Charlottesville, Virginia Burton's ($$) - Casual dining with a great gluten free menu. Lots of options from burgers to salads to salmon. The Buffalo Chicken Dip, Superfood salad, and Chocolate Cake are favorites.
Commonwealth ($$$) - Great location on the downtown mall. Innovative American food. Great for special occasions or date nights. The cheeseboard is great!
Ivy Inn ($$$) - Fantastic food in a modified old house. Lots of great wines and a unique spin on American food. The menu changes seasonally, but there are always great options! This was a common family destination when everyone was in town to visit my sister during her undergrad at UVA.
Lemongrass ($) - On "the corner" on the UVA campus. Quick and easy option close to student housing. Lots of gluten free options. Favorite is the mango chicken.
Maya ($$) - Southern food. Cozy bar area with a great drink list. Deep fried oysters and ancho-rubbed pork tenderloin are the favorites. Very accessible from the UVA campus.
Pearl's Bake Shoppe ($) - My sister had a friend's family get her a gluten free cupcake from Pearl's and so began her love of this bakery. The shoppe is really cute and the cupcakes are delicious! This place absolutely lived up to the hype. Favorite cupcakes are Jazzy Raz, Boston Cream, Blue Whoo, and Chocolate Raspberry.
Chicago, Illinois Angry Crab ($) - A kind of hole in the wall crab joint. Really fresh crab.
Bar Pastoral ($$) - Wine and cheese bar. My favorite way to eat at this restaurant is to order several items and share with everyone at the table.
Big Star ($) - Great tacos in a fun environment.
Boka ($$$) - For special occasions. The food is extremely innovative and flavorful. We dined here for my birthday and were not disappointed. The food was phenomenal. Everything from the rolls to the fish to the dessert exceeded expectations.
Bongo Room ($) - Brunch favorite that puts a fun spin on all the breakfast classics. The vegetarian breakfast burrito is my go to. The waffles are great, as are the drinks. They do not take reservations, so be prepared to wait. Locations in Andersonville, Wicker Park, and the South Loop.
Fig & Olive ($$$) - One of my absolute favorite restaurants. The crostinis are a great way to start dinner with an amazing variety of flavors. The paella, lamb chops, risotto, and fish specials have all major hits with my family and friends.
NoMi ($$$) - This was recommended to me by an acquaintance who had been here for a business dinner. It did not disappoint! The view was great and the food was fantastic. My dad and I shared a sushi platter and a bottle of wine for a light dinner and were extremely happy. The patio looked great, but was first come first serve.
Stan's Donuts ($) - This was the first donut I had after I moved to Chicago and nothing else has compared. They have all sorts of flavors that are mainstays, as well as some seasonal specials. The pistachio donuts are my favorite!
Tuco & Blondie ($) - The menu has a great selection of Mexican food, but the drinks are what I love about this restaurant. The margaritas are fantastic! Sitting outside on the patio in the summer for drinks is wonderful.
Wheat's End ($) - 100% gluten free restaurant. The brunch is great, even for those who are not gluten free. When my sister is in town, we always end up here. They also have baked goods available to order and pick up. The cheddar chive biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and pretzel rolls are a huge hit!
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin Lake Street Cafe ($) - The Paddock Club ($$$) -
Madison, Wisconsin Brasserie V ($) - The Great Dane ($) - Greenbush Bakery ($) - Ha Long Bay ($) - Harvest ($$$) - L'etoile ($$$) - Lombardino's ($$) - The Old Fashioned ($) - Mickie's Dairy Bar ($) - Sardine ($$) - Tornado Steakhouse ($$$) -
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Beans and Barley ($) - Cafe Benelux ($$) - Harbor House ($$$) - Lake Park Bistro ($$$) - Mo's - A Place for Steaks ($$$) - Range Line Inn ($$$) - Rare Steakhouse ($$$) - Swig ($) -
Naples, Florida Roy's Hawaiian Fusion ($$) -
Nashville, Tennessee Etch ($$$) -
Kayne Prime ($$$) - The best steak I've ever had. The popcorn lobster appetizer is incredibly unique and very flavorful. The sides are a fun, modern spin on the classic - corn creme brulee was a family favorite. The mojitos are delicious and lots of wine options. We talked about how good this dinner was for months afterwards.
5th & Taylor ($$$) -
Miami, Florida Baoli
Prime Italian ($$$) - Located on Miami Beach, this place was everything I hoped for and more. I talked my mom (who was not a cauliflower lover) into ordering the cast ironed head of cauliflower with whipped feta and now she enjoys the vegetable. The food was fantastic and sitting out on the deck in February was a great ambiance and experience.
Prime 12 ($$$) -
Rocco's Tacos ($) - This place is always busy no matter the time of day or season and for good reason. A casual place in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the food and drinks are fantastic. Make reservations if you can, otherwise be prepared to wait for a table.
Sushisamba ($$) - Absolutely fantastic sushi. The yellowfin appetizer is the best tuna I've ever had. Located in an outdoor shopping center, there is a large outdoor dining area that is very comfortable in the evenings.
New York City, New York Marea The River Cafe
Park City, Utah The Blind Dog ($$$) - A great steak and sushi spot. The menu is heavy on the seafood, but the gluten free options are fantastic. We got a bunch of sushi and shared. The blistered shisito appetizer is great! Making reservations ahead of time is highly recommended.
Firewood ($$$) - Located on Main Street, this was a pleasant surprise. The food was great and the decor is very welcoming. We sat facing the kitchen, watching the wood fires used to cook several dishes. The wine is pricey, but the food is pretty reasonable. Overall, a great experience and we will be back.
Goldner Hirsch Inn ($$$) - Fantastic on mountain dining at Deer Valley. The cheese fondu and the schnitzel are incredibly flavorful.
Royal Street Cafe ($$) - Great on mountain dining at Deer Valley. The Bison burger, tacos, and chili are all great. The blueberry mojito is family fave. Lots of gluten free options (including the fries!). I typically make reservations 2 months in advance of a trip to Park City, but they do also take walk ins.
The Farm ($$) - Located at the base of the Canyons resort, this gem is a little tough to find. My family has been 3 times and has gotten lost trying to find it every time. However, it is worth searching for. The sous vide filet had my sister raving for weeks after our first visit. Dinner reservations are hard to come by, but it is also a great lunch spot.
350 Main ($$) - The gluten-free fried chicken got us in the door, but the elk sausage is what will keep us coming back. Lots of innovate options with unique flavors. Located on Main Street, this restaurant is only open for dinner.
San Francisco, California A16
Scoma ($$) - Great seafood down in fisherman's wharf. A classic that's been around forever, the food is extremely fresh and you exactly what you'd expect. Any fresh fish is the way to go at this place.
SPQR ($$$) - My absolute favorite restaurant in the whole country. Incredibly unique flavors and creative dishes. We order a variety of food and share tastes of all the plates. The menu constantly changes with the seasons and no dish disappoints.
Sedona, Arizona Cucina Rustica ($$) - A great Italian restaurant with a cozy outdoor area. Decent gluten free options and tasty pastas.
Mariposa ($$$) - Absolutely breathtaking view. Plan ahead and make a reservation to sit out on the patio. Great drink menu and very good steaks. This was easily our favorite restaurant in Sedona.
Salt Rock Kitchen ($$) - Cozy back patio. The margaritas and tacos are absolutely wonderful. The side of corn is also very tasty. This is laid back and great for a leisurely dinner.
Secret Garden ($) - Great for lunch with gluten free options. The patio (garden) is a nice spot to relax. The veggie panini was delicious!