Here’s the real local deal–San Francisco’s must-eat neighborhood restaurants and culinary destinations that make dining gluten-free extra delicious. While only a few of these restaurants are 100-percent gluten-free, all of them know how to accommodate GF (and DF and vegan) guests.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Raw and cooked seafood with wines to match are paired with a prime location, indoor and outdoor seating (no reservations), and bay views. FYI, the oyster happy hour, every Monday and Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m., gets a little crazy. Must-try: oysters from Hog Island’s nearby farm. hogislandoysters.com/visit/ san-francisco
House of Prime Rib
This temple for carnivores is a revered institution, complete with vest-wearing servers wheeling an enormous, zeppelin-shaped metal cart from which they slice your cut of beef table-side. Must-try: prime rib (skip the creamed spinach and the jus, both of which contain gluten). houseofprimerib.net
Casual, kid-friendly, and known for authentic, homey dishes from different regions in Mexico, Nopalito sources top-notch ingredients for their mostly gluten-free menu. Call ahead to get your name on the waitlist. Must-tries: pozole, tacos. nopalitosf.com
This restaurant’s authentic, lesser-known, and very handcrafted Thai dishes, made with stellar ingredients, are mostly gluten-free. There’s also a full bar with innovative cocktails, lunch, and late hours. Must-try: kua kling ribs, “pretty hot wings,” yum yai salad. kinkhao.com
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
You won’t find a more robust selection of produce, prepared foods, foraging chefs and residents, and food-loving fun than at this thrice-weekly bayfront market. Inside the adjoining Ferry Building Marketplace is GF bakery Mariposa Baking Company. (Try their pinguinos!) ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Whether it’s a typical blustery, sixty-two-degree summer day or a rare scorcher, you’ll see a line out the door of the Mission District ice cream shop that makes everything in small batches with organic milk, eggs, and cream and offers gluten-free ice cream cones. A second location takes you to Lower Haight’s gritty-cool Divisadero Street. Must-try: salted caramel ice cream, balsamic strawberry, honey lavender, and GF cones! biritecreamery.com
Pretty much everyone comes to this no-frills Vietnamese restau- rant for a bowl of restorative pho soup. There are two other loca- tions in the City, but this is the mother ship. They close at 5 p.m., so come for lunch or breakfast, and bring cash. Must-try: chicken pho ga. turtletowersf.com
Alums of the famed Thomas Keller Retaurant group brought top-quality cooking and ingredients to gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free fast-casual dining with this Hayes Valley restaurant. Order at the counter and watch the world go by from inside the modern, sleek, windowed dining room. Must-tries: braised short ribs, Valhrona chocolate pudding. littlegem.restaurant
Out the Door
This clandestine offshoot of downtown’s famous Slanted Door is less crowded, but has more local charm and noise and equally delicious Vietnamese food. Must-try: Dungeness crab cellophane noodles (request a gluten-free preparation). outthedoors.com
Swan Oyster Depot
The City’s preferred seafood counter since 1912, with a mere eighteen seats, slings some of the freshest oysters, smoked trout, and shrimp cocktail, plus a side of salty banter from its owners, the Sancimino family. Expect long lines and ask for GF bread; Steve Sancimino’s son has celiac disease, so he’s sensitive to the plight. Must-tries: oysters, crab Louie. no website
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
It’s anything but GF—or off the tourist track—but this crazy-popular North Beach pizza joint is well known for its carefully made gluten-free pizza. You can order GF breadsticks and pasta here too. Must-try: pizza with your choice of toppings. tonyspizzanapoletana.com
A poster child for the Northern California food scene since 1979, with an always-perfect industrial- chic atmosphere, Zuni is ideal for a long lunch with a friend or a birthday dinner party. Must-tries: the famed roast chicken for two (sub a vegetable side for the accompanying bread salad), Caesar salad (hold the croutons), house-cured anchovies, and raw oysters. zunicafe.com
Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen
One of the City’s 100% GF restaurants (except they serve beer(, located in the Mission District, Pica Pica features Venezuelan handmade corn arepas stuffed with everything from slow- cooked pulled pork to shredded beef, plus appetizers, salads, and desserts. picapica.com
MORE GF-DINING GOODNESS: See which restaurants in San Francisco tested gluten-free when Nima went to 50 restaurants with GF offerings with its portable gluten sensor!