I eat gluten free (because of an auto immune disease) but my husband does not need to. We BOTH like great food. Luckily in the last 7 years since I removed gluten from my diet it has become easier to find food I can eat while traveling or on road trips. The Payson, AZ or Rim Country area is one of those places that has changed drastically since we first tried to road trip it on my gluten free diet. I ALWAYS travel with food but try to find places that can not only accommodate my diet but can do it with amazing food. Who wants to eat something just because it’s gluten free if it’s bland/dry/gross? I’d rather eat the snack bar in my purse.
We recently took a little trip up to Strawberry, Pine and Payson, AZ where we stayed at The Strawberry Inn (ADORABLE – check out my post here and grab a discount code). I was pleasantly surprised with some of the awesome options we found in the area that we’d definitely be back to visit again.
Old County Inn Pine, AZ
Old County Inn has a chef driven menu and the perfect ambiance for this little town (and also chickens). All their food is scratch made and delicious! They offer a gluten free pizza (it’s their amazing toppings that make it great) as well as some great appetizer choices including my favorite this unique warm olive dish (WOODFIRED CASTELVETRANO OLIVES) that I can’t wait to go back for! My husband loved their selection of local craft beer and I enjoyed some wine. They also have handmade gelato if you save any room for dessert. Right next door is the Taproom where you can access the full Old County Inn menu if you’d like or just to grab a drink. Their fun decor is a must see!
Mogollon Moose Bakery
Even though we were staying in Strawberry, we drove down to Payson each morning to have breakfast/brunch at the Mogollon Moose Bakery. They have amazing coffee, iced tea and a great menu full of gluten free options. They also offer some gluten free baked goods. Just ask them what they have available for the day! Both mine and Jared’s favorite (we got it both mornings) was the Roasted sweet potato hash with black forbidden rice, quinoa, feta, kale, spinach and green onion topped with 2 over medium eggs and sriracha. We had a cup of coffee with our breakfast and then bought a large cup of tea to go on our way out.
Yes! A Brewery! Jared loves trying new local craft beers. Obviously, I cannot. I love when places like this accommodate for special diets. While I would go and accompany Jared without eating I especially love when some place has options for me. Jared & I were able to share a “snack” (a delicious burger) while he sampled another one of their brews (he also had one of theirs that was on tap at the Old County Inn). They had wine or cider for me so we were able to enjoy their patio while BOTH of us got to eat.
Gerardo’s Firewood Cafe
Gerardo’s is family owned and has a gluten free menu including pasta! This spot has had gluten free for quite a while I think because we tried to stop on another trip but they were closed for a private event. They do a great job and it always seems pretty popular when we drive by. My favorite part about this place is that Chef Gerardo (who started the restaurant) hires student staff from the High School culinary program to run his entire kitchen!
Ok and not gluten free (because it’s not food) but I had to give a shout out to Threads Local. When we were visiting I asked on Instagram what I should check out while I was in town and someone recommend I see Threads Local. They have some awesome designs in their little shop and online. I can’t wait to come back during the big Payson Farmer’s Market and check them out again!
Any other places you know of in the area that I should check out?