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Monday, April 1, 2013

So you want to eat gluten-free in Atlanta?

Yeah! Burger in Virginia-Highlands
  • Carlyn Shear
  • Yeah! Burger in Virginia-Highlands
In 2012, the Mayo Clinic estimated that one in every 141 people has Celiac Disease. I am one of those of people.

Eating out became a challenge after my diagnosis, but I eventually mapped out the gluten-free world of Manhattan (my hometown) like an ace. With the risk of getting sick due to cross-contamination ever-present, I knew where I could get a gluten-free pizza or sandwich, or where I might find that rare but decent gluten-free cupcake.

And then I got into Emory. Fears I hadn't had since my early teens began to resurface: Where was I going to eat? Would I be able to find as many gluten-free options in Atlanta as I had in New York? It has taken some time, but after canvassing the city since moving here in 2011, these are my new go-to places for eating gluten-free. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.

Yeah! Burger
Yeah! Burger offers gluten-free buns for hot dogs and hamburgers and has a dedicated gluten-free fryer for French fries, sweet potato fries, and onion rings.

Uncle Maddio's Pizza
While the make-your-own-pizza concept of Maddio's is exciting, the option to make it gluten-free takes it to another level. Maddio's offers gluten-free dough and an abundance of gluten-free toppings. Gluten-free patrons can enjoy most of the toppings with the exception of eggplant (breaded), BBQ and Buttermilk Ranch sauce, Canadian bacon, chicken apple sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, and spicy sausage.

Leon's Full Service
Leon's offers a separate gluten-free menu, which includes pub frites, intricate main dishes, and breadless sandwiches. The pub frites are an exciting option, and patrons can choose from a variety of sauces, including garlic aioli, Leon's barbecue, and cucumber-dill yogurt.

R. Thomas Deluxe Grill
Open 24 hours, this hippie-esque restaurant has something for everyone, whether you're gluten-free, vegan, or a hardcore carnivore. While many of the menu options are naturally gluten-free (omelets, veggie plates, quinoa bowls), those that are not, such as pasta and quesadillas, have gluten-free options available. The R. Thomas veggie omelet has a perfect balance of vegetables and cheese, and comes with one side vegetable (from home fries to seaweed salad to collard greens).

Sally's Gluten Free Bakery
Many bakeries are starting to add gluten-free options, but a strictly gluten-free bakery is hard to come by. Sally's Gluten Free Bakery is just that: only gluten-free items, no fears for cross-contamination, and a cornucopia of options. With fresh-baked goods, cakes, cupcakes and "take-and-bake" pizzas, Sally's might have it all.

Fried chicken, mac and cheese ... These traditionally Southern cuisine items practically scream gluten. Wisteria, however, offers a gluten-free menu filled with exciting Southern takes on entrees without the gluten.

Jason's Deli
Jason's Deli has 230 locations across 28 states, including six locations in Atlanta. Jason's offers a gluten-sensitive menu, where you can build your own sandwich on gluten-free bread, get a gluten-free salad with gluten-free dressing, or try one of their exciting takes on a baked potato.

Ted's Montana Grill
Atlanta loves Ted Turner, and they should love him even more for offering a gluten-free menu at Ted's Montana Grill. The kitchen at Ted's is completely gluten-free, and the restaurant takes every precaution to meet gluten-free needs.

Tin Lizzy's Cantina
Tin Lizzy's has a gluten-free menu that tells you everything you need to know in the first two lines. They use corn tortilla chips, opening the door wide open to their tortilla soup and nachos. And their veggie rice is gluten-free, too, allowing the gluten-intolerant to enjoy their skillet entrees. Marco's chicken tortilla soup is a flavorful gluten-free option with its seasoned broth, chicken, rice, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado and tortilla strips.

Pure Taqueria
There are many taquerias in Atlanta, but Pure Taqueria is distinct in having a gluten-free menu. Pure's gluten-free menu lists all of the items that are gluten-free. as well as those that can be made gluten-free and how they will be made without gluten.

Carlyn Shear, 20, is an Emory student and CL's Spring Editorial/General intern.

Editor's note: This post has been updated since original publication.

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