Welcome to Ask Eater Atlanta, a dining advice column in which the editor and regular contributors answer questions from readers on everything from specifics on the ATL dining scene to where to find a particular dish at restaurants around town.
Have a question? Send questions in on the tipline, and Eater will try to feature the answer to one question each week.
Dear Eater ATL,
Where in Atlanta can we find good gluten free pizza? My friend eats only gluten free and I’m no judge of good or bad, as that is like eating cardboard. Please help.
Thankfully, finding gluten-free pizza isn’t as hard to come by these days at Atlanta restaurants. Chefs have become more adept at sourcing the correct ingredients, refining gluten-free recipes, and instituting proper cooking, storage, and cleaning protocols to prevent cross contamination in the kitchen. While some people have chosen to follow a gluten-free lifestyle, the vast majority of people who eat gluten-free foods must do so due to a number of severe allergies and intolerances and autoimmune conditions, like Celiac disease, which prevent them from processing, absorbing, and digesting gluten and can damage the small intestine and cause other long-term health problems if ingested.
Gluten is a type of protein found in grains like wheat, barley, triticale, and sometimes in certain kind of oats. Einkorn, kamut, and spelt, varieties of wheat, also carry some gluten. This means most breads, baked goods, and highly processed foods, even beer, are off limits to people living with gluten allergies or Celiac disease. It also means people often struggle to find restaurants serving 100-percent, gluten-free pizza that actually tastes good, too. Alternative ingredients for making dough mixed with a bad recipe can lead to breads tasting flavorless and stale with a consistency some liken to that of cardboard.
While Blaze Pizza, Blue Moon Pizza, Mellow Mushroom, Firepit Pizza Tavern, and Fritti are well known for offering the option to order pies on gluten-free crusts, here are five other Atlanta restaurants serving really good gluten-free pizzas on the menu.
For more information on specific gluten-free precautions and protocols taken in the kitchens, please check with each individual restaurant. Some restaurants offer gluten-free crusts for an additional cost.
La Calavera — Kirkwood
After closing their beloved Mexican bakery of the same name last winter, owners Eric Arillo and Dale Ralston reopened the Memorial Drive shop this spring as a takeout pizza joint. Aptly named La Calavera Pizza, baker Arillo continues to churn out delicious sourdoughs now acting as crusts for the pies served at La Calavera. Like the former bakery, the pizzeria also offers gluten-free options on the menu, using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix. Most pizzas on the menu here can come served on gluten-free crusts, except for the Homeboy, which is made with local, organic whole wheat flour. La Calavera also offers vegan pizzas, too. Gluten-free crust costs an additional $2.50. Order online.
Mediterranea — Grant Park
Owners Gerard Nudo and Gary McElroy opened Mediterranea in 2017, seizing upon an opportunity to demonstrate that eating gluten free doesn’t have to mean consuming stale and flavorless foods. They’ve succeeded beyond all expectations with a menu packed with dishes and the flavors of the southern Mediterranean. The kitchen and the bakery here are both 100-percent gluten free, too, with many dishes deemed vegan and vegetarian. This includes the pizzas, like the vegan Truffled Funghi pizza with cashew truffle sauce and a red sauce pizza topped with bison-pork sausage and bacon. The pizza crust used for the pies is imported from Italy and made from a mix of corn, buckwheat, potato, and rice flours and starches. Currently open for takeout and delivery. Dining room should reopen soon. Order online.
Plant Based Pizzeria — Virginia-Highland and Sandy Springs
With two locations now, Plant Based Pizzeria has become the place in Atlanta to go for vegan pizza and for vegan pizza served on a gluten-free crust. The pizzeria, with locations in Virginia-Highland and Sandy Springs, offers everything from vegan “meat” lovers to Hawaiian pizzas on its menu, and includes the option to build custom pizzas or order half-and-half pies. All pizzas come served on either a spelt flour or gluten-free cauliflower crust upon request. Gluten-free crust costs an additional $5. Order online for takeout or delivery.
True Food Kitchen — Buckhead and Alpharetta
Most of the menu at True Food Kitchen in Buckhead and in Alpharetta is gluten free, and this includes the three pizzas here. There’s an option to order the margherita, chicken sausage, or vegan butternut squash pizzas on the menu on a gluten-free crust. Gluten-free crust costs an additional $2.50. Order online for takeout or delivery.
Nina and Rafi — Old Fourth Ward
The Italian restaurant and pizzeria at SPX Alley on the Eastside Beltline serves seriously large Detroit-style pizzas as well as thin-crust and margherita-style pies. Both the Detroit and thin-crust pizzas here can come served on gluten-free crusts, too. However, the gluten-free Detroit at Nina and Rafi’s is only available as a 10-inch square pizza and costs an additional $6. The thin-crust pie comes in either a 13-inch round or super margherita style. Order online for takeout or delivery.
Disclaimer: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here. It is highly advised people wear masks indoors or in crowded situations, regardless of vaccination status, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.