Eating out, gluten free

picture of Truscott Arms

Coeliac disease, an auto-immune disorder caused by a reaction to gluten, is much more common than you might think. One in every hundred people in the UK is affected and as a result can’t eat dietary staples like wheat, barley, rye and other grains. This can make choosing a restaurant a bit of a nightmare, even in a city like London, as pizzas, pastas and most breads are a big no-no. Yesterday (1 May) marked the beginning of Coeliac Awareness Month, so we’ve rounded up the best places to eat gluten free…

 

The Truscott Arms W9

£50

This recently revamped pub and dining room, in Maida Vale, features a menu of well-sourced, seasonal fare. It also has one of the most wide-ranging gluten free menus in town. Head there for GF fish and chips, burgers and Sunday Roasts. There’s even gluten free beer!

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Dishoom WC2

£40

“A real change from most Indians”; this “vibrant” Covent Garden café – a superb “recreation of the numerous Parsi cafés in Mumbai” – has many fans for its unusually “cool” ambience, and “delicious contemporary cuisine”; now in Shoreditch too. Both sites have a huge selection of gluten free dishes.

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picture of Nopi

Nopi W1

£56

Thanks to Yottam Ottolenghi’s “wonderfully colourful, fresh and inventively-flavoured small plates”, this “beautiful” Soho two-year-old has quickly become a major destination; sceptics, though, can find prices “ludicrous” – but for coeliacs the dedicated gluten free menu, and helpful kitchen staff who don’t mind adapting dishes to make them GF, may make the expense worthwhile.

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Pitt Cue Co. W1

£25

“I actually enjoyed the queuing!” – such are the “happy” vibes at this tiny and “crowded” Carnaby Street BBQ – a “meaty-licious” heaven, where the pulled pork in particular is a “must-try”. Most of their food is naturally gluten free and the head chef also happens to be coeliac, so you’re in good hands.

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Peckham Bazaar SE15

£44

A short walk from the hustle and bustle of Peckham’s Rye Lane, this place is slightly off the beaten track – but rest assured, there’s nothing off about the place itself. It’s a tastefully converted townhouse-turned-taverna with a sizzling outdoors grill, serving up much-praised gluten free dishes of Greek, Turkish and Iranian cuisine. Currently closed for refurbishment, but they hope to be back this month.

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Honest Burgers (group)

£37

“AMAZING” burgers and fries “to which the word ‘chip’ does not do justice” – the original Brixton branch of this growing small chain serves London’s No 1. burger; the queue, though, is “a total pain”. The folks behind this growing operation have taken pains to develop a very tasty ‘gluten-friendly burger’ with specially made GF buns from Yorkshire.

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picture of Fortnum and Mason

Fortnum and Mason W1

£50

“A splendid venue for a sumptuous afternoon tea” – this “light, airy, spacious and very comfortable dining room” is proving a tremendous addition to the store…“fresher and more serene” than the nearby Ritz! And if you’re thinking you can’t eat all those scones and finger sandwiches, never fear, they do a gluten free afternoon tea too.

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Social Eating House W1

£55

On most accounts, Jason Atherton’s latest “buzzy” baby is “a really great addition to the Soho scene”, offering “inventive” British fare that’s both “excellent” and “artistic”; the occasional report of “bland” cuisine, however, slightly undercuts its ratings. If you’re looking for slightly more upmarket GF fare, Social Eating House is a safe bet.

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The Banana Tree (group)

£34

“Always popular and busy” – these pan-Asian canteens have a “pleasing upbeat” style, and offer food that’s “decent for a chain”; “a recent revamp has improved the SW11 branch”. Asian food can be tricky for celiacs, especially when it comes to soy sauce in dishes, but Banana Tree has a dedicated gluten free menu.

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picture of Ceviche

Ceviche W1

£45

“Delicious” ceviche and other “interesting” Peruvian dishes help make this “bustling” Soho yearling “a great place to meet friends for casual eats”; it can, however, seem “pricey” for what it is. Most Peruvian food is naturally gluten free – corn, quinoa and, of course, plenty of that zesty seafood ceviche.

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