The places you have to try in London if you’re gluten-free
Because for some people it’s more than just a lifestyle choice
Being gluten-intolerant sucks.
It’s hard enough scouring the supermarket free-from aisles to find decent gluten-free equivalents to your normal fave foods then having to fork out a mortgage to afford food that doesn’t give you stomach discomfort all day, so finding bakeries, delis and restaurants that cater to your digestive needs can be an absolute mare.
So, since one in every 100 of the UK population suffering from this intolerance, we’ve rounded up some of the best spots in and around London which are gluten-free, so you can eat out without the fear of having to just eat salad, or go without.
Niche Food & Drink, EC1R 4TJ
A stone’s throw away from Sadler’s Wells Theatre is this independently-owned, 100 per cent free-from-gluten restaurant. The restaurant prides itself on serving up Britain’s favourite comfort foods, just without the gluten, to cater to those who are coeliacs or follow a gluten-free diet.
Open from 10am until late night, you can dig into typical English grub such as sausage and mash, steak and chips and pies, or, if you prefer brunch or lunch, omelettes or a Full English.
Farmstand, WC2B 5AJ
For the eco-friendly of you, Farmstand is the place to visit. Close to Covent Garden, this vegetarian and vegan café (there are some meat and fish choices, don’t worry omnivores) is ideal for healthy food lovers, with a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The cool thing about Farmstand is that you can build your own lunch: there’s something for everyone, from quinoa and veg and summer bean salads to buckwheat noodles and roasted aubergine.
Plus there’s almond milk, unrefined sugar hot chocolate, gluten-free lager and free organic dog treats for those who bring their pets along.
LabOrganic, WC2H 9PA
Another gluten-free food spot in Covent Garden, LabOrganic doesn’t just specialise in healthy and organic food, it’s also a juice bar. The owners believe in only serving pure, fresh and organic food, jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
If you love your superfoods, you can tuck into spiced chickpeas, Mexi quinoa, kale salads, marinated broccoli and more, alongside alkalising, clean greans or cleanse juices. All dishes are under £8, and all juices are under £7.50.
LabOrganic also sells healthy snacks such as nut butter and raw chocolate, so you stock up your kitchen.
Elliot’s, SE1 9AD
Borough Market is a favourite for foodies, with stalls and pop-ups specialising in everything from vegan burgers and oysters to French patisserie and fresh and seasonal fruit salads.
Elliot’s is one of the wonders of Borough Market, and serves up some of the finest gluten-free food in the capital, from crab salad and welsh poussin to saffron artichokes accompanied with chickpeas. If you’re keen on seafood, this café offers some great gluten-free and fish-filled dishes.
Maybe save this stop for a special occasion, though, as it’s a bit pricier than other options (prices start from around £10 for sharing plates, and are around the £15 mark for larger, lunch plates).
Ruby’s of London at Greenwich Market, SE10 9HZ
Ruby, the owner of Ruby’s of London, specialises in vegan baking, and due to her own allergies, aims to create baked goods that are both gluten-free and dairy-free.
If you head to Ruby’s stall at Greenwich Market, you’ll find her high quality delicacies made using high quality ingredients, all made without wheat, gluten and refined sugars.
Whether it’s multicoloured doughnuts, brownies, vegan banana cake or cupcakes, Ruby’s of London will have whatever you want.
WAG Free Brixton, SW9 8PR
Head on over to Brixton Village where you’ll find WAG Free (meaning wheat and gluten-free) food, a (mainly) vegetarian restaurant/kitchen where you can order indulgent dishes such as burgers (halloumi to venison) and chips, mini quiches or pies with salads and greens, or healthier choices such as the grilled vegetable stack.
Or, if you’d prefer to sample their café options, you can choose everything from Victoria sponge to black forest gateau. Even their beer is gluten-free!
Franzina Trattoria, SW9 8PQ
Sicilian Caponata old tradition absolutely gluten Free.#glutenfreelondon #glutenfreeinlondon #glutenfree #food #ilovelondontown #silk #food #ilovelondontown #almafruits #silvialamonaca #sicilia #siciliabedda #sicilian #sicilianjourney#aubergine#cappers #olives #olio #olive #londonlifee #londonstyle #
This newly-opened restaurant can be found at Pop Brixton, on Brixton Station Road. Specialising in Sicilian cuisine, the restaurant offers a range of “Schiticchio” dishes (small plates to share) – including Ammuttunata (mini aubergine smoked in garlic and tomato, and filled with pecorino and mint) and Pasta alla Norma (made with gluten-free pasta, of course).
Mannadew London, SW11 3JS
Lunch @mannadew.london, so good! The Butternut squash with crispy salad, avocado, cucumber, roasted peppers, roasted artichoke, coriander, red onion, pomegranate, cumin & harissa dressing. For desert mmm.. Special recipe Vanilla macaroon, which was melting in the mouth and jasmine tea! #foodstagram #glutenfreelondon #glutenfreefood #glutenfree #eatwell #eatclean #eathealthy #livewell #безглютена #goodfood #eating #eatingout
Love Mediterranean food? Love French pastries? If so, this café offers the best of both worlds, as London’s first gluten-free patisserie and café.
Along Battersea High St, you can drop in to Mannadew to sample their butternut squash salads, piadinas, foccaccia breads and waffles (which aren’t only gluten-free, but also dairy and sugar-free, too).
Mannadew boast of having fresh gluten-free sandwiches ready to take-away in under five minutes. For those of you who have a sweet tooth, indulge yourself with cakes, tarts and macarons – and make sure to try the Matcha latte.
Artisan Gluten Free Bakery, N1 1US
Based in Islington, this bakery offers only gluten-free baked goods, from pastries and cakes to freshly-baked bread. Everything is made from scratch, and you can nip in at any time of day, as they offer breakfast (Full English, not just sweet treats), lunch, afternoon tea, and even a takeaway service.
The bakery is less than 5 minutes from the Almeida Theatre and the Islington Assembly Hall, so you can grab a gluten-free treat on the way to an event (they don’t close until 7pm).
G.O.D. Bakery, N16 7UY
Well my Monday just got amazing. I may still be at work, but just had the most INCREDIBLE delivery from Eva of @godbakery! This gluten free Parsnip, Pecan and Salted Caramel beauty (also containing orange and apple) is one of the lightest, moist and flavoursome cakes I've ever had! Find the guys of Gluten Out Done at Stoke Newington Farmer's market or get one delivered straight to your door in London. Thanks so much Eva!
Stoke Newington Farmer’s Market has lots of great fresh and local food stalls, but Gluten Out Done Bakery is the real winner. Founded by Eva Mavron, an ex-solicitor who swapped the courtroom for the kitchen, GOD offers dairy-free, sugar-free and gluten-free cakes, ice cream, loaves, and tahini toasts.
Their nut milks are dairy-free, vegan and 100 per cent raw, and you can also order bespoke gluten-free treats from their website.
Manna, NW3 3AJ
Despite Manna’s location in Primrose Hill, this vegetarian and vegan restaurant is incredibly informal and unpretentious, two elements it prides itself on.
Nearly everything on the menu is gluten-free, or can be prepared using gluten-free equivalents. There are allergen notes on all meals, including soy-free, onion and garlic-free, nut-free, 100 per cent vegan – name it, they’ll have it.
There’s something new and exotic for everyone, from their Thai-inspired salad and raw maki rolls, to their enchilada lasagne and organic spaghetti and veatballs. Manna is surprisingly inexpensive, too, with dishes costing around £15 and under.
Cookies & Scream, NW1 8AF
Launched in 2010, this vegan, gluten-free bakery has won countless awards for producing great-tasting food, and just seems to become more and more well-known every day, all of which is incredibly impressive considering the company is family-run.
Based in the Market Hall at Camden Lock Place, you can reach the bakery stall from Chalk Farm or Camden Town in five minutes. This successful, independent company doesn’t only specialise in avoiding animal by-products and wheat flour, all their baked goods are made using unrefined sugar, and are low-fat and low-cholesterol, so feel free to have a guilt-free binge with their brownies, donuts, and ice-cream cookie sandwiches.
Did I mention they do milkshakes too?
Suzzle, E1 6PU
Brick Lane is full of new and unique places to grab something to eat, and Suzzle is just the place to go if you want gluten-free and lactose-free food and drink, from bacon sarnies and hot chocolates to mango, banana and passionfruit cake and iced coffees.
This cute eatery has a cosy interior, with cool wall art and an array of cushioned seats, as well as an enclosed outdoor courtyard, if you wish to enjoy your gluten-free treats in the fresh air.
If all of that still didn’t win you over, there’s also Merlin, Suzzle’s resident cat, to keep you company.
The Florist Arms, E2 0JD
For the pub lovers out there, finally there’s somewhere you can enjoy pizza and beer which is ALL gluten-free. Based in Bethnal Green, The Florist Arms has had rave reviews for their top-notch service, friendly staff and good vibes.
They host all sorts of events from quiz nights to sing-along evenings, so you can munch away at their crayfish and mango summer pizza and drink Celia, their gluten-free, premium, hand-crafted beer.
La Polenteria, W1D 4UQ
La Polenteria is London’s first Italian gluten-free restaurant. If you’re into fine dining, this is the perfect spot for you. Polenta is used instead of wheat flour to make their gluten-free dishes, and they have a huge array of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes.
Not only does La Polenteria offer breakfast favourites such as eggs Benedict and eggs royale, they also have a great dinner menu, offering gluten-free ravioli and gnocchi, as well as a Grab & Go menu, which features their courgette and ginger vegetable-stuffed box and their artisanal cheese fondue and zucchini with black rice.
Beyond Bred Bakery, W1T 1SB
This cute, quaint café located close to Goodge Street, Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road is 100 per cent gluten-free. Open weekdays until 5pm and weekends until 4pm, you can eat all sorts of brekkie treats, from muffins to danish pastries, grab sandwiches and toasties, with all sorts of fillings (meat, fish and veggie).
Alternatively, just pop in and pick up some fresh gluten-free bread.
Feel Good Cafe, BR4 0PX
West Wickham is located in Bromley, and is London’s most rural borough – yet it is still home to Feel Good, which offers gluten-free bread, made with an array of ingredients, including almonds, linseed and cauliflower.
If you don’t fancy their savoury dishes (quiches, salad boxes and sandwiches), you can indulge with their scones, brownies, cakes, pies and pastries – all of which are made using alternative gluten-free ingredients.
Pricing is excellent, with quiches costing around the £2 mark, and sweet treats/breakfast options costing under £4.
Smoothbean, CR0 2NA
Less than a minute from East Croydon station, you’ll find Smoothbean, an independent, artisan café with a rustic ambience about it. There are a great selection of options such as gluten-free quiches, quinoa, sandwiches, croissants and chickpea salads.
You can choose from an array of drinks too, as they stock craft beer, and make fresh smoothies and juices. Smoothbean usually holds evening events, such as jazz music nights, and there’s often portraits and paintings displayed in the café too.
…and the top five chains which offer gluten-free menus
Carluccio’s is one of the nation’s favourite Italian restaurant chains, with nearly 100 stores across the UK. Whether you fancy a gluten-free breakfast, lunch or dinner, Carluccio’s has stepped up its game by offering an alternative menu which is completely gluten-free.
You can get all your typical Italian favourites such as carbonara and frutti di mare pasta to bruschetta and risotto. Fancy something sweet? Choose from dolce di cioccolato, chocolate and salted caramel sundae, meringa con panna and much more.
This Vietnamese chain has just gone from strength to strength since it opened its doors in Clerkenwell 11 years ago. From Leeds to Brighton, Pho has restaurants nationwide, so you can get your fill of goi (Vietnamese salad dishes), bun noodles, com tam (rice-based meals), pho xao (wok-fried flat noodle plates) or of course, the usual favourite, pho (which is a steaming bowl of rice noodle soup).
Nearly every option at Pho is gluten-free (99 per cent, in fact) and accredited by Coeliac UK, so you’ll be at ease to know you can just help yourself to their heavenly, healthy, and most importantly, wholesome eats.
Love Mexican food? Wahaca is a firm favourite for those who love tortillas, tacos, taquitos, enchiladas and other signature specials from this street food-inspired restaurant chain.
Their gluten-free menu includes all of the above choices, as well as starters (including a range of tostadas), around ten side options, including guac with tortilla chips, and rice n’ beans, and puddings.
On top of this, Wahaca cater to vegetarians, nut allergy sufferers, and others with specific dietary needs.
Sadly, for those living outside the capital, Hummus Bros doesn’t currently have any restaurants opened yet. If you’re a Londoner, however, head on over to Soho, Holborn, St. Paul’s, Exmouth Market, Gray Inn’s Road or Eastcheap to try out the Mediterranean delicatessen’s grub.
Dedicated to meeting the needs of all customers, this restaurant chain have options for everyone, whether you’re vegetarian, sugar-free, lactose-free or even soy and celery-free. From salads to pittas, to brownies and malabi (a milk-based dessert with date honey), you can eat it all as it’s gluten-free.
If you’ve not tried Honest Burgers yet, you’re missing out. Set up in 2010, and with the company first opening their doors in Brixton the following year, HB has just gone from strength to strength, with 14 branches across London.
Whether you want a chicken, beef, bacon or a vegetable-fritter burger, there’s a gluten-free bun alternative, so HB isn’t just a company that supports high-quality British produce, it’s gluten-free friendly too.