Austin’s Best Wheat-Free Joints in 2023

Top 10 gluten-free glimmers

Flatbread and sikil pak at Nômadé Cocina (photo by Jay Huang)

Whether exclusively gluten-free or offering thoughtfully curated options, local heavy hitters like ATX Cocina, Komé, Intero, and Thai Fresh are essential restaurants that make life sans wheat far simpler and much tastier. But it's a game-changing glimmer to discover a new spot or new dish that checks all the boxes, and goddess knows we all need some joy these days. Here are a few that brightened 2023 for me. (Note: If gluten cross-contamination is life-endangering for you, please check with the restaurants in advance.)

1) Nômadé Cocina

Joining the small roster of dedicated GF restaurants in town, newbie Nômadé Cocina offers a taste of the wildly diverse flavors of the Yucatán. And for someone who's become accustomed to skipping the bread course, I inhaled their piping hot and fluffy coconut flatbread dipped in sikil pak (pumpkin seed puree, tomato hummus, confit tomato). Throw in masa-fried soft-shell crab, and I'm in heaven.

2) Dream Bakery

When a writer cares about her subject, the passion is obvious and palpable. Same goes for bakers, and Karen Fry's dedication to safe and incredibly tasty baked goods shows up in every bite. Her brick-and-mortar closed in the great bakery demise of 2022, but if you plan ahead just a little, you can enjoy fluffy biscuits, croissants, pizza pockets, toaster pastries, and apple fritters via farmers' market, preorder, or many December (and beyond) pop-up dates.

3) Phoebe’s Diner

This charming diner has really expanded since opening in 2017, in both locations (three now) and wheat-free menu options, and many folks in the GF know claim this spot as a comfort food mainstay. You could visit simply for the South First Tots – tater tots with red-eye gravy, Swiss, fried egg, pickled chiles, guac, cotija, and green onions – but you're probably gonna want to add the fried green tomatoes or fried chicken, and maybe a freakin' chile relleno, too.

4) Las Bis

It's a huge deal to find a bar with 1) a huge outdoor rooftop terrace, 2) delicious cocktails crafted by friendly bar staff, and 3) unexpected gluten-free small bites options. With an entire wall of tinned fish, each served with waffle-cut potato chips, plus a selection of caviar and membrillo-grapefruit posset, the upstairs sister of restaurant Luminaire makes a wonderful stop before or after a show at the Paramount or State Theatre.

5) Tarka Indian Kitchen

I'm just here to talk about pakoras. Veggie pakoras, paneer pakoras, chicken pakoras. Traditionally and wonderfully gluten-free pakoras! They're battered in gram flour seasoned with roasted cumin, or in a seasoned chickpea flour batter for the chicken option, and all served with mint-tamarind-yogurt chutney (vegan chutney available). Tarka also boasts many other tasty Indian dishes to accompany your pakoras, too.


We love a one-bowl meal, and I'm flat-out amazed at how many locations Nick Nanakos opened this year – 10! (By the time you're reading this, that number may have doubled.) Greek Mexican fusion is a hella colorful flavor combo, and the titular tzatziki here is legit. They're 100% sans seed/veg oils and soy, and they prioritize healthier, more sustainable ingredient options. The basil fajita chicken bowl is a winner, and the falafel is delicious. Note: Although GF, the falafel is fried in beef tallow and in the same fryer as non-GF items. Fine by me!

7) Via 313

Look, a girl can only eat so many slices of cheese-topped cardboard, fake pizza, or even the tasty but oft-tiresome cauliflower crust. Sometimes all you need is a fluffy, bready, rectangular, Detroit-style pie with golden-brown edges, ooey-gooey bubbly cheese, and rich red sauce all over the top. I am an unabashed member of the Kevin McCallister "Lovely Cheese Pizza Just For Me" Club.

8) Madam Mam’s

This classic Austin Thai restaurant offers an extensive GF section, including desserts, at four locations. Just as the menu describes, the pad prik pao is an "all time favorite!" In a rice mood, I opt for "Spicy 3" shrimp with extra shrimp. If it's more of a noodle day, it's the spicy pad kee mao, hot and spicy and stir-fried to perfection. I never waiver, I never branch out, and I never regret my choice.

9) Siete Foods

The only CPG (consumer packaged goods) to make my list, this local family brand's roster of perfect grain-free re-creations is critical to my mental health. My GF Austin buddies out there probably also experienced the initial "but what about cookies and chips and tortillas?!" panic attack when dietary restriction became reality – Siete saved the day. Every single item they make is tasty, but it's the Mexican wedding cookies and mini buñuelos that make life a little easier.

10) Tres Amigos

It's hard to narrow down a favorite casual Tex-Mex restaurant in a town like ours, and usually closest proximity wins. Such is likely the case here, but also: Their queso conjures my childhood favorite El Chico, the salsa's spicy, the tortilla chip refills are so fast we often call uncle, the flan's legit, and the Mexican martinis are refreshingly tart (no sweet-and-sour!). Even better: They've got absolutely wonderful staff, a massive indoor space with ample parking, and a quirky jewelry and evil eye decor section.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Jessi Cape
The Long Game
True-life story of Mexican-American teens who make a run at the 1957 state golf championship

April 12, 2024

SXSW Panel Discusses Promoting DEI in the Workplace
SXSW Panel Discusses Promoting DEI in the Workplace
In challenging times, supporting diversity is more critical than ever

March 14, 2024


gluten-free Austin, Top 10s 2023, Nomade Cocina, Dream Bakery, Phoebe’s Diner, Las Bis, ZIKI, Via 313, Madam Mam’s, Siete Foods, Tres Amigos

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle