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Out and About and Gluten-Free in Northern California

If you ever feel obligated to visit northern California, there are two gluten-free establishments that should not be missed.

Firstly, the Mariposa Bakehouse and Cafe is a must-see. This quaint little establishment located on the Berkeley/Oakland border is impeccably clean, and better yet, is entirely gluten-free. The food is near-gourmet and is fairly priced. No matter what you order, you will always be more than pleased. The pizza is always fresh, the muffins are near-perfection, and the bagels are sinfully delicious. The cafe is kid-friendly, and the service is nothing short of spectacular!
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A five-star in my book.

The second place I would recommend is Cafe Solstice in San Mateo. Located next to the Equinox gym, everything on the menu is gluten-free and vegan. It is technically a "raw" restaurant, an eatery where the philosophy is that by cooking food you deprive an individual of obtaining all the nutrients in the meal. Thus, everything is fresh and delicious. The employees are all very knowledgeable about a Celiac's needs and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

So, whether you are just stopping by or staying for a while, these two dining establishments are amazing places for Celiacs!

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

Spread The Word

5 Responses:


said this on
21 Apr 2008 4:09:23 PM PDT
What are some other gluten free restaurants in the Bay Area you may now of? I was recently diagnosed and I'm trying to regain normality again. lol. Any help or suggestions would be wonderful! Thank you!

Katie Nelson
( Author)
said this on
21 Apr 2008 6:31:02 PM PDT
Hi Kelsey,

Welcome to the Celiac community! Regaining normality is not as challenging, or foreboding a step, as one might think. There are a ton of places in and around the Bay Area that offer gluten-free meals, options, etc. I would suggest the following places to shop for your gluten-free food items: Draeger's, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. Some commercial grocery stores (like Safeway or Luckys) may have some GF options, but this is not a guarantee. Your best bets are Whole Foods (which I highly recommend) and Draeger's (another excellent option).

As far as dining out is concerned, P.F. Chang's actually has a complete gluten-free menu with wonderful options. The waiters are very aware of the need to be gluten-free. Outback Steakhouse is another restaurant with a gluten-free menu. But, be forewarned, they are not as careful about cross-contamination. I once found a crouton in my salad, even though the restaurant says they will mix everything separately. Draeger's has a wonderful restaurant on the second floor of their store that I would highly recommend for brunch. Again, they are very aware of the need to be gluten-free. Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco and Berkeley offers gluten-free items, and is another restaurant that follows the 'raw' philosophy. It, too, is an excellent place to grab a bite.

Generally, eating out is fairly easy if you are willing to work with the restaurant about what could be prepared for you. If you know where you are going ahead of time, then call. Communication is key! Also, bring your own salad dressing. This is always a big help for me.

Also, for special treats and desserts, Yogurt Park in Berkeley is the way to go! Of their 86 flavors, only a handful contain gluten (all the ones with cookie in the name). So, roughly 80 of their ice creams flavors are good to go. Cold Stone is gluten-free with the exception of any cake batter or cookie dough-flavored ice cream. However, you will want to be careful when mixing toppings in. Make sure the counter they do this on is clean so that no cross-contamination occurs! Baskin-Robbins is also fine. If you are in the city, be sure to visit Ghiradelli's!

Ok, I think that is a good jumping off point. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I am more than happy to help you with anything you may need.



said this on
12 Apr 2011 12:18:42 PM PDT
Some really good tips. I am getting married in September and my fiance was recently diagnosed with celiac. We're doing a road trip up the coast starting from San Francisco and ending up in Vancouver. Any recommendations along the way? Thanks

MJ Firby

said this on
17 Sep 2012 2:30:08 PM PDT
To those I would add Zest Bakery and Creola in San Carlos. Zest is completely gluten-free, and has added sandwiches to its menu, and Creola is run by a chef who is extremely knowledgable. My daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease nearly 2 years ago, and is very self-conscious about it (teenagers!). The chef came out and took her through the menu so she could make her choices. He even modified a dessert for her.


said this on
28 Dec 2012 9:03:59 PM PDT
I second Zest Bakery (though their hours were limited the last time I visited).

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All Activity Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?

Ennis, it is made out of metal, coated with plastic I think. You have such a hard time, my heart really hurts for you. But you are such a support to those on this board, and a great teacher for those of us who are new.

Thanks everyone! I think its hard for people to fully accept because they cant see the damage it does every time you get glutened. It's invisible. Im glad to know I wasnt being paranoid. I sure was when I was first diagnosed. I laugh at myself now, but its a pretty steep learning curve.

FYI......anxiety is a common symptom with celiac disease and NCGI. It seems to resolve on a gluten-free diet. ?

Yes, I will definitely update you and would love to hear what your experience is. I'm glad I found this forum because you're right--it's nice to not feel so alone. I'm also prone to anxiety--so waiting and worrying is not fun! Cyclinglady, thanks for sharing your experience as well. I do plan to maintain a gluten-free diet for a while at least if the biopsy is negative just to see how I feel.