Note: this is a guest blog from Linda’s gluten-free, food-loving friend Sharman Hnatiuk.
Originally published in 2019. Updated in 2023.
As Linda’s favourite Celiac friend, a self-professed distinction, she asked me back in 2019 to write a guest blog for her on gluten-free dining options in Edmonton.
Linda asked for an update this summer (2023), and this time around, I would like to start with this disclaimer:
This is not an exhaustive list of every GF option in Edmonton. Instead, it is guide based on my preferences and experiences, as well as some suggestions from others in the community. Restaurants open and close and menus can evolve to be more gluten-free inclusive. If you have a gluten-free dish or dining spot you love that isn’t mentioned, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions to help other gluten free diners.
In this blog I will start with the safest options for Celiacs dining in Edmonton, followed by some of my current favourite gluten-free bites across the city. I’ll finish by adding places I’ve personally dined at with GF options, as well as other options either I’ve heard about, or who contacted Linda directly to be added to the list.
I know that anytime I eat at a non-certified gluten free restaurant, I am taking a risk; however, I do my best to avoid obvious cross-contamination. I personally do not eat food cooked in the same fryer with gluten, nor would I pay for the gluten-free crust at a pizza place using all the same utensil to slap down the tomato sauce. I adore Made by Marcus ice cream, but I buy the pints to eat at home, rather than risk the contamination of a by-the-scoop order.
There are more and more restaurants marketing gluten-free options which should really be labelled as “may contain gluten options.”
When dining out always ask a lot of questions and never assume something labelled as gluten free is gluten free.
I once dined at a restaurant in Edmonton with a dedicated two-page gluten-free menu—but when I asked if they had a separate fryer the response was no.
The server clarified that only one option was free from contamination.
I find this type of marketing not only frustrating, but dangerous for those looking for gluten-free options. For that reason, places that market GF options that I think have an obvious risk of contamination have not been added to this list.
For up-to-date information and tips, visit the Edmonton Chapter of Celiac Canada, especially for details on upcoming events!
Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Eating in Edmonton
Guest Blog by Sharman Hnatiuk, a local food lover who is Celiac.
Originally published in 2019. Updated in 2023.
Totally gluten-free options in Edmonton
- Continental Treat Fine Bistro: now with locations on Jasper Ave as well as the Whyte Ave. original, Continental Treat is a 100% gluten free restaurant. Indulge in the dill pickle soup, crispy fried schnitzel, and apple strudel with 100% confidence the meal is Celiac safe. Check out their website for ordering baked items or find them at some Edmonton markets!
- Celebrate Gluten Free: Pick up their fresh baked breads (which don’t need to be toasted to make a sandwich edible), cinnamon buns, cheese buns, eclairs, cupcakes and squares. Saturday specials include eclairs and jelly filled donuts.
- Kinnikinnick Foods: My go-to source for baguettes and all-purpose flour blend. Kinnikinnick is more of a mini gluten-free grocery store with everything from cereal to perogies. Many of their items are egg/dairy free for GF folks with those allergies. I recently became a fan of their pizza buns which felt like a nostalgic treat!
- My Fries Poutinerie: Edmonton’s first Gluten-Free Food Program certified restaurant is serving up poutine in the west end of Edmonton. In addition to the classic, you can spice things up with everything from butter chicken, Philly Cheese, and BBQ pulled pork.
- Chateau Louis Dining Room: This is another Gluten Free Food Program certified option for you! The totally gluten-free kitchen services up weekend buffet options in addition to their all-day menu options. Order their fried chicken to go.
- Rio Vida Gluten Free – This is another west-end gluten-free bakery. Rio Vida has GF dry mixes, ready to eat frozen bites (perogies, empanadas, flat breads) as well as gluten free frozen dough options including puff pastry, pizza dough, brioche and pie crust.
Sharman’s current favourite gluten-free bites in Edmonton
Note: Some of this list includes some of my favourite bites in town that I have been enjoying for years, while others are new ones I’ve just experienced this summer 2023!
- Crispy Chicken Sandwich at Pals: This sandwich is naturally gluten-free – no subs or changes required. Made in a dedicated gluten-free fryer, the crispy chicken sandwich and chips from Pals have brought me immense joy this Summer 2023.
* if you’re getting the chips/fries, skip the onion dip which has malt.
- Vietnamese subs at Banh Mi Day: This family-run Vietnamese sandwich shop on Jasper Ave .opened in 2022 but it wasn’t until Summer 2023 that I first tried it and loved it. The Banh Mi Day folks take care making the gluten-free subs separately in the back of the shop. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think mine would be the lemongrass chicken banh mi!
- Pho at King Noodle House Pho Hoang: Linda loves to tell people that the pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) at her parent’s restaurant King Noodle House is gluten-free and she confidently uses me as evidence. When I go, I stick to the traditional broth with steak, flank or brisket but I avoid meatballs and processed meat in some of the soups as I can’t confirm they are gluten free.
* this restaurant is cash only.
- Thai Valley Grill: I live close to downtown but have started hitting up Thai Valley Grill when I’m heading to/from the airport or other south side destinations. Located at Calgary Trail and Whitemud (next to the library) this spot has great Thai food and staff are very knowledgeable about the gluten-free options. Don’t be fooled by their menu, which doesn’t specify gluten-free dishes—just ask your server or call.
- Dosa at Nosh Café Indian Cuisine: I was first introduced to masala dosas—a thin crepe made from fermented lentil/rice batter and stuffed with a spicy potato mixture when backpacking Southern India. Served with chutney and sambar, dosas are a treat I love to enjoy, but not all Indian restaurants serve it. Nosh is close to my house and serves up gluten-free curries as well as dosas! Give it a try and enjoy eating with your hands.
- Japonais Bistro: Now with two locations in Edmonton, Japonais is still my favourite sushi spot in the city. Their menu clearly labels gluten-free available dishes and the New Style Sashimi is my favourite dish to order.
- Ichiban: This strip mall sushi spot has a special place in my heart. Ichiban is ridiculously fast, features female sushi chefs, and items are great value. You can find this restaurant at 8750 149 St, Edmonton, AB T5R 1B6 or call (780) 481-5252. Items aren’t labelled gluten-free but they have plenty of options and gluten-free soy sauce!
- Biera: This popular eatery started serving brunch this Summer 2023 and I had the most delicious English breakfast there!! Gluten-free options are available for brunch or dinner.
- OEB: So often places have just one gluten-free option for breakfast or brunch, but breakfast pros OEB offer many. I’m a fan of the Breakfast Poutine!
- The Lingnan: I started dining at The Lingnan earlier this year after they posted about a beef chow fun noodle dish that was gluten free. I also like that items that may have gluten or be contaminated with gluten are labelled. You can also confidently ask your server!
Gluten-free Ice Cream in Edmonton
- Made by Marcus: There are many craft ice cream makers in Edmonton, but this Calgary import remains my favourite. I don’t risk the contamination of the “by the scoop” in-store options, instead I hit the in-store freezer pint to-go options instead. The Whyte Ave location has soft serve which can be gluten-free.
- Yelo’d Ice Cream & Bake Shop: Gluten-free Filipino inspired flavours are always on the soft serve and Yelo’d had gluten-free ice cream cones last time I went. Top your treat with GF fruity pebbles for a complete sugar overload.
- Kind Ice Cream: Another Edmonton favourite, Kind Ice Cream has gluten-free options listed on their website but your safest bet is the pints to go!
- Annie Rue Ice Cream – Hidden in Park Allen, Annie Rue also sells gluten-free pints to go.
- Twice Cream: Located in Westmount, Twice Cream doesn’t appear to list gluten-free flavours on their website but I was able to buy pints to-go with gluten-free options.
Worth the $$$ and the calories
- Tzin: This is an intimate wine bar with a small but delicious menu. There are no gluten-free labels on the online menu but you can ask the server for options and ALWAYS order The Bacon!
- Fairmont Hotel Macdonald: Fairmont properties are known for accommodating allergies and the Hotel Mac delivers! Enjoy gluten-free options on the patio, at the Harvest Room or when splurging on Sunday brunch.
- Robert Spencer Hospitality: Chef Paul Shufelt’s restaurants always have gluten-free options.! Indulge in a burger and poutine at Woodshed Burgers, indulge at Workshop Eatery located in the Mosaic Centre in South Edmonton, or go full carnivore at Hayloft Steak & Fish.
- RGE RD: Owners Caitlin Fulton and Chef Blair Lebsack of RGE RD offer a fabulous dining experience where gluten-free feels like no trouble at all. Treat yourself to the chef’s choice Road Trip dinner.
- Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse: Most people go to Pampa for the all you can eat rodizio meat experience. I go for the unlimited supply of pao de quijo—delicious Brazilian cheese buns! I was first introduced to these chewy buns while travelling in Brazil. They are made with tapioca flour and 100% gluten free. You won’t be able to have just one!
- SABOR / Bodega: Christian Mena and Chef Lino Oliveira have a recipe for success with their Portuguese/Spanish menus at both SABOR and their Bodega wine bars (now with four locations in Edmonton plus St. Albert and Sherwood Park). I love that I can get my gluten-free bacon-wrapped date fix across the greater Edmonton area.
- Jack’s Burger Shack: Now on Jasper Ave as well as their original location in St. Albert, Jack’s Burger Shack is a great spot for a gluten-free burger and shake. The staff are great with allergies so ask at the counter and they can confirm what you can and cannot order.
- The owners of Pals, Marlo, The Next Act Pub, Pip and MEAT have shown some serious love to Celiacs on their menus. Their growing conglomerate of restaurants a block off Whyte are fan favourites for their gluten-free sandwiches, brunch, tacos, smoked meat and fish & chips.
- Guru Restaurant: Guru is my favourite Indian restaurant in the city! Of note: they have a gluten-free chickpea bread to substitute for naan!
- Bundok: Although the online menu does not outline gluten-free options, Chef Ryan Hotchkiss will take care of Celiacs. Save room for the citrus posset!!
- Remedy Cafe: Not only does Remedy Cafe serve up delicious chai, but they have a range of wraps, curries, sandwiches as well as drinks and desserts that can be done gluten/dairy-free and vegan.
Celiacs are so lucky with Mexican, Central American, and South American dishes as many are corn-based and naturally gluten-free! Check out some of my favourite spots for gluten-free Latin cuisine in Edmonton:
- Avila Arepa: Loads of gluten-free options at this Whyte Ave spot.
- El Fogon: A great Venezuelan restaurant located in a strip mall on 118th Ave. Note some fillings are made with items that may be fried in a contaminated fryer. Be sure to ask which are cooked safely gluten-free.
- La Patrona: Located in Sherwood Park. Reservations advised for this hot spot!
- Mamenche’s: this Salvadoran family-run hole-in-the-wall serves up pupusas that taste authentic. Make sure to check opening dates/times and be patient with ordering when they are busy.
- Sabor de Los Andes: Located next to Twice Cream in Westmount, I loved the gluten-free empanadas on my last visit!
- Los Molcajetes in Spruce Grove: They serve up tacos, pupusas and other gluten-free treats. Shop their GF Latin American grocery items while you wait!
Even more Gluten-Free Bites around Edmonton
- Belgravia Hub: Find clearly labelled gluten-free items on their menu!
- Brits Fish and Chips: Nearly everything they serve is available in gluten-free batter cooked in its own dedicated fryer! They also make gluten-free tartare sauce.
- Earls: I’ve had some bad luck at chain restaurants but my gluten-free friend Seanna swears by the gluten-free burger at Earls. She also reported that some locations have a dedicated fryer! Ask if you can indulge in the fries.
- Die Pie: This plant-based, Vegan restaurant has loads of gluten-free options including pizza and dessert.
- Cactus Club: This restaurant chain has a ‘gluten smart’ menu my friend Seanna gives a thumbs up to.
- Oliveto: A family-run Italian restaurant in Riverbend Square is another Seanna recommendation for gluten-free eats!
- The Moth Café: This is another plant based option in Edmonton with lots of clearly-labelled gluten-free options.
- Food in the Nud: Located in the Ritchie neighbourhood (and available on Biera’s menu), Food in the Nud has gluten, dairy, soy and corn free bakery items.
- The Common – a staple for downtown food, drinks and entertainment, double check with your server to ensure gluten-free items are safe as there is a risk of contamination with the fryer.
- Sorrentino’s: These Italian restaurants all around the Edmonton area have gluten-free options including gluten-free pasta.
Have fun on your gluten-free eating adventures in Edmonton!
A reminder to make sure you ask questions each and every time you dine.
Restaurants can change their ingredients or cooking practices, menus evolve, so be sure to always let your server about your dietary restrictions and advocate for yourself!
If you found this post useful, please consider sharing it!
And if you have a favourite gluten-free dish / restaurant in Edmonton that wasn’t mentioned, please shout out to it in the comments below!
About Sharman Hnatiuk
Sharman Hnatiuk is a gluten-free, Edmonton-based food and travel blogger, ambassador for Alberta Pork and Taste Alberta and good friend of Linda’s! You’ll often find Sharman organizing delicious food events, cooking up recipes, or on an adventure.