Best of the Grand Strand 2019
Cafe Old Vienna
1604 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. (843) 946-6252, cafeoldvienna.com
Achtung! This authentic German-American alpine lodge has been serving up plates from the old country for more than two decades, and its gluten-free menu has gained quite a following. Options include a grilled chicken salad, grilled grouper salad and a vegetable plate, in addition to hearty favorites such as schnitzel (made with either pork or chicken with a gluten-free breading), bratwurst and knockwurst sausage, and sides including red cabbage and vegetables. Beyond the German plates, Cafe Old Vienna keeps the European traditions going with an array of desserts ranging from pastries to apple strudel and a variety of German and Austrian beers. Cafe Old Vienna offers live music on weekends and a dog-friendly beer garden to keep the atmosphere casual, social and festive. Open Tuesday–Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
571 21st Ave., N., Myrtle Beach. (843) 444-1122, mellowmushroom.com - 1101 U.S. 17 N., North Myrtle Beach. (843) 273-0595 - 3280 U.S. 17, Murrells Inlet (843) 651-0909
The groovy, funky Mellow Mushroom is well known for its mellow vibe, psychedelic environment and gourmet pizzas with a wide—and wacky—array of toppings. However, the Mushroom also pays close attention to allergy-sensitive clientele with an array of gluten-free pizza offerings, as well as a customized menu of ingredients that diners can review on its website. Four pizzas are offered in 10-inch gluten-free versions: the House Special, topped with mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, bacon, mushrooms, black olives, roma tomatoes, green peppers and onion; the Mighty Meaty, topped with mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and bacon; the Kosmic Karma, topped with feta, mozzarella, spinach, sun-dried roasted tomatoes and roma tomatoes with a pesto swirl; and the Veg Out, with mozzarella, spinach, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, black olives and tomatoes. All pizzas are available with gluten-free crust, but only designated GF pies are made with allergen-free procedures. The Myrtle Beach Mellow Mushroom is open Monday–Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The North Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet locations are open Monday–Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
316 79th Ave., Myrtle Beach. (843) 712-1731, kindbellycafe.com
This family-owned spot sits off the beaten path, but regulars have no problem finding it multiple times a week. With a mission to “feed our community like we feed our family: nourishing, wholesome and clean,” Kindbelly seeks to offer a fast, healthy snack or meal that guests can feel good about. Serving up breakfast and lunch, the menu features smoothies, salads, wraps and acai bowls, as well as gluten-free options for each, including a gluten-free wrap and salad dressings. Kindbelly’s superchop, a crunchy and flavorful combination of broccoli, kale, carrots and Brussels sprouts, finds its way into an array of wraps, salads and bowls. Dishes emerging from the kitchen are particularly colorful, with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs gracing nearly every plate. Open Monday–Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bay Naturals Healthy Market and Kitchen
7611 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-0011, Facebook: Bay Naturals - 556 U.S. 17 N., North Myrtle Beach. (843) 272-4436
Bay Naturals has a decades-old history of bringing healthy, fresh food to residents and visitors in the Grand Strand area. In the early 1990s, owner Angela Holmes began working at the Natural Food Store in North Myrtle Beach, eventually taking it over and changing the name to New Life Natural Foods. She added locations and eventually moved the store to its current location in Northwoods Plaza; at that time, Bay Naturals was born. This full-scale grocery store and restaurant specializes in gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian products. Its baked goods, including cakes, cupcakes, muffins and scones, are all gluten free. All sandwiches are offered on gluten-free bread or wraps, and all salad dressings and many soups are also gluten free. Top sellers include the Avocado Grill sandwich, which combines mozzarella, tomato, roasted red peppers, basil and balsamic dressing on sourdough or gluten-free bread. A breakfast favorite is the keto wrap, a coconut (or gluten-free) wrap with turkey bacon, scrambled eggs and raw spinach. Operating hours vary by location.
T-Bonz Gill & Grill
1169 Seaboard St., Myrtle Beach. (843) 946-7111, tbonzgillandgrill.com
This steakhouse has been around for decades and continually refreshes its menu and its perspective with an evolving approach to diners’ tastes and needs. TBonz offers an entire menu of gluten-free selections ranging from a seared ahi tuna appetizer to an array of entree salads topped with steak, salmon, shrimp or chicken to sandwiches and burgers served on gluten-free buns and bread to cuts of Certified Angus Beef. Entrees include a bourbon-glazed North Atlantic salmon with grilled asparagus or grilled domestic jumbo shrimp with Yukon mashed potatoes. Stuffed baked potatoes served “loaded” or topped with chili and cheese or broccoli and cheese are popular entrees, and skewers featuring grilled steak or chicken with a variety of vegetables round out the gluten-free menu. At TBonz, allergy-prone diners will leave feeling anything but deprived. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Photographs by Scott Smallin and courtesy of Bay Naturals and T-Bonz Gill & Grill