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Toronto gluten-free Restaurant recomendations?

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First off, this forum is incredible. I only read the posts as a non member until recently when I signed up. Everyone on here makes living gluten-free so manageable and thank you for that. Second, my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease approx 1.5 years ago (she is 5 now) and we've been very careful with everything she eats,obviously. Our household is gluten free. In doing this, we've stayed away from restaurants. We think we're ready to try a restaurant now but we're hesitant unless someone could recommend one. We're looking for a Boston Pizza type place where we could order a gluten-free pizza, perhaps fries (with dedicated fryer) and just hang out in that sort of atmosphere for an afternoon. We did that often before the diagnosis so we'd love to go back to that weekend option from time to time. I live in Toronto so any info on a tried and trusted restaurant in Toronto is greatly appreciated. :)

Edited by tonysaccucci

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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Hi ScarlettsDad,

Sorry such a slow reply to this, but I also live in Toronto and definitely have a few safe suggestions. Of course, my tastes and your 5-year-olds are probably quite different, but I've got a few we might all agree on.

First of all, as a general rule: don't order the gluten-free pizza/pasta anywhere unless the kitchen can prove they use dedicated equipment to prepare and cook it: fresh water for pasta, separate prep area and oven or other protective measures for pizza. Any place with flour flying around on a regular basis is going to be a real gamble no matter how careful the staff are.

Anyway, here are a few Celiac safe and kid-friendly spots:

Off the Hook: fish and chips, you say!? that are safe?! YES! It's true! This fantastic fish&chips joint is on Broadview just south of Danforth. They have a gluten-free chickpea batter, and keep everything safe by having a dedicated fryer for gluten free things, and another dedicated fryer just for fries! I have eaten there many many times and never gotten glutened (though it's still fried food, so have to go easy on it). It's a good spot to hang out if it's not busy, or you can get take out.

The Dirty Bird: This is more of a takeout spot, but again with the fried food. They use a rice flour batter for the chicken, and the fries are safe too. They do make regular waffles, but can do gluten-free as well. There are 2 locations - one in Kensington market, and one on Bloor near Bathurst.

Arepa Cafe - on Queen between spadina and bathurst. One of my favourite places to get a quick meal, but you could easly hang around for a while. Arepas are corn bread stuffed with stuff. Little tricky eating for small hands, so can get a platter instead. Almost everything (except I think for fried stuff) is gluten-free.

Magic Oven - I can't do dairy either, so this is my occassional pizza splurge. They are very conscious of gluten free safety, have a dedicated fryer for fries (and wings!), make pretty decent pizza though it is not cheap.
Il Fornello - another safe place for pizza, though also not cheap. I believe one of the owners is celiac, so they put gluten-free pizza in a special bag in the oven to keep it safe.

If you like Mexican, the Playa Cabana family of restaurants is good option. One of their owners is Celiac, so they actually mark items WITH gluten on their menus.

And if very adventurous, Chez Riz at Yonge and Lawrence, and on Mt Pleasant are both asian fusion (think dim sum and sushi) with completely dedicated gluten-free sections of their kitchens.

There are lots of good restaurants that will accommodate gluten free, but they do tend to be on the "nicer" side, not likely a chain. Wherever you do want to go, be sure to call in advance and ask what they can do for your little one. And of course, if you want to take the family out but are afraid to feed her anything there, ask if you can bring something for her. Most restaurants are accommodating as long as everyone else is eating. It's also helpful to ask around your neighbourhood.

Of course, there's always desert:
If you don't know already, there are several excellent 100% gluten free bakeries in town: Bunner's Bakeshop (in Kensington and the Junction) and  Almond Butterfly (on Harbord) are my favorites.

Anyway, don't be afraid to eat out. Just plan ahead and go prepared. If something doesn't feel right, dig out the "back-up" meal

Good luck!






~ Be a light unto yourself. ~ - The Buddha

- Gluten-free since March 2009 (not officially diagnosed, but most likely Celiac). Symptoms have greatly improved or disappeared since.
- Soy intolerant. Dairy free (likely casein intolerant). Problems with eggs, quinoa, brown rice

- mild gastritis seen on endoscopy Oct 2012. Not sure if healed or not.
- Family members with Celiac: Mother, sister, aunt on mother's side, aunt and uncle on father's side, more being diagnosed every year.

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I also live in toronto and was looking for a forum exactly like this so thank you for posting it! Im very newly diagnosed so I dont have many recommendations but I enjoy Basil box, its 100% gluten free so no stress when you order! I also enjoy aromas gluten free bread (you have to request it but its delicious), also there hibiscus in kensington market. They pretty much only do crepes and soup but they are 100% gluten free with many vegan options. 

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I'm from Halifax and going to be in TO in a couple weeks for work but going a day early to catch a game.  We are staying at the Delta right near the ACC.  Does anyone know any celiac safe places to eat in the area?  I'm not sure what I'm going to do for food when I get there as I'm a newly diagnosed silent celiac.  I advised the hotel for the work conference so I'm sure they can accommodate but the day  or day and half before the work starts where we will be eating out is concerning me. Any ideas will help, thanks!

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