Exploring Gluten Free Calgary

Exploring Gluten Free Calgary

Wow! Gluten Free Calgarians are lucky! The list of gluten free Calgary restaurants, bakeries, vendor and producers is actually really long! When my husband and I first discovered that we both had celiac disease it felt really hard to find safe gluten free food. After lots of exploring we have learned that we are very lucky to have many options in Calgary.

Each gluten free business in Calgary offers their own gluten free gems. If you haven’t tried them, I encourage you to do so. The businesses listed here are all 100% gluten free. While I understand that a number of restaurants attempt to offer gluten free food, and some do it very well, I have a soft spot and lots of love for places where I know My Celiac Family will be safe from cross-contamination. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity make sure you are supporting these local businesses. They work hard to make sure we have safe options so we need to support them with our patronage.

Note: I have written this based on my own experiences. In most cases I have not spoken to the owners of these establishments about this post. If there are any errors or omissions please let me know. Also, please let me know if I missed any businesses, I want to acknowledge all that gluten free Calgary has to offer!

Gluten Free Calgary Restaurants

I am going to start with our three wonderful gluten free Calgary restaurants! Every time I eat at one of them I am just so thankful that there are places in Calgary where I can sit in a restaurant and share a meal with my family and feel totally safe.

Heaven Restaurant & Bar 

I LOVE Heaven. It is a bit far away from where we live, which might be a good thing because I think I would eat there too often if it was closer! I can’t even really list all the things I love to eat there… pretty much the entire menu is my favourite! I wrote a whole blog post on Heaven if you want a bit more info on what the food is like. In addition to wonderful Venezuelan food, they also have some traditional comforts like chicken fingers and lasagna. They serve brunch on the weekends too, that is on our to do list because the pictures they post on Facebook look delicious! Lots of their dishes are also vegan or vegetarian as well.

The Village Flatbread Co. 

A gluten free pizza place! It is so wonderful to be able to go to Village Flatbread and treat my kids to a pizza so we can all feel a little normal. My favourite is the Brentwood (it is bruschetta on flatbread). The fresh tomatoes and basil melt on your tongue. We sometimes stop at Village Flatbread on our way out of town for a road trip or when we are running and need food quickly. They have a convenient feature on their website where you can order your pizzas to pick up at a specific time. The pizzas are always ready to go and are our new version of fast food, only way yummier and healthier than our gluten eating days.

Avatara Pizza 

We spent our first gluten free Valentine’s Day at Avatara. It was in our early days of eating gluten free and I was so excited to find a safe place to eat. I wanted to order one of everything on the menu! We had our three kids with us and so, in addition to pizza, we also tried the chicken strips and ribs; nothing disappointed! My husband ordered the best pizza, The Crunchy Cowboy – not something I would usually order because I usually have conservative tastes, but the combination of pineapple, mushrooms, nuts, barbecue sauce and more makes The Crunchy Cowboy to die for. I am drooling as I describe it, it is that good! In addition to their restaurant, Avatara has a food truck (see more under Food Trucks below).

Gluten Free Calgary Bakeries, Markets and Quick Serve Locations

The following businesses are also great places to grab a quick lunch or snack on the go. They are not full service restaurants, but they make my life easier in many ways. I can grab lunch on the go or pick up some delicious bread or a treat for My Celiac Family. I am grateful that these businesses exist in Calgary.

Major Spud & The Kernel 

I consider Major Spud & The Kernel to almost be a restaurant since they feed me lunch so often. They are located in the Calgary Farmer’s Market and they sell the most delicious waffles and stuffed baked potatoes (and a few other things from time to time). The first time I discovered that their whole location was gluten free, I was so excited that I wrote a whole post about how they made the Calgary Farmer’s Market fun for me again. They also sell frozen waffles and potatoes. I recently purchased frozen waffles for my husband’s birthday breakfast. We were rushed for time but I wanted him to have something special so I grabbed some waffles and some fresh fruit at the market and we had a wonderful, easy gluten free breakfast.

Lakeview on 90th Gluten Free Bakery 

My first experience with Lakeview Bakery was their Crowchild location where they have both gluten and gluten free treats. What I liked best about that location was the large selection of gluten free grocery items. I bought a tube of gluten free cookie dough to make cookies for my husband and I ate the entire thing raw before I even had a chance to bake any of them.

A few months later I finally made it over to the Lakeview on 90th Gluten Free Bakery which is 100% gluten free. This location is also where where they bake and package the gluten free items for the Crowchild location. What a treat! It was so nice to walk in and be able to look at all the yummy stuff in the glass display cases and know that I could have anything that I wanted because it was all celiac safe! Needless to say I came home with a couple bags of treats for the family. My kids loved the beautifully decorated cookies!

Delissitude 

Perogies! Wow does Renay at Delissitude ever make good gluten free perogies! I used to work with Renay back in our corporate days, so when I found her at the Calgary Farmer’s Market I knew I could trust her gluten free food. I served Delissitude perogies at our very first totally gluten free Christmas feast and they did not disappoint! She also makes pretty yummy cupcakes, cinnamon buns and some blueberry muffins that are to die for. Whenever we are at the Calgary Farmers’ Market the kids always want to stop at Delissitude for a cupcake! I know lots of people love Delissitude because in addition to being gluten free, many of their products are dairy free, nut free and some are vegan.

Miss P’s Gluten Free 

The first time I went to Miss P’s I was in the process of being diagnosed, after a positive blood antibody test and inconclusive biopsy, my doctor wanted me to follow a strict gluten free diet for three months to see if my antibody levels dropped. I wasn’t eating out at all, until I found Miss P’s. She came recommended from a friend who I trust so we decided to have lunch there. I had a turkey sandwich on bacon bread on my first trip to Miss P’s. The sandwich was AMAZING. It was such a treat to eat something that I didn’t have to prepare myself. So delicious and very filling! When I was done eating my sandwich I had to go back and give her a hug for making something so good and comforting during a time when I was really struggling.

Miss P’s bread is amazing! It is the closest thing I have had to my grandma’s homemade bread since my diagnosis. I kinda love her lemon bars and chocolate chip cookies too. We found Miss P’s at Market on Macleod, but in November 2018 she is moving to a new location in the Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market. I can’t wait to check out her new location! I also saw on her website that her products will be available at Calgary Co-op locations by year-end 2018.

Que Chivo 

We came to love Que Chivo as a gluten free food truck. Recently, we were very excited to hear that like Miss P’s, they will be opening a location in the Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market in fall 2018! I really can’t wait to check out their new location! Let’s show them some love and help them get this new venture off the ground!

Nourish Kitchen and Bakery 

When I think Nourish Kitchen and Bakery,  I think healthy and yummy. If you read my blog, or follow me on Facebook, you probably have realized that I have a bit of a sweet tooth but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love food that tastes good and fuels our bodies. Nourish Kitchen and Bakery is all about food that tastes good and is good for you.

They saved us on our first gluten free Calgary Stampede. My kids were disappointed that there would be no midway mini donuts. When I found them at Nourish Kitchen and Bakery my kids were thrilled! We also got some Stampede Boxes that were filled with hearty breads, yummy energy bites a delicious fresh salad bowl and more. You can order from Nourish Kitchen and Bakery online and pickup your fresh, healthy food at one of their market or popup locations. Check their website for more information on how to find them.

The Cookie Jar 

My family loved the cookies from The Cookie Jar. Unlike most of the small gluten free goods we buy, the cookies were big and the texture and taste was amazing. We think they chose the right business name because they have definitely nailed gluten free cookies. In addition to cookies they had all kinds of really delicious looking gluten free food. The bread and pies looked amazing and I am planning to go back to try those. I met one of the owners while I was there and he said that his wife makes custom cakes as well. We found The Cookie Jar at the Crossroads Market it was a fun place to explore. We are looking forward to our next visit.

Earth’s Oven Gluten Free Bakery 

On my first trip to Earth’s Oven I walked out with bags full of food. I already knew the food was great because they let my daughter and I sample a few things while we were there. The owner Mandy is fantastic and explains how to store the frozen food and how to rewarm everything. The baker Yung is very passionate about his food and cares not only about gluten free but also about safer food that is not full of pesticides and preservatives! Both of them were very sweet to my daughter and she lights up when we go there. The focaccia bread and Naan bread  is amazing and I found their prices to be very reasonable.

Calgary’s Gluten Free Food Trucks

Avatara Food Truck 

You can have the same yummy pizza from the Avatara restarunt (described above) on the go by visiting their food truck. I think their menu might be a little smaller than in the restaurant but they still have my favourite Crusty Cowboy pizza! My husband who works downtown frequents Avatara Food Truck and I am always jealous when he tells me he had Avatara for lunch! Please send your truck to Seton so I can go for lunch and make him drool for a change. I recently heard that Calgary is getting a second Avatara food truck! Maybe my dreams will come true next spring when food truck season kicks off again? See you in Seton guys?

Que Chivo Food Truck 

Que Chivo is a Salvadoran street food truck in Calgary! They serve yummy gluten free pupusas, tamales, and plantain empanadas. I think the sauce is what makes their food so good. If you work or live down you have probably seen them around. If you haven’t tried out their food you need to. There are no 100% gluten free places to eat in the downtown core so it is amazing when food trucks like Que Chivo are out and about giving people with celiac disease a place to grab a safe, delicious warm lunch.

Arepa Boss Food Truck 

You will not walk away from the Arepa Boss Food Truck hungry! My husband learned that he had to change to a smaller order of yuca fries so that he could finish his Venezuelan arepa at lunch (even then he then can’t finish it sometimes)! The first time he had Arepa Boss for lunch (with a large fries) he called home to make sure I wasn’t planning a big supper because he was so full. Thank you Arepa Boss for feeding my husband so well for me.

Arepas Ranch Food Truck 

We have not managed to try the Arepas Ranch food truck yet! According to their website they are gluten free and they also have vegan and vegetarian options. I hope we can find them out and about next food truck season to try their freshly made artisan Arepas!

Edited To Add: Yummi Yogis Food Truck Yummi Yogis

I recently learned that we have another gluten free food truck in Calgary! Yummi Yogis Food Truck offers healthy plant-based meals. I checked out their website and I can’t wait to visit them in person at some point. Their Pad Thai and smoothies look delicious and refreshing!

Other Gluten Free Calgary Options

The businesses listed below are all 100% gluten free and they are all based in or around Calgary. You will find their products in supermarkets, coffee shops, health food stores and more. I love supporting gluten free businesses, and I love them even more when they are Calgary-based businesses.

Care Bakery 

I can’t believe that Care Bakery is a Calgary company! I am so proud to know that it all started here and that their products are made in Calgary. If you have ordered a gluten free burger or maybe even a pizza in a restaurant (not just in Calgary, but across Canada), there is a good chance that you have tried Care Bakery products and didn’t even know it. Care Bakery products are available in a growing number of restaurants! You can also eat Care Bakery products at home. When I want Care Bakery bread or buns for home I can usually find them at my local Calgary Co-op grocery store.

Ohh La La Gluten Free Bakery 

The owners of Ohh La La Gluten Free Bakery were recently featured on Global News! They talked about how they reinvented themselves as a gluten free company. They offer beautiful gluten free pastries and I have tried and really enjoyed their muffins. I still have a number of other products on my “to try list” like their almond cakes, lemon loafs (I miss the ones from Starbucks) and their mousse. Ohh La La products can be found at a number of locations in Calgary including Calgary Co-op. Looks like Calgary Co-Op is a big supporter of our local gluten free Calgary businesses.

Mountain Rhino Donuts 

If you have been missing donuts, you need to find Mountain Rhino Donuts. They recently opened a new location and my understanding is that it is primarily their bake shop, but they do invite you to stop there to pick up fresh goodies if you order ahead. Their frozen donuts are available in a number of locations in and around Calgary. They were also recently recognized on the cover of Avenue Magazine – onward and upward Mountain Rhino Donuts!

Bobby Reed’s Exceptional Perogies 

You can find Bobby’ Reed’s Exceptional Perogies in many stores in Calgary and beyond. I think of them as gourmet perogies. They go beyond the traditional potato & cheddar perogy and introduce a few amazing new flavours. They have one that is spicy chorizo sausage, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh oregano and asiago cheese. My husband’s favourite flavour is lamb and mint. They have some very unique flavours wrapped up in tender gluten free dough. When we sampled them at The Italian Centre Shop we were impressed.

Kernels Popcorn 

I debated about including Kernels in this list because their headquarters are not in Calgary. There are lots of Kernels locations in Calgary so I wanted to acknowledge that their popcorn is 100% gluten free. It says on their website “Corn is the basis for any No Gluten diet, and so we ensure nothing is added to change that”. So, next time you are in the mall and you are feeling sad because there are no completely safe options in the food court go grab yourself a bag of popcorn! You won’t even have to pay extra for gluten free because it is all gluten free! I also see that they have a fundraising program, I am excited to see if we can use Kernels for one of the many fundraising programs that we do at our school or for various extracurricular activities. It would sure be nice to be able to eat the goods we are selling! Note: although the flavoured popcorn that you purchase in Kernels locations is gluten free, not all of the individually packaged Kernels seasoning shakers are, so make sure you check ingredients if you are purchasing those.

Spokes 

I missed Spokes when I first published this post. Someone messaged me to say I should have included them and I couldn’t believe they were a Calgary company! I see Spokes air-puffed potato snacks everywhere… grocery stores, drug stores, health food stores, etc. so I assumed they were a big company from somewhere else. I was pretty excited to learn they were from Calgary. In fact, to verify that they were a Calgary company I went and grabbed a bag of Spokes that I had in my pantry to check the bag. My kids promptly devoured them with me. Yep, we love Spokes and yep, they are from Calgary.

Preserved 

Preserved will be opening in early 2019. Even they are not open yet I wanted to include them to help another 100% gluten free business get off the ground. They will be offering scratch made soups, stews, stocks, sauces, pickles and preserves; frozen or preserved. Everything will be chef prepared in a 100% gluten free kitchen. You will be able to order their products online and have them delivered to you.

Edited To Add: Oh! Naturals Oh! Naturals

I discovered Oh! Naturals at the Calgary Gluten Free Expo. Until then I did not know that they were a Calgary-based company. My four year old daughter loved the banana chips that they handed out in the giveaway bags at the front door. At their booth they had savory sweet potato fries and sweet banana chips. Personally, I thought the strawberry banana chips were the best! I noticed on their website that they offer free shipping if you purchase over $35, which I think is very reasonable. I couldn’t see the mini size packs that they handed out at the Expo, I would love to see those available to purchase as they are perfect lunchbox size (they are gluten free and peanut free).

Edited To Add: Judy G Judy G

Judy G is another company that I didn’t realize was a Calgary-based company. I was familiar with their pizzas but didn’t know they were a local company. At the Calgary Gluten Free Expo Judy G was sampling pizza at the Community Natural Foods booth. My son (who only likes pepperoni pizza) tried a piece of Hawaiian pizza with no pineapples and said it was delicious! Guess he likes other kinds of pizza too. I am excited to purchase more Judy G pizza now that I know I am supporting a local gluten free company.

Thank You Gluten Free Calgary Companies!

There you have it, so many great options! These gluten free Calgary businesses do so much to make our lives better, let’s make sure we are supporting them. Recommend the restaurants, markets & products to your friends and family even if they are not gluten free. Many of the businesses offer gluten free food because the food they are serving is naturally gluten free, so our gluten-eating friends and relatives won’t even be missing anything! The other great thing about them is that if you have other concerns, most of them can accommodate you safely because they have a deeper understanding of food sensitivities and allergies. I have provided links to all of the companies’ web pages and Facebook pages so you can find them. I hope that the number of gluten free businesses in Calgary will continue to grow and thrive, making my life and the lives of my celiac friends and family easier.

 

My Celiac Family

Here is a link to my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/myceliacfamily. If you aren’t following me yet I would love it if you would head over and give me a like. If you are following me already, thanks for the support!

 

 


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