You Gotta Eat: 8 Places to Dine Gluten-Free (And Well!) in Louisville

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With a sharp rise in sensitivities and intolerance to gluten and wheat over the last decade, many foodies from Louisville and beyond are struggling with a question of taste: where does one eat well, and gluten-free, in a city with a thriving restaurant and local food scene?

Gluten, an elastic protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grain products is a common element in modern food and a serious allergen for around 3 million people in the United States.

In a city like Louisville, there’s no need to sacrifice a fantastic dining experience for the sake of avoiding gluten. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best restaurants in the Louisville area that can serve you or a gluten-free loved one deliciously and safely.

 

El Mundo

 

Mexican and Latin American food is rich in cornmeal, veggies, and beans and offers a stunning variety of dishes naturally free of gluten and wheat; many of which can be found at El Mundo on Frankfort Avenue. Gluten-free is far from boring here, with punch-of-flavor offerings like Southwest Green Chile Enchiladas with corn tortillas and chocolate pot-de-crème with an Oaxacan twist (a dash of spicy ancho chiles). All it takes to eat safely at El Mundo is to ask your server. Don’t forget the impressive selection of tequilas and margaritas for a night out!

 

El Mundo

(502) 899-9930

2345 Frankfort Avenue

Louisville, KY 40206

 

 

 

Simply Thai

 

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Image courtesy of simplythaiky.com

Thai cuisine, with its creative use of starches like rice flour and sweet potato noodles makes avoiding gluten simple and lip-smackingly tasty. Now with locations in both St. Matthews and Middletown, Louisvillians can enjoy spicy-sour Tom Yum soup, rice-noodle Pad Thai, a rainbow of curries and succulent mango sticky rice without worry. On top of that selection is a full menu of fresh sushi. Common Thai ingredients like soy and fish sauces contain wheat derivatives, however, so be sure to ask your server for the best recommendations.

 

Simply Thai
323 Wallace Ave
Louisville, KY
(502) 899-9670

12003 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, KY
(502) 690-6723

 

 

Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

 

Everyone loves pizza, and with a new gluten-intolerance or celiac diagnosis, it can be sorely missed. Don’t despair -- Italian food isn’t off limits for the gluten-sensitive anymore! Puccini’s Smiling Teeth on Shelbyville Road boasts a full menu of rice-flour based pizza crust, 40 gluten-free topping options and corn pasta and numerous gluten-free signature sauces. Puccini’s advises its customers of the use of wheat flour in its kitchen and possible cross-contamination; be careful and be sure to communicate with your server.

 

Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

(502) 721-0170

4600 Shelbyville Rd # 101

Louisville, KY, 40207


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Zäd

 

Seeking an intersection between safe, healthy, tasty and unexpected? New modern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern hotspot Zäd in the Highlands offers dine-in, take-out and delivery Mediterranean food with plenty of options for gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan meals at an unbeatable price. Fresh hummus, red lentil soup and juicy gyros wrapped in corn tortillas or lettuce -- available for all sandwiches and wraps -- can feed a group for under $30.

 

Zäd

The Highlands/Bardstown Rd

(502) 569-1122

1616 Grinstead Dr

Louisville, KY 40204

 


 

Annie May’s Sweet Cafe

 

Delicious, memorable gluten-free desserts do exist (really!) and you can find them at Annie May’s on Frankfort Avenue. The menu is truly impressive, offering carrot cake, pumpkin cake, red velvet cake and more. They come in various sizes, even cupcake form. All offerings are completely gluten and wheat-free. Don’t miss the gluten-free roast beef sandwich and spinach salad for lunch with an allergen-free oatmeal cream pie for a sweet ending note. Annie May’s also offers gluten-free hamburger and hotdog buns, made fresh in-shop.

 

Annie May’s Sweet Cafe

Crescent Hill

(502) 384-2667

3110 Frankfort Ave

Louisville, KY 40206

 


 

Earth Friends Cafe

 

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Image courtesy of earthfriendscafe.com

 

It can be a chore to navigate between good-for-you and good for the earth, but at Earth Friends Cafe in the East Market District, you don’t have to choose. With a selection of gluten-free, vegetarian and organic breakfast, lunch and dinner options, natural and naturally delicious are easy to come by. Try the naked Mediterranean breakfast burrito with egg whites or the vegan Indian bowl for lunch with spiced chickpeas and roasted peanuts. Earth Friends proudly promotes farm-to-table dining and utilizes fresh, organic ingredients in its menu items. For your morning caffeine and a hit of sweet and healthy, grab a cafe au lait and some fresh seasonal fruit.

 

Earth Friends Cafe

(502) 749-8911

829 E Market St

Louisville, KY 40206

 

 

Grind

 

Ready for an old-fashioned meal with a newfangled twist and an option for those who eat gluten-free? Grind gourmet burger truck offers a classic burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese, but doesn’t stop there. For an unexpected sweet-savory taste, get hooked on the B&B burger, which includes blue cheese, thick-cut bacon, and habanero or apricot jam. The truck regularly visits Flea Off Market and Douglass Loop, as well as events like the Buy Local Fair and local farmers' markets. Grind also offers a flavorful veggie burger. Watch for the restaurant location on Preston Highway. Gluten-free buns provided by Annie May’s Bakery run out, so get there early to snag one!

 

Grind

Louisville

Downtown,West Main

(502) 851-7333


 

 

Yang Kee Noodle

 

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Image courtesy of yangkeenoodle.com

 

This restaurant, located in the Oxmoor Mall, serves a fusion of Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines. Yang Kee Noodle offers an extensive, interactive menu of make-your-own-stir-fry ingredients. With a helpful menu key designating gluten-free options, Yang Kee Noodle also offers vegetarian and nut-free ingredients alongside finished menu items. Try the Cool Lettuce Wraps and the Classic Pad Thai for a delicious gluten-free meal -- and order it vegetarian if you like!

 

Yang Kee Noodle

At Oxmoor Mall

(502) 426-0800

7900 Shelbyville Rd

Louisville, KY 40222


 

Did we forget anyone? What favorite gluten-free gems have you discovered in the Louisville area? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll be sure to spread the word!

About Silvana Hill
I am a soon-to-be junior journalism student at Northern Kentucky University with a passion for writing and editing. I love exploring the city and seeing what there is to discover and do.
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