There are plenty of guides out there to sit-down gluten-free dining in Boston. Heck, Boston even has a Meetup community devoted to gluten-free eating. But what if you’re ordering food for an entire office? We know that navigating dietary restrictions for a crowd can be tricky, so we put together this guide to the best gluten-free caterers in Boston.
From Brookline to the Seaport, there are lots of Boston-area caterers who make delicious, sans-gluten food without breaking a sweat. Here are some of our favorites:
Pizza & Italian
Italian food seems tough for folks who are shying away from gluten. Nowadays, though, many restaurants are offering gluten-free versions of the classic dishes you’re used to. Here are a few who are bringing the spirit of the North End to the Boston gluten-free dining scene:
Stone Hearth Pizza
Top Gluten-Free Dish: The Classic Gluten-Free Pizza
Stone Hearth is ahead of the curve when it comes to gluten-free pies: they’ve been making them since 2009. They even changed their entire cooking operation to guarantee the safety of gluten-intolerant diners. They’re also committed to using sustainable, organic, and local ingredients—so they’re great for locavores, too.
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Gluten-Free Grilled Vegetable Medley
Spinelli’s is an East Boston landmark that does gluten-free versions of Italian classics, including pasta marinara and chicken cacciatore. It’s everything you love about homestyle Italian food, without the gluten.
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Gluten-Free Lasagna
Located on Boston’s waterfront, Trio does a gluten-free version of a dish that’s usually gluten-rich: lasagna. They’re a family-owned shop that gets glowing reviews, and they’ve taken home multiple regional awards for their catering service.
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Gluten-Free OTTO Four Cheese Pizza
OTTO offers almost all of their pizzas on gluten-free crusts, which are, according to their website, “prepared in an offsite, 100% gluten-free production facility.” They offer a word to the wise, however: there’s a chance that even their gluten-free pizzas could pick up trace amounts of gluten in the production process, so they’re not recommended for people with celiac disease.
Sandwiches & Salads
Sandwiches are easy. You’ve probably seen gluten-free bread at the grocery store, which is a pretty good replacement for the normal stuff. But no bread, no problem—right? Not necessarily. Here’s a tip: be careful around salads. Salad dressings are one of those products that can unexpectedly contain gluten. Also look out for processed meats and soups that aren’t labeled gluten-free. Here’s the best rule to follow if you’re unsure: ask.
Café de Boston
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Herb Grilled Chicken, Gluten-Free Cookies & Brownies
A 3-star certified green restaurant, Café de Boston has a rich selection of gluten-free breakfast items, sandwiches, entrees, and more. They’re also focused on sustainability—they offset their energy usage with wind energy credits and they compost food scraps in their kitchen. This is gluten-free food you can feel good about.
Bakers’ Best Catering
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Grilled Eggplant Roulade, Baby Spinach Salad
If a place that’s won the Best of Boston award 11 times can’t make great gluten-free food, we don’t know who can. They’ve also got an extensive vegetarian menu. So if you’re dealing with a group that has a lot of dietary restrictions, Bakers’ Best is your one-stop shop.
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Gluten-Free Boxed Lunches
Boxed lunches are great for a grab-and-go lunch, or for a meeting room that doesn’t have much table space. They also keep gluten-free meals organized and away from anything you’ve ordered that contains gluten. And the killer burgers from b.good? They’re just a delicious bonus.
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Wrapped Around My Finger (Tuna Wrap)
Compliments is a roving sandwich truck that only uses ingredients from local farms and artisans. All of their dishes have delightfully wacky names, and a couple of them are prepared without gluten. We approve.
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Buffalo Tempeh Taco, Sweet Potato Taco
These guys have a vegetarian and vegan focus, but much of their menu is gluten-free, too. There are three reasons to recommend the Buffalo Tempeh Taco: (1) it’s gluten-free, (2) it’s vegan, and (3) it’s handheld and ready to hit the road.
Here’s the great thing about Asian cuisine: many dishes are naturally gluten-free. Soy sauce trips a lot of people up, though—it’s usually 40-60% wheat. So unless you’ve got a wheat-free substitute, steer clear. A recent survey from Nation’s Restaurant News says that we’re becoming more adventurous eaters, so ordering Asian food for your coworkers can be a great way to mix it up and satisfy the needs of gluten-free eaters.
Shanti Taste of India
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Gluten-Free Tikka Masala, Gluten-Free Saag Paneer
Though many Indian dishes are naturally gluten-free, Shanti has more options than you’d expect. Shanti is a great pick if you’re looking to serve a smorgasbord without worrying that anyone will miss the gluten.
Sate Saigon Grill
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Daily Curry Chicken, Daily Curry Tofu
This is Southeast Asian street food at its finest. In addition to their daily gluten-free offerings, they also have a hearty selection of vegan and vegetarian food. Their motto: “You can change the world, but not on an empty stomach.” We agree.
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Chicken Teriyaki Plate, Beef with Broccoli
As the name implies, everything at this sushi and Asian fusion spot is made from organic ingredients. Here’s what we like best about them: everything’s clearly labeled. That means you can order gluten-free dishes with confidence (though, as is the case with all allergies, you should definitely let the restaurant know so they can take extra care).
Sometimes you just want a nice, warm meal, and that’s what the caterers below will give you. The classic meat-and-potatoes experience is generally safe for gluten-free diets. Just be careful around anything that’s breaded (of course) or fried—even normally gluten-free dishes can be contaminated if they’re fried in the same oil as something that contains gluten.
Haley House Bakery Café
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Gluten-Free Jerk Chicken, Gluten-Free BBQ Chicken
Haley House is a Boston institution—the organization has been around since 1966. This non-profit supports affordable housing, organic farming, and social enterprise, as well as those living a gluten-free lifestyle. Haley House helps you stay away from gluten and support a great cause—you can’t beat that.
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Falafel, Chicken Shawarma
Bishop’s has all of the Middle Eastern specialties you’d want, and most of them can be prepared gluten-free. Mediterranean is a light, meat-and-veggie-focused cuisine that’s always a big hit at our office. And here’s what’s even better: you can accommodate multiple dietary restrictions without much effort.
Fresh Food Generation
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Jerk Chicken, Chipotle Chicken
Fresh Food Generation is a farm-to-plate food truck that’s influenced by Latin American and Caribbean cuisine. They’ve got direct relationships with local farmers, and are focused on preparing meals with seasonal ingredients that support the local economy. If you want to know exactly where your gluten-free food comes from, this is the place to pick.
Everything—even this guide—is better when it ends with dessert. Bakers were some of the first people in the industry to adapt to the needs of gluten-free eaters. These Boston bakeries are our favorite spots that continue the trend.
Top Gluten-Free Dish: Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcake
Full disclosure: we’re big fans of cupcakes. Since ezCater HQ is smack dab in the middle of Downtown Crossing, we order from Cupcake City all the time. They’ve been featured on the Phantom Gourmet and have gotten loads of local recognition. Their gluten-free cupcakes are available every Friday, or by special order with 48 hours’ notice. Believe us—they’re worth the wait.
Top Gluten-Free Dishes: Key Lime Tart, Flourless Chocolate Cake
This creative bakery won the Best of Boston 2014 award for “Best Wedding Cakes,” and we’ll tentatively give them the Best of ezCater award for “Best Gluten-Free Key Lime Tart.” OK, so it’s also the only gluten-free key lime tart we could find in Boston, but we’ll stick by that.
Any great Boston gluten-free caterers missing from this guide? Let us know in the comments below.