List: Best gluten-free burger joints in the Triangle –

— There are a ton of great, high-quality restaurants touting local beef and hand-cut fries, but what about gluten-free options?

For someone with Celiac disease or other gluten-affected disorders, the chance of getting sick from cross contamination is real. Are the gluten-free buns kept in close contact with regular ones? Are the toppings stored separately from the bread? Do the restaurants use squeeze bottles or are the same utensils used to spread them on everything? Are the fries cooked in a dedicated fryer or dropped in the same fryer as gluten-battered onion rings and chicken tenders?

More restaurants are offering gluten-safe or gluten-free options on their menus, including lettuce wraps and gluten free buns and bread.

Here are few restaurants offering the best gluten-free burgers in the area:

Corbett's Burgers

Corbett’s Burger and Soda Bar – Cary

Corbett’s has consistent, well-honed processes in place to ensure special orders are handled without cross-contact, and with an open kitchen it’s easy to see how food is prepared. Buns are handled separately and employees are trained to know what to do for allergens and food sensitivities. It helps when burgers are the main focus.

They also use stickers for specific toppings and offer gluten-free chicken nuggets, which have gotten some great reviews from some local members of the Celiac community. Corbett’s also has a dedicated fryer for fries, so no cross contamination. Pro tip: Try their coleslaw. It is Southern-style, cookout-ready coleslaw, finely grated like grandpa or grandma used to make.

Al’s Burger Shack – Three locations in Chapel Hill

Al’s, owned by Al and Melanie Bowers, is a nationally award-winning burger restaurant. They also offer gluten-free buns in addition to two veggie and gluten free burgers (one containing oats and another with a cauliflower base).

The kitchen also has dedicated fryers for the french fries. Staff is knowledgeable and well-trained to prevent cross-contact. Al’s currently has three locations, one in Governor’s Village, one in Southern Village and one on Franklin Street. Pro tip: Call in your order for quicker service since they are routinely busy.

The gluten-free burger at The Beach/Trolly Stop

The Beach (Formerly Trolly Stop) – 104 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

The Beach on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill offers an array of burger and hot dog options, plus sides. They also have a hand-dipped ice cream counter from Maple View Farms and cold beer on tap. The kitchen consistently handles gluten-free burger and hot dog orders well, with gluten-free buns and combo options. Managers on staff oversee the preparation of special orders.

While fryers are shared with onion rings, they keep a selection of gluten-free bagged chips on hand. Pro tip: Try the potato salad – it is pre-portioned, Southern homestyle, and delicious – especially with the chili and slaw style burgers.

Mojoe's Burger

Mojoe’s Burger Joint – 620 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh

Mojoe’s is known for its burgers and fries. And gluten-free folks can rest assured that all gluten-free french fry orders are fried separately.

Fresh Levant Bistro

Fresh Levant – 8450 Honeycutt Rd Suite 106, Raleigh

Fresh Levant is a dedicated gluten-free, non-GMO bistro located in north Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. They offer a grass-fed Lebanese style beef kafta (similar to a burger) made with ground beef, parsley, herbs and spices and served with yogurt sauce. It is served on a lightly textured pita. Pro tip: For brunch on the weekend (it’s also served during the week), go a bit later in the day for more quiet savory lunches or earlier in general if you have a sweet tooth. They offer an array of gluten-free and dairy-free pastries, which may go quickly. They also have wine specials.

Honorable mentions: Cowfish Raleigh – This North Hills restaurant offers traditional burgers on gluten-free buns. They have a process to prevent cross-contact. Staff I spoke to were knowledgeable and managers were well-versed on gluten intolerance.

Five Guys – The lettuce-wrap burger or burger bowl are gluten-free friendly at this chain. The fries are generally safe. A savvy consumer can eat there fairly easily – provided they do not have a nut allergy because the fries are cooked in peanut oil.

Chef Hadassah Patterson is the owner of Triangle Gluten-Free LLC, Well Leaf Catering and Oven Lovies Treats.