The gluten-free lifestyle that many people choose has many health benefits, especially when facing something like celiac disease. This disease is triggered by foods containing gluten and can have harsh effects on the ailed. While sufferers of celiac have a lot to deal with, one huge concern-turned-stigma is eating at public restaurants or bars. Many establishments don't offer a lot of options that are free of gluten, and thus, present an enormous problem when attempting to maintain a sense of social normalcy.
The Most Common Gluten-free Foods and Drinks At Bars and Restaurants
Whether it's a fast-food joint or a fine dining experience, the simple fact is: There are not enough gluten-free options, especially when it comes to fast food. And while this is growing every day, seekers of gluten-free food will have to tread carefully so that a social outing doesn't turn into a social disaster.
There's a lot of rearranging happening in the fast-food space as more and more consumers choose to eat more healthily. But if you've ever seen a certain documentary, a lot of the "healthy" foods being offered are nothing more than presentation and smoke and mirrors. Depending on where you go, restaurants that focus primarily on hamburgers
can be made gluten-free so long as you remove the bun. In most cases, you're fine to eat vegetables, certain sauces, and more often than not, a restaurant's grilled offerings.
There are two restaurants that have extensive gluten-free fast-food menus; one is famous for its chicken sandwiches and the other for its fast-casual Mexican dishes. And the best part is, thanks to ancient grains such as sorghum and amaranth, you've finally got a gluten-free option that actually includes the bun! Color us impressed.
Finer Chain Dining (Sit Down Restaurants)
Moving on from the fast-food options, there are also a lot of options when going to a sit-down restaurant. These aren't the fanciest places, but they generally have a good meal and an affordable price.
For those craving a bit of the old country, this popular Italian restaurant chain has many dishes that are "gluten sensitive", including a house salad without croutons, herb-grilled salmon, and Zuppa Toscana. They use the term gluten sensitive because the foods are still cooked in the same kitchen as meals that aren't free of gluten. It's advised to let your server know that you have a gluten allergy for optimal results.
Next on the list is an Australian-themed steakhouse that, much like the Italian restaurant above, offers a very generous menu full of gluten-free options. Also similar to the aforementioned restaurant, however, is that they cannot guarantee that the gluten-free menu items won't come in contact with other good items containing gluten.
It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right? Whether you're hitting happy hour or are out for the night with friends and loved ones, safe and responsible drinking can carry the same risks for those with gluten allergies as food normally does. Delish has a nice selection of some of the most popular beers and spirits that are gluten-free — and yes, that includes tequila! Just make sure it's 100% agave. And as a general rule of thumb, most ciders and wines should be fine, too.
Gluten-Free Social Life
Just because you're staying away from gluten doesn't mean that you have to stay away from enjoying your life. As more awareness is spread about gluten allergies, more and more restaurants are helping to keep customers safe while making them feel included. The options for food and drinks that are free of gluten may not be as extensive at some restaurants as others, but hopefully, you'll be able to find something great to enjoy.