Getting take-out in Palo Alto can be slow… very very slow… even slower when you are dealing with restaurants that cater to food allergies. As such, most people who work in Palo Alto use the Order Ahead App for take-out. And, if you have your credit card on file, food is paid for automatically when you pick it up. Below are gluten-free restaurants that I managed to find within walking distance of the main business strip.
Asian Box (855 El Camino Real)
I discovered rather quickly that no one in California likes to walk. This means that the Asian Box gets passed over by the tech crowd on the Palo Alto side of the tracks because it’s “too far away.” However, students on the Stanford side of the tracks, love the Asian Box for two reasons: it’s close and the restaurant has a student $5 Paly Special. I happen to love the Asian box because the food is good and the restaurant is 100% gluten-free (and organic / sustainable). It’s only a 10-minute walk from where I work.
Lyfe Kitchen (167 Hamilton Ave)
I love Lyfe Restaurant so much that I wrote about them here. I could eat there morning, noon, and night. It’s the pinnacle of gluten-free and vegan eating in Palo Alto and it makes me happy because I can eat a lot of food that I haven’t had in years (e.g. burgers, pizza, fish tacos).
Oren’s Hummus (261 University Ave)
Oren’s Hummus is a very busy little Israeli restaurant on University Ave. You have to be careful with Oren’s. The have a fair number of gluten free options, but you have to be explicit in telling them to not include gluten in your meal. Their hummus is fantastic (it better be since the word hummus is in their name) and their skewers are pretty damn good too. The one beef I have about this restaurant is that their rice always seems to be dry and undercooked. If you’re vegan/vegetarian also be careful because they use chicken broth in some of their items.
CurryUpNow (321 Hamilton Ave)
The CurryUpNow in Palo Alto is the storefront version of the very popular SF food truck. They have a whole variety of gluten-free and vegan offerings. I find their food rather greasy so I limit myself to eating there once a month. That said, it’s frequently packed and everyone that I work with makes at least one weekly pilgrimage for lunch.
Patxi’s Pizza (441 Emerson St)
Pronounced “pah-chees,” this pizzeria offers both gluten free crust and daiya cheese (vegan). Because of this, they steal away a lot of business from Pizza-My-Heart (there’s always someone who needs gluten-free or vegan in a group of people). I’m not a fan of the taste or texture of daiya and usually go without… and never notice with Patxi’s Pizza because it is so good.
The Loving Hut (165 University Ave)
The first thing you see when you walk into the Loving Hut is a wall of famous vegan and vegetarian personalities with a “loving” message describing these people. This is a vegan/raw restaurant, and I’m quickly learning that in SF vegan usually always means no gluten too. Selections here are interesting but delicious… and a lot of times I can’t even identify what leaf wrap or salad mix I am eating.
Sprout Cafe (168 University Ave)
Across the street from the Loving Hut is Sprout Cafe. This is a salad joint where you can choose one of the pre-made options or build your own. It’s extremely popular for the eating-healthy-at-lunch crowd because of their “different” salad options (e.g. beets instead of lettuce) and healthy dressings.