Let’s not lie: Gluten-free and vegan menu options can often feel like an afterthought when dining out.
They leave us dietary-restricted folks sighing, “Salad again, I guess!” more times than we’d like to admit. While Rise Bakery and Anna’s House are two of West Michigan’s best allergy-friendly staples, there are many more hidden gems to try out.
With dishes straight from Northern India to brewery pizzas and French desserts, we have all your cravings and dietary needs covered.
Little Africa Ethiopian Cuisine
956 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, Little Africa is your new favorite restaurant. With an exclusively meat-free menu, you won’t have to worry about cross-contamination in your dishes. Little Africa even offers gluten-free injera flatbread, making it the perfect spot for any and every dietary restricted foodie. It’s a cash-only restaurant though, so make sure to stop at the ATM before your meal.
1851 44th St. SW Ste. F, Wyoming
Noble is a breakfast and lunch family-favorite restaurant. Between burgers, pizza and pancakes, more than 75% of its menu can be made gluten-free. Noble also boasts a wide variety of vegan options, making this a family-friendly eatery for grownups and kiddos with dairy or wheat allergies.
435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Rak Thai offers to-die-for takeout at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. The allergy-friendly and budget conscious menu — not to mention oh-so-fresh ingredients, as they swap their veggies with the seasons — make Rak Thai my personal favorite on the list. The coconut lemongrass curry and frozen taro bubble tea is the perfect lunch combo, especially when eaten from the Market’s city-view upstairs seating.
1420 Lake Drive SE, East Grand Rapids
After 22 years of serving Grand Rapids, it’s no wonder Bombay Cuisine has a long line of regulars. Best for vegetarians, Bombay offers all types of authentic Mughlai North Indian dishes, including Gohbi Masala and Vegetable Korma. If you skip the bread and go for extra rice instead, Bombay can also be gluten-free-friendly.
The Mitten Brewing Co.
527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
While Grand Rapids often brags about its breweries, dining at one with any food allergy is a challenge — although not at Mitten Brewing. The Westside brewery goes above and beyond when it comes to allergy-friendly dining, with a clearly labeled menu and gluten-free options from sandwiches to salads and pizzas.
99 E 8th St., Holland
Located in downtown Holland, Mizu Sushi has one of the longest menus on this list. With more than 10 vegetarian rolls, meat-free diners can enjoy sushi alongside their fish-eating friends. If you skip the soy sauce and fried options on the sushi menu, Mizu can also be gluten-free friendly.
Le Bon Macaron
951 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
While you technically can’t get a meal at Le Bon Macaron, you can get yummy gluten-free desserts. I’m often surprised at how many gluten-free diners don’t know these tiny French cookies are naturally wheat-free, as their outer shells are made with almond flour. But hey, better late than never! Stop by Le Bon Macaron for an elegant macaron-topped ice cream sundae or affogato dessert. While you’re there, you can even pretend you’re in Paris. We won’t tell.
Furniture City Creamery
958 Cherry St., Grand Rapids
Even vegans get ice cream cravings, and that’s where Furniture City Creamery comes in. With loads of vegan options — from toasted coconut chocolate chip to build-your-own ice cream sundaes — Furniture City leaves no sweet tooth behind. Abundant gluten-free options also sprinkle through their extensive ice cream menu.