Gluten Free Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain

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!

Cape Point

Franschoek Valley

Some of my other favourite places to eat in Cape Town are:-
  • 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)

Pizzas
Big Route (Greenpoint), Panarottis (Chain), Col Cachhio (Chain), Butlers, Balduci, Blue Water, Barussos (Rondebosch / Kenilworth), Da Vincis, Massimo, Carlyles (Vredehoek), the Woodlands Eatery (Woodlands)

Beautiful!

For gluten free supplies
  • 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?

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Comments

  • I loved reading this! I spent the last two weeks of January in South Africa (mostly in Cape Town) and I had a really easy time eating gluten free. But I only went to one of the restaurants mentioned here — Crush — so there must really be a lot of options 🙂

  • Fantastic, Jeannie! That’s great to hear that you had an easy time eating gluten free. Is it as beautiful as it looks in these photographs? I really want to go there now!!

    Sometimes travelling gluten free is so hard so it’s wonderful to hear that it’s pretty simply in Cape Town. 😀

  • oh my! south africa is my dream place to visit! it’s just the tickets to there are so expensive from the west coast.

  • Thank you for the listings in Capetown and surrounds.

    I just arrived and I certainly will check out several of these places. Wellness Center is really good also hot food on site there. I will add any new places I discover as well while I am here.

  • I bake gluten free cakes and treats and I’m based in Cape Town and if interested check out my Facebook page: Rafiqua’s Bites and inbox me if you are interested. Or Inbox me at rafiquam@gmail.com
    Rafiqua

  • Hmmm Bakery in Clare Street, Gardens do THE BEST wheat free (almond) chocolate cake and muffins. They also do a polenta and blueberry cake/muffin which is delicious. Well worth making the effort to find them – the shop is a little hard to spot, wedged in between two panel beater/mechanics.

  • Hi everyone,
    It’s great to hear that there are a lot of gluten free options in Cape Town. I am planning to go there for a vacation next spring. How safe is it there, i.e., can a blond, blue-eyed girl walk there freely during the day?

  • So true about CPT not fully understanding what gluten free means… I went to the Food Lovers Market in N1 City yesterday and asked if they have any gluten free breads, the girl behind the counter offered me 100% Rye. Then I also got the “but you asked for gluten free bread” puzzled look when I declined.

  • Hi everyone. I’m also gluten (oand oats) intolerant. I was in Muzeinburg in January and there was a wonderful place right on the beach calld Knead that did gluten free food too. I found Cape Town to be great at the gluten free as the food markets also did gluten free food – brought home pizza bases and all!

  • If you plan to visit Stellenbosch. All of Cold Gold’s products are gluten free and they sell gluten free breads and pizza bases as well…plus the best ice cream and sorbets! Janine can make any item according to any dietary requirements:-)

  • Sandra Edwards

    Nov 9th, 2014

    I live in Simons Town on the South Peninsula of Cape Town. I would like to get in contact with a support group for celiac disease.

  • Anyone know where in Gauteng, Johannesburg or Pretoria the same type of places are?

  • Hi..you might be interested in ‘Plant Cafe’ just opened in Buiten street Cape Town..vegan,GF etc options.

  • Hello,
    I am in capetown since 3 days and couldn’t find ONE place to eat. Everything contains gluten , or if not it contains egg I am egg intolerant. So I read the comments and happy to see that it exists. Cause I ask to a lot of place and everybody told me that it doesn’t exist or that is hard to find :O
    So I am looking for a place. I am leaving bit far from “jardin de la companie”.
    Thank you everybody

  • Martin’s Bakery on the Main Road in Diep River has lots of gluten-free options and is well worth checking out. It is my favourite place for all my gluten-free bread, cakes, muffins, biscuits, etc.

  • check out mom n tys for the best wraps and pizza bases in Cape Town

  • Hello, I live in Cape Town, and travel sometimes in the direction of Knysna. In Heidelberg WC there is a lady with a startup business called earthbornlove.co.za She started wheat-free but now have outsourced production of her rye products specifically to be able to cater for celiacs. Her products are in some shops in Cape Town and in shops along the N1 and N2 to Knysna. Her website gives an indication of where her products can be found. Well worth trying – even to become a distributor and receive a discount.

  • We are a meat free gluten free kitchen supplying various retailers in Cape Town

    Twitter: @wholeearthkitch
    facebook.com/pages/The-Whole-Earth-Kitchen/157127347685848
    http://www.thewholeearthkitchen.co.za/

  • HI

    NICE WEBSITE. I AM STRUGGLING TO FIND A PLACE TO BUY GLUTEN FREE CHICKEN STOCK AND GLUTEN FREE BAKING POWDER. I CHECKED THE WEBSITE FOR DISKEM, BUT COULD NOT PICK IT UP IN THEIR ADVERTISING.

    CAN YOU ASSIST?

    THANKS,

    HELGA

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