Picking a restaurant while traveling is hard enough with myriad options in an unfamiliar place. Add to that specific dietary restrictions or requirements, toss in a couple traveling companions with differing preferences from your own and you have a pretty tall order on hand.
Well, if dining gluten-free is one of your specifications, we have compiled a list of the tastiest gluten-free dishes recommended by locals in Columbia SC, and where to find them. Oh, and we made sure to pick spots with a wide range of options for traveling companions who are not dining gluten-free. Here's the rundown:
The Asian Noodle Salad from Good Life Café is perfect for a light but nutrient-packed lunch. Kelp noodles and zucchini noodles are served with red peppers, jicama, mango and coconut strips over greens with a yummy Asian dressing.
Honestly, it's hard to find something on Tazza's menu that isn't gluten free, but you'd never know it at first glance. From the brick-oven cauliflower app and a full list of tacos to the shrimp and crispy polenta for your main dish, you'll leave with a full and happy belly. Bonus: their dessert menu features an orange almond flour cake with salted caramel gelato that is a can't miss. After you've indulged, enjoy perusing through the Trenholm Plaza shopping center adjacent to the restaurant.
Got a pasta craving? Try the Zucchini Noodle Pasta with house-made sausage marinara and feta cheese from Za’s. Pro tip: you can ask for any of the pasta dishes to be made with zoodles.
Known for their large macarons and beautiful cakes, Ally and Eloise also has Queen's Mother Cake and a Flourless Chocolate Cake that will even have your non-GF pals begging for a bite. With two locations, one on Main Street and one in Forest Acres, you're never far from their sweet treats.
The menu at Cantina '76 boasts a rich variety of imaginative tacos, enchiladas, and more. All dishes are crafted with fresh, unique ingredients and locally sourced produce. Additionally, they whip up their sauces, dressings, and salsas in-house. Enjoy this family-friendly restaurant at two locations: Main Street and Devine Street
Another Broken Egg Cafe on breaks the mold of your typical diner. They're dedicated to serving up Southern-inspired culinary creativity that's utterly irresistible. Their menu features chef-inspired breakfast, brunch, and lunch options alongside hand-crafted cocktails, spiked cold brews, mimosas, and a complete bar selection. They also have a dedicated "Gluten Friendly" menu at both locations on Devine Street and in Lexington.
As another Forest Acres' favorite, Taziki's offers an ideal setting for a nutritious, fast lunch or a laid-back Mediterranean dinner paired with your preferred glass of wine. The welcoming staff prepares meals infused with Mediterranean inspirations with a touch of Souther flair.
Once a bustling 1900s Vaudeville House & Theatre bearing the same name, The Grand holds a rich history. They have rejuvenated their space to preserve its original charm – check out the stunning beams and bowling alley – and even restored and showcased the original Grand marquee sign discovered during construction. Today, The Grand provides an upscale casual, yet unique, dining experience with its bowling alley and Tiki Bar.
Nestled in Trenholm Plaza, Verde is one of Forest Acres' beloved restaurants that prides itself on offering nourishing food that is both gratifying and wholesome. Their commitment to using local and seasonal ingredients shines through each of their dishes. Crafted to fuel your life, their salads and wraps feature a range of ingredients, from hand-chopped artisanal greens to freshly harvested fruits and veggies, gourmet proteins, and exceptional toppings. With only a few designated dishes containing gluten, Verde is the place for nourishing and wholesome meals!
Pho Viet remains dedicated to the genuine preparation of Vietnamese cuisine. Many of their dishes are made with rice noodles – a naturally gluten-free cuisine! Whether it's the classic pho, vermicelli bowl, or crispy rolls, your favorite Vietnamese dishes are served at their two locations in Northeast Columbia or in Five Points.
Please reiterate to your server that you are dining gluten free and have them confirm that recipes and menu options are indeed prepared to your expectations, as recipes, menus and methods of preparation are subject to change.