My Gluten Free Family Trip to Monterey, CA

by Living Freely Gluten Free
He really loved playing in the sand. 

Anytime we take a trip that means extensive planning on my part. I have to find a hotel that is somewhat accommodating and make sure that there will be places to eat while we are there. There is an awesome app called Find Me Gluten Free and it will show you restaurants around your location. This thing is a life saver. I will punch in the address of town of where we are going and see what our food choices will be while we are there.

Last years family trip was to Disneyland. That was awesome and incredibly accommodating as far as gluten free options. Here is my right up about it Gluten Free in Disney.

Monterey was chosen because its a two and a half hour drive from our home. It has the Monterey Bay Aquarium and we have never been and it also had the ocean. We have been promising our 4 year old the beach since last year. Monterey also had a great selection of gluten free food so it was a great destination for us.

The first order was finding a hotel. With two kids it is extremely difficult to try to stay in one small hotel room.We need an extra room so the baby can take a nap and go to bed earlier than everyone else. We would have probably been better off going the Air B&B route and finding a little apartment or something. We ended up at the Embassy Suites Seaside. It was a 1 minute drive to Monterey about 7 minutes from the aquarium and an 8 minute walk to the ocean.

The Embassy Suites came with two rooms. A living room and a bedroom. This gave us the ability to shut a door when needed. The living room has a fold out couch and that is where our 4 year old slept. What really sold me was the extras they had to offer. They have a nice complimentary breakfast with coffees and juices. I called ahead of time before booking to make sure that they would have safe food for us. They have tons of pastries and breads for breakfast non of which were gluten free. If they would have gone out of their way to provide a few muffins or something that would have really made me happy but they don’t.

They did have an omelet bar, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, yogurt and fresh fruit. We were full every morning. They also had a happy hour every evening from 5:30-7:30 and that was by far one of my favorite parts. Complimentary cocktails and snacks for 2 hours! I had my fair share of wine. They also had different snacks and what I like about it was that they listed the ingredients. One night was vegetables with chipotle ranch dip and chips and salsa. The next night was chips and salsa and red pepper hummus. It was great.

The kids loved that they had waterfalls and koi fish. They would enjoy walking around and looking at everything while I got my free chardonnay. It was a happy hour for sure.

Me and my loves. FYI never try to bring a stroller in the sand.
Little Claire loved the sand but wouldn’t keep her hat on.

Monterey had tons of gluten free options. There was the usual chains like Chipotle, PF Changs, Buffalo Wild Wings and then there were also a lot of smaller local restaurants that glad a gluten free selection. We also went to a bakery on Cannery row called Lilly Mae’s Cinnamon Rolls. They bake gluten as well but are careful about keeping things separate. They even kept the gluten free goodies on the opposite side of the glutenous items. We tried cookies and a brownie. They had cinnamon rolls as well but they were pricey and very small and I’m not a cinnamon roll girl so I passed.

We ate at a place called Gianni’s Pizza. For two pizzas it was $25 (small 10 inch pizzas). It was good but the crust was a little burnt. That place was crazy busy!! They also had gilato and my Husband and Son enjoyed some.  I had a taste and it was good.

Gianni’s Pizza. We had pepperoni and a combo. Of course a glass of Mondavi Chardonnay. 

My favorite place was Erik’s deli. We ate there twice. The selection was large and the sandwiches were delicious! They made the sandwiches are large Udi’s bread. I had pastrami, my Husband had roast beef and baby Claire had vegetable soup. They had salad, potato salad, soup and even chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were hard and not amazing but I am just happy that places offer something for us!!! My Son ate it happily without a complaint. I enjoyed my sandwich so much we ate there again after beach day before heading home.

Erik’s Deli for dinner the night we arrived

They trip was stressful and sleep deprived with my 10 month old who confirmed her lactose intolerance while we where there and threw up 5 times the second night. (Ugh, no more pizza with cheese for her) but all in all I was satisfied with Monterey’s selection of food. This town gets it and makes it possible for us to eat well.

Oh ya, and you can’t forget about some of the amazing Monterey wines!

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