Chelsea Graham

Gluten-Free Chelsea Takes Richmond

Chelsea Graham
Gluten-Free Chelsea Takes Richmond

In August I attended the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Festival in Richmond, VA. This was my second year in a row visiting Richmond gluten-free. Just like last year, RVA was very good to your girl.

Most of the time when I go out of town I get a little nervous about what I’m going to eat. I tend to question if the area has any gluten-free options available but traveling to Richmond again put my mind at ease. Seeing all the gluten-free options and how knowledgeable the area was on food allergies was refreshing. They're staying current on food allergy demands and continuing to grow its allergy-free community.

The discouraging thing about Charlotte is that the community is very vegan-friendly, but fall short with allergy-friendly options. Most of the places locally run a risk of contamination or have an unknowledgeable staff. It's a common occurrence for me to get discouraged after a dining experience here. In Richmond, however, there are plenty of options. There are even a few dedicated gluten-free kitchens.


For lunch, my husband and I had lunch at Tio Pablo Taqueria, a dedicated gluten-free restaurant with a wide variety to choose from. I ordered the Quesadilla Grande which was a grilled hand-made large corn tortilla filled with melted Oaxaca cheese and roasted chipotle chicken. I hadn't had a quesadilla in a very long time, so it was so nice that this was a safe option. The food was so delicious, and the staff was very friendly. The biggest surprise was how affordable everything was. I was expecting inflated prices due to it being 100% gluten-free, so it was a relief when we got the bill.


For dinner, we went to Pho 1 Grill, which offers Vietnamese cuisine. They had a separate gluten-free menu with a lot of different options. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about their menu, informing me on what to avoid. As soon as the waiter placed the sauces on the table he pointed out which bottles contained gluten. I ordered the Pho Ga, which is the Chicken Pho. I’m a huge fan of Pho and I have to say this was one of the best bowls I have had (I’m hoping my good friends at Pho 79 didn’t read that). They also had a couple gluten-free appetizers and dessert options available as well.


To tame my sweet tooth my husband and I visited Charm School. They offer coffee, tea, and most importantly, ice cream! The thing I loved most about this ice cream shop was that they offered vegan sundaes. Very few ice cream shops offer non-dairy options, let alone a whole vegan-friendly ice cream sundae. Two scoops, magic shell, vegan fluff, nuts, and a cherry. It was delicious!

Overall I had another great time in Richmond and am looking forward to traveling back there again. It’s reassuring to know that big cities are starting to acknowledge that more and more people are battling food allergies. I hope more start to offer better, safer options for the gluten-free community.