Travel: Gluten Free Monterey, California

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We spent a day in Monterey en route to Big Sur so this is a fleeting gluten free Monterey guide. I did, however, find a couple of great places for gluten free and Monterey is must visit is you are doing a California road trip like we were.

An immense protected National Marine Sanctuary surrounds Monterey and we were utterly in awe of the incredible marine life that popped up every time we looked at the ocean. From sea otters to seals, sea lions and even whales, Monterey has it all for ocean lovers.

Gluten Free Monterey

Not listed in any particular order, but here are some gluten free Monterey eateries that you might wish to visit during your trip to Monterey. I am sure there are many more places that we didn’t find, but I hope this guide gives you a little head start!

The Morning Dove Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe

We did not make it to this cafe bakery but as it is a dedicated gluten free facility I am adding it to the top of this guide! It is set a while back from the ocean and we were so fixated with the wildlife we couldn’t tear ourselves away, even for gluten free cake. However, it is a 100% gluten free spot with a variety of sweet and savoury goods available both to eat in or to take out.

Cafe Fina

Cafe Fina is situated in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, which is a lovely spot for a wander over the water. We had a delicious lunch here and were happily entertained while we ate by all the harbour seals flopping around underneath the pier, balancing on rocks. The waiters and staff at Cafe Fina were very helpful and assured me that they take a lot of care in the kitchen to avoid any possible cross contamination for gluten free diners.

We tried their huuuuge gluten free lobster and seafood paella and the fresh whole crab with garlic and white wine. They also have gluten free pasta available and plenty of gluten free choices.

While you are down at Fisherman’s Wharf you might want to have a wander around the little shops and see if you can find some gluten free Salt Water Taffy. We found a few varieties, like the one pictured below.

Lilly Mae’s Cinnamon Rolls

Not a dedicated gluten free spot but they do offer gluten free cinnamon buns, which are stored safely in a dedicated container on the counter. To be honest, they were just okay when I tried one. Nice if you are craving something sweet but not worth going out of your way for.

Ike’ s Love and Sandwiches

A chain of sandwich shops with a location in Monterey. Ike’s offers gluten free bread as an option for their sandwiches. They have dedicated gluten free preparation area so let them know that you are coeliac when ordering so they take extra care (they should change their gloves, etc).

Montrio Bistro

We did not visit but I have seen several positive reviews from coeliacs recommending Montrio Bistro as a safe option for gluten free food. They have gluten free options marked on the menu (and the online menu, along with other allergens) and staff are apparently very knowledgeable.

Trader Joe’s

For general gluten free supplies, Trader Joe’s is a great supermarket to visit and there is one in Monterey. Try their own brand gluten free cookies – rumour has it they are exactly the same as my favourite Tate’s cookies and taste amazing!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

We loveddddd the aquarium. If you go be sure to spend some time sitting outside at the viewing points overlooking the marine park – we saw so much wildlife and it is a stunning sight.

In terms of gluten free options at the aquarium, I only found a few gluten free snacks. I read online that they do offer limited gluten free hot food choices, but I did not make full enquiries as there were big queues and I didn’t want to hold up the line. There was no obvious allergen advice posted, which is a shame.

All in all, I would definitely go back to Monterey and would highly recommend it as a beautiful place to visit. If you have any other gluten free (coeliac safe) Monterey tips that you think should be included in this guide get in touch at mygfguide@gmail.com.

Headed to California and in need of more gluten free, coeliac safe travel guides – don’t worry, guys, I’ve got you covered! Here are some more gluten free California guides to make you holiday as easy as possible:

Safe travels! x

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