My Gluten Free Manhattan Beach Getaway
I’m sure you are here for only a few reasons and one of them probably isn’t to know the backstory of how my boyfriend and I decided to visit Manhattan Beach. It’s honestly nothing spectacular and we didn’t have much forethought. We needed a vacation and California was cheaper than Florida and Arizona in March.
I want to focus on our rental car, hotel and of course all of the delicious gluten-free food in this post! There are headings for each section so if you’re only here for the food scroll all the way down!
Our Mazda CX-5 Signature
Is Manhattan Beach a place that you don’t need a car? Depending on the area, it definitely could be. Were we happy to have our Mazda CX-5 Signature? Yes!
We did a lot of driving into LA and surrounding areas and this was honestly the best rental car we could’ve decided on getting! If you ever been to LA you know how the traffic is! The bumper to bumper crawls can burn up some gas! The five days we were there we only had to gas up one time due to the Mazda’s impeccable gas mileage!
This SUV is equipped with a really nice touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, back up camera and cute little features like lights under the dash so you could see your feet in the car! Dual AC so I could have mine turned up when I’m freezing and Bobby could have his turn down when he was cold. I just truly enjoyed my first Mazda experience! You can’t deny the clean and fresh look against the beautiful blue sky and palm trees of Manhattan Beach.
Budget Recommendation: we were blessed enough to get this car complementary, but we have rented cars on past trips and this was about how much we spent $300-$400
Pros: sleek style, gas mileage, iPhone compatibility
Cons: none. I want this SUV!
Westdrift Manhattan Beach Autograph Collection
As I mentioned before, we didn’t put too much thought and where we were staying. I just knew I wanted to be pretty close to the beach and not in downtown LA. The universe definitely brought us to this hotel. It was honestly so beautiful and eclectic! It wasn’t your standard every room has this lamp, every lobby chair looks this way! This hotel had its own little flair and our room was so cute I really enjoyed the bed like listen, this bed was the best!!!
It was about 10 minutes away from Manhattan Beach and by 10 minutes it’s just a straight drive on a road with the 35 mph speed limit. It was situated in a really great spot with a few different plazas and eating areas so our first day we got in and we had no luggage. We checked out our room and then we took about a four minute walk over to Shake Shack. There was a plaza with a CVS a Mediterranean restaurant, a steakhouse, and a juice bar! There were many places within walking distance of the hotel that we really didn’t use our car unless we went to the beach or to LA.
This hotel is on a golf course which was really pretty! We do not golf but the views of the golf course off the pool was enjoyable!
I think my two favorite things were the gym and the gluten free ravioli! The gym was very modern and clean, they had all of the workout equipment that you would want!
Our first night we had no luggage so we did dinner at the hotel. I was suprised to find gluten free veggie ravioli!
The also the service was definitely top-notch everything that you would expect from the hotel of this caliber. We will definitely be back on our next trip to Manhattan Beach!
Budget Recommendations: 5 nights $1000-$1200
Pros: location, amenities, views, service
Cons: overpriced parking for guest
If it wasn’t apparent from the title I am gluten-free and I don’t do it for fun. I am actually allergic and I will get sick! Although vacation can be a very relaxing time I feel like the odds of me getting “glutened” increase exponentially because majority of my meals are prepared by someone else! I want to start with the places that actually worked for me! I I hate that I found this place on the second to last day of our trip because I wanted to eat there so much more! I actually went twice in one day!
Robeks Fresh Juice & Smoothies
This place is so amazing! I ordered their açai especial bowl with a few modifications and the beat celery and ginger juice! The bowl was about $10 but it was honestly the bes bowl I have ever had!
I’ve been all over Dallas trying to re-create it and no one comes close! Their granola is gluten-free off top, you don’t even have to ask! Everything just tasted so fresh and they make their juice just like I do at home with my baby juicer. I was overall very pleased with the experience I went for breakfast and then I wanted a midday snack so I went back and got another bowl. Don’t judge me! They stay open until nine and they were all over at the Manhattan Beach area.
Budget Recommendation: $12-$25
Pros: many locations, all day hours, gluten free
I think I was really hungry this day so I didn’t take any pictures of my food! This place was super cute! It was right at the edge of a neighborhood, really small but the food was so good! They had a gluten-free pancake options and bread options! The menu ws huge! So many options and it was a great place for someone who isn’t gluten-free. My boyfriend really enjoyed his food and it had all the gluten he wanted! The service was top-notch we walked in and we were sat immediately! We sat out on the patio and it had a great view the sky was just so pretty and blue this day. We left stuffed and it was only about $40 for the both of us!
Budget Recommendations: $35-$40 no alcoholic drinks purchased
Pros: locations, menu options, gluten free, fresh
Cons: small, parking, could be a long wait during peak times
Blue Daisy Cafe
This place definitely gave me mixed feelings! They had gluten-free waffle, something I rarely find. It looks really great in the picture but it honestly wasn’t anything special. This place was near Santa Monica pier so parking was limited and expensive. Also the food it was very overpriced! But that comes with the area that we were in. I was expecting that but I also expected to be wowed by my food and I just wasn’t. The area and location was super pretty the restaurant was very cute! The service was great, they all seem to work as a team no one had the attitude of “ that’s not my job or those aren’t my customers” which I really appreciated!
We definitely wouldn’t return but I think if you don’t go for the GF waffle and you sit outside and budget to spend about $50 without getting an alcoholic beverage then go for it!
Budget Recs: $50-$75
Pros: service, location, atmosphere, large menu
Cons: prices, portions, parking, long wait during peak times
This by far was my absolute favorite meal of the entire trip but I definitely got some cross-contamination of gluten in my food and I got sick! I had the highest hopes for this place! I read a ton of yelp reviews that explained they were willing to change sauces and things to make them gluten-free. We arrived and it was pretty busy but we were sat right away. I spoke with our waitress and she double checked with the kitchen and seemed very confident that they could make me the seafood jambalaya gluten-free.
Like I said it was a busy night and we had a couple next to us who seemed like a regular‘s they didn’t have menus and ordered their food as soon as they sat down. We hadn’t ordered but we ordered soon after them and of course they got their food first. The lady ordered a drink that Bobby was interested in so he got one of the same. We all chatted a little bit and they ate their food and left. By that time, we still had no food and I didn’t really notice because we were just talking and enjoying our time but it had been a while since we ordered.
And in hindsight I think this is where my cross-contamination happened. Since they were behind they were offering us more drinks and just a random sides to bring us before our food came out. I agreed to get some french fries and fries can be tricky, if they are fried in oil that you use to fry something battered cross contamination happens.
Fries came, Bobby and I share them and then our food came. It was the best thing ever I was very very happy with my food!
They felt so bad about our food being late that they took care of all of our sides, bobby’s drinks and they gave us a significant discount on our ticket. At this point I was still feeling okay so I was definitely sold on this place and I wanted to come back again.
As we started to walk to the car my typical symptoms of cross-contamination started and it was pretty bad. Bobby called and let them know what happened and they were really sweet about it and explain that there is no way a cross-contamination could’ve happened and gave all these reasons but I was clearly sick so I know that it happened.
With all that being said if you cannot eat gluten don’t eat the fries here. I know how bad I get sick depending on the amount of gluten in my system and it definitely corresponded with me and just eating fries contaminated with gluten and not my entire entrée being contaminated with gluten. If you’re gluten-free that statement makes sense.
Budget Recommendations: $100-$140 if purchasing alcohol
Pros: impeccable food, great drinks, great service
Cons: there was gluten in my food but I would go back
Thank you guys so much for clicking on this blog I hope it gave you some great information to help you plan your trip to Manhattan Beach and drive in style, stay in luxury and eat gluten-free! Check out my Instagram page for my pictures and videos from our trip! Tap the “LA” highlight on my page!
If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I am claiming this to be the first of many travel blogs I can write for you guys!