Whether it’s a health restriction for you or your tiny tot (the bloating, the nausea, who needs that when there are diapers and teething?) or a lifestyle choice, it is now easier than ever to find kid-friendly, dining around D.C. that is gluten-free.  Pile the little ones in the car, leave food fears behind and be confident and stuffed after checking out these three tasty eateries.


Holy Cow
You may have had your fill of fries to last a lifetime but many kiddos love the starch-loaded sticks.  Holy Cow in Del Ray beats out all the other fryers in town with their own dedicated cooker just for fried potatoes.  No trace amounts of gluten will sully their crispy, golden goodness or your family’s stomach.  A menu that includes gluten-free buns for juicy burgers is sure to please even the pickiest palate.  Mom and Dad will love the Steak House Burger with a red wine reduction sauce too much to notice the massive plate of sweet potato fries and marshmallow dipping sauce being devoured nearby.

2312 Mt. Vernon Ave. (Alexandria, Va)
Open: Mon.-Sun., 11:30 am-10:00 p.m.
Online: holycowdelray.com


The Happy Tart
Described as a sweet tooth’s dream The Happy Tart Bakery is a delicious spot whose secret is about to be revealed. Gluten-free and loaded with everything from tantalizing tarts, crisp cookies, cakes and pies this establishment makes one sinfully delicious batch of cupcakes fresh each day.  No skimping on ingredients or flavors here! Pastry that is light and airy, flaky to the touch and filled with Nutella? Yes, please!  Quiches and savory tarts for ma mere and gluten free sandwich bread, baguettes and English muffins for the petit jeune filles. Ooh la, la!  Parents will swoon over the bakery’s own off-street parking almost as much as the cute location, friendly staff and ability to order a GF cake that tastes out of this world for their little crumb eater’s special day.

2307A Mt. Vernon Ave. (Alexandria, Va)
Open: Tue.-Fri., 11:00 am-7:00 pm; Sat. 9:00 am-7:00 pm; Sun., 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Online: happytartbakery.com


Austin Grill
A Washington staple since the late 80s, this fresh Tex Mex dining choice has sprouted locations into all the nooks and crannies in the DMV.  Straightforward, no nonsense service makes it dependable for families and consistent food quality creates happy breaks in the dinner at home routine.  Gluten free eats (the restaurant has a separate gluten free menu) offer a spicy array of choices that includes enchiladas, Austin Grill’s well-known, mouth-watering wings and a sizzling series of entrees and appetizers that everyone from tots to parental units will love.  Austin Grill also boasts its own gluten free cider for those meal times when a cold one doesn’t mean milk.

750 E Street NW (Penn Quarter)
Open: Mon.–Thu., 11:30 am-11:00 pm; Fri., 11:30 am-12:00 am; Sat., 11:00 am–12:00 am; Sun., 11:00 am–10:00 pm
Online: Austingrill.com

Are we missing your favorite gluten-free restaurant or bakery? Tell us about it in the Comments section below. 

—Victoria Mason

Photos Courtesy of Austin Grill via Facebook, The Happy Tart, and Holy Cow