Gluten Free London

Beautiful London

London is one of those cities you just have to see. It’s huge and it’s amazing. There’s always something going on. Lucky for gluten free travellers hoping to explore the UK’s capital city, London has a bunch of gluten free options for celiac visitors. As London is only nine hours by car or bus from Glasgow and even less by train, I’ve done the trip a bunch of times and I’ve always had a great time. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t, there is so much to see and do in London. John and I will probably live there at some point in our future and at that point I’ll have even more gluten free suggestions for you!

When I was back in the UK in the Spring of 2011 I went to visit one of my best friends who lives just outside of London. This was my first time in London as a celiac. These are the gluten free eateries I came across in my research for this trip.

Exploring London

What a city!

Hummus Bros have three locations in London. You can search their online menu by allergen to see what safe options are available for you. They do a variety of gluten free options including hummus, guacamole, meat and veggies dishes which they serve with rice cakes, gluten free bread, carrot sticks or corn tortilla chips instead of pitta bread. They also have a bunch of side dishes are desserts which are gluten free.

Manna Cuisine (4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, London) is a gourmet vegetarian restaurants which caters for celiacs. They serve a variety of gluten free options clearly marked with ‘gf’ on their menu. Many of their starters, mains, sides and desserts are gluten free  and I really want to try their coconut cheesecake! Yum.

Cotto Restaurant on 89 Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo has an amazing and extensive ‘gluten free celiac menu’. Yes, a whole entire menu for celiacs! Gluten free options include a huge variety of antipasti, pizza, pasta and risotto as well as fish and meat dishes. Cotto is at the top of my must visit list for when I’m next in London!

Leon is a chain with gluten free options which can be found at many locations throughout the UK. There are ten locations in the city of London. Gluten free dishes are marked on the menu with ‘GF’. A large variety of their really delicious sounding dishes are gluten free, including mains such as Chilli Chicken, Chilli Con Carne and Sweet Potato Falafel. Gluten free desserts include a Chocolate Brownie, Pecan Pie and Lemon and Ginger Crunch.

The Gate (51 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London) is another vegetarian restaurant in the city which also offers gluten free options. Dishes which are gluten free are marked with a ‘g’ and those which can be made gluten free are marked with ‘g o’ Gluten free mains include Green Thai Curry and Wild Mushroom Rotolo

Otto in the Notting Hill area of London (6 Chepstow Road) does gluten free pizza. All of the pizza’s on their standard menu and also many of their specials can be made on a crust which is wheat and gluten free. They say that while they take every precaution they can, they cannot guarantee cross contamination. This is normal in pizza restaurants but when eating here I would take the usual precautions (as we should everywhere that isn’t 100% gluten free) to ensure they are doing enough to keep gluten free eaters safe.

Bake a Boo is a bakeshop and tearoom in West Hampstead (86 Mill Lane) which offers a whole bunch of gluten and dairy free cupcakes. Some of them sound absolutely delectable for example Banana and Peanut Butter (I LOVE peanut butter cupcakes..or peanut butter anything for that matter!), Plum and Blackberry and Blueberry and Passionfruit!

A gluten free restaurant addition from my cousin (Thanks, Kim!) is Vitao (Wardour St) in London. It’s a buffet style restaurant with tonnes of gluten free (as well as vegan and raw) options and she tells me that the food is some of the best she’s ever had!

Another recommendation from another of my cousins (Thanks, Joanne!) is Organica Pizza. Apparently they do really tasty gluten free pizza.

I would recommend that any celiac visiting the UK should check out Coeliac UK for up to date information. Their Food and Drink Directory is a great resource if you are gluten free and looking for help on buying safe gluten free products in supermarkets. All of the main supermarket chains in the UK (such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) carry gluten free product ranges which can be found in the ‘Free From’ section of the store. For safe products not in these sections, check out the Coeliac UK Food and Drink Directory for safe product lists and read labels carefully. This directory contains a huge amount of safe products for coeliacs so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding safe meals and ingredients to prepare meals with. Products labelled as gluten free in the UK must contain less than 20ppm. For more info on gluten free labelling have a read at my post on Gluten Free Labelling Around The World.

Our family just spent a week in London in August! You can read about all the tasty gluten-free food we found in my new Gluten-Free London Travel post. Happy eating!

If you’re looking for gluten free chocolates or ice cream in London (or anywhere in the UK) Thorntons has a great coeliac friendly selection!

Are you living gluten free in London or have you travelled gluten free to London and found some fantastic celiac friendly options? Add your favourites to the comments below…

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Comments

  • I’ve only been back to England once since being gluten free, but found there to be so much more selection than that currently avaliable here on the west coast of Canada. You’ve mentioned briefly about the supermarkets, but in comparison, there is so much more choice avaliable to people in England (although they complain there’s hardly any, and it’s expensive-both of these statements are not true in comparison to the prices paid here-.)

    There’s also a pretty good awareness about it in restaurants (also much better in comparison to here at the moment.) So no one need to be worried about just sticking to out of the way places, as many mainstream places also have options.

    There’s also Holland and Barrett which proved quite useful when we went to Cornwall. The people there are very knowledgeable and when I questioned whether one of the gluten free products was also vegetarian (as it was labelled as both however there was a questionable ingredient) the man was able to pull out a binder and research the ingredient.-This verified that the ingredient was not in fact vegetarian.

    We also found it interesting how the outbound flight from Vancouver didn’t have a particularly good meal at all-even giving me a whole wheat roll- compared to the inbound flight where there was a gluten free roll and crackers, etc.

  • Cotto was AMAZING!!! I also tried some gluten fish and chips from this place called the mermaids tail. It was damn hard to find, but for a true British meal I suppose it was worth it 🙂

  • I’m living in London, and you managed to do a run-down of almost all my favourite places to eat!

    I’d also add a shout-out to Indigo restaurant (they have a gf menu, all you need to do is ask – http://www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/indigo.aspx), Bake At Home pizza (a takeaway beyond compare, perfect for pizza-hungry gluten-free south Londoners http://www.bakeathomepizza.co.uk/) and the amazing WAGfree bakery (http://www.wagfreefood.com/).

    Great post!

  • Beth, I’m so happy you loved Cotto 😀

    Madame, Thanks for the new suggestions! Coeliacs in London definitely have lots of restaurants to choose from.

  • We are lucky in the UK as we have a lot of choice and the new labelling really helps. Try supermarket own brands as their labelling is especially good and all the big supermarkets – Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons etc, have special Free From aisles as well, including in the freezer sections.

    And if anyone is every down in the south in one of our most popular seaside towns of Brighton, I can give you lots if info on GF places as I live there

  • I went to Bake-a-boo. The cupcakes were okay, but the employee was very rude…

  • Hi Laura, have just spent a long weekend with my coeliac daughter in London. We stayed out at Westfield, beside the Olympic village – a really convenient location btw. However, it was so difficult to eat out. Loads of eating places but few gave GF details on their menus. On a busy weekend, we weren’t willing to stand in a long queue only to be told there was nothing suitable! The wee pasta place in the shopping centre advertised GF pasta but at Sunday lunch time had only a tiny amount in stock. The cupcake unit had one GF cupcake. We had some nice frozen youghurt and some macaroons. Kat enjoyed a lovely meal in Jamie’s Italian but had a second bad experience in TGI’s – we won’t be back to that chain. Kathryn had been given recommendations after posting a request on Twitter but we didn’t have a good enough knowledge of London locations to track them down. Next time, we’ll do our homework and read your blog first! I wish we’d known about The Mermaid’s Tail – a traditional fish supper is something she is missing!
    P.S. Closer to home, we also found out that a chippie in Clydebank (we’re just across the Clyde) does GF fish and chips. When I find out the name, I’ll put it on the Glasgow part of your blog.

  • Carluccio’s, a chain of Italian restaurants/shops throughout the UK also has a GF menu — again, all you have to do is ask for it.
    Any GF recommendations for Montreal?

  • Bella Italia is another great place in London! It’s a chain, so they seemed to have them around every corner, and during my five day stay in London I ate there four times. They have gluten free pasta and pizza, and they were even able to make me garlic bread from the pizza crust. The pasta was the best I’ve ever had, and I loved it so much that I asked them to show me the packaging so that I could find it on my own!

  • Also worth mentioning is that a new wheat and gluten free restaurant in Brixton Village Market has opened up – I’ve not been but heard very good things. It’s called Vozars.

  • Hope you have a great trip to London.

    Vozars in Brixton Village Market is great – everything is gluten and wheat free. And very tasty. They also sell Celia GF lager.

    PJ’s in Covent Garden is good.

    La Polenteria in Old Compton Street, Soho is worth a visit. Much of the menu is gluten free and the chocolate and coconut dessert is very nice.

  • Thanks a lot, Richard!! 🙂

  • Great site, thanks for sharing the advice.

    Honest Burger also do absolutely amazing beef chicken and fritter burgers, in fact one of the best in London in my opinion, with the option of a gluten free bun and they also sell gluten free beers (Estrella Daura). Reasonable prices and good locations in soho, oxford circus, camden, kings cross and brixton.

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