I can remember so clearly the first time I ate out at a 100% gluten free restaurant after my diagnosis. It was in Australia at the Gluten Free For Me cafe on the way to Australia Zoo. I can remember the feeling of being able to eat anything I wanted, the pure joy, relief, excitement. The not having to ask loads of questions just to find something safe and realising how much eating out had become a game of Russian roulette since being diagnosed as Coeliac. After a lot of deliberating over the menu, eating waffles for breakfast set me up for one of my best days in my two month trip to Australia and New Zealand and apart from Australia Zoo being totally amazing I’m sure my food experience played a huge part in my memories.
For many, 100% gluten free options may be the only places you’ll consider eating out at to protect yourself from any potential risk for cross contamination, that you definitely don’t want whilst on holiday. If that’s you then a trip to London is easily doable with so many 100% gluten free eateries. Every Coeliac I think gets excited at being able to pick anything to eat off a menu and just feel normal, in which case there’s plenty for you to try on a trip to the Capital!
Bakeries and treats
Locations: Charlotte Place, Fitzrovia (Goodge Street)/Selfridges, Oxford Street (Bond Street)/Upper Street, Islington (Highbury and Islington)
Beyond Bread is one of the most frequently recommended places to eat on social media for gluten free-ers and for a good reason! They are amazing for brunch or lunch with choices of waffles, pancakes, poached eggs, sandwiches, cakes and the most incredible pastries. I love it all but this cinnamon bun is particularly special. Get there early to have the best choice!
Artisan Gluten Free Bakery
Location: Upper Street, Islington (Highbury and Islington)
Artisan Gluten Free Bakery like Beyond Bread is a 100% gluten free cafe that makes it great for brunch, lunch or just a coffee and cake kind of stop. With a cooked menu or cakes and pastries to choose from, deciding what to have will be the hardest part of your day! I particularly like the sausage rolls, there’s something so normal about going into a bakery and just picking up a good sausage roll!
Cookies and Scream
Location: Holloway Road (Highbury and Islington)/Camden (Camden)*
My favourite place in London, their food is super indulgent and unbelievably gluten free and vegan. If heaven was a place on Earth it would come in the form of a Cookies and Scream bakery. Go, indulge and don’t regret it.
Location: Wardour Street, Soho (Leicester Square)
Where dreams come true for those with multiple allergies as you’d never know that the waffles, crepes, froyo and ice cream shakes being served up were gluten free, vegan and nut free with soy free options too. Sweet treats all round whatever your dietary requirements!
Location: Battersea High Street
Located in Battersea is Manna Dew, a 100% gluten free patisserie. Serving up sandwiches using their foccacia, a breakfast menu with treats such as eggs benedict, cakes and an afternoon tea if booked in advance this is a place to seek out in London if you’re Coeliac to truly indulge.
Pearl and Groove
Location: Notting Hill (Ladbroke Grove)
I am yet to make it to Pearl and Groove, but it is on my must visit list for sure after trying some of their delicious, and beautiful cakes that are available in Selfridges Food Hall. I have also seen them in Farmstand so if you can’t get to Notting Hill you still may be able to get your hands on one although that does mean missing out on their awesome looking all day breakfast options.
Location: Broadway Market, Hackney (Bethnal Green)
An effort to get to Broadway Market on a Saturday (9am-5pm) rewards you with the 100% gluten free bakery stall with to die for gluten free donuts. Yes the panic will set in as you question whether they really are gluten free but just relax and enjoy the delights that they are.
Location: Selfridges, Oxford Street (Bond Street)
More donuts can be found in Selfridges and at various cafes around London. Delicious ring donuts that are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and soy free so a great option for those with multiple allergies wanting to indulge in a sweet treat. I love these, although the texture is more cakey than that of normal donuts so be prepared for that! (Also check that the cafe is storing them safely, Borough 22 donuts are 100% gluten free but when I went to buy one from Timberyard they’d cross contaminated them by storing them with normal cakes).
Location: Borough Market (London Bridge)
The Freefrom Bakehouse is the must visit stall at Borough Market for those on a free from diet. All gluten free, with lots of dairy free and vegan options you’ll be there a while deciding which delight to go for. For me it has to be the Battenberg, the only place I’ve seen it sold in London.
Location: Borough Market (London Bridge)
If you’re missing some authentic Thai food visit Khanom Krok for some unbelievable pad Thai made using gluten free Tamari. There are also coconut pancakes if you fancy a warm, sweet, gooey, coconutty ( and vegan) dessert.
Horn Ok Please
Loation: Borough Market (London Bridge)
Not one to go for vegetarian options these masala potato dosas took me by surprise for being a massive hit. The chickpea side was also unreal, whatever they did to the chickpeas made them really special and this stall has become one of my favourite places to eat at Borough Market.
Location: Camden Market (Camden)
Arepas are amazing for those who are Coeliac as they are naturally gluten free. Arepa at Camden is one of my favourite lunch options and can be made dairy free or vegan. Head to Camden if you have never tried one as before this I didn’t know what I’d been missing!
Location: Camden Market (Camden)
There are no words to describe this stall! Everyone loves halloumi but these halloumi fries are out of this world delicious. You must come to Camden for these!
Location: Camden Market (Camden)
Also at Camden the 100% gluten free stall of Maize Blaze can be found serving up boxes of incredible Colombian food. Street food in London is easy to find gluten free when you know where to go and in the end you’ll struggle to know what to pick!
Louisiana Chilli Shack
Location: No fixed location (At St Giles on the Fields near Tottenham Court Road every Thursday)
More 100% gluten free street food that tastes incredible, but harder to find. They are at St Giles in the Fields every Thursday but for other events and days you’ll need to check their social media. It’s worth it though for the best Chilli with all the toppings including delicious corn breads and all in the knowledge that it’s totally safe.
The Farm stand
Location: Covent Garden (Covent Garden)
A casual healthy but most importantly gluten free spot in Covent Garden to pick up lunch or dinner without having to worry about being glutened. They are also entirely dairy free. There was so much flavour when I visited in my lunchbox – harissa chicken, pesto new potatoes and sweet potato and I can’t wait to return. They cater well for vegan diets too and they had Pearl and Groove cakes in their cake counters!
Hemsley and Hemsley
Location: Selfridges, Oxford Street (Bond street)
Hemsley and Hemsley food is glutenfree, grain free and refined sugar free so great for those who are gluten free or looking for healthier food options. There is a disclaimer on their website though to check products as their menu is designed around healthy eating so some gluten free products may not be suitable for those with coeliac. I haven’t eaten at the cafe but have had lunch to go from their pop up in Selfridges Food Hall.
Location: Oxford Street (Tottenham Court Road)
Vitao Vantra is a hidden gem of a restaurant near Tottenham Court Road for those following a gluten free, vegan and/or refined sugar free diet. Serving up vegan meals I’ve never actually eaten lunch there but the red berry cheesecake was amazing!
Location: Islington (Angel)
One of the favourites amongst gluten free-ers you’re bound to be astounded by the menu that includes fried food, burgers, pies and everything out of bounds on a normal restaurant menu. Order the fried chicken, it’s my absolute favourite! Oh and the peanut butter blondie dessert is exceptionally heavenly.
Location: Clapham High Street (Clapham North)
This bar in Clapham has incredibly changed its menu to being 100% gluten free and the food is amazing! Super tasty brunches alongside bottomless prosecco options and Peruvian delights for dinner it is the current must go to restaurant for coeliacs in London and all over social media for all the right reasons. I have only been for brunch so far but it’s definitely on my list to go back for dinner!
Apres Food Co
Location: Clerkenwell (Farringdon)
Apres Food Co is 100% gluten and refined sugar free and their menu is a dream. I went for breakfast and had the American pancakes topped with bacon and coconut blossom and it was perfection. Highly recommend for breakfast on a trip to London with a slice of cake or two. I can’t wait to return for more!
Location: Soho (Leicester Square) and recently opened in the Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant and Castle).
Saving one of the best for last, Leggero has to be tried if you’re gluten free. The 100% gluten free Italian restaurant serves up truly special homemade food including freshly made pasta and every mouthful has to be savoured. The menu offers so many options for coeliacs that you’ll struggle to decide what to have with lots of dairy free options too, you’ll no doubt leave wanting to return for more. Anywhere that you can eat and get a side of foccacia and cheesecake for dessert is a winner in my book!
There are so many exceptional places to eat in London gluten free and enough 100% gluten free places to choose from if you’re nervous eating out. Specialist gluten free eateries are opening all the time, next on my must visit list is Station 26 as the photos I’ve seen on Instagram make the food look incredible, I just need to find a reason to go to Brixton to check it out! Where else would you recommend in London that’s 100% glutenfree? Leave me a comment so that I can give it a try!
This list shows that you don’t need to be worried about eating out safely and that you don’t need to take food with you on a trip to London. Just book the trip and and go and have fun!
The Sightseeing Coeliac x
*The Camden location of Cookies and Scream is currently closed due to a recent fire at Camden. It also serves as a good reminder to check places ahead of visits to make sure they are still trading!
Italics show the closest underground station that I’m aware of to the restaurant.