Wellness Wednesday: Gluten-free dining in South Florida
My journey with Celiac disease, an auto immune disease in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine, began in 2014. Although gluten free food options have tremendously increased since that time, there is still a lack of understanding and care for those with my specific dietary need. So if you're like me, finding a restaurant that offers gluten free options can be extremely difficult. Luckily, I have found a few places in South Florida that fit the bill (and which I frequent very often).
Fit Foodz Cafe: 9704 Clint Moore Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33496
Fit Foodz Cafe, located in West Boca Raton, is one of my favorite places to dine in South Florida. Fit Foodz offers a healthy variety of foods for a fraction of the cost and calories of other restaurants. They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and they offer both juices and smoothies and meal plans (for a very low price). I love that Fit Foodz helps meet the needs of those with a wide range of dietary needs, including gluten free, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian.
Some of my favorite foods have included the spaghetti squash with turkey chili, zoodles with chicken, Sheppard’s pie with sweet potato rounds, and of course their fabulous desserts. As you know, being gluten free is not that easy, but having a place to be able to satisfy my food cravings AND my sweet tooth has been heavenly.
My favorite gluten free desserts here include twinkies, double layer chocolate cake and carrot cake cupcakes, just to name a few.
Bolay- 5030 Champion Blvd G1D, Boca Raton, FL 33496 plus locations in Palm Beach Gardens and Royal Palm Beach.
I am IN LOVE with this place. Bolay’s phrase “Bolay All Day” is the best way to describe how often I frequent there (okay, not every day, but more like two or three times per week). People question how often I eat there, but once you try it, you become instantly hooked. The setup is just like Chipotle; you approach the counter and choose your base(s), veggie(s), protein(s), topping(s), and then your sauce(s). However, Bolay is 100% gluten free!! That’s right, it’s a dedicated gluten free establishment. The food is delicious and healthy but also filling.
My go-to meal here is a combination of the sweet potato mash, cilantro noodles, smoked cauliflower, balsamic mushrooms, miso-glazed tofu, and minted tomatoes.
Did I mention that their chocolate chip cookie (yes, gluten free) is one of the best cookies I have ever had??
Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar- 1841 S Federal Hwy #402, Delray Beach, FL 33483
Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar is a newer upscale restaurant located in the heart of Delray Beach, just a few miles south of Atlantic Avenue. A healthy dining chain with seven locations in Pennsylvania, Harvest in Delray is the only Florida location and offers happy hour during the week, which includes food (such as $5.00 flatbreads and $10.00 Grass-Fed beef burgers) and cocktails, and they have both dinner and brunch menus.
Harvest is one of my favorite restaurants because of their diverse gluten free menu (they can even serve those who are vegan and vegetarian). Not only is their food delicious, but their alcoholic beverages are superb (and they even mark which drinks are gluten free).
What makes Harvest different is that their menu changes based on the season (but don’t worry because some of their options remain the same throughout the year).
My favorite items include the Grass-Fed beef burger (on a gluten free bun), fish tacos (with corn tortillas), salsa and guacamole, Margherita flatbread (made with gluten free dough), and the sea salt and chocolate mousse cake shot for dessert.
Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen- 452 North Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
There are not enough words to describe my gluten free love for Doc B’s. Located in the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale (with locations coming to Aventura, Coral Gables, Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth in 2017), Doc B’s is a full-service restaurant AND bar.
Their menu is sophisticated, yet reasonably priced and they offer numerous gluten free options (they even have a separate fryer for their fries!).
I have tried the Grilled California Artichokes (with a fantastic dipping sauce), the West Coast Steak Sandwich (served on a gluten free bun, of course), and their Traditional Burger. Most importantly, and I’m sure my gluten free foodie friends will agree, they had hand-cut sweet potato fries. Everything was fantastic and the service was on-par with their food. The wait staff is well-versed with what could be made gluten free. I highly recommend this place to ANYONE AND EVERYONE, whether gluten free or not.
Beehive Kitchen- 6312 N Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Beehive Kitchen is a gluten-friendly establishment located in Fort Lauderdale. Their food is hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and what I consider to be absolutely delicious. Beehive’s concept is similar to Bolay and Chipotle, where you approach the counter and “build your own bowl” (base, veggie, protein, and sauce).
My go-to meal includes the sweet potato glass noodles, roasted sweet potatoes, parmesan roasted broccoli, wok-seared mushrooms, and baked almond chicken. My only regret is that the dessert is not gluten free, but their food is so good that I walk out feeling healthy and full every time.
Anzo Mediterranean Kitchen - 330 Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
It is incredibly hard being able to find gluten free falafel, but Anzo has perfected this (and more). Anzo, opened by the same owners as The Chickpea, has locations in West Boca Raton, downtown West Palm Beach (Clematis), and Palm Beach Gardens. They are a fast-casual restaurant known for their Mediterranean-style food and have plenty of gluten free options (most of their food is gluten free, with the exception of pita bread and turkey meatballs). Every item is more delicious than (then?!) the next and I love being able to build my own bowl based on my taste buds that day.
My go-to bowl typically consists of turmeric basmati rice, vegetable quinoa, falafel, shawarma cauliflower, garlic roasted broccoli, hummus, crunchy tzatziki, cabbage, beets, pickled onions, and marinated tomatoes.
I hope my fellow gluten-free friends enjoy these restaurants. Please comment below some favorite GF spots you have discovered as I am always looking for new places! And, be sure to follow my gluten free adventures on Instagram, @glutenfreegalpal.