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Going Gluten-Free? 5 Restaurants in Tokyo that Cater to You

Staying gluten free in a country with an unfamiliar language can be a challenge. Responding to requests on Facebook, this article introduces five restaurants in Tokyo where you can eat gluten free.

1. ALETTA

This is a casual French restaurant that is 100% gluten-free. Most of the ingredients are organic, and no microwaves or teflon equipment are used for cooking. In the morning, there is a breakfast plate of toast (made with rice flour) and Western-style side dishes for 1,000 JPY. Curries and rice galettes are served for about 1,500 JPY for weekday lunches, and on weekends and holidays, Chef's Selection Lunch Courses (2,500 JPY - 3,500 JPY), made with seasonal ingredients, are available. The restaurant is also open for tea time. Reservations are required for dinner (minimum of 2 people). Allergies to ingredients like nuts, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, and crustaceans will be accommodated as long as you provide advance notice.

1. ALETTA

3-50-1 Seki-machi-kita, Nerima-ku, Tokyo

2. Soranoiro Kojimachi Main Branch

This is a restaurant that serves a one-of-a-kind ramen. The Vegan Veggie Soba (1,100 JPY (incl. tax)) is made with absolutely no animal products. It achieves this by adding a puree of carrots and tomatoes to a vegetable broth, which is flavored lightly with salt. It can be made into a gluten-free dish by changing the noodles to brown rice noodles (150 JPY (incl. tax)). It is a very healthy dish that’s full of fiber, and it has a uniquely pleasant texture. It also comes with plenty of vegetable toppings.

2. Soranoiro Kojimachi Main Branch

Blue Bldg., Honkan 1B, 1-3-10 Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

3. above GRILL&BAR Toranomon Hills Branch

This is an organic and healthy restaurant designed to make you feel like you’re at the West Coast in the USA. The food served here is all handmade in the restaurant, contains plenty of organic vegetables, and consists of a wide selection of satisfying dishes that are good for "health and beauty". Most of their dishes can be made gluten-free. For example, if you let the staff know in advance, they can "change the pasta to gluten-free noodles". Their daily menu that includes items like pasta and fried rice (1,000 JPY - 2,300 JPY (incl. tax)) is available for weekday lunches, and a Mexican-themed menu is available for dinner and weekends (average budget of 3,000 JPY).

3. above GRILL&BAR Toranomon Hills Branch

Toranomon Hills Mori Tower 2F, 1-23-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo

4. Saotome‐Ke

This is a restaurant that serves gluten-free okonomiyaki* made with rice flour (from 850 JPY (incl. tax)). The okonomiyaki is made with a dashi (stock) of pine nuts, Chinese wolfberries, and jujube – said to have beauty and health benefits – and ingredients marinated in shio koji (traditional Japanese condiment made by fermenting koji mold with salt and water) to bring out the umami (savoriness). It is a new type of okonomiyaki with a wonderful texture that combines crunchiness and chewiness. It has plenty of herbs and salt in it, so there is no need for sauce. It is best eaten on its own to savor the flavor of all the ingredients. It also goes well with organic wines.
*Traditional okonomiyaki is made by mixing ingredients, such as cabbage, with a batter made with flour, and then grilling the mixture into a circular shape. It is usually eaten with sauce.

4. Saotome‐Ke

1F, 3-12-8 Botan, Koto-ku, Tokyo

5. Kakurenbo

This is a restaurant that serves pasta and pizza made with rice flour. The fresh pasta that has been perfected through years of research is made with 100% domestic rice flour. It is healthy, satisfying, and has a wonderful uniquely chewy texture. The vegetables are organic and carefully selected for their freshness. The pasta comes with various sauces like cream, oil, and tomatoes. They also have pasta with Japanese flavors, such as the Shrimp Yuzu Salt (750 JPY). There are also gluten-free sweets like the Homemade Tiramisu Made with Rice Flour (480 JPY) and Japanese-style Flan with Rice Flour and Soy Milk (300 JPY).

5. Kakurenbo

Saito Bldg. 2F, 2-2-20 Machiya, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo

Gluten-free diets are a worldwide trend, practiced for its health and beauty benefits. The restaurants introduced here will enable you to stay gluten-free in Japan.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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