Best Gluten-Free Menu Items That Are Normally Off Limits (Pizza, Pasta and More!)

Categories: Food Policy
Photo by Ongjulian
On August 2, the Food and Drug Administration finally decided to define the term "gluten free." Up until then, manufacturers had been able to slap the label on anything that they felt was gluten free enough. How much gluten to include in gluten-free products was completely up to the discretion of the individual companies.

Not anymore though! Now, according to the FDA, products labeled gluten free will have to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This amount is recognized by the medical community as low enough that it won't make people suffering from Celiac disease ill.

Because more and more people are being diagnosed with Celiac disease or other gluten intolerances (my mom swears it makes her joints hurt), many restaurants are also accommodating the gluten free public. We've compiled a few lists in the past of the best local joints offering gluten free menus or a number of gluten free items. They could probably use an update, as they were written in 2011 and 2012, but today's list is all about specific menu items.

Where's the best gluten-free burger (bun) in town? How 'bout gluten free pasta or pizza? We've got a round up of all that and more!

Photo by Jane Catherine Collins
Best Gluten-Free Pizza

Pink's Pizza makes Neapolitan-style pizza in four locations across Houston, and all four offer gluten-free crust. It's not made in-house like the rest of Pink's dough, but it's pretty tasty for something that's gluten free. It's not dry or flaky like some gluten-free pizza crust. It has a nice chewy firmness to it, and it can hold up against some of the awesome toppings Pink's piles on its pizzas. Unfortunately, the gluten-free crust is only available in the 12-inch size, and it's an extra $4. I recommend the Luigi, which has Canadian bacon, gorgonzola, mozzarella, portabella mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, apples and roasted garlic with a pesto sauce. Heck, even if the gluten-free crust wasn't that good, you wouldn't know it with all of that deliciousness on top of it.

Photo from Guru Burgers and Crepes
Best Gluten-Free Burger

Obviously burger patties are, by nature, gluten free. I'm talking about the buns. Guru Burgers and Crepes offers buns sans gluten, so folks with an intolerance can enjoy a good burger with a fluffy, toasted bun just like everybody else. The patties are great too; Guru uses only Akaushi beef and has a number of topping options that run the gamut from simple and standard to peanut butter and bananas. Guru also has salmon and lamb burgers (that can be topped with gluten-free buns, of course) as well as gluten-free crepe batter for a yummy dessert. Note: They may be delicious for folks with Celiac disease, but neither the burgers nor the crepes are guilt free.

Photo by Kanko
Best Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Every Tuesday, Pondicheri offers fried chicken marinated in a spicy yogurt masala then rolled in chickpea flour and fried. The chickpea flour makes it both gluten free and Indian-inspired, so this fried chicken is extra special. It's served with curried fingerling potatoes and arugula and blueberry salad, and $25 will get you enough to feed two. It's so good, you won't even realize you're skipping out on the gluten that usually coats fried chicken. In fact, you may never fry chicken in anything other than chickpea flour again.

Location Info


1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pink's Pizza

710 W. Gray St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Guru Burgers & Crepes

2268 Texas Drive, Sugar Land, TX

Category: Restaurant


2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Trevisio Restaurant

6550 Bertner St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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We would love to have you come try MAX's Wine Dive's GF fried chicken... all of our executive chefs from around the state engaged in a cooking competition earlier in the year to create the best GF recipe - and we chose a winner with the help of guest judges Greg Morago (Chron) and Jody Stevens (JodyCakes) - which is now on the menu at all of our MAX's locations.  We even retro-fit our kitchens with additional fryers so we could have one exclusively dedicated to the GF fried chicken.  Some claim the MAX's GF fried chicken is better than the original, which has been recognized as one of the best in the country... come decide for yourself!   

Also, as part of the same competition, our Tasting Room chefs competed to create the best GF pizza, which can be found at our four Tasting Room locations.  Overall, there are a large number of GF dishes noted on the menus at MAX's and The Tasting Rooms - it's a significant point of focus for our chefs now... something we're excited to be able to offer our guests.


i would say for burger Elevation lettuce wrapped burger is better.  For pizza, Pink was the worst out of what's available out there.  Z Pizza use GF dough that let's you customize, Ruggle Green's have delicious veggie pizza, so does Candaleri's pizza.  Corner Table has gf buffalo wings.  I'm about to try Max's Wine dive's fried chicken, but I've got a long list of GF places aroud town too.

KaitlinS topcommenter

@patty_kins Good to know! We follow your blog, so if you do a post about other places for gluten free food, I'll try to see that it gets into our weekly roundup!

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