Over the fourth of July weekend I went up and visited family in Chicago. This is where my brother lives, and it is about five hours from where I grew up in Ohio. When agreeing to this trip, I did not know any of the plans for the trip. I personally planned 0% of this trip, and did not know most of the details until I was already in Chicago.
Anyways, being a family trip, it went similar to family trips in the past. We mostly ate in. My mom brought in food and we ate at my brothers apartment for most meals. This is a fine way to get out of town on a budget, but was a bit disappointing as Chicago is a big city, and big cities often have large amounts of gluten free options. So every chance I could I went out and got to a place I knew had gluten free options. Here are the restaurants I was able to visit in Chicago.
Scone City is located in Wicker Park, which is somewhat north. But it is close enough to an L station you can get to it relatively easily if you want to check it out.
I am obsessed with this place. The last time I visited Chicago my brother took me here. They are not 100% gluten free, but they do carry gluten free scones. Everyday they have at least one gluten free scone option. Some days they have two options. It seems to me that they carry two gluten free flavors on the weekend. But do not quote me on that.
They keep the gluten free scones separate from the normal scones in the display. And every time I have been there they use pastry paper to grab the gluten free scones. So there is no chance of them grabbing with the wrong tongs or utensil.
I have had multiple flavors of the gluten free scones. They are all very delicious. During my visit I actually visited Scone City twice. The first time I got the triple chocolate scone, and the next time I got two apple cinnamon scones. The chocolate scone was super sweet. So sweet that I ate about half at first and saved the rest for later. The apple cinnamon was not as sweet, but delicious as well. Between the two of those flavors my favorite was the apple cinnamon.
One of my favorite characteristics of the gluten free scones is their ability to hold their shape. We all know the struggle of the gluten free product that crumbles everywhere. That does not happen with these scones. They stay together pretty well comparatively to other gluten free baked goods I have had. This is definitely something the owners should be proud of.
The unfortunate part is they do rotate the flavors so if you are only in town for a short period they may not be selling a flavor you like that day. But on the website it does say you can call before going in to see the flavor of the day. It also suggests making a special order to get the flavor you desire.
The cafe itself is adorable. It is not super large, but there are some tables inside. They also have outdoor seating. I personally have never sat and eaten my scones there. I have always taken them back to my brothers apartment to eat. The vibes are good and the employees working the counter are always super nice.
They also serve coffee and tea here. I have never ordered beverages here. But it is something I will have to give a try next time I am in Chicago.
So if you are in the Wicker Park area, or just really want a gluten free scone check out Scone City. I think you will enjoy it!
Jeni’s Ice Cream
Jeni’s is a Columbus based ice cream brand. They are growing their business and getting outside of Ohio. In Chicago they have a few locations. I was lucky enough to have family members with me that also love ice cream and were willing to walk to Jeni’s with me.
The Jeni’s we went to was packed. The line was out the door, which is honestly pretty normal for a Jeni’s. The ice cream is worth it. Unfortunately I have not seen the gluten free cookies and creme in scoop shops since the one time I got it. That is my all time favorite. This time I went with strawberry buttermilk, and brown butter almond brittle. That night I was so happy.
Like I mentioned in my post on Columbus, Jeni’s is great when it comes to dietary restrictions. They have all the ingredients and allergens listed for each ice cream. And if you ask they will either get new scoops, or scoop ice cream from the back. This last time they scooped in the back, which took a while. But I did not mind because it meant less chance of cross contact with the few flavors that have gluten.
I love Jeni’s. If you see a Jeni’s I definitely say stop. Learn more about them on my Columbus Eats post.
Sushi can often be difficult to find gluten free. The use of tempura and soy sauce often makes sushi not safe for anyone living a gluten free lifestyle.
That is why Jieyi is so awesome in my opinion. They are a small family owned business in Wicker Park. But both times I have visited the service was wonderful, and I ate safely.
I visited Jieyi the first time last year when I visited my brother. At that point I asked many questions and got answers that I felt good about. The thing is they do not have anything on their menu that suggests that they could accommodate for the gluten free diet. You do need to ask whomever is serving you.
The lady helping us this time said that I could really order anything and they could make it gluten free. This was an overwhelming answer. Because of that I played it safe and got a California roll. I also shared some edamame with my brother. This worked out well for me. They also carry gluten free soy sauce, and brought the whole bottle to our table. I appreciated this gesture and the fact that they carry the gluten free option. Not everywhere does carry a gluten free soy sauce.
The food is more authentic and not as Americanized as a chain sushi restaurant. Although it is a bit different than what I am used to I still enjoyed it very much. I felt happy and full after my meal. We also ordered mochi for dessert. I have only had mochi a few times, but it is a fun dessert option to chose when available.
I suggest this place if you are in the Wicker Park area. Unfortunately they are small and this is their only location. I do know there are many sushi restaurants around Chicago. But do not know if any of the others have gluten free options.
Those are all the restaurants I had the opportunity to visit when in Chicago over the holiday. It is not many, but I still wanted to share them with you.
Been To Before
Although this time I did not eat out often, I have eaten out at other places in Chicago that offer gluten free. I will not go into too much detail, because I never took notes back them. But thought I’d put it out there since you are already here.
Chicago’s Pizza offers a gluten free deep dish pizza. It was massive, and I loved getting a different style of crust for once.
Wheat’s End is a 100% gluten free restaurant and bakery in Boystown. The time I went I had my brother and his friends with me. None of which are gluten free eaters. Even they were impressed with how good the food was. I definitely suggest this especially since it is a dedicated facility.
Wildberry Cafe offers gluten free options. I remember getting one of their breakfast skillets. I don’t remember exactly what was in it, but if I were to guess it was eggs, cheese and some sort of breakfast meat.
Those are the restaurants I’ve been to in Chicago to date. With Chicago being such a big city I am sure there are many other great options out there. And hope that one day I get to check more of them out. I hope this helps a bit while planning your trip to the Windy City.
Let me know which places you try and what you think in the comments!