The Chase & Boulevard Bowl and Lavender Lemonade are displayed at the Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market in Athens, Ga. on Wednesday September 30, 2020. The bowl, which is vegan and gluten-free, is a lightly seasoned mix of fresh vegetables over whole grains with the addition of an optional fried egg for protein. (Photo/Haleigh Terhune)

Dining out can be tricky when you have dietary restrictions or allergies, especially those that go beyond being vegan or vegetarian. If you’re looking for something more exciting than a salad that follows your diet, here are eight places in Athens to get a meal that is both gluten- and dairy-free. If you have a severe allergy, be sure to alert your waiter prior to ordering.

Agua Linda

Agua Linda offers traditional Mexican tacos that consist of your choice of protein, topped with fresh onions and cilantro. Served on corn tortillas, this meal is delicious and free from any dairy or gluten. The menu also offers enchiladas made with corn tortillas — just be sure to specify you do not want any cheese as a topping. Fajitas with corn tortillas will also be gluten- and dairy-free. Agua Linda has two locations in Athens, and both have options for online ordering.

Big City Bread Cafe

Big City Bread boasts great outdoor seating and a few gluten- and dairy-free menu options. The cafe offers daily fresh-baked gluten-free bread that can be paired with an egg plate or used for a sandwich. If you’re looking for a healthy option, the “Seasonal Vegetable Saute” is a delicious mix of fresh vegetables and spinach. Top off the saute by adding a protein, such as an egg. Call (706) 353-0029 or order at the counter for to-go service.

Clarke’s Standard

Clarke’s Standard recently updated its menu with a variety of gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly items. Both of Clarke’s zucchini boats — Greek and Italian — incorporate a range of fresh ingredients such as roasted corn, Italian herbs and chickpea salsa. Order the Italian boat without parmesan to make it dairy-free and vegan. Clarke’s is open on Monday from 4 p.m.-2 a.m., on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., on Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. on Sunday from 11 a.m.-midnight.

Clocked! American Diner

Craving a good burger? Clocked! has both gluten-free and vegetarian options. Burgers can be ordered on gluten-free buns or tossed over a bed of fresh greens. Clocked! also offers a few dairy-free substitutes for burger toppings like vegan mayonnaise and vegan cheese. Clocked is currently open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 

Four Fat Cows

If you’re looking for a sweet treat, look no further than Four Fat Cows on Baxter Street. The ice cream shop offers a variety of gluten-free ice creams, cupcakes and cookies. Four Fat Cows offers some dairy-free ice cream flavors and sorbets as well, which can be enjoyed in a gluten-free cone. 

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market

The “Chase & Boulevard Bowl” at Heirloom Cafe is vegan and gluten-free. Described as “a healthy grain bowl with a rotating seasonal selection of beans, veggies and greens,” this bowl is a healthy lunch option. If you’re looking for more protein, there is an option to add an egg, chicken or tofu to the bowl. Heirloom Cafe is currently open for patio seating only, and online ordering is available.


The majority of Maepole’s menu is free from high fructose corn syrup, gluten and soy. Customers have the option to select a premade bowl or design their own mix of Maepole’s offerings. A popular chef’s selection is known as the “Sweater” and contains a mix of brown rice, veggie hash, braised carrots, black eyed pea tempeh and pesto. Save room at the end for a gluten-free homemade chunk cookie. Maepole offers online ordering

The Grit

The Prince Avenue vegetarian restaurant has a menu full of items that are listed as both gluten-free and vegan. The “Hot Noodle Bowl of the Day,” an Asian-inspired dish with vegetables and tofu, is one option. Many choices can become vegan if you remove the chili for pinto beans, or swap the regular cheese for vegan cheese, like in “The Grit Staple” or the “Loaded Nachos.” The Grit also has dairy- and gluten-free options for cakes and pies. Call (706) 543-6592 to place a to-go order.

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