Wondering where to eat gluten free in London? First of all, you’re in the right place. We recently spent two weeks in London, and most of that time was spent eating our way through London’s excellent food markets, many of which have a great array of gluten free options.
I, Matt, have Celiac Disease, and need to eat strictly gluten free. But I also love food. When we started talking about a trip to London, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Fish and chips? Toasties? It didn’t sound particularly promising for gluten free food.
What I didn’t quite realize is that the diversity of London means that there is a dazzling array of different cuisines represented in London, many of which have naturally gluten free options. In the guide below, you’re going to find restaurants bringing flavors from Colombia, Vietnam, Venezuela, and India (among many others).
Here’s how we’re going to structure this guide. First, we’ll run through some quick tips for navigating London gluten free (basically, plan on eating a lot of arepas). Then, we’ll split the gluten free options in London up into three categories: dedicated gluten free restaurants (no gluten in the kitchen), dedicated gluten free bakeries, and restaurants with gluten free options?
Sound good? Let’s get to eating our way through London!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.
Here are some tips and tricks for navigating London with Celiac Disease.
Note that I’m American, so I use the Americanized spelling for Celiac – in the UK it’s spelled “Coeliac.” They’re interchangeable, so I’m going to stick with what I know.
Communicate Your Needs
As always, when you’re dining out with Celiac Disease, it’s on you to communicate your needs to the restaurant.
If you’re a native English speaker, the good news is that it’s easier to do here than in places like Paris or Rome because there’s no language barrier. Here are some things I make sure to do, especially at places that are not dedicated gluten free.
- Always let the server know that you have Celiac Disease and need to eat gluten free.
- Ask them (very nicely) to help you figure out what is safe for you.
- Confirm with the server when the food arrives that your meal is in fact gluten free.
For whatever reason, there are a TON of Venezuelan and Colombian food stalls around London selling arepas.
If you don’t know us, we’re HUGE fans of arepas, which is a delightful dish from Colombia and Venezuela (ask either group who invented them and they’ll tell you it was definitely their country).
When we talk about arepas in the US and UK, we’re usually talking about the Venezuelan variety, which is essentially a flat corn cake sliced in half and filled like a sandwich.
They’re usually gluten free, but there are some things to watch out for like shared fryers. If they make tequeños, which are essentially mozzarella sticks, they might fry the plantains (one of the best arepa fillings) in the same fryer so you’ll need to ask.
You’re going to find about five in the list below, all of which are dedicated gluten free. Hooray!
I have mixed feelings about this organization. On the one hand, it’s great to have a charity supporting local Coeliacs and giving them important resources and tools that they might not have elsewhere.
On the other hand, it’s not particularly useful for travelers and visitors (definitely nowhere near as helpful as the AIC App in Italy). Their online resources for finding gluten free restaurants that are accredited by them is abysmal.
I tried to use it multiple times, and for some reason the only thing that came up on the interactive map was Pizza Hut. NO THANKS.
And to use their app, you have to be a member, which removes it from the list of tools for visitors to use.
So my verdict is that it is great for people who live in the UK, not so great for travelers visiting London.
Gluten Free Beer
Like most of Europe, gluten free beer in London is a little different than we are used to here in the States. Here, if a beer is brewed with barley, it CANNOT be labeled gluten free.
Instead, you see things like “gluten removed” or “gluten reduced,” and there are plenty of resources that will tell you that they are NOT safe for Celiacs to drink.
In the UK, it’s totally chill to call those beers gluten free, so you need to actually read the label of every gluten free beer to check whether or not it contains barley. Some people are fine with drinking that kind of beer, I am firmly in the “NO THANKS” camp.
After two tough years of dealing with various levels of restrictions, there are many restaurants that have permanently closed or completely changed the way they do business. London staples like Beyond Bread and Yorica are gone forever.
However, there are still a TON of great options, with more opening basically every day. I do my best to update this guide, but make sure to leave me a comment if a place is permanently closed when you’re exploring London.
Gluten Free London: The Best Gluten Free Restaurants in London (and Bakeries!)
Now let’s get into where to eat gluten free in London.
We’re going to start with an overview of the five best things we ate in London to give you our idea of the must-visit spots, and then take you through three sections – the best dedicated gluten free restaurants in London, the best dedicated gluten free bakeries in London, and more Celiac-safe gluten free restaurants in London (that aren’t dedicated gluten free).
The Best Things We Ate in London
Before we get into every single restaurant and bakery you could go to, let’s take a step back and talk about the six best items we ate while we were in London. These are our “must visit” spots.
Side note: If you want a high-level assessment of the gluten free scene in London, look no further than the development of this section. It started with the five best things we ate, and quickly ballooned because there were simply TOO MANY delicious gluten free foods that we devoured in London. Lucky you!
- The beef arepa from Pabellón
- A sour cherry chocolate torte from the Free From Bakehouse
- The parmesan and cheddar donuts, chickpea and sweet potato masala pie, and (vegan) Angel pâté from Niche
- The spicy tofu curry from Pho
- Everything at Ceru, but especially the roasted parsnips
- The Cereal doughnut (which is topped with corn flakes) from Borough 22
- The scone with strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream from Floris’ Bakery at Broadway Market (Saturdays only!)
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants in London
Here is the wide selection of dedicated gluten free restaurants in London. Some are stalls at a food market, some are standalone restaurants.
We visited almost all of them (there are two exceptions), and included some of our opinions on what to order and what stood out to us about each place.
Niche Gluten Free
Niche is the OG of dedicated gluten free restaurants in London. It’s the first restaurant accredited by Coeliac UK, and it remains 100% gluten free to this day.
It’s a little out of the way of the main sights in London – it’s in Angel in north London, which is about 20 minutes away from Central London by Tube – but it’s well worth the effort to get there for the amazing, safe gluten free food.
We really enjoyed both the food and the ambiance, and it was a lovely night spent alternating between talking and stuffing our faces full of delicious food.
They’re open for dinner, and brunch on weekends. They also have a special Sunday menu, where you can experience a Sunday roast, but 100% gluten free.
One other note: They have the naturally gluten free type of Green’s Beer. I discovered in Italy that most of the Green’s Beer in Europe is actually gluten-removed (made with barley, then an enzyme is added that “breaks down” the gluten) rather than being naturally gluten free, like it is here in the States. I double checked, awkwardly asking to see the bottle to confirm which type it was here, and sure enough, it’s the good kind! If you’re looking for a gluten free beer, they have you covered.
Anyway, let’s talk about the food.
We decided to go with the shotgun approach and try a few starters, split a main, and get a dessert to share.
The standouts on the menu were:
- The chickpea sweet potato pie: A delightfully spicy combination of sweet potatoes and chickpeas tucked away in an edible pie dish made of pastry dough. We were confused on what to do with the gravy on the side, so we asked and they told us “it’s like a Sunday roast, you just drench everything in it.”
- The parmesan cheddar donuts: When is fried cheese NOT a good idea? That’s essentially what these are.
- The Angel pâté: No geese were harmed in the making of this dish – it’s an herby bean spread served alongside toasted sourdough and herbed butter. It was probably the single best thing we ate that night.
They also have fried chicken, which was good, but not particularly unique. I’d order it again, but it definitely isn’t the most exciting thing on the menu in our opinion.
It’s worth making a reservation in advance if you want to eat here – we didn’t and showed up at opening on a weeknight to snag a table. By the time we left, it was packed.
Location: 197-199 Rosebery Ave, London EC1R 4TJ, United Kingdom (Google Maps Link)
Pabellón (Southbank Centre Market)
All I need to really tell you to convince you to try Pabellón is that, over the course of two weeks in London, we went back here not once, not twice, but THREE times. It’s that good.
Pabellón is a stand at the Southbank Centre Market (which takes place here on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) that serves three things: arepas with various fillings, bowls, and fried tempura sweet potatoes. All of it is gluten free.
They got their start in 2017, when two young Venezuelans decided it would be cool to share their cuisine with Londoners. Fast forward five years and they’ve won the British Street Food awards and have a long line at their stand of people waiting to get their hands on what we think is the best arepa in London.
They have two main menu items – the “Pabellón,” a bowl with rice, beans, meat, and plantains (among other things), and the arepa, which is a corn cake sandwich with fillings like chicken or beef, beans, avocado, cheese, and the best part, fried plantains.
We’re huge arepa fans, so we got arepas every time we were here. We tried the chicken, the beef, and the veggie (black beans and cheese), and the beef was our pick for the best version (though the veggie is fantastic too).
Now, I’m going to give you the best tip you’re going to find in this guide. On the first time at the stand, when I was asked if I wanted sweet potato fries, I made the tragic mistake of saying no.
Fast forward to our next visit, when Alysha ordered them, and I realized just how much of a mistake I’d made.
These are not your usual sweet potato fries – they’re dipped in (gluten free) batter, fried until they’re crispy, and topped with a generous shaking of smoky paprika. DELICIOUS.
Location: Southbank Centre Food Market (here on Google Maps)
We first came across Guasa in Madrid, where we had an excellent couple of arepas for lunch, and were excited to hear that they also had locations in London. We added them to our future London list and went about our merry way.
Fast forward six months, and we were headed to London! We looked up Guasa and found out that they have several locations in London these days, and settled on the one at Mercato Metropolitano for dinner on our first night in town.
Unfortunately, the arepas just weren’t as good here as they were in Madrid. Or, frankly, as they were at any of the other arepa places on this list. The fillings were bland, and even the fried plantains – which are often our favorite part – were off, and they tasted like they were sitting out for a few days before making it into our mouths.
It’s a good gluten free option at either Spitalfields Market or Mercato Metropolitano, neither of which has very many other safe options, but I’d set your expectations relatively low.
Paladar is a nice Latin American restaurant south of the Thames that brings an interesting blend of Latin America’s diverse flavors to London. Their menu is 100% gluten free.
The best thing we ate – by far, we might add – was the roasted aubergine with fried beans and Maya hummus, which we equated to a spicy, tangy black bean smoothie on a plate. It was fantastic.
The runner up was the blue corn churros, which were perfectly fried so that they were warm and crispy, but the real hero here is the dips. They have a spicy chocolate and a coffee dulce de leche, and both combinations are a cut above the normal dipping sauces you might find.
The sunny outdoor patio in the back is a lovely place to have lunch on a warm day, and they have a preset lunch menu where you can choose between two and three courses.
They have an extensive wine menu too featuring wines from Latin America (mostly from Chile and Argentina).
Location: 4-5 London Rd, London SE1 6JZ, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Arepas and Cachapas (Sunday Upmarket)
Hey, what do you know, another 100% gluten free spot for arepas! This stand operates out of the food hall at the Sunday Upmarket (which, contrary to the name, takes place on both Saturday and Sunday) on Brick Lane.
The Upmarket food hall is sensory overload, with smells and sounds coming from the hall lined with stalls serving food from every corner of the globe. Arepas and Cachapas was the only gluten free option I found as far as food goes, and we actually ended up eating here twice over the course of a couple of weeks.
Here’s how it works. First you decide what you want to eat – an arepa, a cachapa (like a sweet corn crepe filled with similar filings to the arepas), or a plate (rice, beans, and meat).
Then you choose from the variety of main filling options they have – spicy pork, orange pork, chicken, beef, or vegetarian – and choose a few toppings to add on top.
Everything is gluten free, and I would highly recommend trying a cachapa if you have never had one before. You can get arepas elsewhere in London, but this was the only place we found cachapas, which are one of our favorites.
Location: Upmarket on Brick Lane (here on Google Maps)
Sadly, we didn’t actually end up making it to Station 26 because by the last few days of the trip, it felt like a little too far for us to go (even though, realistically, it totally isn’t). It’s in Brixton, about a 30 minute Tube ride south of Central London.
This is a great place to get gluten free brunch in London, with an extensive menu of freshly made gluten free dishes to choose from, including eggs benedict and a delicious-looking tomato based stew with a side of ciabatta bread.
They also have more lunch and dinner items to choose from, like the duck pancake with fried plantain, burgers, and chicken schnitzel.
Location: Brixton Village Market, London SW9 8PR, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Indigo at Hotel Aldwych
This place is fancy AF, which is why we decided to skip it while we were in London. It’s a great, 100% gluten free option for special occasions right in the heart of Covent Garden. They’re accredited by Coeliac UK, and though they do have breakfast items that are not gluten free (they serve a continental breakfast for hotel guests, it looks like), the lunch and dinner menus are completely gluten free.
You can do a tasting menu, or you can order a la carte, depending on what you’re looking for.
They have items like roasts and fish and chips on the menu, along with a pistachio cake that looks out of this world.
This is also a great option for gluten free afternoon tea in London!
Location: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Maize Blaze (Camden Market)
This is a Colombian restaurant by a woman who grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. The entire menu is gluten free with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options so that, no matter what your restrictions or preferences, you can enjoy a slice of Colombia in the heart of London.
Which, of course, we were 100% in for after spending six weeks in Colombia a few years ago and falling in love with the diversity and beauty that exists there.
There are a couple of places you can find them in London, and for most people it’s probably easiest to find them in Camden Town. They have two spots here – a stall at Camden Market with a slimmed down version of the menu that features bowls and sides like fried plantains, and a “cloud kitchen” (which means they have their own little stall at a commercial kitchen) also in Camden, where they have a more extensive menu that includes arepas.
The highlight of the Camden Market menu has to be the “Colombian Marching Box” – which is a heaping bowl of rice topped with meat, potatoes, plantains, and more.
It reminds us of the bandeja paisa – a heaping plate of food with like, seven different kinds of meat that’s a staple on just about every menu in Bogotá and Medellín. Definitely get a side of fried plantains too (and get them topped with sweet and spicy sauce).
At the cloud kitchen, they also have arepas (though I think it’s funny that they’re the stuffed variety, which generally is more Venezuelan-style) and a few more menu items available.
Location: Camden Market, or their full menu is available at their kitchen in Camden (takeout only).
Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen (Camden Market)
At Camden Market, this is the place to go for arepas. I walked up on a sunny weekday afternoon, and the stall was blasting Latin American pop music and the chef was dancing behind the counter as he whipped up arepas stuffed to the brim with all sorts of goodies.
His enthusiasm was contagious, and I was not the only one whose mood was lifted by his attitude and general zeal for life – multiple other people started bopping along to the music, including people behind the counters of nearby stalls.
They serve one thing, and one thing only: arepas. And they’re all gluten free, with vegan and vegetarian options available.
I’m partial to basically any combination that includes fried sweet plantains, so I went with the shredded beef arepa. It was messy, but it was pretty easily in the top two or three of the arepas we ate in London.
We found ourselves at Camden Market multiple times (we were staying a few blocks away for part of our time in London), and there was a perpetual line of four to five groups here every single time we walked by. It’s a popular spot, and we can totally see why.
Location: Camden Market (here on Google Maps)
We completely stumbled across this place, which is a few blocks south of Camden Market. It’s also 100% gluten free, and they serve tapioca crepes, which come from Brazil.
The crepe part is made of tapioca flour that is sifted and then heated in a pan until it sticks together, forming a round crepe that is then filled with your choice of fillings before being closed up and served.
We’ve had tapioca wraps in places like New York City and San Francisco, so when I found out about this place, we had to go. It’s a good breakfast and lunch spot if you find yourself up near Camden.
Don’t miss the pão de queijo – a delicious Brazilian cheese bread that is made with tapioca flour and cheese, and might be one of our favorite foods in the world. We make them at home all the time (it’s super easy, especially if you use a mix like Chebe).
Location: 155 Camden High St, London NW1 7JY, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Calm Indian Cow (Broadway Market)
This is another spot that we just happened to stumble upon as we wandered around Broadway Market on a cold weekend morning. On Saturday mornings, Broadway Market is our favorite market in the city. It’s part farmers market, with farm-fresh produce, meats, and cheeses, and part street food market, with tons of different food stalls setting up to sell their food to passersby.
Calm Indian Cow caught my attention because we love dosa, but it isn’t always safe for Celiacs due to cross-contact during preparation, or, in some cases, adding wheat flour to the batter (which is blasphemy, as I understand it).
This place is entirely gluten free, and we walked by it once before stopping by and actually ordering on our second pass.
We split a dosa and a “chai shot” – which is a small serving of chai, similar to the way you would drink it in India (I know, I know, it’s hugely surprising that they don’t drink 16oz Venti chai in India). The dosa was excellent – when he asked if we wanted it spicy, we emphatically said yes, and it certainly delivered on the promise.
Perhaps the best part of the interaction was talking to the owner about South Indian food and its prevalence in the UK and back home in the US.
Location: Broadway Market on Saturdays, and you can find their food truck in Shoreditch (here) on weekdays, which has a more expansive menu than the one at the market featuring biryani.
Dedicated Gluten Free Bakeries in London
Now, let’s talk about the bakeries. There aren’t really too many dedicated gluten free bakeries in London these days after the tragic closure of Beyond Bread a few years ago, but if you look hard enough, there are actually several great options (that are a little more logistically challenging than some other cities).
All of these bakeries are 100% gluten free – I don’t mess with mixed bakeries – and the majority are also vegan and dairy free too. Plenty of great gluten free options in London when it comes to baked goods!
Floris’ Bakery (Broadway Market)
First of all, Broadway Market in general is amazing. Both in terms of gluten free food, and it’s just a great place to wander around and people watch. The gem of Broadway Market is the Saturday Market, which brings all sorts of food trucks and stalls to the street near London Fields, including Floris’ Bakery. Which was probably our favorite bakery of the bunch.
When you walk up to the table, you’ll understand why. Sweet or savory, there are a TON of options waiting for you at the stand. There are donuts (some filled with custard or other rotating flavors), scones, a bunch of different savory options, and plenty more. The choices here are pretty staggering.
We went for a couple of sweet items to eat immediately, and a couple of savory things to eat later.
First, the sweet. The scone with strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream was nothing short of spectacular, if a little crumbly. In particular, the cream. It was perfect.
The donut filled with custard was a little less impressive, but we realized as we ate it that it was probably because neither of us really like custard all that much. Should have gotten the other flavor!
The savory items were great, and served as a nice breakfast the next morning. We got a savory veggie muffin (it was essentially like a big blueberry muffin, but replace the blueberries with spinach and broccoli – super unique!) and a spinach ricotta pastry concoction.
Make sure to stop by Broadway Market on Saturday if you’re in the mood for a smorgasbord of gluten free baked goods!
Location: Broadway Market (Saturdays only)
Borough 22: Gluten Free & Vegan Doughnuts (Online Order Only)
So, if you’ve read any of our other gluten free travel guides before, you probably know that we’re gluten free donut fiends (side note: I’m going to use the Americanized version – donut – here). And this, my friends, is probably the best place to get gluten free donuts in London.
However, it’s a little bit more complicated than other places due to the fact that they only do delivery – they don’t have a traditional store you can visit.
I had been following them on Instagram for several years, so when I knew we were going to be in London, I reached out and asked what the best way to get our hands on some of their gluten free and vegan donuts would be.
He replied with a few voice messages (PS I love his voice/accent) – which helpfully included some other London recommendations – and off we went! A few days into our trip, our donuts arrived at the front desk of our hotel, and we began our feast.
All of their donuts are gluten free and vegan, and their flavors rotate all the time with a few staples that remain in the lineup at all times. We went for a mixed six pack of full size donuts, though they also gave us a box of their adorable mini doughnuts. Which left us with, to put it lightly, a lot of donuts to eat.
They’re baked, not fried, which means you’re not going to get that crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside texture contrast here – they’re more similar to the texture of cake. That being said, who doesn’t love cake?!
The standout flavors were the Cereal – which has corn flakes as a topping and a milk glaze – and the Chocolate Peanut Butter, which legit tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in donut form. Though, I will say, they were all really good (second place goes to Red Velvet and Jaffa, which is chocolate with orange marmalade).
Location: Online order and delivery only
Free From Bakehouse (Borough Market)
Free From Bakehouse is a wholesale bakery, which just means they don’t have a traditional storefront, but you can find them at Borough Market from Wednesday to Saturday.
They are a dedicated gluten free bakery, and also have options that are vegan, soy free, and dairy free (though not all of their items are).
We stopped by on a sunny weekday afternoon – our first day in London, in fact – and were overwhelmed by all the choices! Cakes, tarts, cupcakes, you name it!
We had a hard time deciding between the sour cherry chocolate torte and the pistachio rosewater cake, and eventually landed on the sour cherry cake because of how unique it was. It was so decadent! Plus, the sour cherry flavor really came through nicely.
We meant to stop by a second time, but time got away from us and we ended up missing out.
They also carry a selection of breads from the Gluten Free Bakery, which you can buy at the stand (they are excellent).
Location: Borough Market
Polka Dot Bakery (Spitalfields Market)
Another gluten free bakery inside a market, this time the Old Spitalfields Market on Saturdays and Sundays. Everything they – and by they, I mean Celia, the owner / baker who was manning the booth when we were there – make is both gluten free and vegan, and they specialize in brownies and cookies.
There are a variety of brownies and cookies to choose from, and naturally I asked for recommendations and was immediately pointed towards the walnut brownie. They also have “whoopie pies” – two cookies smushed together with cream in between – and the maple pecan flavor called to us.
Both were great, but we particularly enjoyed the whoopie cookie, and wish we had picked up one of the giant chocolate chip cookies for a sweet treat later in the trip
Location: Old Spitalfields Market (Saturday and Sunday only)
Another 100% gluten free, dairy free, and egg free bakery in London (also vegan), this place is right on Brick Lane and they focus on cakes and cupcakes.
As you walk up to the counter inside, there’s a gigantic case with all sorts of different cupcake flavors to choose from, along with a few cakes that you can get by the slice.
We went for a cupcake, and Alysha loves her earl grey tea, which means the earl grey cupcake was our pick. It was good, though I do wish that the earl grey flavor came through a little bit more (you could have told me it was a vanilla cupcake and I would have believed you no problem).
Also, if you’re looking to order a gluten free cake in London, this would be the place to go. We really should have tried a slice of cake (for science, of course), but we had already stuffed ourselves full of arepas at our previous stop. For once, our eyes were smaller than our stomachs. See their fun cake selection here.
Location: 139 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Libby’s Gluten Free
The first thing I want to say about Libby’s, which is in charming Notting Hill a few blocks away from Portobello Road Market, is that you need to reset your expectations.
Libby’s is 100% gluten free AND sugar free, which means the level of sweetness is not going to be what you’re used to if you’re comparing it to other gluten free bakeries. They’re relatively new, having just recently opened a storefront after operating at farmers markets for a couple of years.
Despite the lower sweetness levels, we very much enjoyed a few of their products, particularly the croissants (I believe it’s the only place that makes gluten free croissants in London, as far as I’m aware) and the apple crumble, which was a recommendation from the staff, who pointed out that the apples are naturally sweet and give it a nice sweetness.
The other standout was the St Clement’s Cake, an orange cake topped with lemon curd and orange zest. Delicious.
They also make bread on the weekends, which also happens to be a great time to visit the area for the bustling Portobello Road Market a few blocks over.
Location: 61 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AA, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Pearl and Groove Bakery
Pearl and Groove is a gluten free bakery in Clerkenwell, which is in a little bit of an odd location (at least to us) that is north of the City of London, but south of places like Angel and Islington, which are north London. Maybe it’s somewhat-north London?
The story of the start of Pearl and Groove in 2013 is a story we’ve heard countless times when it comes to gluten free food businesses. The options at the time sucked, and I set out to make a better one. In this case, it’s baked goods like cakes.
Everyone loves cake, and these are both gluten free (and vegan) and delicious, which is something all of us gluten free foodies can get behind.
The people working on the morning when we showed up probably thought we were nuts. It took us about five whole minutes to decide what flavors we wanted to try, and we must have asked about every single product in the display case.
They have mini cakes that are a perfect size to share, so you don’t have to order an entire cake (though you can if you want – no judgment here!).
We eventually landed on a chocolate raspberry mini cake and a savory scone with black sesame seeds, which added a nice punch of saltiness, because we’re suckers for a good savory scone.
They also have cookies, sweet scones, and a pretty wide variety of other gluten free goodies to choose from, so come hungry!
Location: 30 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
More Gluten Free Restaurants in London (NOT Dedicated Gluten Free)
This section is the restaurants that ARE NOT dedicated gluten free, but have processes in place to minimize cross-contact with gluten in the kitchen and should be able to serve you a safe meal.
I say “should” because, as always, eating out comes with an inherent risk. You need to clearly communicate your needs to staff everywhere, but it’s especially important here. Make sure to:
- Always let the server know that you have Celiac Disease and need to eat gluten free.
- Ask them (very nicely) to help you figure out what is safe for you.
- Confirm with the server when the food arrives that your meal is in fact gluten free.
El Pollote is another food stall that you can find at a couple of markets around London. However, I would only recommend eating at the Seven Dials Market location, which has a much bigger kitchen with more room to properly avoid cross-contact with gluten.
They serve “Latino fried chicken” (their words, not mine). The reason to go here is their guava glazed chicken wings, which are fried in a dedicated gluten free fryer, and are spicy, sweet, and delicious. The menu is clearly marked with gluten free options (though I’d skip the arepa, which is cooked on the same surface as burger buns).
They do serve items with gluten – like burger buns and mac & cheese – so I would strongly recommend getting just the wings if you have Celiac Disease to avoid any unintended cross-contact.
I watched closely as they took my order and started making it alongside other orders with gluten items. The cook changed into fresh gloves and the wings went into the fryer, and while they were cooking he made up a couple of burger buns and plated them. Next, he dumped my wings into a clean bowl, seasoned them (all without touching them with his hands), and used tongs to put them onto the plate before handing it to me.
Despite all of the risks of having a mixed kitchen, I was actually pretty impressed with the way it was handled. Make sure to let them know you have Celiac Disease so they can take care of you.
The location at Camden Market is tiny, and I don’t think there’s any way to avoid cross-contact there, which is why I’d recommend the Seven Dials Market location.
Location: Seven Dials Market (here on Google Maps)
Horn Ok Please (Borough Market & Southbank Centre Market)
If I recall correctly, Horn OK Please used to be completely gluten free, but they somewhat recently added a few gluten-containing items to the menu. Still, I asked them about their processes to keep things separated and watched them prepare multiple meals (we went here multiple times), and was happy with how they segregated the gluten-y items.
They’re bringing flavors of southern Indian street food to London, and they’ve been doing it since 2011!
Everything is vegetarian, and the menu is clearly marked with what is gluten free (everything except the omelet and samosas). Make sure to tell them you have Celiac Disease and need to eat gluten free as you’re ordering!
The highlight here is the dosas, which come in two varieties – both are gluten free and cooked on a separate surface from the rest of the items on the menu that aren’t gluten free. You should definitely add the shaved paneer, and get a cup of their excellent, cardamom-forward chai on the side.
We also tried the channa chaat as a side, and it was fantastic. They have a lunch deal where you can get a side, a main, and a non-alcoholic drink for a pretty reasonable price.
Location: Borough Market (here on Google Maps)
Honest Burgers is an incredible option for Celiacs in London for two reasons.
First, they have SO MANY locations. Basically, wherever you are in Central London, there’s probably going to be a location within walking distance.
Second, the only thing that contains gluten are the buns. AND they have gluten free buns available at no extra cost, which is a welcome reprieve from paying an upcharge for a gluten free bun, which I like to refer to as a “Celiac tax.”
You know what that means? Everything in the fryer is gluten free, which means their onion rings, which have a very unique flavor thanks to the fennel seeds (I think that’s what it is) in the batter, and their amazing rosemary fries are fair game!
They have a nice variety of beef burgers, along with a couple of vegetarian options – one veggie burger and one vegan fried sweetcorn fritter – and a chicken burger if you’re not into beef.
Seriously though, the rosemary fries are delicious, as are the onion rings.
Location: Too many to list! See here for a map.
We loved Pho! They’re Coeliac UK accredited, and the only thing on the menu that contains gluten is the spring rolls.
They have locations all over London, along with convenient locations in places like Cambridge if you’re thinking about a day trip, which makes it an excellent, reliable gluten free restaurant.
At the bottom of their extensive menu, they have a disclaimer that calls out the items that ARE NOT gluten free (they are not clearly marked on the menu, which feels like something they should consider).
Those items that are off-limits are: “Chả Giò (spring rolls), Nem Hải Sản, Hoisin sauce, and the beers.”
Again, make sure to tell your server about your needs, and you’ll want to make sure whatever dish you order doesn’t come with a side of spring rolls.
We loved the Vietnamese spicy curry and, of course, the phở. Particularly the spicy phở.
Locations: Too many to list, but there’s one in Covent Garden that we went to a couple of times.
Ceru was among our favorite meals we ate in London. They do tapas (which means you’re going to be ordering a bunch of small plates to share with the table) but in a style that features flavors that come from a region called Levant, which includes places like Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.
Side note: This was a new word to me, and I’d recommend a read through the Wikipedia page for a brief history lesson!
Ceru is accredited by Coeliac UK, and you’ll notice that almost every single dish on the menu has a little “GF” next to it EXCEPT for the pita bread. They also have a dessert that uses filo pastry, which is also not gluten free but is prepared separately from other stuff on the menu.
Make sure to let the server know you need to eat gluten free, and they’ll help you figure out what you can eat (although, the answer is “almost everything”).
Everything that goes into the fryer is gluten free, and you can order crudite (which is a really fancy way to say “sliced vegetables”) instead of pita bread to try their excellent dips (the hamara, which is made with red peppers and pomegranate molasses, was our favorite of the three).
Out of all the dishes we tried – fried halloumi, Shish Taouk (a delicious marinated and grilled chicken dish), and more – the best thing we ate here was the side of parsnips. Which was funny to us.
However, that’s not to say the other stuff wasn’t good. By the time we were done, the plates in front of us had practically been licked clean.
They have a location in South Kensington near the Natural History Museum, which is a perfect pre or post museum meal.
- South Kensington: 7-9 Bute St, South Kensington, London SW7 3EY, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
- Queensway: 11 Queensway, London W2 4QJ, United Kingdom (here on Google Maps)
Tacos Padre (Borough Market)
We spend most of our time in California, which means we have a LOT of amazing tacos (particularly in southern California). We’ve also been to Mexico City multiple times, where we’ve had the best tacos of our lives.
We’ve had some pretty mediocre tacos around the world, but I would put Tacos Padre somewhere near the top of the list of the best tacos I’ve ever had outside of California and Mexico.
They have a stand in Borough Market, and it’s very much a lunch destination (they’re only open for limited hours around lunchtime).
Everything is gluten free EXCEPT for the fish taco, which is battered and fried. On the day I was here, they didn’t actually have the fish taco available anyway. The chips are fried in a separate fryer from the fish, so they’re safe.
They have a variety of fillings available, and all three that I happened to have were excellent. In particular, the lamb barbacoa and the cochinita (a pork slow cooked with achiote) were outstanding. Those pickled onions!
Location: Borough Market (here on Google Maps)
More Gluten Free Travel Guides for Europe
Planning a trip to Europe, but need to eat gluten free? We’ve spent a fair amount of time in Europe over the past few years, and have written a bunch of in-depth travel guides to the best gluten free restaurants and bakeries in many of our favorite European cities.
Grocery Stores with Gluten Free Options
We noticed that, similar to many big cities, many of the grocery stores in Central London are closer to what we think of as a convenience store than a true grocery store. They’re smaller and have a more limited selection, which often means that the gluten free selection is a little worse than the same chains outside the city center.
Since perusing grocery stores on the hunt for gluten free goodies is basically my second favorite pastime (eating donuts being the first), we spent some time wandering around a few of the main grocery store chains around London. Here’s what we found.
As much as it pains me to say it, by far, the best selection of gluten free items was at Whole Foods. There are a couple in London, including one in Soho right next to Piccadilly Circus, one in Kensington, and one in Camden. They carry bread from the Gluten Free Bakery, whose bread is outstanding in both taste and texture (though some varieties contain oats, which I avoid – the baguette, sourdough loaf, and sandwich bread are all safe though!).
Side note: The Gluten Free Bakery does home delivery in the UK, if you live in the UK and are looking for a great gluten free bread, I’d consider them!
Marks and Spencer was another good option, though it’s a little different than Whole Foods. About 95% of the store is their own label, and it’s not the easiest store to find gluten free items. There’s going to be a section with “Made Without Wheat” products, and most of the ones we tried are pretty lackluster. They also have some other things around the store labeled gluten free, but honestly not much.
Tesco is another chain that has mostly their own brand of products, and their stores in the center of London are all “Express” stores, which means the selection of gluten free products is nearly nonexistent. At least at the few we stopped at. They have bigger stores around the UK with nice selections of gluten free products, but you’re going to be hard-pressed to find them at the tiny stores in London.
Sainsbury’s is the last big chain, and while the selection at their smaller “Sainsbury’s Local” stores isn’t great, they have a few full size supermarkets in the city with a really great selection of free from products. They have an online catalog that you can see here with all of their gluten free items. You can find the larger version of their stores in Cambridge Heath (just east of Shoreditch), Islington (north London), and Chelsea (west London), among others.
Plan an Incredible European Adventure
Here are our in-depth European travel guides to help you plan a trip full of learning, discovery, and unforgettable experiences.