Every stomach processes food a tiny bit differently due to a ton of factors, but every person deserves to get to try the incredible tastes available in the many restaurants, bakeries, and shops in Asheville, NC.
Luckily, the restaurant community here is very attuned to the needs of diners, offering options to cater to plant-based diets, modify dishes to avoid allergens, and also keep gluten, which are particular proteins primarily found in wheat and similar grains, out of foods.
While the exact source of gluten sensitivities is unknown, many people find that the stomach pain and gastrointestinal illness that they experience while eating wheat products go away when they switch to a gluten-free diet.
There are also individuals with a rare illness known as celiac disease, where even trace amounts of gluten can trigger an autoimmune response and dangerous symptoms. Individuals with celiac disease tend to primarily cook for themselves to avoid any cross-contamination, but some restaurants take the precautions necessary to keep all traces of gluten out.
For others who aren’t experiencing celiac disease, it may be enough to have ample gluten-free menu items that allow for a fun, flavorful night out. Here are some of our picks for where to enjoy gluten-free food in Asheville!
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18 Places to Go Gluten-Free in Asheville
1. Have a Carefree Night Out at Posana
To be a true gluten-free kitchen, it’s not about making a few dishes that happen not to have gluten in them – it’s about not bringing wheat or other gluten products into the kitchen at all. Celiac disease, after all, is as severe for those who have it as a severe peanut allergy, and most people know that even being in the same room as such allergens can be dangerous.
Posana, a fine dining restaurant in downtown Asheville, has made their entire kitchen gluten-free and simply doesn’t put wheat on the menu. Instead, their flavorful and varied dishes come out exactly as gluten-free for someone with celiac disease as for someone without a sensitivity or intolerance.
Location: 1 Biltmore Ave, Asheville
2. Enjoy Relaxed and Comfortable Dining at Pack’s Tavern
Pack’s Tavern is a real home-away-from-home place, but with the addition that the food tends to be a notch above standard pub fare – after all, this is Asheville we’re talking about!
Visitors to this restaurant who have had sensitivities or celiac disease have mentioned how incredibly comfortable the staff made them feel. Experiences range from hostesses and servers who talk through the gluten-free menu to a chef who actually came out and discussed preparation with the guests so that they could feel comfortable and confident in the food they were about to eat.
The ability to choose from the whole menu without fear makes a lot of visitors to Asheville rejoice, and the staff members are always clear about what is gluten-free but not quite celiac safe due to potential traces of wheat, like the pizza.
The burgers, salads, and sandwiches all get great reviews, and they offer gluten-free alcoholic beverages like cider on tap. There’s a reason why this Pack Square mainstay has a great reputation among foodies in town!
Location: 20 S Spruce Street, Asheville
3. Have Tea and Treats Without Gluten at Dobra Tea
The three tea house locations of Dobra Tea are a treat in every way, from the wide variety of delicious teas and locally-made blends to the simple and flavorful food menus. What I hadn’t realized until I looked it up was that Dobra Tea aims for many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, to the point where they don’t sell any foods with gluten in them.
While, like other places, I always would recommend someone with celiac talk to the staff and ensure that you’re comfortable with their precautions against cross-contamination, the fact that they don’t sell any gluten foods is very positive for anyone with a more common gluten sensitivity.
They aim for delicious and flavorful foods that are also chock-full of nutrients, with treats like pumpkin seed almond butter cookies and avocado toast or miso soup. It’s possible to get the flavor and richness that you seek alongside your cup of tea while also giving your body all kinds of excellent nutrients.
Downtown: 78 N. Lexington Avenue, Asheville
West Asheville: 707 Haywood Road, Asheville
East Asheville: 1011 Tunnel Road, Asheville
4. Find No Gluten in the Fryer at All Day Darling
I’ve made it known that my favorite meal in town lately has been the Hearty Salad from All Day Darling, a wonderful combo of the rich and savory flavors of fried halloumi and lentil fritters with plenty of kale, lettuce, and seeds, all topped with a top-notch honey tahini dressing. You couldn’t combine more of my favorite crunchy, crispy flavors with more nutritious features if you tried!
Reviewers on findmeglutenfree.com mention that even though the kitchen does process food with wheat in it, they have a special process and work very hard to prevent cross-contamination, especially when a visitor mentions they have celiac disease. Multiple reviewers were able to enjoy gluten-free dining without a reaction.
If you’ve been craving foods like fried chicken, you might enjoy the Thunderbowl, which features warm kale, bamboo rice, fermented vegetables, harissa aioli, and a gluten-free fried chicken. While I’m sure people who eat gluten-free end up eating quite a few salads, I really can’t say enough positives about the salads, sandwiches, bowls, and toasts here!
Location: 102 Montford Avenue, Asheville
5. Have Fun and Flair with Arepas From Little Chango
When the weather is good, Little Chango is an excellent option when visiting Asheville. It’s got a feeling of being a best-kept-secret due to being a rather small indoor space for barstools with an outdoor seating area.
You’ll find that the menu is gluten-free, and the servers are knowledgeable about celiac, making sure that everyone is taken care of in a way that inspires confidence in what they are eating. Customers rave about the yuca fries, arepas, and dessert flan. If you’re looking for a tasty gluten-free drink, try the Ginger’s Revenge alcoholic ginger beer, which is gluten-free and a super-refreshing option if you’ve mostly been drinking ciders.
Location: 134 Coxe Avenue, Asheville
6. Taste the Mediterranean Flavors at Gypsy Queen Cuisine
I have a little nostalgia for Asheville before the heyday of its current tourism spike. While all the things that tourism has brought are lovely for the most part, there’s something really special about finding absolutely glorious food in a simple storefront in a no-frills strip mall.
Gypsy Queen Cuisine is one of those restaurants that is hard to pick out from the road, but once you get close, you start to feel the warmth and delight of the place. As the first place to ever put french fries on my gyro (who knew this wonderful option existed!), they hold a special place in my heart, partially because of their flavorful menu full of options for all kinds of dietary needs and preferences.
Location: 807 Patton Avenue, Asheville
7. Sample Everything From Snacks to Meals at Twisted Crepe
Crepes, delicious thin pancakes filled with a variety of savory or sweet fillings, are the star of the show at the Twisted Crepe, and because they’ve developed a very tasty gluten-free crepe, nearly anything on the menu can be made gluten-free, and because they keep pans separate for gluten-free crepes, many celiac visitors have mentioned experiencing no reaction.
Guests rave about the flavorful freshness of the vegetables in the crepes as well as the extensive sweet crepe menu that includes sweetness without overpowering the flavors involved. Guests notice that the workers change gloves when working with a gluten-free crepe to make sure there’s no cross-contamination.
Be aware that there is a small surcharge for the gluten-free crepes, but given the thorough set-up for safety, most reviewers mentioned it was well worth it for a flavorful treat or a savory meal.
Location: 62 Haywood Street, Asheville
8. Get the Right Menu for a Good Gluten-Free Night at Plant
The intersection of having someone with a gluten sensitivity and a group that is prioritizing plant-based eating can be tough to accommodate in some cities, but in Asheville, the right fit is Plant. This incredible spot is both classy and fun while offering incredibly flavorful vegan fare.
Not every item on the menu can be made gluten-free, but many items can, and your server will be able to help determine whether an item could have potential wheat in it or if something is likely to interact with gluten. Enjoy the artistry and flavors involved in some of the top-notch vegan food our town has to offer.
Location: 165 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
9. Savor Tasty Gluten-Free Donuts at Dough House in Black Mountain
Just down the mountain a bit from Asheville is Dough House in Black Mountain, a delicious vegan donut bakery that also has a dedicated fryer to make gluten-free donuts. The reviewers rave about the crunchy fried outside and fluffy cake interior, and because everything is made to order, you can get any of their many toppings on your donuts after they come out of the fryer. For a sweet treat that fills that bready craving but also your sweet tooth, Dough House is a great option.
10. Socialize Over Gluten-Free-Style Tapas at Cúrate
Tapas-style eating can be a great fit if you prefer to eat less or almost no gluten. While wheat-based bread is definitely popular in Spain, many of the traditional tapas, or small plates, offered at Asheville’s Cúrate restaurant are designated as gluten-free because there is simply no wheat or bread product included.
Spanish cuisine places a premium on fresh ingredients, and while they are seasoned, many of the dishes let the high-quality produce, meat, or fish play the primary role: sample pimientos de piquillo relleno, savory peppers stuffed with goat cheese, or vieiras, a dish of delicious scallops with charred leeks and confit potatoes to round out the flavors.
It’s a fun place to eat with friends, since getting a lot of different dishes and sampling a little of everything until you find your favorites is a huge part of the appeal. Cúrate prides itself on offering a wide selection of gluten-free items, but you can also ask if any given dish can be made gluten-free.
Be aware, however, that it isn’t a gluten-free kitchen, so take the waitstaff’s suggestions when there are dishes that might experience cross-contamination.
Location: 13 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
11. Experience Gluten-Free Italian Eating at Strada Italiano
Strada Italiano and its neighboring space Social Lounge offer a fun and bustling Italian food experience in warm, well-decorated rooms. I feel instantly at home when I come to this restaurant.
What’s great is that even though Italian food traditionally contains quite a lot of gluten, Strada has made a full commitment to avoiding cross-contamination and creating incredible gluten-free pasta, bread, and cracker options that make most of the menu possible to modify to gluten-free.
People who have been craving their favorite pasta, eggplant parmesan, calamari, and tiramisu but haven’t found these options in a gluten-free form in a while will rejoice. While the staff do keep the kitchen clean and change gloves when preparing gluten-free items, it’s always valuable to tell them about serious conditions like celiac so that the kitchen staff can follow their most rigorous protocol for keeping wheat away from your meal.
Location: 27 Broadway Street, Asheville
12. Enjoy Good Gluten-Sensitive Options at Chai Pani
Chai Pani has won all kinds of awards for its incredible Indian street food, and because so much of the frying that is done in Indian street food involves chickpea flour, either instead of or in addition to any wheat, many of the dishes will have less gluten than at other restaurants.
However, because there is no dedicated fryer and multiple reviewers have mentioned that some trace amount of gluten caused them trouble, it’s probably best to assume most of the items marked gluten-free will be a perfectly good option for sensitivity but could be dangerous for people with celiac disease.
If you do stop by, some of the flavorful options that are made nearly gluten-free or entirely so are on a special, amusing menu, which conveniently helps you not have to comb through the full menu just to find the things you would like to eat.
Location: 22 Battery Park Avenue, Asheville
13. Enjoy a “Beer City” Hangout at Noble Cider & Mead Downtown
Noble Cider & Mead Downtown is a great option because it’s always nice to have a place that caters well to gluten-free needs when you want to go out for a drink and experience a bit of Asheville’s “Beer City” vibe without being surrounded by beers full of gluten.
While Noble does have some taps for beer, they keep them separate to avoid cross-contamination. They’ve recently added a snacks/casual eats menu with flavors like whipped goat cheese and beet spread with sweet potato chips and sorghum-glazed pecans that are also gluten-free. Just chat with your bartender to learn more about cross-contamination if you’re concerned and want a snack.
Location: 49 Rankin Avenue, Asheville
14. Get Brunch Favorites Done Gluten-Free at Early Girl Eatery
Early Girl Eatery has a variety of delicious gluten-free items with a dedicated gluten-free fryer and space in their kitchen. Mentioning celiac and gluten sensitivity helps the server and cooks know to follow a full protocol that keeps you safe and allows them to serve you their delicious brunch favorites.
From chicken and waffles to fish and chips, you’ll find all kinds of savory flavors, including barbecue pork mac and cheese. Their secret is to primarily use a gluten-free flour that allows them to make many of the crispy, bready favorites that make a brunch so tasty but without the threat of wheat gluten.
Location: 8 Wall Street, Asheville
Location: 444 Haywood Road #101, Asheville
15. Find Great Gluten-Free Crust at Asheville Pizza & Brewing
Many people with severe gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies give up on eating at pizzerias for fear of cross-contamination, but one pizza place in Asheville that gets strong reviews from the gluten-free community is Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company.
On Find Me Gluten Free there are multiple reviews from people with celiac disease who experienced no reaction to the gluten-free pizza and who thought the crust was so delicious that they could have sworn there was actually wheat in it!
Enjoying the crust and getting to satisfy a pizza craving is made even more fun by the funky decor of this establishment at its primary North Asheville location (there are also locations in other parts of the city), as well as the option to either listen to a comedy show, participate in trivia, or watch a film in their movie theater. For a fun, low-key, and interactive evening, there are few better places.
Location: 675 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
Location: 77 Coxe Avenue, Asheville
16. Enjoy Excellent Service at the Bistro at Biltmore
So many people come to Asheville specifically to see the largest private residence in the country, Biltmore Estate. It only makes sense that, due to this, they’d want to have at least one great gluten-free eatery on-site.
The Bistro at Biltmore offers up standard restaurant fare done with the Biltmore attention to detail and customer service, and they are careful with precautions related to both gluten and many other allergens.
The servers are knowledgeable, and they have separate gluten-free and dairy-free menus with gluten-free bread available as well. The team works hard to make sure that guests know which dishes are prepared gluten-free and which are safest from cross-contamination.
The attention to high-quality ingredients makes many of the guests happy that they were not only safe while dining in Asheville but also having a world-class eating experience too.
Location: 225 Winery Road, Asheville
17. Grab Gluten-Free Favorites at Stoney Knob Cafe in Weaverville
Anyone driving through Weaverville, a charming small town a few miles north of Asheville, has likely seen the funky and fun diner look of Stoney Knob. Rest assured that the interior is even more fun and memorable, and the food is both unique and delicious.
Multiple reviewers mention that they eat here frequently and find great gluten-free options each time, as well as servers who are familiar with celiac disease and can make recommendations that are safe to eat.
From a Tuscan shrimp sauté to chicken marsala to the “Enter the Dragon” tuna steak, you’ll find incredible flavors and freshness and well-labeled, bountiful gluten-free options.
Location: 337 Merrimon Avenue, Weaverville
18. Sample Ethiopian Flavors at Addissae
Anyone who has celiac has likely gone quite a while since they were able to taste a bite of each meal on the table at a restaurant. They understandably mostly eat what has been assured to be cross-contamination free.
At Addissae, though, the entire restaurant is gluten-free, allowing for shareable platters that even people with celiac disease can share without worry. If you’ve never had gluten-free injera bread, you’ll be excited to try it and experience the wide variety of flavorful dishes, from the cabbage and the spicy beef to the beet stew and the meat messob.
For adventurous eaters who have had to scale their choices back due to a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, this will be a breath of fresh air, since many dishes are prepared with lots of flavor and spice.
Location: 48 Commerce Street, Asheville
Final Tips for Eating Gluten-Free in Asheville
While restaurants, bars, and bakeries do have gluten-free options in town, that isn’t the only way you can enjoy them. At breweries, there are frequently food trucks with gluten-free options, and a great way to have a guaranteed gluten-free meal if you’re staying in a vacation rental is to visit the various Asheville farmers’ markets and gather produce, meat, and other prepared options like hummus and soups.
By making some of your own food as part of your trip, you get to experience the high-quality commitment to local food production while also keeping wheat out of your diet. Bon appétit!