Coeliacs! Gluten intolerants! People who avoid gluten for health reasons! People who avoid gluten for “trendy” reasons! This is for you.
When you’re trying to avoid gluten, it’s always such a pain when you have to ask “errrr, has this got gluten in it?” or “uhm, don’t suppose you have a gluten free menu?”, only to be handed a ring-binder full of baffling Excel spreadsheets that you have to decipher and cross-reference with the regular, “normal” menu. Cue the synchronised cry of coeliacs and gluten intolerants going “Uggggggh! Tell me about it!”
Nobody likes to be that guy. But, at these restaurants, you can just go ahead and order whatever the eff ya like, and feel safe in the knowledge that gluten is nowhere to be found.
Our favourite: Mommi
Peruvian and Japanese fusion? Pardon me?
It’s actually not as completely bizarre as it sounds, in fact it works extremely well. More than just a restaurant, Mommi is all about great sharing plates, top service, smashing cocktails and mixing cuisines in a very clever way. The menu features some incredible standout dishes, including the House Ceviche with sea bass, tuna, salmon, sweet potato, red onion, mango and tiger milk, the Flame-Seared Tuna Tataki and the Lamb Cutlets Yakitori with green tea miso.
The best part, for the resident Coeliac on the Secret London team at least, is that everything on Mommi’s menu is totally gluten free (and Coeliac UK accredited, big up ?). This is so hard to find when it comes to Japanese food, what with all that dastardly soy sauce, but Mommi have seriously come through with the gluten free goods. This also means gluten free beer, which, being as rare as it sadly is, is always a winner in my books.
If you’re after a bottomless brunch, Mommi is also a great choice for a weekend booze-up. Not that we should be encouraging it of course, but we’ve heard from a reliable source that they are very generous with the bubbles…
44-48 Clapham High St, SW4 7UR
Best for Italian food: Leggero
Ahhh Italian food. It’s what we all miss when we’re deprived of gluten-filled carbs. Previously ‘The Polenteria’, Leggero’s menu is made entirely from gluten free ingredients. From focaccia and arancini, to calamari and tagliatelle, this place is The Bomb when it comes to catering for coeliacs, gluten intolerants and, frankly, everyone with tastebuds (a lot of their dishes are vegan, too).
64 Old Compton St, Soho, W1D 4UQ and Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR
Best for veggies and vegans: Redemption
Warning: you will never see such large portions of food in your entire life. We’re talking dishes quite literally twice the size of your head. And that’s just the cheesecake…
Redemption claims to be ‘the healthiest bar/restaurant in the world’ and it’s wheat free, dairy free, sugar free and alcohol free. “Where’s the fun in that?!”, I hear you ask. Well, that was my thought exactly, until I filled my face with Grilled Aubergine & Tahini, and was proved totally wrong. In fact, fun was had right the way through the meal, up to and including the delicious ‘raw’ cheesecake I had for dessert. Their menu is constantly changing, but it’s consistently good.
Best for pub-style grub: Niche
The tagline for Niche is ‘gluten-free but you wouldn’t know it’, and you’ll see why. Their menu is full of everything you’ve ever missed or craved from the world of gluten: pies, burgers, fried chicken, onion rings, sausage and mash, mac and cheese… the list goes on!
197-199 Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4TJ
Best for dessert: Cookies and Scream
These guys prove that you don’t have to miss out on delicious baked goods if you’re cutting out wheat. Cookies and Scream will feed you Cookies and make you Scream with, er, delight. But the real shocker here is the DOUGHNUTS. Yes, gluten free doughnuts. Take it from a coeliac, these ain’t easy to come by. They also have brownies, blondies and banoffee pies, i.e. all the floury, sugary things you could ever need. They might not be guilt free, but there certainly isn’t a wheaty crumb in sight.
130 Holloway Road, Highbury East, N7 8JE