With the gluten free diet on the rise in recent years, more and more restaurants and eateries across the country have begun creating menus that cater to the popular food regimen. Anyone with a dietary restriction knows that eating clean isn’t always easy at college. If you eat gluten free, check out these ten places to get great food at James Madison University! For a more extensive collection of places to eat gluten free at JMU, take a look at @goodbyegluten on Instagram. The account is run by JMU sophomore Alexa Kelly, who cut gluten out of her diet four years ago. The New Jersey native praises JMU Dining especially for making gluten free eating so easy and accessible! Here are the best gluten free places to eat at JMU.
1. Get Your Green On
My personal favorite spot to eat at JMU is definitely “Get Your Green On” — or as my friends and I call it, “the quinoa bowl place.” Located on the second floor of the Student Success Center, this make-your-own-salad station has five different lettuce options and a variety of toppings. There’s a plethora of dressings to drizzle on top or take on the side, and for vegan and vegetarian friends, GYGO offers non-dairy dressings and tofu.
Recommendation: Arugula, spinach, quinoa, tomatoes, chickpeas, corn, black beans, tofu and chipotle-lime vinaigrette – 258 cal.
If you’re craving something more filling than a salad, walk next door to Bistro 1908. Specifically, Grillhouse offers sandwiches and burgers that you can get with a gluten-free bun. There is also a substantial list of hearty salad options, to any of which you can add grilled salmon or chicken.
Recommendation: Southwest Turkey Burger: gluten free bun, turkey patty, pepper jack cheese, guacamole, blue corn tortilla strips and red onion – 650 cal.
3. Food Local
Located a couple yards to the right of Get Your Green On, Food Local’s specialties include paninis and breakfast sandwiches. If you are looking to stray from the typical scrambled eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, head to the second floor of SSC Monday through Friday before 10:30am to pick up a tasty breakfast sandwich on Udi’s GF bread. If you’re a little late to the game, Food Local’s paninis are just as delicious for lunch.
Recommendation: The Roasted Veggie Panini: Udi’s GF bread, spinach, tomato, Portobello mushroom, mozzarella and garlic aioli – 650 cal.
D-Hub is a temporary all-you-can-eat dining hall in the bottom right corner of the Village. It was constructed for a brief period while the official Main Campus dining hall, D-Hall, is being rebuilt next to Carrier Library. D-Hub offers a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and brunch on weekends). There are multiple stations that have gluten free foods, which change every day.
Recommendation: Make-your-own omelet with ham, peppers, cheese and onions – 245 cal.
E-Hall is the East Campus version of D-Hub — except far better. Ask any JMU student — E-Hall’s food is arguably more delicious and more plentiful, though mostly the same options as D-Hub are offered. Nonetheless, this endless buffet has multiple gluten free choices. There is a sandwich station, where you can ask for GF bread, which is almost as tasty as the ciabatta they typically offer. They also have an entirely vegan station, as well as other stations with foods that do not contain gluten. It’s no wonder this makes the list of gluten free places to eat at JMU.
Recommendation: BBQ chicken drumstick, roasted Brussels sprouts and cilantro-lime brown rice – 395 cal.
6. Mrs. Greens
Mrs. Greens is a single-punch, all-you-can-eat dining hall at the bottom of the Lakeside dorms. In addition to a plethora of changing lunch and dinner options each day, “Greens” has a few gluten free options to choose from. A popular choice for our GF JMU friends is a plate of roasted veggies and southwestern grilled turkey. There is also a make-your-own salad bar and a soup station with options changing daily. It’s one of the greatest gluten free places to eat at JMU.
Recommendation: Roasted garlic potatoes, sweet potato fries, kale and caramelized onion combo and southwestern grilled turkey – 275 cal.
7. PC Dukes Deli
This place is pretty self-explanatory. PC Dukes has multiple stations with different types of food, including pizza, Mexican food, pasta and chicken tenders. While this eatery offers pre-packaged gluten free sandwiches and wraps, the deli station in the back right corner has an assortment of breads (including GF), lunch meats, cheeses and veggies to top it all off. This option is fresher and worth more, in my opinion. You can combine a delicious sandwich with a fountain drink and a bag of chips or a piece of fruit all for a punch!
Recommendation: GF wrap, smoked turkey, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar – 400 cal.
8. Cheese Please (Festival)
Festival, next to E-Hall on East Campus, has seven spots to grab a meal. If you’re looking for a juicy burger, head to Burger Studio, which has gluten-free buns and…three. types. of. fries! However, a crowd favorite is Cheese Please, a make-your-own grilled cheese counter across from the Burger Studio. They have a selection of premade options, as well as a full bar of cheeses, lunch meats and veggies to add to your sandwich!
Recommendation: Udi’s gluten free bread, ham, swiss cheese and pesto mayo on the side (sounds gross, tastes delish) – 730 cal.
This café in UREC focuses on healthy eating and making nutritious choices. My favorite way to enjoy Freshens is by wearing workout clothes to the gym and indulging in a Caesar salad-stuffed-baguette instead of actually exercising. They have an extensive menu of premade smoothies, rice bowls, salads and stuffed crepes, in addition to a make-your-own rice bowl and salad bar.
Recommendation: Florence Rice Bowl: basil pesto dressing, chicken, spinach, parmesan, red peppers, tomatoes, provolone cheese and brown rice – 420 cal.
10. Madison Grill
Located on the fifth floor of Madison Union, Madison Grill is basically JMU’s own professional restaurant. Students can call ahead and take food out or they experience the traditional “sit and be served” style of this Classic American restaurant. The menu has a range of delicious foods, including chicken wings, fried mozzarella, various sandwiches, pastas and salads, many of which can be altered to fit the needs of GF students.
Recommendation: Chicken Avocado Club: gluten free bread, sliced chicken, avocado, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise and bacon – 680 cal.
*Foods listed are not processed in completely gluten free facilities. If you have a severe gluten allergy, please discuss contamination issues with JMU staff before purchasing/consuming any foods listed here. These truly are great gluten free places to eat at JMU.