Gluten-Free Pasadena, California

Chinese dragon on a Rose Parade Float.

We love eating out in Pasadena, and have a found a great number of restaurants that have gluten-free options and/or are willing to modify menu items to accommodate gluten-free diners. Please note that many of the place listed below prepare foods in shared spaces with gluten-based items, so you need to be careful when ordering.

I’ve found most of the staff and management in these restaurants have been extremely accommodating. Staff who are not familiar with what it means to be gluten free are willing to defer to managers and chefs. But, as always, ask lots of questions before ordering.

And…if you encounter restaurants I haven’t listed, please let me know in the comments. I  love to discover new places to eat!

  • 1810 Argentenian Restaurant  — No gluten-free menu, but the waistaff can assist with choices. Steak and chicken items are the best choices. Address: 121 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 795-5658
  • aka (an American Bistro) — No dedicated gluten-free menu, but many options for GF dining. Meats and vegetables with a wine country flair. Discuss menu choices with the waitstaff. Address: 41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone: (626) 564-8111
  • Akbar Cuisine of India — Many of the items on the menu are gluten-free. Ask your waiter for guidance. We love this place, and frequently have it delivered since the restaurant can be crowded in the evening. Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 44 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone:(626) 577-9916.
  • All India Cafe — No gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff can assist in identifying gluten-free options. Curries are generally safe. Address: 39 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 440-0309
  • BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse  — BJ’s has a gluten-free menu available for review (click on link above), and their GF pizza isn’t bad at all. They also offer a gluten-free dessert. Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 234 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101 Phone: 626.204.0845. Close to the convention center.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings — The traditional wings and many sauces are gluten-free. Ask for the GF menu, or access their online nutrition guide (can be hard to read, but it’s linked above). Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 1000 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 9110. Phone:(626) 993-6400
  • Burrito Express — Order your burrito without the tortilla. I generally get the Ito Burrito, which is rice, beans, cheese, and sour cream. Address: 1597 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104. Phone:(626) 798-0844
  • Cheesecake Factory — The Cheesecake factory has introduced an extensive gluten-free menu, with typically large portions. Request the menu when being seated, and make it clear you are ordering GF items. The kitchen is not dedicated gluten-free, so there may be a chance of cross-contamination. For actual cheesecake lovers (personally, I’ve always been so full after a meal at CF that I’ve never considered dessert!), the only option as of this writing is the Godiva chocolate cheesecake. There are, happily, a few other GF dessert options available. Multiple locations in the Southern California region. Address: 2 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone: (626) 584-6000.
  • Choza Mama Peruvian Cuisine‎ — They have several items noted as gluten free on their menu, but I would suggest asking additional questions before actually ordering. Address: 96 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 432-4692
  • Connal’s Burgers and Salads — This sandwich shop doesn’t have a lot of gluten-free options, but you can order a burger (turkey or beef) without a bun or as a lettuce wrap (it gets messy this way…be warned), and their tacos are gluten-free. Address: 1505 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena Ca 91104. Phone: 626/794-5018
  • Domenico’s — Domenico’s offers a gluten-free pizza crust in two sizes. Some other menu items can also be made gluten free. Make sure you are clear that you are gluten free when ordering (we all learned one evening that the halibut is dusted in flour before grilling — it was easy enough to modify this dish to be gluten free). Open on New Year’s Day, which is great for post-parade float viewers. Address: 2411 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104. Phone:(626) 797-6459
  • El Cholo — El Cholo now labels certain items on its menu as gluten free. Actually, the description is “gluten friendly”, but I confirmed this to mean “gluten free friendly”. This local chain has locales around the Los Angeles area. Addresss: 260 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 795-5800. Close to the convention center.
  • Green Street Restaurant — No dedicated gluten-free menu, but plenty of GF options. Salads and California-cuisine type entrees. They have a salmon-quinoa hash I love for brunch. Waitstaff very knowledgeable about the menu, and they happily check with the chef if there are questions they can’t answer. Address: 146 Shoppers Ln, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 577-7170
  • Green Street Tavern — Great food and great service. California cuisine with French flair. No gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff are very knowledgeable. Have never had a bad meal or experience here! Address: 69 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 229-9961
  • Himalayan Cafe  — Himalayan food is closely related to Indian cuisine, though sometimes a bit hotter (you can ask for milder spices if you prefer). Great food, but no gluten-free menu. Work with waitstaff to identify choices. We love the vindaloo. Address: 36 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 564-1560
  • Houston’s  — No gluten-free menu, and you need to be very specific when ordering as the burgers and other items have non-gluten free seasonings — make sure you order your meat seasoned with salt and pepper only. Do not order the fries as they are not gluten free. Address: 320 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 577-6001
  • Il Fornaio — Il Fornaio, an Italian chain, has a gluten-free menu, including GF pasta. Great food, and the staff have always been very helpful, whether we’ve been there with a small party or large group. This chain has multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 24 W Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone:(626) 683-9797.
  • Kabuki Japanese Restaurant — No gluten-free menu, but you can order various sushi items gluten free. Kabuki now offers wheat-free soy sauce.  This chain has multiple locations in the Los Angeles area, and two in Pasadena. Address 1: 88 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena. Phone: (626) 568-9310. Address 2: 3539 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, California. Phone: (626) 351-8963.
  • Kal’s Mediterranean Bistro‎ — No gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff can assist in identifying gluten-free options. We really love their steak. Address: 43 E Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone:(626) 440-0107
  • The Luggage Room Pizza — Hands down the best gluten-free pizza crust I’ve ever had. Also the rest of the pizza. Great ambiance and a good crowd. We like to sit around the huge bar with friends, drinks, and pizza. Address: 260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 356-4440
  • Malbec New Argentinean — No dedicated gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff can guide you toward gluten-free items. Address: 1001 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91106. Phone:(626) 683-0550. There is also a Toluca Lake (Burbank) location.
  • Mijares — Mexican food, California style. No gluten-free menu, but there are multiple gluten-free choices. Please check with management if waitstaff is unclear about specific items. Two locations in Pasadena. Address 1: 1806 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104. Phone:(626) 794-6674. Address 2: 145 S Palmetto Dr, Pasadena CA. 626/792-2763.
  • The Novel Cafe — No gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff are knowledgeable about menu choices. Multiple locations throughout the Los Angeles area. Address: 1713 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106. Phone:(626) 683-3309
  • Parkway Grill — No gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff can guide you through menu options. A Pasadena institution for good reason — the menu features the best of California-style cuisine! We love going here for special dinners. Address: 510 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 795-1001
  • PF Chang’s — PF Chang’s has integrated their gluten-free offerings into the main menu. Your meal is served on a special plate to ensure no mix-ups. Make sure you request gluten-free soy sauce if you need extra. Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 260 E Colorado Blvd #201, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 356-9760. Close to the convention center.
  • The Raymond — If you’re looking for a special or romantic meal, this is the place (after what seems an unusual entrance, you will be surprised by how secluded it is!). Make it clear when making your reservation that you have a gluten-free diner so your waiter is prepared to discuss the menu with you from the start. Great service and ambiance! Address: 1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 441-3136
  • Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion — Roy’s has a special gluten-free menu. Note there is a gluten-free diner when making reservations, and make it clear you are ordering from the gluten-free menu. Their short ribs are usually on the GF menu, which changes seasonally, and they are absolutely delicious. Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 641 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 356-4066
  • Saigon Noodle  — Their pho is gluten-free, but verify before ordering the beef pho. Address: 28 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone:(626) 796-9378
  • Slater’s 50/50 — Burgers, burgers, burgers. Slater’s has a good gluten-free menu with many options, including GF buns for the burgers. Multiple locations in the Southern California region. Address: 61 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone: (626) 765-9700
  • Smitty’s Grill — No gluten-free menu, but the waitstaff is very knowledgeable and very helpful. Address; 110 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 792-9999
  • Sushi Roku — Sushi Roku recently debuted its gluten-free menu with a lot of great options. Request gluten-free soy sauce if you use it for dipping. Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 33 Miller Alley, Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone:(626) 683-3000
  • Wahoo’s Fish Tacos — Various menu items are gluten free. I usually get the grilled fish with rice and beans. Ask when ordering to make sure what you’ve chosen is gluten free. Address: 264 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 449-2005
  • Wokano Asian Restaurant — No gluten-free menu, but you can order sushi without sauce or wasabi. Multiple locations in the Los Angeles area. Address: 33 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone:(626) 578-1818
  • Yard House — While the Yard House does not have a dedicated gluten-free menu, their website outlines all the options available to gluten-free diners with instructions on how to order GF items safely. Address: 330 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone:(626) 577-9273. Close to the convention center.
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