GF. You’re all-too familiar with the symbol. It stands for gluten-free and at times can mean limited eating-out options. Then you discover these gluten-free havens and your stomach does a happy little flip.
The rules to making it onto this list are simple:
- The menus must be 50% gluten-free (minimum, optionals included)
- The food must be quality and hearty, none of this rabbit-food salad-bar nonsense. Why should your tastebuds suffer because you have an intolerance / allergy?
- Requesting GF should not feel as though you’re being picky/snooty/rude. (FYI you shouldn’t act picky/snooty/rude when you request them, not that you ever do.)
Hungry? You’d better be...
Egg of the Universe
- Where: 711 Darling Street, Rozelle
- Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays (7am-4pm), Weekends (8am-4pm)
- Facebook: Egg of the Universe
This wholefoods cafe’s mantra is that it aims to feed everyone - vegans to omnivores, gluten-free to dairy-free. Its all-day menu is a tasty selection of brekky bacon and eggs, filling meat and fish lunches and naturally sweetened desserts, most of which are GF. You’ve got 99 problems, but dessert ain’t one.
- Where: Shop 1/50 Holt Street, Surry Hills
- Opening Hours: Weekdays (11.30am-3pm & 6pm-11pm), Weekends (6pm-11pm)
- Facebook: Muum Maam
Named after the Thai slang term for “little glutton”, you’ll feel like one yourself while gazing over this generous gluten-free menu. Yes, Muum Maan comes with it’s own dedicated gluten-free menu. There’s even a vego menu available, but we’ve got our eye on the massaman coconut curry. Don’t you?
- Where: 45 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills
- Opening Hours: Weekdays (7:30am-4pm), Weekends (8am-3pm)
- Facebook: Toast Cafe
We promised you no rabbit-food, salad-bar nonsense and believe us, Toast is none of that. It’s an organic cafe of filling salads, sangas and breakfast toasties that come perched on SOL mega grain bread - gluten-free, of course. Too much toast? Order the sweet corn and kaffir lime fritter - served with halloumi, avocado and homemade chilli jam - instead. According to the cafe, it’s the hottest dish on the GF list. What can you say? Great minds order alike.
- Where: 315 Cleveland Street, Redfern
- Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays (6pm-10pm)
- Facebook: Nourishing Quarter
The good folk at Nourishing Quarter take traditional Asian cuisine, give it a good, hard, healthy twist and sprinkle it with Latin American influences. It’s rare you’ll find a gluten dish on this list, but if there is one, it’ll tell you straight out.
- Where: 656 Darling Street, Rozelle
- Opening Hours: Sundays to Thursdays (7.30am-5pm), Fridays and Saturdays (7.30pm-10pm)
- Facebook: Ungaro Raw
This vegan/vegetarian/organic cafe may only have opened late 2013 but it packs out on weekends with locals seeking a diet that’s healthy, wholesome and delicious. Ungaro has all three in spades. It also has plenty of gluten-free breads, mueslis, pastas and desserts. Lick the plate. Because, you know, you can.
On the run and need a quick go-to for a guaranteed gluten-free lunch? Who ya gonna call? Iku. Dotted throughout the CBD and reaching as far as Glebe and Bondi, this healthy food outlet offers gluten-free options for almost all of its meals.
Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon
- Where: 35 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
- Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays (6pm-midnight)
- Facebook: Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon
Claire’s is a French-style brasserie for the senses. Le chic decor drips of enchantment and mystique. The space itself is separated into two distinct areas: le downstairs restaurante and le upstairs salon (pictured) for more intimate affairs. With your French delicacy, naturally. Ooh, la, la.
- Where: 56 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
- Opening Hours: Weekdays (7.30am-3.30pm), Weekends (8am-4pm)
- Facebook: Trio Bondi Beach
The taste of the Middle East and Mediterranean with a view of the ocean and a happy little tummy - can it get any better on a bright, Sunday morning? Trio offers gluten-free multigrain breads to help you lick that shakshouka (Middle Eastern) brekky clean off the plate. Otherwise, it has GF lamb kofta and mezzes for those who prioritise the weekend sleep-in. We don’t blame you.
Wafu started off as a guilt-free, members-only gluten/dairy/wheat/egg/MSG/refined sugar-free mecca in Surry Hills. Times have changed and now they only do house calls, grocery shopping and preparing your meal in your home while teaching you the ways of the samurai, erm, we mean guilt-free chef. They’ll even come a-knocking on your door bearing gifts of gluten-free beer.
Gluten-free in the city
Let’s not kid ourselves, getting to these gluten-free havens is, for the most part, a luxury outing that involves planning and travelling. Not so easy when you’re trying to live a GF life - but here are a few everyday, non-salad dishes that you can near bet your bottom dollar will keep your stomach smiling.
You’ve got to give sushi its due: it’s healthy, it’s everywhere and it’s gluten-free - bearing in mind sauces (soy, ponzu, eel, mayo), tempura and some ingredients have gluten. On the plus side, plain sashimi is always safe and extremely healthy!
We were surprised about this as well, but many a Thai (and Asian) noodle is made of rice rather than wheat. Glass noodles are even better - they’re typically made of mung beans, yam, potato or cassava. Your only cause for concern is sauces - but as always, if in doubt, ask to leave it out.
Mexican corn tortillas
In general Mexican staple foods (beans, corn, rice) are nice and GF. Avoid flour based tortillas and opt for corn or fish tortillas and you’ll be sitting pretty.
Gluten-free pizzas and burgers
These days, GF plays such a large role in our dining lifestyles that restaurants and cafes feel compelled to offer you that gluten-free option on the flour-based meal. Lucette, Bondi Pizza and Teru Cafe and Pizza are renowned for rolling out delicious gluten-free bases. Burgers-wise, Moo (pictured) and Grill’d have gluten-free buns and Grill’d even lets you go “bun-less”.
Cupcakes and flourless chocolate cake
…Read the first sentence of the above and replace flour-based meal’ with ‘cupcake dessert’. Roberto’s and Rowie’s wholesale their sweet GF delights into Dough, David Jones, Thomas Dux and more. Then there’s Mad Hatter Cupcakery and its 100% plant-based cupcakes. If all else fails, there’s that indulgent flourless chocolate (cup)cake. Like you could say no.