Even though I’m from the Midwest, I consider Seattle a second home. We have a good amount of family there and have traveled there many times over the years. This is the first time I’ve gone to the Pacific Northwest since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease [About Me]. As always, my trip report will focus primarily on food. Seattle, in general is an awesome place to visit, has lots and lots to see and do in beautiful, sometimes stunning surroundings.
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Ghostfish Brewery and Gastropub – Ghostfish is a dedicated gluten free brewery (and kitchen). They don’t produce “gluten removed” beers, they use gluten free ingredients from beginning to end. The same is true for their restaurant. We were fortunate enough to visit after their expanded GF kitchen had opened. Previously, they had offered gluten free pizzas (prepared off site), with the expansion, they now offer a good sized menu. This was our first stop off the plane. We also went back one time later in the trip. Pictures below are from both visits.
Ghostfish’s Gastropub Menu
Fish and Chips with Grapefruit IPA tempura batter and grapefruit remoulade. I had this twice. The first time it was crazy delicious. Since I was starving from not eating all day, I had to go back again and confirm that it was delicious. Confirmed. We also had a pizza. Ghostfish serves SODO Pizza‘s thin crust pizzas. One of the better GF crusts I’ve had.
A taster of gluten free beers from Ghostfish. From left to right – Vanish Point Pale Ale, Peak Buster Double IPA, Grapefruit IPA and Watchstander Stout. I’ve been in a good number of breweries (before being diagnosed with CD). Ghostfish has a beautiful location and… it smells like an actual brewery. The beer was delicious. We also purchased some packaged beer to go.
A Watchstander Stout. 2015 GABF Gold Medal Winner for the Gluten Free Category. Ghostfish’s Brewmaster Jason Yerger has Celiac Disease. All of the founders either have gluten issues or have loved ones with gluten issues.
Razzi’s Pizzeria – In Greenwood. Razzi’s has a massive, massive GF menu. Massive. Comparing the traditional and GF, it seemed nearly everything had a GF option.
I received bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar prior to ordering. The bread was one of those… I’m scared this is gluten containing bread, sorts of things. My kids quickly confirmed I was okay. Their GF bread and pizza crusts are also available for to go purchase.
Razzi’s is a certified Gluten Free Restaurant. Dear people who run restaurants… I’d love to see this symbol a whole lot more. Razzi’s also offers vegan options.
I had the beef lasagne and it was very good.
Dick’s Drive In – If you’ve been around Seattle much, chances are you’ve eaten here or at least heard of it. In spite of being a fast food restaurant, this is one of my favorite places, ever. It’s the whole package. It’s the people, the building, the pacific northwest air, the way they take your order and the food, it’s all of it. After being diagnosed with CD, I literally mourned, losing quite a few things. Dick’s Drive In was on that list. This is your classic good news/bad news scenario. The good news is… I was still able to go there and I did eat. Bad news… really the only option is fries. They are great fries, so it’s not all bad. No tartar sauce for the fries though, according to a Facebook interaction I saw on their page, the mayo contains gluten. I was glad to at least get some fries here.
Dick’s Drive in makes hand cut fries from fresh potatoes. The fryer is dedicated to fries. Don’t eat the tartar.
Ivar’s – Yeah… no. Another one of my favorite pre-celiac restaurants. Some of Ivar’s sit down restaurants offer gluten free options, but (as of this posting) do not get great ratings for Celiac friendliness. I didn’t eat anything at Ivar’s. I only mention Ivar’s to call them to account. With the number of restaurants that Ivar’s has, there is no good reason why they can’t do gluten free well at at least one of their sit down restaurants.
I love my GFF Food Cart– I caught up with I love my GFF at the Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market
A look at their menu. I love my GFF serves bowls. You’ve got two main options “Fiesta” or “Sunshine”. You can also add chicken.
Of course, I chose Fiesta! It was super tasty. You get a lot of food… “Organic, sprouted quinoa layered with Fiesta Sauce (pumpkin seeds/cilantro/lime), organic black beans, spice rubbed organic chicken, fresh cut organic red bell peppers and green onions, topped with avocado, sprinkled with Tillamook cheddar cheese and pumpkin seeds.”
nuflours – nuflours is a dedicated gluten free bakery, cafe and restaurant. I ate breakfast and lunch at nuflours. I had a chance to talk with the owner. She was extremely nice and their food was outstanding.
Closed on Monday. As a Celiac, it’s fantastic to be able to go to a dedicated gluten free restaurant. You don’t have to worry about cross contamination or ask a million questions. You just sit down and enjoy yourself like a normal person (for once). If you have these by you… patronize them!
I got the bacon potato quiche and “Good Morning Muffin” for breakfast. The Good Morning Muffin is a muffin with an egg in the middle. Pretty tasty. The quiche was outstanding. For lunch I got the Bacon Gouda Panini. That was as good as it sounds.
Capitol Cider – Nearly everything at Capitol Cider is gluten free. The menu and entire kitchen is GF. Their ciders are (presumably) all GF. I’d ask to make sure the one you’d like is GF. They also serve Ghostfish GF beer. They do serve some gluten containing beers. Those are the only thing you really need to worry about at Capitol Cider.
Our Capitol Cider meal was roundly praised by my entire family, even my sometimes reluctant and complaining kids :). I had fish and chips on four different occasions while in the PNW, Capitol Cider was the home of my favorite GF fish and chips. Regardless of gluten content… these were delicious. The hand cut fries were amazing. We also ordered fries for an appetizer. They come with a stone ground mustard aioli. My plan was to try that and quickly discard it and ask for ketchup. That didn’t happen as the mustard was delicious paired with the fries. Also worth mentioning… The cheesecake. Even my picky daughter raved about this. Capitol Cider was our most expensive meal. The tab was a bit spendy for our group of 5. Having said that… it’s worth it. Go at lunch time if you want to save some money.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery – After dining at Capitol Cider we walked around the neighborhood a bit and stumbled on Starbuck’s Reserve Location. I’m not suggesting this as a gluten free destination, but it’s worth a look if you’re in the area. This is Starbucks putting their best foot forward. Really cool place, especially if you like coffee.
A picture at Starbucks Reserve location.
Asiana Bistro – in Redmond. Run by a wonderful Korean lady who suffers from Celiac Disease. Nearly everything is Gluten Free, although there are some gluten containing items. I get the sense that the owner is there much of the time and I know she understands the importance of a gluten free diet for CD sufferers. I felt safe eating at Asiana Bistro right before flying back home and was not disappointed.
A got a combo at Asiana Bistro and choice chicken teriyaki and mongolian beef. Gluten free and delicious.
Cupcake Royale (no photo) – This was another one of those too good it scared me sort of things. I was actually concerned that it contained gluten for a few hours, but it was in vain. I didn’t get sick and it was delicious. Cupcake Royale is not dedicated gluten free. They have one GF cupcake. I was told they bake that first thing in the morning before any of the gluten containing items are made. The website says the GF cupcake is made with Gluten Free Bob’s Red Mill Flour. – Search Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free on Amazon
Duke’s Chowder House (no photo) – Duke’s has a number of GF options including all of their chowders. Those were recently converted to all GF. Our server said that the motivating factor for offering gluten free was that the owner’s son has Celiac Disease. I just had a medium size bowl of regular chowder here. It was very good. I will say this was one of my more disturbing meals, based on something the server said to me when my food was delivered. She reassured me that she flagged my food as allergy-level gluten free throughout, but said… “take a couple bites and see how you feel”. Not good. She very nice and seemed otherwise well informed and capable. I think Duke’s just needs to take another step in the GF arena and make sure servers are completely trained. In retrospect, I should have asked to speak to a manager at that comment. It just didn’t leave me feeling well about the safety of the meal. I should have dug in my heals to see what was up. I didn’t. Fortunately, I did not get sick. To Duke’s… You’ve made some great strides in this area. I encourage you to keep going and become a destination for those with gluten issues.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries – We visited one of these in the suburbs of Seattle on our way up north. This was my first Five Guys visit post CD diagnosis and I was happy with it. I like that I can watch everything that’s going on. The fryers are dedicated. I had an order of fries and a burger in a bowl. I’m usually not a fan of… burgers in bowls, but it was really good. Five Guys puts a sear on it that gives it some good texture that helps with flavor and expierience. I did get bacon, but I skipped all of the other toppings to cut down on cross contamination risk.
We also ventured north of Seattle to Bellingham, WA and Vancouver, BC Canada.
SMAK – Vancouver, BC. SMAK is a dedicated gluten free restaurant and offers coffee, smoothies, breakfast, sandwiches, Bowls and more
I got the Ginger Pork bowl (which I cannot currently find on their online menu) and a bowl of minestrone soup. Most others in my group got the butterless chicken (which I did not try). The Ginger Pork was tasty and filling. I also had a delicious GF berry muffin at SMAK.
SMAK is a delicious gluten free choice in downtown Vancouver.
Granville Island Farmers Market (no photo) – Vancouver, BC. Granville is a neat little island in Vancouver that once held the World’s Fair. We ate at the Farmer’s Market. Of course there were many fresh fruit and vegetable options, so that’s great. Prepared food options were few and far between. I ended up deciding to get soup from the Stock Market. They had a couple GF options and assured me that preparation was Celiac-safe and that was true for me.
We visited Lynn Canyon Park in Vancouver. [Photo from lynncanyon.ca] It offered stunning surroundings and some great trails. The nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a bit pricey to enter, where Lynn Canyon is free. I’m sure Capilano is great, but we had a wonderful time hiking at Lynn Canyon Park.
Brandywine Kitchen (no photo) – Bellingham, WA . Lots of GF options although not dedicated gluten free. Brandywine was getting great ratings in Find Me Gluten Free for Celiac friendliness and they came through for me. I had the fish and chips and a Ghostfish Pale Ale… surprise. The food was tasty and the staff was competent.
Gluten Free Angels Cafe – Bellingham, WA. Dedicated GF bakery and cafe. We ate an early dinner here and got breakfast to go for the next morning.
I got the spicy roast beef panini with Wasabi Horseradish and potato salad as a side. Both were fantastic. I want the recipe for this potato salad. I’m a potato salad aficionado (is that a thing?) and this one ranks right up there.
Gluten Free Angels had a delicious GF quiche. I couldn’t wait to take a photo, as you can see I had already taken a couple bites. I actually got this piece as a side to my panini for dinner (don’t you eat quiche with your panini?) and liked it so much that we got some to go for the next morning’s breakfast.
A look at the panini. It has roast beef and pastrami along with pepper jack cheese and wasabi horseradish.
Accommodations – In the Seattle area, we stayed in Lynnwood, WA because our family is farther north of Seattle. The Homewood Suites that we stayed was new and well located, close to both a Costco and a Whole Foods. Restaurant-wise, there aren’t really any Celiac friendly restaurants in the area. Everything was a drive to Seattle proper. That was okay with us as we really needed to be all over anyway. Consider staying in or close to Seattle proper if you want to be close to the restaurants in this report.
Rental Car Tip – For whatever reason, rental cars at SeaTac airport seem to be sky hi. We booked a vehicle via Avis in Kent, WA a few miles from the airport and set the return location to SeaTac. That meant we only had to get to Kent once. We took at Uber to Avis in Kent to pick up the car. We saved a bundle of money doing this. The whole family was with so we got a mini van. At SeaTac I was seeing prices at $1,300 to $1,400 for a van for the length of our stay. The Avis in Kent trick resulted in a rental of about… $550 with taxes. Of course prices our going to vary and this may not work for you.
Airports – We flew into Seattle Tacoma International (SeaTac) on this trip and that is the closest and most convenient option. We have flow into Portland for past trips as it’s not that far away and you can see both Portland and Seattle on the same trip. We’ve also flown into Vancouver, BC (YVR). Again, you can double dip and see a couple of cities. You can sometimes find some deals flying into YVR. I’ve also seen better frequent flyer award availability going into YVR. See: Airfare Deals at Priceline
We had an outstanding trip to Seattle. Seattle and the surrounding area are aware of the gluten free movement and related health issues. I felt like I had plenty of options in Seattle proper, with fewer in the suburbs. Bellingham, Wa has several great options as does Vancouver, BC.
Thank you to at Celiac Safe Eats on Twitter for Celiac Safe recommendations for Seattle! [Connect with GF Finds on Twitter]
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