A Rochester Mom’s Guide to Gluten Free

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We are a family of food allergies; specifically, my son and I eat gluten-free.  Over the past 5 years it has seemingly gotten easier to go out to eat or even shop for groceries.  Lucky for us medcity “g free-ers” there are a ton of options to satisfy a diversified palette and maintain a happy, healthy gut.

A Rochester Mom's Guide to Gluten Free | Rochester MN Moms Blog
Aldi Foods changed my life.  Their liveGfree line, delicious! Trying to find diaper bag snacks that were easy to pack and could be forgotten about without spoiling was hard — enter Aldi.  Our favorites: the cheddar cheese crackers, pretzels, and veggie straws. Snackies galore! Not to mention, I can get a week’s worth of groceries for under $80, even less if I stay on top of my meal planning. Maybe I am a little late to jump on the Aldi train, but now that I have, I will not go back.  The BYO-Bag and cart “rental” threw me off the first time, making for a not-so-good first impression, but once I got over it and made a second attempt, fully prepared, I find it to be a short, sweet trip to the grocery store.

Now, eating out. We don’t do it often, I prefer to play it safe and prep my own meals in the safety of my own kitchen at the blame of my own hands. BUT when we do go out, our go-to’s include: Twigs,  Grand Rounds and The Rainbow Cafe.  I feel very lucky to be able to find some great grubs at trendy, fun restaurants in town (and a short jaunt outside of town). There are many others with gluten-free accommodations, but we have found these three specifically to hit it out of the park when looking for budget and family friendly options with a wide variety to choose from.

A Rochester Mom's Guide to Gluten Free | Rochester MN Moms Blog

Twigs has been a Rochester dining staple since 2007.  They easily have the most extensive gluten-free menu in Rochester.  I first discovered they were GF Friendly at Thursdays on First a few years ago.  Imagine my delight!  Owner, Michelle Salz, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and rather than stepping back from the restaurant, she took the dining experience in a whole new direction.   All gluten-free meals are prepared by their specially trained staff in a separate kitchen area with dedicated equipment to help prevent cross contamination.  When I say extensive, I mean a full blown separate menu with gluten-free renditions of traditional menu items, as well as items not found on the regular menu.  My favorites include: the Babcock Pulled Pork sandwich, Thai Cream Scallops, and the Parmesan Polenta with Egg and Jalapeño Cream Sauce.  Now that the weather is nice again, we are due for a patio date night!


Still fairly new to the Rochester scene, Grand Rounds Brew Pub made gluten-free considerations on their menu. The options are easily identified as GF (gluten-free) or GF+ (can be prepared gluten-free).  Known for their burgers (hallelujah!), they have a GF bread option as a vehicle for those glorious patties. The Beef and The Bird sandwich is my go-to, while we get the g-free toddler a basket of tots and ask them to skip the Goldfish crackers they offer when you are seated with a kiddo.  Read more about the family friendly atmosphere here.  My husband cannot complain about a burger and fries, ever.  So this gem in the heart of historic downtown Rochester is a win-win for those gluten-free or not, alike.


Grocery Stores

Several other are grocery stores offer many gluten-free options and in some cases entire sections devote to gluten-free eating.

People’s Food Co-Op

So many gluten-free options as well as alliterative flours sold in bulk.  Their deli and bakery will also accommodate gluten-free requests.  


Four Rochester locations to choose from. Several locations have large health-food sections with ample gluten-free options.



Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar

Select pastas, sauces, bread and salads are available as gluten-free!

Tonic – Local Kitchen and Juice Bar

In addition to serving hearty breakfasts, wraps, salads, and soups they are gluten free, nut free or dairy free! Also serving fresh pressed juice

Bleu Duck Kitchen

Gluten free options available in this made to order classic dining restaurant.  Inquire about current availability.


Gluten free options available on their rotating menu.  Ask about availability!

Hefe Rojo

Has several appetizers, mains and salads to choose from!  Several of their signature tacos are also gluten-free.





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