This post about gluten-free restaurants in London contains affiliate links. I am updating this post as I eat my way through London June 3-July 13, 2018.
Last updated July 11, 2018
I’m traveling for the next six weeks and am looking for as many gluten-free restaurants in London as I can find.
Of course, as a gluten-free blogger, living in London for six weeks offers an amazing opportunity for me to try many different restaurants and share the best ones with you!
Before you read this, I want to share a few thoughts:
(1) I have found a lot of gluten-free and gluten-free friendly restaurants in London, which means there are probably so many restaurants I haven’t had a chance to try yet. There are quite a few restaurants that are dedicated to serving only gluten-free foods here too, something I’m not used to seeing in Colorado.
(2) I have made every effort to only eat at restaurants where I feel the staff is knowledgable enough to give me a safe meal. I make every effort possible to plan my meals ahead of time. If I know I’m going to be in an area, I research restaurants so I know where I can go. I rarely eat out willy nilly.
(3) I am using my Nima Sensor to test my food for gluten, too. In case you hadn’t heard of the Nima Sensor, it’s a small, portable gluten detecting device that helps you decode whether or not your food is gluten-free.
In order to test each dish, I simply place a pea-sized amount of food in the Nima Sensor test capsule, wait 2-3 minutes, and then Nima tells me how the food fared. I love when Nima smiles at me because that means I know, with a greater level of certainty, that my food is truly gluten-free.
I’ve tried to test as many restaurants as possible – thanks to my friends at Nima Sensor for hooking me up with so many test capsules!
So if you see pictures of a black little device smiling in each picture, you’ll know that place has been Nima tested (and my results are all documented in the Nima app too, which anyone can see regardless if they own a Nima Sensor). (Read more about the Nima Sensor and get a coupon code HERE.)
If you are traveling, EVER, I highly recommend bringing along your own Nima Sensor for the ride!
(4) From my vantage point, it seems like the food culture here in London is quite understanding of us gluten-free folk. There is always a small section at every grocery store I’ve been to that has gluten-free and free-from foods including pasta, bread, treats and such. This includes grocery stores like Tesco and Sainsbury, which you find all over the place.
On top of that, Marks and Spencer has a wonderful selection of free from sandwiches, wraps and salads, so in a pinch, you can easily find something at M&A. I’ve also seen two Whole Food Markets (a celiac’s safe haven) – one near Camden Market and one in Piccadilly – so if you want to stock up on some GF groceries, you can find what you need at Whole Foods.
The Starbucks locations throughout London (and in other cities in Europe) carry a delicious gluten-free chicken pesto sandwich that is fully wrapped, as well as gluten-free oatmeal. These items are always an option in a pinch.
And there are a few American fast food restaurants here that I know always offer GF options like Chipotle and Five Guys. I don’t recommend eating here (try the local food, it’s amazing), but again, in a pinch, there is almost always an option!
I’m lucky to be staying in a corporate apartment, so I have been able to prepare many of my meals at home, which has been really nice as eating out all the time gets old (and fattening!).
OK, so enough of my banter, let’s talk about all the gluten-free restaurants in London that I’ve found and that I believe to be safe for you, too!
Gluten-Free Restaurants in London
This is your guide to gluten-free restaurants in London – from the perspective of an American with celiac disease:
Gluten-Free Street Food in London
A highlight eating experience for me here in the UK has been the street food. I am in love with the street food here and am impressed with all the gluten-free options. If you get the chance, seek out one of the many wonderful street food markets here in London.
Gluten-Free at Camden Market
I love Camden Market and it might be my favorite market here in London. It’s open every day and this exciting market offers delicious street food, as well as a fun day of shopping for souvenirs, vintage clothing and unique and charming knick-knacks. It’s like Etsy in real life!
At Camden Market, you can get all sorts of gluten-free foods right from street vendors. I saw several options, but ultimately decided to try the following two stops.
The first street food vendor we solicited is Arepa Bros. They serve up 100 percent gluten-free Venezuelan street food. Arepas are made from corn and stuffed with delicious meats and beans.
This place had the longest line/queue, but it was worth it.
In the end, we enjoyed freshly-made arepas (we watched them make the dough right in front of us!) along with the best fried plantain chips you’ll ever have. It was such a delicious feast – I can’t wait to go back and get more!!
The next place I enjoyed so very much is called The Green Dough. While it took the guy FOREVER to make this masterpiece of vegan and gluten-free cookie dough and magical toppings (all which he scooped and topped like ice cream), it was WORTH THE WAIT. (I was impatient though because I had my kids and we waited in line for 10+ minutes and there were only two people in front of us!)
This gluten-free cookie dough was so good, but I made the mistake of letting my kids “have just a taste.” They loved it so much that they kept coming back for more and more – before I knew it, it was gone after I only had a few bites!
I almost forgot to mention it, but both Arepa and The Green Dough are 100 percent gluten-free menus – so there’s no risk of cross contact with gluten at either vendor.
Gluten-Free at Borough Market in London
Another favorite street market is the Borough Market, located just steps from Borough Station. The marketplace is filled with food vendors as well as speciality food stores selling everything from fruits and vegetables to tea and butchered meats!
My hands-down favorite street food vendor is Horn OK Please. Weird name indeed, but I assure you, this is delicious food. They serve up Indian street food, and everything at the booth is 100 percent gluten-free.
My son and I enjoyed the Moong Dal Dosa very much. It is an Indian pancake (made from rice and moong bean) filled with masala potatoes and served with Chana Chaat (spicy chickpeas). Watch this video to get a taste of how this dosa is made:
If I hadn’t asked the right questions, I would have been certain that the dosa contained gluten, but Horn OK Please – and my Nima Sensor – assured me that this Indian crepe was totally safe to eat! It is SO GOOD TOO!!
The Borough Market also offered a delicious Chicken Pad Thai (made at a dedicated gluten-free street vendor called Khanom Krok). Khanom Krok makes authentic Thai street food and we ate up every bit of it!
Also, at Borough Market, we found a dedicated gluten-free bake shop called The Free From Bakehouse. We were able to enjoy a few sweets – including the red velvet cupcake, a chocolate brownie and banana bread.
If I’m being honest, I’d say the treats are fair. I’ve had better. That said, it was nice to know there was something sweet awaiting me among the bountiful sweet options available to those OK eating gluten.
Gluten-Free at Old Spitalfields Market
Another fun market to visit is Old Spitalfields Market. There are several food vendors here, as well as fun antiques and handmade, artisans crafts to shop for. Just being here is entertaining and exciting!
I struggled at first to find something to eat, but eventually settled in on Merkamo. It is not a dedicated gluten-free place, but the lovely woman working there assured me that they take precautions to keep their gluten-free items free from cross contact – and that Merkamo often exhibits at allergy-free festivals (they just remove the three gluteny dishes from their menu).
I’ve never tried Ethiopian food before, so I ordered the gluten-free plate and loved it so much. It was full of flavorful lentils, rice, okra and chickpeas, among other things I’m not quite sure about. Everything on the menu is either vegetarian or vegan, too. And of course – my Nima Sensor was all smiles!
Gluten-Free Restaurants in London
Mommi is by far the most thrilling and delicious dinner we enjoyed during our six week stay in London. It’s a short tube ride away from central London, just steps from the Clapham North Underground. I will say, however, that riding the Northern Line was terrifying. The tube was having all sorts of mechanical issues that day, so it was packed with people and easily 100 degrees inside the tube car.
While the commute to Mommi was miserable, the food was well worth the trek. The restaurant focuses on Asian-fusion small plates – affectionally calling itself where Peru meets Japan. (Ironically enough, we learned the head chef is Scottish!)
The beauty of this restaurant is that EVERYTHING on this menu is gluten-free … but even better is that most items are naturally gluten-free. The chef uses fresh meats, vegetables, herbs and spices – along with rice and potatoes.
I want you to see these gorgeous appetizers we enjoyed too – the flash-fried Padron peppers were a highlight. They were wonderfully salted and offered just a slight kick of heat.
When you go to Mommi, you will be faced with a dilemma. Should you order dishes individually off the menu, or opt for one of the three set menus each offered at a fixed price.
We wanted a taste of multiple dishes, so we opted for the Fugi fixed menu. It was SO WORTH THE MONEY to do it this way. We had a feast of flavors come our way – the waiter bringing out each dish slowly but surely. The dishes just kept coming. Here are a few favorites:
This sushi rice salad is bursting with Asian flavors. I want this again!!
These yakitori lamb cutlets were so so juicy – and the meat just fell off the bone!
These tempura fish and chips were so delicious – and it was fun to have the opportunity to sample this British traditional dish!
As you can see, the dishes are small plates meant to be shared between two people. There was more than enough food for everyone… we just kept eating because it was THAT GOOD!
Indigo at One Aldwich Hotel
Right in the heart of Covent Garden is a wonderful dedicated gluten-free restaurant called Indigo. This is a wonderful restaurant to hit up before going to the theatre too (it’s across the street from The Lion King and steps from other shows like Hamilton). The restaurant is accredited by Coeliac UK, so you know you can trust this place for a nice gluten-free meal.
The restaurant is fancy and unfortunately we showed up after spending a sticky and hot day outside… but they let us in anyway, thank goodness. We visited London during a rare heatwave and by the time dinner rolled around, we looked like we’d been put through the ringer!
The meal started with this delicious warm and fresh-baked gluten-free bread made with buckwheat flour. I loved it so much and had to pace myself so I didn’t fill up on bread!
Then I indulged in this wonderful gnocchi meal, which again, was totally gluten-free and totally satisfying.
For research purposes (once again), I ordered this delicious raspberry chocolate mousse for dessert. It was hands down the best dessert in London and I highly recommend finishing your wonderful meal with this treat!
Niche (Gluten-Free Food and Drink)
Looking for a wonderful, cozy and totally gluten-free dining experience? If so, look no further than Niche Food and Drink, located in Angel and just a few minutes by foot from the Angel tube station.
EVERYTHING on the menu is gluten-free, so order away because you can have it ALL!!
My husband and I decided to share a couple of dishes, including the Wild Mushroom Gnocchi made with almond milk. I can only say the dish was OK because the gnocchi was a little hard (vs. squishy):
We also shared the Steak and Mushroom Pie – look at this beauty:
This dish is INCREDIBLE. It’s bursting with flavor.
For me, I could not resist the opportunity to order a savory pie. Savory pies are on every menu here in the UK, but of course they are off limits to us gluten-free eaters. I could not pass up the opportunity to try a gluten-free savory pie!
Please note that Niche is the UK’s first Coeliac UK accredited 100 percent gluten-free restaurant, and the restaurant accommodates other allergens as well (most dishes can be made vegan/dairy-free, too). Please make a point to go here and support this charming little restaurant!
I had heard from my Instagram community that Leggero is a great restaurant for an evening dinner in the center of the hustle and bustle in London. Leggero is located near the theatre district and very accessible from the heart of the city. On top of it all, everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING – on the menu is gluten-free.
My husband and I shared a few dishes, starting with the tomato bruschetta served on homemade bread:
Then we sampled the Potato and Beetroots timbale stuffed with mushrooms and vegan cheese (it was okay, not my favorite):
And then we shared two main dishes – the Chestnut Pappardelle with Creamy Mushrooms:
And the Basil Tagliatelle with Almond Flakes, Cherry Tomatoes and Aubergine:
Everything was good and it was fun to eat homemade gluten-free pasta (this pasta is the real deal!), but the portions were small for the price paid. This restaurant is very charming and I do recommend a visit, as the location can’t be beat!
Arepa & Co
Before heading out to the V&A Museum of Childhood, a small museum that showcases classic toys, I did a little research and found an arepas place called Arepas & Co. within walking distance to the museum. I was in heaven! This place is the real deal, serving up delicious arepas that are totally gluten-free, savory and oh-so-delicious!
Of course I tested my arepa with my Nima Sensor before I ate it, and yep, Nima was all smiles – hooray!
I HIGHLY recommend a visit to Arepa & Co. for a tasty lunch or dinner. Get any arepa you fancy, as well as nibble on the yuca or plantain chips – all gluten-free and cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer.
PS: Can you tell I’m obsessed with arepas?!?
After spending the morning “meeting” the Queen during the Trooping of the Colour (the Queen’s birthday parade and celebration), we were famished.
We walked a few blocks from Buckingham Palace and ended up at Bryon Burgers. I usually NEVER order a burger with a bun, but I wanted to see what kind of gluten-free buns were being served up in the UK, so I ordered mine with bun.
I must say, the gluten-free bun served with my burger was delicious! It was spongy and squishy and if it hadn’t been for my Nima Sensor, I would have sworn I was eating gluten! This is one million times better than the Udi’s buns you find everywhere in the U.S. (Udi’s, please change your recipe!!)
Byron Burger’s staff was knowledgeable about gluten, too, enough to tell me to stay away from the fries, which are cooked in a shared fryer. Despite not having fries, I was full and happy. That gluten-free bun… it might just be worth going back to get more buns!
Speaking of burgers, a well-known and loved burger joint by all gluten-free people in the UK is called Honest Burger. You can find them all over the place in London and throughout the UK.
I understand why – these burgers are outstanding – as are the chips (French fries). The onion rings, well, they are worth going back for time and time again. The onion rings are generously coated in batter and are seasoned perfectly too.
I tested everything at Honest Burger with my Nima Sensor – and did my first and only Facebook Live from London at Honest Burger, which you can watch here:
I tested the fried chicken burger live and, unfortunately, Nima found gluten:
However, the burger/bun, fries and onion rings all tested gluten-free.
The server says the onion rings are cooked in one fryer, the fries in another, and the fried chicken in another – so there is no risk of cross contact.
Hopefully Honest Burgers will figure out what in the chicken batter is not gluten-free. I ran the Nima test twice on the fried chicken burger, as the server made me a new one, and the second one tested positive again for gluten, so there’s definitely gluten in it, even if only a trace.
On a positive notes, I truly believe Honest Burger cares about the gluten-free community and will make changes. In the meantime, I’m relieved I let my Nima Sensor take the first bite.
The kids and I headed to the Science Museum in London, so I researched a few restaurants nearby and came across a pizza joint called Pizzetta that appeared to have gluten-free pizza.
When I walked in the restaurant, I must admit, I was weary. Pizza was everywhere and the menu didn’t even give me a clue that it had gluten-free pizza available. But my kids wanted to stay, so I asked the guy if they had gluten-free pizza.
He said, “Yes,” and said they make the gluten-free pizza in another room with untouched ingredients, and that the bottom oven is dedicated to the gluten-free pizza. I decided to give it a try because I had my Nima Sensor to help me decode if the pizza would be safe.
Sure enough, my Nima Sensor said it was a-okay. Ironically enough, the guy saw me test it and was asking me all sorts of questions about the Nima Sensor. He was so happy that the pizza came back okay for me to eat!
Speaking of pizza, another beloved restaurant by the gluten-free community is called Zizzi’s. There are Zizzi’s everywhere in London and throughout the UK.
I ordered the gluten-free pizza (for research purposes :-), and love that it came out with a sticker that said, “Non Gluten” on the plate.
Unfortunately, my Nima Sensor found gluten in my first pizza. The staff was kind (a little too busy though) but offered to make me a new pizza with fresh ingredients. The second pizza came back at gluten-free. Again, really happy to have had Nima take the first bite for me!
Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea
You can’t go to London without taking time for a proper afternoon tea. My Instagram community told me about Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Salon and how this iconic tea and food department store caters to the GF community.
My son and husband went to see the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child production, so my daughter and I went for afternoon tea. We had such a fun time and ate so much too!
After settling in on a minty tea, I was then served gluten-free finger sandwiches, gluten-free scones with raspberry and lemon curd jams, as well as some small bite-sized desserts and cakes.
If you’re looking for a wonderful opportunity to experience a proper afternoon tea – and you want it to be totally gluten-free – Fortnum & Mason has you covered! When you make your reservation, be sure to request a gluten-free afternoon tea so the chef can prepare for you. (Check the gluten-free afternoon tea menu here.)
No trip to London is complete without a visit to Beyond Bread. Beyond Bread is a dedicated gluten-free bakery with several locations throughout London.
When you walk into the bakery, you have to take pause. All the breads and pastries are just out there, on display, something you rarely see when it comes to gluten-free baked goods (most of the time our baked goods are wrapped and stored separately). It makes you feel like you are in a proper bakery!
You can order everything from baguettes and sandwiches, to croissants and waffles. We took home the baguettes and sourdough bread and I have to say, both were phenomenal (and I do mean phenomenal). This place is dangerous for your waistline – but I may have to go back just one more time before I leave…
Pret a Manger
There is a Pret a Manger on every street corner – I’m not kidding you! Prets are a cross between a Panera and a Starbucks, and they have many gluten-free options in a pinch. I particularly enjoy coming to Pret for breakfast – their gluten-free granola bowls are delicious and crave-able! Try both the Mango & Banana Sunshine Bowl as well as the Acai Almond Butter Bowl. I love them both!
You can also grab a quick dessert at Pret. The three-layer chocolate pudding is gluten-free, as is the new Lemon Drizzle Cake (I didn’t love the Lemon Drizzle Cake if I’m being honest, but many people do so I want to include in this article).
Nando’s is an international restaurant originating in South Africa that boasts 1,000 restaurants in 30 countries worldwide! Nando’s speciality is in creating spicy Mozambican-Portuguese style chicken dishes topped with PERi-PERi sauce, which is a Portuguese chili sauce.
We don’t have Nando’s in Colorado (although I recently learned there are locations in select US cities), so enjoying it here in London was such a TREAT! This food is the real deal in terms of deliciousness, spice and fun!
We ordered the PERi-PERi chicken wings (moderate spice – you pick your spice level) along with four sides. We picked the corn on the cob, minty peas, spiced rice and fries, which are cooked in dedicated GF oil. The only items not gluten-free on the menu are the breads!
Everything was delicious and the staff is well educated about handling “allergy” requests. My dish came out with a flag alerting the staff it is an allergy dish, and my Nima Sensor was all smiles too! I plan to go back at least once a week while I’m here – for reals!
Chicken burgers, rice bowls and salads – most of which are gluten-free – are on this fast food menu. I tried the Leon’s at Paddington Station. Leon’s offers a fast and yummy gluten-free meal in a pinch!
Hobson’s Fish and Chips
I desperately wanted the opportunity to try fish and chips, a traditional dish here in the UK and something you can find EVERYWHERE. For someone on a gluten-free diet, you must avoid this dish as the fish is battered and deep fried. The “chips” (what we call French fries in the U.S.) are naturally gluten-free, but more likely than not, they are cooked in the same oil as the battered fish.
A few people in my Instagram community told me about a restaurant called Hobson’s Fish and Chips, which has a dedicated gluten-free fryer and offers this British food staple.
I enjoyed the opportunity to try gluten-free fish and chips very much… and my Nima Sensor gave my dish a vote of confidence, assuring me this dish was indeed gluten-free.
The fish was flaky and the batter crispy, but I do believe this dish lacked flavor. I can’t help but wonder if a little seasoning would have brightened up the taste a bit. I didn’t love the fries either – they were a bit soggy. Skip the fries and get the onion rings instead (pictured on the left above) – crunchy, sweet and delicious!
While shopping at Westgate Shopping Mall (which is an incredible and beautiful mall!), we fancied lunch. The food court has so many options – including Honest Burger, Nandos and everything under the sun. So many GF options.
I decided, however, to try some gluten-free shawarma from Shawa. I enjoyed the lamb (without pita) and rice. Please note this is not a dedicated gluten-free facility, but I assure you, I enjoyed a gluten-free meal (I felt totally fine after eating here!). It was delicious too!
Wagamama is a fun place to try if you’re craving pan-Asian food and want a dine-in experience (vs. grab and go). You can find Wagamama’s everywhere.
I ordered the chicken ramen noodle soup along with the crispy duck lettuce wraps, both listed on the gluten-free menu. My daughter ordered Pad Thai (which wasn’t gluten-free) but my waitress later told me she could have made it gluten-free at my request even though it wasn’t on the GF menu (oh well, next time I will because it looked so good).
The soup was a little bland, but the crispy duck, oh man, that was super yummy!
Itsu & Wasabi
Itsu, in my opinion, edges out Wasabi when it comes to the gluten-free community.
At Itsu, the Thai Chicken Rice Bowl is gluten-free, as are a few of the simple sushi rolls (I get the salmon and cucumber rolls). You can also get gluten-free soy sauce at Itsu.
At Wasabi, you can get a few select grab and go sushi platters, but no gluten-free soy sauce and I did not see any hot meals there that were gluten-free either. At Wasabi, however, you can get a mochi dessert (sweet rice surrounding sweet red bean paste – a Japanese dessert) and it’s gluten-free.
Rosa’s Thai Cafe
We enjoyed a satisfying meal at Rosa’s Thai Cafe near Leicester Square. Leicester Square is a happening place to be – and fun for the kids too. You are steps from a massive Lego store (must-see, you can see Big Ben, a London phone booth, and the Tube Map, among other things, all made completely from Legos). You are also steps from a huge M&M store, one of only four M&M stores in the world! Be prepared to spend a fortune buying M&Ms for your kids if you go there!
Rosa’s had plenty of gluten-free options – a generous gluten-free menu indeed!
My family shared a few dishes – but the only two we really liked were the Chicken Pad Thai and the Drunkin’ Noodles (both tested gluten-free according to my Nima Sensor). The other dishes were fair. I also thought the portions were small – so if you’re hungry order accordingly!
So Long, London
As you can see, I had a wonderful experience in London. I did not get glutened once and I felt great the whole time. I will miss London and all the wonderful gluten-free food I got to enjoy!
As noted, my Nima Sensor helped me many times during this six-week journey… and for that, I am grateful.
Want a Nima Sensor of your own?
Visit Nima Sensor and use my coupon code, GOODFORYOU18, for $15 off a starter kit. Enjoy!!