Gluten-free restaurants are restaurants that serve food that does not contain gluten. These restaurants serve an important purpose for those who suffer from celiac disease or follow a gluten-free diet for any other reason. Sometimes a gluten-free restaurant refers to an establishment that has the sole purpose of serving gluten-free items. In many instances, however, the term gluten-free restaurant refers to an already established restaurant that welcomes and accommodates customers on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free restaurants are invaluable to those who need gluten-free food options, and many reliable online databases have been created by people who follow such diets.
For those suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, making food choices can be complicated, especially at a restaurant where the ingredients in dishes are not completely disclosed. Gluten is found in many types of food because it comes from the protein in wheat, rye, or barley, which are used to make many starchy foods. Bread and pasta are the most obvious examples, but people who eat a gluten-free diet also have to be careful about sauces, coatings, and garnishes that might have been prepared using flour and that contain gluten. Gluten-free restaurants take all of the guess-work out of choosing a dish and give gluten-free patrons the freedom to enjoy eating at a restaurant without worrying about every last ingredient in the food.
There are some restaurant owners who are sympathetic to the needs of a gluten-free diet, or who may even enjoy such a diet themselves, who have created their own entirely gluten-free restaurants. This encompasses restaurants of all types, including pizza places, bistros, and even bakeries. These restaurants go to great lengths to offer a menu that is entirely gluten-free and desirable to the gluten-free population as well as the general public.
The market for gluten-free diets has grown but is, nevertheless, somewhat limited. For this reason, an entirely gluten-free restaurant can be hard to run and very hard to locate. Online communities and websites for those on a gluten-free diet often share lists of gluten-free restaurants to give some assistance to people who are searching for viable options. To make things easier, many regular restaurants have responded to the needs of gluten-free diners and developed special menus highlighting dishes that are gluten-free or that can be modified to be gluten-free. Even though these restaurants are not solely gluten-free, they do accommodate those guests who want gluten-free food and are often referred to as gluten-free restaurants.