When visiting the Outer Banks it is necessary to experience all of the different foods that the barrier islands offer. However, finding a menu that is compliant with your dietary requirements can be a bit of a hassle in an unfamiliar environment. Whether you’re gluten-free or celiac, don’t worry, we have you covered! Here are a few of our absolute favorite Outer Banks restaurants, entrees, stores, and dessert shops.
Barefoot Bernies specializes in exquisite and refreshing island cuisine in a classy, yet tropical ambiance. The owner of this crowd favorite is a local who traveled all over to discover and learn the flavors of the Caribbean and tropical destinations and bring them back to the OBX. Their menu is marked with gluten-free options as well as some dishes that can be modified to be gluten-free.
Some of the favorite gluten and celiac free options include: Bacon Cheeseburger Salad, Catch in a Bag (their fresh caught fish of the day) and Seafood Enchiladas. Don’t stress about the kids either, they can enjoy their gluten-free pizza.
Black Pelican Seafood Co.
The Black Pelican is one of the Outer Banks’ premier restaurants. It is located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, The restaurant offers panoramic ocean views from the dining rooms and outside deck. Enjoy the many gluten-free options they offer such as the Shrimp on the Barbie, the Baked Shrimp, and Crab, the Wanchese Fisherman’s Risotto, the Slow-roasted Pork Shank, or the Marinated Grilled Portabella Mushrooms.
The Colington Cafe
The Colington Cafe is a fine dining restaurant that is located in Nags Head, North Carolina. This restaurant is known to have the largest gluten-free menu in the Outer Banks. Some of the favorites are the Filet Mignon with Crab Meat and Shrimp, the gluten-free brochettes with grilled shrimp, the fresh fish or catch of the day, and the Scallops Rumaki (Bacon Wrapped Scallops).
Located in an old house this gluten-free party is one you will not want to miss.
Goombay’s grille & Raw Bar
The locals favorite since 1992, this Kill Devil Hills restaurant stands out in its vibrant chartreuse and aqua building on the Beach Road. Goombay’s is a casual, island-style restaurant, where the seafood is the star of the menu. If you get the chance to stop by you have to try the Goombay’s Award-Winning Wings, the Grilled Steak Du Jour, the Seafood Kingston, or any of the steamed combos with shrimp, and crab legs.
The Kill Devil Grill
The Kill Devil Grill, in Kill Devil Hills has servers who are knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and they are ready to assist you in any way they can. While the menu is not labeled gluten-free, there are many options available.
Some of the favorites are the fresh seafood or catch of the day that can be made gluten-free, wing or most of the salads. Make sure to check out the Chalkboard lunch and dinner specials for more day to day gluten-free options.
Outer Banks Brewing Station
While a brewery is not typically a place you would consider to be gluten-free, this restaurant is known for its innovative brewing yet environmentally conscious.
The building itself is a modern interpretation of a turn-of-the-century lifesaving station. Guests recommended the Pub Crab dip, Brewer’s Buffalo Style Wings, Tuna Stack, or the Bison Burger. There are options for a gluten-free diet on every aspect of the menu, even the soups.
Outer Banks Taco Bar
Everyone loves tacos, and no one should have to go on a vacation without experiencing the best tacos around. This small local establishment makes most of its tortillas and nacho chips out of corn instead of flour. This makes for very happy taco lovers.
At the taco bar, almost everything on the menu is gluten-free, excluding the burritos and quesadillas. Locals recommend the tacos, nachos, and you can’t miss out on the Yuca Fries.
Southern Shores Pizza and Deli
Many locals will identify Southern Shores Pizza and Deli with Corolla Pizza, this is because they have the same owner. Corolla pizza has been a staple in the Northern Outer Banks since 1989. They opened their second location in Southern Shores in 2015, close to Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. They have recently introduced cauliflower pizza crust to their menu, giving all of their pizza’s the option to be gluten-free.
You can’t forget dessert, especially when you’re on vacation. The Surfin’ Spoon is not an ordinary frozen yogurt shop. Yet it is the outcome of when a surfer marries an artist, and what you get is more than a froyo- you get an experience. Located in Nags Head, North Carolina, this shop has over 75% of its flavors gluten-free. They also offer other desserts like ice cream sandwiches with a cook. The gluten-free Macan’ Pistach is a favorite of many. It is also vegan.
Tommy’s Natural Foods Market and Wine Shop
The owners of this unique shop were named farmer of the year in North Carolina in 2017. The market stays competitive with larger grocery stores offering groceries to go, for those who do not have the time to shop. They offer over 100 gluten-free items such as muffins, pancake mix, bread, rolls, flour, pasta, pizza, and desserts and ice cream.
Enjoy your vacation without stressing about what you are going to do for lunch or dinner. If you try out some of our suggestions, let us know what you think. The Outer Banks offers some of the greatest gluten-free options around. Maybe we are a little biased though. You will have to come and see for yourself, and if you do, let us know what you thought. Have a wonderful Outer Banks vacation.