Recently I visited Seattle. This was a big trip for me because it was the first time I have ever traveled alone. I have done a lot on my own, and feel pretty comfortable being by myself, but this did make me a bit nervous. Here soon I will write a post all about my thoughts and feelings about traveling alone. But I will leave you with this. Seattle was a great place to travel alone, even as a female.
So now onto why you are really here. The deets on the gluten free food scene. I did a decent amount of research on food before going and unfortunately was not able to try all the places I found on the internet. But over the three days I did eat as much as I possibly could.
I stayed in a hostel for this trip. I will tell more later on, but it was really close to the market. Which being a foodie, I loved. I tried a few of the options in the market and here they are.
Pike Place Market
Cinnamon Works is a bakery in the market. They have options for just about everyone including us gluten free foodies. I decided to stop in here one morning for breakfast. I had a market tour scheduled and they seemed like the quickest option. The gluten free options were numerous and in their own case.
I ended up buying two things because really why not. I tried a gluten free cinnamon roll and a gluten free lemon blueberry muffin. After buying my pastries I went and got a coffee at Ghost Alley Espresso and went back to the hostel to eat.
Both the pastries were good. I definitely think I have had the pleasure of eating better pastries than the ones I received here. That is not to say I would not go here again. Very few places serve gluten free cinnamon rolls. And I love cinnamon rolls. For me the cinnamon roll did not taste as sweet as I expected. But to be fair sometimes things can be too sweet, especially in the early morning.
I saved the muffin for way later in the day. It crumbled really easily, but I do not know if that is normal or because it was drying out. Otherwise it had a good flavor and I enjoyed it. I can’t say much more about it because I was eating it while walking in Discovery Park. That place is beautiful and I was more focused on the beauty than my muffin.
Ghost Alley Espresso
Ghost Alley Espresso is an espresso bar in the market, super close to the infamous Gum Wall. The one morning I went in here to get a coffee. The ladies working inside were great. They were super friendly and talkative and seemed to really enjoy working in the market and at this coffee shop.
This space is super small, so although they do have some seating, I probably would not suggest planning on sitting here. This is mainly an espresso bar, so I decided on a fun drink. I got an iced oat milk mocha. You are probably thinking oat milk, Alexa is that really gluten free. Well Oatly brand oat milk in the United States is certified gluten free, and my favorite dairy free milk alternative. I found that most of the coffee shops in Seattle carried Oatly, or other oat milk brands that were certified gluten free.
So if you do not know, I have some coffee shop experience under my belt. So I may have a little more educated palate if you will call it that. I could only taste the espresso a bit, because lattes are mostly milk, but I think it could have been dialed in a bit better. But it had potential to be a great drink, the espresso just needed to be tweaked a little bit. It was a very good drink though, and for anyone who does not have a lot of experience tasting coffee to discern a taste profile, I would imagine they would be very happy with the beverages served here.
Jack’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
So honestly I am not a super big fan of seafood. We never had it around the house. And when we did have seafood we were spoiled and had crab legs. And this was usually only when we would vacation in Key West, Florida. So I do not eat a lot of fish, but I do love crab meat. I went on a tour of the market and my guide Joe, was kind of deceiving. He told us at Jack’s they sell whole crabs for $12.99. I went back to go get some crab legs thinking it would be cheaper than going to a restaurant and ordering crab legs. Turns out that the price was per pound. So for what I wanted I would have still spent over $30. And I had already spent a lot of money on food.
The guy working the register was helpful though. He suggested the crab cocktail. It consisted of crab meat on top of a bed of lettuce with cocktail sauce. I asked about the preparation of the crab and learned that they do not season it. So I went for it. I got the crab cocktail without the cocktail sauce. They said that they do not prepare the cocktail sauce. I did not care enough to have them look at the ingredients for me.
The crab cocktail worked out pretty well for me. It had a decent amount of crab meat. Unfortunately it did not come with butter, which is part of the experience of eating crab. But next time I will budget in some more money for some crab legs I guess.
They have some seating by their stall so that was convenient as well. I sat and I ate my crab cocktail. I think the best part about it is that you do not have to deal with shelling the crab. When you have crab legs you really have to work to eat. In the crab cocktail you just have the meat. It was good crab and I am glad I was able to eat some while in Seattle. I’ve always lived in landlocked cities, so fresh seafood is not really a thing.
I would say I definitely eat at some places other Celiacs may not. This restaurant being one of them. They are a french style bakery. It was full of bread. But they also have macaroons. And I love macaroons, specifically raspberry macaroons are my favorite. I honestly did not ask them about the precautions taken to keep them gluten free. I know, I’m probably a bad Celiac. But after waiting for about ten minutes I had some delectable macaroons.
The good thing that I did notice was that the macaroons were on the top shelves of the pastry case they were in. There were some other things below them, but not above them. They also used new pastry paper to grab macaroons as far as I could tell.
The macaroons were mouthwatering. Some of the flavors were not my favorite, but they were still good. I ate them all so quickly, which is pretty common when I get my hands on macaroons.
Like everything else you find on my site, use your judgement. If going here makes you uncomfortable don’t. But I have yet to find a place that sells just macaroons and I like macaroons too much not to risk it every once in a while.
I did not get coffee here when I went in, but they serve coffee as well. Lastly they also had some meringues that looked delicious. I had my mind made up, I wanted macarons, so I did not get one. But in the future I may go back and try one.
Rachel’s Ginger Beer
So Rachel’s Ginger Beer is not a food establishment, but a refreshment establishment. By the name you can probably already tell they sell Ginger Beer. They have many different flavors of Ginger Beer.
I went in pretty quickly because I wanted to sit outside and watch the sunset over the mountains. They have all the ginger beer on tap as well as in prefilled growlers. I tried a couple of the flavors, but ended up deciding on blood orange flavor. It was very delicious and refreshing.
I was not planning on staying on site to drink my drink so this did not pertain to me. Or at least I did not think so at the time. Come to think of it I do not know what Seattle’s open container laws are. The city as a whole is a pretty relaxed community. Anyways, they do make cocktails out of their ginger beer if that is something you are looking for. Maybe I will get a chance to try one the next time I am in Seattle.
Simply The Best
This was probably one of my favorite places in the market. They have a high stall right across from the infamous fish throwers of Pike Place Fish Market.
Simply The Best sells dried fruit. I specifically love dried pineapple. It is so sweet and tasty it tastes like candy to me at this point. I still eat processed foods and candies, but not as often as I used to. But dried fruit is a nice sweet treat that I also ENJOY and personally eat more often. But only because I prefer it. I took a market tour and Joe the tour guide introduced us to this place. During the tour we got samples which was nice. Samples are obviously something to be weary about being gluten free, but I had no issues. After the tour I went back and bought a bag of dried pineapple and had it as a snack in my bag for the rest of the trip. It was great and I definitely recommend giving them a try.
Right Outside The Market
Like I mentioned before I stayed really close to the market, so I ate near the market for a lot of my meals. Here are some places that are technically not part of the market, but still super close.
Biscuit Bitch at Caffe Lieto
From the name of the place you can tell they do things a bit differently. When you walk in the door the employees welcome you with a “hey bitch” or something of the nature. Despite that the employees are actually very pleasant and nice. It is just part of the whole experience.
This was a place that did worry me a bit more than others. Because they are a restaurant whose menu revolves around biscuits. But I did want to try them because I used to love biscuits and gravy.
This location was a bit cramped inside. There were no tables inside, and only about three two seater tables outside. So I definitely would not go in thinking you are going to sit and eat your food. They do have multiple locations, so I do not know what the seating options look like at those. It is close enough to the water that you can take your food and find a picnic table near the water to eat.
So the food. I ordered the gluten free biscuits and gravy. It took a bit of time for it to come out, but they were also relatively busy when I got there. That could have also been in part due to mine being gluten free. I did not ask about the precautions taken to avoid cross contact. I need to do better at that so I can really properly inform you guys.
My food came out and it looked delicious. I had my Nima sensor with me and tried to test it. But for whatever reason I have been having trouble with my sensor. I need to read the manual, but I think I have been adding too big of a sample. Anyways after waiting for it to test and getting an error message I decided to just go for it. Probably not my best idea seeing as I had a meeting later that morning, but thankfully I did not get sick.
I was lucky enough to get a table outside, but by the time the Nima sensor was done testing my food had gotten somewhat cold. My opinion of the food is that it was decent. I honestly think this was the first time since going gluten free that I have had biscuits and gravy. So I think I had expectations that were too high. I do not have that too often anymore since being gluten free so long. Many things I have had gluten free versions of and do not remember the gluten-full versions of as much anymore. But I do not think it was bad by any means. I just think they could be better. But also there are a lot of factors that could have made it not as great. I would definitely try them again the next time I am back in Seattle.
Overall it was a quirky Seattle based restaurant. They do offer gluten free options and I did not get sick after eating so to some extent it is a win. Like I said, I think the food could be better, but honestly in my life I have had the pleasure of having some really amazing gluten free food, so I may have higher expectations than others.
Seattle Coffee Works
This was a coffee shop I saw pop up on a few different blogs. On top of that the guide from the market tour said it was his favorite coffee near the market as well. So I decided to give it a shot. Because in my mind Seattle has better coffee than Starbucks. Sorry if you are a Starbucks fan, but after working in the coffee industry for three years I know that there is better quality coffee for the same price. But I also drink my coffee black, and not with a whole bunch of syrups and such.
Anyways, this coffee shop is less than a block away from the market. It is also conveniently located between the hostel I stayed in and Target.
The last morning I was in Seattle I decided to stop in here for a morning coffee. I did not really adjust to the time difference and woke up relatively early each morning. I went in before it was too crowded and ordered a Chemex. This was the first place I was able to just get a black coffee. Seattle has a big espresso bar scene, which is great, but most of the time I do not just want espresso. I definitely have to be in a specific mood for that. They also had some gluten free options in their bakery case.
I bought a gluten free orange currant scone. The scone tasted good. It crumbled easily, which is pretty typical of gluten free baked goods. But I do have to say it was a nice treat to have with my coffee. Many coffee shops do not have any gluten free options, so it was nice seeing options. They kept the gluten free items on the top shelf, but in the same case as gluten filled pastries, so use your own judgment.
The coffee was good. I do not often drink hot coffee anymore, I am definitely a cold brew kinda gal. It was out of the ordinary for me to get a hot coffee. I enjoyed it, and I sat in the coffee shop for a good while just enjoying it.
So I would say this is a good option for a coffee near the market if you do not want Starbucks. I definitely believe their quality is better, and probably better wait times as well even during peak times. And like I said, at least one local suggested this place so that is a good endorsement.
Capitol Hill Area
This was probably one of my favorite places I visited the whole trip. It is a dedicated gluten free restaurant in the Capitol Hill Area. They also are super big on ciders, which I love to try as well. Since getting back I have learned that they recently changed their hours, and now are not open during weekday lunch. So if you are in Seattle during the week, you will need to stop by for dinner.
I visited on the Friday of my visit, and just in time. Not too long after I ordered my food they closed the kitchen to turn it over for dinner preparations. So I went in and I sat at the bar. I chatted with the bartender and asked for his suggestions on a cider. I forget what he suggested now, sorry. The cider was produced in the state of Washington, which is part of the reason I chose it, but it was a bit drier than I prefer my ciders to be.
This was a bit of a nicer restaurant, especially for lunch in my opinion. But being alone I think it was more fitting to go in for a late lunch. I was overwhelmed with the menu, because it was all gluten free. Normally I do not have many options so it is relatively easy to chose. I ended up going with the gluten free fish and chips. I am not the biggest fish fan, but the last time I had gluten free fish and chips I was impressed. That was back in Ireland. But it felt like the right choice being that it is a port city, and fresh food is always better than options that are not as fresh.
I was very happy with my choice of the fish and chips. But one of the worst parts of traveling alone was not being able to split dishes with someone. The serving size was a bit large for me at the time. Despite this it was worth it. The fish was not too fishy and the breading was done very well. And I like potatoes in general, but the chips were cooked very well too. It was all still so warm and flaky when it came out. A plus to going into restaurants when no one else is eating.
I was very happy with my experience at Capitol Cider. The staff was attentive, and conversational for a girl who was eating alone at the bar. The environment was very laid back and fun. I would definitely recommend this as a good option for any gluten free diners visiting, or living in the Seattle area.
Frankie and Jo’s
Frankie and Jo’s is a plant based ice cream shop in Capitol Hill. On top of being plant based, all the flavors are also gluten free. So even though the line was out the door I knew I needed to wait and give it a try. And I am so glad I did.
The environment inside is so fun and fresh. It did take a bit to get to the front of the line, but the employees were doing their best to get everyone helped as quickly as possible. Mostly it was a function of the space they have. They have two separate freezers behind the bar where the employees give samples from and scoop the ice cream from. There are some seats inside the storefront, but not too many.
Like other 100% gluten free places, I felt overwhelmed with options in a good way. I tried two flavors including beet strawberry rose and mint brownie. After much deliberation I ended up getting the mint brownie flavor on a gluten free waffle cone. And it was a great decision. I am sure the other flavors are great too, I just am a sucker for good mint ice cream.
Their product was delicious, and if you did not know it was plant based before you went in I don’t imagine you would even notice. I definitely suggest trying any or all of the flavors before deciding because they do have some unique flavor options. If I end up in Seattle again at any point in time I will for sure get some more ice cream from Frankie and Jo’s.
So now that I am writing all this down, I am realizing many of the 100% gluten free options are in Capitol Hill. I know where I will be living if the University of Washington is the grad school I get into/choose.
Nuflours is a gluten free bakery. Along with pastries they also serve sandwiches and other quick meal options. At the time I was not very hungry, so I opted just to get a pastry. I got the raspberry danish. It was pretty good. The danish part was more buttery than I expected for a raspberry danish. But the raspberry preserve was delicious and made the danish great. The danish itself fell apart pretty easily. I kind of expect for a gluten free bakery to have enough experience to be able to make this happen less. But that does not mean I will not continue visiting this bakery.
The service at the bakery was great. The employees were attentive despite having a good amount of customers. The shop itself was super cute and had an almost rustic chic or farmhouse feel. It is definitely not what I expected in Seattle, but I liked the decor. In the shop there was a decent amount of seating both inside and out which was nice, and not always a given in Seattle.
I cannot wait to get back to Seattle and try some more of Nuflours other yummy looking gluten free options.
Vivace Espresso is an espresso bar in Capitol Hill. I was fortunate enough to meet an Instagram friend in real life here. I enjoyed visiting with her and getting to know her a bit better over coffee.
Again this was a place that focused on espresso based drinks. I ended up ordering an oat milk macchiato, they use Oatly too. I do not have much to say about the environment, or the coffee itself. Honestly I was more interested in the conversation so I did not take too many mental notes.
Despite that I do recall there was plenty of seating. They do have wifi, and I had good conversations with the baristas as I ordered my drink. I also do remember the barista saying they have at least one other location. Which is a small coffee window, also in Capitol Hill.
The first food/beverage establishment I visited after arriving in Seattle was Cafe Solstice. The Friday I was there I had a meeting on the University of Washington’s campus. I have a very difficult time with directions, so anywhere I go that I have not been before I leave super early. This day was no exception. I planned on getting near the campus early and grabbing coffee before I had a phone call scheduled.
When I got off the light rail I googled coffee shops near me. I then ventured to Cafe Solstice. They had a very nice and roomy space. I had already eaten so I did not look in their pastry case to see if they had any gluten free options. They were another place that did not do pour over coffee, only drip and espresso based drinks. So I ordered an almond milk mocha. I drank my mocha and worked on my computer for a bit because I was even earlier than I expected. The mocha was good, and I could imagine making this place a regular spot if I end up at the University. The day I visited was not super busy, but I imagine it would be busier during the academic year.
I decided to go to Razzi’s Pizza after a trip to Discovery Park. Many of the gluten free blogs and instagrammers from Seattle suggest Razzi’s for their gluten free options. Because of that I knew I had to give it a try. They are not a dedicated gluten free facility, but are knowledgeable about the gluten free diet.
I went in and ordered at the counter. The guy taking my order was nice and chatted with me about the gluten free options. I ended up getting the W.O.W. pizza thinking it would be pretty similar to a pizza I love from Harvest Pizza. After ordering I went and found a seat and waited for my food to come out. I was also told they offer free delivery, so if you want pizza and do not want to leave your accommodations this is a great option.
So I got my pizza and chowed down. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with the crust. I definitely know that I have had better gluten free pizza crusts. I did appreciate that it was not a super thin crust pizza like most gluten free options. The flavor combinations of the toppings tasted very good.
Of the places I went in Seattle this was a bit of a disappointment to me. Maybe it is just me. And I do not want to say that I will never go back, because I think I will give them another chance when I go back. I did not get sick and maybe something just was not right about the crust. Or like I’ve said before, maybe I just have really high expectations about gluten free options after eating gluten free for almost seven years now. I know I have had better gluten free pizzas, but it was better than a fast food gluten free pizza. I think the fact that they deliver for free is also a big plus for them too.
So that is it for now. These are the places I visited while in Seattle. Seattle is a pretty gluten free friendly place which is very nice and appreciated. I cannot wait to go back and try more gluten free food and give some of these places second chances. Like I said before, I have been very lucky and had a lot of opportunities to eat great gluten free food. This food was all good, not all of it was great in my books.