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This New Ballard Restaurant Wants to Serve Actually Good Gluten-Free Food

Stoneburner chef de cuisine Nikki DeGidio is opening Lucky Santo, which will mostly avoid allergens in dishes like chicken pho with vegetable noodles

A bowl of milky soup with green vegetables on a light blue table.
Chef Nikki DeGidio’s Lucky Santo will serve mostly allergen-free meals in Ballard’s Sunset Hill area.
Lucky Santo

Chef Nikki DeGidio’s upcoming Ballard restaurant, Lucky Santo, is in many ways a response to her own food allergies and sensitivities — soy, gluten, and dairy — which she discovered while working as chef de cuisine at respected Ballard restaurant Stoneburner. Lucky Santo mostly eschews all of these increasingly common allergens and others that diners often express sensitivities to, including grains, legumes, canola oil, and refined sugar.

That “mostly” qualifier might worry some diners who want to be assured of entirely allergen-free food, but otherwise this sounds like a promising idea for those with restrictions who still want well-made food when they dine out.

Lucky Santo will serve brunch, lunch, and dinner, with items like smoothies, chicken pho with vegetable noodles, cassava waffles, and sweet potato and cauliflower falafel. DeGidio also plans to pre-package take-away items and stock a pastry case with the likes of energy balls, superfood bars, carrot cake muffins, plantain chips, and more. Beverage director James Lechner, who also works at Bastille and Stoneburner, will stock the bar with gluten-free beer and organic and natural wines.

With DeGidio’s former boss, Jason Stoneburner, as a partner, Lucky Santo is set to open in mid-December in the Sunset Hill area, replacing Cocina Esperanza at 3127 NW 85th St. The restaurant is named for DeGidio’s dogs, Lucky and Santo, and will be counter-service only. It seats 45 inside and on a back patio.

Stoneburner has been busy growing his brand lately: In addition to partnering with DeGidio on her new project, he’s putting the finishing touches on a new Kenmore restaurant called Seaplane and opening a fast-casual restaurant inside Citysurf, an upcoming indoor surf park in Issaquah.


5214 Ballard Avenue Northwest, , WA 98107 (206) 695-2051 Visit Website

Lucky Santo

3127 Northwest 85th Street, , WA 98117 (206) 294-3921 Visit Website