Eating Gluten Free in the Chinatown district of Washington D.C.

Eating out with a gluten allergy or intolerance can be totally challenging and that is putting it mildly. Let’s just say I am a research queen before I even leave for a trip just so I can find where my best options will lead me. I usually search the internet for local restaurants that serve gluten free entrees as well as which ones are walking distance from my hotel.

The first leg of our trip we stayed in the Chinatown district of Washington D.C. until July 2nd. The following restaurants were in this area and walking distance from our hotel.

$ = $10 & under
$$ = $11-$20
$$$ = $21-$30
$$$$ = $31-above

Once I arrived to the hotel and got settled I asked the hotel concierge guy where to go eat since I was too tired to pull out my information. I was informed of two restaurants one being Busboys & Poets. So we trekked there in the rain (without an umbrella) and was very happy to see they marked their menu with a GF icon ( Gluten Free logo ) letting me know what was gluten free… they had a nice selection which included cocktails in addition to GF beer. For dinner I ordered their Rustic Pizza that consisted of pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, and green peppers on a gluten free crust with a basil pesto. I was very happy with the service and extremely satisfied with my pizza (which was too much food to finish). It was perfect all the way around.

Busboys & Poets, Washington DC

Busboys & Poets
1025 5th Street NW (cross-street K)
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 789-BBAP (2227)

Dinner = $$ – $$$

The next afternoon I went to Fuddruckers for lunch and was very surprised they had A LOT of options to choose from on their menu. Their menu included beef, elk, wild boar, and bison burgers as well as gourmet salads, and sandwiches of salmon, fish, ribeye steak, chicken and turkey as well. You could even get (for an extra $2) a gluten free bun or you could have your burger / sandwich served on a bed of lettuce. I ordered their ‘The Works’ beef burger which consisted of Smokehouse bacon, American cheese and grilled mushrooms on a bed of lettuce. And, yes, I was in tastebud heaven!

But what I read on their menu impressed me — “Fresh – never frozen – 1/3, 1/2, or 2/3 lb.100% USDA All-American, premium-cut beef.” And their ‘Exotic burgers’ are “all-natural, free-range, grass and grain fed game burgers that are 100% antibiotic and hormone free. Often lean and always tasty, Fudds Exotics℠ are full of nutritional benefits.”

So no wonder our meals were really tasty. I mean our burgers were sooooo juicy and flavorful! My husband even said his burger was delicious and informed me their gluten filled buns were just as wonderful… not that I would know, LOL.


734 7th Street NW (cross-street H)
Washington, DC 20001


Lunch / Dinner = $ – $$

Cuba Libre Lechon Asado

One night several of us headed over to Cuba Libre for dinner. While they said they had several items on their menu that were gluten free, I was only told about their Lechón Asado by the chef. He said it was the easiest for him to convert to gluten free and if I liked spicy it was the dish for me. So I said sure, I’ll try it. The dish consisted of slow roasted marinated pulled pork, classic sour orange mojo, smashed yuca and a black bean broth topped with slaw.

I think this dish’s flavors paired nice. Had just the right amount of spicy and it went well with the sour orange mojo flavoring. However, I’m not certain I liked the smashed yuca on the bottom unless it was smeared with the beans and sauces. The yuca was just too bland by itself. Other than that the meal was great.

Cuba Libre

801 9TH ST. NW
Washington DC 20001

Dinner menu:

Dinner = $$$ – $$$$

The next afternoon my husband wanted to try out the deli across the street from our hotel. It was Cafe Phillips. They serve healthy gourmet meals from Salads to Sandwiches. And all the meats are real not processed and carved by hand in front of you. The downside, they don’t have a gluten free bread option so I was limited to salads. Which was OK. I ordered their Chef Salad and was asked how I wanted to build my salad. And then they sliced up ham and turkey to add to it. Yep, it was probably one of the best salads I have had in who knows how long!

They are open Monday through Friday, from 7 AM to 4 PM, and are closed on weekends and all federal holidays.

Cafe Phillips

They are located at:

650 Mass Ave N.W. (Between 7th & 6th Street)
Washington D.C. 20001

Breakfast / Lunch  = $

Clydes Filet Mignon

While looking at Clyde’s menu the other day a lady interrupted me and said, “You have to eat at Clyde’s. They are the best around!” Now I have no idea if she was local or a tourist, but she said it with such conviction that I had to try Clyde’s out.

We went there for lunch and spent $42 for two lunch entrees & two sodas without even leaving a tip yet! Now don’t let that fool you… the food was great but that is an awfully expensive lunch to spend over $50 on for two people.

Nevertheless, the staff was wonderful and very informed on how to handle gluten free items. I ordered the Grilled Filet Mignon that came with grilled corn, scallions, zucchini, farro, marinated sungold tomatoes, yellow squash puree. Now they immediately stated that the farro wasn’t gluten free and wanted to know if I would like to just double up on the veggies. I asked if I could have french fries instead. They said they don’t have a dedicated fryer, but the fries themselves were Gluten Free. I said that is ok.

The filet was so tender, juicy and flavorful that it made me forget how much I was spending for lunch, LOL! Even the vegetable melody was fresh and buttery. I didn’t leave much if anything at all on my plate.

Clydes Sign

707 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Lunch menu:

Lunch / Dinner = $$ – $$$

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