Our Top Picks for Gluten-Free Dining in Birmingham
Birmingham’s food scene is exploding with awesomeness lately! New restaurants are popping up everywhere and many of them are emphasizing fresh ingredients and catering to gluten-free (and even Paleo) clientele. While a lot of growth is taking place in Avondale and downtown, there are delicious places to eat in every part of the city. Here are mine and Rebecca’s 10 favorite places in Birmingham to enjoy a gluten-free meal!
Tropicaleo began as a food truck and then occupied the Reveal Kitchen space at Pizitz Food Hall. They opened their own brick and mortar space in November 2017. This fast casual restaurant in Avondale serves traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. Their kitchen is free of wheat flour (bread is made offsite at Continental Bakery). All sandwiches can be served on plantains instead of bread. I recommend the Cubano on plantains—YUM! Bonus-- This is a place where you can order a Whole30 compliant meal!
Baha burger offers gluten-free buns and a gluten-free fryer for your side items. You can also have your burger wrapped in lettuce. My favorite here is the classic or the lamb burger. My family loves the outdoor seating, music, casual atmosphere and friendly service!
Foodbar—heading out on a special date night? I highly recommend Foodbar in Cahaba Heights! With a menu that changes seasonally, you could find anything from traditional fare like a burger (which I’ve heard is the best in Birmingham!) to more adventurous items like pork belly and octopus (which I had when I went!).
O Sushi Express—if you eat rice, you may already enjoy sushi. We used to only go out for sushi on date nights, because it was always too expensive for a family of four. But when O Sushi Express opened, we found that it was not only family friendly, but wallet friendly! You can build your own sushi rolls (choosing your protein, veg, sauce, etc) and poké bowls, which is great for those of us with dietary limitations!
Eli’s Jerusalem Grill—with two locations--one on Hwy 280 and one in the Pizitz Food Hall—Eli’s is a middle Eastern restaurant doing everything right! With an emphasis on pastured meats, local vegetables and organic items, they are also well-versed in gluten-free and serve organic wine! They have many kid-friendly items on their menu including an all-beef kosher hot dog.
Wasabi Juans—with one location in Avondale and one in Hoover, Wasabi Juan’s specifically designates the gluten-free items on their menu, and there are many! They specialize in sushi burritos, but tacos, nachos, and delicious side items are also available.
Farm Burger is a recent addition to the Birmingham food scene, although there are other locations around the southeast. They use grass-fed beef and offer a gluten-free bun. I love that grown-ups can build a gourmet burger (I highly recommend the aged smoked gouda for your burger!) and kids can get carrots, apples and sunbutter as a healthy side.
Babalu Tacos and Tapas is located in the Lakeview district and is great for a fun night out or even Sunday brunch! Babalu also designates gluten-free offerings on their menu, and has a variety of signature drinks. I’m hooked on their pork belly tacos with roasted peanut slaw, but everything I’ve tried has been delicious!
Delta Blues Hot Tamales doesn’t have to designate gluten-free items on their menu, because their entire facility is gluten-free! They are located on historic Cobb Lane, and have a lovely patio to sit on in the nice weather. I know it seems sacrilege to NOT order tamales at a tamale restaurant, but I was so intrigued by the chicken tenders, as that is something I haven’t been able to order at a restaurant since going gluten-free, so I went with that. I was not disappointed, as they were so crunchy and delicious! Bonus: gluten-free desserts and family meals to-go!
Real and Rosemary—Real and Rosemary offers meals made purely with fresh and clean ingredients, and hallelujah—healthy kid’s options! Focusing purely on simple recipes and real food--free from preservatives, food dyes, and MSG--Real and Rosemary is the real deal.
I hope this has given you some ideas for new places to visit with your family! As restaurants continue to pay attention to what the public wants, I believe we’ll continue to have many new gluten-free options in the years to come!