Niche's Bakery and an incredibly delicious club sandwich. Jessica Stein

If you are gluten free for health reasons (and not because you're following a fad, which, btw, you're about four years late on), I imagine you are much like me: relentlessly searching for a sense of dining normalcy after cutting out an essential component of your diet. Quitting gluten was as hard as quitting smoking, and the results were similarly positive, in that I felt so good after stopping that despite all the ferocious cravings, I've continued for nearly three years.

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But practicing self-control is no fun, especially when all you want is a goddamn sandwich. Though Seattle lacks abundant GF food options, it definitely possesses more than my former Florida home, and I now regularly visit many places in my eternal pursuit to eat like a regular person again, and get back those tastes I've missed since giving up wheat.

Capitol Cider is one of the area's few restaurants with entirely GF cuisine—which jells nicely with its naturally gluten-free ciders—and its offerings are epically delicious. For lunch, I recommend the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with its perfectly crispy breast and a cup of creamy cod chowder topped with a zesty horseradish gremolata. The dinner-time menu includes dishes GFers generally don't get to eat, like fish and chips, rigatoni, and a half-pound burger, but I am addicted to the braised pork shoulder, its tender and flavorful meat complemented by earthy-sweet beet relish and stone ground white grits with the perfect velvety texture.

Niche Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe features a fully GF menu, and it includes paleo and vegan options, too. It's a breakfast and lunch joint (you order at the counter and it closes by 4 p.m.), and their specialties are house-made waffles and focaccia. The waffle is served solo as part of a breakfast plate or as a "waffle-ini" with fillings (the Nutella and banana is everything). The focaccia is used in most of Niche's panini (grilled cheese, a fantastic club, Rueben, pastrami, etc.); others like the (not quite authentic but still tasty) Cuban and BLT come on Olivia Superfree baguettes. They also have various GF baked goods, and impulse buy chocolate chip cookies are a guarantee (and encouraged by me).

If you share my heavy-duty sweet tooth, there are three excellent Seattle area bakeries that peddle GF goodies. Nuflours is Capitol Hill's GF and vegan standard, and they've got impressive volume and variety—lemon bars, raspberry Danishes, cinnamon buns soaked in a thick caramel glaze, éclairs you've been missing since you quit wheat, a range of quick breads, regular breads, loafs and panini, cookies and cupcakes and full cakes, too (I took home a decadent cheesecake for Christmas dinner). You get that same awe-inspired feeling of being reintroduced to heavenly confections at Flying Apron in Fremont (and Redmond), another dedicated GF and vegan bakery. One word: doughnuts. This place has DOUGHNUTS. Maybe you'll never get to enjoy the fluffy yeast variety (goodbye, Krispy Kreme!), but at least Flying Apron delivers delicious approximations of cake doughnuts with ever-changing flavors. My last visit yielded one with raspberry glaze, and another coated in chocolate icing and dusted with coconut shavings. In addition to many other baked treats (cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls with creamy glaze, and pie!), they have savory offerings as well—fresh bread, soup, and vegan pizza. Finally, there's Cinnamon Works, a staple of Pike Place Market. Though it's not wholly GF, there is a generous selection of GF provisions (granola, cookies, quick breads and muffins), and every time I land at the market, I inevitably leave with one of their moist, monster GF cookies, which "has literally everything in it" (according to the sales pitch).

Cupcake Royale’s got you covered. Benjamin Blackketter

Finally, pizza. I admit, I was never a huge fan—until I stopped eating it for good digestion's sake. Now every time I pass a pizza joint, my mouth waters at the wafting aromas and I devour with my nostrils what I am can't with my stomach. Great GF pizza is hard to find, but there are a few places I frequent. Razzis Pizzeria has locations in downtown and Greenwood offering gluten free and vegan options of virtually everything on its regular menu—and there's a lot, including pasta, pizza, calzones, and sandwiches (panini, grinders, gyros), all made with their trademark slightly sweet and chewy GF bread. I tend to order the mini (7-inch) pizza—you can choose your own toppings and it's perfect for one person. Another place I enjoy a good GF pie is Central District's Central Pizza; the texture is right (read: like the "real" thing) and the crust perfectly crunchy. It's available only as a 12-inch, but you can get it in all of their flavors. My go-to is Animal Collective, an all-meat party with salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, and Canadian bacon.

Some more quick hits: HoneyHole has amazing sandwiches and they offer Olivia Superfree baguettes as an option, Oddfellows Cafe has choice GF treats, and I get their GF biscuits with strawberry jam at least once a week, Cupcake Royale has incredible GF cupcakes (chocolate with salted caramel icing is the best by far), and while I haven't been to Ghostfish Brewing Company because I don't drink beer, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention its existence, as they serve small-batch, all gluten-free beers.

Now, fellow wheat-intolerant or wheat-sensitive friends, venture forth and eat up!