For someone with food allergies, vacations can be more stressful than relaxing. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and told I had to eat gluten-free, I set out on a mission to uncover the best restaurants to eat gluten-free enjoyably.
Sharing a meal out and about with friends and family is easily a favorite pastime of mine, and I absolutely love finding restaurants that are hidden gems.
Which is why today I’m going to be sharing 5 of my favorite restauarants to eat gluten-free at Walt Disney World.
If you’re planning an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World and have to follow a gluten-free diet, have no fear! Disney’s service is top notch, and dining is no exception to this. In fact, I think Walt Disney World was one of the first places I visited after my diagnosis that offered gluten-free bread, waffles, and desserts that were nowhere to be found near home.
Whether you plan to be in the parks, at a resort, or wandering around Disney Springs, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a variety of dining options that will leave your mind in awe, your heart happy, and your belly full.
#1 – Favorite Character Breakfast: ‘Ohana
This has by far been my favorite character breakfast mainly because it’s not buffet style like many of the others we’ve attended. ‘Ohana serves their food ‘family style’ straight to the table. However if you have a gluten allergy, before bringing the food, a chef will come chat with you, share your options, and bring you your own HUGE dish of food. My meal was essentially the same as everyone else’s as the table minus the bread and pastries. I had eggs, bacon, sausage, and breakfast potatoes. The best part though? I also had my own personal serving of signature Mickey Waffles, gluten-free of course! Be sure to try the juice, too. It’s a taste of tropical deliciousness.
#2 – Favorite Disney Springs Dinner: Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant
This hidden gem I found back in 2013, and we now make a point to go here on EVERY trip. It’s an Irish Pub with dedicated gluten-free fryers and a special gluten-free batter. Be sure to try the onion rings (yes you read that correctly), or the fish and chips. These are two foods I don’t think I’ve ever been able to find gluten-free anywhere else. They have a wide selection of salads and other entrees that are also gluten-free. Not to mention live dancers who provide entertainment throughout the meal making it a fun place for kids and grownups to enjoy a meal together. This place is a must visit!
#3 – Favorite Sweet Treat: Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
Looking for a special sweet treat for breakfast or to enjoy on an afternoon or evening outside of the parks? Be sure to stop by Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Disney Springs. This place (formerly Babycakes Bakery) is a 100% dedicated gluten-free and vegan bakery. From cupcakes, to cookies, to donuts, to bagels and more this is a place you’ll want to sample immediately and then take more for later! My personal favorite is the Banana Chocolate-Chip Tea Cake, but it’s all delicious!
BONUS SWEET TREAT LOCATION: On my last trip I discovered that Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort offers gluten-free beignets at their bakery. I’ve never been, but I hear they’re delicious and plan to head straight there on my next trip!
#4 – Favorite Quick Service: Be Our Guest Restaurant
After a few years of not being able to get a reservation, I was FINALLY able to eat a quick service lunch at Be Our Guest last year, and it was an incredible experience beyond the gluten-free options. Fortunately for the gluten-free diner, there are plenty of choices to satisfy your appetite. I initially thought I would try a sandwich (on a gluten-free roll) and potato leek soup, but when I arrived ,I wasn’t hungry enough to indulge. So I instead had the quinoa salad which was really delicious, satisfying, and different that your typical gluten-free salad options. They also have a lemon and raspberry cream puff that is gluten-free and surprisingly tasty!
#5 – Favorite Resort Meal: Maya Grill
I am sure there are many resorts with incredible gluten-free offerings, but I’m choosing to feature one a little more off the beaten path that taps into our family’s favorite cuisine — Mexican food! Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is host to Maya Grill, a sit down Mexican restaurant with options for the gluten-free diner. When we ate there a few years ago, all of the gluten-free options were marked on the menu, but I’ve heard they’ve since taken the markings away and send a chef out to talk to the table instead. However, most items on the menu can be made gluten-free including chips and salsa (chips are fried in a dedicated fryer), enchiladas and fajita style entrees (served with corn tortillas). If you’re looking for Mexican dining in the parks, Epcot also has two outstanding options for Mexican food as well!
Do you have food allergies? What are your favorite allergen free restaurants when visiting Disney World?
(Photo from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Beryl and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.