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:

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. 


Honestly, it's hard to find something on this 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. 

Eggs Up Grille

It's the most important and GF meal of the day! Bring on breakfast with a stack of gluten-free pancakes from Eggs Up Grille (on Devine Street and Forest Drive). Need we say more?

The Local Buzz

Five Points is just a hop skip from city center and is home to The Local Buzz, a go-to for locals in search of gluten free options including salads, coffees and smoothies, and a warm, welcoming spot to hang out.

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 

Ally and Eloise

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. 

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.