Fishing For Gluten Free Restaurants, Where To Eat In Harrison Hot Springs

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When your travelling partner has a food allergy you have a food allergy.

I absolutely love going on little trips with my Mom, she’s my Mom after all, and this get a way to Harrison is no exception. It’s great to hang out, relax and of course spend quality time with one of the most important people in my life. The challenge with spending time with my Mom though is that she is a Celiac. If you don’t know what that means it’s pretty simple, she can’t eat anything with the protein called Gluten in it. Now this “allergy” certainly isn’t her fault and I don’t blame her, it’s just a challenge to eat out is all. You have to find a restaurant that knows what Gluten is, and they have to either have a menu that is free from it or a Chef that can take the items on the menu and tweak them so that no ingredients used contain Gluten. If a mistake is made the side effects are immediate and nasty. One trip four years ago with my mom was ruined by a restaurant mistake that made my Mom sick for 3 days.

Me and my Mom

So I think you see that finding a restaurant where my Mom and I can eat without worry is a top priority for this get a way. Good news is we found some great little spots and had some wonderful meals together. Here are our recommendations of where you can eat in Harrison Mills and Harrison Hot Springs if you are on a Gluten Free diet.

First up is the Rivers Edge Restaurant at Rowena’s Inn On The River. Located in between the clubhouse for the golf course and the main house Rivers Edge has some spectacular views from every table. We ate at Rivers Edge quite often during our stay, the food was good, it was very convenient since we were staying at the Inn and the Chef makes all his sauces from scratch so he knows what’s in every dish.

Rivers Edge Restaurant

views from Rivers Edge

Our first meal was dinner. I went high on the gluten scale with Escargot (served with a baguette) followed by Pork Schnitzel, while my Mom enjoyed Mussels and a grilled Rack of Lamb. Dessert couldn’t be missed as my Mom was craving a Crème Caramel and I enjoyed a light Blueberry Cream Pie. A nice way to start off the get a way that’s for sure.

Escargot

Mussells

Pork Schnitzel

Grilled Rack of Lamb

Creme Caramel

Blueberry Cream Pie

One of the little special touches that you enjoy when you stay at Rowena’s is breakfast. I know many hotels include a complimentary continental breakfast and coffee in your room but that’s not what you get at Rowena’s. At 9:15am in the morning a discreet knock at the cottage door occurs and in whisks one of the Inn’s servers with a large picnic basket. Inside the basket is a breakfast feast for two with everything you need. Plates, cutlery, Orange Juice, Muffins and of course the main meal. Our two breakfasts consisted of Eggs Benedict one day (gluten free of course) and an Omelette the other day. What a civilized way to start your day.

A PIcnic Breakfast

setting up our picnic breakfast

Eggs Benedict

Omellete in the picnic basket

Another treat we enjoyed at Rowena’s was the afternoon cheese plate with wine that was delivered to our room. A little snack just in case we needed a little something before dinner.

Cheese plate at Rowena's

Lucky for us The Rivers Edge is not the only restaurant in Harrison to offer a Gluten Free menu. During a walk along the boardwalk on our first day I was craving an Americano, as I do, and I stumbled across Muddy Waters Cafe. At first glance I thought it was just a coffee shop but it’s way more. Live music, great coffees, freshly baked goods and a delicious menu that my Mom could enjoy because they have Gluten free bread available!

Muddy Waters

the coffee bar at Muddy Waters

freshly baked goods

I brought my Mom in for lunch and where we enjoyed the view and my Mom also had a Gluten Free beer. I had the Veggie Burger with a side salad that was delish and my Mom enjoyed a Shrimp Sandwich with gluten free chips. My Mom thought the sandwich was so good she even asked where they got the bread from. Unfortunately they get it when they shop in the US as it’s not available in Canada.

Veggie Burger

Side Salad

Shrimp Salad

On another day we enjoyed lunch at the Lakeside Cafe which is on the 2nd floor of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. They actually had a separate menu just for Celiac’s which was awesome. The views from the cafe were spectacular however I found the food to be just ok. Certainly very eatable but now a wow meal. We both had the Chicken Burger, mine with a wheat bun and my Mom’s had a Gluten Free bun. I think I’d definitely go back for dinner as that menu looked a bit more creative.

Lakeside Cafe

View from the Lakeside Cafe

Chicken Burger

The last meal we enjoyed during our stay in Harrison was at Morgan’s Bistro on the main boardwalk. Another great find where almost everything on the menu is Gluten Free or can be altered so that it can be.

Morgan's Bistro

Inside Morgan's Bistro

Patio at Morgan's

Located on the 2nd floor Morgan’s offers stunning views of Lake Harrison while sipping a cocktail. In fact while enjoying our drinks (Margarita & a Rum Caesar) we saw some folks getting ready for an evening kayak on the lake.

Evening Kayak

Cocktails

For our last dinner we went all out. We started with a Strawberry, Caramelized Pecan & Grilled Asparagus Salad followed by a Grilled Double Pork Chop for me and Tequila Lime Prawns for my Mom.

Strawberry, Caramelized Pecan & Grilled Asparagus Salad

Double Pork Chop

Tequila Lime Prawns

I tried to save room for dessert but it wasn’t going to happen. I was filled to bursting!

The more time we spent in Harrison the more we discovered little places off the main strip that piqued our interest. I think a return trip might be in order. Here are some of the places that caught my eye, The Laughing Goat, Harrison Hamburgers, and the Hungry Chef Eatery. Who wouldn’t want to eat a hungry Chef’s restaurant?

The Laughing Goat

Harrison Hamburgers

The Hungry Chef Eatery

All in all I was pretty impressed with the food choices in Harrison and most importantly my Mom enjoyed herself and didn’t get sick. A big win!

I’m curious what your culinary experiences have been like in Harrison? Do you have a favourite place? Please share.

Next up I share some of the fun things you can do while in the area. One clue is that it involves water. That’s all I’m going to say….

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

11 Comments

  1. I’m glad to see that you had a wonderful getaway with your mom. It all looks so tasty! It’s nice to know that these restaurants offer genuine gluten-free substitutes. My biggest pet peeve is restaurants that offer a “gluten-free menu” when it’s really just their standard menu with the gluten items removed – like a bun-free burger. Restaurants need to be providing actual subsitutes, not just making subtractions.

  2. I went to muddy waters cafe after seeing your blog. So dissappointed. When I placed my order I stressed that I’m celiac. When my food came out I knew something was wrong. The bread was the same as on the chalk board menu. Before I ate I expressed my concern and sure enough it wasn’t gf bread. So they say no problem we will make a new one. I can see them just moving them stuff into new bread. So I had to tell them again I still can’t eat it and it needs to be a new sandwich. When I finally got it it was amazing! But no one seemed to care that they made a mistake which was very disappointing.

    We did go to the hungry chef eatery that night and had some of the best gluten free food I’ve ever had in a restaurant so I highly recommend it!!!

    Thanks for all the info on your blog!

    • Lara, I am so sorry to hear about your experience at MW. I hope it was just a case of staff that were lazy that day and not a change in the cafe’s attitude. When we were there as just regular folks like you we got great service and my Mom was very thrilled with the meal. I recommend you tell the ownership just so they know.

  3. If you are planning to visit Harrison Hot Springs in days to come, I know a Pizza restaurant that you will love which offers amazing artisan pizzas with homemade gourmet and gluten free pizzas. My mom loves the GF pizzas and overall the restaurant’s ambience and staffs hospitality.

  4. I love when people share their experiences and give the inside scoop
    My hubby and I are headed to harrison hot springs in the fall and he is celiac
    This helps a bunch!!!!!!

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