Go gluten-free at these tasty Vancouver restaurants

There was a time not too long ago when those who suffered from gluten intolerance or Celiac disease didn’t have much choice when it came to eating out. Now, though, with a gluten-free diet that’s gone mainstream and many people opting out of eating wheat, the playing field has greatly expanded. Here are some exceptional options.

SMAK Healthy Fast Food

1
1139 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6E 2P4

Their tag line is “Healthy Fast Food”, which is exactly what you get at this slick, well operated counter-service restaurant. Choose from flavourful rice bowls of perfectly spiced curries or slow-roasted BBQ pulled pork, nori wraps bursting with fresh wild salmon, chicken or mango and veggies. Or stop in early (they open at 5:30!) for a pick-me-up fruit smoothie and some of the best breakfast sandwiches around. Smack in the middle of the financial district, bankers, lawyers and accountants have never been so healthy.

Eternal Abundance

2
1025 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X1

While this wholesome, all-natural deli focuses mainly on raw and vegan options, many of their menu items happen to be gluten free and all of their desserts are safe for making sure your sweet tooth is satisfied (despite them also being sugar free). Burritos and falafel wraps come in collard leaves, “pasta” is raw zucchini noodles smothered in addictive sauce and vegetables and naturally gluten-free buckwheat pancakes are a hearty start to the day.

The Acorn Restaurant

3
3995 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P3

This gorgeous dining room gaining all the country’s food magazine accolades serves strictly vegetarian dishes with seasonal vegetables in starring roles. Menu items are named for their featured vegetable but this straightforward description belies the creativity and flavour burst on your plate. All appetizers are gluten free as are four of the five mains and three of the four desserts. A dinner at Acorn is your ideal gluten-free date night.

Panne Rizo

4
1939 Cornwall Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1C8

A pioneer in the gluten-free movement, this Kitsilano café has been serving up wheat-free pastries, breads and lunches since 1998. Taking their commitment seriously, this is safe bet for Celiacs or anyone who’s just looking to cut out gluten from their diet. Offering all the comfort food you’d expect from a neighbourhood café — wraps, sandwiches, mac and cheese, chicken pot pies — nothing is sacrificed by omitting the harsh stuff. Award-winning and beloved of locals, Pane Rizzo is a gluten-intolerant’s best friend.

The Gluten Free Epicurean

5
633 E 15th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 2R6

This local favourite nestled within the now-booming strip of 15th Avenue and Fraser is definitely where you want to stop for your gluten-free treats. Cakes, cookies, bars and more are all perfectly decadent and lovingly created for the gluten-free among us to indulge in. They also have a great selection of pre-made items to help your own gluten-free cooking: pizza dough, pie crusts, veggie and sausage rolls, as well as pre-made, just-turn-on-the-oven pot pies. All your old faves, none of the upset tummy.

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