The Best Gluten-Free Dining in New Orleans According to Jilly Lagasse (Emeril’s daughter)

Don’t think for a second that you can’t live it up like the locals in The Big Easy. We asked GF cookbook author and NOLA native Jilly Lagasse (who has celiac disease) to show how easy it is to sidestep the po’boys, beignets, and étouffée and still get an authentic taste of one of America’s most colorful cities—including at her Food Network—star dad’s restaurant, Emeril’s. All you need now is an airline ticket and some beads.

While none of the following restaurants is 100 percent gluten-free, they are well-versed in accommodating GF and other special diets.

Tan Dinh
Proof that New Orleans has one of the nation’s biggest Vietnamese expat communities and some of the best Vietnamese cuisine, this restaurant, located ten minutes outside of town in the Westbank city of Gretna, is nothing fancy, but the food is outstanding. Must-tries: Spring rolls and egg rolls (fried in a separate fryer!), pho, and their insane, addicting fried lemongrass and chile tofu bun bowl. No website; 1705 Lafayette Street, Gretna.

Sylvain
Its almost creepy entrance down a small, secret alleyway makes this French Quarter spot one of those “if you don’t know about it, you don’t know about it” places. With historic environs, a courtyard, a menu of American classics, and a bar that feels like a European time warp, Sylvain embodies everything I love about New Orleans. Must-tries: Shaved brussels sprouts salad or braised beef cheeks with potato puree, sweet onions, field peas, and jus. sylvainnola.com

Bacchanal Another favorite if-you-know-you-know destination, this Bywater oasis is a “Mediterranean minimalist” wine bar with spectacular GF-friendly snacks thanks to chef Joaquin Rodas. You can buy wine from the wine store downstairs and enjoy it outside with live music every night. What more could you want? Must-tries: Staff-selected bottle of wine and nibbles like bacon-wrapped dates, marinated olives, grilled halloumi, the shishito peppers, or the cheese plate (sans bread). bacchanalwine.com

Emeril’s

Photo courtesy of Emeril’s


My family’s first restaurant and truly the place I was raised, our flagship Warehouse District dining room treats everyone like family, and the energy is always as vibrant as its contemporary New Orleans cuisine. Our staff is also very knowledgeable about catering to food allergies. Must-try: Peanut butter pie. emerilsrestaurants.com

Domenica
This ever-buzzing restaurant in downtown’s Roosevelt hotel is where James Beard Award—winning chef Alon Shaya honed his craft under famed local restaurateur John Besh. Now that he’s opened Pizza Domenica and Shaya, also with Besh, it’s hard to choose just one of his places to recommend, but Domenica is always one of my first stops. Must-tries: Octopus carpaccio, wood-fire-roasted cauliflower with whipped feta cheese mousse. domenicarestaurant.com

Coquette photo by Josh Brasted

Coquette
Very GF-friendly with one of the prettiest bars in the city, exquisite locally sourced New American food by chef Michael Stoltzfus, and some of the best desserts I have ever had, this upscale Uptown gem is the place to go for a special dining experience. Must-tries: Five-course blind tasting and wine pairing or cornmeal fried oysters, charred okra, or red snapper with roasted garlic. coquettenola.com

Johnny’s Po-Boys
No, the po’boys aren’t gluten-free, but the red beans and rice and jambalaya are at this culinary landmark. Expect counter service, old-school environs, and a line to get in. Must-tries: Red beans and rice or the jambalaya platter—minus the French bread they will otherwise pile on top. johnnyspoboys.com

Taqueria Sanchez
For a real cheap-eats treat, my friends and I absolutely love going to this little, off-the-beaten-track, by-the-road taco shack ten minutes outside of the city. It looks gritty, but the food is legit, totally GF, and incredible! Must-tries: Pork (pastor) tacos and the pupusas. No website; 46 Westbank Expressway, Gretna.

MORE RECOMMENDATIONS:

Want more New Orleans recommendations? Check out this map of NOLA for restaurants tested by Nima, the portable gluten sensor, to see which are really gluten-free! See the map here.

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4 Comments on “The Best Gluten-Free Dining in New Orleans According to Jilly Lagasse (Emeril’s daughter)”

  1. Borgne no longer has the gluten free chicken and nothing on the menu was marked gf. The waiter asked the chef for me what could be made gluten free, he returned with a menu with several things marked, however, they did not seem concerned about being careful with what they told me they could make gluten free. I ordered a bun less burger, they assured me would be gluten free. It came to the table in a bun! I won’t eat there again!

  2. Thanks for this critical feedback! Since restaurants aren’t static sometimes this happens. The article was written a few years ago. However, we are soon to have GF experts in all cities regularly updating lists like this. But what a shame that they no longer support GF diners. We have taken them off the list.

  3. I’m at Emerils now and they are saying the peanut butter pie you recommend is not gluten free. So confusing!

  4. Jennifer! Thank you for this update. This article, and the recommendation, was written by Emeril’s daughter a while ago. Perhaps they changed the recipe. We will be following up with them and deleting this information if they are no longer offering GF peanut butter pie. Restaurants change their recipes/offerings all the time, so it’s critical to inquire and make sure your food is safe. I’m so sorry you had that experience and I’m glad you confirmed with them and also let us know so this doesn’t happen to other customers.

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