Being a gluten-free foodie living in a smaller city, it's hard to find super good quality gluten-free eats. I've lived in Olympia, Washington my entire life, and recently switched to a gluten-free diet 1.5 years ago. I've tried most everywhere in town that offers both pescetarian (no meat besides seafood) and gluten-free dishes. These are my favorites:
I.talia - vegetarian pizza
1. Vic's Pizzeria. At both of Vic's locations (Westside and Wildwood), they offer 10" and 14" gluten-free crusts for all of their pizzas. This is my favorite crust in town, possibly because their pizza types are so unique and have the most flavor. My favorite is the 4 Cheese Olympia.
2. La Gitana. My second favorite pizza spot in town, La Gitana is located in downtown on Capital Way, right next door to the Batdorf & Bronsen coffee shop. I always opt for the plain cheese pizza with a generous heap of arugula on their 10" gluten-free crust. Check out my greater review here.
Brewery City Pizza - margarita pizza
3. Brewery City Pizza.
My third favorite has to be BCP, a favorite among the locals. I love both their margarita and gold coast (the gold coast being my #1 pick with gorgonzola cheese and deliciously sweet pears). Their gluten-free pizza only comes in a 10" crust, but this size is perfect for two servings. With multiple locations, you can find BCP pretty much everywhere.
Located by the Capital Mall in the Promenade, I.talia is the perfect place for soup, salads and pizza for us gluten-free foodies. To the best of my knowledge, they don't offer gluten-free bread for sandwiches. It's a shame because their sandwiches are GREAT. Their gluten-free crust is the most yeasty and soggy, in my opinion. However, it's great if you're looking for something in the area.
5. McMenamins Spar Cafe.
Right in downtown Olympia, The Spar is a famous diner spot owned by McMenamins, a famous pub company with locations around the Northwest. Their gluten-free crust is incredibly small, but a good personal pizza size. My favorite is the Electric Mayhem.
6. Mercato Ristorante.
Located by the Farmer's Market in downtown, Mercato is a fancier lunch and dinner spot, great for corporate meetings or celebrations. It sounds odd, but their "egg pizza" is pretty tasty! The margarita is good, too. Just request a gluten-free crust.
Peace, Love & Raw - veggie sandwich on sweet onion "bread"
1. Peace, Love & Raw.
Nestled in downtown Olympia across from Sylvester Park, Peace, Love & Raw is the place for raw and delicious gluten-free eats! Without baking, this healthy hotspot creates delicious mock, raw "bread" that creates hearty, thick sandwiches with natural ingredients that satisfy.
2. Cascadia Grill.
For all of Cascadia's offered sandwiches, they are able to substitute a gluten-free bun. The Hummus & Veggie Supreme sandwich is delicious on a bun. I believe they use Udi's bread.
3. McMenamins Spar Cafe.
Similar to Cascadia, The Spar offers all of their sandwiches on a gluten-free bun as well. The Day Tripper sandwich is delic, as well as the (this one is currently only served at other locations, such as Portland, Oregon)
4. Wally's Sandwich Bar. Located on the westside by the mall, Wally's carries a variety of sandwiches that are served on gluten-free bread, as well as in salad form. Pesto Change-o is the best!
Red Robin - burgers & fries
1. Red Robin.
If your friends opt for a typical burger joint like Red Robin, don't fear! Red Robin also offers Udi's burger buns for any of its famous gourmet burgers. They are able to limit their kitchen's gluten contaminants for fries and other items, as well.
2. McMenamins Spar Cafe.
Similar to their sandwich offerings, The Spar offers various burger choices (and fries) that are gluten-free. I love their Hammerhead Garden burger!
3. Cascadia Grill.
Ask for any of their burgers on a gluten-free bun. My favorites are the black bean and grilled salmon.
Darby's Cafe - mt. olympus burger & curly fries
4. Darby's Cafe.
Delicious burgers and sandwiches with gluten-free bread can be found at downtown's Darby's Cafe. My favorites are the Mt. Olympus Burger and Mushroom Swiss. Bonus: they use local gluten-free bread from Olympia's own 8 Arms Bakery!
Mercato Ristorante - grilled salmon salad
1. Mercato Ristorante.
A gorgeous plate with incredible flavors is the best way to describe Mercato's grilled salmon salad with goat cheese. Another favorite of mine is the pear & gorgonzola.
2. Vic's Pizzeria.
Delicious, healthy salads can be found at Vic's if you opt out from pizza.
3. Brewery City Pizza.
I'm a caesar fan myself, but BCP offers a variety of large salads.
4. Buffalo Wild Wings.
If a friend of yours really craves a sports bar, fast-food environment and you're not a meat eater: you can opt for BWW's Mediterranean salad. It's so good! Ask for no pita bread. You can add chicken if you wish.
5. McMenamins Spar Cafe.
The Spar offers a variety of gluten-free salads, but my favorite is the Aztec with corn and black bean salsa!
NomNom Deli - rice noodle salad with tofu & coconut pandan sticky rice
1. NomNom Deli.
Also located downtown on Capital Way across the street from La Gitana, the NomNom Deli is a great Vietnamese cuisine spot with great affordable prices. I love their rice noodle salad, coconut pandan sticky rice and tofu spring rolls.
Perfect Japanese cuisine for sushi and many rice noodle, egg dishes without gluten, Koibito is your neighborhood destination. Located in Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey.
3. Darby's Cafe.
Darby's Cafe is the downtown hipster spot with loud music and a vibrant atmosphere. Visited by Guy Fieri's
Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives,
Darby's is the locals' quirky favorite. I love various dishes here, many gluten-free.
4. Hart's Mesa.
Mexican cuisine located in the westside Olympia neighborhood by the Olympia Food Co-Op. My favorite is their Ensaladas dish, but many of their dishes are served with corn tortillas as opposed to flour.
5. Anthony's Homeport.
Known for its local seafood and expensive, fancy dining, Anthony's is the place for an anniversary or birthday dinner. You can find tons of GF seafood dishes, just ask! Extra tip: attend their Sunset Dinners to split your bill in half.
McMenamins Spar Cafe - huevos rancheroes
5. McMenamins Spar Cafe.
Delicious options for gluten-free eaters can also be found during The Spar's breakfast hours, like their Huevos Rancheros. Melt-in-your-mouth good!
6. Oly Rockfish Grill.
Another hot seafood spot, the Rockfish offers salads and entree dishes that are delicious and perfectly gluten-free. Don't forget a cocktail -- thumbs up for their lemon drops! Many gluten-free offerings found during their breakfast hours. This is my favorite Oly breakfast spot.
Again, if your friends opt for a popular diner joint like Applebee's, you will be able to find gluten-free options. If you eat meat or seafood, you can grab one of their rice and meat dishes, nachos (corn tortilla chips), or salads. They also offer a gluten-free modified menu.
Chipotle - burrito bowl with veggies and guac
If you're by the mall and you're looking for a quick bite, opt for Chipotle's burrito bowl and go crazy! Most all of their toppings are gluten-free, and they offer great "meat" options for vegetarian and vegan eaters.
Did I leave your favorites out?
Post any additions for the master list in the comments or send me information at franklykathryn(at)gmail.com! I'd love to go eat out and write a review.
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