Montreal is a great city for many reasons, but one of the main reasons has got to be our wide varieties of incredible restaurants to choose from. When you're celiac, gluten sensitive/intolerant, or have multiple allergies, it becomes increasingly difficult to dine out. It almost feels like a chore, to have to pack lunches everywhere you go and turn down invitations to restaurants because you know there's no gluten-free menu, and cross-contamination is too big of a risk. Luckily, Montreal's gastronomy is hardly ever deceiving, and I've gathered a list of places for you to go to if gluten happens to be your worst enemy.
Number one on the list for a reason, Ottavio's has an incredible selection of dishes on their large gluten-free menu. Their specialities are pizza, pasta and mussels and they're to die for. They're extremely vigilant, and their staff work meticulously to bring to you a safe gluten-free environment for yourself and others members of your friends and family that suffer from celiac disease or have an intolerance to the protein. From clean utensils that have not been in contact with gluten, to gluten-free soap in their bathrooms, Ottavio's ensures that you will be taken care of. You can even bring your own wine and gluten-free beer!
ZERO8 has zero of all top 8 allergens; the restaurant is gluten free, nut free, egg , sesame, soja, milk, fish and seafood free. This great restaurant has a large menu for adults and children and is ready to deliver wonderful allergen free food for a stress-free night out. This is ultimately the best place to go if many of your friends or family members have allergies, and it's delicious!
2157 Rue Mackay, multiple locations
This amazing gluten-free vegan/vegetarian restaurant will have your taste buds jumping for joy. They have everything from smoothie bowls and raw energy bites to wraps and delicious salads, you will not leave disappointed. I was surprised at how big the menu was, it's definitely a spot you need to go back to multiple times. They even have their great recipes online, as well as classes you can take to learn how to cook fantastic healthy meals. No gluten, no problem.
click here to get the directions:
4. Cookie Stéfanie
Gluten-free treats for all! This bakery is honestly my ultimate favourite spot for gluten-free sweets, it's painless pleasure pleasure for those who are gluten intolerant/sensitive and celiac. Their baked goods are so good your mouth will water, Cookie Stéfanie believes that you should not have to compromise taste in order to be gluten-free. Not only do they have spectacular pastries, their salads, sandwiches soups, lattes and specialty teas are all so good, you need to try it for yourself. It's even located in the old port, cute locations are always a bonus.
Baked2Go makes incredible gluten-free baked goods that you can eat there or bring with you at home! All wrapped up and ready "2Go" this spot is perfect for when you just don't have time to sit down and have a meal. We all know how hard it is to purchase tasty gluten-free breads, croissants and such, but Baked2Go offers nothing but the best!
6. Aux Vivres
4631 Boul St-Laurent, multiple locations
This vegan restaurant has been a fan favourite since 1997 and has a bunch of gluten-free options in their menu ready to be devoured. Their menu is not 100% gluten-free but the gluten-free options are varied, and perfect for those who are gluten intolerant. Their dishes are so colourful and tasty, it's perfect for the gluten-free friend and the vegan friend. Bonus!
7. Lola Rosa
Lola Rosa is the place to go if you're the only gluten-free person in your entourage. Known as every "non-vegetarian's favourite vegetarian restaurant", you and your non gluten-free friends or family can enjoy the wide variety of meals from quesadillas to lasagnas and curry dishes, it has something for everybody! Celiac's should beware that cross-contamination is always a possibility since their menu is split between gluten and gluten-free dishes. But this spot is a great option and more suited for the gluten sensitive.
8. Copper Branch
444 Boulevard René-Lévesque O, multiple locations
Delicious and nutritious gluten-free and vegan fast food? Yes, Please. This place is my favourite of all time. They have such a big variety of vegan meals, sides and snacks prepared for you on the spot and ready to go in minutes. You can either enjoy their amazing power bowls that will leave you heavenly stuffed, or their sandwiches, soups, vegan chili etc. This is the perfect option for celiacs, if you forget your lunch at home, Copper Branch has got your back. Copper Branch has been growing Copper Branches all around Montreal lately, you will not have trouble finding one near you. I suggest you try their brownie, I swear I died and went to heaven when I tasted it.
8. PF Chang's
Fancy Asian food with gluten free options! PF Chang's is off the chang! They have a lot of options on their gluten-free menu and the friendly staff and chefs are very cautious with allergies. If you also have any other allergies, be sure to notify them and they will make sure to prepare your meal meticulously ensuring none of your food allergies come in contact with your meal.
9. Arepera Du Plateau
This 100% gluten-free Venezuelan restaurant with a bunch of vegan options is a hidden treasure in the Plateau. You have the best of all worlds combined from meat, vegan and vegetarian options, they're all gluten-free, therefore stress-free. Perfect for those who suffer with celiac disease, you don't have to worry about cross-contamination. The friendly staff will welcome you with authentic Venezuelan dishes, so mouth-watering you will have to go back.
10. Le Point Sans G
This gluten-free restaurant serves delicious food in their restaurant and food truck! From fried gnocchi to quinoa burgers, you'll never be able to look back. They even make a point to prioritize local products, and cook in a gluten-free environment.
All these wonderful restaurants give celiac's the chance to be real Montreal foodies and explore new places without compromising taste or their health.
My dearest friend Miranda has struggled with celiac disease for most of her life and as we get older I realize how difficult it is for her to eat out, so this one is for her and everyone who suffers from this disease. Fortunately if you're reading this, you're from Montreal and have the opportunity to explore all these celiac friendly places.