Lunch Break: 5 Gluten-Free Lunch Spots in DC

Don’t let a gluten sensitivity keep you from a tasty midday meal.

Plenty of popular lunch spots in DC, Maryland, and Virginia offer gluten-free menus, including Cava Mezze Grill. Photograph courtesy of Cava Mezze Grill's Facebook page.

These days it seems like we all know someone who is allergic to gluten. So what’s a considerate friend to do when it’s time for lunch? Good news: Plenty of restaurants offer gluten-free menus or will accommodate most allergies—all you have to do is ask! We did some of the work for you by rounding up some popular lunch spots that are gluten-free friendly. Have another recommendation? Let us know in the comments. 

Baja Fresh 
The DC Celiacs community says Baja Fresh has an extensive list of gluten-free options. Try the tacos with corn tortillas, chicken, and cheese. But stay away from the corn chips, as they’re fried in oil with breaded items.

Cava Mezze Grill 
If you stick to a bowl or salad as your base, you can easily eat gluten-free at this Mediterranean spot. Try the nutritionist-approved salad with chicken, hummus, tzatziki, eggplant and red pepper, tomato and onion salad, and tomato and cucumber salad. You can also consult the handy allergen menu before heading there for lunch. 

Local gluten-free bloggers agree that Oyamel is a winner for gluten-free foodies. The small-plates restaurant offers a GF menu upon request and will make any accommodations regarding allergies. Diane Eblin of the Whole Gang writes that her favorites are the pork tacos and the tamal verde.

Protein Bar 
Though the bar-ritos cannot be made gluten-free, Protein Bar’s salads and bowls can be customized. Try the superfood vegan salad for a hearty dose of protein, thanks to its tofu, kale, chickpeas, and pepitas. Just be sure the tofu is plain and that wheat-based soy sauce is not used to flavor it.

Any of Rustico’s artisan pizzas can be made gluten-free by swapping out the regular crust for the special chickpea crust. It makes for a pretty dense pizza, but you won’t miss out on the unusual creations (confit duck pizza, anyone?). The extensive beer list includes a good number of ciders, too, if you can sneak a pint at lunch.