We 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!
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!
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!
4. Chicken Hash with Eggs (hold the toast) @ Ella’s, 500 Presidio Ave., ellassanfrancisco.com
All gluten-free without the toast!
5. S+S Beet Burger @ Seed + Salt, 2240 Chestnut St., seedandsalt.com
This veggie burger with gluten-free crostini was a-ok!
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.
7. Rotisserie Chicken @ Nopa, 560 Divisadero St., nopasf.com
Unfortunately, no rotisserie for us.
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.
9. Grilled Monterey Bay Calamari @ Delfina, 3621 18th St., delfinasf.com
No fryer for these calamari means 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!
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!
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!
13. Smoked Mount Lassen Trout @ Alta SF, 1420 Market St., altaca.co
Shared oven, so the smoked trout had cross-contact
14. Mussels Marinière @ Chez Maman, 1401 18th St., chezmamansf.com
The mussels and frites were both 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.
16. Any Sandwich @ Mariposa, 1 Ferry Building Plaza, mariposabaking.com
Everyone loves Mariposa, and for good reason. This BLT was delicious and gluten-free.
17. Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread @ The Mill, 736 Divisadero St., joseybakerbread.com
18. Falafel Bowl (sans pita) @ Sababa, 329 Kearney St., sababasf.com
We tested the falafel, hummus and salad – all had gluten.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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!
25. Caesar Salad (hold the croutons) @ Zuni, 1658 Market St., zunicafe.com
Gluten-free without croutons!
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.
27. Deviled Egg @ Octavia, 1701 Octavia St., octavia-sf.com
Gorgeous gluten-free deviled egg.
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.
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.
30. Cassoulet @ Monsieur Benjamin, 451 Gough St., monsieurbenjamin.com
Cute dinnerware, but avoid the cassoulet.
31. Verduras a la Catalana @ Coqueta, Pier 5, The Embarcadero, coquetasf.com
Sublime dish that tested 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!
33. Rice Noodle With Shrimp (ask for GF soy sauce) @ Yank Sing, multiple locations, yanksing.com
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
39. Arepas @ Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, 401 Valencia St., picapica.com
No surprises here. Crispy Chicken White Corn Arepa and fried plantains were GF.
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.
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.
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!
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.
44. Pad Thai @ Marnee Thai, 1243 9th Ave., marneethaisf.com
Yummy pad Thai!
45. Grilled Grass-Fed Lamb Chops @ Kitchen Istanbul, 349 Clement St., kitchenistanbulsf.com
Unfortunately, this lamb had cross-contact.
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.
47. Bread SRSLY Sourdough @ Bi-Rite Market, 550 Divisadero St., shop.breadsrsly.com
SRSLY good sourdough tested gluten-free.
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.
49. Black Rice Pudding @ Kin Khao, 55 Cyril Magnin St., kinkhao.com
Nima eventually smiled with this unique gluten-free black rice pudding.
50. Pumpkin Curry @ Osha Thai, 686 Geary St., oshathai.com
Very knowledgeable staff and tasty Thai food!