Best gluten free dining

Zaria Johnson, editor-in-chief

GRAZERS’ falafel feast a dish featuring baked falafel over brown rice with peppers, leafy greens and chickpeas topped with red pepper hummus and GRAZERS’ vegan super sauce. (Zaria Johnson)

FIRST: GRAZERS Restaurant

GRAZERS delivers on their mission to provide a safe and enjoyable dining experience to the Kent community with staff screened for and trained on the importance of dietary restrictions and allergies.

“We take it very seriously because we have food allergies and sensitivities ourselves and in our family,” said co-owner Stacey Lasher. 

“So we understand what it’s like to have to choose carefully about where you’re going to eat,” co-owner Carl Bauer echoed. 

Once patrons specify a need for a gluten-free meal either at the register or online, GRAZERS employees pull out fresh gloves, utensils and ingredients to provide customers with meals that taste and feel good all around. 

Most menu items can be made into gluten-free meals at no additional charge. Try the gluten free pita filled with your choice of fresh veggies, hummus and sauces. 

SECOND: Taco Tontos

When it comes to gluten-free dining, Taco Tontos offers more than corn shell tacos. From nachos to enchiladas to tostadas, the restaurant prides itself on versatility and customization.

“We have a very wide and varied menu and it’s all made fresh and we make it all here in house,” co-owner Emily Yohn said. “So there’s tons of options.”

Emily Yohn and her husband Kevin Yohn purchased Taco Tontos 10 years ago, and have since made it a Kent staple that packs a punch with its vast menu. 

For gluten-free patrons, Yohn recommends they start with the nachos, which can be loaded up with any topping they like. Try the street corn nachos  topped with cheese, corn salsa, cilantro and cotija cheese, drizzled with smoked chipotle mayo and a bit of fresh lime.

“You can get many of our specials and just adapt them ,” said co-owner Emily Yohn.  “I’m happy to keep making people happy and filling them up,” Yohn said. 

THIRD: Fresco

Fresco’s Mexican Grill and Salsa Bar in downtown Kent on 100 E Erie St. Pictured is the main entrance and additional outdoor seating. (Sydney Pike)

Fresco Mexican Grill and Salsa Bar stands out with its Mexican cuisine, which uses fresh ingredients to bring tasty, gluten-free dishes to the Kent community. 

“Everything’s made orders so I like that we can make things to preferences,” said manager Trevor Brown. “It’s pretty easy to work with the customers on what they want to change things around if they need to.”

Most of the menu is gluten free, Brown said, plus Fresco offers a gluten-free salsa bar to sweeten the deal. Add a soft or crispy corn shell to make any Fresco burrito or taco gluten-free, or order a taco or burrito bowl to cut the shell all together. 

“If it’s not gluten free, we can pretty much make it that way if we need to,” Brown said.

Zaria Johnson is editor-in-chief. Contact her at [email protected]