Well, very soon we’ll be off and running to Washington DC with the kids — one of which of course is my 11-year-old daughter, who has celiac disease.  So I’ve been doing some research.  Hopefully this post will help you (and me) if you’re headed out there sometime soon.  Plus, as always, feel free to comment and offer other helpful advice if you’ve already been through it.

So far, here’s been my process:

First — I Learned about Commuter Rail Transit:  Our Hotel is not far from the National Zoo so I started with learning about the Metro Commuter Rail.  Basically I am wondering — how will we even get to a restaurant if I find one?  I think that is a major question here, because we’re not renting a car, but rather relying on public transit.  But from everything I’ve seen and heard, the Metro is easy to navigate and appears to be close to a lot of areas (unlike the weak light-rail system in Minneapolis — for the most part, you must have a car if you vacation here).

Second — I investigated the locations of some of the tourist/historical places we want to go.  Perhaps by knowing these, I’ll have a shot at figuring out a corresponding dinner or lunch location.

Finally — I searched and am still researching the web for gluten-free friendly locations.  Starting with the Washington DC Celiac Support Group web page and their Facebook Page.  The Facebook page is a great place to have a conversation with folks familiar with the area.  But the website has a nice listing of gluten-free friendly restaurants.  Other sites that have been helpful:  Celiac Handbook and Gluten-FreeRegistry.com.

I also have been in communication with our hotel, the Omni Shoreham, which has promised,

“…gluten free breads [are] available and [they] can create most any entree item in a gluten free format, with the exception of desserts and pasta. We have rice pastas available and can offer sorbets, ice creams, mousses and fresh fruits for desserts.”

That’s great — but Robert’s Restaurant appears to be a little pricey.  So I really want to look into other options.  I already am aware I must try Lilit Cafe. One look at their robust gluten-free menu and I know it cannot be missed — especially for breakfast!  Good Stuff Eatery looks yummy and appears to not be too far from the US Capitol.  It may be a destination for us on the day of our tour.  While the DC support group recommended it,  I couldn’t find a gluten-free menu (although the food looks pretty basic).  I have an email into that company to learn more.

But what I’m also looking for is family friendly — and preferably non-chain (although I don’t count Maggiano’s in that— I liked the one in Minnesota, until it closed!).  Please let the suggestions pour in!!! I could use them.

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2 Responses to “Gluten-Free Tourist in DC; Suggestions Welcome!”

  1. We just visited DC for the first time. While we were on the mall, we walked to the Austin Grill. It ended up having great gluten-free and dairy-free options. Their is posted online, and they’re at 750 E Street Northwest.

  2. Take a look at the Cosi website. My daughter likes the salads there. They come in a big, deep plastic take-out bowl. The website includes a lot of allergen information and lists gluten where ever it occurs. You won’t find specialty gluten-free items, but there are a decent number of naturally gluten-free options in addition to salads that could make a nice snack. Cosi has several locations in DC, including one right near the White House if you plan to visit there. Have a good trip!

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