Gluten-free Dining: It’s a Breeze in Missouri

Gluten-free Dining: It’s a Breeze in Missouri

Dining out on vacation can be one of the best parts of a trip. What better way to get the pulse on local culture and experience a city’s charm and creativity? It’s that one fantastic meal, that one great craft cocktail, that one friendly server that can help make memories on a trip. But for the gluten-free traveler, dining out on vacation can sometimes be tricky. Where will we eat? Will they be able to accommodate for gluten-free?

In my job, I travel our great state of Missouri quite frequently. I also have Celiac Disease. But as food and travel are my two main passions in life, no way will I let gluten get in the way of a great trip. Wherever possible, I make sure to stop and sample the gluten-free fare in our cities. And let me tell you, we have some really great restaurants that bend over backwards to accommodate gluten-free travelers.

Without further ado, here is a small sampling of Missouri restaurants at which I’ve personally dined that either have gluten-free menus or are able to accommodate for gluten-free.

Please note, this list is not meant to be a list of restaurants that are certified gluten-free or exercise cross-contamination best practices. So, please be cautious and address your dietary needs/concerns with the manager and server. We hope this will get you started in the right direction and give you a taste of the fantastic gluten-free dining options right here in Missouri.

Arrow Rock

  • Catalpa – Named “Best Restaurant” by Rural Missouri in 2012 and 2013, Catalpa is a hidden gem in historic Arrow Rock. Chef Liz can modify many dishes to be gluten-free and even offers visitors the opportunity to call ahead to discuss dietary needs.
Catalpa Shrimp

Shrimp dish at Catalpa.

 

Branson

  • Cantina Laredo
- This upscale Mexican restaurant in Branson easily accommodates gluten-free diners and marks their gluten-free menu items with a triangle. Their tortilla chips are fried in a dedicated fryer and many of their tacos can be served on corn tortillas. Try the Tacos de Pescado, made with Mahi Mahi, marinated veggies, queso fresco and chipotle aioli.
cantina laredo tacos

Tacos at Cantina Laredo.

  • Silver Dollar City
- Silver Dollar City offers quite a few options for the gluten-free visitor and features multiple allergen menus on their website. Try the Tender Smoked Beef Brisket at the Mine Restaurant, or the Skillet at the Tater Patch.
sausage

Sausage dish at Silver Dollar City.

Columbia

  • Bleu
- Bleu is an absolute breeze to dine at if you are looking for gluten-free options. Menu items marked with a “g” either are, or can be prepared, gluten-free. Bleu prides themselves on sourcing food locally, and you’ll certainly be able to taste the farm-to-table goodness. Their menu changes twice a year, with the seasons. The Shrimp and Grits and the Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with bacon are to die for.
  • ingredient restaurant – If you’re on the go in Columbia, this gourmet fast casual restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. Many of Ingredient’s menu items are gluten-free or can be prepared gluten-free. They’ll even bring out gluten-free chips and queso to you while you’re waiting. Though they have many delicious salads, I’m fond of the Chicken Caesar Salad without croutons. And guess what? It comes with a [darn good] gluten-free breadstick. Ingredient also has locations in Kansas City.
ingredient in columbia

Caesar Salad at ingredient in Columbia.

Fulton

  • Beks – A unique gastropub in the heart of downtown Fulton that features fresh, local ingredients, Bek’s is knowledgeable about gluten and can prepare many menu items to be gluten-free.

Jefferson City

  • Arris’ Pizza
- This Greek-style pizza house offers a mean gluten-free pizza – one of the best crusts I’ve had in Missouri. For those of you with Celiac Disease or severe allergies, there may be some cross-contamination in the preparation of the pizza, so please proceed with caution.

Kansas City

  • Gram & Dun
- Located on the Plaza in Kansas City, Gram and Dun was very knowledgeable about gluten-free dining. In addition to a great atmosphere and delicious cocktails, they have delicious food. The Blackened Shrimp and Grits are amazing. If you’re dining with someone who is not gluten-free, tell them they really must try the Chicken & Waffles.

Lake of the Ozarks

  • H. Toad’s Bar and Grill – I found myself very familiar with H. Toad’s Bar and Grill after being caught here in a snowstorm for a couple of days this past March. H. Toad’s did a great job with accommodating for gluten-free for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Word on the street when I stayed there last was that they were working on a gluten-free menu.
  • Baxter’s Lakeside Grill - Step into Baxter’s and prepare yourself for gorgeous lakeside views, stellar service and delicious cuisine. The servers are knowledgeable about gluten and can modify your entree to be gluten-free.

Ste. Genevieve

  • Chaumette Vineyards and Winery
- Chaumette offers fresh, world-class cuisine and does a fantastic job with accommodating gluten-free visitors. Get the full scoop on what to eat here.

meat and corn at chaumette

St. Joseph

  • Bad Art Bistro
- Located in downtown St. Joseph, Bad Art Bistro offers fresh, innovative cuisine in an intimate and unique gallery-esque space, perfect for a date night or a girls night out. Their food is wonderful, and many options can be prepared gluten-free. I recommend the Boneless Pork Chop, wrapped in bacon and served with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and a bourbon glaze.

Springfield

  • Aviary Cafe and Creperie
- Step into Aviary Café and Creperie and prepare to fall in love. The décor, the food, and the atmosphere are all delightful. They offer gluten-free crepes and can modify salads and entrees to be gluten-free. May I recommend the Peach Melba crepe?

aviary crepes

St. Louis

  • Pastaria – Located in downtown Clayton, Pastaria is the latest endeavor of Gerard Craft, the owner of Niche. They offer fantastic homemade gluten-free pasta, salads and delicious gelato. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Corner Pub and Grill – If you’re looking for great gluten-free bar food (a rarity, it seems), look no farther than Corner Pub in Valley Park. The owner’s daughter, Hanna, is gluten-free, and he has created a wonderful menu for her – complete with gluten-free chicken wings, nachos, burgers, sandwiches and French fries fried in a dedicated fryer. Eat your heart out and finish up with a homemade gluten-free chocolate chip cookie for dessert.

What are your favorite gluten-free spots in Missouri? Comment below!

For an expanded list of gluten-free restaurants in Missouri, click here.

Written by Kate Kerans, senior account executive with H&L Partners, the Missouri Division of Tourism’s advertising agency of record, and blogger at GlutenFreePearls.com