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Myrtle Beach Restaurants Offer Delicious, Gluten-Free Alternatives



Going gluten-free in Myrtle Beach is now easier than ever now that several of the Grand Strand's top restaurants have added special dishes to their menus. From breakfast hot spots, lunch delis and dinner favorites, visitors to Myrtle Beach have more options than ever to go gluten-free.

Seafood restaurants seem to have embraced the trend more so than others, giving guests the chance to try Myrtle Beach's treasure from the ocean without wrecking their dietary restrictions. The world famous Sea Captain's House, Mr. Fish and the Flamingo Grill have gone the extra mile to go gluten-free with several of their most popular dishes.

International cuisine also gets a GF makeover thanks to Asian eateries such as E Noodles and Black Thai, which offers almost all of its main menu items with a gluten-free or vegetarian, and Travinia Italian Kitchen, which has transformed some of its traditional Italian favorites into gluten-free options. Croissants Bistro & Bakery, which serves French and European cuisine, has gone the extra mile by serving both meals and baked goods that are free of gluten.

Even legendary singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who once sang against the health-food trend in his hit "Cheeseburger In Paradise," now serves a GF lineup at two of his Myrtle Beach locations - one by the same song name and another named for his biggest hit, Margaritaville. It seems Buffett and Myrtle Beach have seen changes in attitude toward gluten-free offerings.


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La Festa replaces one of Myrtle Beach most famed restaurants, Cagney's, which closed in 2013. Located in the heart of Restaurant Row, La Festa moved into the vacant building and quickly began establishing its own reputation. Featuring authentic Italian cuisine as well as all the American-Italian favorites, La Festa offers an elegant atmosphere and a scenic view of the Intracoastal Waterway. Daily specials add to an already extensive menu, with lunch and dinner service available seven days a week. Choose from a wide selection of salads, and the extensive menu includes an entire section dedicated to low-fat and gluten-free options.




Legendary crooner Jimmy Buffett sang about this mythical place back in the 1970s, and now it has become a reality. Margaritaville is everything Buffett sang about and more, featuring shrimp that are beginning to boil and generous servings of frozen concoctions that help you hang on. Located in the Heroes Harbour section of Broadway at the Beach, just below a tall lighthouse and beside a mock shipwreck, walking through the doors is like taking a trip to the Caribbean with Buffett himself. There's always a party going on in the huge bar and outdoor deck, where live music plays nightly during the summer months. The dining area is decorated in typical tropical style and the menu, loaded with fresh seafood, salads, sandwiches, and music are inspired by the life and times of Buffett.


Chestnut Hill


Known for its outstanding American fare and charming atmosphere, this restaurant tops many "favorites" lists. All of the fish and seafood they serve are fresh � How fresh? Try this on for size: The restaurant owns and operates its own fishing fleet and gets first pick of the biggest and freshest fish brought to the docks. But for those with more terrain-based tastes, there are delicious steak, chicken, lamb and veal selections, helping Chestnut Hill stand as one of the Strand's most versatile dinner choices. For a taste of surf and turf, try the house specialty - filet medallions topped with crab cakes and a mustard cream sauce.


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Sea Captain's House
Photo courtesy of Terry Massey


Once a privately-owned family beach cottage, this picturesque oceanfront restaurant serves up some of the best seafood in Myrtle Beach. But Sea Captain's House also serves one of the best and most underrated breakfasts on the Grand Strand, especially with the beachfront restaurant's spectacular view of sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and reputation for Southern hospitality and fine dining. Sea Captain's House offers one of the best views in town, and just as awe-inspiring are some of the unique dishes on the breakfast menu, highlighting Southern and coastal cuisine. Try the shrimp and grits, the quail and eggs or the fresh-fruit filled crepes.


Flamingo Grill


For years, sister restaurant Cagney's was known as one of the finest restaurants on the Grand Strand. But when it shut down in 2013, Flamingo stepped to the fore of the Dino & Dino properties. Flamingo has quickly and quietly established a niche for itself as one of Myrtle Beach's top seafood restaurants. Designed with a touch of Art Deco flair, the attractive space is indeed a local favorite, and the kitchen does its best to keep diners on their toes with appetizing offerings like peppercorn-encrusted steaks, Cajun-seasoned prime rib and fried oysters, Lowcountry crab cakes and even a few hearty pasta numbers.


E Noodles
Photo courtesy of E Noodles


Healthy dining doesn't have to be expensive, and no where is that fact more true than E Noodles. This Pan-Asian restaurant serves great dishes from beyond the traditional Chinese, Japanese and Thai classics. Vietnamese, Cambodian and other lesser known but equally delicious meals are on the E Noodles menu, and the chef allows guests to mix and match dishes to meet their taste buds or dietary specifications. Best of all is the prices, which are much lower than similar-styled eateries on the Strand. Appetizers start at $2.50 and entrees can be found as cheap as $8.99.




Mr. Fish has relocated to a new, more spacious location but still features the same great food thousands have come to know and love. The new, multi-room establishment is the latest creation of Mr. Fish, aka Ted Hammerman, and daughter Sheina. He is a famous fisherman among locals while her background is in the restaurant industry, so they make a great team in providing quality seafood in a casual and comfortable environment. The restaurant expanded due to popular demand, and now separate rooms serve as a sushi station and full bar bar. But you can order off the same delicious menu in any room, and the shrimp and grits, fish tacos and crab cakes are popular items. The sushi and she-crab soup are also top-selling items.


Black Thai
Photo courtesy of Black Thai


Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach's downtown district, Black Thai offers a healthy menu Asian cuisine in a unique setting. Serving both vegetarian and gluten-free versions of everything on the menu, Black Thai has stepped to the forefront in leading the healthy eating trend in Myrtle Beach. Lunch specials start at $5.99 and include Pad Thai, Drunken Noodle and Thai Fried Rice,. Dinner specials start at $9.99 and the long list include Pad Sei Ewe, Asian Curry Noodle and Garlic Basil Thai.. Meat-free soups, salads and starters feature fresh ingredients and an array of herbs and spices, Black Thai also offers great stir fry blends.


Croissants Bistro & Bakery


This European cuisine restaurant/traditional bakery is a favorite for breakfast or lunch. Croissants offers a wide selection of homemade breads, croissants, pastries and muffins that are simply out of this world. They also serve heartier dishes such as a fabulous souffle casserole with grits, eggs, cheese and ham, plus French toast and pancakes. For lunch you might try one of their hot sandwiches or specialty soups or salads. And don't forget that this bakery is known for their heavenly cakes, pies and baked goods.


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Meet Terry Massey

It's no surprise that journalist Terry Massey is credited with creating the word 'stay-cation.'  He considers the past 18 years in Myrtle Beach a vacation.

He and his wife Stephanie were...  More About Terry

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