Gluten Free in the Outer Banks

I’m taking a break from talking about books to talk about another topic dear to my heart: food! Specifically gluten free food due to me being celiac. Recently I took a vacation to the Outer Banks and found a list of gluten free restaurants on places like Tripadvisor, but couldn’t find any personal reviews outside of a quick “The food was good.” I was unsure of where it would be safe for me to eat as a celiac. I was pleasantly surprised by how many places had gluten free options and I’m going to discuss every place I personally ate at. The list is as follows: Donutz on a Stick, Barefoot Bernie’s, The Outer Bean, and Coastal Cravings. None of these places gave me contamination. I wish I would have thought to grab pictures, but I was on vacation and too busy enjoying myself.

Donutz on a Stick:

Gluten Free Tuxedo Donuts from their Facebook.

Everyone kept going to Duck Donuts who unfortunately do not offer gluten free donuts. The alternative? Donutz on a Stick in Duck. The only caveat is you have to order your gluten free donuts ahead of time, you can’t just walk in and get some. I suggest ordering the day before by phone or in store to make sure you get to try the gluten free donuts. Ours were available at 9:15 the next morning. I had a tuxedo donut, German chocolate, and one with strawberry glaze with sprinkles and they were all delicious. The donuts were on the smaller size like gluten free ones tend to be at bakeries.

Barefoot Bernie’s Tropical Grill & Bar

Barefoot Bernie’s is in Kitty Hawk and is a place I enjoyed so much I ate there twice. This place has a variety of food from seafood to sandwiches, burgers, enchiladas, salads, and wings. They even have a lean menu for healthy eaters counting calories. I ate the blackened chicken breast sandwich both times because it was so good. They are really great about gluten allergies

and even marked my plates with a little red allergy sticker. The french fries were also gluten free, which I have trouble finding at home. The menu marks gluten free options and ones that can be made gluten free with modification, usually by substituting a gluten free bun.

The Outer Bean

The Outer Bean is almost directly across the street from Barefoot Bernie’s. It’s a little cafe with your usual coffee drinks and salads with gluten free offerings. I tried their Reese cup mocha and chef’s salad and enjoyed them immensely.  The salad was large and very filling and paired well with my mocha. They also offer smoothies and protein shakes. Grab a menu at the register and order at the counter.

Coastal Cravingsouterbanks patio

Coastal Cravings is in Duck near Donutz on a Stick. I ate out on the cute little patio and the ocean breeze paired with the shade kept me comfortable despite the heat. I ate the gluten free fried calamari appetizer and for my lunch got the crab cake sandwich. Both were excellent and according to the menu they use almond flour instead of wheat. I can never find gluten free crab cakes anywhere let alone breaded calamari, so this meal was one of the highlights of my vacation. This place also has gluten free fries and while my boyfriend enjoyed them I found them to be so-so. However this place has a lot of seafood options, making it a great spot for gluten free seafood lovers.

I found several other restaurants I skipped out on, including the Rundown Cafe and the Colington cafe, which brags about having the biggest gluten free menu in the Outer Banks but is a bit on the pricey side. However I highly recommend any of the places I visited.


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