your insider guide for a local perspective on Nashville, Tennessee.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nashville Gluten Free Guide

GF Pastries from The Post East image: The Post East
Guest post via Allison Buzard

As someone who lives with Celiac Disease, who considers herself a foodie (or at least a gluten-free version of one) and who does a fair amount of traveling, I know, too well the cocktail of fear and research that goes into a well-curated, safe, and delicious gluten free-trip. I love to explore my own city’s food scene, and have a few safe, tried and true eateries that treat my immune system right. I research food blogs every time I travel, so for anyone traveling to Nashville with gluten-free needs or for my fellow gluten-intolerant-Nashvillians, this one’s for you!

Disclaimer, I know that symptoms of Celiac Disease and the effects of cross contamination affect everyone differently. I wouldn’t wish a glutening on my worst enemy, so know that I wouldn’t steer you wrong. These suggestions are just from one gluten-free body’s response. Proceed at your own risk!
Of course you can safely (physically and emotionally) visit AMOT (A Matter of Taste – Nashville’s only completely gluten-free restaurant) because when’s the last time you had fried chicken that didn’t make you sick? And Vegan Vee's - a totally gluten free/vegan bakery that makes magic baked treats out of restricted ingredients. But if you want to veer further off the path, let me tell you about a few other gems.


Red Bicycle has fantastic gluten free crepes. There are sweet and savory options for the gluten free. I’ve frequented this place dozens of times and have never gotten sick. It’s my go-to breakfast spot because believe it or not, breakfast glutenings have been the most severe (who puts flour on eggs? I swear people are!)

Coffee/Pastry Shop:

The Post East is tucked away in a cute neighborhood in East Nashville. They have all sorts of hot beverages and juices, but they also have a spread of nearly all gluten free breakfast treats. From quiche to sweet potato biscuits to cinnamon rolls – yes you read that, cinnamon rolls, the Post East is a great little spot. 


Also located in East Nashville is an understated place called Tower Market Deli. This New York Style Deli will make the gluten-y, the carnivores, and east-coasters, and yes, even the gluten free happy! Make sure you note that you have an allergy when yo order and they’ll carefully warm your Sammy on tinfoil and mark it all up with an *allergy warning. 


What would we gluten-free types do without Latin food? Seriously! Thank goodness for one food group that’s typically naturally gluten free. Gluten usually creeps in when gringos do, so beware some of the trendy taco joints (here’s looking at you places serving hot chicken tacos). Visit El Tapatio on Nolensville road for the very best best tacos in Nashville. You’ll find the second best tacos in all of Nashville at Mas Tacos Por Favor. There are only 2 tacos you need steer clear of (and they are fried, so they are a dead giveaway). Leave room for elote and a margarita.


Your best bet for delicious and safe burgers in Nashville is Burger Up. You can’t have the fries if cross contamination is an issue for you, but their salads are so darn tasty you won’t feel too excluded. Shout out to the turkey burger atop the house local!


My favorite restaurant in all of Nashville is Chauhan Aleand Masala House. The food is life-changing, the atmosphere completely unique, and the service is fabulous. Lots of Indian food is naturally gluten free (insert the praise hands emoji) and Chauhan is no exception. The servers start their interaction with your table by asking, “Any allergies I should be aware of?” Which is the question that makes all Celiacs want to weep with joy. They are incredibly knowledgeable about cross contamination and will steer you to safety. I’ll leave you with two words: Chicken Bhunna. Thank me later. 


Smiling Elephant is your friend when most soy sauce is not. This place understands what ingredients are ok and which ones will ruin your day. Their food is absolutely delicious to boot. 


I’m pho glad that most Vietnamese food is naturally gluten free. I haven’t meet a bowl of pho I couldn’t eat in Nashville. Head to VN Pho & Deli off Charlotte Ave and thank me later! 

Small Plates:

Nearly everything on Little Octapus’ menu is gluten free. Can you imagine going out to a small plate meal with friends and actually getting to share everything (or almost everything if they aren’t kind friends)? Flavorful, unique, and safe makes this place a nice treat meal out! 

Local, Seasonal, Divine

I don’t actually know how to categorize Rolf and Daughters. At one point, I think they described themselves as “gourmet peasant food” but as their current website won’t corroborate my odd memory, let’s go with “Also my favorite restaurant in all of Nashville” (I can have two). RAD is an experience. The food, drinks, and service are top notch. Their menu rotates seasonally so I can’t tell you which items to order. They’re very knowledgeable about cross contamination and will steer you to safe ordering.

Now it’s your turn. What are your gluten free recommendations? Let’s grow this list for all the gluten free in music city. 


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