I love eating local. There’s something special about supporting people in your community, especially when great food is involved. This can be a challenge for me since I have a wheat allergy, but OKC has made great strides toward gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets. The icing on that gluten-free cupcake is finding a local restaurant that has a menu that suits my diet.
Most breakfast or brunch places you can find something naturally gluten-free, but it’s hard to find pancakes, waffles, or pastries. Waffle Champion offers gluten-free waffle batter as a substitute so you can enjoy sweet and savory waffle goodness. They use the same waffle iron to make both regular and gluten-free waffles, so it’s not for those who are extremely sensitive or concerned about cross-contamination.
Lunch spots that offer more gluten-free options besides salads are often few and far between. Luckily, there are a few places that offer quick and easy solutions.
Nourished is a great, healthy option for gluten-free and vegan. They even make their own gluten-free sandwich bread! A coworker and I frequent this place for their flaked almond sandwich.
Another great place for sandwiches is the deli at Native Roots Market. They offer gluten-free bread on any sandwich as well as hummus, salads and soup. It’s also a small grocery store with many gluten-free snacks and quick meals. This makes it perfect for grabbing something on a busy day at the office. I check their Twitter every morning to see what the soup of the day is, hoping it’s “Mulligatawny” (go try it, it’s amazing!).
If I’m in the mood for something heartier, I’ll grab a burger at Urban Johnnie. They offer gluten-free buns and many of their other items are either gluten-free or have a gluten-free option. The sweet potato fries alone are worth a visit!
Pizza is, surprisingly, one of the easiest meals to find gluten-free options. Most restaurants offer some sort of gluten-free crust, whether it’s homemade or frozen. The trick is finding a place that doesn’t serve a soggy or cardboard-like crust. My top three favorites around the city are:
Hideaway, an Oklahoma chain that began in Stillwater, offers great traditional pizza, especially if you like lots of meat (i.e., “Big Country”).
Joey’s Pizzeria has traditional pizza with a little more of a twist. They have more than 30 different toppings from homemade Italian sausage to green chilies to fried eggs. They also make the best balsamic dressing!
Empire Slice House serves out-of-the-box pizza with interesting combinations and incredible flavors. You aren’t able to buy by the slice, but why wouldn’t you want a whole pizza to yourself? They also have several hard ciders available so it’s a great place to grab a drink, too.
Going to dinner is difficult, unless I add a gluten-free disclaimer. I tend to suggest places that have great food, while also offering gluten-free options for myself. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Southern food can be a challenge to find with diet-friendly choices, but Cheever’s makes it easy and delicious. This elegant restaurant has a rich history and a large selection of clearly marked gluten-free items on their menu.
For a great American bistro, West is an excellent option. Their menu offers gluten-free dishes and gluten-free options. They have a wide variety of different gluten-free pastas including mac and cheese, penne, bow tie, and spiral zucchini.
The Mule takes sandwiches to the next level! They offer gluten-free bread as a substitute for most sandwiches. Unfortunately, some will still contain gluten (looking at you, “Macaroni Pony”) but there are so many to choose from, the only thing you have to worry about is choosing just one.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I can never pass up a cupcake from Green Goodies! They offer classic, gluten-free, vegan, and gluten-free/vegan options on almost every cupcake. And I’m not the only one who thinks their cupcakes are amazing — they were featured on Cupcake Wars during a special vegan cupcake episode and won $10,000!
The newest craze in OKC (and the nation) is food trucks. Different trucks will offer everything from breakfast, lunch, or dinner to specialty desserts and every type of cuisine imaginable. It can be tricky to find options that aren’t fried or wrapped in a bun, but several trucks offer gluten-free selections.
Whether you’re looking for something cool in the summer or hot in the winter, Katiebug's Shaved Ice and Hot Chocolate has you covered. Katiebug’s serves all-natural, homemade shaved ice during the warmer months, and gourmet hot chocolate and artisan marshmallows for colder months. As well as being gluten-free, they also are dye- and chemical-free and offer several dairy-free options.
The Loaded Bowl offers vegan comfort food and provides several gluten-free and nut-free options. You can get everything from different kinds of mac and cheese to french toast and pancakes. They also strive to source locally and use 100% sustainable packaging.
If you need another pizza option, Hall’s Pizza Kitchen offers homemade gluten-free crusts as a base for some delicious combinations. They have certain staples that are on the menu every day, but rotate other pizzas so their menu is always fresh.