Boston, MA: The Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

Boston, which also goes by the moniker Bean Town, is a haven for fresh New England seafood and Red Sox sports. It is a city close to my heart and somewhere I have been every year of my life thanks to my Massachusetts-born mother. I have many a fond memory of fried clams, stadium hot dogs and donuts, but until recently had enjoyed the city on a gluten-heavy diet. Experiencing the port city from a gluten free point of view was in many ways like getting to know Boston all over again. While some of my old favourites had become off limits, others, I learnt, cater wonderfully to gluten free. I hope that this guide I have pulled together helps you enjoy Boston as much as I always do!

Breakfast

Kane’s Donuts

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Probably the best gluten free donut you, or I, will ever have, I am happy to say, is available in Boston. Thanks to the innovative ways of Maria and Paul Delios, children to the late great Peter Delios and founder of Kane’s Donuts, a fresh selection of gluten free donuts is prepared every day. This wonderful family business also has a monthly special gluten free donut depending on the season which is always a winning flavour combination and enjoyed by gluten free and non gluten free eaters alike. Kane’s have two Massachusetts locations with plans to soon open a third. I could not recommend this place enough!

Where?
Two International Place
90 Oliver Street
Boston, MA 02110

120 Lincoln Avenue
Saugus, MA 01906

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

Book and breakfast lovers will rejoice when they discover that this Newbury Street haven brings the best of both together in one happy and fulfilling setting. Trident Booksellers has been serving up fabulous breakfasts in the midst of an atmospheric bookstore since 1984. Patrons can sit at the old style diner bar or at a selection of low tables before or after browsing the extensive collection of books for sale. Gluten free bread is available which the clued up waiting and culinary staff are happy to bring you in place of regular bread with most egg dishes. While breakfast is always my prime focus here, Trident Booksellers is also open for lunch and dinner. For meals later in the day I would strongly advise that you indulge in the gluten free nachos, overflowing with cheese, jalapenos, refried beans and tomatoes!

Where?
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115

Thinking Cup

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Thinking Cup is known for its freshly brewed coffee, hot and cold sandwiches and big crowds! While in here it is not always easy to find a free table, you can always rely on being able to grab any breakfast or lunch sandwich on gluten free bread. A selection of gluten free baked treats including vegan snickerdoodles and brown butter rice krispy treats are also available from the cake counter which make the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of joe. Thinking Cup has two locations in addition to its Newbury Street store, the latter of which has always been my favourite!

Where?
85 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116

236 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

165 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111

Flour Bakery + Cafe

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While not an entirely gluten free destination, Flour Bakery offers up homemade gluten free bread which can be used for any sandwich, with the exception of grilled options. After much asking around, I soon realised that most gluten free people go here for the breakfast egg sandwich which comes complete with a deliciously fluffy souffle egg, bacon or ham, cheddar, arugula (rocket), tomato and fiery dijonaise. While the bread has the tendency to crumble, the flavour is spot on and with four locations in the city, Flour Bakery is a must visit! (N.B. Flour Bakery + Cafe also has three Cambridge locations – check out the website for further details)

Where?
30 Dalton Street
Boston, MA 02115

1595 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118

12 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210

131 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116

The Friendly Toast

This all day eatery located in the Back Bay is famous among gluten free diners for its giant gluten free pancakes, which, depending on how you feel, can be made either plain or with blueberries, chocolate chips or bananas. If pancakes aren’t your thing, opt for one of many egg dishes or hearty homemade omelettes with a smorgasbord of flavour combinations to choose from. Bread by Udi’s is also provided for gluten free diners as a replacement in old favourites including The Friendly Toast’s Eggs Benny and, while not specified on the menu, can be used to make french toast! For toasted bread, check with wait staff about cross contamination before ordering. This eatery’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are all served throughout the day. Hint: order a grilled cheese on gluten free bread and dip it in a bowl of the gluten free Tomato and Feta Bisque. You’ll thank me later!

Where?
35 Stanhope St
Boston, MA 02116

Starbucks

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Across most of the US, Seattle-born Starbucks has introduced a gluten free breakfast sandwich. Most Boston locations are thankfully no exception to the rule and serve up this egg and Canadian bacon sandwich with cheese on a gluten free English muffin. The sandwich is warmed up in a sealed bag to avoid cross contamination and is a mini taste sensation. I did not believe the social media hype until I finally tried one! Check out the website for your nearest location – a selection are listed below.

Where?
66 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108

165 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116

443 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

Lunch

B&G Oysters

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If fresh seafood is your thing, head to this chic South End eatery for oysters, lobster and much more. While this spot has no specific gluten free menu, the servers are happy to point out what items on the menu are either gluten free friendly or easily adapted. B&G Oysters is known for its fried oysters and the chef kindly whipped up a gluten free batch just for me! So be sure to ask nicely. With a fabulous wine list, you’ll definitely want to stop here for a long lunch! Also open for dinner.

Where?
550 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Shake Shack

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New York hamburger chain Shake Shack has been going strong in Boston for the past few years and now has two locations in the city. UK travellers will be thrilled to know that Shake Shack in the US is far more gluten free friendly than what they’re used to, offering up gluten free hamburger buns to free from patrons. Be sure to ask the cashier what hamburger options are safe for celiacs – I personally want nothing fancier than a cheeseburger here because, when it’s done right, is there anything better? Fries are not safe for celiacs as they are cooked in the same oil as a number of other items on the menu so steer clear unless you can handle traces.

Where?
234-236 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

77 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

By Chloe

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An Instagrammer’s Paradise, this 100% vegan eatery now has two Boston locations. By Chloe opened for business in New York City two years ago, and has since taken multiple US cities by storm. Gluten free diners will be in heaven here with menu items such as Kale Artichoke Dip, Air Baked Sweet Potato Fries to compliment a number of salads and quinoa dishes as well as smoothie bowls. All gluten free items on the menu are clearly marked and the staff are all well versed in dietary requirements. Take comfort in the fact that at By Chloe, you won’t be the only one in there photographing your food!

Where?
107 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

100 Van Ness Street
Boston, MA 02215

Luke’s Lobster

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This fantastic chain sources its lobster from the home of the world’s finest – Maine. Famous among celiacs, this humble seafood shack offers a gluten free version of its famous in house lobster roll and it is delicious. All soups are also gluten free, including Luke’s clam chowder which is a real luxury these days as most chowders across New England are still thickened with wheat flour! Word of warning – these lobster rolls sell for almost $20 a pop, with sides going for an extra $2 each. Save your pennies – it will be worth it!

Where?
75 Exeter St
Boston, MA 02116

290 290 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02108

Dinner

Sonsie

A long term favourite of mine and my family’s, Sonsie embodies chic Newbury Street dining at its finest. With a bistro feel and doors that open onto the pavement when the weather is good, this restaurant gets a thumbs up for atmosphere as well as its flexibility and willingness to provide gluten free friendly dishes. Sonsie has three fully gluten free menus for the likes of you and me – brunch, lunch and dinner. This includes killer gluten free hamburgers, pizzas and bistro specialities including fresh seafood, steaks and salads. If you have room left for dessert, don’t forget to try the famous flourless chocolate cake!

Where?
327 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115

Fenway Park: Home of the Red Sox

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An experience noone should miss in Boston, especially during game season, is a round of baseball at Fenway Park. Years ago, I would have had to have eaten pre-game as the famous Fenway Frank wouldn’t have been an option. Now however, I make sure to fast beforehand! With the option of gluten free hot dogs (yes including the bun!), personal pan pizzas and sweet treats, you will find plenty to eat! Gluten free beer is also available at multiple concession stands throughout the stadium, while hot dogs can be purchased from an entirely gluten free cart on the Home Plate Concourse. Gluten free pizza is available from Pizzeria Regina, also on the Home Plate Concourse.

Where?
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215

Deuxave

Fancy neighbourhood dining isn’t done better than at Deuxave. This French inspired Back Bay restaurant is the perfect spot for a dress up dinner while you’re in town. While there is no dedicated gluten free menu, the chef is willing to adapt a number of dishes to make them gluten free friendly. With a fantastic array of seafood and meat dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice! The Prime Niman Ranch New York Sirloin is my favourite!

Where?
371 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Legal Seafoods

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Gluten free seafood paradise is how I would describe Legal Seafoods – a chain which started in Massachusetts and now has a presence in five states as well as Washington, D.C. Despite being such a large chain, the restaurant has not lost its flare and if anything, has blossomed, especially when it comes to its development of gluten free options. Legal Seafoods has one of the most luxurious gluten free menus around, including fried clams, shrimp, calamari, chowder and more. Be sure to stop at one of the city’s locations rather than the Boston Logan airport branches, where the gluten free options are nowhere near as ample! Check out their website for your nearest location or head to my favourite branch in the Copley Place mall – details below.

Where?
100 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116

Shopping

Supermarkets in Boston are great for gluten free snacks, should you need food on-the-go or to make meals with if you are staying in non-hotel accommodation. My favourite shops include Trader Joe’s on Boylston Street and Star Market at the Prudential Centre. Both have a fantastic selection of gluten free treats for inner city grocery stores and are worth a perusal if nothing else!

Raclette by Raclette Brothers

Where From? Raclette Brothers
Available at South Bank Wintertime Market

Giving up gluten for me thankfully did not come hand in hand with giving up dairy. Cheese has always been a great passion of mine, in any shape or form and is a safe go-to whenever I travel or am at a party. No crackers? No bread? No problem, because there’s a cheeseboard somewhere. Imagine my happiness therefore when I heard about the newest cheese celebrities in London – Raclette Brothers – who serve up an Alpine dish that is 100% gluten free? This duo has been touring London markets since they hit the food scene in 2016 and just the other day made a guest appearance in my Tooting neighbourhood. Tucking into this plate of sauteed potatoes, pickled onions, cornichons and prosciutto crudo, which is all topped with bubbling, oozing Raclette was an experience I’ll never forget. Vegetarians fear not – the ham is optional! I urge you all to follow these guys who are currently stationed at the South Bank Wintertime Market near Waterloo, until December 30. South West Londoners will rejoice as the pair plan on taking up a permanent spot at Pop Brixton from January 2018.