This DC city guide was brought to you by Nima community members Philip and Aja who has lived around the world for work. Check out their family’s story on Instagram @chaoticwanders and their blog The Wandering Chaos.
#nimatested Dishes: Tator Tots, Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Just up the street from the White House, The Grilled Cheese Bar DC (GCDC) is the place to go if you crave a grilled cheese sandwich and tator tots. During the week they have a full and make your own menu, and the weekend has a smaller selection. They are very aware of Gluten free and Celiac concerns, and even host Gluten-Free events from time to time.
We tested the Tator Tots, Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and an apple and cheese sandwich. All came back with a smile. Be sure to alert the server for your request for gluten free bread due to an allergy.
Location: 515 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
#nimatested Dishes: Prix Fix Steak Menu
Medium Rare is a great date night location, with several locations throughout the D.C and Virginia area. It is a prix-fix menu which includes bread (not gluten free), salad, and two helpings of steak and french fries. They also have a great wine selection and a gluten free dessert sundae option.
We tested each portion of the menu – the salad, dressing, steak, and french fries all came back with a smile. We had asked for the “secret sauce” on the side, and while the staff was confident it was gluten free, we had a gluten found result on two different sauce jars.
#nimatested Dishes: Strawberry-banana crepe and Nutella Crepe
Crepe Lena is a hidden gem inside of the Union Station Food Court. They have a dedicated batter and cook space for their gluten free crepes. A variety of fillings are available – including savory and sweet. We tested both a strawberry-banana crepe and a nutella crepe, and both came back with a smile. They were also delicious, and the staff was very knowledgable about allergies.
Location: Throughout the DC area
#nimatested Dishes: Cheese Pizza
Ledo’s Pizza is famous for their square pizza, and the gluten free option tastes great. They have several locations throughout the DC and Northern Virginia area, and ours had a dedicated gluten free prep area and utensils. Toppings (except cheese) are not gluten free – so stick with the cheese if you are concerned with potential cross contamination. We ordered two gluten free cheese pizzas, and tested along the cut lines and outer edges – both came back with a smile. Our toddlers gobbled them up!
Location: Throughout the DC area
#nimatested Dishes: Carnitas Corn Tortilla Tacos
District Taco is a go-to place for a quick Mexican food fix. Originally a food truck, they have branched out and now run many storefront locations throughout D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. We have been to three locations in DC and Virginia, and all had a dedicated gluten free cook for the lunch time and all tacos were prepped with new gloves and on foil. Be sure to alert your cashier when ordering. We tested the carnitas corn tortilla tacos and they came back with a smile.
Location: 2409 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
#nimatested Dishes: Brioche Bread
Rise Bakery is a dedicated gluten free brick-and-mortar bakery in DC, near Georgetown. They have a variety of products and all taste delicious! They also ship, so if you find something you like you can always have more sent to you. We tested the delicious brioche bread, and it gave us back a smile.
Location: Locations Nationwide
#nimatested Dishes: Red’s Tavern Burger and Red’s Chili
Red Robin – while a national chain – is own of our kids favorite places to eat. When you have three toddlers, it is definitely a place that you can add to your list if you are looking for a meal for the whole family. Red Robin is located in Falls Church, Virginia, which is about a 15-20 minute drive from the national mall area of DC. The staff is very knowledgeable about celiac, and like all Red Robin locations, they have dedicated fryers and purple flags to indicate that the item was prepared for a gluten-free guest.
We tested both the Red’s Tavern Burger with Gluten Free bun (modified from the standard menu) and Red’s Chili (no modifications from the regular menu) and both came back with a smile (on two separate occasions). We also tested the Kids Burger, Kids Chick-n-Stickens, and fries with Red’s seasoning, and all came back with a smile – just be sure to alert your server to prepare it gluten free.
Thank you Philip and Aja for creating this guide. Philip and his 3 year old son has Celiac disease. As part of Philip’s work in the Foreign Services, they have lived around the world. The family relies on Nima to keep their family safe from gluten even with the language barriers when dining out. You can follow their family’s story on Instagram @chaoticwanders and their blog The Wandering Chaos.