Vaughan Mills is HUGE.
Seriously. This one-level monster boasts over 200 stores, including a Legoland Discovery Centre, its own Viva Transit Terminal and restaurants. In fact, each section of the mall is divided into “neighbourhoods”, each with its own theme and décor.
However, while I would recommend visiting Vaughan Mills for shopping, it is not the most gluten-free friendly place in the world. It’s even worse if you’re a Celiac.
Nevertheless, before I get to what’s on the menu for those of the Celiac persuasion, let me first start with the gluten-sensitive/wheat intolerant crowd.
For those I’ve just mentioned, South Street Burger Co. has a location in the mall which offers the option of a bun-less burger or a gluten-free burger bun. Most items on the menu are gluten-free, and South Street’s website has an allergen guide (which I advise you to consult before your visit). In addition, you can ask staff to take condiments from under the counter (which keeps them separate from the condiments used for gluten-containing orders.)
That being said, I’ve been to a few South Streets (including this one) and while the staff try their best to keep things gluten-free, they prepare gluten-free and non-gluten-free orders on the same counter, they don’t wash areas free of crumbs, and while we’re on the subject of crumbs -have I mentioned there are a lot of them?- they often pile up at the end where the staff packages your order.
Now, if you have Celiac disease, you’re in luck. Next to South Street is a Shoppers Drug Mart. While it doesn’t carry kombucha, it does carry some gluten-free snacks.
However, if you’re willing to walk for a bit, the Saks OFF 5TH offers a true treasure trove of gluten-free goodies. Near the front entrance is a stand that holds gluten-free gum, Kind bars as well as other snack foods.
In addition, the Starbucks [sorry, no photo available], has Kind bars and gluten-free peanut butter cups. I had the peanut butter cups, and they were delicious, (though unfortunately filled with dairy).
On a happier note, Vaughan Mills does have a Sephora, which carries some gluten-free cosmetics. For some brand suggestions, visit my Canadian gluten-free cosmetic list [here]. If you find that most of the cosmetic packages in store have been ripped or opened (which happens frequently in any makeup section of any store, much to the chagrin of those with Celiac disease), do what I do, which is ask staff for a package from the back.
Overall, my visit to Vaughan Mills felt underwhelming compared to my visit at Sorelle and Co. and I wish I had more positive things to say about the whole experience. I honestly hope that the mall considers putting in a completely gluten-free or top allergen-free food stand or restaurant, considering that rates of Celiac Disease (and allergies in general) are on the rise in Canada!