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The "World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination" Annual Contest

From 2008-2013, GlutenFreeTravelSite recognized one particular location each year as the "World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination." The contest recognized locations that offer a wide range of dining choices for people following gluten-free diets. The results were determined by tallying the number of user-submitted dining and travel reviews received throughout the year for each location on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Beginning with 2014, we realized that we'd reached a significant turning point...that gluten free awareness and the ability to find restaurants that could safely prepare gluten free meals transcended any particular location. Safe spots for gluten free dining can now be found in almost every corner of the United States -- and in many popular vacation spots around the world. So while we no longer announce a "winner" each year, we celebrate all the gluten-free friendly destinations available to us. Here are our past winners, which provide a great starting point if you're looking for places that make gluten free dining easy....

2013: California

California 2013 World?s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination Annual Contest

For the second time in three years, California has been honored with the title of "World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination" by our website. Whether you're dining in northern or southern California, you can't help but notice the growing number of restaurants offering gluten free options on the menu -- or even offering separate gluten free menus. And it's not just the big cities where you'll find dining gluten free a breeze. Even relatively small towns like Napa have become havens for gluten free dining and accommodations. So whether your preference is for northern or southern -- small town or big city -- be sure to take a few minutes to browse the California reviews on our site or enter a specific town or zip code in California on our Search/Mapping page.

2012: Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania 2012 World?s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination Annual Contest

The state of Pennsylvania received top honors for 2012. This is due in large part to the many, many Philadelphia-area restaurants that have undergone training through the GREAT Kitchens program run by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The GREAT Kitchens program was created to rigorously train restaurants and their staff in the safe preparation of gluten free meals. The NFCA program provides a "Train the Trainer" course for chefs and food service managers, which gives them the knowledge and tools to educate their entire kitchen staff on safe gluten-free food handling. You will find many GREAT Kitchens-trained restaurants within the Pennsylvania section of our site. To search more specifically by zip code, town, or city (i.e. Philadelphia) for GREAT Kitchens restaurants and other reviews, simply enter a town or zip at the top of our Search Reviews page.

2011: California

California 2011 World?s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination Annual Contest

Californians have always been at the forefront in the areas of health and wellness. Always quick to forge -- and embrace -- new culinary tastes (including medically necessary gluten-free diets), Northern Californian restaurateurs, in particular, have risen to the challenge once again and met the demand for gluten-free options. Visitors to this state will typically be met with knowledgeable and accommodating chefs that are aware of the gluten-free diet and its importance. When dining at a restaurant, just be sure to let the server, manager, or chef know that you require a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity, since there are many celebrities in this state (and elsewhere) who follow a gluten-free diet by choice. Read California reviews or enter a specific town or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.

2010: The Washington, DC Metro area (including Maryland and Virginia suburbs)

Washington DC 2010 World?s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination Annual Contest

The Washington, DC metro area had a particularly impressive showing in 2010. Reviews of many independent restaurants as well as chain restaurants offering gluten-free menus give residents of and visitors to the D.C. area a wide a range of "safe" choices. No matter what type of food is desired -- haute cuisine or casual family dining, Italian or Ethiopian -- diners can always find plenty of places offering great gluten-free options when searching the dining reviews for our Nation's Capital. Read Washington DC reviews or enter a specific town or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.

2009: Florida

Flordia 2009 World?s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination Annual Contest

Florida was the winning destination our second year, due in large part to how accommodating Disney World and the surrounding Orlando area are to gluten-free guests -- and the numerous reviews submitted for the Disney properties. Disney World has become the "gold standard" in terms of catering to guests with special dietary needs. They take this job seriously and do a great job of making everyone feel welcome at their restaurants, parks, and resorts. There are gluten free options available on the menu at almost any Disney-operated restaurant, and the chef or manager will personally discuss safe menu options with you. Plus, the entire Orlando area and other Florida cities are also home to many national restaurant chains that have developed Gluten Free Menus. Read Florida reviews or enter a specific town or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.

2008: New York

New York City 2008 World?s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination Annual Contest

Not surprisingly, New York was the winner in the first year of our contest. New York -- especially Manhattan -- is a great place to live if you have Celiac Disease. Awareness is good, and restaurants are eager to stay relevant by catering to the increasing number of diagnosed Celiacs lobbying for more dining options. Gluten Free diners have their pick of many regional and national chain restaurants with gluten-free menus, as well as numerous independent neighborhood restaurants throughout the state -- some with gluten-free menus and others willing to tailor just about anything on their menu, within reason. Many owners of small, independent restaurants began offering gluten-free items on their menu when they, a family member, or a friend was diagnosed with Celiac. Read New York reviews or enter a specific town or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.