If you’re gluten-free, you know how difficult it can be to find places to eat where the gluten-free option is more than just salad. It’s even more difficult in college because your options seem so limited. But don’t be discouraged. There are actually more gluten-free options on campus than you might think. Whether you’re celiac, gluten intolerant or simply want to try out the diet, this guide to all things gluten-free will ensure you find something that suits your needs and your palette.
Noodles and Company
Everyone likes a good bowl of noodles, and if you’re gluten-free, Noodles and Company on Green Street has got you covered. You can try their naturally gluten-free options like the Pad Thai, or you can pick any of their other options and substitute gluten-free noodles; they offer rice noodles as well as gluten-free fusilli. They even ask you if it’s an allergy or preference to avoid cross-contamination. My personal favorites are the Pesto Cavatappi and the Alfredo Montamore with grilled chicken.
Location: 528 E. Green St., Champaign
There’s nothing worse than having a sandwich craving when you’re on a gluten-free diet. Luckily, Jimmy John’s offers “unwiches,” which use a lettuce wrap instead of bread. Any of their sandwiches can be made as an unwich, so you’ll still get the satisfaction of eating a regular sandwich plus added health benefits.
Location: 601 E. Green St., Champaign
Maize Mexican Grill
If you’re looking for fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine, head over to Maize on Green Street to try out some of their famous tacos. The great thing about Mexican food is it’s pretty much all gluten-free, so Maize has plenty of options. Just make sure you’re ordering corn tortillas — they’re more authentic anyway, so you can’t go wrong.
Location: 60 E. Green St., Champaign
Manolo’s Pizza & Empanadas
Everyone loves pizza, right? Luckily, there are a couple of great gluten-free options to satisfy your cravings here on campus. Manolo’s on Oregon Street offers gluten-free dough and made-to-order pizzas. I suggest calling ahead of time just to ensure they have the dough in stock. Try the mashed potato and bacon pizza if you aren’t worried about a few extra calories.
Location: 1115 W. Oregon St., Urbana
Mia Za’s Cafe
If you’re looking for a cheaper but equally delicious pizza, try out Mia Za’s gluten-free pizza on Green Street. You can mix and match different sauces, oils and toppings to create your dream pizza. They even switch out their gloves when you let them know you want a gluten-free pizza. It only takes about 5-10 minutes to make, so if you’re looking for a quick gluten-free bite to eat, Mia Za’s is perfect.
Location: 629 E. Green St., Champaign
Paris Super Crepes
If you’re craving something sweet or simply feel like immersing yourself in Parisian culture, check out Paris Super Crepes on Sixth Street. All of their crepes are made with rice flour, so they are naturally gluten-free and delicious. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Lover’s crepe, complete with cubes of fudge, chocolate pearls and topped with a scoop of chocolate ice cream.
Location: 601 S. Sixth St. Suite 106, Champaign