I celebrated my two years of being gluten-free this past February. I gave up gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, as a holistic approach to treating Hashimoto’s disease.
I’ll admit that gluten is delicious. I do miss it. Well, I miss the freedom of it. The freedom of not have to scrutinize every ingredient and interrogate servers about kitchen procedures and how food is prepared. So when it comes to bakeries, I tend to avoid them. Bakeries love gluten.
In Charlotte, more and more bakeries are offering gluten-free alternatives. My favorite treat is always macarons, because they’re perfectly sized and almost always gluten-free. (Macaroons with the extra “o” are always gluten-free — but they’re not the brightly colored mini-cakes that you’re thinking about.)
From bread to sweet treats, here are 10 gluten-free picks from Charlotte bakeries.
Note: Many of these bakeries make their gluten-free items in the same environment as its regular products, so there may be a risk of cross-contamination.
8356 Charlotte Hwy, Indian Land
Celiacs swear by this bakery. It’s a 100 percent gluten-free bakery and store, so there’s no risk of cross-contamination. With a focus on real ingredients, all of their items are non-GMO and organic, and they also accommodate vegan and dairy-free diets.
1111 Metropolitan Ave.
Owned by French husband and wife Moussa and Hortense Bamba, this bakery focuses primarily on the French delicacy of macarons. While many bakeries offer macarons, this store is by far my favorite. Each bite is a treat with sweetness and flavor, complimented by the perfect crisp texture.
Sold at multiple locations
Cost: $4.50 for 4
Hamburger buns? Yes, trust me. This bakery caters to gluten-free baking, which allows their products to be cross-contaminant free. They don’t sell from a brick-and-mortar, but you can find their products in many locations and restaurants around Charlotte like Undercurrent Coffee and the Mayobird.
Amelie’s kicked off summer with two macaron ice cream sandwiches. The Lavender Lemon is gluten-free, and if you haven’t seen it in person yet, it’s gigantic. Bring a friend and share.
9814 Zackery Ave.
Cost: $30 for nine bars
This small, family-owned bakery offers a large variety of gluten-free, paleo, and vegan options.
8415 Pit Stop Ct. NW, Concord
Whether or not you consider cookie dough part of a bakery, I’m allowing it. I’m not here to discriminate against unbaked treats. The cookie dough at Cookie Dough Bliss is safe to eat raw (cookie dough lovers, rejoice!). Keep it in moderation with a cookie dough pop ($2.25) or own your dreams with scoops of cookie dough (one scoop for $4.25 or three for $8).
901 Pecan Ave.
Villani’s is a New York-Italian style bakery that makes everything in-house from scratch.
Local delivery only.
Baker Cristina Rojas-Agurcia works tirelessly to ensure her treats are tasty, so right now, she only offers two gluten-free items. From Honduras, Cristina is a self-taught baker who started pursuing her passion for baking back when she was waiting on a green card.
This key lime pie is made with lime juice from Key West. Sunflour is a family-owned bakery that now has four Charlotte locations. Each store makes all of their pastries in small batches to ensure quality and authenticity.
4245 Park Rd.
This bakery known for making delectable cookies offers a couple of gluten-free options, including almond horns, which, will satisfy any marzipan craving. Suarez Bakery was opened in 1991 by Carlos Suarez and is now run with the help of his two sons.
Featured photo: Victoria Wright