When living with celiac disease, forced to constantly check ingredient labels and look for ‘free-from’ signs, the prospect of eating out can often be a daunting one. However, with London’s ever-increasing range of gluten-free options, you will be surprised at how easily you can enjoy the perfect wheat-free meal. Browse our guide to the 10 best gluten-free eats in the capital, these places will make you forget the hassle of accommodating a food allergy.
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Nestled in the heart of one of central London’s most exciting zones, the vivid décor of Wahaca Soho generates a lively atmosphere in which you can delight in a number of Mexican-inspired, gluten-free dishes. Co-founder of Wahaca and winner of Masterchef 2005, Thomasina Miers, has created an innovative gluten-free menu, ensuring that celiacs get the best possible experience from the restaurant. Start with some fresh tomato salsa and tortilla chips before choosing two or three of the gluten-free corn tacos, boasting a range of South American flavours. If you fancy a bit of Mexican fire, try the delicious plantain taco, comprised of plantain, frijoles, crema, and feta.
Market, Restaurant, Fast Food, British, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
What makes Honest Burgers so unique is the availability of gluten-free buns, allowing celiacs to order real, hearty burgers without tiresome restrictions. With an always evolving menu featuring new specials, watch out for the classic cheeseburger, packed with Ginger Pig dry aged beef, red onion relish, lettuce, and your choice of cheese. For vegetarians, the fritter burger provides a delicious meat-free substitute, featuring cauliflower, tomato, sweet corn and shallots. The large windows and wooden interior create a charming, midwestern ambiance, this is a place to refuel while enjoying a simple, quality meal.
Just north of the picturesque Regent’s Park, step into Oliver’s Fish and Chips every Wednesday to experience a gluten-free version of this traditional British favourite. The rather small venue makes booking in advance essential, but the size only adds to the cosiness of the atmosphere. The restaurant’s dedication to sourcing fresh ingredients ensures their food is full of flavour, aided by the Mediterranean influences on the cooking. With a range of gluten-free fish, chips, and onion rings to enjoy, be sure to order the delectable grilled sea bream as an accompaniment to a portion of their hot, crispy chips.
Formerly a bank, the elegant high ceilings and large interior of this Italian restaurant offer a lively atmosphere in which to watch the talented chefs prepare Mediterranean pizzas. With the majority of the carefully designed toppings available on a gluten-free pizza base, the choice for celiacs at this restaurant is not a small one. Particular toppings to try include the creative Il Padrino, as well as the lighter Giardiniera for those with a craving for greens. For more intimate gatherings, make sure to reserve the restaurant’s spacious basement dining room.
A place where fast food is truly good food, the culinary creations offered at Leon Bankside combine healthiness with satisfaction. With quirky artwork lining the walls, perhaps reflecting its proximity of the Tate Modern, take a seat and peruse the comprehensive menu packed with labelled gluten-free choices. For a hearty meal, pick the Moroccan meatballs hot box, consisting of grilled meatballs, tomato sauce, brown rice, toasted seeds, and aioli. For a lighter alternative, opt for the well-seasoned chargrilled chicken superfood salad. Before leaving, do not forget to browse the range of gluten-free sweet treats.
The elegant interior of this central London establishment draws its inspiration from the old Irani cafés of Bombay. Its unusual industrial décor, combined with geometric floor patterns, makes Dishoom an intriguing place to sample the spices of the Middle East. Since the café possesses an extensive gluten-free menu, there is no need to feel limited. For the complete experience start with some flavor-infused okra fries, before choosing the moist and tender spicy lamb chop alongside some gunpowder potatoes. Make sure you also take a moment to occupy the lively Permit Room, a place to enjoy a cocktail amidst the splendor of the wooden furniture.
The Modern Pantry is right at home in an area housing some of the best restaurants in London. With a continental external terrace, as well as an airy dining room overlooking St John’s Square, the light-filled venue encourages guests to secret themselves away for a soothing, sophisticated weekend brunch. With ample gluten-free dishes available, opt for the tea-smoked salmon with poached eggs, along with the yuzu hollandaise on gluten-free muffins. For those desiring a wholesome meal, the restaurant’s cosmopolitan menu merges cultures and flavours for a unique, fusion-fuelled dining experience.
The gluten-free afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason is well worth the money. With the decadent design of The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon complete with all manner of pastel blues and soft, welcoming chairs, enjoy a tiered selection of finger sandwiches, fruit scones and desserts in a tranquil, stylish setting. Quintessentially English, the cucumber with cream cheese sandwich, offered on either white or brown gluten-free bread, is one to try, evoking memories of childhood picnics and tea parties. The delicate rose-scented macaroons are also particularly renowned. With a free refill service available, this establishment has all the components to place it above the competition.