For some, gluten is the enemy and for those diagnosed with coeliac disease, it can cause serious damage to the body and serious amounts of pain and suffering. Once diagnosed, it’s farewell to pasta, pizza, jaffles, burgers, cakes, scone, biscuits and oh, about a thousand other kinds of deliciousness. However over the past few years, the range of gluten-free options in Brisbane has significantly increased and the majority of restaurants and cafes now cater for gluten intolerances, some better than others. So whether you eat gluten-free by choice or necessity, here’s a round up of the best GF in Brisbane.
Ah bread, we once shared such a beautiful relationship but then you started to cause me so much pain and we eventually had to part ways. It was an upsetting time and I’d resigned myself to a life without bread altogether until I discovered a pain-free, gluten-free version at Sol Breads! Sol make three delicious types and it’s none of that ‘tastes like cardboard, disintegrates immediately’ white bread that you commonly find. Choose from rice & pumpkin, brown rice & chia or megagrain and it comes pre-sliced which is perfect for freezing. They’ll even replace the regular bread with it at any of their cafes without additional charges – WIN!
Botanica’s healthy and delicious take-away breakfasts, salads and baked goods have become somewhat iconic around Brisbane. Apart from being vegetarian, the majority of their menu is also gluten-free and all of those sweet cupcakes and slices are coeliac-friendly! Also great for vegans and lactose intolerant folks.
A bit pricier than the others but that is due to the high quality, locally sourced organic produce that Mondo use and the care and execution put into each of the meals they plate up. The seasonally changing menu will always feature several vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options, all very clearly marked on the menu. This means that there is none of that awkward calling a waiter over in front of everyone to ask what you can and cannot eat.
When you think Chinese food, you think rice and might assume gluten-free. However soy sauce, a common base ingredient, is not gluten-free meaning that the majority of those tasty Chinese dishes aren’t either. Sadface for you gluten-intolerant Chinese fans out there. Luckily Happy Boy cares and offers several of its dishes gluten-free on request so you can still enjoy your fried rice, ho fun and crispy skin chicken!
Going out for a nice dinner can be tough if you are gluten intolerant and there’s often only one or two options available, and they tend to be the most expensive ones. It’s the complete opposite at Teneriffe wine bar Claret House where, after a quick scan of the menu, it’s evident that it’s harder to work out what’s not gluten-free than what is. Substitutions can be made to make items lactose-free too.
This CBD eatery is all about health, goodness and vegetables. Everything dish that comes out of this kitchen is free of meat, yet is so damn tasty that even meat-lovers flock to it at lunch time. Kitchen feels for the poor, deprived gluten-intolerant so they strive to offer gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk substitutions at no extra cost! The menu clearly notes the items which are nut-free, vegan and optionally gluten-free. They also do a seriously good Bircher muesli at breakfast and recently began offering a gluten-free version using Weetbix.
Initially a vegetarian food court outlet, there are now three Vegerama stores (Myer Centre, Post Office Square, West End) with the West End outlet providing a sit-down restaurant. Each location features a completely vegetarian menu with a strong Indian influence including many vegan and gluten-free options, all very clearly marked on the menu. And anyone can try their flavoursome pizzas at the West End restaurant with gluten-free bases and vegan cheese as optional replacements. The bonus is that it’s all reasonably priced, fresh and delicious!
This unassuming cafe at the bottom of an office building near Post Office Square offers simple fare featuring organic ingredients and healthy, wholesome options which are gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, paleo and vegetarian. Now I know that you are cocking an eyebrow at me right now, skeptical that anything coming out of this place is edible but let me assure you that it’s very much so and not only that, it all tastes so good. Daily specials feature a range of salads, wraps (all using a house gluten-free crepe) and sandwiches, which can be on gluten-free bread at no extra cost. Pando also do a mean breakfast including grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (whew!) pancakes and bake a daily GF, SF, LF muffin for a quick take-away option too. While you’re there, you can have your coffee made with Toby’s Estate organic beans on Barambah Organics Lactose-Free milk at NO extra cost.
Local Instagram followers of The Bun Mobile are known to drool and salivate at the sight of the food trucks popular buns. Fear not, you gluten intolerant folk, because these delicious, pillowy white buns are not your Kryptonite; you can enjoy them too! The Bun Mobile will wrap up all of the deliciousness in a large lettuce leaf for to substitute the GF bun and free your meal from nasty gluten. They have vegan and vegetarian options too, so everyone is happy!
The warm, fluffy but slightly chewy bread used for the wraps at this West End hideaway cafe are a carb-lovers dream, however they are entirely full of gluten (can you picture me crying when I realised this?!). But after a closer peek at the menu, the tears disappeared and for an extra dollar, you can get the gluten-free version which is magically just as good. I can feel your disbelief but seriously, so you’ll just have to try it for yourself (and then come back and tell us how it is!).
Organic fully prepared wholefoods and complete meals to help you get through the week. Wholesomeness are online and have a newly launched cafe at The Grange. There you will find a fresh daily range of organic fully-prepared meals or cooked to order paleo inspired meals, All Day Breakfast, snacks, cold pressed juices, raw protein smoothies and Acai bowls and great coffee. All of their meals are gluten-free, locally sourced and organic where possible, chef prepared and portioned providing a healthy diet base for the week. The focus is on whole foods and there isn’t a preservative in sight. It must be love.
There we have it – our top picks for dinner if you, or someone in your crew, needs to avoid gluten at all costs. What is your favourite Brisbane GF meal in Brisbane? We’d love you to tell us in the comments below so we can add them to the list!