Gluten Free Overview
The Roost Café & Bistro – gluten free menu with great sandwiches with waffle fries!
The Maine Stay Inn – to-die-for Celiac safe breakfasts and warm cookies in the heart of Kennebunkport! Allergen info can be found here.
Allison’s – no gluten free menu, but some options are marked on the regular menu (we had yummy Seafood risotto and burgers with GF buns!)
Federal Jack’s – gluten free menu (we had burgers with a side of risotto – but beware of bad service!)
Mornings in Paris – cute café with GF macarons (average quality) and other baked goodies! Some menu options listed here
H.B. Provisions – little grocery with huge GF display (baked goods – local banana bread, GF pies, etc!)
We Missed, But You Shouldn’t… David’s KPT (for high end fare) and Bandaloop!
Ahhh, Kennebunkport – home of fabulous seafood, the Bush family’s summer home, beautiful beaches, and most importantly… the Maine Stay Inn! As lovely as Kennebunkport is, the real reason Dan and I chose Kennebunkport over the many scenic seaside spots in New England was because of the Maine Stay Inn. I’d stumbled upon it a few years back on a Google search for “Gluten Free B&Bs”. I’d read online that the owners of the inn had a daughter with Celiac, and therefore understood the risks of cross-contamination (and that those of us with Celiac still love food – and carbs!). When we saw that they were running a special for a free third night, we decided it was finally time to make the trip up to Kennebunkport and enjoy some gluten free breakfasts.
Living in Cambridge, MA, Kennebunkport is about a 2 ½ hour drive from us. Before we go anywhere, we always check the mobile app Find Me Gluten Free to get an idea of what food options other gluten free folks have tried in the area. When we searched the app, we came across a restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine called Roost Café & Bistro with rave reviews. Since we would be passing right through Ogunquit on the way to Kennebunkport (they are about 25 minutes apart), we decided we would stop there for lunch before checking in to the inn. We got there fairly early, so it was quiet, but the atmosphere of the restaurant was very nice and pretty much everything on the menu could be made gluten free. I got a gluten free “Tom Foolery” sandwich, which was roasted turkey, brie, bacon lettuce, and cranberry Dijon aioli – this is, no joke, my idea of a perfect sandwich. Dan got a gluten free Reuben, and we both got WAFFLE FRIES on the side (how often do you ever see GF waffle fries on a menu!?). The bread was delicious, the fries were tasty, and the sandwich fillings were beyond compare – it was honestly one of the best lunches out we’ve had in a while! We didn’t get to try out anywhere else for gluten free food in Ogunquit, but if you find yourself in the area (or just passing through, like we were!), I highly recommend the Roost.
After finishing Lunch at the Roost, we finished the drive to Kennebunkport and made our way to the Inn. It’s a beautiful old mansion with a wraparound porch. They have some cottages in the back, but we were in one of the rooms inside the inn. When we checked in, they offered us coffee (which we of course accepted!) and apologized for not having any gluten free cookies out for us. They said
they used to have gluten free cookie dough, but they didn’t think they had any left. That was a little disappointing, because we had read that they had gluten free cookies (and we had told them in advance we were Celiac). However, they assured us that our breakfast would be gluten free and showed us to our room (which was great!). After unpacking a little bit, SURPISE! One of the members of the inn’s staff knocked on our door with a tray of fabulous gluten free cookies – still hot from the oven! We were delighted, and of course ate them all.
After a day of exploring Kennebunkport, we made our way to Allison’s for dinner. We had done a lot of research prior to coming to Kennebunkport, and there were not too many options for gluten free diners. There were a few higher end places, but the gluten free options were the standard fare (a steak, a burger with no bun – that type of thing). We settled on Allison’s after reading a comment online that they offered gluten free food and calling them to confirm that this was true. The restaurant is right in Kennebunkport's main square, which was a fun and picturesque place to enjoy a meal. I had the seafood risotto trio, which was (if you are a seafood lover!) to die for. The risotto was cooked skillfully and the scallops, lobster, and shrimp were fresh and tasty. Dan had a burger on a big, typical gluten free bun with a side of potato salad. Both of us enjoyed our meals, left full, and with no complaints (or gluten reactions!).
We woke up the following morning very excited for breakfast! Our room was right by the kitchen, so we could smell the food cooking as soon as we woke up. The dining area at the Maine Stay Inn was a little different than other Bed and Breakfast's we’ve stayed at in that there was one big dining table rather than several small ones; however, on the first day, we were the only ones out there. After being served coffee and juice, breakfast was served – and it was 10/10 amazing! There was a giant slice of quiche, gluten free French toast with warm chocolate and raspberries, and sausage. We were both thrilled – and ate every bite! When they saw that we had cleared our plates, they offered us some gluten free granola with milk to round out the meal. Since neither of us can ever say no to more food, we both accepted (and enjoyed!). I had no reaction at all to the breakfast, and headed out for a day of beaches and shopping with a full belly!
Since breakfast that day was big and filling, we only wanted something small for lunch – we came across a cute little café called Mornings in Paris, which is technically in Kennebunk but is just a quick walk up from the square of Kennebunkport, and when we stopped in for coffee, we saw that they had a pretty big variety of gluten free treats. They had a whole case of macarons (which both Dan and I LOVE!), as well as a bunch of pre-packaged gluten free cakes and cookies. We decided to get a big assortment of macarons to go with our cappuccinos. While the macarons were tasty (and came in cool flavors, like Reese’s cup), the bake was a little off (the cookies were very, very crunchy and hard to chew). Nevertheless, my sweet tooth was satisfied and we spent quite a bit of the afternoon huddled over our coffees doing crosswords.
Since our lunch was small, we were hungry for an early dinner. We decided to try Federal Jack’s, a pub-style restaurant right on the water that had a few good gluten free reviews. Even though it was packed, we didn’t have to wait for a table. We sat at the table for probably twenty minutes or so before someone came over and told us that no waiter had been assigned to our table (grrr!), but that they would take our order for us. We ordered the Mushroom & Swiss burger with a side of risotto. When the food came, there were no mushrooms on the burger. We had to wait for a side of mushrooms to arrive. Despite the poor and chaotic service (with no apologies!), the food was okay – the buns were tasty and the burgers were good. The risotto was very bland, but still preferable to a salad or other sometimes-offered gluten free sides. I didn’t have any reaction to the meal, so I still would count it as a success – but probably would not go back!
The next morning, we woke up even more excited – not just because the breakfast the day before had been so good, but also because we had overheard the innkeepers talking about corned beef hash the night before. If you know me and Dan, corned beef hash ranks very on our list of favorite foods. We went out to the dining area, and saw that today, we were not the only ones out there – the table was full of other guests! For this reason, I (stupidly) did not get a picture of the hash. Take my word for it though, it looked and tasted WONDERFUL! The hash was served with a side of eggs and a homemade muffin. It was a wonderful breakfast, and we enjoyed the conversation with the fellow guests (a few of whom were also gluten free). We set out again for a day on the town, and enjoyed another small lunch at Mornings in Paris.
That night, we weren’t sure what we wanted for dinner – Bandaloop (which we had read good reviews of) was closed, and David’s KPT (a recommendation from the innkeepers) wasn’t quite what we were in the mood for. We ended up checking out a local grocery, H.B. Provisions, and finding that they had a giant gluten free display! They had a number of pies from the Maine Pie Co. (more varieties than I had ever seen!), tons of crackers and breads, and even homemade baked goods from a GF bakery. We decided to create a picnic dinner of chocolate chip banana bread, cheese, crackers, meat, and wine. This ended up being the perfect dinner for us (the banana bread was so tasty!), and we enjoyed the wine by the fireplace in our room before falling asleep for our last night.
The final breakfast! The breakfast crowd was smaller again, so I snagged a photo this time. Another slam-dunk breakfast, this time a plate of sausage, berry crisp with whipped cream, scrambled eggs, and a homemade muffin. Everything was wonderful – the crisp was warm and fresh and the muffin was lovely (what a treat to have a muffin!). We cleared our plates – of course – said our goodbyes, and headed out of Kennebunkport and back home.
If you, like us, love the luxury of enjoying a homecooked gluten-free breakfast on vacation, add the Maine Stay Inn to your list of gluten free B&Bs to visit! We’ve been to quite a few and found that the Maine Stay Inn not only had delicious food that never caused me to feel sick, but was also just an all-around really nice place in a really terrific location in beautiful Kennebunkport.