Pizza by Joe Public

Where From? Joe Public
Available at Clapham Common

London is full of gluten free pizza options nowadays but arguably most of the offerings are from chains. Therefore, coming across an independent pizzeria which has something for us too is an exciting discovery. While you’ll find Joe Public in what used to be the old lavatories at Clapham Common Underground, this refurbished eatery gives off no “toilet vibe” whatsoever. Pull up a stool at the long bar, order a glass of wine and take your pick from the entire menu of pizza flavours which can all be made on a crispy gluten free 14-inch base. Be sure to ask for no crispy shallots as they are the restaurant’s only gluten-containing topping. All pizzas are cut safely in their own box with a dedicated gluten free pizza slicer, so eat in peace and enjoy!

The Ivy Café: Gluten Free Dining With an Air of Nostalgia

When I was growing up, special occasions were celebrated at The Ivy in Covent Garden. Tucked away behind the theatre which still houses the world’s longest running play The Mousetrap, this art deco celebrity hot spot is known for its classic British fare and dimly lit rooms. What I quickly learnt however, was that The Ivy, in all its glory, is not necessarily the most affordable restaurant in London. So when the team behind the original restaurant opened up a group of all-day dining cafe style eateries around the city, I was indescribably excited.

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The menu at this modern chain is reminiscent of that at The Ivy, featuring some of the original restaurant’s classic dishes including the Ivy Hamburger and the Chicken Milanese. However, upon first glance, anyone gluten free would feel overwhelmed by the bread-heavy options. We decided to make a trip there and test it out on a cold Sunday evening, only to be left with a multitude of options. To my pleasure, I discovered the kitchen was willing to adapt a number of dishes to make them gluten free friendly.

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On the back of this news, I opted to start my meal with the Wild Mushrooms in a cream sauce with grated truffle and Gran Moravia. The dish calls for toasted brioche, which the team happily replaced with gluten free toast. A proper winter warmer, this dish paved the way perfectly for my main course – The Ivy Cafe Shepherd’s Pie.

While this might sound unadventurous to some, the Ivy Cafe Shepherd’s Pie is so much more than what it lets on. This rich and creamy pie is comfort food at its finest, containing not only the usual fragrant lamb, but beef shoulder too which deepens the flavour of the stock. The perfectly piped mashed potato crown is best when doused with lashes of gluten free beef gravy that comes automatically served on the side in a personal pot. To brighten up the dish, I selected some perfectly cooked spring greens, which come tossed in a light butter sauce.

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I was somewhat worried that my choices would leave me stuffed to the brim but delighted in my realisation that there was still room left for dessert. The dessert course is where gluten free diners clean up because a whopping ten out of twelve desserts are allergy friendly. Making a decision between the Flourless Cappuccino cake and the Lemon Meringue Baked Alaska was proving tough, until I spotted the decadent Chocolate Bombe on the menu. When brought to the table, a salted caramel sauce is poured on top of the bombe until it splits open, revealing a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream and honeycomb pieces. Ending such a delicious meal on an any less indulgent note would not have felt right, and is what I recommend any of you reading this do when you visit. Get ready to feel spoilt and comfortable – two things which still remain a novelty for gluten free diners across the globe.

The Ivy Cafe has various locations across London. We ate at the Richmond Branch, the menu for which can be found here.

(Tables bookable via the restaurant website or Opentable)

Boston, MA: The Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

UPDATED IN SEPTEMBER 2022!

Boston, which also goes by the moniker Bean Town, is a haven for fresh New England seafood and Red Sox sports. My mother was born about 30 minutes north of this amazing city and so I have many a fond memory of fried clams, stadium hot dogs and donuts from the gluten days. Experiencing the port city from a gluten free point of view however continues to feel like I’m getting to know Boston all over again. While some of my old favourites had become off limits, others, I learnt, cater wonderfully to gluten free. I hope that this guide I have pulled together helps you enjoy Boston as much as I always do!

Kane’s Donuts

Probably the best gluten free donut you, or I, will ever have, I am happy to say, is available in Boston. Thanks to the innovative ways of Maria and Paul Delios, children to the late great Peter Delios and founder of Kane’s Donuts, a fresh selection of gluten free donuts is prepared every day. This wonderful family business also has a monthly special gluten free donut depending on the season which is always a winning flavour combination and enjoyed by gluten free and non gluten free eaters alike. Kane’s have two Massachusetts locations with plans to soon open a third. I could not recommend this place enough!

Where?
Two International Place
90 Oliver Street
Boston, MA 02110

120 Lincoln Avenue
Saugus, MA 01906

Faccia Brutta

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Eating at this beautiful eatery on Newbury Street was one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had in Boston. Faccia Brutta opened in 2022 so is a fairly new addition to the hustle and bustle of Newbury Street and what a place it is! Serving up insane fresh pasta dishes, small plates and so much more, Faccia Brutta is incredibly gluten free friendly. Over 90% of the menu can be adapted to be gluten free and the gluten free dishes are all prepared separately and safely. We ordered just about the whole menu here and I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. Make sure you get the mozzarella sticks to tide you over while you wait for your fresh GF pasta or chicken Milanese – you will be so glad you did! Booking essential.

Where?
278 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

Book and breakfast lovers will rejoice when they discover that this Newbury Street haven brings the best of both together in one happy and fulfilling setting. Trident Booksellers has been serving up fabulous breakfasts in the midst of an atmospheric bookstore since 1984. Patrons can sit at the old style diner bar or at a selection of low tables before or after browsing the extensive collection of books for sale. Gluten free bread is available which the clued up waiting and culinary staff are happy to bring you in place of regular bread with most egg dishes and the staff are clued up on cross contamination. While breakfast is always my prime focus here, Trident Booksellers is also open for lunch and dinner. For meals later in the day I would strongly advise that you indulge in the gluten free nachos, overflowing with cheese, jalapenos, refried beans and tomatoes or the tacos.

Where?
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115

Thinking Cup

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Thinking Cup is known for its freshly brewed coffee, hot and cold sandwiches and big crowds! While in here it is not always easy to find a free table, you can always rely on being able to grab any breakfast or lunch sandwich on gluten free bread. A selection of gluten free baked treats including vegan snickerdoodles and brown butter rice krispy treats are also available from the cake counter which make the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of joe. Thinking Cup has two locations in addition to its Newbury Street store, the latter of which has always been my favourite!

Where?
85 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116

236 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

165 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111

Tavern in the Square

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This sports bar and pub is infamous for its gluten free options. So much of the menu can be made gluten free including fried pickles, chicken tenders, wings, nachos, potato tots and so much more. We loved sitting at the bar at the North Station branch and enjoyed several appetisers for a late lunch one day, washed down with many a cocktail. It can be super hard to get a seat here, especially on game days, so be prepared to wait.

Where?
120 Beverly St
Boston, MA 02114

Flour Bakery + Cafe

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While not an entirely gluten free destination, Flour Bakery offers up homemade gluten free bread which can be used for any sandwich, with the exception of grilled options. After much asking around, I soon realised that most gluten free people go here for the breakfast egg sandwich which comes complete with a deliciously fluffy souffle egg, bacon or ham, cheddar, arugula (rocket), tomato and fiery dijonaise. The team were helpful and clued up on cross contamination when I visited the Clarendon Sreet branch but do be sure to triple check you are happy with their practices when you go. Flour Bakery + Cafe also has three Cambridge locations – check out the website for further details.

Where?
30 Dalton Street
Boston, MA 02115

1595 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118

12 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210

131 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116

The Friendly Toast

This all day eatery located in the Back Bay is famous among gluten free diners for its giant gluten free pancakes, which, depending on how you feel, can be made either plain or with blueberries, chocolate chips or bananas. If pancakes aren’t your thing, opt for one of many egg dishes or hearty homemade omelettes with a smorgasbord of flavour combinations to choose from. Bread by Udi’s is also provided for gluten free diners as a replacement in old favourites including The Friendly Toast’s Eggs Benny and, while not specified on the menu, can be used to make french toast! For toasted bread, check with wait staff about cross contamination before ordering. This eatery’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are all served throughout the day. Hint: order a grilled cheese on gluten free bread and dip it in a bowl of the gluten free Tomato and Feta Bisque. You’ll thank me later!

Where?
35 Stanhope St
Boston, MA 02116

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

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If you love Mexican food and a great atmosphere then head on to Southie’s finest taqueria! We happened to be here on Taco Tuesday so the deals were immense but ultimately just meant we ended up ordering even more food as it was such a good deal. From queso dip with freshly fried tortillas, to tuna tostadas to baja fish tacos… This place has it all. Plus incredible margaritas – oh, and did I mention the oyster menu?! Such a vibe – cannot wait to be back in Boston for this place alone! Booking advised.

Where?
412 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127

Jennifer Lee’s Bakery

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If you’re looking for a 100% gluten free bakery then this is your paradise! This gorgeous little bakery tucked inside Boston Public Market is entirely vegan, with all products free from multiple allergens as well. The cakes here are beautiful and they have the biggest selection of whoopie pie flavours I’ve ever seen! Savoury items also available.

Where?
100 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02108

B&G Oysters

If fresh seafood is your thing, head to this chic South End eatery for oysters, lobster and much more. While this spot has no specific gluten free menu, the servers are happy to point out what items on the menu are either gluten free friendly or easily adapted. B&G Oysters is known for its fried oysters and when I visited a few years ago the chef kindly whipped up a gluten free batch just for me! So be sure to ask nicely. With a fabulous wine list, you’ll definitely want to stop here for a long lunch! Also open for dinner.

Where?
550 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Shake Shack

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New York hamburger chain Shake Shack has been going strong in Boston for the past few years and now has two locations in the city. UK travellers will be thrilled to know that Shake Shack in the US is far more gluten free friendly than what they’re used to, offering up gluten free hamburger buns to free from patrons. Be sure to ask the cashier what hamburger options are safe for celiacs – I personally want nothing fancier than a cheeseburger here because, when it’s done right, is there anything better? Please note the fries are not safe for coeliacs.

Where?
234-236 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

77 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

The Fisherman’s Net

Tucked away inside the famous Faneuil Hall Marketplace, this chowder stand is probably the best surprise I’ve had in a long time. There’s not much for us gluten free folk inside this famous marketplace so when I saw that The Fisherman’s Net served up only gluten free New England clam chowder I couldn’t believe my luck! Served piping hot in either a cup or bowl – what more could you need? The manager on duty also put me at ease and showed great knowledge of cross contamination.

Where?
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
1 S Market Street
Boston, MA 02109

Luke’s Lobster

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This fantastic chain sources its lobster from the home of the world’s finest – Maine. Famous among celiacs, this humble seafood shack offers a gluten free version of its famous in house lobster roll and it is delicious. All soups are also gluten free, including Luke’s clam chowder which is a real luxury these days as most chowders across New England are still thickened with wheat flour! Word of warning – these lobster rolls sell for almost $20 a pop, with sides going for an extra $2 each. Save your pennies – it will be worth it!

Where?
75 Exeter St
Boston, MA 02116

290 290 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02108

Sonsie

A long term favourite of mine and my family’s, Sonsie embodies chic Newbury Street dining at its finest. With a bistro feel and doors that open onto the pavement when the weather is good, this restaurant gets a thumbs up for atmosphere as well as its flexibility and willingness to provide gluten free friendly dishes. Sonsie has three fully gluten free menus for the likes of you and me – brunch, lunch and dinner. This includes killer gluten free hamburgers, pizzas and bistro specialities including fresh seafood, steaks and salads. If you have room left for dessert, don’t forget to try the famous flourless chocolate cake!

Where?
327 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115

Fenway Park: Home of the Red Sox

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An experience noone should miss in Boston, especially during game season, is a round of baseball at Fenway Park. Years ago, I would have had to have eaten pre-game as the famous Fenway Frank wouldn’t have been an option. Now however, I make sure to fast beforehand! With the option of gluten free hot dogs (yes including the bun!), personal pan pizzas and sweet treats, you will find plenty to eat! Gluten free beer is also available at multiple concession stands throughout the stadium, while hot dogs can be purchased from an entirely gluten free cart on the Home Plate Concourse. Gluten free pizza is available from Pizzeria Regina, also on the Home Plate Concourse.

Where?
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215

Deuxave

Fancy neighbourhood dining isn’t done better than at Deuxave. This French inspired Back Bay restaurant is the perfect spot for a dress up dinner while you’re in town. While there is no dedicated gluten free menu, the chef is willing to adapt a number of dishes to make them gluten free friendly. With a fantastic array of seafood and meat dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Booking ahead necessary.

Where?
371 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Legal Seafoods

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Gluten free seafood paradise is how I would describe Legal Seafoods – a chain which started in Massachusetts and now has a presence in multiple states. Despite being such a large chain, the restaurant has not lost its flare and if anything, has blossomed, especially when it comes to its development of gluten free options. Legal Seafoods has one of the most luxurious gluten free menus around, including fried clams, shrimp, calamari, chowder and more. Be sure to stop at one of the city’s locations rather than the Boston Logan airport branches, where the gluten free options are nowhere near as ample! Check out their website for your nearest location or head to my favourite branch in the Copley Place mall – details below.

Where?
100 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116

Jersey Mike’s

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If you’ve been missing a sub sandwich, look no further than subway sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s which offer gluten free versions of all their subs on Udi’s sub rolls. The nearest branch if you’re staying in downtown Boston is about a 15 minute drive but I promise it will be worth it! The team wiped down the entire surface and changed gloves to prepare my sub, and took fresh ingredients from the back to avoid cross contamination. Heaven!

Where?
1786 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Violette Bakers

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A 100% gluten free bakery located just across the Charles River from Boston in Cambridge, MA, this gorgeous spot has ample dairy free options. I ate one of the best eclairs I’ve ever tasted here just before we flew home and even got a freshly baked gluten free pizza to go, which the team wrapped up for me to take on the plane. This spot is mostly takeaway, with a couple of chairs and tables set out front for anyone who wants to pause and enjoy some of the most amazing baked goods without rushing off. Violette Bakers also offers freshly baked gluten free bread to go on a daily basis. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Where?
466 B Washington St
Brighton, MA 02135

Twist Bakery & Café

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A family-owned 100% gluten free bakery with two branches in Massachusetts, Twist is such a treat. While not located directly within Boston, the Burlington branch is only a 30 minute drive from the city and well worth the journey. This place has a huge selection of sweet and savoury baked goods and an incredible breakfast and lunch menu. We opted for two different types of grilled cheese sandwich and got a box of cakes for the road and I simply cannot wait to go back.

Where?
62 Second Ave
Burlington, MA 01803

30 Milliston Rd
Millis, MA 02054

Shopping

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Supermarkets in Boston are great for gluten free snacks, should you need food on-the-go or to make meals with if you are staying in non-hotel accommodation. My favourite shops include Trader Joe’s on Boylston Street and Star Market at the Prudential Centre. Both have a fantastic selection of gluten free treats for inner city grocery stores and are worth a perusal if nothing else!

Raclette by Raclette Brothers

Where From? Raclette Brothers
Available at South Bank Wintertime Market

Giving up gluten for me thankfully did not come hand in hand with giving up dairy. Cheese has always been a great passion of mine, in any shape or form and is a safe go-to whenever I travel or am at a party. No crackers? No bread? No problem, because there’s a cheeseboard somewhere. Imagine my happiness therefore when I heard about the newest cheese celebrities in London – Raclette Brothers – who serve up an Alpine dish that is 100% gluten free? This duo has been touring London markets since they hit the food scene in 2016 and just the other day made a guest appearance in my Tooting neighbourhood. Tucking into this plate of sauteed potatoes, pickled onions, cornichons and prosciutto crudo, which is all topped with bubbling, oozing Raclette was an experience I’ll never forget. Vegetarians fear not – the ham is optional! I urge you all to follow these guys who are currently stationed at the South Bank Wintertime Market near Waterloo, until December 30. South West Londoners will rejoice as the pair plan on taking up a permanent spot at Pop Brixton from January 2018.