gallery Best gluten-free taste bang for your buck

Once I overheard a woman in Wal-Mart say, “You’ll go broke if you try to eat healthy.”

Sometimes she’s right, especially if you’re gluten free. I’m going to give you a list of the best gluten free brands I’ve found in the last 9 years. My credentials? Here:

– I’m a lazy gluten free-er, meaning I wait for other people to create things that I can easily, healthfully consume.

– I’ve written lists for family and friends who are just starting in this GF world.

– I’m the type of person who cried (literally) when I had my first good-tasting gluten-free cannoli, gnocchi, chocolate chip cookie, and bagel. I have done my research. See:

Greg & I eating at Risotteria in Greenwich Village, NYC. Those breadsticks were so good I actually wouldn’t share them until the waiter guaranteed we would get another batch.

Being gluten free, you want to trust what you’re buying or you will go broke like our Wal-Mart friend warned. We get no coupons, ever. And our stuff can be twice as expensive and we get half the product. But the items below you can trust, and they are worth every dollar, every calorie.

I know most of my friends and family aren’t gluten free, but a few are. And if you aren’t, chances are you know someone who is. (And pay it forward, please, by sharing this list. Especially if you know someone who is just starting out.)

Against the Grain – cannot go wrong. Their french bread = slices of heaven. Their pizza – gluten free? what?

Alexis – good chocolate chip cookies that are similar to Chips Ahoy.

Betty Crocker mixes (yellow & chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies) – cakes are the best, other 2 are 7/10.

Bionaturae – great pasta that holds together well and tastes like normal pasta to those who can eat real-people food (what I call non-gluten free food)

Bisquick pancake mix – I use this as my all-purpose flour and it is scores better than anything else I’ve ever used (and I’ve used most of the “mainstream” GF flours).

Cinnamon Chex – a 8/10 score as a replacement for Cinnamon Toast Crunch (a childhood favorite, of course)

Conte’s – Gluten Free pastas, including GNOCCHI! Worth every cent.

French Meadow Bakery – frozen brownies and cookies are delicious!

Glutino – great crackers (although they give me heartburn), best pretzels, Oreo-like cookies (chocolate and vanilla, for you sinners who don’t like chocolate), really good corn flake-like cereal

Lucy’s – decent cookies. Maybe 7/10.

Schar – great crackers, packaged sandwich bread, shortbread cookies

Udi’s – again, cannot go wrong here. Every single thing they make is good. Especially their bagels, sandwich bread, and double chocolate muffins (with vanilla ice cream, if you wish)

Craving a chocolate chip cookie? Order from here: Mariposa or, if you’re in the Buffalo area, Bon Bon’s.

This website, Best of Gluten Free Awards, has some of the same “favorites” as listed above. Although they have Pamela’s listed, and I disagree. The only Pamela’s cookies that have been okay (5/10) are the double chocolate cookies, but I would buy Lucy’s, Alexis, or French Meadow before I bought any others.

If you can’t find these brands in your grocery store, ASK! I’ve had a few grocery stores order stuff just for me. And chances are if you ask for it, there will be someone else in your community who wants/needs it, too. It doesn’t have to be that hard living gluten-free, you just have to know what to buy. I’ve been doing it for awhile, so feel free to ask questions!

What are your favorite brands?

That GF Awards web site also lists ITALY as the world’s best Gluten-free travel destination. Hmmm… spring break? Can I count that as research?

Happy Eating!


    • It was mail-order from Chicago… Can’t remember where and nothing is ringing a bell when I google it. Sorry! But do some searching and see if you can find it 🙂 Bon Bon’s in West Seneca, NY used to make them, too.

  1. Thank you for this list. I haven’t found a good ritz style or saltine style cracker. Schar’s are always crumbled and broken. Udi’s has the best soft tortillas.

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