Seaside Stories

Dining Gluten-Free in Seaside

December 13, 2021 | by Tina Lassen

Potato Leek Soup and Kale Salad from Dough Dough Bakery / photo by Jon Rahl

Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean giving up flavor or variety in Seaside, where locally owned restaurants and creative cooks offer plenty of options to eat without wheat. Please note, however, that none of the establishments mentioned here are 100% gluten-free, so diners should verify food-preparation methods directly with the restaurant.

BREAKFAST

The hardworking bakers at Dough Dough Bakery fill the case with more than a dozen goodies each morning, with gluten-free choices like banana bread, pumpkin bread and morning muffins among them. The owners source many of the fruits and flavors, from cranberries to chai, locally.

Globally inspired dishes perk up the breakfast menu at the Osprey Café, and the restaurant serves some creative gluten-free dishes. Try your eggs with gluten-free arepas, cheesy cornmeal cakes with crisp exteriors that have origins in South America. Salmon smoked in-house can be folded into a breakfast egg scramble.

Tucked inside the Best Western Plus Ocean View Resort­, Ocean Bakery Café offers the option of gluten-free bread for its build-your-own breakfast sandwiches. Begin the day with a Sunrise Panini with scrambled eggs, applewood bacon, caramelized onion, avocado and cheddar.

The Pig ’N Pancake is practically an Oregon institution, and it got its start right here in Seaside in 1961. The vast breakfast menu at its six locations includes wheat-free seafood specialties like cheesy Dungeness crab omelets and even gluten-reduced homemade pancakes, for those who aren’t celiac.

LUNCH

Creations like the 1-pound Mega Tsunami Pastrami top a long list of hot and cold sandwiches that can be made with gluten-free bread at Tsunami Sandwich Company, a stone’s throw from the beach. Fixings include Thumann’s deli meats and Tillamook cheese, along with 16 flavors of Tillamook ice cream to end the meal with sweetness.

Seafood rules at The SEA Crab House, where each table specifies the shellfish, sauce and level of spicy heat that goes into a shared Cajun-style seafood boil. With a name that reflects its owners’ Southeast Asian roots and the diversity of its seafood, diners can choose among oysters and other bivalves, crawfish, lobster, and several types of crab.

Lunchtime is prime time to head for Mo’s Seafood and Chowder, a spacious dining room with a heated patio where the Prom meets the beach. Its “No Mo Gluten” menu highlights many of the dishes for which this Oregon Coast seafood chain is known, like the generous heap of fresh Oregon shrimp on its Bay Shrimp Louie salad, steamer clams with garlic and white wine, and bouillabaisse stew chock-full of Yaquina Bay oysters, crab legs, shrimp, salmon, cod and clams.

A backdrop of billowing dunes and the kelly-green fairways of the historic Gearhart Golf Links add a Scottish touch to McMenamins’ Sand Trap Pub. A hearty menu of burgers and homemade pizzas (available with gluten-free buns and pizza crust) are just the ticket after a round of golf or a morning beachcombing in this quiet village just north of Seaside.

 


 

DINNER

Crab legs, razor clams and oysters (all the Oregon Coast favorites) can be found at Dooger’s Seafood & Grill, a staple of Seaside dining for more than 30 years. Seafood entrees can be sauteed in olive oil or pan-fried in rice-flour breading, and its signature clam chowder is always made gluten-free.

Seaside Brewery serves up gluten-free pub grub, including Pacific cod fish and chips, smokehouse chili, pulled-pork barbecue sandwiches and smoky clam chowder. Dining in also comes with a side of local culture, as the pub occupies Seaside’s old city jail.

Its name means “pie by the slice” in Italian, but most diners can’t resist whole pies at Pizza a’fetta. Smoked basil chicken, herb artichoke and Mediterranean are just three of more than a dozen “99% gluten-free pizzas” on the menu, meaning all gluten-free ingredients, dedicated pans and pizza cutters, but cooked in a shared oven. On the first of every month, the staff creates a gluten-free special pizza using local ingredients in season.

A wide selection of curries, noodle dishes, stir-fries and soups provides plenty of ways to avoid wheat at Yellow Curry Cozy Thai. Many sauces rely on tamari rather than soy, although the soy sauce is also gluten-free. High marks go to the spring rolls with peanut sauce.

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