If you follow me on Instagram you know that I spent the last week in California wrapping up my dietetic internship working with Lori Zanini Nutrition. Typically, I spend the whole week before a trip googling “gluten free [insert city here]” and mapping the route to the closest Whole Foods. Imagine my delight when I discovered the South Bay in California is GLUTEN FREE HEAVEN. I wanted to share my finds with the world, because many of them did not pop up in my initial google search. Here is a list of my top 5 must go to restaurants in the Hermosa Beach area if you are gluten free (keep reading, I saved the best for last):
- Mediterraneo: A tapas restaurant right on the Hermosa Beach Pier with awesome happy hour specials. The menu was labeled (gf next to the gluten free options) and there is a solid amount of gluten free choices in each section of the menu. We got a caprese salad, patatas bravas, spinachi con garbanzos, roasted brussels sprouts, and roasted dates. The food was amazing and I had the best glass of rose. They also have GREAT happy hour food specials.
- The Source: Also right on Pier Ave, the Source is great for breakfast, lunch, or snacks! They have phenomenal raw chai spice cookies that are vegan AND gluten free. I got multiple delicious smoothies here for lunch (see picture above), and a vegan/gluten free chocolate chip cookie the size of my face. I may have had a few of those cookies over the course of the week. Their almond milk matcha latte was also incredible. The vegan gluten free baked goods here are a must have if you are gluten free (and/or vegan) and in the Hermosa Beach area.
- Palmilla: My boyfriend (Michael) and I had dinner here one of our first nights in Hermosa Beach and were blown away. Palmilla is right on Pier Ave as well. We pondered going back a few nights because the food was just that good. They do not have gluten free options designated on the menu, but our server was great and very knowledgable. They brought me homemade, thick, delicious, gluten free corn tortillas and sliced veggies (red bell pepper and carrots — my favorites!) to dip in the guac and salsa. Other menu highlights included the Ensalada De Palmilla with mahi mahi and pepita lime vinaigrette…yum! Highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for a nice hearty sit down meal and great margaritas.
- Gum Tree: This was the first cafe we explored in Hermosa Beach. They have an amazing almond milk matcha latte (in case you haven’t noticed…I did a almond milk matcha latte tour on this trip) and an arugula, quinoa, cannellini, and avocado salad with lemon vinaigrette dressing that I now dream about. I had it for lunch at least twice during my trip. For breakfast, try the quinoa bowl it had – red quinoa, berries, nuts, dried fruit and was served with almond milk. Gum Tree knows their quinoa. Their coffee was amazing from the almond milk latte, to the mocha, and their iced americano. If you are a coffee snob (or just a coffee lover) Gum Tree is a must visit.
- Kirari West: Saved the best for last, folks, this is a 100% gluten free bake shop right on the line between Redondo and Hermosa Beaches. Every.single.thing. on the menu is gluten free. Highlights of the menu include: almond milk matcha latte (obviously), vegan gluten free mango scone, almond brioche, vegan daydream, avocado toast with goat cheese and pickled red onions, and chocolate chip muffin. The crumb of all of the baked goods was perfection. We went here for multiple meals (sometimes twice a day) as well.
If you are gluten free and planning a trip to the South Bay these are just a few places you can safely add to your list! All of this food was made 100 times better because we walked EVERYWHERE. We stayed about 1-1.5 miles from Pier Ave in Hermosa Beach and enjoyed a few extra pastries at Kirari West everyday to reward ourselves for the extra miles.
Have you ever been to Hermosa Beach? I know this is not an exhaustive list and would love to hear any other gluten free winners in the area, feel free to share in the comments!
Next up – Duluth, MN! Stay tuned!