Five Best Gluten-Free Restaurants in Walt Disney World

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January 13 is National Gluten Free Day! Over the years, gluten-free options have become more and more available in stores and restaurants to accommodate those who choose to eliminate gluten from their diet, or those (like me!) who avoid it due to medical reasons like Celiac disease. Disney has a great reputation for having both safe and plentiful options for guests with allergies, and this is no exception for guests avoiding gluten. While nearly all dining locations will have something gluten free guests can enjoy, some really shine with their offerings. Here are five fantastic restaurants at Walt Disney World to enjoy with your favorite gluten-free friends!

Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village)

Sanaa is Swahili for “work of beauty” — and that’s pretty much exactly how I’d describe a gluten-free meal here! If you’ve ever been to Sanaa, you know that it’s basically illegal to dine here without ordering the bread service. Bread service? Gluten free? Yes, one of those things that often sounds like a only dream, but here, dreams do indeed come true. All nine dipping sauces are also safe, making this a real treat! A large number of the dishes on the menu are safe as is — full of meats, vegetables, and deep flavorful sauces. Highly recommend the Potjie-Inspired, because being able to try two delicious dishes is even better than one!

Raglan Road (Disney Springs)

This rollicking Irish pub is known for the music, dancing, drinks, and let’s be honest, the plethora of indulgent fried foods on the extensive menu. Fried foods can be somewhat of a unicorn for gluten-free diners, especially those who need to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-filled foods. So cue the happy tears at the dedicated gluten-free fryer here! Fish and chips, scallops, chicken, onion rings…save the diet for another day, and enjoy the splurge. Wash it down with one of the gluten-free beer or cider options, or finish up with the decadent flourless chocolate cake!

Skipper Canteen (Magic Kingdom)

Though there’s already been a change (okay, dumbing down) of the menu from the original version, one thing that’s remained the same is how many dishes available are gluten free as-is. There’s a great selection of appetizers – the falafel dish is big enough to share, but I don’t recommend that. Give the Tastes Like Chicken Because It Is a try — this take on fried chicken has a chili glaze that gives it just a bit of a kick. It’s always a treat when you find a restaurant that uses tamari instead of soy sauce – it really opens up the number of options! The Quick Sand dessert is a jasmine rice pudding that has a presentation as impressive as the flavor. Throw in servers that specialize in corny puns, and this is quite the little Adventureland gem!

Trattoria al Forno (Boardwalk)

Breakfast and dinner here are two totally different experiences, but both are a treat. The Bon Voyage breakfast starts with a Rapunzel-esque frying pan full of gluten-filled pastries for the table to share. Lucky gluten-free diners will get their own tiny frying pan of house-made muffins and scones, and no sharing required! Dinner options are plentiful; in fact almost all options can be done gluten free, thanks to the use of gluten-free breadcrumbs and the option for gluten-free pasta. The calamari appetizer here is not to be missed — fresh, crisp, drizzled with balsamic, it’s what gluten-free dreams are made of. Save room for a rich gelato to end your meal!

50’s Prime Time Cafe (Hollywood Studios)

Fill your belly and soul with gluten-free comfort foods straight from mom’s kitchen. Many of the dishes here that would traditionally be off limits are done gluten free. Crab cakes, meatloaf, chicken pot pie…you feel warm and fuzzy just reading this, right? Perhaps the star here is one item on the standard menu that isn’t on the gluten allergy menu but can be done by special request – Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken. Pro tip: if you are planning to order this and you are in the park prior to your reservation, stop in the restaurant and talk to someone at the check-in desk. Because the dedicated fryer takes time to warm up, and the dish itself takes time to be prepped and cooked, ordering on the spot can result in a really, really long wait. Giving advanced notice means you can get that classic goodness in your hands (just don’t forget your manners, use a napkin) even faster!

Honorable Mention: Nomad Lounge (Animal Kingdom)

Nomad Lounge has a small menu of small plates that is known to rotate during the year. One addition that came to the show here last year were the churros. Yes people, gluten free churros!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. These are not a special order – they are made gluten free, in a safe fryer. They come with a vanilla sauce, and a spicy strawberry sauce (which I highly recommend double dipping between the two). The churros are fresh, warm, and quite honestly they put any other WDW park churro to shame! I hope these don’t ever leave the menu!

 

In a world where all too often the only gluten free option is a grilled chicken salad (hey, no offense salad, you’re healthy but you get kind of boring), it’s such a treat to have such a variety of options available at so many Disney restaurants. Fellow gluten free diners, what’s your favorite place to eat in Disney? Tell me in the comments!

Heather Keller, Storybook Destinations

If it's vacation, it's for Heather! When she is not on vacation (usually someplace with a big Mouse) or planning her own vacations, she is helping clients plan their own magical trips as a travel agent with Storybook Destinations. See the theme? She is blessed to have a husband that accepts her travel addiction, and two daughters who are already following in her wanderlust footsteps. Heather can be reached at Heather@StorybookDestinations.com

8 thoughts on “Five Best Gluten-Free Restaurants in Walt Disney World

  • January 15, 2019 at 2:16 pm
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    My 7 year old really loved her gluten free meal at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, mostly because of the gf cornbread (which they also have at Whispering Canyon)! We agree that Sanaa and Trattoria Al Forno are wonderful for gf dining. We also love all of the gluten free options on Disney Cruise Line.

    • January 16, 2019 at 9:05 pm
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      Totally agree on Hoop Dee Doo – the cornbread is a really nice treat!! Disney Cruise Line is amazing with allergies too – they really go out of their way to make dining special, we eat like royalty when we cruise!

  • January 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    Pineapple macadamia pancakes at Kona Café are a favorite breakfast option for me. Boma has a ton of great options for breakfast or dinner. I was also impressed by the lunch buffet options at Tusker House and Hollywood & Vine. On my last trip to Jiko I was disappointed that they no longer have the crispy GF pepper “bread”– just the same lame rolls available everywhere. I agree with the other choices here, especially Raglan Road, but haven’t tried 50’s Prime Time yet.

    • January 16, 2019 at 9:07 pm
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      I’m right there with you Frank – the pancakes from Kona Cafe are my favorite breakfast meal anywhere! Love love love Boma. So hard to narrow down all the great choices available to us, we are so spoiled at WDW aren’t we?

  • January 17, 2019 at 10:24 am
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    WDW really is a wonderful place to vacation with food allergies. We usually stay at the cabins at Fort Wilderness and enjoy eating at Trail’s End. Chef TJ’s dessert towers always put a smile on our son’s face and make him feel special (he has Celiac too). It is one of the few times his brothers are envious of his food restrictions! We also like the calamari at Coral Reef plus the chocolate wave is delicious. We will be trying Skipper Canteen for the first time in February, along with the gluten free churros at Nomad Lounge.

    • January 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm
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      Chef TJ is a legend! I’m excited for you to try the churros! I wish I could click my heels together three times and be on the Nomad porch with an order right now!

  • January 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm
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    My daughter loved the Patriot’s Platter at Liberty Tree Tavern, including GF stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, and brownie sundae. It is on her list now for every trip.

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