Heather Sliwinski

The 7×7 Challenge: 50 Gluten-free San Francisco Dishes Get #nimatested

gluten-free san franciscoWe were drooling this week when 7×7 magazine released “The Big GF: 50 Downright Delicious Gluten-free Eats in San Francisco.” This list sounded like a challenge we couldn’t turn down – so we immediately grabbed our Nimas and went to test all 50 gluten-free San Francisco dishes to see if they were in fact gluten-free. The results may surprise you.

1. Tea Leaf Salad @ Burma Superstar, 309 Clement St., burmasuperstar.com

Order without the fried garlic – that caused a “gluten found” result the first time we tested!

Burma Superstar Tea Leaf Salad

Burma Superstar Tea Leaf Salad no fried garlic gluten-free

2. Tuna Poke @ Liholiho Yacht Club, 871 Sutter St., liholihoyachtclub.com

The staff were super knowledgeable and the poke uses tamari instead of soy sauce. Most dishes here can be made gluten-free, too!

Liholiho tuna poke gluten-free

3. Pork & Shrimp Imperial Rolls @ Out the Door, 1 Ferry Building, outthedoors.com

We love this spot in one of San Francisco’s top tourist (and local fave) destinations!

Out the Door Imperial Rolls gluten-free

4. Chicken Hash with Eggs (hold the toast) @ Ella’s, 500 Presidio Ave., ellassanfrancisco.com

All gluten-free without the toast!

Ella's Chicken Hash and Eggs gluten-free

5. S+S Beet Burger @ Seed + Salt, 2240 Chestnut St., seedandsalt.com

This veggie burger with gluten-free crostini was a-ok!

Seed + Salt Burger gluten-free

6. Pancakes @ Little Gem, 400 Grove St, littlegem.restaurant

One of the newer dedicated gluten-free restaurants in San Francisco – these pancakes do not disappoint! Almond and quinoa flour makes them nutty and just like whole wheat pancakes if that’s what you’re missing.

Little Gem gluten-free pancakes

7. Rotisserie Chicken @ Nopa, 560 Divisadero St., nopasf.com

Unfortunately, no rotisserie for us.

Nopa rotisserie chicken

8. Tuna Sashimi @ Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission St., foreigncinema.com

After thinking for a bit, Nima found the hamachi sashimi (closest they had to tuna when we went) to be gluten-free.

Foreign Cinema hamachi sashimi gluten-free

9. Grilled Monterey Bay Calamari @ Delfina, 3621 18th St., delfinasf.com

No fryer for these calamari means gluten-free!

Delfina Grilled Monterey Bay Calamari Gluten-free

10. Fried Chicken (w/ cornbread) @ Firefly, 4288 24th St., fireflysf.com

You don’t have to miss fried chicken while being gluten-free if you go to Firefly!

Firefly gluten-free fried chicken gluten-free cornbread

11. Octapodaki tou Yiorgou (grilled octopus) @ Kokkari, 200 Jackson St., kokkari.com

One of the best Greek restaurants in SF is also gluten-free friendly!

Kokkari grilled octopus gluten-free

12. Spicy Mung Masala Dosa @ Dosa on Fillmore, 1700 Fillmore St., dosasf.com

Dosa are South Indian crepes made with rice and lentils – and at Dosa on Fillmore, they are gluten-free!

Dosa gluten-free

13. Smoked Mount Lassen Trout @ Alta SF, 1420 Market St., altaca.co

Shared oven, so the smoked trout had cross-contact

Alta Smoked Lassen Trout

14. Mussels Marinière @ Chez Maman, 1401 18th St., chezmamansf.com

The mussels and frites were both gluten-free.

Chez Maman moules mariniere gluten-free

15. Fried Calamari @ Scoma’s, 1965 Al Scoma Way, scomas.com

Double check which fryer they are putting the calamari in: ours came up with gluten. The chef later discovered it might be shared utensils when scooping out the calamari.

Scoma's fried calamari

16. Any Sandwich @ Mariposa, 1 Ferry Building Plaza, mariposabaking.com

Everyone loves Mariposa, and for good reason. This BLT was delicious and gluten-free.

Mariposa BLT gluten-free

17. Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread @ The Mill, 736 Divisadero St., joseybakerbread.com

The Mill Josey's bread

18. Falafel Bowl (sans pita) @ Sababa, 329 Kearney St., sababasf.com

We tested the falafel, hummus and salad – all had gluten.

Sababa falafel bowl

19. Pizza! (Ask for GF crust) @ Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, 1570 Stockton St., tonyspizzanapoletana.com

Our app data shows test results vary at Tony’s, but this sample tested gluten-free.

Tony's pizza gluten-free

20. Prime Rib @ House of Prime Rib, 1906 Van Ness Ave., houseofprimerib.net

Not only was the prime rib gluten-free, but the salad shockingly was, too!

House of Prime Rib gluten-free House of Prime Rib salad gluten-free

21. Chilaquiles @ Tacolicious, multiple locations, tacolicious.com

Chilaquiles are a brunch staple in SF, and Tacolicious has a gluten-free option! (Nima was shy but smiled.)

Tacolicious chilaquiles gluten-free

22. Native Salad @ Native Juice Co, 168 Sutter St., nativejuiceco.com

Crispy quinoa and fresh veggies were gluten-free in a quick, to-go salad.

Native salad gluten-free

23. Eggs Benedict “Pierre Noir” on GF bread @ Zazie, 941 Cole St, zaziesf.com

Unfortunately, Zazie only has one toaster for their breads and has a very small kitchen. Since they make pancakes all the time, they can’t guarantee that the mix doesn’t get everywhere.

Zazie benedict

24. Tamal de Acelgas Veracruzano @ Nopalito, multiple locations, nopalitosf.com

Most dishes at Nopalito are corn-based, but it’s still a good idea to test before eating. Nima smiled!

Nopalito gluten-free

25. Caesar Salad (hold the croutons) @ Zuni, 1658 Market St., zunicafe.com

Gluten-free without croutons!

Zuni cafe caesar salad gluten-free

26. Roasted Sunchoke Soup @ SPQR, 1911 Fillmore St., spqrsf.com

Interestingly enough, we tested just the soup and the sage crema separately, and found the crema to be contaminated. The chef immediately realized the cause: he sautéed the sage in used oil and therefore it became contaminated. They were very impressed with Nima to quickly pinpoint the problem.

SPQR sunchoke soup

27. Deviled Egg @ Octavia, 1701 Octavia St., octavia-sf.com

Gorgeous gluten-free deviled egg.

Octavia deviled eggs gluten-free

28. Black Sesame & Sonoma Honey Ice cream on a GF Cone @ Bi-Rite Creamery, 3692 18th St., biritecreamery.com

Ice cream lovers rejoice! Famed Bi-Rite was gluten-free.

Bi-Rite Black Sesame ice cream gluten-freeBi-Rite ice cream gluten-free

29. Squid Ink Risotto @ Acquerello, 1722 Sacramento St., acquerello.com

Nima detected gluten in the risotto, but since we ordered just a sample to-go (not table-side) there may have been cross-contact elsewhere.

Aquerello squid ink risotto

30. Cassoulet @ Monsieur Benjamin, 451 Gough St., monsieurbenjamin.com

Cute dinnerware, but avoid the cassoulet.

Monsieur Benjamin Cassoulet

31. Verduras a la Catalana @ Coqueta, Pier 5, The Embarcadero, coquetasf.com

Sublime dish that tested gluten-free.

Coqueta gluten-free

32. Wood Oven Roasted Crushed Red Potato @ Boulevard, 1 Mission St., boulevardrestaurant.com

Unfortunately, this wasn’t on-menu when we went this week, but the chef brought out a chickpea side that tested gluten-free!

Boulevard chickpea side dish gluten-free

33. Rice Noodle With Shrimp (ask for GF soy sauce) @ Yank Sing, multiple locations, yanksing.com

Yank Sing rice noodles with shrimp gluten-free

34. Traditional Egg Hopper @ 1601 Bar & Kitchen, 1601 Howard St., 1601sf.com

We don’t know what a hopper is, but we want it in our belly. It’s gluten-free! The toppings tested GF, as well.

1601 egg hopper gluten-free

35. Seafood Cioppino (hold the garlic bread) @ Tadich Grill, 240 California St., tadichgrill.com

Unfortunately, the cioppino was not gluten-free at this San Francisco classic, but the manager was very curious in Nima.

Tadich Grill cioppino

36. Butterscotch and Chocolate Pot de Crème @ Town Hall, 342 Howard St., townhallsf.com

Curiosity got the better of us at Town Hall – the creme tested gluten-free on its own, but the caramel chocolate toppings had gluten contamination.

Town Hall creme

37. Hand-Picked Dungeness Crab Salad @ One Market Restaurant, 1 Market St., onemarket.com

This crab salad was also off-menu at One Market as of last Friday, but chef whipped up this gluten-free crab cake!

One Market Crab Cake gluten-free

38. Raw Bar (ask for GF bread) @ Swan Oyster Depot, 1517 Polk St., facebook.com/SwanOysterDepot

We asked for GF bread – they gave us real bread. We asked again, and they said they didn’t have any. We unwrapped our to-go crab salad order and found the bread on top of parchment on top of the salad. The salad still tested positive for gluten under the parchment.

Swan Oyster Depot crab salad

39. Arepas @ Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, 401 Valencia St., picapica.com

No surprises here. Crispy Chicken White Corn Arepa and fried plantains were GF.

Pica Pica Crispy Chicken Arepa Gluten-free

40. Pho Ga @ Turtle Tower, 5716 Geary Blvd, turtletowersf.com

Unfortunately, we were told they don’t have a gluten-free menu at Turtle Tower, and Nima confirmed.

Turtle Tower Pho Ga

41. GF Vanilla Cupcake @ Kara’s Cupcakes, 3249 Scott St., karascupcakes.com

They gluten-free cupcake came from the back, so we couldn’t see the storage setup, but still found gluten, when we tested both cupcake and frosting.

Kara's Cupcakes Sweet Vanilla gluten-free cupcake

42. St. Louis Cut Ribs @ Cat’s Head BBQ, 1665 Folsom St., catheadsbbq.com

If St. Louis ribs are your thing, Cat’s Head is the place for you. Plus, we tested the collard greens, which also tested gluten-free!

Cat's Head BBQ Collard Greens gluten-freeCat's Head BBQ St. Louis Cut Ribs gluten-free

43. Grilled Cheese on GF Bread @ The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, 799 Battery St., theamericansf.com

The grill is clearly not dedicated, as we tested the outer side of the bread and the inside of the bread. The inside was GF, but the grilled side had cross-contact.

American Grilled Cheese Kitchen grilled cheese on gluten-free bread

44. Pad Thai @ Marnee Thai, 1243 9th Ave., marneethaisf.com

Yummy pad Thai!

Marnee Thai pad thai gluten-free

45. Grilled Grass-Fed Lamb Chops @ Kitchen Istanbul, 349 Clement St., kitchenistanbulsf.com

Unfortunately, this lamb had cross-contact.

Kitchen Istanbul grilled lamb chops

46. Honey Butter Toast on GF Bread @ Samovar Tea Lounge, 411 Valencia St., samovartea.com

A sweet, gluten-free breakfast that pairs perfectly with hot tea on a foggy morning in SF.

Samovar Tea Lounge Honey and Gluten-free Toast

47. Bread SRSLY Sourdough @ Bi-Rite Market, 550 Divisadero St., shop.breadsrsly.com

SRSLY good sourdough tested gluten-free.

Bread SRSLY sourdough gluten-free bread

48. Nana Joes Ocean Beach Granola Bar @ Rainbow Grocery, 1745 Folsom St., nana-joes-granola.myshopify.com

You can find this granola in many different stores – and they’re all gluten-free.

Nana Joe's Ocean Beach Granola gluten-free

49. Black Rice Pudding @ Kin Khao, 55 Cyril Magnin St., kinkhao.com

Nima eventually smiled with this unique gluten-free black rice pudding.

Kin Khao black rice pudding gluten-free

50. Pumpkin Curry @ Osha Thai, 686 Geary St., oshathai.com

Very knowledgeable staff and tasty Thai food!

Osha Thai Pumpkin Curry gluten-free What are your favorite, delicious gluten-free San Francisco dishes? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and share your testing results using #nimatested.
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