The Best (And The Rest) of 2013

In 2013, gluten was in the news more than ever. Brands like Pillsbury, Breton, Catelli, and Dempster’s started offering gluten-free items. Even Tim Hortons hopped on the bandwagon with certified gluten-free coconut macaroons! Celiacs also received support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with improved labeling and regulations, as well as a new gluten-free certification program from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Canadian Celiac Association.

To wrap things up, here are some highlights from 2013.

Best Overall Restaurant

This category was a really tough call for 2013, since so many restaurants now have so many amazing gluten-free options. After much deliberation, we chose 2 Doors Down as the winner for its knowledgeable staff; constantly evolving, gluten-friendly, delicious menu; and local focus.

Best Local Spot (Bedford/Sackville)

Finbar’s receives this award for the second year in a row. Gluten-free options include nachos, burgers, and even Glutenberg beer! Watch for a new menu in January 2014.

Best Local Spot (Downtown Halifax and Dartmouth)

The Wooden Monkey gets this award for the second year in a row, especially since they have locations in downtown Halifax and downtown Dartmouth. You can read a review of the Halifax location here. (We hear that the Dartmouth location is just as fantastic.)

Finbar’s gets an honourable mention for their new Cole Harbour location, which has the same menu as the Bedford location.

Best Chinese Food

We were delighted to find amazing, gluten-free Chinese food right here at home! Fan’s is a must-try if you haven’t been there yet.

Best Brunch

We loved brunch at The Foggy Goggle. Who can say no to gluten-free Eggs Benedict? For more brunch ideas, check out this post.

Most Exciting New Restaurant

This category is a tie between 2 Doors Down and The Stubborn Goat Gastropub. Both restaurants have knowledgeable staff, lots of gluten-free options, and a focus on local food.

Biggest Disappointments

We’d heard great things about The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro, but our experience bordered on disastrous. We’d recommend that Celiacs try Flipburger (just a few blocks away) instead.

We’ve also learned that Zero8, the 100% gluten and allergy-free restaurant that we visited in Montreal, has closed due to prohibitive rent costs. However, their website says that they are fundraising to open a new location.

Dishonourable mention: Robin Hood Gluten-Free Flour. We were excited about this new product, but feedback has been extremely negative overall. Check out our test results and reader comments here.

Biggest Redemption

Several years ago, I tried eating at The Old Triangle in Moncton. They refused to serve me and embarrassed me in front of a group of friends. We’re happy to say that things have changed, and all five locations (including the clubhouse at Glen Arbour golf club) are now very gluten-friendly.

Biggest Surprise

We tried the fish and chips at Catch of the Bay (part of Masstown Market) this year. We were amazed by how good the food was and how gluten-friendly their small kitchen is. They’re only open seasonally, so grab some while you can!

Best New Food Items

There have been so many amazing new gluten-free products in 2013 that it’s hard to choose just one. We saw new pastas, breads, crackers, soups, cookies, and more. Our winner for this category is Sabatosso’s certified gluten-free pizza (available at Costco). New gluten-free Breton crackers are a close second!

Today also marks our third birthday, so we’re having gluten-free cupcakes to celebrate!
 Gluten-free options have changed so much in the past few years. We can’t wait to see what 2014 has to bring!


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  1. #1 by Mike on December 30, 2013 - 7:46 pm

    How can you do a best of and not mention Evan’s? The best fish and chips in the city hands down are gluten free and they have delicious carrot cake. They even have fresh fish to take home.

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on December 30, 2013 - 8:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment! We focused on places that we had personally tried in 2013. We’ll put Evans on the list for 2014 so watch for a review. 🙂

      • #3 by Mike on January 1, 2014 - 2:23 pm

        You will not be disappointed. Well you might be disappointed that you haven’t tried it sooner, but you certainly won’t be disappointed in the food or the knowledgeable staff.

      • #4 by glutenfree4hfx on January 1, 2014 - 7:55 pm

        Awesome, can’t wait to try it 🙂

  2. #5 by stillbarefootmomma on March 10, 2015 - 11:22 pm

    Love your blog! Love having a list of places to check out with real info! For the restaurants I’ve been to I second your reviews 🙂 can’t wait to try the others. I recommend the lobster poutine at Evan’s. But then poutine was always my favourite. I had just gotten back from a glorious trip to Montreal where I had so much great poutine and discovered a love of blond ales. Glutenberg is the closest and best I found yet. ( dislike their red ale though)

    • #6 by glutenfree4hfx on March 11, 2015 - 8:29 am

      Thanks for the kind words! If you’re in New Brunswick be sure to pick up the Glutenberg APA – it’s fantastic 🙂

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