By Christina P. Kantzavelos

Taos is full of fresh air, mountains, history, and great organic and local cooking that allows you to taste the mix of Native American, Mexican, and Spanish influence and inspiration. Thankfully, that also includes some fantastic gluten-free cooking. 

*Although gluten-friendly, and aware, these establishments do not have dedicated gluten-free environments. Please use your best judgment, and ensure that the waiting staff is aware of the severity of your food restrictions prior to dining. 

Call first or check restaurant websites to find out if they’re operating at standard business hours—or offering carryout or delivery.

Manzanita Market

Located in the heart of downtown, Manzanita Market is an all-organic community-centric cafe, creamery, and marketplace. Everything in their marketplace is sourced from Taos locals, and much of their nutrient-dense ingredients are also sourced locally. Their menu is mostly gluten-free, with a focus on whole foods, including local, organic, slow homestyle cooking. A signature dish is their medicinal chicken bone broth that’s cooked for 24-hours along with turmeric, ginger, and carrots. It is sold on its own and used as a base for various other menu items. They also offer gluten-free oats, blue cornbread for any of their sandwiches, and other delicious items such as their gluten-free blue corn pancakes, smoothies, and salads. A true taste of Taos. 

Try this: Detoxify Smoothie. This smoothie features organic local kale, pineapple, banana, coconut water, coconut water, and chlorella, and is topped with coconut flakes. 

Find: 103 North Plaza, Taos

Bearclaw Bakery & Cafe

Bearclaw Bakery and Cafe is a great breakfast and lunch spot in downtown Taos that offers quality food in a homey atmosphere. They strive to provide quality and delicious foods that are non-GMO, free of high-fructose corn syrup, freshly made, and use local ingredients whenever possible. Many of their daily menu items are gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly, which are clearly marked, including their blue corn pancakes, huevos rancheros, bison burger, omelets, salads, and more. Their brunch menu is ever-changing, and often includes a gluten-free tamale plate, eggs benedict, a fruit and yogurt plate, and salad. Half of their baked items are gluten-free and vegan, such as flourless chocolate cake, cookies, banana bread, coffee cake, and all individually wrapped to prevent cross-contact. 

Try this: Gluten-Free Organic New Mexican Blue Corn Pancakes, topped with warm blueberry compote. 

​Find: 228 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos

Farmhouse Cafe and Bakery

As their website states, “Farmhouse Cafe and bakery is committed to healthy, local, organic cuisine that sustains our bodies, our community, and Mother Earth.” They work with over twenty local farmers, ranchers, and producers to create a strictly organic, non-GMO, and seasonally fresh menu and food network. In addition, their menu is very gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Items such as their gluten-free lasagna, gluten-free pancakes, mushroom shepherd’s pie, enchiladas, or stir-fry will have you feeling confident that you chose the best place to dine. By eating at Farmhouse Cafe and Bakery you are supporting local farmers, garden pollinators, and local education projects. While visiting, check out their store where you can find local produce, dry goods, and hand-made crafts. 

Try this: Gluten-Free Carrot Cake – This treat is made with locally grown carrots and finished with a coating of New Mexico pecans.

Find: 1405 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, El Prado

CID’S Food Market

CID’s Food Market is located right outside of downtown and is a great spot for local and organic gluten-free grocery shopping, as well as on-the-go food options. They have an extensive gluten-free selection of just about everything in their large grocery store. In addition, they have an organic hot bar and salad bar with plenty of gluten-free options. Keep in mind, cross-contact can be a concern in any buffet-style setting. And although they are extremely conscious about cross-contact, they can’t guarantee any of their cooked or baked items being completely free of gluten. 

Try this: Fresh Gluten-Free Organic Blueberry Scone.  

Find: 623 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos

Chokola Bean to Bar 

Located near the historic Taos Plaza in downtown, Chokola Bean to Bar is Taos’ best award-winning, small-batch, and organically crafted bean-to-bar chocolate maker. Aside from their gluten-free chocolate bar, including single origin chocolate bars, their menu has pour-over coffees, various gluten-free pastries, and hot or cold sipping chocolate. Aside from their various mousses, ice creams, bonbons, and milkshakes, they also have vegan-friendly options. The owners are career chocolatiers and are happy to walk you through the bean-to-bar process, including the importance of sustainable sourcing. For those who want to truly immerse themselves in all things chocolate and education, then consider a private tasting. For those who can’t wait to visit, or can’t be without Chokola’s chocolate, they currently sell many of their bars online. Although they have a high-standard in avoiding cross-contact, by carefully preparing certain products in separate phases, they can’t guarantee any of their items being completely free of gluten. 

Try this: Organic Flourless Chocolate Cake. This intense chocolate-flavored cake is topped with a layer of chocolate ganache. 

Find: 106 Juan Largo Lane, Taos

The Love Apple 

The Love Apple took over the former space of the Placitas Chapel that was built in the 1800s and operated for over one hundred years. This adorable restaurant emphasizes regional, local, and organic home cooking with French accents. Their menu is constantly changing, as do the nightly specials to accommodate the change of seasonal produce availability. They also use local hormone-free, grass-fed and -finished meat, milled flour, and cheese. Everything is made from scratch, including their buttermilk yellow and wheat-free blue cornbread, bacon-wrapped dates, salads, and tacos. Many of their other menu items are also gluten-free, and the restaurant is extremely accommodating to any dietary restrictions. Notify your server of gluten-avoidance so that they can ensure proper cross-contact avoidance wherever possible. 

Try this: Homemade Baked Tamale and Oaxacan Style Mole. This baked tamale features local sautéed greens and sweet corn, topped with their red chile mole and finished with a farm-fresh fried egg and crème Fraiche.

Find: 803 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos

La Cueva Cafe

La Cueva Cafe is located in the Historic Casa Baca Plaza that dates back to 1850, near downtown. Their menu encompasses the best of both Mexican and New Mexican cuisine, with delicious local flair. Although they do not have a dedicated gluten-free fryer for their corn chips, and other items, their menu still offers many gluten-free options. This includes breakfast items like their Huevos Rancheros, Enchiladas con Huevos, and lunch and dinner items like their Sopa de Tortilla, enchiladas, tacos, and flan. They do their best to avoid-cross contact. 

Try this: Chili Rellenos. Hatch green chiles are completely cleaned out and stuffed with cheese, onions, and cilantro, then hand-battered in the egg batter.

Find: 135 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos

Sol Food Natural Market

Although not technically in Taos proper, Sol Food Natural Market is Taos County’s only completely organic espresso, and fresh vegetable and fruit juice bar. In addition, they are an all-organic cafe that specializes in farm-to-table flavorful experiences. They strive to be an eco-conscious establishment, by using biodegradable ingredients and local ingredients such as grass-fed meats, organic, non-GMO, and antibiotic- and hormone-free products. They offer two different gluten-free breads as options for their sandwiches and have various gluten-free salads to choose from. They also have a full espresso, juice, and smoothie bar. While visiting, check out their market where you can purchase dairy products, local meats, dry goods, fresh produce, frozen foods, snacks, pet foods, household products, body care products, and boutique items. Gluten-free items are stored and prepared separately. Please notify them of your restrictions in advance. 

Try this: Taos Toast. This dish is made with locally-made gluten-free bread, organic and local eggs, tomato, avocado, sprouts, feta cheese, and drizzled with homemade pesto. It is served with a side of salad and local organic potatoes. 

Find: 591 Arroyo Hondo Arroyo Seco Rd, Arroyo Seco

The Stakeout 

The Stakeout is a special venue perched on top of Outlow Hill. At 7,200 ft, it basks in the stunning nature of Taos, including a view of the Rio Grande Gorge and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Aside from being one of the most gorgeous event venues in the state, it also has quite the history, from a hideaway for desperados, outlaws like Dennis Hopper and Billy the Kid, to now being one of the prettiest venues in the state. They host a curated dinner series that uses ingredients and crafts from local farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, and craftspeople in the area.* The kitchen and menus are often entirely gluten-free, and if not there is a change, alternative options are always available. An experience like no other. 

*Note: Due to COVID-19 there are currently no dinner series currently scheduled. Check their website for updates.

Try this: Gluten-Free and Organic Italian Torta Caprese with wild raspberries and almond flour.  

Find: 101 Stakeout Dr, Ranchos de Taos

De La Tierra Restaurant and Anaconda Bar

If you haven’t visited New Mexico’s most expensively built hotel, now is your excuse. Aside from the gorgeous property, the resort is home to De La Tierra Restaurant and Anaconda Bar. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you may just want to stay on the property forever. Their restaurant and bar offer organic, farm-to-table meals, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, such as their breakfast hash, fantastic poached salmon plate, and bison burger. They have a designated gluten-free fryer and do their best to avoid cross-contact. Enjoy their global, local, and sustainable plates. 

Try this: Charcoal Seared Tuna, served with a house-made blue corn tortilla, crushed avocado, cilantro, lemon oil, and peppadew (Tapas Menu). 

Find: Located at El Monte Sagrado, 317 Kit Carson Road, Taos (temporarily closed)

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