Things have really moved on for gluten-free diners in London. Now you're much more likely to have suitable dishes noted on menus, have decent alternatives to key ingredients and be met with a willingness from kitchens to serve you great food that just happens to be gluten-free. We asked The Gluten Free Foodie blogger Caz Roberts to come up with a Top 10 of restaurants in and around London that she really rates.
The Truscott Arms - 55 Shirland Rd, London W9 2JD
If you miss a great Sunday Roast, or are generally missing out of gastropub food, this place is for you. Downstairs is a casual affair where you can indulge in gluten free pub favourites, with culinary flair and high quality ingredients: fish and chips, sausage and mash, Scotch eggs, the innovative and delicious beef shin chips. All washed down with Celia gluten free beer.
Upstairs there is a fine dining restaurant, which caters to gluten free needs with flair. The fresh baked artisanal gluten free bread is excellent. Get in soon before it gets a Michelin Star.
The Mexican restaurant
Wahaca - various locations
This mexican street food chain is a fantastic gluten free choice. They have a separate gluten free menu so it makes ordering easy. The food is fresh and tasty. I love the little corn tortillas with steak with chipotle salsa and the Chicken Tinga corn taco. The crispy Tostada’s are excellent also. Margarita’s are always gluten free.
The Pizza restaurant
Rossopomodoro - Various locations
There has been a recent high street war of the gluten free pizzas with several leading chains introducing them. They have all gone for slightly different approaches, but they are still only as good as their gluten free pizza bases.
Enter Rossapomodoro. A wide reaching and much loved chain in Italy, they currently only have seven UK branches but they are expanding fast. The Italians, bless them, care so much about their pizza and pasta, and they put just as much love into the gluten free versions. The base of their pizzas is light and not cloying and chewy, just as good as the real thing. The toppings are also fantastic quality, not a piece of processed salami in sight. For the taste of real Italy this wins hands down..
Locanda Locatelli - 8 Seymour Street, London W1H 7JZ
Italian cuisine doesn’t appear on the surface to be very glutenfree friendly, with the copious amounts of pizza and pasta. However, Chef Giorgio Locatelli has a daughter with multiple food allergies and he caters thoughtfully for them all at his fabulous Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant. The range of gluten free options is excellent; there is even a range of gluten free pasta dishes.
This is a place that even the most nervous coeliac can feel comfortable, as the cross contamination procedures are incredibly strict. The price is hefty, but it will be a meal to remember.
The Special Occasion destination restaurant
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons - Church Rd, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD
Not in London (but easy to get to from the capital) this two Michelin star restaurant really goes above and beyond. Indeed, I would say that chef Raymond Blanc was the first to really care about coeliacs and strives to make your experience, dare I say it, even better than everyone else's.
Watch your friend’s faces grow jealous when they have to share their canapes and you get a plate of gluten free ones all of your own.
The Indian restaurant
Dishoom - Covent Garden and Shoreditch
This funky restaurant is based on the old Bombay cafes. A great interior and buzzy vibe is matched by fantastic and innovative Indian dishes. The light yet hugely flavourful Chicken and Pomegranate salad has the freshness of a salad but with the punch of Indian spices.
Ask for the gluten free menu and you will see that they have a wide range of options. If they have the barramundi fish cooked in a banana leaf with Indian herbs on the specials board be sure to order it!
The burger joint
Honest Burgers - various locations
Oh for the days when you could swing by the cool new burger joint in town and for under a tenner enjoy a juicy patty washed down with a beer. Wait, what’s this? At honest burgers those days are back again.
With gluten free buns and beer, and over ten varieties of burger to choose from, you’re not missing out on a thing here.
The French restaurant
The Orrery - 55 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5RB
This elegant and consistently delicious french restaurant won’t bat an eyelid when you mention you are gluten free, and will point out your options as simply as they would point out what was suitable for a vegetarian.
Then they will bring you a separate basket of gluten free toast without asking. Heavenly.
The afternoon tea
Claridge's - 49 Brook St, London W1K 4HR
The ultimate place for an understated and truly elegant London experience. The Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s is an institution, and the gluten free afternoon tea is no different.
Marvellous gluten free scones with clotted cream and jam, delicate gluten free sandwiches with a range of fillings, and to-die-forr macarons, it’s a true delight.
Caz Roberts is the brains behind Gluugle - an easy-to-use mobile app and website created to help those who are gluten-intolerant but love to eat out. The iPhone app is available to download free on iTunes and the website has just launched at www.gluugle.com
Hot Dinners reader Suzie Doore, who has a wheat intolerance, added to Caz's list with these suggestions for us:
- Honey and Co - they use non-wheat flour as often as possible, their dumplings are made with chickpea flour and usually at least one of their desserts is a wheat-free cake
- Roka - you need to avoid the soy sauce, but the waiter was very good at recommending ways to adapt dishes to become wheat-free (WF) plus obviously lots of the menu is sushi which is ideal.
- Plum and Spilt Milk - they provided WF bread for me and even made up a batch of WF bread sauce to go with the roast chicken I ordered, without being asked.
- Lima - again, Peruvian food is often WF by definition as they do a lot of ceviche, etc. But they too brought WF bread when asked, in fact they baked it specially!
If you want to know where else to enjoy the best of British food, view our full list of London restaurant reviews.