12 Ways to Eat Gluten-Free on the Road

Karen Broussard, founder of GlutenFreeTravelSite.com, shares her tips for eating gluten-free while on the road

Many hotels are now offering gluten-free menus.

When her son was diagnosed with celiac disease, in which a person has trouble digesting foods that contain gluten, a protein found in products like bread and pasta, Karen Broussard quickly realized the challenges travelers have finding gluten-free options while on the road. So she started the website GlutenFreeTravelSite.com to help travelers maintain a gluten-free diet on the go.

See 12 Ways to Eat Gluten-Free on the Road Slideshow

Approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population has Celiac disease, although the majority remain undiagnosed. There's an additional 7 percent of the population estimated to be "gluten sensitive," according to Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research. Therefore, a total of about 25 million people in the US are negatively affected by gluten. For these people, finding safe food options can be challenging.

"You want to take a vacation from worrying. You want to be able to take a vacation without worrying about food," said Broussard.

GlutenFreeTravelSite.com provides tips and resources for travelers and their families for gluten-free travel and dining around the world. The site, which began four-and-a-half years ago, has recently unveiled a new design, which includes a guide to chain restaurants, restaurant reviews, and trip-planning resources. Only businesses that have been reviewed by a person on a gluten-free diet are included on the site.

Broussard emphasizes that planning ahead makes all the difference when dining out or traveling gluten-free.

"The ones who often have the best experience are those that plan ahead," said Broussard, who gave us her 12 tips for eating gluten-free on the road.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.

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On a recent vacation to Brown County State Park (IN), employees at the Little Gem restaurant in the Abe Martin Lodge went above and beyond in meeting my needs. I was so impressed that I commented to one of the waitresses and she said that they had all had a class on gluten and allergens. Yay!


This article states that Celiacs have "trouble digesting foods that contain gluten." CD is an autoimmune disease, a far more serious condition. This is important to note because when dining out, there are issues regarding cross contamination to consider. Sure, many restaurants offer a gluten free menu but very few can guarantee your food will be safe from cross contamination in the kitchen and prep area. For a Celiac, this is of utmost importance.


You are right, of course, but I just wanted to note that we recently went to our local Olive Garden and the manager related to me the extensive precautions that they take to avoid cross contamination and the training pertaining to it which is required for all employees. I was so pleased and had a great experience there.

AEPaul's picture

I would strongly recommend using AllergyEats (www.allergyeats.com) before you consider dining anywhere in the U.S. AllergyEats is the largest online guide to allergy-friendly and gluten-free-friendly restaurants in the US. Restaurants around the country are rated by our peers and have an allergy-friendliness rating, and the site also includes links to gluten-free menus, gluten-free certifications, dining tips, restaurant links, and more. And of course it's all free - both the core site and the AllergyEats Mobile App (plus our Facebook page, the AllergyEats Blog, AllergyEats Disney World, etc., etc.). Happy eating!

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