The Sightseeing Coeliac’s Guide to London by Cuisine

Listening to some colleagues discuss where they were going to go for some dinner was interesting to me as a coeliac. All my dinner reservations and choices nowadays revolve around my friends and family asking me where I want to go, where is good for gluten free. This is not how ‘normal people’ decide where to go. Their decision was made by their desire for different cuisines – did they fancy a burger? Pizza? A Chinese? This is how they decided where to eat – so I wanted to try and give you a guide to London that allows you to be able to do exactly that. Decide where to go based on what YOU want to eat, not based only on where can cater for a coeliac! London must be one of the best cities for gluten free and I hope that this guide will showcase some of its best options!

As I live in Milton Keynes (I have worked on Oxford Street for eight years though commuting daily) I  still tend to see London as most visitors would, so most places in my guide focus on Central London and touristy areas. I’ve also added in some other exceptional places that I’m aware of that are worth travelling to. I have tried most of the restaurants on this list and included photos, but I have included a few restaurants that are on my ‘must visit when I’m next in London’ list to give some more options.

If you would prefer to choose a 100% gluten free restaurant see my separate guide here for all your choices in London!

If this list is a bit overwhelming and you are only visiting for a day, read my guide to my top choices in London here.

Afternoon Tea 

Fortnum and Mason

  • Location – Piccadilly.
  • Dairy free option also available.

I absolutely LOVE afternoon tea. Small sandwiches, soft scones smothered in clotted cream and jam and beautiful cakes. Seriously what’s not to love? Fortnum and Mason are one of my favourite afternoon teas in London in formal but relaxed surroundings and serving up the most incredible scones!

IMG_9964

Many London hotels offer a gluten free afternoon tea. Depending on your preferences, I have also had an amazing afternoon tea at The Ritz but it was far more formal so I personally preferred the more relaxed vibe at Fortnum and Mason.

I’ve also had a couple of novelty afternoon teas – Alice in Wonderland at The Sanderson, located just off Oxford Street and a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed one at One Aldwych. Both of these were fun and novel, especially if you’re an Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the chocolate factory fan but the food was not as good as at Fortnum and Mason.

579F237B-C953-469D-BAFD-763C234B59A2

Burgers

Honest Burgers

  • Location – Many branches across London including [I think] all key tourist locations!
  • Out of London locations – Reading and Cambridge.
  • Gluten free veggie burger available.

Honest Burgers is Coeliac heaven. Not a lettuce wrapped burger in sight! Everything can be done gluten free – burgers with gluten free buns, rosemary fries, chicken wings or onion rings all gluten free. It is the go to burger chain in London for gluten free, and have some incredible specials too that I have always found to be gluten free. Read my full review here.

17C51DE7-8417-4FBC-BB3F-52AF5FEA40B0

Cheesecake

If you fancy a slice of cheesecake on a trip to London or on a visit to the UK, read my full guide to finding cheesecake here.

E17E3423-2604-4533-9B51-CFA135B3AABC

Chinese

PF Changs

  • Location – Soho.

Chinese is difficult to find gluten free, yet so many crave it on a trip to London if their day out takes them to China Town! PF Changs is a chain in the United States that I found to be brilliant for gluten free and recently they opened a branch in London. I tried it out when it opened, but there were only a few gluten free options when I arrived despite being told on social media that they could cater. I managed a meal there and it was really good but not advised if you’re overly fussy, want to share dishes with friends or don’t like spicy food as my chicken definitely had a kick! My veggie friend had even less options than I did so I really wouldn’t advise it if you’re veggie and coeliac. Otherwise, it can be an option though if you desperately want to satisfy your craving for a Chinese in the heart of London.

83A1B384-3A62-4408-A6BC-D4EB9AA68788

Naturally Chinese

  • Location – Surbiton [outside London]
  • Accredited by Coeliac UK

The restaurant that regularly gets recommended for Chinese is Naturally Chinese in Surbiton. This is probably the closest Chinese restaurant to London that can properly cater, is accredited by Coeliac UK and has incredible food! Being in Surbiton and about 20-30 minutes outside of London by train it’s not too bad to get to for those based in London. However, coming from outside London such as Milton Keynes it makes for a long trip. It would be totally amazing if they opened a branch in Central London! I did think I would never make it out there, however, it is about 20 minutes from Twickenham making it a reasonable stop if you ever go to a game there, which is exactly how we were able to plan a visit. It was definitely worth the detour!

72AB7EB4-6959-4C54-8881-6D7DFB27DD32

Colombian

Maize Blaze

  • Location – Camden Market.
  • 100% gluten free street food. Gluten free and vegan option available.

Maize Blaze is a regular on the gluten free street food scene with a permanent spot at Camden plus often cameoing at gluten free food festivals. Their Colombian boxes are super tasty and 100% gluten free.

IMG_8492

Donuts

If you are craving donuts on a trip to London or on a visit to the UK, read my full guide to finding donuts here.

IMG_9669

Dutch/Pancakes

My Old Dutch

  • Locations – Chelsea, Kensington (near High Street Kensington tube stop) and High Holborn (not far from Tottenham Court Road or High Holborn underground stations).

The most incredible pancakes with many sweet or savoury toppings. I just love the classic Nutella and icecream pancake and this cool cafe comes recommended.

IMG_9956

Ethiopian

Last time I went to Borough Market there was an Ethiopian stall selling what looked and smelt like amazing gluten free dishes. However, the queue was too long for me to wait as I was on my way to work, but could be one to try for anyone wanting to find Ethiopian food.

Fish and Chips

Living in Milton Keynes I am lucky enough to have access to gluten free fish and chips so it isn’t my first choice of cuisine when in London. However, I really want to try Indigo who from photos and reviews I have seen on Instagram serve up an epic fish and chips!

Indigo

  • Location – One Aldwych hotel, Covent Garden.
  • 100% gluten and dairy free.

Indigo is a restaurant to be admired in the free from community – one where the chef turned the menu completely gluten free and dairy free without telling anyone! I really want to visit this restaurant and give it a go, with one of the most popular choices I’ve seen from Instagram pictures being the fish and chips. A must eat dish for any visitor to the UK!

90706BD6-433A-4ACF-BFB4-7751899E64A4

Photo credit: @alexisgfadventures Read her amazing blog for gluten free in Orlando here. 

French

Cote Brasserie

  • Location –  Five London locations including near Oxford Circus and Covent Garden.
  • Other locations outside London – UK chain (but none in Milton Keynes!)
  • Accredited by Coeliac UK.

Admittedly a U.K. Chain and not an independent London restaurant but I love the chain so much that it’s my first choice place for classic French fare. Accredited by Coeliac UK and serving up some incredible food, I’ve never had a bad meal here. Read my review of all chains accredited by Coeliac UK here.

IMG_9950

Fried Chicken

Bird

  • Locations – Camden, Shoreditch, Islington and Stratford Westfield.

One of Londons best kept gluten free secrets. How more coeliacs aren’t descending onto Bird I don’t know when gluten free crispy fried chicken is on the menu and is a coeliacs answer to KFC. If you’re going to London and love fried chicken just go, you won’t regret it. Read my full review here.

IMG_8664

Niche

  • Location – Islington.
  • 100% gluten free. Dairyfree and vegan options available.

Niche is a go to 100% gluten free restaurant serving up classics such as pie and mash. I love love love their fried chicken basket and the peanut butter blondie is to die for! The only problem you’ll have is deciding what to have! I’ve only been a couple of times as my partner thinks its expensive for what you get, but it does give peace of mind for many as it’s 100% gluten free.

IMG_9682

German

Herman Ze German

  • Location – Soho, Fitztrovia and Charing Cross.
  • Gluten free and lactose free options.

Serving up Bratwurst and fries gluten free this is the place to go if you want a bratwurst! Quick and tasty meal but do make sure they take care of cross contamination – sometimes they seem to rush but with an open kitchen you can see if they go wrong and make sure you get a safe meal.

IMG_9967

Greek

The Real Greek 

  • Locations – Wardour Street, Stratford Westfield, Westfield White City, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Marylebone, Dulwich, Spitalfields, Muswell Hill and Bankside.
  • Out of London locations – Windsor, Reading, Bristol, Southampton and Bournemouth.

This restaurant always smells amazing and serves up some of my favourite foods gluten free. Who can say no to the halloumi and I love the saffron rice. All we need is a gluten free pitta bread replacement and it would tick all the boxes! Do make sure that they understand you are coeliac to take care with your order. Some branches I believe do tell you that they can’t 100% guarantee it due to the size of the their kitchen but I have been ok the few times I have eaten at the Wardour Street branch.

IMG_8663

Italian

Cotto

  • Location – Lambeth North [not far from Waterloo].
  • Coeliac owner. States on the website that they can cater for vegetarians and any allergy.

Cotto is owned by a coeliac so you know you’re in safe hands with loads of choice on the gluten free menu including lasagne, tiramisu and cheesecake. You know a restaurant takes gluten free seriously when they serve up good bread rolls to start.

1DB8FC5B-F7B6-47E3-8AC4-BF6E5C1F1255

Leggero

  • Location – Soho and Mercato Metropolitano (inbetween Borough and Elephant and Castle)
  • 100% gluten free. Dairy free and vegan options available. I preferred the food at their main Soho restaurant.

Another Italian great for coeliacs is the 100% gluten free Leggero serving up delicious delicate plates of ravioli and tagliatelle. The foccacia is also amazing and must be ordered! Read my full review here.

IMG_8662

Mattarello Restaurant

  • Location – 3 Middlesex Street, City, London. E1 7AA (nearest tube stations – Aldgate, Aldgate East and Liverpool Street).
  • Accredited by Coeliac UK.

This is one of a few restaurants in this guide that I am yet to try. Recently accredited by Coeliac UK and with same insane looking Italian food on their Instagram posts this may be worth checking out if you’re in search of Italian.

Indian

Dishoom

  • Location – Covent Garden, Shoreditch, Carnaby Street, Kings Cross and Kensington.
  • Location outside London – Edinburgh.

The queue for Dishoom is an indicator of the immense food that is served up. Skip the queues and make a lunch time reservation (they don’t take evening reservations) and you’ll be in for a spicy treat. Don’t worry there is also creamy and cooling kulfi on the dessert menu to get you through.

IMG_8661

Horn Ok Please

  • Location – Borough Market (Monday – Saturday) and Southbank Centre Food Market (Friday – Sunday).
  • 100% gluten free and vegetarian with vegan options street food 

My top vegetarian choice was the Horn Ok Please stall at Borough Market and you certainly don’t need to be vegetarian to appreciate the food. The masala potatoes are incredible and should not be missed on a trip to Borough Market.

0DE496E5-34D4-4158-A085-BE59258D9C10

Japanese

Shoryu

  • Location – Many across London.
  • Other locations outside London – Manchester and Oxford.

Shoryu serves up gluten free bowls of ramen and it is so damn tasty and comforting.

IMG_8654

Japanese and Peruvian Fusion

We Are Mommi

  • Location – Clapham.
  • 100% gluten free and can accommodate other dietary requirements.

We Are Mommi is a 100% gluten free restaurant with an incredible Japanese and Peruvian fusion menu. I have only been for brunch which was amazing and included churros for dessert! I am looking forward for the chance to go there for dinner and could be one to try for anyone looking for somewhere a little different without any risk of cross contamination.

Levantine

Ceru

  • Location – South Kensington
  • Good vegetarian options.

Ceru is fairly new to the London gluten free scene but except for the pitta bread everything is gluten free and super delicious – especially the golden, crispy, mega calamari. It is  located near some top London attractions such as the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and The Royal Albert Hall making it the perfect place for brunch or dinner on days out to these locations.

IMG_8659

Hummus Bros

  • Locations – 6 London locations including wardour Street.

I have had mixed levels of service at Hummus bros and levels of staff understanding of gluten free. However, they offer plenty of gluten free options and provide several tasty options for casual food just ask to speak to a manager who hopefully can help you if other staff are unable to. They also have an excellent allergen guide online.

89552E65-4FF2-4676-8E1A-C116D1961C8E

Mexican

Wahaca

  • Location – many branches in London.
  • Other locations outside London – Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Chicester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton.

The chain Wahaca is one of my non gluten free friends favourite places when visiting London so it’s great they cater so well for those with coeliac too! The gluten free menu highlights what is safe for coeliacs so shows their understanding of cross contamination although it does always frustrate me that I can’t have a lot of the gluten free menu due to their shared fryers! The food is really good, I love the tacos and enchiladas!

23E4F3ED-BAB1-4321-8D87-0505654266BF

Chipotle

  • Locations – Wardour Street, Baker Street, Covent Garden, Charing Cross Road, Moorgate and Islington.
  • Accredited by Coeliac UK. Dairy free, vegan and vegetarian requirements can all be accommodated.

Chipotle with their recent Coeliac U.K. accreditation are perfect for a more casual Mexican feast! The staff always change their gloves before handling the gluten free order and with a choice of crispy tacos or naked burrito bowls piled high with guacamole (optional!) and all washed down with a margarita or two, what’s not to love? Read my full review here.

IMG_5941

Benito’s Hat

  • Location – Kings Cross, Eastcastle Street behind Oxford Circus, Goodge Street, Farringdon and Covent Garden.
  • Other locations outside Central London – Bromley and Oxford.

Benito’s Hat are not Coeliac UK accredited like Chipotle, but I personally have had good experiences in their branches. I choose them when I want soft tacos in a more casual setting or if I’m passing through Kings Cross Station.

0EE9FD28-4160-4243-B2F5-18D777DCF3FF.jpeg

Breddo’s Tacos

  • Locations – Old Street and Carnaby Street

Breddo’s tacos serve up fancy tacos with the most incredible toppings! With good knowledge of coeliac and what is cooked in their fryer the staff looked after me to ensure I had safe options. The fried chicken is normally safe, but unfortunately for me the special that week that shared the fryer wasn’t gluten free so I missed out. I guess that means I’ll have to head back at some point to try more of the menu! For my full review, click here.

IMG_9951

Middle Eastern

Strut and Cluck

  • Location – Shoreditch.
  • Gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options all marked on the menu.

Another restaurant on my must visit list due to an incredible sounding menu and delicious looking food on insta. Could be a great choice for those with multiple dietary requirements.

Pancakes

Apres Food Co

  • Location – Farringdon.
  • 100% gluten free.

My favourite pancakes I think are those found at the incredible 100% gluten free Apres Food Co. They were truly amazing, and refined sugar free – not that you would know it! Their whole menu is a dream so I definitely need to return soon!

IMG_9771

Senzala Creperie 

  • Location – Brixton
  • Vegetarian and vegan options available.

Senzala in Brixton has a brilliant vibe serving up by buckwheat crepes. Brixton seems to have so many gluten free destinations and this one was lots of fun with delicious food that catered for all.

Pancakes can also be found at My Old Dutch listed above, as part of Beyond Bread’s brunch menu and as a sweet dessert treat at Yorica.

F5062AEF-F7BC-4754-AF51-DEAEAE2C5C61

Peruvian

Casita Andina

  • Location – Soho and Shoreditch.
  • Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options all marked on the menu.

I’d seen Casita Andina recommended on social media but I didn’t really know what Peruvian cuisine was so I’d never made much effort to make it here. What a mistake, the food was so good – pretty sharing plates of the tastiest Food that could cater for many allergies. All washed down with several cocktails, I had an amazing experience here with friends.

1B0B5731-0659-4B45-99A8-000F0E11CA5D

Pie and Mash

Pieminister

  • Location – Brixton. Café locations – Gabriel’s Wharf and Leather Lane.
  • Other locations outside London – Birmingham, Bristol (few locations), Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield.
  • Café locations – Bath, Manchester, Oxford and Stoke-on-Trent.
  • Gluten free and vegetarian options available.

If you’ve been lucky enough to try Pieminister’s pies hopefully you will agree that they are the best ones out there for gluten free. They are even better when eaten at their restaurant as they can get them super crispy compared to my oven at home! I haven’t been to their London locations but it is a favourite of mine when in Bristol and hopefully the fabulous service is replicated in their London locations!

Niche, listed earlier for its gluten free fried chicken also has pie and mash on the menu but I personally prefer the pies at Pieminister.

1025CC8F-B6A5-48C8-A766-63C1238CCD41

Pizza

Rossopomodoro

  • Location – 8 London branches including Oxford Street (3rd floor John Lewis), Camden and Covent Garden.
  • Rossopomodoro has a gluten free menu with several choices of delicious pizzas with some of the best bases I’ve ever had and tiramisu on the dessert menu. The couple of times that I have been though the service has been pretty slow so don’t go if you’re in a hurry!

IMG_8665

Pizza Express

  • Location – Many – UK chain restaurant
  • Accredited by Coeliac UK.

Pizza Express is a chain many of you that are UK based will be aware of but it has so many locations making it an easy hassle free place to get gluten free pizza. If you are visiting London from the UK who has a Pizza Express nearby then I would urge you to try somewhere different. However, if visiting from outside the UK you may wish to visit for the pizza and gluten free dough balls!

IMG_5128

Pizza Buzz

  • Location – Moorgate
  • Surcharge for gluten free pizza. Dairy free options.

Pizza Buzz is a fast food type of place, where your pizza is made on a conveyor belt system with you choosing your toppings and the pizza being made up in front of you. To prevent cross contamination the pizza is cooked on its own tray and a different tub of sauce was used. I was impressed with their knowledge and it was a hassle free meal. It was so quick and easy that I forgot to take a photo!

Off the tourist trail there seems to be several places to get incredible gluten free pizza! I’m just struggling to find myself in any of their locations to give them a try! However, here are the links in case the location suits you.

Dough 

  • Locations – Brixton, Peckham and Honor Oak Park.

Apollo

  • Location – Stoke Newington.

Stingray Café 

  • Location – Tufnell Park.
  • Dedicated gluten free pizza oven.

Roast Dinner

Leadbelly’s Bar

  • Location – Canada Water

Since The Truscott Arms closed in Maida Vale I’ve been on the hunt for a great location for a roast dinner in London. Leadbelly’s restaurant in Canada Water seems to have the answer. A restaurant where 98% of the menu is gluten free it is definitely one of the restaurants of the moment for gluten free-ers and is top of my list to visit next time I’m in London. If you’re in search of a roast then this could be worth checking out, but then again all their food looks ace not just the roast – they have veggie options, southern fried chicken burgers, fish and chips, brunch that includes waffles, it seems to have it all!

Sandwiches

Beyond Bread

  • Locations – Fitztrovia, Islington and Selfridges Food Hall (Oxford Street near Bond Street underground)

I don’t think it is possible to write a guide for gluten free in London without mentioning Beyond Bread. They are 100% gluten free with a brunch menu that includes waffles, pancakes and lots of egg dishes. They have counters full of sandwiches, pastries and cakes. Make sure you go early to get the best choice as they can sell out really early.

C1373016-94B8-4382-9701-F1FA4D6371A4

Marks and Spencers

For those visiting London from outside the UK it is worth mentioning how great Marks and Spencers food halls are for gluten free with their prepackaged sandwiches being amazing for grabbing something on the go. Located all over London they make gluten free life so much easier, especially as they are located at many key train stations including St Pancras if you’re getting the Eurostar over to Paris. Whilst other supermarkets may have the odd gluten free option, Marks and Spencers are the ones that offer a good selection of gluten free sandwiches and wraps including vegetarian options.

26752C81-94E3-4F75-A659-27BDF863D299

Spanish

The Port House

  • Location – The Strand
  • Lists food containing the top 14 allergens on the menu.

The Port House is another hidden gem for gluten free food and not recommended nearly enough for the amazing food they have to offer coeliacs. You can’t book, and can be in for a long wait which can put people off (I queued for an hour on a Friday night) but wow was it worth it! With separate fryers resulting in fried food being safe, along with much of the menu I truly can’t wait to go back again. Go with lots of friends to try more of the menu and order from their Gin menu whilst you wait!

IMG_9963

Sushi

Abokado

  • Location – Many across London.

Itsu and Wasabi both do gluten free sushi and have introduced gluten free soy sauce. However, Abokado is my personal favourite with their clear labelling and lots of options for a quick casual meal.

CA40723F-3B5E-4522-A328-5562E4D4867C

Sri Lankan

Mildreds

  • Locations – Soho, Camden, Dalston and Kings Cross.
  • Vegetarian restaurant with vegan and gluten free options.

I recently had the most amazing Sri Lankan curry from Mildreds who mark their gluten free options on the menu and went through their cooking processes with me. With a few branches around London they are handy for those who are vegetarian and gluten free.

IMG_8655

Hoppers

  • Locations – Soho and St Christopher’s Place.

As I have a trip planned to Sri Lanka at the end of this year, I really want to try Hopper’s restaurant which I’ve only heard good things about for both the food and gluten free but I am yet to go.

Sweet Treats

Fancy a pit stop for something sweet? Waffles, crepes, vegan icecream, cookie icecream sandwiches, cupcakes, freak shakes? – find them all on my guide to finding sweet treats in London here.

5C40317A-B87E-474C-A983-6A4EF5B0FD7F

Thai

Khranon Krok

Khranok Krok is a market stall that is also at Borough Market and serves up super tasty 100% gluten free pad Thai. With sweet coconut pancakes also available for dessert what’s not to love?

IMG_8653

Rosa’s Thai Café

  • Location – 11 locations across London including Carnaby street and Soho.
  • A gluten free menu and lots of vegetarian options available.

The food at Rosa’s Thai café is super tasty (but a little spicy!) and has a good selection of gluten free options to be able to go and share a few dishes with friends.

812D8D8E-A43E-48FB-A69F-F99141D91AC5

Venezuelan

Arepabros

  • Location – Camden Market street food
  • Gluten free and vegan option available.

One of my favourite stalls at Camden Market is 100% gluten free. Arepas are naturally gluten free and they taste amazing and can’t be missed when in Camden.

IMG_8499

Arepa’s seem to be becoming more popular at food markets around London so keep your eyes out for them.

Vietnamese

Pho

  • Location – Many across London.
  • Locations outside London – Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and Reading.
  • Most of the menu is gluten free and can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, dairy free and egg free diets easily.

Another chain choice but with most of the menu being gluten free they are a great gluten free choice. Nothing transports you back to Vietnam like a hot, delicious bowl of pho. Also don’t miss the salt and pepper squid starter, I can not get enough of this amazing food!

C8899D74-E47B-45CA-84FB-A22B084DD811

Waffles

Duck and Waffle

  • Location – 110 Bishopgate, near Liverpool Street underground station.

Duck and Waffle has amazing views of London and an excellent gluten free menu that includes their signature dish of – you guessed it – duck and waffles. This is also safe for coeliacs as they have a separate waffle iron (make sure you check this on your visit!) It’s the perfect restaurant for a special occasion and you must make a reservation in advance as it’s so popular! Serving duck and waffle as part of their brunch menu, dinner menus and late night menus you can get a waffle fix at pretty much any time of the day!

9DD974FE-16DD-4E6A-A9B7-08DA0F6A85B8

For a more casual waffle,  I would recommend the waffle brunch at Beyond Bread or waffles as part of the dessert menu at Yorica! See my sweet treats guide to London with all the details here!

So there you have it, my gluten free guide to London by cuisine. I hope it helps you find the food that you truly want to eat next time you are visiting London! Let me know if I’ve missed any amazing restaurants or cuisines that you are searching for and I will see what I can find!

Enjoy your time in London!

The Sightseeing Coeliac x

Disclaimer – as with all my posts please check for yourselves that places suit your needs as a coeliac when you visit as staff, menu and restaurants do change and will need to undserstand your requirements for cross contamination controls. I have only listed places that I have safely eaten at or have been recommended by other coeliacs so hopefully you can have a positive experience at them too but do be careful!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s