Campbell River – Mecca for Celiacs!

A recent staycation had us exploring our practically COVID-Free Vancouver Island for our first weekend away since self-isolation began. We took good care to social distance and wear masks in closer quarters. However, as a celiac, my main concern was not so much bumping into a virus, but finding being able to find safe and hopefully delicious gluten-free food in Campbell River. Famous for their great outdoors, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking and beach combing, would the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ be able to meet my gluten-free needs?

Armed with recommendations from the local celiac community, I had my fingers crossed that I would be able to score at last one celiac-safe dinner and a breakfast of some sort during our short stay. I brought along a zip-locked bag of O’Doughs Gluten-Free Bagels to each meal, just in case I totally tapped out.

My trepidation was for naught! I was more than taken care of and you will be, too!

Check The Celiac Scene’s Campbell River Map for restaurants trusted by the local celiac community! Check Celiac Scene maps for Nanaimo & Comox along the way.

If you have a restaurant you’d like to recommend, anywhere on Vancouver Island, contact [email protected].

Dockside Fish and Chips

1003 Island Highway
• FacebookInstagram • (778) 346-3474
• open Tues-Sun 11:30-7

Gluten-free fish, chips, tartar sauce, coleslaw & chowders. Dedicated deep fryer. Use all-purpose flour that is labelled gluten free. Ask about other menu items to assure your safety. On the dock across from (not inside) the Coast Marina Hotel. Next door to Dick Murphy Park – great for kids!

Dockside Fish & Chips

Ideal Cafe

2263 North Island Highway
Facebook • (250) 287-9055
• Open daily: 7:00 AM – 3:30 PMIdeal Cafe x 3 2

Ideal-Cafe-Gluten-Free-Skillet-300x225 2

Ideal Cafe’s Gluten-Free Skillet (can be ordered ‘vegan’)

This owner-operated diner promises friendly fast service, full of smiles and great food. Along with a 1950s diner decor you can expect a modern day menu with gluten-free and even vegan notations. Our server (the owner’s daughter ) knew their GF options inside out. She actually designed the meal I ultimately ordered: the Gluten-Free Skillet with shredded hash browns, cheese, fried onions, green onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh avocado, topped with an egg. Chipotle aioli on the side.  Absolute yum!

The ‘GF’ items identified on their menus have been carefully researched and can be served with confidence. They also know what they ‘can’t’ do in this high-volume busy establishment, and we appreciate that!

  • Deep fryer shared – fries not celiac-safe
  • Toaster shared – not celiac safe. Ask to have it toasted in a fry pan. 
  • ‘Gluten’ cookies & cream milkshakes make shakes celiac-unsuitable due to cross contact
  • Ideal is looking for a good gluten-free bun so hamburgers still a work in progress

Ideal Cafe is just that! If ever in Campbell River, this is a must-eat location! Arrive early!

Ideal Cafe Breakfast MenuIdeal Cafe Lunch Menu

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Dick's Fish & Chips 2Dick’s Fish & Chips Update*
Moved from the docks to the very accessible B-660 Island Highway
Menu indicates a $2 surcharge on Gluten-Free Battered fish. Dedicated GF deep fryer.
250-287-3336 • Facebook

*Dick’s is having difficulties procuring Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour during COVID-19. Call ahead to ensure that they have GF batter available.