Uno's GF Pizza Offers Nostalgic Return to Crust

Closeup of Uno's Gluten-Free Pizza

Eating gluten-free isn’t about what you gain. It’s about what you leave behind. Maybe you could go without Fruit Loops, pancakes and pretzels, but sandwiches? Cake? Pizza?

A handful of companies are now attempting to replace those foods so many with celiac disease must forgo. Uno Chicago Grill (better known as Uno’s), a restaurant chain with over 200 locations nationwide, has made the best attempt yet to mimic one of America’s central gluten-containing staple foods with its gluten-free pizza.

Uno's Chicago Grill

Upon entering this Midwest-themed pizzeria, ask your waitress for a gluten-free menu. Colorful and comprehensive, this gluten-free menu shines with taste and variety, much like the gluten-free menu we found at Wildfire Grill. Steak, ribs, fish, chicken, salads, burgers (no bun), smoothies and of course, a delicious gluten-free pizza are all available for your enjoyment.

What most impressed us about Uno’s was its service. Upon ordering the gluten-free pizza, the manager came to speak with us about our constraints. He reassured us that he himself will cook our meal and that he has received training on how to properly handle gluten-free food to prevent cross-contamination. According to the DC Gluten-Free Examiner, French Meadow Bakery makes Uno’s gluten-free dough, which is based primarily on rice flour and is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).

Uno's Gluten-Free Menu

For Uno’s to go that strenuous extra mile meant a great deal to us. Not only are they offering gluten-free items, they’re offering them as we would want. They cut no corners, from as far as we can tell, and it’s evident that they’re trying to be among the first major chains to capture the gluten-free market, which, as I wrote in a previous post about General Mills, is an excitable and active community. The news about any launches of gluten-free products spreads rapidly, with little marketing effort involved. It’s clear that Uno’s may be taking advantage of this phenomenon.

Uno's Gluten-Free Pizza

The pizza itself, which the manager carried out to us, didn’t quite match Uno’s traditional, gluten-containing pizza, but was excellent nonetheless. Many with celiac disease probably haven’t tasted pizza since being diagnosed, and Uno’s pizza offers an excellent substitute. Its crust was greasy, its cheese delicious. But it felt a bit too thin, and when inside my mouth, it melted apart, almost like ice cream, as gluten-free items so often do. But the thickness and richness of the cheese more than made up for it, and we strongly recommend Uno’s gluten-free pizza to anyone on the gluten-free diet.

Uno’s gluten-free menu can be found on page 496 of the fourth edition of our gluten free restaurant guide. Also check out these reviews from Gluten-Free Homemaker and Kat’s GF Kitchen.

For more pictures and information about our trip to Uno’s, check out our Flikr stream.

Have any of you tried Uno’s gluten-free pizza? Was it your first experience with pizza since being diagnosed with celiac disease? How did it taste? Let us know!


6 thoughts on “Uno's GF Pizza Offers Nostalgic Return to Crust”

  1. When my husband suggested we try Uno’s GF pizza the other night I was ready. Normally, I am very wary of eating out because of CC concerns but when we checked with the manager, they seemed to know all the right things about preparing a safe, gf pizza. We did carry out but I went along just to hold the pizza and smell it all the way home. It had been a REALLY long time since I had pizza. It was great.

  2. Honestly, while I thought that the Uno’s pizza was ok, I have now had gluten free crusts out at three locations around DC: Rustico in Alexandria, Uno’s in Georgetown, and zpizza in Arlington, and I have to say that zpizza’s crust wins in a landslide! I appreciate Uno’s effort, but I felt that the crust was extremely crumbly and there was almost no sauce on the whole thing. Overall a good effort, but zpizza’s texture and taste is much better for your money :)

  3. I was surprised to see the GF pizza on the menu during a recent trip to Washington. We made a special trip back to Union Station for lunch just so I could experience it. I ordered the veggie GF pizza and on the whole was satisfied. The pizza could have used a little more sauce but all in all it was a good experience.

  4. This was my first GF pizza in a restaurant since being diagnosed. The first time the pizza was perfect. The second and third times the edge of the crust was a bit soggy due to excess sauce.

    I started ordering the pizza with light sauce, this way it ensures the pizza was not pre-topped and is perfectly fresh and not soggy.

    Bz’s in Cape Cod kicks Uno’s butt when it comes to GF pizza. I’ll be eating there this weekend. Yum!

  5. There used to be an UNO’s in Atlanta but it closed years ago. I’ve yet to try their gluten-free pizza but since there are eight places here that now serve gluten-free pizza, I guess I’ll live 😉

  6. Please note – the Uno’s restaurant in downtown Chicago DO NOT have the gluten free pizza – at least not as of December 2009 – when I stopped there for dinner. Had to go down the street to another restaurant.

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