The Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Dining in Chicago

As a nutritionist and food enthusiast, I have been asked countless times about the availability of gluten-free options at restaurants in Chicago, IL. With the growing number of people following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it has become crucial for restaurants to cater to this dietary restriction.

The Rise of Gluten-Free Diets

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it is what gives bread its elasticity and dough its chewiness. However, for some individuals, consuming gluten can cause severe health issues such as celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine. Others may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which causes similar symptoms but does not damage the small intestine. According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, 44% of adults in the United States are trying to include more gluten-free foods in their diet.

This trend has led to an increase in demand for gluten-free options at restaurants.

Gluten-Free Options at Restaurants in Chicago

Luckily, Chicago is home to a diverse culinary scene with a wide range of restaurants offering gluten-free options. From Italian to Mexican to American cuisine, there is something for everyone. Let's take a look at some of the top restaurants in Chicago that offer delicious gluten-free options.

The Little Beet Table

The Little Beet Table is a popular restaurant located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. This restaurant offers a 100% gluten-free menu with dishes made from fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

Some of their must-try dishes include the roasted chicken with sweet potato puree and the grilled salmon with quinoa and roasted vegetables.


Wildfire is a steakhouse that offers a separate gluten-free menu with a variety of options. From appetizers to entrees to desserts, they have it all covered. Their gluten-free bread is also a hit among customers. Some of their popular dishes include the filet mignon, cedar-planked salmon, and the flourless chocolate cake.

Hub 51

Located in River North, Hub 51 is a trendy restaurant that offers a gluten-free menu with a modern twist.

Their menu includes dishes such as the gluten-free avocado toast, quinoa and kale salad, and the grilled salmon with roasted vegetables. They also have a separate gluten-free brunch menu on weekends.


Beatrix is a health-focused restaurant that offers a variety of gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their menu includes dishes such as the quinoa cakes, cauliflower grits, and the turkey burger on a gluten-free bun. They also have a selection of gluten-free pastries and desserts.

Chain Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options

In addition to these local restaurants, there are also several chain restaurants in Chicago that offer gluten-free options.

These include Chipotle, Panera Bread, P. F. Chang's, and The Cheesecake Factory. These restaurants have dedicated gluten-free menus or options clearly marked on their regular menus.

Tips for Dining Out Gluten-Free

Dining out can be challenging for those following a gluten-free diet, but with some tips and tricks, it can be made easier.

Here are some things to keep in mind when dining out at restaurants in Chicago:

  • Do your research beforehand and check the restaurant's menu online to see if they offer gluten-free options.
  • Call the restaurant ahead of time and inform them about your dietary restrictions. This will give them time to prepare and ensure that your food is safe to eat.
  • Ask questions about the ingredients and how the food is prepared to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Be cautious of sauces, dressings, and marinades as they may contain gluten.
  • Don't be afraid to speak up and ask for modifications to a dish to make it gluten-free.

In Conclusion

Chicago is a city that caters to all dietary restrictions, including gluten-free. With a little bit of research and communication, you can enjoy delicious meals at some of the top restaurants in the city without having to worry about gluten. So next time you're dining out in Chicago, be sure to check out one of these restaurants for a satisfying gluten-free experience.