Who are you and where are you?
Hey, I am Roisin Looney and I’m currently living in Cape Town in South Africa
Tell me about your relationship with gluten..
I haven’t been for any tests but think I’ve always had a problem with gluten. A few years ago my sister was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and when my health got worse I too cut gluten out of my diet and feel so much better for it.
Why should gluten free travellers visit your town?
Cape Town has GOT to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world – and I have lived all over the place. It’s got everything, the beach, the mountains, the winelands, amazing people, lovely food…
Tell me something fun about your town..
What’s NOT fun about Cape Town. Seriously, there’s always something going on from kite surfing and shark cage diving to gorgeous outdoor weekend markets or fancy a horseback wine tour? South Africa in particular the Western Cape Rocks – you should definitely visit sometime. Plus they’re getting so much better with gluten free – the last 12 months the change has been amazing which is such excellent news.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in your town and why?
My favourite place to eat in Cape Town at the moment is Masala Dosa on Long Street in the city centre. A lot of their menu is naturally gluten free and they are very helpful with choosing options if you’re unsure of what you can eat. Definitely try the Aloo Bombs – potato, rice and coriander balls with melted mozzarella and chilli centres. Yum!
- Charleys has seriously yummy cake. You can order whole gluten free cakes for parties etc and they usually have 1 or 2 gluten free options everyday. I adore their gluten free lemon meringue cupcakes.
- Kirstenbosch tea rooms in the botanical gardens is also a fantastic place to visit. The setting is just amazing, and once you’ve worked up an appetite after your walk, go to the tearoom which has lots of gluten free options. My favourite is the bean burger and their chocolate mousse cake. I usually take home a couple of their florentines. You can also have most things on their menu as take away and have a picnic in the gardens which is a great way to spend the day.
- Mango Ginger in the suburb of Observatory has lots of gluten free options and bakes gluten free treats every day. You can also order and purchase freshly baked bread from them and the staff are all lovely.
- Eat Well in Stellenbosch, just outside Cape Town, is someplace that I just found out about. Apparently they have a four page menu dedicated to gluten free eating which is extremely exciting, I’m just waiting on an excuse to take a trip out there!
Here is a list of other places that I have found to be good for gluten free food in Cape Town. I cannot say whether there is a risk of cross contamination or not . I have Gluten Intolerance, I am not a coeliac, but these places would be a good place to start for anyone newly diagnosed or visiting Cape Town. Note that none of these are dedicated gluten free places, but merely offer gluten free options.
Restaurants / Fast Food
Addis (just off Long St), Doppio Zero (Chain in SA), Primi Piatti (Chain in SA), Kuaui (Chain in SA), Osumo (Chain in SA), Crush (chain in CT), Fork (Long St)
Cafes / Tea Rooms / Bakery
Postcard Cafe (Conde Stark Wine Farm, Stellenbosch), Harries Pancakes (Hout Bay), Hillcrest Berry Orchard, Imhoff Farm, Terra Bella (Hout Bay Market), Easy Dig (Near Kommetjie)
Big Route (Greenpoint), Panarottis (Chain), Col Cachhio (Chain), Butlers, Balduci, Blue Water, Barussos (Rondebosch / Kenilworth), Da Vincis, Massimo, Carlyles (Vredehoek), the Woodlands Eatery (Woodlands)
- Dischem chain – they have a very broad range of packaged items, pastas, flours, cookies etc.
- The Wellness Warehouse also have a broad range of packaged items but they also have fresh bread – their Sweet Potato bread is seriously gorgeous. Some of the bigger stores have cafes attached and do a big range of freshly baked gluten free items too.
- Independent health food stores also have some gluten free items but not a lot.
- I also just found a couple of wholesale bakeries that you can now buy from direct:- The allergen baker – in Ottery (not a very safe area to be driving around – better to get them to deliver to you if you don’t know your way around Cape Town) and Once Upon a Treat
While Cape Town is catching up with understanding the words Gluten Free, they don’t yet fully understand the meaning – I regularly get offered Rye bread and they look at me as though I don’t know what I’m talking about when I refuse! If you’re traveling outside of the main cities or tourist areas in South Africa people’s english is generally very bad and you would really need to have a restaurant card translated into Afrikaans to ensure you stay safe. I have also experienced that aside from the main cities it’s difficult to find places selling gluten free food so make sure to stock up when you can!
Do you live in or have you travelled to South Africa? Where is your favourite place to eat gluten free?