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Dedicated Gluten-Free Bakeries
Sweet treats around the United States — and some even deliver!
Can you get so sick of cookies that you never want to eat them again? That was how I felt after I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004. Well-meaning friends and family went to their local grocery and health-food stores looking for something safe for me to eat. And what they found were cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. While I appreciated the effort, I got sick of cookies, especially the ones that crumbled to pieces as I bit into them (anyone who’s tried baking with rice flour can relate to this).
Friends, gluten-free commercial baking has come a long way since then. And while I’m happy to visit bakeries that aren’t exclusively for celiacs, I really wanted to showcase some places that are 100% gluten free. Here are some of my favorites from around the United States. Note that a few of them deliver nationwide!
Almotti Gluten Free Italian Delicacies: Almotti is a dedicated gluten-free bakery founded by pastry chef Carlo Raciti — a third-generation Sicilian baker — and his wife Rebecca Bechara. Based in Miami, Florida, Almotti specializes in Southern Italian handcrafted gourmet delicacies: think filoncino, pane rustico, and focaccia on the savory side, and tiramisu, torta di mandorla, and torta di mela on the sweet side. Nationwide shipping is available.
Annie May’s Sweet Cafe: I discovered Annie May’s when it had an outpost in Massachusetts (sadly now closed), but the original cafe is located in Louisville, Kentucky. Literally everything they make is gluten-free, vegan, *and* free of the top nine allergens (that includes dairy, eggs, tree nuts — except coconut — sesame, and soy). The Whoopie Pies are pure joy, but so is everything else on the menu. They currently don’t ship their goods, so put this one on your to-visit list.
Dedicated: The Tucson Festival of Books is one of my favorite author events and Dedicated is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in town. This Arizona bakery and cafe is family-owned and -operated, and the love shines through in the goods. The menu changes frequently, but you can count on hearty sandwiches (with some vegan options) and heavenly cupcakes. There are always some sugar-free options on the menu, too.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery: My nieces adore this place, and for good reason — not only is the bakery gluten-free, it’s also nut-free (except for coconut), dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free. That sounds like a lot of ingredients to do without, but the resulting cakes, cupcakes, donuts, and other goods are simply incredible. The original outpost opened in New York City’s Lower East Side in 2005, and has since expanded to include locations in California and Florida. Three of the four locations are certified kosher (the Santa Monica location is not). Erin McKenna’s delivers nationwide.
High Fidelity Bakery: I haven’t visited this one in person yet — it just opened up a brick-and-mortar operation in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. But High Fidelity’s goods have been available via multiple Philly-area eateries for a while now, and I love this shop’s backstory: founder Brady Hatin lost his job in the pandemic, and his daughter’s celiac diagnosis led him to abandon traditional baking for the gluten-free variety. High Fidelity’s sweet (donuts, biscotti, cheesecake) and savory (pockets, quiche, pot pie) options are also 100% vegan. The company does ship to customers in other areas.
Mariposa Baking Company: I stumbled on this incredible bakery inside the Ferry Building when I was in San Francisco for a conference 14 years ago, and I make a pilgrimage back every time I’m nearby. (There’s a second shop in Oakland as well.) They offer savory baked goods, including focaccia and rosemary rolls, and sweets like a divine lemon cake. I can never decide whether their Polar Bears or Penguinos are better (one is vanilla, one is chocolate, and both are cream-filled). Personally, I think a taste test is required on every visit, but Mariposa also ships nationwide!
Rivers and Roads Coffee: There are two locations in Denver, Colorado — and one is just a few minutes’ drive away from the Tattered Cover on East Colfax, one of my favorite bookstores. They serve breakfast all day (including a bacon-and-cheddar quiche and a decadent caprese toast) and have a variety of lunch options. The donut holes are simply amazing and so is the cookies & cream bar (I have to take back what I said about not eating cookies again). They don’t ship baked goods but they do ship baking mixes for some of their products.
Let me know about your favorite bakeries, whether they’re dedicated gluten-free facilities or not. What’s your favorite sweet escape?
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