A Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to San Diego
San Diego is one of my favorite cities for a quick, sunny getaway from Los Angeles. As always when I travel, one of my favorite parts of planning my trip is researching great nut-free, gluten-free restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as finding a spot for a sweet treat or two. I’m happy to say that I had more than enough options to choose from in San Diego. I’ve complied my findings into a bite-sized guide to the the best nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free places in San Diego.
If you’re in the mood for a light breakfast, stop by The Blend Superfood Bar for hand crafted acai bowls, smoothies, and juices. I love that The Blend Superfood Bar doesn’t use any dairy, sorbet, artificial preserves, saturated fats, or fillers in their products. I ordered an acai pitaya bowl with gluten-free granola topped with bananas and blueberries which was delicious. Highly recommended for a breakfast, or light snack!
Craving a heavier breakfast? I can’t recommend The Fig Tree Cafe enough, although I might be a bit biased as my nickname is Fig! The Fig Tree Cafe offers a variety of eggs, pancakes, salads, and sandwiches with gluten-free bread options, as well as my favorite offering: french toast made with their special gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread. The Fig Tree Cafe menu clearly indicates gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
I’m always a fan of a spot that serves breakfast all day, but I’d also suggest giving The Fig Tree Cafe a try for dinner, which is available at their Liberty Station location. Pro tip: do yourself a favor and order their Bloody Mary, you can thank me later.
For a super decadent brunch experience, look no further than The Mission which has a dedicated gluten-free menu. Don’t miss out on their gluten-free french toast made from freshly baked cinnamon raisin bread decorated with blueberries, berry puree, and powdered sugar. Also offered are a variety of egg dishes, sandwiches made with gluten-free rosemary bread, and a few Mexican dishes including my personal favorite: tamales.
Need a mid-morning treat? Stop by Starry Lane Bakery, which was opened by two sisters to make the lives of those with food allergies a bit easier. All Starry Lane Bakery products are made on-site in a dedicated facility that is free of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish, as well as being vegan and free of all artificial food dyes. All the cookies, bread, brownies, cinnamon rolls, muffins, cupcakes, are incredibly delicious, it’s hard to pick my favorite. Don’t miss this spot, it’s allergy-free heaven!
For lunch I love 2Good2Be, where the entire menu is gluten-free, corn-free, and soy-free. There are also many dairy-free and vegetarian dishes offered as well. My favorite dish to order is a sandwich made with the best gluten-free bread around, or an artisanal pizza, specifically the BBQ chicken with vegan cheese.
Still have room after lunch? Don’t miss out on 2Good2Be’s baked goods, including these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. Yum!
Do you miss pizza as much as I do after going gluten-free? I have just the spot for you: Officine Buona Forchetta’s, where all of their 45 pizzas can be ordered gluten-free, and are cooked in “Sergio,” a proprietary 900-degree wood-fired oven just for gluten-free items. There’s also an entire vegan menu for those that are dairy-free. Delicious.
It’s no secret that I LOVE tacos, specifically fish tacos. Upon my arrival to San Diego, I began a search for the best fish tacos and stumbled upon Oscar’s Mexican Seafood where I consumed the best tacos I’ve had, ever. I highly recommend the grilled shrimp and octopus tacos which are served upon handmade (naturally gluten-free) corn tortillas. With five locations in the San Diego area you’re bound to find a location that works for you. Pro-tip: the lines at Oscar’s can get quite long, plan accordingly.
What’s the perfect compliment to an amazing gluten-free dinner? Gluten-Free ice cream cookie sandwiches, of course! I was so excited to try The Baked Bear which bakes up gluten-free cookies which they pair with homemade ice cream. The Baked Bear bakes their gluten-free cookies separately and has a designated “G” tray to avoid cross-contamination. Employees are also required to change gloves when making a gluten-free ice cream cookie sandwich as well. The best part of it all? They offer the option of warming up your cookies. Heaven.
More of an ice cream over cookie person? Make sure to add in a stop at Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream, which offers over 300 flavors of ice cream and sorbet made in Hawaii. With a variety of gluten-free and dairy-free options, including my favorite Kona coffee and pineapple sorbet, you’ll be transported to the tropics with their bright, flavorful Island flavors.
If you’re looking for a quick, sunny getaway with many gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options, San Diego is the place to be!