Why you will love gluten-free London!
We are pretty spoilt for choice these days! There are so many amazing places to eat out where the staff are knowledgeable of the ingredients in the food they serve. There are some great independent cafes and restaurants that cater specifically for or are inclusive of those who can't or choose not to eat gluten. Plus many chains, both large and small, are now ensuring that they have options and they are clearly marked on their menus. The sheer variety is HUGE: pizza, fried chicken, cakes, Thai, Italian, Chinese, burgers, and of course fish and chips! There is also an increasing number of healthy eateries that omit gluten as part of a meat-free, dairy-free diet as well, serving up fresh delicious meals that will make you feel great! London is such a massive city and thus, you can find something to eat pretty much everywhere you go!
Watch out for:
- Unmarked menus - some restaurants are very gluten-free friendly but don't mark the options on their menus (booooo!). This should be changing soon with the introduction of the new Food Allergen Regulations. In the meantime, ask your waiter what they would recommend!
- Gluten-free option - some menus will mark a meal as a 'gluten-free option'. This means that it isn't actually gluten-free, but they can adjust the ingredients easily for you. Just make sure specify that you want it gluten-free!
- Allergy vs intolerant - many restaurants will ask if you have an allergy if you indicate you want a gluten-free meal. They are just checking if you are coeliac so their chef can take extra precautions with the area the food is prepared in. If you are intolerant (like me!) or opt not to eat gluten, just let them know.
- Honest Burgers - I can never get enough of this small chain. The burgers and chips are SO GOOD! They offer really lovely gluten-free buns and beer so you can enjoy your meal along with everyone else without missing a trick!
- Clerkenwell brunch triangle - well that's what I call it! This inner-East area is spoilt for choice with these three fantastic options to start your day: The Modern Pantry, Granger & Co and Workshop Coffee. They are all open for lunch and dinner too.
- Busaba Eathai - I LOVE this Thai food chain. Their beautiful dark wood interiors and windows that open up onto the street make me nostalgic for Sydney funnily enough! Their food is delicious too and their menus now come clearly marked with gluten-free options.
- Bird - a super cool fried chicken diner that's open in party-central Shoreditch till 12:30am? And it's mostly gluten-free too? Surely the stuff all drunky dreams are made of! Now with branches in Islington and Camden.
- Detox Kitchen - this cafe near Carnaby St sure isn't cheap, but it is really pretty and very tasty. Most of the food is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian so is you're looking for a healthy lunch, this is the perfect spot. Now with a new deli in Fitzrovia.