Looking for a bustling metropolitan city, next to the sea, sandwiched between epic wilderness and a famous wine region? Vancouver is your gal. What’s more the gluten free Vancouver scene is insaaaaane. From fresh baked gluten free cookie ice-cream sandwiches to gluten free fish-shaped waffles filled with soft serve, the city is brimming with fantastic food options for coeliacs.
On our recent trip to Canada we discovered so many good gluten free Vancouver options that I wasn’t sure where to start! With the help of my husband and friend we managed to do some broad gluten free taste testing across the city and I have compiled all our faves here below for your guys. All recommendations are coeliac-friendly, as always.
Gluten Free Vancouver
Gluten Free Bakeries
Yup, you read that right. Gluten free bakeries plural!
Oh my goodness this 100% gluten free bakery is a must visit. From wonderful raspberry lemon tartlettes to croissants and bread, Lemonade has an incredible range of gluten free baked goods on sale. Other items we tried included a mango cheesecake, croissants, sesame bagels and campfire cupcake. All were exceptionally good.
The Gluten Free Epicurian
Another 100% gluten free bakery, this time in the very hip Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. The bakery itself is flanked by coffee shops and cute boutiques, you could hit up The Gluten Free Epicurian for brunch then have an explore round the neighbourhood. I highly recommend their ham and cheese croissant – it was tooooo good. We also tried and enjoyed their quiche, pizza and blueberry cinnamon buns.
Mountain Top Wheat & Gluten Free Bakery
This 100% gluten free Vancouver bakery was handily located very close to our AirBnB in North Vancouver. It is slightly hidden inside a small shopping centre but is worth seeking out. The make amazing gluten free cheese bread that lasts really well (I find a lot of fresh gluten free breads go off quickly) – the ideal spot to stock up for your roadtrip needs. We also tried and enjoyed their pecan banana muffins and warm chicken pannini on gluten free foccacia.
Panne Rizo Gluten Free Bakery
We didn’t manage to visit this bakery ourselves, but it is another fully gluten free joint in the centre of Vancouver.
Innocent Sweets Ice Cream
Gluten free ice cream sandwiches! This 100% gluten free location served absolutely incredible gluten free ice cream sandwiches. I urge you to go out of your way to try this one, it was that good. They serve a dozen or more varieties, including vegan and dairy free options. We tried three of the “minis” (still a WHOLE scoop of ice cream in those): “Fairytale” vanilla sugar cookies with raspberry white chocolate ice cream; “Salt Peanut” peanut butter cookie with salted caramel ice cream; “Double Dark” double chocolate cookie with chocolate ice cream. Amazing amazing amazing. Perfectly crunchy-chewy gluten free cookies and creamy smooth ice cream perfection.
I had seen these on Instagram but would not believe that these were coeliac-safe until I had visited myself. Stuffies serve gluten free fish-shaped (sure haha) waffles filled with soft serve and topped with delicious sauces and treats! They are naturally gluten free and vegan – including all the toppings – and made in a dedicated area. Note the savoury waffles are gluteny but made in a separate area with separate waffle irons. This one is filled with mango and vanilla soft serve, caramel sauce, gluten free graham cracker crumb and chewy vegan caramel cubes. What a spectacular treat!
I decided not to try this one due to their warning about potential cross contamination. It is only a risk of it, as they have some processes in place, but I will leave it to you to decide. Cartems offer various gluten free doughnuts (which are all vegan too), including smoked maple walnut, salted caramel, double chocolate and vanilla bean.
Restaurants and Cafes
A 100% gluten free Japanese restaurant serving up sushi, tempura and other Japanese dishes. The dreeeam!
Juke Fried Chicken
Coeliac-safe gluten free fried chicken and chips. That’s right! Everything pictured below was coeliac safe – their chicken coating is naturally gluten free and the deep fat friers are gluten free. The only foodstuffs to avoid are some of the sauces. The waitress was amazing at knowing what contained gluten and was quick to advise me as to best choices for coeliacs. We loved it!
Red Robin Burgers
A burger chain that has dedicated fryers (i.e. gluten free friessss) and a gluten free menu.
A top recommendation from my fellow coeliac blogger and friend Gluten Free Fi. Medina is a mixed facility but she told me that staff were great about preventing cross contamination and most of the menu is naturally gluten free. Gluten free bread is also available and apparently this is a must visit spot for brunch.
Another top tip from Gluten Free Fi (we were in Vancouver at the same time and met up yo exchange tips :D) – she reports that the snack menu at the Fairmont is 100% gluten free.
One of Vancouver’s favourite brunch spots and one that can cater for coeliac diners. The portions were huuuuuge and kept us full for the rest of the day…I might or may not have found some space to squeeze in some mini ice cream sandwiches though. At Jam Cafe, let the staff know that you are coeliac and they will advise you as to what you can eat and what should be avoided.
They have various gluten free options and try to minimise cross contamination, although it is a mixed facility.
Everything here is gluten free and dairy free, with a focus on healthy dishes. Think big salad bowls that make for perfect sight-seeing fuel at lunchtime.
A taco chain that is coeliac friendly with a number of gluten free options. All the tacos are served on gluten free tortillas as standard.
Grab n Go
A fully gluten free lunch spot on central Vancouver. The focus at Smak is on healthy food and its a great spot for a grab and go lunch or a quick breakfast. Menu items include breakfast sandwiches, smoothie bowls, salads, Smak boxes and curries. Note their is one item on the menu with a “celiac warning”, I assume due to potential cross contamination with one of the ingredients. I would let them know you are coeliac when you order, to be on the safe side.
This was the main source of gluten free options I found on Granville Island. The menu showed lots of gluten free options and offered gluten free bread. The fries were also gluten free when we visited.
There is a very cool street market on Friday evenings in North Vancouver called the Shipyards Night Market. We found a few different gluten free options, including a couple of fully gluten free food stands. The views across the water to Vancouver are fab and there are lots of bars and some live music to keep you entertained. It is also very family friendly as the market starts at 5pm.
Shipyards Night Market
A fully gluten free food stand run by charming Yannick. It is a must visit for coeliacs and other gluten free people taking a trip to the night market. Those gluten free arancini rice balls are perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with brilliant flavoured fillings. The pizza variety is especially good and there is even a vegan option.
San Juan Food Truck
Another 100% gluten free stall that is also dairy free. The food truck serves up Bolivian food plates and tacos, such as coconut masala prawn tacos.
A fully gluten free cake stand selling gluten and wheat free cakes. The big stacks of cinnamon buns drew me in!
Gluten Free Abbotsford
Very close to Vancouver is Abbotsford and I had to include it as there is a WONDERFUL gluten free bakery and cafe there. It is an ideal place to stop for lunch if you are on your way to or from Vancouver.
The Polly Fox
This fully gluten free bakery and cafe serves some sensational bakes and savoury treats. Their doughnuts were so soft inside with a crisp glaze and the vegan apple fritters were juicy and delightful. Everything is gluten free and a number of menu items happen to be dairy free and vegan too. They have really incredible dishes, like a BLT on homemade gluten free waffles. It was huuuuuge, even I couldn’t manage it all. The Polly Fox was definitely one of the best gluten free places we found in Canada.
Another spot to hit if you are visiting Abbotsford. Sprouted Oven serve some great gluten free goods and amazing gluten free scones.
Gluten Free Revelstoke
Another town I wanted to add in, as if you are visiting the Canadian Rockies you will probably be driving through Revelstoke at some point. We found a lovely, very gluten free friendly cafe that I wanted to post about.
Modern Bakehsop and Cafe
This cafe serves a huge array of gluten free cakes and hot food options, as well as homemade gluten free bread. Staff were well prepared to minimise the risk of cross contamination. They have dedicated gluten free tongs for servings and other precautions in place. I had a delicious rice bowl (which was also dairy free and vegan), a gluten free nanaimo cake and a divine dark chocolate peanut butter cup. A must visit it you are passing through, plus Revelstoke is a lovely little town. There are cool shops to be discovered and you can stretch your legs by taking a peaceful walk along the river.
Have a wonderful trip to Vancouver and do get in touch (at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any top gluten free Vancouver tips I have omitted.
If you enjoyed this travel guide, why not check out one of my other North American gluten free guides:
- Canadian Rockies Gluten Free Guide (inc Whistler)
- San Francisco Gluten Free Guide
- Los Angeles Gluten Free Guide
- San Diego Gluten Free Guide
Happy travels! x