Six spots to splurge when going gluten-free

Hives, rashes, and bloating are not good looks for summer. Who wants to be donning a bikini with “chicken skin”? Unfortunately for those suffering from Celiac’s disease and gluten intolerance these and a host of other unpleasant symptoms take over the body.

Luckily, mindful San Diego eateries and chefs have expanded their selections to include everyone at the table. Here are some of the mouthwatering gluten-free goodies for those watching their grains.

Officine Buona Forchetta

Making a decent gluten-free pizza crust ain’t easy for most restaurants. But Master Pizzaiolo Marcello Avitabile isn’t most people. His gluten-free version of the classic Neapolitan crust has made him a winner of World Pizza Championships several times over. Complete with a soft center and perfectly charred crust, the effect is achieved in his 900 degree, gluten-free-only oven nicknamed “Sergio.” All 45 of Officine’s pizzas can be ordered gluten-free for a small $2 upcharge.

2865 Sims Rd., Liberty Station,

Café Gratitude

One of the most beloved vegan restaurants in San Diego also serves up gluten-free selections for conscientious eaters. Visit in the a.m. for their most popular breakfast pastry, a twist on the classic cinnamon roll, aptly named “Serene.” They also offer a variety of “Holy” donuts, each decorated and topped with fruit.

1980 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy,

Herb & Wood

For those missing the crumbles of cobblers, pies and other dreamy desserts, Executive Pastry Chef Adrian Mendoza offers a gluten-free Summer Butterscotch Pudding. Prepared with wood roasted apricots, apricot lime jam, lime meringues, pepper and thyme gelato, and ancient grain crumble, the topping is made with gluten-free flour for a no-stress summery treat.

2210 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy,

The Cravory

Sometimes finding a simple cookie is a task for the gluten-free. This dual-location bakery offers an Ultimate Chocolate Chip crafted with flour substitutes and using separate gluten-free dedicated cookware. Happier birthdays (or un-birthdays) can be celebrated any day of the year with the Gluten-Free Birthday Cake, the alternative version of the signature birthday cake cookie topped with sprinkles.

Point Loma: 3960 W Point Loma Blvd., Sports Arena; Carlsbad: 2675 Gateway Rd., #103.

Maretalia Ristorante

You can have your chocolate cake and eat it too. At Blue Bridge Hospitality’s newest outpost in Coronado, they offer the gluten-free Boca Negra, a dark chocolate Bourbon (yes, Bourbon) cake with amarena cherries - happiness can be yours.

1300 Orange Ave., Coronado,

Holy Matcha

The beautifully decorated North Park spot bakes up three flavors of gluten-free donuts amongst their baked goods: original matcha (pictured), strawberry, and chocolate matcha. Topped with matcha glaze and Kyoto matcha powder, the treats are health-packed delights. If you are asking, “What is matcha?”, here’s your answer: It’s a power-packed green powdered tea known to contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which regulate blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and protect against cancer and heart disease. A healthy donut? Why not take two.

3118 University Ave., North Park,

Make it at home

Gluten-free berry bars

From Rancho Bernardo Inn’s Pastry Chef Margaret Nolan Carvallo


• 1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans (drained and washed)
• 2 tablespoons chia seeds
• 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
• 1/2 cup organic raw brown sugar
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoons almond extract
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• Pinch of salt

Streusel topping:
• 1 1/4 cups steel cut gluten free oats
• 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
• 1/3 cup organic raw brown sugar
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon anise extract
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• Zest of two lemons

Berry mix:
• 1 cup blueberries
• 1 cup blackberries
• 1 cup strawberries
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons arrowroot
• 1/2 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
STEP 1: Place crust ingredients into a food processor and blend until a dough forms.
STEP 2: Press dough into a 8"x11" pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
STEP 3: Combine berries, sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan and cook on low for 15 minutes.
STEP 4: Whisk arrowroot and water in a bowl together and add to the berry mixture on stove.
STEP 5: Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until mixture begins to bubble. Pour the mixture into the
cooked crust.
STEP 6: Combine streusel ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle on top of your berry bars.
STEP 7: Cook for 20 minutes until topping is slightly golden brown.