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Best Gluten Free Food of 2016

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Looking through old photos on my memory card and I’ve come to realise I ate some incredible food in 2016.

It hadn’t even crossed my mind to write a blog post summing up a year in food, but the more my mouth watered at all the meals I’d devoured, the more I realised they all deserved to be recognised in one place.

True the struggle for gluten free options can be tough at times. Sometimes you want to shout and scream at the waitress, other times you want to just walk out, and then other times you’re so angry that a restaurant has made you feel so ill.

BUT this shouldn’t overshadow all the places who have gone above and beyond in making sure their food is both contamination free and delicious. What’s also a great point to make is that although some of my choices specialist, others are typing restaurants who have understood the struggles, and have opened up their menus. These are places and dishes that both gluten free (and gluten full people?) will enjoy. So have a nosey on through, grab your favourite eating out budding, and try as many as you can. You won’t regret it.

FAVOURITE GF LONDON BRUNCH

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Winner: MILK, Balham.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I bang on about this place. I’m salivating some much that I’ve messaged a friend to go with me this weekend.

With lots of gluten free options available, the highlight for me has to be the cake like cornbread, that’s paired perfectly with the best eggs royale I’ve ever had in my life. That caramel sauce – damn.

 Read more here.

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Runner Up: Ethos Foods, Oxford Circus.

Just when I didn’t think Ethos Foods could get any better, they go and do brunch! Gluten free pancakes that are as fluffy as a Victoria sponge, with raspberries, almonds & maple syrup. 

FAVOURITE GF LONDON LUNCH

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Winner: Burrito Bowl, Chipotle

I’ve always been really impressed with Chipotle and how they handle GF. A  mention of Coeliac/GF and staff will wash hands and prepare your burrito separately. Plus it’s delicious. ALWAYS add guac. And chips They’re the best in the business.

Read more here.

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Runner Up: Beyond Bread, London. 

One of London’s only 100% Gluten Free Bakeries, Beyond Bread is a great lunch spot if you’re passing on of their two London locations. GF sarnies, toasties, baguettes & cakes are plenty.

Read more here.

FAVOURITE GF DESSERT

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Winner: GF & Vegan donuts from Borough 22

Again, something else I don’t shut up about. Borough 22 donuts. I’ve loved these gluten free donuts (also vegan!) since they began. Crafted by the super talented Ryan from South East London, I first tried them when I first moved to Brockley two years ago. Now they can be found in numerous locations across SE London and even Selfridges on Oxford St.

Even more handy, is that one of those locations happens to be my local cafe, Broca! It’s become a tradition that myself and my housemate grab a donut every Saturday. She’s not gluten free or vegan, but just bloody loves them!

Read more here.

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Runner up: GF & Vegan Shakes @ Canvas Cafe

I feel like I’m indulging just looking at this. Gaaaah. Look at it. It’s hard to believe this is both gluten free and vegan, being that it’s stuffed with cream and brownie pieces, but it is and it’s so worth those calories. Find the Canvas Cafe off Brick Lane.

FAVOURITE GF LONDON DINNER

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Winner: Cote Brassiere

I was really blown away when I visited Cote recently. I had NO idea the huge gluten free menu available. Around Christmas time myself and a colleague enjoyed a multiple course meal and wine, and for the first time in a long time it took me ages to order – the menu is that full!

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Runner Up: Fried Chicken @ BIRD. 

Another image that just makes me want to go running back to BIRD. This fried chicken eatery uses a naturally gluten free recipe for its fries chicken, so you really can get that KFC hit you’ve been craving. In fact, with the sticky honey glaze, it probably trumps KFC.

Read more here.

FAVOURITE GF MEAL ABROAD

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Winner: Seafood Stew @ Mary’s Fish Camp, New York. 

We happened to stumbling across Mary’s Fish Camp in NYC and killed some time in a bar for it to open. It turn’s out Usher was there enjoying a salad.

Words cannot describe this dish. I was never a big fan of seafood before this place. Chatting to the waitress who spoke to the chef, and a quick adaptation allowed this dish to be completely gluten free. A lovely family run restaurant.

Read more here.

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Runner Up: Veggie salads @ The Butcher’s Daughter, New York. 

Salads don’t come better than this. And YES that is GF croutons! Teamed with a delicious fresh blood orange mimosa, we giggling enjoyed our salad mountains in the spring NYC sun.

Read more here.

FAVOURITE GF STREET FOOD

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Winner: Louisina Chilli, Camden Market. 

I found these guys on a visit to KERB at Camden Market and so super impressed to see all of their chillis are naturally gluten free.

Read more here.

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Runner Up: Halloumi Fries, Oli Baba’s @ KERB. Read more here.

If you haven’t tried halloumi fries you need to. Another fave from KERB at Camden. Find these at Oli Bab’s.

FAVOURITE GF SUPERMARKET

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Winner: M&S

I’ve spoken a lot about M&S recently on Instagram, and I’ve been so impressed recently. Every time I pop in there are more and more free from products that pop up – and at a reasonably price too.

Here I’ve created a chicken salad using their breaded chicken fillets and as I write this I’m just about to pop off to grab one of their new GF sarnies (avo & chicken / ham & cheese FYI!).

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Runner Up: Whole Foods

Pricey, but worth it for the odd treat, if you need a little something special, perhaps to take to a dinner party, these guys are the one.

FAVOURITE GF CEREAL

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Winner: Nature’s Path Granola

I’m a big fan of all the Nature’s Path cereal (I really have tried them all) and have always got a box or two in my work locker. Their granola is a particular hit, paired with blueberries and yoghurt.

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Runner Up: Nutribrex

You can finally enjoy the closest thing to Weetabix! Keep an eye out, as they often go on offer in supermarkets.

FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK

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Winner: Aperol Spritz from The Grain Store, King’s Cross.

The drink of the summer has to be Aperol Sprtiz, and for the best one I’ve ever tasted, it has to be the beautiful Grain Store.

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Runner Up: Cockburn’s Port, sipped in the vineyards of Porto 😉 

Heading to the Douro Valley near Porto, you can’t quite beat port tasting in the sunshine. It just screams holiday.

Read more here.

FAVOURITE NON ALCOHOL DRINK

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Winner: Joe & The Juice – Prince of Green Juice.

On a hunt for my favourite green juice in London, and Joe & the Juice is my ultimate. Prince of Green has the perfect sweet/healthy balance for a much needed boost.

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Runner Up: Fentiman’s Ginger Beer.

FAVOURITE GF LONDON TAKEAWAY

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Winner: GF Fish & Chips (the best in London) from Brockley’s Rock, Brockley, SE London.

Best Fish & Chips in London. Actually award winning. And on a Tuesday they happen to do gluten free! Brockley’s Rock clean out a frier every week in order to provide both GF fish and chips to local SE Londoners. I couldn’t taste the difference (from what I remember!).

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Runner Up: Pho vi UberEats

Pho is now completely gluten free (bar a couple of separately wrapped items like beer and  brownie), which makes ordering so easy, especially from apps like UberEats.

Read more here.

FAVOURITE GF TRAVEL SPOT (UK)

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Winner: Center Parcs

These guys never cease to amaze me on their dedication to gluten free. Back in 2015, I visited for a long weekend with my family and was blown away by options across the complex. I returned mid last year for a day of menu tasting, and then returned for a girls’ weekend away at the end of 2016. More on that to come, but I’ve got nothing but good to say about these guys.

Read more here.

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Runner Up: Kettering Park Spa. 

I was extremely impressed when I took two friend’s to Kettering Park Spa, who have recently developed gluten free options. Jam-packed with choice, we enjoyed an afternoon of grazing after a relaxing spa day.

Read more here.

FAVOURITE GF TRAVEL SPOT (Rest of World)

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Winner: AlpenPalace  Hotel & Spa Resort – South Tyrol, Italy. 

My most recent post  needs to be read to do this place justice. Found in the mountains of Northern Italy, AlpenPalace is a spa experience with a difference. All the staff are completely dedicated to gluten free and offering the most amazing options to those with coeliac disease. Nothing on the menu was a problem – EVERYTHING could be adapted! An incredible experience

Read more here.

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Runner Up: New York. The whole city. All of it.

A trip of a lifetime, we based our days around where we would eat. Eating fresh NYC bagels was one of the highlights, but overall the city is extremely gluten free friendly.

Read more here.

I’m always keen to hear more about your favourite eats, so feel free to drop me a note on social of other places to try :) Happy New Year!

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