I just recently found out that my body does not process gluten or cow's milk products. I have spent the last few months scoping out the options here in town and my recommendations are below:
This place is by far my new favorite! Dande is located on Orr Street which is north of the downtown area in the art district. It is actually directly behind the bus station if you know where that is. This wonderful cafe is only open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM but it is totally worth it if you can make it out during those hours. They have a variety of baked goods, lunch, and breakfast items and much of their menu is gluten free and/or dairy free. The staff is wonderful and the food is delicious. I highly recommend this one!
The Rome is a fabulous Italian restaurant in town that has an entire separate menu for their gluten-free customers, including appetizers, entrees, and even deserts. Of this menu, many items are also dairy free. One of their pizza crusts and all of their pastas are gluten and dairy free. If your child is also dairy free, you will just need to watch the sauces and cheese on those. They do have a sheep's milk cheese that is very good if you are only avoiding cow's milk products like me.
You'll only find Mary Manulik and her gluten free foods at the farmer's markets but they are well worth it! Mary sells fantastic gluten-free baked goods at the farmer's market and many of her products are also dairy-free. She will also bake orders on demand so you can have them any time of the week or for a big party. Check out Mary's website to find out where she can be found this time of year, but my understanding is that during the warm months she has a booth at the farmer's market by the ARC and in the colder months she's at the farmer's market inside Parkade Plaza. I had a chocolate zucchini bread from there the other day that was AMAZING!!
Looking for some sweet treats? Yogo Luv on 9th Street serves frozen yogurt but also has gluten-free and dairy-free options that are quite scrumptious. You can also add a variety of toppings to your "yogurt", many of which are gluten and dairy free, such as fresh fruit and chopped nuts. I really enjoy this when I'm missing ice cream!
If you are looking for healthy eating, then you've come to the right place! All of the menu items are vegetarian and most of them can be made vegan (no animal products) and/or gluten free. They have gluten-free bread for their sandwiches and you can switch out quinoa for wraps.
This eating destination offers gluten free food and FUN! Your kids will love getting to track down Pepe in his taco truck. Just check their facebook page to find out where they will be for the day. Pepe's serves delicious Mexican food and they have a gluten-free wrap for their burritos that taste just as good as a regular burrito. They are also very accommodating when it comes to special orders such as no cheese or dairy products.
I hope this gives you and your family a place to start when finding gluten-free and dairy-free dining in Columbia. I know it was difficult for me to change my diet in such a massive way but it has made such a wonderful difference in my quality of life. And with restaurants like these in Columbia, the change hasn't been too hard to manage at all! Don't forget to sign up for our email list so you can get speech and language activities as well as updates about Columbia delivered straight to your inbox!