5 Non-Gluten-Free Foods That We Still Really Miss

zac misses some gluten-filled foods

5 Non-Gluten-Free Foods That We Still Really Miss

Around here, we try to keep things optimistic. Chin up, kid – everything’s going to be alright. And most of the time it is. These days, being gluten-free isn’t the struggle that it used to be. If you’re craving a hearty bowl of pasta, there’s a box of GF pasta in the pantry that’ll do the trick. In the mood for delivery pizza? Most neighborhoods have at least one pizza place with a decent GF pizza on the menu.

We’re eternally grateful for the dedicated companies out there that have filled the marketplace with awesome, 100% gluten-free alternatives (full disclosure: we happen to make some pretty good gluten-free snacks ourselves – use coupon code “dontcry” for 15% off). We love you guys. But still, there are those dark days. We’ve all attended the same pity party at one point or another, and it’s worth taking a moment (or an entire article) to mourn the loss of some of our most beloved non-gluten-free food or drink. We’ve kept it cheery in the past, but today, we pour one out for the inevitable loss of convenience, peace of mind, and simple pleasures that comes along with the gluten-free diet. Here’s the top 5 non-gluten-free foods we just can’t seem to get over.

1. Cheap beer, craft beer…beer, beer, beer.

For some of us lifers, it’s been so long since we last had a traditional beer that its difficult to remember how a Bud Light even tastes. Even worse, some of us were underage when diagnosed and have never even experienced the glory of a barley-rich beer – but that’s a story for another time.

Maybe you’re still able to close your eyes and practically taste your last Two-Hearted Ale, or maybe it’s a distant memory. Either way, there’s no getting past the lack of variety, the hike in price, and the sheer inconvenience of showing up to a bar, concert, or wedding while gluten-free. By  now, you’re probably totally used to badgering the bartender to scrounge up the six-pack of cider he keeps in the back for people like you.  Why bother asking about the specials when you know that the $2 PBR happy hour doesn’t apply to you? I’ll take the $6 Gin and Tonic, thank you very much. Sigh.

2. Real bread (the ultimate non-gluten-free food).

Let’s make one thing clear – the gluten-free industry has worked miracles in the bread department. From Bob’s Red Mill to Pamela’s to Three Bakers, there are GF-bread solutions abound in today’s market. That said, we’ve seen how the other side lives. Baguettes, croissants, homemade banana bread, fresh bagels, warm donuts – we could go on, but we won’t. It’s totally okay to mourn the loss of walking into any bakery, coffee shop, or sandwich place and ordering whatever you want. Pancakes, waffles, pastries, donuts, toast, we really miss you.

3. Flour tortillas.

Chipotle, what have you done? Burritos have always ranked high on our Most Missed non-gluten-free foods, but you really took things to another level. It’s true that your burrito bowls are an excellent GF option and we applaud your efforts to accommodate gluten-free diets in your restaurants. However, we’re green with envy over your 1 lb. burritos, lovingly wrapped in the folds of the arch nemesis: flour tortillas. You’ve done nothing wrong, but a cardboard bowl will never trump a whole-wheat, burrito-sized flour tortilla. For now, we’re just thanking our lucky stars to have a stake in the corn tortilla taco market. They can’t take that away from us, unless they happen to have a cross-contaminated grill.

4. International food.

Can you say “gluten-free” in Greek? How about  in Mandarin? One of the great tragedies of the gluten-free diet is the crimp it puts in your international style. Whether you’re trying to order some Drunken Fried Noodles from a local spot or planning a trip to Thailand, your gluten-free diet presents some serious challenges in world foods. Restaurants in the United States are just barely keeping up with the prevalence of gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease, and things aren’t looking much better abroad. With so many international cultures steeped in gluten-rich cuisine, you’re just going to have to study up before putting that passport to good use.

5. Fast food.

We support a healthy diet. In many ways, the gluten-free diet forces you to rediscover a healthier lifestyle. Suddenly, fruits, vegetables, and many other whole foods are your new best friends. No need to ask if a carrot or a carton of strawberries are gluten-free – they come from the abundantly gluten-free Earth. However, we were brought up in the modern world, and we’re not rabbits. The wild world of fast food is all around us, and convenience is a real and valuable thing. On the gluten-free diet, you’re forced to wistfully pass by a cornucopia of fast-food glory on road trips, on the way home from work, and after leaving the bar. To date, there’s no cheap, satisfying gluten-free equivalent to McNuggets, a Whopper, or french fries (we’re hard-pressed to believe the GF claims made by fast food chains). What we wouldn’t do for the occasional Big Mac or Taco Supreme. But for now, eat your vegetables. That works, too.


A little commiseration never hurt anybody. In fact, it’s healthy to send off your old stand-bys with a bittersweet tribute. We want to know – what’s your biggest loss since starting a gluten-free diet? What’s the one non-gluten-free food or non-gluten-free drink that still shows up in your wildest dreams? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Valerie oneill

    Crusty French stick

  • Tracy

    Licorice Ropes

  • Ruth Ann Pearsons

    Fried chicken and a good San Francisco Sourdough bread.

  • Rosemarie Cummings

    Traditional holiday foods & desserts, like homemade RAVIOLI or REAL LASAGNA! There is no ONE item, because it’s tradition that I’m missing.

  • KassiaKrozser

    cheap chinese food! i don’t crave much from the “before” days, but when that urge for cheap lo mein hits, nothing (nothing!!) can make it better. at least i’m not stupid enough to give in to the urge…

    with regard to international cuisine, i’ve traveled quite a bit since diagnosis (mainly europe), and have dined quite well. countries like italy and spain are GF friendly. the UK was pretty good as well. and, of course, so many asian and latin american foods are naturally gluten free.

  • GF4Life

    Pizza crust that tastes like pizza crust.

    • Patty Hawkins Martin

      Try Freschetta gluten free pizzas in frozen food dept.

    • Angie

      I have made a gf pizza using real potatoes in the crust. The best I have tried, but time consuming. It is a food network recipe.

    • GF4Life

      My husband and I have been experimenting with cauliflower crusts. There are several recipes out there. We use the same toppings we would for any traditional pizza crust. Not bad, though sometimes I just want a good “dough” crust … one that doesn’t taste like I’m consuming cardboard. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

  • Ccubed

    A donut that tastes like a Dunking Donut.

  • carber

    baklava <3

  • charlot

    White cake with caramel icing—fried chicken–cajun foods—etouffee, gumbo—

  • Salvaged

    None! I no longer hold to the impression that I am deprived. Status post multiple restaurant allergy reactions and lack of food quality, I presently cook 95% of my meals with non-G.M.O. products. No price tag can be placed on good health. Experience speaks of the precautionary measures needed to prevent GMO exposure in order to prevent severe malnutrition, peripheral neuralgia and hyperparathyroidism to name a few of the side effects from the consumption of modified foodstuffs over a period of months and/or years.
    Did you know that the gluten content of today’s bread to that of the
    1960’s is a ratio of 17-to-1? If you eat two slices of bread at breakfast, a sandwich at lunch and a roll with dinner, you have consumed the equivalent of 102 slices of the 1960’s bread.

    Some articles state that our health issues stem from a generational weakening and that modified foods have nothing to do with our health. Then again our society permitted the infusion of Genetically Modified (GMO) wheat into the mainstream with the highest gluten concentration released in 2009. Our society shrugs at the the G.F. position out of fear of loosing food choices and ever increasing financial losses in sales. Our society put Celiac Disease on the map! The gluten cross-reaction foods that offend many (yeast, egg, dairy, coffee, sunflower/safflower/canola oils to name a few) inadvertently continue to deplete revenue sources. The new adage should be; “If I don’t cook it, I don’t eat it!”

    • Peyton Rivers

      Well said! I trained my 3 sons to eat right and now that they’re on their own I see at their house bread, bagels, fast food, soda, nothing organic other than what I’ve brought over – just garbage! When they were still at home I had them tested for food sensitivities and both were sensitive to gluten and dairy. They stopped it for a while, but now that they feel good (sort of, not really) and they’re young, they’re in denial. There are so many options out there that nobody will go hungry or should feel sorry for themselves. I wonder what it takes for them to change their diet? I’m afraid it may be too late when they get sick. I tell them “it’s only a matter of when you get cancer and not if.” I know I sound like a rag but my husband is worse – intelligent but…. I give him the facts backed up by research and he just says “I’m tired of hearing about that stuff.” Thanks for listening – I just had to get it out. I guess people think diseases just come out of nowhere. I know exactly what you mean by the GMO’s. Maybe that’s why people like Donald Trump tehe.

    • theglutenfreebar

      Agreed with Peyton….very well said. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  • Angie

    I really find traveling difficult, especially airports. I miss a good yeasty cinnamon roll or bagel with cream cheese.

  • Angie

    Somebody show me how to make a good bagel!

  • Angie

    French bread & real gumbo with a roux!

    • karlajohnsonwinston

      Thai food is better to me and lots of delicious meals to choose from. Almost everything in my local favorite Thai restaurant is now GF. Good luck

  • Jacquie Miller

    Chinese food and French pastries

  • faith

    Traveling is a pain! I literally dream about real pizza and French bread! Yummmm :’-) I really miss u!

  • Peyton Rivers

    caramel pecan rolls.

  • jenny

    KFC Chicken fillet burger and a pint of Stella Artois n lime. Mmmmmm.

  • August

    nBurritos, wet burritos, flour tortilla tacos…ah!

  • Christie

    Whiteys amazing thick shakes

  • rake

    I disagree with number 4. We just returned from London & Dublin and every single menu listed gluten containing items along with every other allergen possible. It was 1000% easier eating there and I never had a single issue while eating amazing foods. That said I miss good pizza and hot pretzels.

    • theglutenfreebar

      Thanks for the comment Rake – agreed that it is a pretty broad generalization to say “international food” and good to know you had a positive experience in Dublin and London. We were thinking more of situations when you can’t read the menu and can’t speak the language and trying to figure out if something is safe to eat…that can be tough.

      • Diacritic

        Most of Europe is really, really good about gluten allergies, these days. At least in the EU. It just takes learning one phrase, “soy celiaco” or “sono celiaco” or “je suis celiaque” etc. Restaurants at least in major cities will know the available options.

  • varenikje

    San Francisco sour dough bread. Sigh.

  • Adam

    Pizza. There isn’t a crust that will ever replace the dlughy goodness!

    • cmac

      I agree! Pizza! No substitute for the real thing.

      • Jodi D

        Totally agree about thick, pan crust pizza.

    • GolfNut007

      Don’t know where you’re from, but there’s this new franchise in So. Cal called Blaze Pizza . . . they have GMO and Gluten Free Pizza. Just an FYI. You can check it out . . . perhaps a good opportunity to take the franchise outside of Cali.

      • theglutenfreebar

        Thanks for the comment – heard some good things about Blaze…

  • Angie White

    The only one that I’m really torn up about on this list is the fast food. I didn’t eat much of it before I was diagnosed, but now that I just plain can’t have it, it is the only thing that I absolutely crave.

    As for the rest of it, I can make it on my own (and it’s damn good too!). Pizza crust, doughnuts, flour tortillas, banana bread (seriously, why was this on the list– this is so ridiculously easy to make), baguettes, waffles, etc. After 5 years of having to be gf, I have really gotten good at the baking part of it, without using any xanthan gum too.

    I also happen to live in the Seattle area like a couple of you guys and have a gluten free teriyaki place in Kent and a gluten free Thai place in Bonney Lake. The only “international” food I miss is the cheap Chinese food at Safeway.

    It sucks to not have the convenience of it all, but since my homemade baked goods are good enough to get exclaimed over by the gluten eaters in my life, I’m ok taking some time to make my own.

    • theglutenfreebar

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Angie! You’re right – GF banana bread is pretty easy to make and darn good.

  • Kim Cannon

    A good ball park hotdog. Seriously. Just one at a ball park. It’s so much more…amazing! 🙂

  • Jeffiekins

    There are some very nice meads now that taste like good beer. Really. I have a bunch in my fridge right now. Even my beer-snob relatives like it.

    • theglutenfreebar

      Agreed that meads are great and growing in popularity. Thanks for the commment!

  • semira

    indian food is mostly gluten free. you just have to ask if they fry stuff in the same oil

  • Zona Siebold

    I miss the taste of Fried Chicken when we go to a restaurant. . Real Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. oh my!!

  • Kristine Walker Bazydola

    Bagels. Chinese food, Pizza,

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