Friday, June 21, 2013

A Gluten Free Road Trip

Traveling and eating gluten free can sometimes be a a bit tricky. The best thing to do on a gluten free road trip is plan ahead. Bring your snacks, do your research, and you will be A-ok! We traveled 2500 miles in 7 days and it could not have been more fun! There is nothing better than getting to experience the road with your best friend and tons of gluten free goodies. 

First Stop
San Francisco!

Almost there! Time for a Larabar
Larabars are some of my favorite quick, easy, and healthy snacks. They come in a ton of flavors so you can easily find a new favorite. They use simple ingredients so no guessing when reading the label and no wondering what that big word means. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soyfree, Non GMO, Kosher, some Vegan and they taste good! Perfect snack for on the road or day to day snacking! 

San Francisco how I have missed you. I lived there for 2 years right out of high school and left a bit of my heart there. Flash forward 6 years later and the Gluten Free world has exploded in San Francisco. Most places at least have a few dishes you can eat, or many restaurants will accommodate. Cities usually have a ton of Gluten Free options so it is easy finding some places to eat. First stop was Lolo Tapas in the Mission District of San Francisco. They had a ton of GF options but unfortunately we had just driven 8 hours and couldn't wait to eat long enough to take pictures. You forgive me right? 

I try to make the trip up to San Francisco once or twice a year and I ALWAYS go to Kate's Kitchen. A tiny cozy breakfast place on Haight. The wait is worth it, even though sometimes it can be up to an hour. They have a giant chalk board of specials that makes you want to order everything. Eggs and specialty egg dishes galore, breakfast items for all the non-gluten free friends, and of course gluten free pancakes and biscuits.

It's vacation right? I'm allowed to order this right? I don't feel guilty right? 
Gluten Free Bacon Cheddar Pancake.
Do I really have to say anything else?

I had to try the gluten free biscuit too! As much as I was hoping this would be amazing, it was really just alright. It was more just a vessel for their homemade jam which you could eat by the spoonful it's so tasty. 
Make sure to stop by Kate's Kitchen and try some gluten free breakfast.
471 Haight Street, San Francisco, Ca 94117

On any beautiful day in San Francisco you can find everyone at Dolores Park. Just spread out a blanket and lay in the sun soaking up every ounce of Vitamin D. I love hanging out there purely just for people watching. Of course, bring some snacks! 

I've posted about my love for RiseBars in an earlier blog post: Here!
RiseBars are some of my favorite bars for a grab and go snack. Tons of flavors to choose from and they are good for you! Simple ingredients to give you real energy. Nothing fake, just pure goodness. 

Off to Oregon we go!
What a beautiful, but long drive. 90's music the whole way.

We ended up driving until about midnight before we decided to stop in a small town near the border of Oregon. Breakfast on the road can be tricky. I didn't have room to pack my blender so I had to be clever instead of my everyday smoothie. We mostly stayed at friends houses but ended up a hotel a night or two. The sign read free breakfast with a night stay but I knew this trick. Continental breakfasts aren't the easiest thing for a Gluten Free foodie. I loaded up my purse with bananas and apples but luckily had some delicious Bakery on Main oatmeal in my Mary Poppins bag of snacks. 

I absolutely love Bakery on Main. They have tons of delicious products like Oatmeals, Granolas, and bars to choose from. Of course, all gluten free and even better they don't use any GMOs! My favorites are TrueBars and their delicious Apple Raisin Walnut Granola. 

On the road again! You can guess how many times we said that. Final Stop Portland Oregon, one last 5 hour drive and we did it! About 20 minutes south of Portland is a town called Lake Oswego. My friend Erica, from Celiac and the Beast (have you seen her site? she's awesome, check it out) told me about this perfect little gluten free bakery. Crave Bake Shop. It is a gem, a tasty gluten free gem. I am in awe of the owner and creator of heaven, Kyra Bussanich. By far the best gluten free baked goods I have tried. The cinnamon roll was insanely delicious. 

Oh you know, just scarfing down a Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll in front of the shop. 
I think it was gone in about 17 seconds. 

I had to try other baked goods too! I'd be silly not to. There was also a scone... I must have blacked out from gluten free excitement and eaten it before I got a picture. 
Make sure you stop by Crave Bake Shop and say hi to the wonderful Kyra!
460 5th Street, Lake Oswego Oregon 97034

After getting that last little burst of sugar, we made it to Portland Oregon! Talk about gluten free heaven. There were so many options and not enough meals..or money to try it all. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to visit Portland and of course, eat. Hopefully, I'll be back in Portland soon to try the rest of the places I didn't have a chance to visit. 

First stop Deschutes Brewery. 
I had heard from multiple people to stop at Deschutes for their gluten free beer and menu. They had a great selection to choose from. I ordered their Gluten Free Beer and the quinoa cashew burger on GF Bread. While the beer, wasn't very good itself but at least cheap, the burger was delicious! The bread was soft and chewy and the quinoa burger was killer, but then came the sickness. As much as I don't like being negative on my blog, eat here with caution. I was out for the count the rest of the day and it's no fun feeling sick on vacation. I blame myself for not asking the usual questions about their preparation and how they avoid cross contamination. I wish I could recommend Deschutes because it did taste great, but it's never worth the belly ache. 

We then headed to the famous Powell's City of Books. See! We did do things besides eat!
Powell's is the type of place we visited twice because it is huge. Okay, huge is an understatement. It's a "you need a map and assistance" type of place. Books on everything! Any subject, they have it. I wandered the cooking aisles to find anything on Gluten Free. Where is it! Oh! There it is!

I couldn't even make a dent in the section of GF books they had. Rows and rows! I did find two of my favorites. Have you read Gluten is my Bitch by April Peveteaux or The Gluten Free Table by The Lagasse Sisters? 

Check them out here!

After wandering around Powell's we were hungry, of course. 
Recommended by the lovely Kyra Bussanich of Crave Bake Shop (above) we stopped by Jade Teahouse and Patisserie. Almost their entire menu is gluten free and they make the rice noodles fresh. Holy moly, some of the best noodles I have ever had. Jade Teahouse is tucked away in a random part of Portland but is well worth the journey off the beaten path.  

7912 SE 13th Avenue, Portland Oregon 

After eating constantly, and not always the healthiest choices (plus who eats out 2 times a day for 7 days?) our stomachs were bloated and full. We wanted something light, fresh and healthy. We made our way to Prasad Cafe and by far it was my favorite meal of Portland. It's a small vegan cafe that is attached to a yoga studio. 

This picture makes my mouth water. I have no idea what was in that sauce but it was amazing. Vegan, Gluten Free, healthy, and affordable. Best combination ever. If I could recommend one place to visit in Portland it would be Prasad Cafe. 

925 NW Davis, Portland OR 97209

What an amazing, eye opening, and tasty trip we had up the West Coast. I am so grateful for the experience and my belly will be happy for weeks. Thanks for the memories Gluten Free Road Trip 2013! 


  1. Do you know about Find Me Gluten Free? Great free app for any road trip!

  2. Yes! I love Find Me Gluten Free. I use it all the time when I am in a new area. Thumbs up!