When you’re gluten free, travelling is a lot easier when you know where you can eat. As much as holidays are about spontaneity, good food can make or break a holiday for me.
Before visiting a certain place, I’ll often do some research beforehand on where has gluten free options and/or fully understands the risk eating gluten can be to people. Other times, I’ll stumble across places and it will literally make my week. So much so, that if staying on the area, I’ll often go back again and again to try other bits from their gluten free menu.
Whether it’s the UK or more further afield, I’ve gathered together my top five favourite spots where I’ve not only thoroughly enjoyed the meal, but have felt at complete ease and n total trust of the staff.
Where? Centre of Athens, near the Plaka. Find it here.
Cuisine? Healthy living vegetarian
Separate GF Menu? No, but fully labelled
Options? What’s great about Avocado is its sheer number of options. Whether your veggie, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, or a combination of the above, eating out is a total enjoyment. If you’ve spent your holiday eating lots of thick meats, Avcocado is a great spot foe something a little lighter. Their fresh juices are also to die for!
What I had: Gluten free pasta with fresh avocado pesto and pine nuts, with a fresh apple juice.
Helpful? These guys know their stuff. Being known for going the extra mile as a restaurant that provides for dietary requirement, they know exactly what’s OK if you’d rather chat to the team, however everything is fully labelled, so the menu is very clear.
What else is there to do?
If you’ve stopped by Avocado, you should definitely visit the health food shop next door that’s of gluten free products. After that, head to the Plaka, known for its huge array of shops to pick up some local bits and bobs.
Read my Gluten Free Guide to Athens in full here.
Where? You’ll find Niche in the North of London, just a short walk from Angel Underground Station.
Cuisine? Niche is the first 100% accredited gluten free restaurant in London. Choose from a wide range of traditional dishes like hearty English pies, grils with chunky chips, lighter salads and burgers.
Separate GF Menu? The whole menu is 100% gluten free.
Options? Expect to be blown away. This is the first 100% gluten free restaurant I’ve been to, and it’s an amazing feeling. Browse the menu and decide exactly what you fancy, rather than umming and arring between the two options you can actually have. Starters, mains, amazing desserts and even GF beer. There really is something for whatever you fancy.
What I had: Having not had a decent pie in years, I thought it would be wrong not to go for the beef and chorizo pie, with large meat chunks, with a perfectly flaky crust. The dish was served with creamy mash and gravy(!). My only suggestion would be a little veg was needed. My Mum went for a gluten free burger, which of course came with a gf bun.
Helpful? Only gluten free food is produced in their kitchens, so there’s no worry at all of cross contamination.
What else is there to do? Angel is a lovely place to do a spot of shopping. Walk from Angel Station towards Highbury and Islington, and you’ll find lots of quirky gift shops, boutiques and great charity shops filled with designer goods. Also an ideal spot for food if you’re heading to the ballet.
Passion Cafe, Ibiza
Where? Santa Eulalia, Ibiza
Cuisine? Vegetarian healthy living
Separate GF Menu? Everything on the menu is fully labelled, with a huge range of gluten free options.
Options? There were so many gluten free options from cakes, to salads, to pizzas – but also covering dairy free and vegan too.
What I had: Raw almond bread with feta, tomato, avocado and spinach with a ‘super detox’ smoothie.
Helpful? Every part of the Passion Cafe is so helpful, from their service, menu options, Instagram account and website, which all echo and embrace healthy eating and living.
What else is there to do? Santa Eulalia is a quiet town round the opposite side of Ibiza and perfect for chilling out if you’re not fancying a heavy one, or would prefer a chill out day detoxing.
Hucks Center Parcs, UK
Where? Center Parcs is a great country getaway with destinations across the UK. I stayed at Woburn Forrest and stayed in a gorgeous cottage with my family last winter.
Cuisine? Huck’s is an American Diner filled with juicy meats, smothered in mouth-watering sauces. Basically everything I miss about eating out!
Separate GF Menu? Yes! Center Parcs is in the process of introducing separate gluten free menus in all their restaurants. Huck’s was one of the first, and the menu is far from limiting. Almost everything on the standard menu is available gluten free.
Options? Due to Center Parcs’ willingness to cater for all, Huck’s offers a range of options, with a fully labelled separate gluten free menu that doesn’t disappoint. Choose from the likes of grills, ribs, BBQ chicken, nachos, lighter salads and coleslaw.
What I had: I started my sharing a huge plate of cheesy nachos, drizzled in guacamole, followed by a thick piece of steak, with chips and coleslaw, and finished with a dreamy chocolate torte.
Helpful? These guys really know how to make you feel special. Every part of the dining experience was extremely enjoyable. What’s great about Center Parcs is that so much of their holiday site can be easier made gluten free. Take GF pancakes at the pancake house for example, and a whole range of gluten free options at the Parc Market. Read all about my gluten free trip here.
What else is there to do? You name it, you can do it at Center Parcs! We had a brilliant time competing in archery shoot offs, being thrown around the rapids in the pool, cycling through the woodlands and chilling out at their wonderful sensory spar. Finishing off with a regenerating full body massage, it’s the perfect mini break with family and friends.
Read my full Gluten Free Guide to Center Parcs here.
Where? Find Deesons’s in the heart of Canterbury, just behind the Cathedral.
Cuisine? Traditional British menu, with all produce locally sourced.
GF Menu? Although there was no gluten free menu, when booking for my brother’s graduation meal, we phoned ahead in advance to see what gf options were available. In turns out the chef is coeliac, so we were reassured that nothing would be a problem.
Options? To my surprise, on arrival I was presented with a copy of their menu, which had been fully labelled by the chef, in pencil, to show what I could and couldn’t have. A good 2/3 were perfectly fine, with the smallest alterations, which Deeson’s promised was no problem at all.
What I had: Probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had, I went for the roast breast of free range chicken, chicken liver pate, cripsy potato cake and baby carrots with a cured bacon and onion sauce. It’s not often you can eat a lovely piece of meat smothered in sauce.
Helpful? I was thrilled by Deeson’s dedication to a smooth running dining experience. When others were presented with a bread basket, of course I asked the question. Although no gluten free bread, the waiter returned straight away with a chopping board full of gluten free crackers and fresh butter, so I didn’t have to experience bread envy!
What else is there to do?
Canterbury is a beautiful city for a day out or overnight stay. I know the area very well, as I went to university at the University of Kent. Have a wander round traditional shops to high street stores, and enjoy the peacefulness of the picturesque River Stour that flows through the city.
Read my full review here.