Empanadas by Lincoln’s Cafe, Holborn

Where From? Lincoln’s Cafe, Holborn
Available in Store from Monday to Friday

As a massive empanada fan, I cannot tell you my delight in coming across what Lincoln’s Cafe has to offer. This modest eatery tucked away behind Holborn station in the West End of London not only offers gluten free bread as an option for its vast sandwich menu, but a selection of homemade Colombian savoury treats too. Pictured, the Empanada de Pollo (Chicken), is a must-try if you’re passing, and even if you’re not, I would recommend the trip purely for this! This empanada is corn based and is perfectly crispy on the outside when heated and soft as a pillow inside, jam-packed full of flavour. Whilst you’re there, you would be silly to not also try some of the Pan de Bono (traditional Colombian cheese bread), an arepa or a vegetable stuffed empanada. This store closes early every day so make your way there before 4pm to avoid disappointment!

Tooting: The Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

Those of y’all who follow my Instagram account will know by now that I LOVE my neighbourhood. I grew up in South East London and six years go switched things up by moving South West to Tooting. In the past six years alone, this area has seen an immense amount of change, especially when it comes to food! Home to the famous Tooting Market and Broadway Market, this area has something for everyone, and is especially great when it comes to gluten free. Enjoy reading through my guide and seeing for yourself just how awesome this southern corner of the capital is!

Barra 10

Whitagram-Image (7)

Argentina has come to Tooting! Hands down, my favourite restaurant in the area, Barra 10 boasts an array of traditional Argentine dishes, many of which are naturally gluten free. Venture here for perfectly cooked steak, wine from the famous Mendoza region, oh and a provoleta – barbecued provolone cheese – for a quintessentially Porteño experience! Coeliacs note that if you wish to eat chips with your steak (you’ll want to, they’re FANTASTIC), then ask to reserve a portion of chips when you book a table and the team will happily fry them separately for you to avoid cross contamination. Make sure you finish with a scoop of homemade Dulce de Leche ice cream. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Where? 
16 Broadway Market
Tooting High Street
London SW17 0RL

Brickwood Coffee and Bread

Whitagram-Image (10)

This South West London favourite is nestled away inside Tooting market and one for the brunch lovers. Not only do they serve up a MEAN gluten free fry up, these guys offer gluten free versions of all their toasties which are LEGENDARY. I always opt for ham hock and smoked truffle mayo. The coffee is great to boot and it served the people of Tooting well during lockdown. Fancy a cocktail? Brickwood is open on Fridays and Saturdays for tipples as well.

Where? 
Tooting Market 21-23
London SW17 0SN

Boom Bap Burger

tempImageForSave

I’ve tried a lot of burgers in my time, and since going gluten free seven years ago, I’ve tried even more. However, top of my list for anyone visiting Tooting has got to be Boom Bap Burger, which offers delicious gluten free patties, packed full of flavour, and perfectly sguidgy gluten free burger buns to boot. Coeliacs should check with staff on the day to see if the french fries have been fryed separately before ordering as this can bit hit or miss. If they’re safe, go ahead and order the cheesy fries because they’re EPIC. Closed on Mondays.

Where?
Unit 2, Tooting Market
20 Totterdown Street
London SW17 8TA

Mamma Mia Pasta

IMG_4750

If you’re a gnocchi fan like me, you won’t be disappointed that gnocchi is your only gluten free option at this family-run pasta restaurant inside Tooting Broadway Market – you’ll be ELATED. Gluten free gnocchi is still incredibly hard to come across on the London restaurant scene and here at Mamma Mia Pasta, the chef will top it with any sauce you desire, whilst taking extra care to avoid cross contamination. I highly recommend you opt for the slow cooked tomato and basil sauce with burrata – absolute winner! State your allergy or dietary requirement and you’ll be wonderfully taken care of. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. 

Where?
Tooting Broadway Market
The Cave
29 Tooting High Street
London SW17 0RJ

VBELLY

Tooting’s vegan hotspot VBELLY is located inside Tooting Market and is both reasonably priced and perfect for a takeaway. Try the nachos if you’re feeling snackish or ANY of the desserts which are all gluten free. Ask the team about the specials, in case any more gluten free items crop up. Closed on Mondays.

Where?
Unit 13, Tooting Market
20 Totterdown Street
London SW17 8TA

The Gorringe Park

This isn’t just my favourite pub in Tooting because it’s local but because a large portion of the menu is gluten free! And the items safe for us to eat are not just steak, or grilled fish and mash – they include things like croquettes, breaded camembert, calamari and much much more! The Gorringe Park has a separate fryer for all of its gluten free items, meaning the chips are safe to eat – something which sadly seems to be a rarity in pubs these days. If you’re in the mood for culture with your meal, pop on down to the pub cinema in the basement, which shows several movies daily and is free – just buy yourself a drink or a snack and enjoy!

Where? 
29 London Road
London SW17 9JR

Juliet’s Quality Food

Whitagram-Image (9)

I definitely can’t complain when it comes to Tooting’s brunch offerings. Juliets Quality Foods – headed up by the founders of Balham’s famous Milk Cafe – – is always spot on when you’re in the mood for eggs, perfect flat whites and retro hip hop, all at the same time. Gluten free diners can choose between several dishes but are likely to be drawn to signature numbers like sweetcorn fritters with kasundi and the Young Betty –  this restaurant’s answer to Eggs Benedict or Royale – served atop homemade cornbread with your choice of bacon or local smoked salmon and drizzled with Espresso Hollandaise. Those in the mood for sweet treats can also order a slice of the pistachio and polenta cake with buttercream frosting – it’s truly delightful AND gluten free!

Where?
110 Mitcham Road
London SW17 9NG

Green Monkey

Whitagram-Image (11)

Tucked away behind Tooting Bec station, Green Monkey is a hidden gem for gluten free. Serving up delicious coffee, Green Monkey has a selection of sweet and savoury gluten free treats on offer including EPIC toasties to go or eat in (try the halloumi and avocado – TRUST ME), a whole array of brunch dishes with delicious gluten free sourdough on the side as well as one of the best brownies I’ve ever had, and vegan and gluten free caramel shortbread. Another hero during lockdown – thank you Green Monkey!

Where?
2d Tooting Bec Road
London SW17 7TS

Mud

IMG_4749

Another spot for the breakfast fans out there, Mud serves up all sorts of egg-based dishes seven days a week. Gluten free eaters can replace regular bread with gluten free bread on most breakfast dishes or can tuck into the buckwheat pancakes which are served wtih caremalised pear puree, pecans, lemon balm and maple creme fraiche. I tend to go big here and order the Eggs Benny with pork belly, and usually finish with at least three coffees just to bring me out of the food coma. Be sure to flag your requirements upon arrival so the team at Mud can take care of you!

Where?
141 Mitcham Road
London SW17 9PE

Nuvola – A Little Bakery

IMG_4753

I’m usually in the market for something sweet after all of the savoury treats that Tooting has to offer, and so tend to head on over to Nuvola – A Little Bakery. This organic bakery is not a gluten free dedicated facility but always has at least two delicious gluten free baked goods on offer. Run by former pastry chef Nuvola Tivoli, this bakery prides itself on handmade cakes made only with the best ingredients, which will make you even prouder to support such a great local business! Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Where?
Unit 25, Tooting Market
Totterdown Street
London SW17 0SN

Rosa’s Thai Cafe

As well as a plethora of independent shops and restaurants, Tooting has a number of reliable chains which offer solid gluten free options. Rosa’s Thai Cafe is one of those, offering a detailed gluten free menu upon request. Take your pick from a number of fragrant curries, stir fries, Asian salads and more and you’re sure to be well looked after.

Where?
70 Tooting High Street
London SW17 0RN

Honest Burgers

IMG_4748

A restaurant these days which needs little introduction, Honest Burgers has long had a home in Tooting. A great and fuss-free option for gluten free diners who want to tuck into a familiar and great-tasting burger, Honest Burgers offers all patties on a gluten free bun as well as coeliac-safe rosemary fries and onion rings. Wash it all down with a gluten free Daura Damm beer and you’ve got a winning combination!

Where?
72 Tooting High Street
London SW17 0RN

The Athenian

IMG_4740

You won’t even miss the pitta bread when you tuck into some naturally gluten free Greek street food at The Athenian. On offer for gluten free folk, the Naked Souvlaki box comes jam packed with fresh Greek salad, herbs, grilled meat and is made even better by a portion of grilled halloumi on the side. Staff members will change their gloves for you if you state your allergies and are intent on giving you a stress free ordering experience. The Athenian is part of a chain with locations now all around London and I couldn’t be happier to have it in Tooting!

Where?
Unit 3, Tooting Market
21-23 Totterdown Street
London SW17 0SN

Cardamom Club

Last but not least: Cardamom Club has been my favourite Indian food delivery restaurant since I moved to Tooting. This independent Tooting Bec takeaway has good allergy awareness and always delivers delicious meals that are piping hot. While I’ve tried a number of dishes from here, my number one has got to be Butter Chicken – a perfect combination of spice and creaminess. The Paneer Tikka is also fantastic, and makes for a great starter and is perfect for sharing!

Where?
18 Trinity Road
London SW17 7RE

Vegan Ice Creams by Miiro

Where From? Miiro
Available at Ocado and Whole Foods Market

Vegans and dairy free people alike will rejoice when they get their hands on these creamy, raw chocolate ice cream lollies by Miiro. They come in three yummy flavours: Chocolate Hazelnut, Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter and are all coated in rich cocoa. For those calorie counting, these lollies all have less than 200 calories each and are free from refined sugar, as well as gluten free. Just because they are free from does not mean their flavour is compromised however, and I could definitely eat more than one of these in one sitting! You can get your hands on these lollies via Ocado, Whole Foods, Holland & Barrett, As Nature Intended and Planet Organic.

Naked Souvlaki Box by The Athenian

Where From? The Athenian
Available at the London and Bristol Locations

Having to skip on the warm and fluffy pitta bread when tucking into Greek food is definitely a sad state of affairs. However, when you find Greek food that is so good there’s no real need for the bread, you’re winning, and that’s exactly what I found at The Athenian! This modern chain brings traditional Greek flavours to the street food scene and is very allergen aware. The Athenian states clearly on its menu that the “Naked Souvlaki” is naturally gluten free, which is a box of fresh Greek Salad with herbs and grilled meat skewers – perfect with an accompanying portion of halloumi cheese. The team will also change their gloves for you when prepping your meal if you request gluten free, to avoid cross contamination, and will withhold the fries, which are not gluten free as they are fried together with other gluten-containing items. Go check this place out – you have four London locations to choose from, including inside my local hotspot Tooting Market. The Athenian also has a Bristol location, so what are you waiting for?