Gluten free in Chicago

Although I'm not celiac, for years I have found eating wheat leaves me with some, well, uncomfortable side effects.  I'll spare you the details but definitely side effects I don't want while on holiday.

Eating gluten free can be challenging while on holiday but it is possible, and I was pleasantly surprised by the options I found available while staying in Chicago. 

Chicago is famous for its pizza, particularly deep dish, so on our first night we headed to a Pizzeria just down the road from where we were staying - Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.  I ordered a gluten free (thin base - they didn't over a deep dish GF option) pepperoni pizza and it was pretty good! The base was almost pastry like and very crisp.

My dad looking over the menu at Lou Malnati's. 

My dad looking over the menu at Lou Malnati's. 

When one of our American friends saw we had eaten at Maln ati's, he was mildly horrified and told us "No, you have to go to Pizano' s for pizza in Chicago!" So during our short stay, we made sure to have another pizza fix. I have to admit Pizano's definitely was the better of the two. I preferred the decor and ambience and the pizza was amazing. Pizano also offered a more extensive gluten free menu - including pasta, a deep dish and a thin pizza crust.  I was really excited to try the gluten free deep dish but unfortunately it wasn't available that day.  However, the thin crust was possibly the best GF I have ever had.  Crisp and delicious, it was made from brown rice flour - I think I might have to experiment with replicating it when I get home!  Watch this space, will hopefully be able to post up a recipe soon 😉

My delicious Pizano  pizza and a Sangria cocktail (those who follow me on Snapchat will know I've pretty much being doing s cocktail tour of the USA haha)

My delicious Pizano  pizza and a Sangria cocktail (those who follow me on Snapchat will know I've pretty much being doing s cocktail tour of the USA haha)

Another gluten free friendly venue that deserves a mention is  Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern .  My dad is a Frank Sinatra fan and we grew up listening to his music, so we just had to visit Ol' Blue eyes' favourite rib joint and it doesn't disappoint. Although it didn't say on the menu what was gluten free, their website had an extensive list of what was. Luckily for me, the ribs were and they were incredible. Melt in your mouth, and juicy. If anyone's ever in Chicago, definitely worth heading along to Twin  Anchors.  

I ate my ribs too fast and forgot to take a photo whoops.  

I ate my ribs too fast and forgot to take a photo whoops.  

As much as I want to avoid gluten and wheat, I also want to enjoy myself. If there's something I really want and can't find a GF option, I'm still going to give it ago and deal with the consequences later. I couldn't leave Chicago without trying a famous Chicago Dog from Downtown Dogs and yes, the stomach pains were worth every bite.  Yolo haha. 

If you order a Chicago dog, don't even think of asking for ketchup! Apparently that's considered a travesty.

If you order a Chicago dog, don't even think of asking for ketchup! Apparently that's considered a travesty.