Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top 10 Gluten-free Friendly Baltimore Restaurants of 2014

Braving snow in the city.
'Tis the season for cumulative lists of the "year's best" restaurants, events, people, and more. Wanting to get in this year-end nostalgia, I'm reflecting on the year that was for my blog and reporting on the top 10 restaurants/cafes/bakeries I've discovered and re-discovered. Since I split my time between Central Florida and Maryland, I couldn't pare down my selections for one list and compromised by dedicating two lists- one for each state. 

This list is dedicated to my adopted home of Maryland. I have easily and quickly fallen in love with this quirky state that has introduced me to a whole new world of restaurants and cuisines. I have loved the opportunity to get out and explore Baltimore and the surrounding Baltimore County while also getting used to the beauty and burdon of seasonal temperatures (yes, it does get cold there). It's been the biggest adventure of my life so far, and cannot wait to jump back right into the fray next year. Until then, here's my list of Baltimore's best offerings in and around the city. 

10. Lost City Diner

Although their gluten-free options are limited, Lost City Diner is notable for their extensive vegan offerings served alongside their traditional diner fare. They earned their spot on this round-up with their chocolate vegan milkshakes which prove that dairy-free doesn't have to be flavor-free as well and re-introduced me to the indulgence that is milkshakes. Their vegan ice cream is soy-based and is made in small batches by a local company. For more information, check out my original review here



9. Phillips Seafood

When in Maryland, there are two local tastes that cannot be avoided- Old Bay seasoning and crab. While not a big seafood person, my first night as a Marylander called for a celebratory dinner at one of the Inner Harbor's flagship restaurants- Phillips Seafood. I was treated to a true Chesapeake Bay feast starring gluten and dairy free crab cakes. This is definitely a good stop to make when visiting the city and is a must for a seafood lover. Find my original review here.


8. Ledo Pizza

Ledo Pizza is a regional pizza chain I had the privilege to discover within my first few days in the state. Floored by their unique square pizza and many vegan/gluten-free friendly options, I quickly fell in love with the chain and frequent the Charles Village location for their friendly staff and easily accessible location. Although Ledo does have a couple Florida locations, I hope they continue their expansion so I can enjoy them in both of the states I love. Read my original review here.


7. Noodle Charm

When it comes to college comfort food, you just cannot beat a steaming bowl of broth laden with noodles and veggies. Noodle Charm earned its spot on this list for their GF labeling and flexibility to accommodate vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian needs. Find my original review here.



4. ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen

While technically not in Baltimore city or Baltimore County, I just couldn't leave ShopHouse Southeast Asia Kitchen off of my best-of list.An inspired mash up of Chipotle's Integrity and Asian cuisine's versatility, gluten-free folks can rest assured that their fare is free from gluten and dairy and far from ordinary. See my original review here.


5. Joe Squared

Don't let Joe Squared's laid back atmosphere fool you- they mean business when it comes to serving up great food. Widely praised by locals and critics alike, Joe Squared serves up pizzas and risottos with panache. I loved their shrimp risotto made with coconut milk that was rich, indulgent, and oh, so good. Gluten-free and vegan options are noted on their menu. See my original review here.


4. Miss Shirley's Cafe

Another beloved Baltimore institution that I made my acquaintance with is Miss Shirley's Cafe, the Southern-inspired breakfast cafe that turns the most important meal of the day into a special occasion. Featuring many gluten and dairy free options such as omelets and toast, their pancakes steal the show in the allergen-friendly department because they are picture perfect, fluffy, and divinely delicious. Prepared to arrive with an appetite and leave with a full stomach and an big smile. Check out my original review here.


3. Sweet 27 Restaurant, Cafe, and Bakery

As Baltimore's only 100% gluten-free restaurant, cafe, and bakery, Sweet 27 impressed me with their dizzying array of options including batter-friend fish 'n' chips, crab cakes, sandwiches, pizzas, and a full line of sweets and take-home breads. I love their dairy-free pesto vegetable pizza and full line of muffins. Find my original review of their restaurant here and their bakery here


2. One Dish Cuisine

Located outside of Baltimore city limits in nearby Ellicott City. One Dish Cuisine is truly a one-of-a-kind allergen-free establishment that prepares a full line of delicious dishes that celebrate what one can eat instead of focusing on what one cannot. With one kitchen dedicated for dairy and a second free from it entirely, I am in awe of the care and dedication owners Maureen and Dave have put into creating a place where truly everyone is welcome back to the table. Find part one of my review here and part two here.


1. Two Boots Pizza

Blending spunk and seriously good food, Two Boots brings in the funk and the noise with their unique and crafty pizza creations that are easily adapted to be gluten-free and/or vegan. I can't get enough of their delicious stand out crust and flavorful array of non-dairy pestos. Before leaving the state through the end of the year on my winter break, Two Boots was the last stop I made before heading to the airport. Already missing them, they'll probably be my first stop back. Check out my original review here.


Disclaimer: This list is a collection of my favorite restaurant reviews of 2014. It is a reflection of my opinion and is no way affiliated with each of the restaurants mentioned. I have not been compensated for this post in any way.

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