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Vacationers with gluten allergies should have no problem with dining out in Myrtle Beach. The recent explosion in gluten-free dining has made it possible for patrons to choose from a wide range of restaurants that have responded to the growing trend.
Although there are only a handful of restaurants that are completely vegetarian and gluten-free, many more mainstream establishments have started offering special menus to suit your dietary needs restrictions. Here are 10 you should try:
Bay Naturals: This vegetarian/health food restaurant and grocery store was one of the first local eateries to jump on the gluten-free trend. Try the soups, salads, sandwiches and smoothies - all made with natural and organic products. Bay Naturals serves three meals a day for die-hard healthy eaters.
Black Thai: This downtown hot spot features an extensive menu of Thai classics, such as Pad Thai, Drunken Noodle and Thai Fried Rice. Every dish on the menu can be easily converted into vegetarian or gluten-free version. Try the stir-fry combinations with gluten-free noodles or garlic Basil Rice. Black Thai also serves a tasty late-night menu.
Chestnut Hill: This Restaurant Row favorite puts out an awesome spread that now includes some vegetarian and gluten-free items. The seafood dishes are legendary, and most can be converted to gluten-free at your request. Chestnut Hill also offers delicious salads that can easily make a stand-alone meal.
Cheeseburger In Paradise: Jimmy Buffett's 1970's ballad opposing the health-food trend is now on board with a restaurant by the same name serving several gluten-free dishes. The obvious choice is a burger, made with 100 percent Angus beef, fresh toppings and G-F buns at your request. Sub out the fries for the veggie of the day and you are good to go.
Croissants Bistro & Bakery: Always on the cutting-edge of culinary trends, this European-style restaurant has added gluten-free dishes to its main menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try an egg soufflé casserole for breakfast, a meat-free soup and salad for lunch, and a wide selection of entrees that can be made gluten-free. Don't forget to pick up a few G-F baked goods on the way out to snack on during the week.
E Noodles: This pan-Asian restaurant offers everything from Chinese and Japanese favorites to Thai and Vietnamese dishes - all easily converted to gluten-free at your request. Offering gluten-free noodles that taste every bit as good as the Glass, Udon and Rice noodles on the regular menu, this place is also surprisingly affordable.
Margaritaville: Another Jimmy Buffett enterprise has merged into the gluten-free fast lane with a new menu. Yes, G-F diners will have to show some discipline to pass on all the tasty no-no’s on their diet, but stick to the seafood and salad lineups and you may feel like you are cheating.
Mellow Mushroom: Everybody loves pizza, but those with gluten allergies were left out in the cold because of the crusts used by most pizza parlors. Mellow Mushroom was among the first to rectify the situation with its stone-baked pies with gluten-free crust that many swear is tastier than the white-flour varieties.
P.F. Chang's Asian Bistro: This national chain is known for being on the frontline of the gluten-free movement and was among the first to come out with a specific menu for diners with dietary restrictions. Virtually every dish can be served gluten-free without a discernible difference in taste.
Sea Captain's House: One of Myrtle Beach's oldest and most famous restaurants is not afraid to make a few modifications to keep up with changing times. The classic seafood platters can be served grilled instead of fried, and several other popular dishes have received a G-F upgrade.