Best Gluten-Free Brunch in Seattle
Tilth is one of James Beard Award-winner Maria Hines’s three restaurants. Maria’s food is organic, seasonal and sustainable cuisine that represents the Pacific Northwest. Tilth is open for brunch only on Saturdays and Sundays, and I recommend getting a reservation. It is located in a stand-alone craftsman home-turned-restaurant in Wallingford. Decadent crispy pork belly with polenta, radicchio and poached egg are a dish to share for sure. Coffee-roasted celery root salad, roasted vegetable hash and foraged wild mushrooms and eggs are also classics.
The London Plane
Located off of Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, The London Plane has the feeling of an old European hideout. The brainchild of chef Matt Dillon (Sitka & Spruce, Bar Sajor, Bar Ferdinand, The Corson Building, Bar Ferd’nand and Old Chaser Farm) and Katherine Anderson (Marigold and Mint), it’s more than a restaurant: It’s also a flower and gift shop with a prepared food section, bakery and specialty food market. The London Plane is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Its menu stars fresh vegetables and offers a mix of Pacific Northwest ingredients prepared with Mediterranean sensibility. This is what makes it so gluten-free-friendly. The soft-boiled eggs with rose and hazelnut dukkah accompanied by papadum are a staple. Although the bakery is not a gluten-free facility, it has quite a few gluten-free cookies like the rose meringues, pistachio macaroons and orange-and-almond cookies, which are very delicate.
Restaurateur Linda Derschang has created a space where the young artistic crowd gathers in Capitol Hill, and it feels like the quintessential Seattle hangout. It is located in the red-brick historic OddFellows Building. With an enormous vintage American flag hanging at the door and mismatched vintage flatware and tea sets, it is the perfect mix of old and new. Its menu is also a mix of healthy options with American rustic flair.
Oddfellows offers many gluten-free options for breakfast, like the biscuit with bacon, scrambled eggs and salad, baked eggs with ham and Gruyère or granola with yogurt and fruit. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
The Fat Hen
The Fat Hen is what emerges when a Seattelite baker of Swedish heritage and an Italian-born chef come together—the perfect mix of Scandinavian sensibility with Italian flavors. Linnea and Massimo Gallo have created a neighborhood café in Ballard, on the hotspot of NW 70th Street. The Fat Hen is open only for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday. Plan on going early, because the tiny café gets busy, especially on the weekends. The café is well-known for its eggs Benedict of several varieties. My favorite is the avocado Benedict without the English muffin and a side of roasted potatoes. The baked eggs are also on rotation for me, and the lattes are also pretty spectacular.
Breakfast doesn’t always mean eggs and baked goods. Sometimes one needs a hot bowl of pho, especially during Seattle winters. I make no exceptions, and any time of day is good for a savory and powerful bowl of bone stock with noodles. Ba Bar is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle, and we are also lucky that they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Their French influence is most noticeable at their bakery counter, which offers gluten-free macarons.
Café Presse is another Capitol Hill gem with a French bistro vibe, coffee spot, fully stocked bar and even an international newsstand. It is the sister restaurant to the other well-respected Seattle bistro, Le Pichet. Café Presse has a very hearty breakfast menu that sends you off satisfied for the rest of the day, and surprisingly, many of their options are gluten-free. I am very partial to their house-made sausage, caramelized onion and roasted eggplant-mint puree with marinated olives. You can never go wrong with their baked eggs with ham and Gruyère, French fries and the chickpea fritters in tomato, pepper and Swiss chard sauce (the fritters are coated in semolina, but they can make them gluten-free without it, so be sure to ask your server). Their lattes are also some of my favorite.
Vif Wine and Coffee
Vif, which is located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, is the collaboration of Lauren Feldman and Shawn Mead. It is a curated space of beautiful wines, coffee and European-style small plates, tartines and baked goods. The menu changes seasonally, with some of the best gluten-free baked goods I have had in Seattle. They are known for their tender and moist cinnamon sugar baked donut muffins, which I have developed a real craving for. Chocolate cake and banana bread are also some of my favorite gluten-free bakery items. There is always a vegetable frittata on the breakfast menu, and the lentil salad with pickled fennel and egg is hearty and nutritious.
Juicebox in Pike/Pine is the best organic cold-pressed juice spot in Seattle. They also offer a home-delivery program of their juices. The quaint and airy café also offers breakfast seven days a week. They have delicious gluten-free bread options for egg sandwiches, but my go-to breakfast order at Juicebox is their rose granola with yogurt and rhubarb compote (when in season).
Tallulah’s is Linda Derschang’s latest venture. Nestled on the newly renovated strip of 19th Avenue East along with other new restaurants and shops, this more grown-up area of Stevens sure has a cozy neighborhood feel. Close to one of the most beautiful parks of Seattle, Volunteer Park, Tallulah’s has a European and mid-century sophistication in contrast to the other Derschang restaurants. The food is also vegetable- and season-driven, with many gluten-free menu items. Unfortunately, Tallulah’s is open for brunch only on Saturdays and Sundays, but it’s worth waiting all week for their freshly pressed green juices and grain bowls. I have a hard time picking from all the menu possibilities when I have brunch at Tallulah’s. The red quinoa, salmon, egg and avocado bowl, beet salad and the fruit and yogurt bowl feel hearty and healthy, but sometimes one must go for an omelet stuffed with ham, onions and cheese and a nice side of roasted potatoes.
Café Bastille is on historic Ballard Avenue, which is home to the Sunday farmers’ market and many bars and restaurants in Ballard. Café Bastille prides itself of working with local farms. You are greeted with a blackboard noting the items on the menu that are in season and where they come from. It has an old bistro feeling with black-and-white tile work, a cozy fireplace and a beautiful bar. The brunch menu is available only on Saturdays and Sundays and can be a bit hectic on Sunday mornings, coinciding with the year-round farmers’ market. I am content with spinach eggs Benedict with potatoes—a classic for a classic place. But not to miss are steak tartare with truffled potatoes and many of the mixed cocktails.