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Gluten Free at the Epcot World Showcase!
For 8 years the Scott family has traveled extensively after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. We've spent countless happy hours dining Table Service, Quick Service, frequent Snacks and during special events at Epcot and we have formed definite opinions on the best (and worst!) places to dine. Do you dine gluten free, too? Here is what we recommend for Epcot's World Showcase!*
Now we've arrived at what - for me - is THE most Magical Place on Earth! No, it's not Main Street USA. It's the Epcot World Showcase, a perpetual World's Fair of places to see, smell, taste and touch. If I could move in to any of the countries and wake up to the sounds of the World Showcase each day, I wouldn't hesitate!
The World Showcase is best savored by foodies as an all day experience, even when it's not Flower & Garden or Food & Wine Festival season. If you are privileged enough to visit the World Showcase on those days, you'll enjoy options that vary with each year. They strive to make sure there is just as much fun food to try and enjoy (or not enjoy - but they're snack size, so try, try again!) as the rest of the guests that day.
Something important to know is that the individual restaurants in the World Showcase are for the most part, not owned by Disney. However, they do require their chefs and managers attend the same intense course on food allergens and preparation. I'm thrilled to say we have never been glutened at the World Showcase.
- If you're looking to please the immature palate of a child or your spouse (ha!) then you'll want to visit the shop just inside the World Showcase entrance to your left as you head to Mexico. They have some basic candy and chip type items if you forgot to grab the good stuff at The Land Pavilion before heading over.
- Other basic snacks/dessert type items can usually be found at the American Pavilion.
- Also available at the entrance of the World Showcase are the gluten free Disney popcorn we know and love, those Mickey Mouse Ear bars that have been gluten free from the beginning, chips and possibly a nut vendor.
- Something unique to the World Showcase is all the different candies and other treats available inside the shops. Skip the bakeries and visit the shops. They typically do not accept snack credits and they're movie-house expensive, but they often have allergen labeling to make it a simple spontaneous purchase and we have only had good experiences!
- There is very little you can get in the good-smelling bakery/shops around the World Showcase, because they're either full-on bakeries or something like the wonderful smelling Karamell-Kuche in Germany that features the Werther's caramels on every kinds of treat imaginable. Werther's are NOT gluten free. Sniff and move on. Nothing to eat here!
- Something we all love that's unique to Epcot, is a fresh yummy snow cone in regular and special flavors at Kaki Gori in Japan. We've also tried their Ginger and Green Tea ice cream. So good - and gluten free!
- I'll tell you the truth - the Scott kids typically want to walk back to the Future World and eat at Sunshine Seasons for a full counter service/quick service meal. Again. Even if it's the 5th or 6th time that trip. They love it that much. And the gluten free options for the World Showcase are limited, so I don't blame them. But in case you're like me and you want to stay in the Magic on this side of the lagoon, here are your other options and ones to just walk on by.
- Liberty Inn in America is Fast Food Fare and it's okay. Dedicated fryer.
- Nothing in Canada, China, or France is available for gluten free.
- Germany has provided a brat on a gluten free bun for Joshua in the past. (He says ours are better. You'll have to visit us in TX to compare!)
- Nothing in Italy.
- Japan has a little quick service restaurant up on a hill named Katsura. It's charming and has beautiful views. We've been told nothing gluten free on one visit and that there were options on the next one. Joshua had some sushi. It's worth the walk up there for a picture and to see what's available.
- Mexico no longer has a dedicated fryer, which means this once go-to location for us we must completely skip. It was a sad, sad day when we found out. Just move along...
- Morocco is where I must go every visit! I love the flavors and seasonings. My family - not so much. But if you do, then you've hit the jackpot. Stop by Morocco and enjoy the many gluten free options.
- Nothing in Norway or the UK. Visit the shops instead!
- Canada - Le Cellier has many gluten free options for steak lovers. I am not one, so I wasn't thrilled, but the atmosphere was wonderful. My steak loving man would go every trip, if he could!
- China - skip it.
- France - good options. You'll feel fairly limited, but they try hard to accommodate.
- Germany - Head to the Biergarten and eat your heart out! So many good options to fill you up as you watch the show on the floor. We always warn our clients - the seating is communal so be prepared to make new friends! As with any buffet, it is much safer to request they prepare your food separately in the back. This is also a good reason to go during an off time, if you can.
- Italy - Via Napoli is NOT a gluten free option.
- Italy - Tutto Italia however, is! Gluten free pastas and many other options are available, including gluten free warm bread on your table.
- Japan - Teppan Edo can easily feed you gluten free. Watch as they cook in front of you. You'll be completely reassured as you watch how they take care of allergens there. Cute show - onion volcano - not the best Teppan dining out there, but still fun.
- Mexico - We have not tried La Cantina de San Angel, but La Hacienda de San Angel has great options. Nearly everything on the menu could be made gluten free! And we hear great things about La Cantina.
- Morocco - One of the best gluten free experiences and options on property IF you are an adventurous eater. We are. We'll be back!
- Norway - The food here doesn't impress us enough to go back, but it is available gluten free and if we had a little princess amongst us right now, we'd change our tune in a hurry!
- UK - Rose and Crown can definitely feed you well! Even my fish loving boy was pleased with the offerings.