My friend Valerie @ City|Life|Eats reviewed this restaurant and said that I could share her recommendation here. Valerie follows a gluten-free AND vegan diet, so her needs when dining out are rather strict, yet Le Pain Quotidien delivered. Here’s a summary of what she found:
I knew that the LPQ chain offered a gluten-free buckwheat-based six vegetable quiche, but honestly, I had a lot of trepidation about eating there – after all, no matter how well cross-contamination is handled, how could a chain where the concept revolves around wheat-based pain be good news to those of us who cannot tolerate gluten. Several people I knew, who either had Celiac or gluten sensitivity, assured me they had eaten the quiche (and other gluten-free menu items) with no problems, that the various locations (including the Dupont one) had known how to handle gluten-free dining. I called two locations several times to understand how they handled gluten-free diners.
Ultimately, I love LPQ and figured my due diligence showed I should try eating there, so I did. LPQ has been consistently great about being inclusive of us with alternative diets – not only is the six vegetable quiche gluten-free, it is also vegan, as are several of the entrées (over the years I have seen various quinoa and lentil dishes) and tartines, including the very delicious black bean hummus tartine. But, what pushed me over the top, is this:
LPQ has now introduced gluten-free tartines, made with a rather delicious gluten-free vegan crackers (which tasted like a denser better version of this gluten-free cracker that I tried when travelling. I figured that the combination of this option, as well as the fact I have eaten there with no problems for almost a couple of years now, meant I should write this review. Of course, you should, as I do, always confirm with the server what your dietary needs are, but I have to say, the waitstaff at LPQ has shown to be consistently very well trained in gluten-free dining needs.
As for what to eat other than the tartines with the gluten-free options or the buckwheat-based quiche – I am also particularly partial to the large salad with a side of hummus and avocado. Lately, LPQ has also had a great white bean hummus, which is served with extra veggies on top, as opposed to the plain hummus, which generally is adorned with just olives and/or a sundried tomato.
It is also worth asking about the rotating quinoa, chickpea, and lentil vegan dishes I have seen on the menu at various times, as well as the veggie sides, as those often turn out to be gluten-free. I had fantastic brussel sprouts with walnuts that were the perfect accompaniment to the gluten-free tartines which, as amazing as they are, are not quite as hearty as I needed for dinner.
This is a chain, so see the website below for locations (East and West Coast), menus, hours, etc. Note that if you download the complete menu, it will show you which items are also vegan / dairy-free, though I didn’t see any specific notations for gluten-free.