Today I'm sharing some gluten free eats in Lincoln City Oregon that I treasure.
I love the beaches of the pacific northwest. Last fall Mr. Everything had a work project along the coast and I got to tag along. I was left to explore on my own while he worked. I found new beach access points, I enjoyed some great meals, and I found out the hard way that the only thing open early at the beach is Starbucks.
Between meals I spent a lot of time reading or working on the laptop. Mr. Everything had early mornings, which meant I was out and about early as well. Both mornings I ended up at the Lincoln City Starbucks for nibbles and coffee while I worked from the laptop.
A Word on Breakfast....
Even though there are few breakfast options along the coast that are not chains. I decided to wait it out till lunch to splurge on a meal. But if I were to get breakfast I've enjoyed meals at Cafe C'est La Vie in Depoe Bay and Nelscott Cafe in Lincoln City. Both of these restaurants have gluten free options but have shared equipment. I have eaten at both safely on several occasions.
Cafe C'est la vie makes crepes, both sweet and savory, and can make them gluten free. Their service is slower than a normal restaurant (partly from properly cleaning and making the gluten free crepes) so you should expect to wait a while. I like to enjoy a coffee and read while I wait.
Nelscott Cafe is more of a traditional breakfast place, and has pleasant staff, though because of it's location and lack of competition it can have long lines. Choices are very limited for gluten free but I do really enjoy my breakfast (I always get the traditional breakfast minus the toast- they usually sub it out for an avocado).
Eating Gluten free in Lincoln City and the PNW coast is fun when you know where to go
Chowder was first on my list...
Every beach tip has to include two things. Chowder and Chinese food... and not together, that's just weird. I'm always on the hunt for the best gluten free clam chowder. Signs along the coast always boast about who has the best chowder but often they are made with wheat flour. I love using my find me gluten free app to search local restaurants and read reviews from others avoiding gluten.
I skim the reviews in the app and make sure there aren't any negative ones recently. This usually works but sometimes is doesn't. There is a prominent restaurant boasting amazing gluten free chowder in Depoe Bay and it has mostly good reviews on find me gluten free. The people are sweet and helpful and I really want to like them.... but I've gotten sick TWICE eating there. I am unfortunately well acquainted with the public bathrooms in Depoe Bay and will never go back to that restaurant again...
Don't worry there is hope
Especially when I can drive a little further south and enjoy amazing gluten free clam chowder AND a gluten free sandwich with house-made bread at Nye Beach cafe. The chowder is full of clams and potatoes and is everything you want in a clam chowder. They also make their own gluten free bread and have an array of gluten free sandwich options. Pictured below is a ham, arugula, and brie panini. This place isn't 100% gluten free but they do an amazing job of limiting possible cross contamination. This was my second time eating there and I am in love.
On my way back towards Lincoln city I stopped at the Devil's Punch bowl to take in the sunny day and the beautiful waves. I also learned that near there is beach access that is a popular surfing spot.
At the end of the first day we went out with Mr. Everything's work friends for dinner. We went to Lincoln city's Mcmenamins. It's always been a safe spot for me (and they have tater tots!).
Day one down...
The last day...
The next day before I left Starbucks to find my lunch spot Mr. Everything called. He had finished with work early so we moved our Chinese dinner to an early lunch.
Kam Meng Chinese Restaurant is just north of Newport, but it's worth the drive. It's got dated decor, pleasant staff, and wonderful food. Most of the menu can be made gluten free and they are very knowledgeable and caring when it comes to gluten. This place is mom and pop style and you can see it's where the locals go to eat.
I always get the egg flower soup but the hot and sour is also a good option. One thing you HAVE to get is the BBQ pork. It's gluten free! I about cried when I found that out and now I always have to get it. It's a special treat that I always look forward too.
The waitstaff have always been helpful about navigating the menu and making sure I'm ordering gluten free, but I always end up ordering the house special fried rice. It has all the flavors you'd expect and they load on the veggies. I've never had another restaurant use zucchini in their fried rice but it's a welcome and tasty addition.
Wait a minute....
By now you might be thinking 'Gluten free eats in Lincoln city? Most of these restaurants aren't actually IN Lincoln City' and you're correct. The stretch of highway between Lincoln City and Newport isn't long, and it's super easy (and beautiful) to drive between them. I use Lincoln City as a base point for our beach adventures because we usually stay in Lincoln City. But honestly the only place (currently) that has good gluten free and I like to eat at with a Lincoln City address is Mcmenamin's.
Exploring the beach and heading home....
Mr. Everything and I took it slow heading home. We stopped at several beach access points, found a rock and gem shop in Lincoln city (we love rocks), and grabbed coffee for the drive home.
We knew we would be hungry again before getting home so I hopped on Find me Gluten free again and looked at our options. This 50-60's diner popped out at me, partly because they had gluten free chicken strips, but they also had steller reviews. They were a little off the beaten path but that was part of the adventure. I punched in the restaurant in the GPS and away we were, driving through curvy country back roads.
It was a beacon in the dark, surrounded by farm land, when we arrived. The Cruise In Country Diner was perfect. It's very much an old school diner with milk shakes and burgers. All the menu items are named after old school cars and they are great about their gluten free items.
The Mr. got a burger and I got those chicken strips (which were awesome!) but we also got an oddity to share. We tried their Alpaca Bratwurst.
They also have an alpaca burger option but because Mr. Everything was already getting a burger we decided on the Brat. I had never seen alpaca on the menu before and we felt we had to give it a try. It was good and well worth trying but I don't think I'll be craving it anytime soon. It was lean with a hint of gaminess (like lamb or goat). I'd be interested in trying it with pasta or as a kabob, as the texture was pleasant.
But those chicken strips were killer and I would go out to Hillsboro again just to get them and some fries.
As you can see our little weekend trip was packed with awesome food. It will be hard to find new places to eat when I know these restaurants are already awesome.
I hope you enjoyed my gluten free eats in lincoln city and beyond. Until next time!