LIMINGTON – Unless you live in the area, or are heading to the White Mountains, you probably will never drive by the Runway Restaurant in southwestern Maine.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.

Tucked down a wooded road beside the Limington-Harmon Airport on Airport Drive, it’s five minutes off Route 25 on the way to New Hampshire.

I was looking for a quick-service restaurant with gluten-free options in this lakes region where I’m soon moving. When an internet search led me to the Runway Restaurant near the southern shore of Sebago Lake, the website hooked me: Boasting farm-to-table fare, scratch baking and the promise to accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diets. That was enough for me to make the drive from Portland for breakfast early one morning. But the meal I enjoyed in mid-July while doing work at the bar is what will lead me back.

I would recommend the gluten-free pancakes even to pancake lovers who don’t have dietary restrictions. That’s not a claim that’s easy to make (most of my friends think gluten-free food tastes like cardboard). However, these almond-meal cakes were better than many buttermilk pancakes I’ve had. They tasted unprocessed and like something special a grandmother would serve.

The pancakes at the Runway Restaurant are so flavorful, you’d never guess they are gluten free. But owners Lindsay Bradeen and Jennifer Gamble aim to please with their scratch baking. Photo by Deirdre Fleming

The Runway Restaurant offers real maple syrup for an extra charge ($2), like any decent breakfast place should. The upcharge is worth it, and so is the creamy, butter topping served on the cakes.


I only ordered one ($3.75, $5.75 for a stack) so that I could sample a few other breakfast favorites, like a side of bacon ($2.75), which did not disappoint.

The vegetable omelet with feta cheese ($8.75) was not only loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, onions and spinach, it burst with flavor like only a farm-to-table dish could. The Runway Restaurant offers eight kinds of cheeses, including gouda and feta, both of which the waitress recommended when I asked for help with my order.

The home fries – also gluten-free – were a tasty treat on the side.

The Runway Restaurant isn’t on a major road, but if you’re heading to the White Mountains, it’s worth a detour. Photo by Deirdre Fleming

While breakfast is easily executed, it’s rarely exceptional. The Runway Restaurant, which is only open for breakfast and lunch, is a few steps above. The atmosphere is relaxing and cheerful, as was the staff.

As to be expected, it’s decorated with planes and a flying theme. It even has one nook wallpapered with a plane cockpit. Large windows give view to the small, local airport behind the restaurant.

But the aviation decor is not what will lure me back. That would be some of the specials, like the strawberry-infused pancakes layered with a lemon blueberry cream and topped with whipped cream and fresh blueberries, served with a side of sausage links and real maple syrup ($13). I also plan to sample the French toast (full stack, $5.75).

Thanks to the Runway Restaurant’s gluten-free options, I can.

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