(This article was originally written for and published by Fabulous Arizona)
When dining out, most consider a few key elements: who we’re dining with, what type of cuisine we’re craving and, of course, the ambience. And given the weather in Phoenix right now, don’t we all just want to be on a patio? But we-who-limit-gluten sometimes have to be picky. Luckily, Phoenix has a plethora of patios offering delicious gluten-free options without having to give up the cool vibes.
One of the most beautiful patios in town is Chelsea’s Kitchen. You will likely need a reservation on a weekend evening but, if you’re lucky enough to score a spot on the lush, green and shady backyard of the Arcadia hot spot, you will find most of the menu is gluten free. The standout starter is the cornbread with green chile, made to order but worth the wait. They sometimes sell out, so be sure to call ahead. To learn more, visit chelseaskitchenaz.com.
Pedal Haus Brewery
With locations in Chandler and Tempe, you can find an entire gluten-free (and vegan) menu at each. Popular gluten-free items include cauliflower wings, Nashville hot grilled chicken sandwich with a gluten-free bun and crispy pork schnitzel. The Chandler location has two patios, one in the back and one in the front for prime people-watching downtown. The Tempe location is located off Mill Avenue and has a large patio with TVs and lawn games like ping pong and flip cup. To learn more, visit www.pedalhausbrewery.com.
Joyride Taco House
We’d have unlimited gluten-free chips and salsa every day. It’s rare to find a dedicated gluten-free fryer for tortilla chips – and this place doesn’t need one! They use My Nana’s chips, delivered 100 percent gluten free. From the menu, you can also order five of nine tacos, chilaquiles and the don’t-miss hatch green chili queso. Now take a sip of that margarita and take in the colorful patio at either the Phoenix or Gilbert location. To learn more, visit joyridetacohouse.com.
This North Scottsdale delight was designed with patio weather in mind, building outdoor seating that wraps around the building overlooking the McDowell Mountains and Grayhawk’s Talon Golf Course. Pull up one of the couches, tables or rocking chairs under the bistro lighting and choose between the house-made gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust – which is huge – or the gluten-free pasta for an extra $3.50. Quinoa bowls, tacos and salads are a few other gluten-free options. To learn more, visit grayhawkgolf.com.
Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers
It’s game day and your friends want to go somewhere to watch it together. Your mind immediately scans the imaginary menu of a local sports bar and prepares to eat a side salad, no croutons, no dressing. Well not anymore! All of the Arizona’s Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers locations offer protein-style burgers on lettuce or gluten-free buns for an extra $1. They also have a handful of gluten-free beers and ciders to choose from. The best part is the dedicated fryer for their famous tater tots! Go for the chili tots for something hearty or the buffalo-style, if you like it hot. To learn more, www.coldbeers.com/cheeseburgers.
*None of these establishments are a dedicated gluten-free facility and may not be safe for those with celiac disease. Contact the establishment directly to inquire about safety precautions.
Ali Dugaw has been on the hunt for the best gluten-free spots for the past decade. She currently lives in Phoenix and works as the senior booking producer for “Good Morning Arizona.” Follow her gluten-free adventures at @GlutenFreeTravelGirl and www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeTravelGirl.