Eating Out Without Gluten – An Impossible Task?

By Gintare Sa

Dining out with your friends or family these days has become almost an essential ritual and a great opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. However, when it comes to eating out, whilst the market is expanding to fit more dietary requirements, sometimes it can be difficult to find places to eat out for people with a gluten intolerance. This mainly occurs because many restaurants and cafes have limited gluten free food options, or have not been certified to assure that gluten free meals are prepared with the correct procedures to prevent cross contamination. So where does Cardiff sit? This article will be sharing how I manage to find some great places to enjoy my meals!

For health reasons, I personally choose to avoid foods containing gluten, which comes with some challenges! Currently, many coffee shops in Cardiff have limited options with gluten free products. For example, Pret A Manger do not make any gluten free sandwiches, which is very unfortunate because I love the organic food they offer. Fortunately, if you pop in for a dessert or a coffee they have some nice desserts like gluten free brownies and flapjacks, which would go very well with your drink! Other Coffee shops like Cafe Nero have better gluten free choices; you can buy a delicious ham and mustard sandwich with gluten free bread, soup and salad. When it comes to desserts, however, they have fewer choices; there’s a distinct lack of choice if you’re searching for a sweet treat. 

If you are thinking about going to a restaurant with your friends or family, the best thing is to look up online! There are great websites suggesting gluten free restaurants in Cardiff. Restaurants such as Bella Italia, Viva Brazil, The Real Italian Pizza Co, The Deck, Deli Fuego, Revolution de Cuba and many more prepare gluten free meals alongside some additional options on their menu. Alternatively, you call them up beforehand to ask if they have gluten free options for you. To be sure your food is always prepared safely, tell your server you are a celiac or have a gluten intolerance and need to avoid anything with wheat, oats or rye ; it’s worth noting the specifics such as any salad topping made of bread etc. Don’t be afraid to ask many questions about food preparation and other details, there is nothing wrong with you being extra careful. You are also helping staff by informing them, in that case nothing can go wrong!

I do feel that gluten free options are becoming more popular and are expanding within the market; whenever I go to eat out with friends, I always find something excellent. However, sometimes there isn’t much to choose from, yet I don’t feel that my food choices are drastically limited as long as I make sure to ask a lot of questions before ordering. Gluten intolerance shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the experience of eating out. Make sure you know everything about your meal and it all will be safe!