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:


Satisfying your craving for Italian flavors can be a challenge when you’re going gluten-free. The Ahi Tuni from Alodia’s can be prepared gluten-free, as with many of their side dishes such as the Mushroom Risotto and the Roasted Red Pepper Asparagus. Di niente, y’all.


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Poke, in layman’s terms, is kind of a mash-up of sushi and salad, and it’s popping up all over Columbia SC. Try the Create Your Own bowl option from FreshePoke (with two current Columbia locations and another coming soon!) for a customizable creation with a base of lettuce topped with your choice of protein like salmon, shrimp or chicken, and toppings like fresh mango, avocado and pickled ginger for a healthy treat tailored to your dietary specifications.


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Good Life Café

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. 


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1801 Grille

Southern comfort food is not out of reach with the Fried Catfish (prepared with cornmeal breading) from 1801 Grille. Delectable veggie-based sides round out your down-home (GF!) dinner. Be sure to order the Brussels sprouts and thank us later 😉


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Eggs Up Grille

Bring on breakfast with a stack of gluten-free pancakes from Eggs Up Grille (on Devine Street and Forest Drive). Need we say more?


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The Local Buzz

The Rosewood district is just a hop skip from city center and is home to The Local Buzz, an increasingly popular coffee shop that is becoming a go-to for locals in search of gluten free options including salads, coffees and smoothies, and a warm, welcoming spot to hang out.


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Za's on Devine

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. #Winning 


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Check out these additional spots for gluten-free goodies to go, for when you don’t have a moment to linger:

The Primal Gourmet – Irmo: Numerous gluten-free options to go

Cupcake Down South – Gluten-Free Cupcakes. We repeat- Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

White Duck Taco Shop - The Thai Peanut Chicken, Crispy Pork Belly tacos and others can be made GF.

Mellow Mushroom - All gluten-free pies are made in a specially designated area for extra assurance.

Grill Marks - For your favorite burger on a GF bun. Yum. 

As always, 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.