I could write article after article on the downtown Charleston gluten-free scene. The good, the really good, the bad, and the downright ugly. And I plan to do just that. Think of this as installment #1.
Throughout this website I haven’t hidden my disappointment that such a lovely foodie town has an overall under-impressive gluten-free selection, hard-to-find printed GF menus, and many staff groups who are super undereducated on gluten-free eating.
But in NO WAY does that mean there are not some killer gluten-free restaurants in downtown Charleston. In fact, here are 5 you should try this weekend!
Quick Lunch: Brown Dog Deli
Almost everything on their menu can be made gluten-free. Every staff member who I talked to is super informed and walks me through what is safe and what isn’t. They even take precautions in the back to prevent cross-contamination (but still make sure to remind them to do so!).
My absolute favorite is the “Apple Butter Jeans”: Melted brie, sliced Granny Smith apples, local apple butter, fresh arugula, mesquite smoked turkey, honey ham, and applewood-smoked bacon. Oh yes. P.S. They have vegan options too!!
Burgers: Bay Street Biergarten
Alcohol confession: I think it’s safe to say that my favorite drink I’ve found in Charleston so far is here, The Mexican Grizzly. Tequila, Aperol, and grapefruit juice. If you don’t like it tart, sit that one out.
I’m also in love with their Turkey Reuben, which can be made on a gluten-free bun. Since the frier is shared, I normally just get grilled veggies to the side. Delish.
Without a doubt, Minero belongs in the top of ALL gluten-free restaurants in downtown Charleston (and even the greater area). Not only do they have a gluten-free menu, they also have a CELIAC menu – all the items that do not come into contact with gluten-y ingredients. This includes celiac friendly corn chips. A real winner.
Everything I have ever eaten here is perfection, so try it all!
Thai: Basil Thai Restaurant
I mentioned Basil Thai’s happy hour in my Charleston Date Night post. And I’m going to mention it again because it’s one of my favs. Their gluten-free Pad Thai is to die for. And I love their Blushing Buddha gin drink. There are not A TON of gluten-free menu items, but what they have is truly tasty.
And it’s not that easy to find restaurants celebrating global cuisines in Charleston. So win/win.
O-Ku is one of my favorite restaurants on King Street. First of all, the ambiance is great. It’s fun to sit at the large sushi bar or to try to snag the tables by the windows to people-watch (definitely call early to make the reservation – like DAYS in advance). Most of the sushi rolls can be modified for the gluten-free eater.
They also provide gluten-free soy sauce!
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Downtown Charleston
Of course, there are countless tasty restaurants in the downtown area of Charleston, so this is only part 1. I want your help to come up with part 2. What are your favorite gluten-free restaurants in downtown Charleston? Any nominations?