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Gluten Free London - Free from hidden Gems

Lets talk about Gluten free London food and locations.

Living Gluten-free, with Celiac Disease (or with any dietary restrictions for that matter) can be such a pain sometimes. Often in more ways than one. This pain is only magnified when travelling away from the safe spaces we create for ourselves. Whether at home or our trusty Gluten free food spots in our home towns.

So leaving these spaces behind us whether that be 60 miles or 6000 miles, can be extremely stressful and even anxiety inducing, especially when you literally don’t know where your next meal is coming from.

Gluten free London- The free from security blankets

There was recently a FreeFrom and Allergy Festival hosted in London and I was lucky enough to be a part of it, try some great food and be able to witness some talks and demonstrations about gluten-free cooking. I’m hoping to put together a full blog about this event in the near future as I have a lot of favourites and learnt some enlightening things. But in times when free from food is few and far in between, it’s nice to have a list of viable options, so on this recent trip to London, I thought id explore a few possibilities. Whether that be for meals or quick bites to enjoy. I’m going to share them here for anyone else stopping off at London in the future who may not be familiar or who is looking for a new favourite pitstop.

I’m just going to discuss the very few places I tried this trip as I’m aware there are probably hundreds of great places.

Let’s start off generic and slightly less exciting with respected and well established chain restaurants. When in an unfamiliar place in the U.K. your best bet is to run to companies you recognise. Maybe it’s not the most adventurous food in the world but it’s safe and to be honest, when in a pinch. That’s what’s most important.

London has many a chain with trusty and reliable gluten free options. Some that I used during my stay were the likes of Frankie and Benny’s, Pizza Express and LEON, all of which had several options to choose from, with differing price points.

I’ve never actually tried LEON before, and was pleasantly surprised to discover they offered both gluten free burgers and chicken nuggets, as well as vegan options which of course would be suitable, for someone with dairy intolerance for example.

I had the chicken nuggets and their instantly recognisable waffle fries (also gluten free). As a fast food restaurant the price is higher than the likes of McDonald’s &Co but honestly the quality of the food in comparison is miles apart.

Add to the equation that there are already too many fast food chains that ignore a large portion of their audience, who may have allergies or other dietary restrictions, and the extra couple coins all seem worth it. Especially when it tasted so damn good.

The old familiar chains like Pizza Express and Frankie and Bennies, are great if you want to feel like you’re actually sitting down and having a proper meal. With both of these restaurants, costs can be cut by using 2for1 vouchers, which are widely available and can be used across the majority of these restaurants as well as some others.

In F&B I enjoyed a jacket potato and a beef burger. Not my usual taste but it was good.

What I like about this restaurant is how they have a completely separate menu for Dietary restrictions, so you’re not searching through a large menu for little keys, and small print. The struggle is simplified and that goes along way to alleviate the stress of eating out.

I had a GF pizza and dough balls in Pizza express. They have a black slate system to ensure foods with dietary requirements, are easily recognisable and separate, to minimise any potential of cross contamination. Honestly I was just so happy to be able to eat pizza with everyone else.

Small Businesses and local spots

Now to the more niche and local food stops.

If you’re looking for a place to have a delicious breakfast, in a friendly and relaxed environment, then I highly recommend the hidden gem Bamboo Wellness. A plant based cafe with many a GF option and daily juices, they even have an adjoining yoga studio, so after your morning downward facing dog, you can sit down and have an espresso and Breakfast burrito.

I went for the triple cheese toastie and I did not expect it to taste so good honestly. So if you’re in the Wandsworth area, then please do give Bamboo Wellness a try. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere and delicious offerings.

Something else I was desperate to try after seeing it on Instagram was Yaki Yaki. The traditional Asian waffle treat. Which can come in the form of a savoury doughnut, filled with an assortment of fillings. Or a fish shaped waffle cone, filled with your choice of soft serve ice cream. I went for vanilla bean and matcha, in their signature waffle cone, that happens to be gluten free. A match made in heaven.

At £4.50 you could say it’s an expensive ice cream. But located in prime location Convent Garden, Yaki Yaki is not an ordinary run of the mill ice cream parlour, with large portions, a quirky look and even better taste. Unique and intriguing flavours to try. I’d say the splurge is well warranted and the staff were so lovely and helpful.

Finally, as someone who has dietary restrictions. I need as much sympathy as possible at all times ( catch the partial irony). We miss some of the small joys of life that other people may take for granted and would only miss if they couldn’t have it ever again.

For instance I loved cheesecake or should I say love it. Though I’ve only been formally diagnosed semi recently, I have failed to find a gluten free cheesecake or any baked goods really, which can stand against the gluten filled originals.

That was until I heard about ‘Beyond Bread’ the 100% gluten free bakery with several shops dotted around Central London. I, however, came across the company in the Selfridges Food hall. A case full of cakes and other pastries and breads. All gluten free, I could hardly believe it honestly, as in the South West, you’re lucky to find a gluten free section in a local shop, never mind an entire bakery.

I decided to get two slices of cake, the cheese cake and a chocolate cake. I wanted to try a bit of both and of course we shared the slices between us. Though it tasted amazing and honestly I don’t think anyone would be able to tell the difference between their baked goods and high end gluten filled confections. I did feel guilty due to the higher price point (£4 a slice) but that can be expected I suppose, being a niche product in a high end department store.

Also when you’re not able to have or find these things easily, as they’re not as accessible, it’s much more justified to treat yourself every once and a while. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

What I would say is I think the price becomes more worth it if you were using an entire cake as a dinner party centre piece or for gluten free catering or even a birthday cake. You can get your hands on a whole cake for about £35 if I remember correctly.

Just for reference and comparison, a specially made gluten free cake, with four layers, and that was specifically created for my 21st Birthday was about £45 in my local area. (By the amazing Cakewhole by the way, an incredible local business that offer goods for any dietary restriction or allergy).

Gluten Free London - So many gems still left to discover

But back to London! To just wrap up, as I’m conscious that this entry has rambled on far too long. I do hope it has been partially informative to find out about some new Gluten free food venues for next time you’re passing through London, and I know for certain there are dozens more that I just didn’t have time or money to explore. If you have any you’d recommend, please do let me know. I’d love to hear about them.

Just remember when travelling to such large cities, your worries can be eased slightly as I promise you, you will always find something to your taste and dietary needs. Though it’s hard and often dangerous and scary for many with life threatening sensitivities. It’s important we don’t let our dietary restrictions, limit our experiences. Just always proceed with caution. You are the most educated person, in what your body needs. Remember that!



Perhaps checkout my own Gluten Free recipes, heres one to get you started


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