We all know someone who doesn’t eat gluten – most of us have even considered making the switch to eating gluten-free ourselves. There’s just one problem: we like gluten, and we don’t think we can give it up.
The drawback to this diet adjustment is universal: “I’ll just miss pizza,” we say, “and cookies… and bread. I can’t live without bread.” With that, we squelch our resolutions, ignore the brain fog and belly aches, and stuff our faces with glutinous treats. Because who can resist?
We can. We have, and it’s all thanks to Ottawa and its army of café owners and operators who have dedicated their time to serving baked food that is free of gluten and still satiates those carbo-cravings.
We’ve gone ahead and done the work for you – we went out and found the best gluten-free restaurants in Ottawa that promise to have you forgetting what you liked about wheat in the first place.
- Oat Couture Oatmeal Café
1154 Bank St, Ottawa
About: Oat Couture Oatmeal Café is an Old Ottawa South gem situated on the corner of Bank and Glen. Owner and operator Brian Montgomery opened his dream café in 2018. While it would have been much cheaper to just source regular oats, he wanted to be able to cater to all food intolerances. Oat Couture has served high-end gluten-free oats since the start.
Menu: Each bowl is made with steel-cut, gluten-free oatmeal. Check out the wide variety of available toppings. Found something you want but it contains gluten? Every bowl on the menu can be adjusted to suit your needs. Try it. I dare you.
Oat Couture also boasts an impressive baked goods display. Most of the bakery items are oat-based, so what you’re craving is sitting on the shelf, free of gluten, and ready to be consumed! Try their new bacon, egg, and cheddar loaf. Made with oats and gluten-free flour, this baked treat is the perfect accompaniment to a warm bowl of oatmeal.
- Strawberry Blonde Café
Photo from: https://www.strawberryblondebakery.com/
114B Grange Ave, Ottawa
About: This gluten-free café serves up treats as delicious as any you’ll find in the Ottawa valley. Not only is Strawberry Blonde Café known for its selection of impeccable baked goods, everything sold here is also vegan and nut-free.
Menu: The menu at Strawberry Blonde Café will make you forget why you ever needed to eat gluten in the first place. Try delicious whole-grain bread that can be sliced and kept in the freezer. The texture and flavours measure up to anything your granny made.
Don’t miss this stop on the journey to living your best gluten-free life in Ottawa.
- The Green Door Restaurant
Photo from: https://www.thegreendoor.ca/collections/desserts
198 Main Street, Ottawa
About: Situated on the corner of Main and Hazel St, The Green Door is known for its exclusively vegetarian/vegan menu. What I bet you don’t know is that most of the food is gluten-free and celiac-friendly.
Menu: Check out their website for an extensive list of bakery items. Most items can be ordered online and by the tin. It’s a foolproof way to feed your friends when you don’t feel like baking. Craving something sweet and funky? Try their cashew-lime blondies. Gluten free, made entirely from organic ingredients, this bar will satisfy your sweet tooth … for the time being.
- Pure Kitchen Elgin
Multiple Locations: 340 Elgin St., 345A Preston St., 357 Richmond Rd.
About: “Choose Health, Lifestyle, Community & Taste.” This is Pure Kitchen’s slogan, and it summarizes the experience you can expect when you walk through their doors.
Pure Kitchen’s first location in Westboro opened in 2015. Following instant success, just shy of a year later they opened a second location on Elgin St. For five years, Pure Kitchen has been dedicated to their slogan, promising Ottawa a tasty menu made with pure ingredients that will keep your stomach happy and healthy.
Keeping most of their menu gluten- free helps them do just that.
Menu: Pure Kitchen identifies as a “made from scratch kitchen” – each item on the menu is made from fresh, natural ingredients.
You can find items on the menu that are celiac-friendly – in fact, most of what you’ll find here is gluten-free! Ask the servers about your options. Expect to be directed to the most popular appetizer on the menu: the “Radical Cauliflower Wings.” Tossed in your choice of Korean BBQ or Buffalo Hot Sauce, these wings won’t disappoint – whether you regularly eat gluten-free or not.
- The Table Ottawa
1230 Wellington St, Ottawa
About: The first thing you’ll read on The Table’s website is that the “food is always fresh, Vegan, Gluten-Free and made daily!” What more could you ask for?
Menu: The Table is sure to have a flavourful gluten-free option on their menu at all times. We’re not just talking about entrées here – there are soups, salads, dinner plates, and desserts – all specifically curated for the gluten-free foodie.
Choose The Table in Ottawa’s trendy Westboro and you’ll hit a home run with every visit.
- Moo Shu Ice cream
Photo from: Moo Shu facebook page
477 Bank St, Ottawa
About: Moo Shu Ice Cream sells exactly what you think it does: ice cream. The thing you need to know, though, is that they will serve you the best ice cream in the city on the best waffle cone in the city – the best part is that the waffle cone they sell? It’s gluten free.
Menu: Moo Shu Ice Cream has committed to building a menu to indulge anyone with any dietary needs. Not only will you find gluten-free scoops of delicious ice cream, the vegan and nut-free options are to die for.
Moo Shu’s deal isn’t exclusive to ice cream, though. Check out their menu – while not all options are gluten free, the Bubble Waffles are, and they’re rolled out to serve every Wednesday. You can top them with whichever ice cream you’re feeling for the day. Irresistible!
The dumplings and tofu bowls can also come gluten-free – just ask your servers. They’ll set you up.
- Stoneface Dolly’s
Photo from: http://preston.stonefacedollys.com/Home
Multiple Locations: 416 Preston St, 4456 Limebank Rd
About: Stoneface Dolly’s is the perfect spot to bring your friends – gluten-free and gluten-enthused alike – for a special night out. Stoneface Dolly’s is excellent by every measure. They promise pretty presentation, flavour in every bite, and an eclectic menu for the adventurous foodie.
Menu: Most items on Stoneface Dolly’s menu are gluten-free, and for the items that aren’t, there are gluten-free options available.
Not sure where to start? Check out the All-Day Brunch menu. I recommend lingering in the “Eggs Benny” section – your mouth will water for the Chicken Bobotie. This South African recipe sets chicken, apricots, and almonds atop two perfectly poached eggs. You’ll get to ask for the gluten-free bread – yes, you’ll get to. This celiac-friendly bread will make you forget why you ever chose to eat gluten in the first place.