Eating {gluten-free} in Avignon | Risotto & Co

May 12, 2016

Store front plus expansion space of Risotto & Co Avignon France

There is no comfort food quite like risotto. And lucky for us celiacs, it's naturally gluten-free. When I first did research for food possibilities for our trip to Avignon, this was the safest-looking, and frankly, the only, option. Little did I know what a good option it would be.

Like many other undercover gluten-free places, Risotto & Co does not market itself specifically as a gluten-free establishment, but that's exactly what it is. Not only is there an impressive line-up of risottos, but they also offer pastas, starters and desserts, all gluten-free. And if that weren't enough, there's also gluten-free beer and some fresh baked goods that beat out most of what I've tried here in Berlin. The only thing keeping it from being a 100% gluten-free establishment are the regular beers and uncooked bags of gluten-filled pastas for sale.

Gluten-free risotto, pasta, starters and dessert at Risotto & Co Avignon France

Upon arriving late in the evening on our first visit to Risotto & Co, we found a rather small, casual-looking space with a very cafeteria-esque vibe. All the food is offered in a chilled case near the entrance, where the easy menu option is laid out for you: one main + one dessert + one drink = an incredibly reasonable 8,50€. The girl who warmly welcomed us, apologizing for her English in English while I apologized for my French in French, explained we could also sub one of the savory starters in for a dessert if wished, and the speciality juices, wines and beers were an additional small fee from the regular drink line-up. Done, easy. Well... except for having to pick which wonderful-sounding meal we wanted to eat.

Gluten-free beer, polenta, chorizo risotto and lasagna at Risotto & Co Avignon France

Wanting to try everything, my husband and I started with one risotto, one pasta, one starter and one dessert that first visit. The set-up allows for easy carry-out (with a 1€ deposit on the Weck glass everything is packaged in) or easy heating up there at the restaurant in a microwave. This of course means that everything is not made fresh-to-order and there can be some discrepancies in how well each item warms up, but considering the price point, ease and deliciousness, it's a great value. Each warm glass of satisfying risotto is surprisingly filling and the rich flavors are what you would expect from those cream-and-butter-loving French.

After visiting several times, including with family that didn't need to be gluten-free yet enjoyed it all the same, there were definite favorites. The chicken and parmesan with hints of lemon risottos topped our list. The polenta starter was so good, we got it every time. Same with the creamy, delicate strawberry-lavender bavarois. What I wouldn't give for a place like this in Berlin! Another great indicator of its commitment to gluten-free? Fresh baked goods made by the owner, including the best speculoos cookies I've ever tasted. More buttery and shortbread-like than perhaps a German version, these were so tasty, I went back for a second bag to bring home with me.

Gluten-free baked goods and treats at Risotto & Co Avignon France

We were lucky that our visit coincided with the last week it was open before beginning its expansion project into the storefront next door, which means it's unfortunately closed until early June* for these renovations. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

Risotto & Co
34 Rue des Trois Faucons
Avignon, France
Tel: +33 4 32 76 36 73
Open for lunch and dinner hours*

Take part in #CeliacAwarenessMonth by exploring the hashtag and sharing more about the disease through resources like advocacy organization Beyond Celiac. Don't forget to tag your positive gluten-free food photos and experiences with #celiacdoesntsuck - and help spread the gluten-free goodness!

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