For anyone that is a newly diagnosed Coeliac or intolerant to milk (or both!) then eating out can be very daunting. Its difficult to know what you can and can’t eat, you don’t want to make a huge fuss but then you also don’t want to be poorly! As I have been gluten free since I was 16 (I’m now 24) and milk intolerant for over a year I have researched and tried out many restaurants and these are my favourites. (Please note: all of these dishes were made gluten and dairy free at the time. Please double check with the restaurant incase the ingredients have changed in any way).
Carluccio’s – If you haven’t tried eating here then you are missing out! They have a separate gluten and dairy free menu and although there are different choices with lots of gluten free pasta dishes I always end up going for the same thing – The Beef ragu with gluten free pasta. – I can’t even explain how good this is!
I also popped in for breakfast a few weeks ago. After telling them I was gluten free and milk intolerant within a matter of minutes the manager was at my table telling me what I could and couldn’t eat. They made me a special breakfast with gluten free bread, poached eggs, spinach, tomatoes, salmon and mushrooms.
Zizzi’s – Another favourite of mine. They have a gluten free menu and also a vegan menu so I kind of merge the two to find out what I can eat (I’m not vegan but as I can’t have milk I go for the dairy free vegan cheese). They basically do nearly all of the pasta and pizza on the normal menu but in a gluten free version – woo for us! I normally go for a gluten free pizza base with vegan cheese and lots of toppings. When I was diagnosed Coeliac and then milk intolerant I thought I would never be able to eat pizza again and I can honestly say this is the closest thing I think I will ever get!
The last time I went in I also noticed a little gem on the menu – they now do a gluten and dairy free sticky chocolate and praline torte – Its made with a date, hazelnut & walnut base and serviced with coconut and chocolate dairy free icecream. I was absolutely stuffed after my pizza but couldn’t resist getting one and I can honestly say it was incredible! My friend who I was with who isn’t gluten free or milk free also had the same and she couldn’t believe how nice it was!
Cosy Club – When I first went into Cosy Club in Birmingham I thought it was an independent restaurant but it’s actually a chain (which is great as they have now built one in my home town of Cheltenham). Again they have a separate gluten free menu and serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. My favourite is the ‘Rather elegant brunch’ which you can see below. I also had this with a gluten free roll which they toast for you. In terms of lunch and dinner food they do all sorts – Gluten free burgers, tapas, salads, steaks etc. – Definitely worth a try.
Bar and Wok – As a coeliac I didn’t think I would ever be able to eat Chinese food again – My parents met the owner of Bar and Wok whilst on holiday in Wales. They got talking and realised that they both lived in the same place (Cheltenham) and the owner told my parents that he owned a Chinese restaurant in Cheltenham. My mum then went on to say that as she’s also Coeliac (Yes it runs in my family!) she could no longer eat Chinese food however the owner disagreed. They make all of there food from scratch using a lot of gluten free ingredients! They make all of their batter (for crispy chicken) using potato starch and egg whites and also have gluten free soya sauce available. Amazing right?! We have been twice now. I have had the Calamari and satay chicken for starters and for mains I have had the crispy sweet and sour chicken along with a gluten free rice dish – I shared all of this with my Mum and we were stuffed! The main thing I suggest is when you get there ask to speak to the owner – He knows the ingredients of every dish in the restaurant and is able to talk you through all the free from options.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you get some inspiration of places to eat – Eating out as a coeliac and milk intolerant doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think :).