2022’s Best Cities for Gluten-Free Food

Gluten-Free Food - 2022's Best Cities

You can have your cake and eat it, too, even if you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten. 

But where can gluten-free dieters find a mouthwatering meal?

LawnStarter compared nearly 200 of the biggest U.S. cities to rank 2022’s Best Cities for Gluten-Free Food. Why? May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

We looked for cities with highly rated gluten-free dining options, strong local demand, and a supportive community. We also rewarded bonus points for easy access to allergy specialists. 

See how your city stacks up in our ranking below, followed by some highlights and lowlights.

Table of Contents

  1. City Rankings
  2. Highlights and Lowlights
  3. Methodology
  4. Why This Study Matters

City Rankings

See how each city fared in our ranking:

OVERALL RANKCityOverall ScoreAccess RankQuality RankDemand RankHealth RankCommunity Rank
1New York, NY67.176411371
2San Francisco, CA58.76124910031
3Miami, FL48.79541223111
4Boston, MA48.25393181231
5Washington, DC46.992106158629
6Portland, OR45.37212271181
7Chicago, IL44.8817931133
8Orlando, FL44.52818195731
9Las Vegas, NV43.921061116247
10Seattle, WA43.2293845329
11St. Louis, MO42.47123225247
12Alexandria, VA41.884170784747
13Fort Lauderdale, FL41.65771532947
14New Orleans, LA41.21405403211
15Atlanta, GA40.491468152511
16Pittsburgh, PA38.98161163095
17San Diego, CA38.113717510228
18Honolulu, HI38.0313255016947
19Savannah, GA37.364326701811
20Denver, CO37.34202887247
21Providence, RI37.171179914147
22Pasadena, TX37.0919321916747
23Little Rock, AR37.048845134111
24Rochester, NY37.03191577055
25Hayward, CA36.72194315011147
26Los Angeles, CA36.614842215411
27Spring Valley, NV36.5150119816947
28Cincinnati, OH36.44453138631
29Austin, TX36.36584710543
30Dallas, TX36.33940146311
31Santa Rosa, CA35.99571612711711
32Minneapolis, MN35.441875175647
33Phoenix, AZ35.436833121225
34Jackson, MS34.5616571572347
35Houston, TX34.2464675925
36Louisville, KY34.162272553947
37Salt Lake City, UT33.413457483347
38Scottsdale, AZ33.37446142847
39Philadelphia, PA33.352677137747
40Nashville, TN33.279923205031
41Richmond, VA33.223131511947
42Madison, WI33.16498758347
43Mobile, AL33.1516181574447
43Fort Wayne, IN33.15122361205111
45Arlington, VA33.1115180521335
46Tampa, FL32.953380352247
47Fort Collins, CO32.9447531023531
48Springfield, MO32.91771411611247
48Grand Rapids, MI32.913266583447
50Buffalo, NY32.93659463047
51Santa Ana, CA32.74135291071695
52Chattanooga, TN32.72865087747
53Virginia Beach, VA32.592396314811
54Overland Park, KS32.310178662111
54Naperville, IL32.35690118447
56Raleigh, NC32.295299286911
57Lexington, KY32.2512921944947
58Knoxville, TN32.135360681347
59Des Moines, IA32.06108159713147
60Fullerton, CA321321215014347
61McKinney, TX31.96141191145547
62Milwaukee, WI31.825146457047
63Cary, NC31.6772137971511
64Baltimore, MD31.6225146262647
65Shreveport, LA31.57160301851147
66Chandler, AZ31.4783117772411
66Pasadena, CA31.4724929716947
68Aurora, IL31.41551114716047
69St. Paul, MN31.3928107268147
70St. Petersburg, FL31.383091608847
71Laredo, TX31.131901018516647
72Tucson, AZ31.1274113367111
73Anchorage, AK31.05187511347911
74McAllen, TX30.771562018314447
75Brownsville, TX30.761911319615647
76Cleveland, OH30.744697324047
77Birmingham, AL30.69113541022047
78Kansas City, MO30.6213034328047
79Detroit, MI30.5789355714147
80Huntington Beach, CA30.37351151126447
81Salinas, CA30.31272718310847
82Eugene, OR30.1838147861747
83Hollywood, FL30.17311419410531
84Tulsa, OK30.1511243806647
85Columbus, OH29.748763249147
86Orange, CA29.65851011501447
87Plano, TX29.479119731647
88Long Beach, CA29.3950896415347
89Durham, NC29.3567124654531
90Indianapolis, IN29.33106493616347
91Tempe, AZ29.32411146112047
92Murfreesboro, TN29.3107731453847
93Oxnard, CA29.291044817712747
94Norfolk, VA29.2461961276247
95Oceanside, CA29.18785612716947
96Spokane, WA29.1655109557347
97Greensboro, NC29.1495691086047
98Wichita, KS29.12131379716947
99Jersey City, NJ29.07291454316947
100Modesto, CA291175217312947
101Oklahoma City, OK28.8316655547847
102Omaha, NE28.882121702847
103Gilbert, AZ28.79685666147
104Syracuse, NY28.66271498716947
105Vancouver, WA28.6462139804247
106Charlotte, NC28.6271104299047
106Sacramento, CA28.6263132446547
108Henderson, NV28.47128658310347
108Albuquerque, NM28.4773110418447
110Escondido, CA28.461115815014947
111Riverside, CA28.451514410216747
112San Antonio, TX28.441141122110431
113Colorado Springs, CO28.4384136347631
114Boise, ID28.3760143737531
115Sioux Falls, SD28.281037415011547
116Reno, NV28.2666849116947
117Aurora, CO28.1216688613647
117Toledo, OH28.12123761439347
119Baton Rouge, LA28.0390111965247
120Frisco, TX28121122822747
121Jacksonville, FL27.99158643812447
122Metairie, LA27.72701261779747
123Sunnyvale, CA27.651028611415147
124Worcester, MA27.62811301438347
125Macon, GA27.61806218510747
126Mesa, AZ27.54119105488547
127Newark, NJ27.516913412011947
128Peoria, AZ27.391721021203747
129Lincoln, NE27.31120120915847
130Garland, TX27.251638113811047
131Fort Worth, TX27.1651502313647
132Cape Coral, FL26.999810314215747
133Corpus Christi, TX26.921548211815547
133Corona, CA26.921577016216947
133Memphis, TN26.92140957313847
136Newport News, VA26.8912410815711647
137Elk Grove, CA26.741448315716947
138Glendale, AZ26.6210912710813547
139Pembroke Pines, FL26.5931711381047
140Irvine, CA26.37105162784631
141Glendale, CA26.3211013312016147
142Santa Clarita, CA26.231429812716947
143Anaheim, CA26.2591608416931
144Bakersfield, CA26.1716810011615847
145Tacoma, WA26.13541647313047
146Oakland, CA26.12761484716847
147Clarksville, TN261599417716947
148Salem, OR25.96801591087447
149Fresno, CA25.851461358713947
150Columbus, GA25.817511816712347
151Bellevue, WA25.7542174879847
152Olathe, KS25.6514914414714231
152Amarillo, TX25.6513912515016947
152Arlington, TX25.6513414010214047
155Bridgeport, CT25.499115119114647
156Tallahassee, FL25.47941529715947
157Port St. Lucie, FL25.4214514210212147
158Rockford, IL25.2111615517510147
159Stockton, CA25.1917713816215247
160Akron, OH25.121331661384847
161North Las Vegas, NV24.9319612314516947
162Grand Prairie, TX24.919212817716947
163Lancaster, CA24.8719512919116947
164Lubbock, TX24.811481561278747
164Winston-Salem, NC24.811181651208247
166Yonkers, NY24.6912615812712647
167Springfield, MA24.61381671626847
168Montgomery, AL24.5516415318512547
169Fayetteville, NC24.5315315414712847
169Irving, TX24.5311516111213447
171Lakewood, CO24.331001636816947
172Huntsville, AL24.241431681208947
172Dayton, OH24.24751731209647
174Chesapeake, VA23.81821691365947
175Thornton, CO22.9915218410816911
176Rancho Cucamonga, CA22.5613617916711447
177Augusta, GA22.4117417215716947
178Fremont, CA22.2217317512710947
179San Jose, CA22.191371863113231
180Kansas City, KS22.0717717816710647
181Hialeah, FL21.7516917717316547
182Torrance, CA21.689718513614547
183Chula Vista, CA21.3118517615016947
184El Paso, TX21.181791818416447
185Killeen, TX20.911861831779947
186Mesquite, TX20.7118418218516947
187Joliet, IL20.391701881624347
188Ontario, CA19.3316218713816947
189Garden Grove, CA1812518916216947
190Midland, TX16.781711901919447
191Paterson, NJ14.7514719417514747
192San Bernardino, CA14.5918119116716931
193Pomona, CA14.2118819516715047
194Miramar, FL14.0117619216716947
195Moreno Valley, CA13.8118919319116947
196Palmdale, CA13.6518319618516947
197Fontana, CA1.061971971779547
198Enterprise, NV0.0219719719716947
199Sunrise Manor, NV019719719916947

Infographic showing the best and worst cities for gluten-free food based on polices, procedures, and more



Highlights and Lowlights

Big (Apple) Appetites

New York brings home the gluten-free gold, taking first place overall as well as in the Demand and Community metrics. With such a diverse crowd to cater to, it’s no wonder New York restaurants are leading the way in allergy-friendly dining.

There are plenty of customers hungry for gluten-free options in the Big Apple. New York fared well in every metric apart from Health, meaning there might also be a need for more allergy specialists in NYC.

Local Tips:

Wheat-Free Northwest

Pacific Northwest cities are ahead of the curve when it comes to allergy-friendly dining. 

Despite being in one of the highest wheat-producing states, Seattle (No. 10) soared to the top due to abundant Access and high Demand. Meanwhile, Portland landed at No. 6, thanks to fairly high scores overall and the most supportive Community (No. 1).

Local Tips:

Hungry for More

Some cities in our ranking have room for improvement, particularly in areas with high Demand or a strong Community but low Access. With many gluten-intolerant support groups and the most allergy specialists per capita, a city like Little Rock (No. 23), for example, leaves much to be desired in Access and Quality.  

Size isn’t an excuse for a populous city like San Antonio (No. 112), which fared poorly in every metric apart from Demand and Community. Similarly, Los Angeles (No. 26) failed to meet the big Demand (No. 2) present in their big city. Aspiring chefs looking to craft allergy-friendly menus should look into the business prospects of these metros.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bread)

You’ll want to bring your own gluten-free substitutes if you travel through Las Vegas suburbs Sunrise Manor (No. 199) and Enterprise (No. 198) or suburban California cities like Fontana (No. 197), Palmdale (No. 196), and Moreno Valley (No. 195). These cities all failed to rise and prove their status in our ranking, lagging behind in every metric.

If you’re GF in the Vegas metro, take a trip to Spring Valley, Nevada (No. 27), which, despite low Demand and Access scores, has high-quality gluten-free options (No. 1 in this category) to choose from.

Methodology

We ranked 199 of the biggest U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 199) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below. 

MetricWeightMin. ValueMax. ValueBest
Access
Gluten-Free Establishments per Square Mile509.49Max. Value
Number of Gluten-Free Options at Airports0.5032Max. Value
Quality
Average Consumer Rating for Gluten-Free Establishments304.5Max. Value
Share of Highly Rated (4.5+ Stars) Gluten-Free Establishments (With at Least 10 Reviews)40%100%Max. Value
Total Number of Reviews for Gluten-Free Establishments20734,950Max. Value
Demand
Average Monthly Google Search Volume for Gluten-Free-Related Terms Over Past 12 Months21028,500Max. Value
Health
Allergy Specialists per 100,000 Residents209.09Max. Value
Community
Number of Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Meetup Groups108Max. Value
Number of Gluten Intolerance Support Groups102Max. Value

Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; Find Me Gluten Free; Gluten Intolerance Group; Google; Meetup; and TripAdvisor

Why This Study Matters

Athletes and celebrities aren’t the only ones avoiding wheat, barley, and rye. Around 25% of Americans follow a gluten-free diet, to deal with Celiac disease, gluten allergy or sensitivity, or for other reasons.

Restaurateurs should keep this number in mind while planning their menu. With some cities offering entirely gluten-free options to choose from, those who follow a gluten-free diet aren’t always going to settle for a bunless burger.

Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you need to give up on your favorite treats like pizza, though. Next time you’re feeling creative in the kitchen, why not try out one of these gluten-friendly recipes?

You’re already experimenting in the kitchen — why not experiment with your landscape while you’re at it? LawnStarter’s local pros can lend a hand with all your lawn care and landscaping needs. 

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Sav Maive

Sav Maive is a writer and director based in San Antonio. Sav is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is a loving cat and plant mom.