Gluten-free is now officially a thing. Legions of diners scrutinize menus to determine which dishes contain gluten, because they either want to limit their consumption or need to eliminate it entirely due to allergy. Too bad many GF pastries are lame: leaden, with a cardboard flavor that could convince even the most rabid sugar freak to skip dessert. Fortunately, some pastry shops have upped their game. Here's where the experts on Chowhound like to go:
• It's all GF all the time at Oakland's Mariposa Baking Co. The goods are available at Bay Area farmers' markets, Mariposa's Temesecal bakeshop, and a stand at San Francisco's Ferry Building.
Bakeshop: 5427 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland; 510-595-0955
Ferry Building Marketplace: One Ferry Building, Suite 32, San Francisco; 510-595-0955
Farmers' markets: See Mariposa's website
• Masse’s Pastries in Berkeley always has a few gluten-free items, including a flourless chocolate cake made with almond meal.
1469 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley; 510-649-1004
• In Contra Costa County, Miglet's Gluten-Free Bakery makes tasty GF cupcakes (they're also sometimes available at Mariposa).
480 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Suite A2, Danville; 925-831-9016
• In Oakland, Sweet Bar Bakery's Mani Niall not only bakes with an unusually wide variety of sugars, he's also got real skill with gluten-free sweets. Big thumbs-up from abstractpoet.
2355 Broadway, Oakland; 510-788-4997