As much as celiac diners would love a government body or health authority to license restaurants, gluten-free certification simply does not exist in the hospitality industry – in Canada or the United States.
However, the celiac community on Vancouver Island has banded together to support this resource with over 200 celiac-friendly restaurant recommendations. Their health and well being is proof that the ‘gluten-free pudding’ they were served was safe – and delicious. That is the highest standard that currently exists and even then, diners are advised to always ask the right questions.
Three Island restaurants have gone above and beyond to meet our needs, committing to being 100% gluten-free and celiac-safe!
100% GLUTEN-FREE VICTORIA Sante Gluten-Free Cafe – Hanna Kofman is a foodie first and a celiac second. Quality is her priority. Sante Gluten-Free Cafe was establish in March 2010 because Hanna was adamant that the local or visiting gluten-free, their family and friends had a right to enjoy delicious food, in a completely safe environment. With careful research and the season’s best, freshest produce, Sante read more… 2630 Quadra Street, Victoria • 250-590-7174
100% GLUTEN-FREE LADYSMITH Wild Poppy Bakery and Bistro – is a must-visit destination for anyone with any connection at all to gluten free – and if you love fabulous baking in general. 100% gluten and peanut free, and delicious by any standard, Wild Poppy offers an absolutely scrumptious array of gluten-free cheese cakes, cookies, fruit tarts, granola and everything you could ask for in a deli. Heaven on earth read more … 541 1st Avenue, Ladysmith • 250-924-8696
100% GLUTEN-FREE NANAIMO Let’s Eat Guilt-Free Bakery, Cafe & Deli – “The gluten-free will no longer be held victim to the tasteless cardboard once passed off as sandwich bread! They now have choice! They now have flavor! They now have Anete and Rose Coutinho!” A chef and a physician respectively, two sisters joined together against the forces of gluten, combining skill with know-how, presenting read more … 435 Terminal Avenue North, Nanaimo • 250-754-4466
Here’s a list of restaurants who have proven to The Celiac Scene
that they can safely serve celiacs while still serving regular fare!
COLWOOD Bitez Sandwich Bar – When news of Bitez Sandwich and Espresso Bar reached The Celiac Scene, we asked owner Doug Kobayashi for a personal tour of his operation and we were mightily impressed. With written assurances from his suppliers that ingredients for the wraps, buns, meats and toppings are gluten free; a separate gluten-free prep section; well-trained staff read more … 310 Coldstream Avenue, Colwood • 250-474-2828
COURTENAY Union Street Grill A must-experience gluten-free menu for locals and tourists alike! Union Street Grill’s recipe is simple and effective – provide the Comox Valley with three essential ingredients: good food, good drinks and good times. This happening hot spot is completely gluten free except for outsourced ‘gluten’ burger buns, tortillas, focaccia and potato-rosemary bread. Only gluten-free flours are used on site. Dedicated deep fryer read more … 477 5th Street, Courtenay 250-897-0081
COWICHAN BAY Rock Cod Cafe – What do you get when a commercial fisherman owns a seafood restaurant? “Food that is fresh, makes you feel good and reminds you of home! The perfect place to warm your soul!” Rock Cod Cafe saluted by Shaw TV and You Gotta Eat Here! It’s not just the food that gives Rock Cod Cafe its great reputation. Owner Jacob Hökanson commits, “If the ocean is going to look after me, it’s my obligation to read more … 1759 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay • 250-746-1550
NANAIMO Pirate Chips – has two dedicated gluten-free fryers to serve their gluten-free and celiac customers. Not only that, the Buckaneers have the buns to serve us gluten-free burgers, oyster burgers and halibut burgers. Enjoy New Grist Gluten-Free Beer. Tuesdays: Kids Under 8 Eat Free. Wednesdays: All-You-Can-Eat Gluten-Free Cod Fish & Chips. Gluten-lover menu and so much read more … 75 Front Street, Nanaimo • 250-753-CHIP
VICTORIA DOWNTOWN Joint Pizzeria – The Joint Pizzeria and Deli has been serving the gluten free with integrity for more than ten years. Almost every pizza can be made to be gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan! Staff are fully informed and can advise diners about gluten-free pizzas, toppings and how to modify meals to suit additional sensitivities. Take and Bake option: your gluten-free pizza can be par-baked (for either pickup or delivery), then cooked at home or read more … 1219 Wharf Street, Victoria • 250-389-2226
VICTORIA ROYAL OAK Olive Grove Restaurant – Mentored by the founder of the Victoria Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association over 20 years ago, The Olive Grove is proud to be the first restaurant in Victoria to have offered a separate celiac-friendly menu! They have mastered the art of serving the gluten free, their family and friends with a comprehensive ‘Celiac Menu’ that offers a full gamut of read more … 4496 West Saanich Road, Victoria • 250-479-9361
VICTORIA VIEW ROYAL Six Mile Pub – The 160 year-old View Royal pub that served the Gold Rush now sets the gold standard for gluten free. Pub fare created with culinary flare, Six Mile is proud to serve ‘SIX-Nature’ chicken wings, deep-fried halibut and – wait for it – safe french fries & yam fries cooked in a dedicated deep fryer! Menus are updated with the seasons, safe for celiacs and delicious for read more … 494 Old Island Highway, View Royal • 250-478-3121
VICTORIA & NANAIMO Noodle Box – Voted #1 Take Out in Vancouver, Victoria is where this wildly popular eat-in / take-out resto got its start as a humble food cart. With locations across Vancouver Island, BC and Alberta, expect fun, high energy staff – and diners – on the same page for safe and delicious gluten-free food! Line up to order, NoodleBox is where to see and be seen! Standard Protocol – every read more … See Island Locations
Using The Celiac Scene as your guide on Vancouver Island, asking the right questions, calling ahead and finally, collaborating with your chef or server, there is every reason for you to be able to negotiate a gluten-free free meal, wherever you go!