncut to insure a knife used to
slice bread is not used on your potato.
FRENCH FRIES - Must be made in a dedicated fryer so other items that are breaded are not in the
same oil.  If the fryer and its oil are "dedicated" and thus gluten-free, ask if the used oils are drained
separately or combined with the other fryers for draining at night.
MASHED POTATOES - From a mix or from fresh potatoes?  Do they contain flour to thicken them?

REQUEST that no croutons, breadsticks or crackers be placed on or near your plate. Ideally, your
dining companions will request no croutons as well so that a crouton does not accidentally get bumped
onto your salad from an overloaded serving tray on the way to your table.  If salads are mixed in a prep
bowl in the kitchen, ask that yours is done in a clean, separate bowl to avoid crouton or meat-coating
crumbs from previous salads.
DRESSING - Ask if it is made in house or is commercial and check to see what it contains. Malt
vinegars, which are made from barley, contain gluten. Some dressings use flour to thicken them and
some citrus-type dressings contain soy sauce.
CHICKEN and tuna-style salads - may contain wheat.

 SALSA - Especially when traveling outside of Ohio, ask if the freshly made salsas are GF as some
kitchens put wheat flour in them (for example in New Mexico.)

 SEAFOOD - Always ask if it is in a salad, soup, or similar dish as you must avoid imitation crab and
seafood as it contains gluten.

 SOUP - Is it totally made from scratch? Is a powder or canned commercial starter used?  If so, does it
contain gluten?  If it is a creamed soup, check to be certain a wheat flour roux was not used to thicken it.
If it is a gazpacho, ask if fine breadcrumbs have been incorporated to thicken it.

 SPECIAL INGREDIENTS - If the menu or waitstaff indicate the dish contains a chef's special/ secret
ingredient, you must inquire as to whether it is GF.  If the staff will not disclose what it is, then it is best to
ask them to leave it off or for you to choose something else since it may be a spice blend with a wheat
flour thickener or breadcrumbs or beer or soy sauce, etc.

 VEGETABLES - If steamed, be certain they have not been immersed in hot, used pasta water.
Restaurants in Cleveland/Northeast Ohio
with Gluten Free Menus

that have
gluten free

Gluten Free

Gluten Free

The GF Menu List Below...

...offers you the gluten free menu the restaurant has composed.  Even if a
gluten free policy is in place at a restaurant,
it does not guarantee that all
chefs and servers have been trained
about cross contamination or
hidden gluten.

This list does NOT imply we are recommending the restaurant, but is a tool to
showcase GF dining options for those who travel or socialize. Each restaurant
is underlined. Click it, print out the GF menu, and take it with you.

Ask appropriate questions about how the food is prepared. Start the
conversation before you enter the restaurant, calling to speak to a manager in
mid-morning or mid-afternoon, not at peak dining times. If possible, plan to
dine before or after the rush. When you arrive, mention you called earlier, and
ask for assistance so that you feel comfortable ordering. Build a relationship
with a location you plan to frequent.

If in doubt, go without. Read the restaurant tips to the right to guide you.
Give the group feedback of your experience through our
BLOG. Should we
receive multiple comments on a particular restaurant, we will post.

More restaurants without printed menus are available on the following  
Restaurants/ No GF Menu.

These have no printed GF menu, but members have successfully dined at
them, after negotiating with the wait staff.

Also, read member restaurant reviews on our BLOG (link on left).
GF Restaurant Dining Tips
Taken in part from: with edits from Chapter Members
50+ Restaurants on this page
Second Restaurant Page here.
7. Caution the restaurant staff about cross-contamination.
  • Remind the server and the chef that your food must be prepared on a clean cooking surface,
clean utensils. Many restaurant staffers will not realize the risks of cross-contamination unless these
pointed out to them. All places stock foil.
Ask them if they could cook your entree on a piece of foil if it is
cooked on a grill with buns, etc.

8. Be prepared to eat something that isn't your first choice.
  • Sometimes nothing on the menu will be safe. Ask if the cook can sauté some plain meat or fish in olive
    oil or butter and steam some vegetables for you. It won't be the tastiest meal you ever had, but your
    goal should be to eat food that won't make you sick, and enjoy your companions and the fact you don't
    have to cook or clean up!

Want more? Read:
Venturing out of the house: Restaurant Realities by Danna Korn

When Eating at the Homes of Relatives and Friends
It can be challenging to dine at a friend's or relative's home.  If possible, it is beneficial if you can assist with
meal preparation so you see exactly what is going into each menu item.  This also enables you to catch the
inadvertent cross-contamination from shared prep utensils, pots and strainers that are not totally gluten free
due to specks of previous food. In addition, you will see if a previously opened container, such as mayonnaise
or jelly, is being used since chances are, there are gluten crumbs in them from the "double dipping" of knives
and utensils.  

If your host does not want you to actually help prepare food, you may be able to sit close by with a beverage
to chat while the meal is being assembled. In situations where guests are each bringing a dish, you may want
to isolate your contribution and put a note that it is gluten-free or just bring a separate container for yourself in
addition to the dish for all to share.  If your host indicates they will have gluten-free foods available for you, it is
best to explore what and how they will be served so you don't see a delicious, GF item surrounded by regular
crackers or placed next to something laden with crumbs.

Depending upon the situation, you may also be able to ask your host if you can "start" the buffet line which will
lesson the chance of accidental cross contamination from people ahead of you as they use the various
serving utensils.

When spending the night, just assume you should have your own box of GF cereal with you. If bringing bread,
also have your toaster sleeves so you can use the host's toaster.

"Toast It" Toaster Bags come 2 for $4.50 + shipping on their website. Also available on Amazon. Each bag
can be reused multiple times. A must have if you are traveling-- using the toaster at the continental breakfast
bar or family/friend's house.
Read restaurant
reviews by  
Members on our
Share your dining
experiences or
list a restaurant
GF Menus:

Aladdin's Eatery
Various locations
28601 Chagrin, Woodmere
Ask server for printed GF menu.

Altieri's Pizza
Stow, Ohio, Online GF menu
Carry out only.
Gluten Free subs, GF Rotini, and of course GF specialty

Beachland Ballroom &Tavern
15711 Waterloo Road 216-383-1124
Printed menu indicates GF items
(Fried foods have a dedicated fryer.)
L & D - 7 days (brunch on Sunday)

Bistro of Green
3459 Massillon Rd
Uniontown, Ohio 44685
Online & in house GF lunch and dinner menus.
Lunch M-F, Dinner Mon-Sat.

Blue Canyon
Dinner menu has online and in house GF options

Bonefish Grill
Go to menu> Look for "choose menu" drop down box>
Gluten free menu can be downloaded
Various locations

Boston Market
Poultry gravy made GF summer 2011
Online GF menu

Brio Tuscan Grille
Crocker Park & Legacy Village

Bravo Cuccina Italian
Mentor, Fairlawn, Canton

Carrabba's Italian Grill
5030 Tiedeman Road Brooklyn,
25054 Sperry Drive Westlake
GF menu available online and at restaurant.
For online, you may have to put in zipcode, then return to
"our menu" tab. Look under search box.
Various locations

Cedar Point Amusement Park
GF online menu

Online GF Menu
Click Food> Health Info> Gluten Info Tab
Various locations

Various locations
Pick location>Menu. ThenScroll down to
download allergy Info. Scroll to GF page
GF menu changes every 4 months.
Make sure you order off the most recent menu.

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Online, Go to Menu>Nutritonal Info

Cowell and Hubbard
1305 Euclid Ave. near Playhouse Square
Ask for printed GF menu. Reservations
Dinner only Sat & Sun.

Dairy Queen
Scroll down to FAQ>Nutrition> Gluten list
No guarantee because equipment shared, especially the
Blizzard machine. You must navigate the cross
contamination with available staff

Deagans Kitchen and Bar
14810 Detroit Ave, Lakewood
Lunch & Dinner Tues.-Sun.
Ask for GF Menu

Don's Lighthouse Grille
8905 Lake Ave, Cleveland 44102
Lunch M-F, Dinner 7 days
GF printed and online menu

GF menu online & at restaurant.
4 locations in area.
Most have GF hamburger buns that you can also purchase
to take home!

El Carnicero
16918 Detroit, Lakewood, 216-226-3415
Lunch Fri, Sat, Sun; Dinner Tues. - Sun.

Ferrara's a Taste of Italy
869 State St.,Sharon, Pennsylvania
1  hour drive from Cleveland
Extensive Gluten free printed & online menu
Worth the drive!

First Watch
Daytime Cafe (No dinner served)
Just breakfast & lunch.Go to menu>gluten free guide
5 area locations

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Burgers are 100% beef. Fries are in a dedicated fryer. If
you tell them you have a food allergy,
they'll change their gloves.
Under their FAQ section, when asked if they are GF, they
respond that only their buns contain gluten. Buns are
toasted on a separate grill. Fries are potatoes soaked in
water and fried in peanut oil.

Fleming's Steakhouse
28869 Chagrin Blvd. Woodmere
Printed GF Menu

Greenhouse Tavern
E.4th St.
GF printed dinner menu available at Hostess Desk.
Utilizes seasonal and local produce. Reservations.
Lunch Mon-Fri., Dinner 7 Days

Harvest Kitchen
33730 Bainbridge Rd, Solon
Home page says 24 items are GF  
Ask if house menu has marked GF options
or for help with ordering

J. Gumbo's
226 Euclid Ave at Public Square
Allergen menu identifies GF Items

Johnny Mango
Ohio City, 3120 Bridge Ave.
Lunch & Dinner 7 Days. Weekend Brunch.
Latin American, fresh juices, casual.
Online menu clearly marks GF options.

Light Bistro
2801 Bridge Ave (Ohio City)
Printed GF menu in house
Lunch Mon-Fri. Dinner Mon.-Sat.

E. 4th St. downtown
Michael Symon's restaurant.
Lunch weekdays, Dinner Mon-Sat.
Printed GF menu available there, just ask.
Reservations needed.

900 Literary Rd. Tremont
Another Michael Symon place. Online menu marked with
gluten free options by asterisk. Reservations.
Dinner only Tues. to Sun.

Longhorn Steak House
Various locations

Macaroni Grill
Various locations, online GF menu. GF menu changes
every 4 months. Make sure you are ordering off the most
current menu.

Mad Greek
2466 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights 216-421-3333
L - Mon. thru Sat. D - 7 days  Ask for GF menu

Manchu Cafe
Moving August 1, 2012
4195 Massillion Rd
Uniontown, Ohio 44685
330-494-5889 or
Has online and in house GF menu.
Fried chicken, hamburgers, as well as Chinese food.

7774 Darrow Rd, Hudson
Closed Sun & Mon
Printed GF Menu but no online GF menu
Ask for non marinated meat, with corn tortillas
Tortilla chips not GF because made in shared fryer.

Melt Bar and Grilled
Open L & D - 7 days/week
13463 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights
6700 Rockside Road, Independence
14718 Detroit Road, Lakewood
7289 Mentor Ave., Mentor
Ask for GF Menu
Note: Melt Bar & Grilled is a sandwich-based restaurant.
Although management has recently
created separate prep areas for GF items, remain vigilant
that your order is being prepared to
Celiac standards. Ask cross contamination questions.

Melting Pot
Westgate Mall & 24741 Cedar (near Legacy Village)
Fondue restaurant. Food is shared.
Ask for GF selections if sharing.

Mia Bella
12200 Mayfield Rd
Little Italy
(216) 795- 2355
Online menu uses asterisks to denote gluten free options.
GF pasta now available too.
Lunch Fri.-Sun., Dinner 7 days

Mitchell's Fish Market
Chagrin Blvd
Online GF menu

1835 Fulton Rd, Mexican Fare
Ask for a printed GF menu when making reservation.
Reservations. Dinner Tues.- Sun,

Moosehead Restaurants
Westlake and Olmsted Falls
Printed GF Menu in house and online

Mustard Seed Market-
Montrose/Fairlawn location has restaurant with a
printed GF menu.
Solon location has no cafe. Only a small snack bar.

234 Euclid at Public Square
Lunch & Dinner 7 days
GF Menu online and in restaurant

Oak Barrel
5975 Canal Rd Valley View 44125
Gluten Free menu in house but not online
Lunch & Dinner 7days

Olive Garden
Various locations, Online GF menu

1834 W 25th
Printed GF Lunch and Dinner menus in house
Lunch & Dinner Tues-Sat.

Original Pancake House
Fairview Park and Woodmere
One owner for both with same policies.
Gluten free pancake listed on printed menu.
Aware of GF cross contamination.
Policy states "use new bowl, spatula to prepare batter".
Should distinguish GF pancakes with
frilled toothpick if multiple orders.

Outback Steakhouse
GF menu at restaurant and online

Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar
28601 Chagrin Blvd
Latin American Fare
Online GF lunch & dinner menu
Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Gluten Free Menu link here

PF Chang's China Bistro
GF menu at restaurant & online

Pier W
12700 Lake Ave.,Lakewood 216-228-2250
Menu indicates GF options. Online GF menu
L- M thru Fri. D - 7 days Brunch - Sunday

Press Wine Bar
2221 Professor Ave., Cleveland
Tremont neighborhood, 216-566-9463
Dinner: 7 days/week Brunch: Sat. & Sun.
Ask for GF Menu

Pura Vida
Downtown at Public Square
Online menu has limited marked  GF choices for
lunch and dinner, but chef will work with you.
GF bread available for lunch sandwiches.
Lunch & Dinner Mon.- Sat.
Valet parking $5

Red Robin
Some have gluten free buns.
Online GF menu. They also have an in-house GF menu
stored in a notebook. Just ask.

Revolution Pizza
Willowick, Online GF menu

Ruby Tuesdays
Several locations, Online GF menu

• Russo’s
4895 State Road, Peninsula 330-923-2665
Printed GF menu L: Tue. thru Fri. D: Tue. thru Sat.
Reservations recommended

Rusty Bucket
Online GF menu. 9 Ohio locations.
Nearest is Solon on Kruse Dr.
To find GF menu, go to locations tab first.

Salmon Dave's Pacific Grille
19015 Old Lake Rd, Rocky River
440-331-2739    Printed GF Menu

8434 Mentor Ave, Mentor
in Lawnfield Inn & Suites
Online GF  Lunch & Dinner Menu
GF pasta and bread available
Skyline Chili

Soho Kitchen and Bar
1889 W. 25th St
Lunch Fri & Sat., Dinner Tues.-Sat.
Ask at hostess desk for GF menu

The Soup Pot
GF bakery and soup
CSA gluten free certified facility

Sweet Melissa
19337 Detroit, Rocky River
Menu has
limited gluten free selections with
(gf) after the item.

Tommy's Pizza & Chicken
Pick up and delivery only. No dine in.
Now offering GF Calzones, GF chicken, JoJo GF potatoes.
Call to see when GF items (other then GF pizza) are
offered. Online GF menu.

Town Hall
1909 W.25th Ohio City
Numerous items marked "GF" on menu & online
Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Various Locations


Zeppe's Pizzeria
GF pizza at over 30 locations in Ohio
Most Carry-out, some dine in
see website for locations.
Still Riding crust shipped from its GF facility.
$13.99 8 slice, sausage, pepperoni or cheese.

National chain has GF menu