I often get asked for my favourite places to eat out in my neck of the woods. Whilst I have some reviews under the Clerkenwell tag, I don’t write about everywhere I eat, so for Clerkenwell Design Week I thought I would round up my favourite gluten-free eating spots in this little know culinary nirvana north of the city and south of Islington; in case hunger strikes between perusing the exhibits and installations!
In addition there are of course a few chains (Pizza Express, Burger & Lobster) and other places that cater for gluten-free diets, but I have found this selection to be the best and most interesting at handling coeliac dining.
The Modern Pantry
I love Anna Hansen’s bright and airy restaurant so much I had my (entirely gluten free) wedding there! They serve an eclectic and innovative menu with achingly seasonal flavours from every continent. It regularly features on ‘Best Brunch in London’ lists, and is equally good for dinner finished up with trademark hokey pokey icecream and homemade chocolates. They also serve gluten free bread.
Bistro Bruno Loubet
Across the square from Modern Pantry in the boutique Zetter Hotel is a not-quite-classic French Bistro with a menu with many coeliac-suitable options. I awarded them a Pudding Hero award for their yummy desserts. We recommend booking a table for pre drinks at the bar in Zetter Townhouse – possibly our favourite bar in London. Make sure to have a twinkle!
The Quality Chop House
You can take advantage of the walk-in only bar area, but it pays to book ahead for the set, no-choice menu in the traditional working class caterers. Make sure to tell them in advance you need a gluten free menu and they will delight with gamey, meaty, hearty fare accompanied by the best £4 glass of wine to be found in London. Review here.
Another excellent brunch/lunch spot with gluten free bread on the menu. Quieter at weekends when you can avoid the hipster crowds who work at local agencies sipping posh coffee over laptops sitting under the exposed brickwork and living wall. It is possible to book for dinner.
Vegetarian and gluten free? This buzzy restaurant at the very top end of Clerkenwell does both well – you’ll never know dishes could taste so good and be so interesting without meat! Their gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu, however be sure to double check with the server that they can prepare your dish separately and avoid contamination. Review here.
A brand new gluten free restaurant a few doors away from Sadler’s Wells theatre. I have yet to try it, but the menu comprises plenty of crowd-pleasing classics such as steak, pies, sausage & mash and salads. Could be a perfect spot for a pre-theatre meal.
I go back again and again to Pho. Their light, fresh and delicious take on Vietnamese food is gluten-free heaven. Only one or two of their dishes contain the dreaded grain, with most being rice-based. I particularly recommend the fried spring rolls. Review here.
Hummus Bros. (currently closed after a fire)
This mini-chain serves up bowls of top-notch creamy hummus with various yummy toppings. The gluten free can mop theirs up with rice cakes, corn chips, vegetable crudités or gluten free pitta. Great for lunch or a light dinner.
Printworks Kitchen (NEW)
New opening from previous FFFA winner and coeliac, Catherine, this new weekday cafe always has a variety of delicious naturally gluten free options; as well as some tempting bakes – doughnuts if you are lucky!
NUSA Kitchen (lunch takeaway only)
People regularly queue out of the door for these hearty delicious soups. The best bit is gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu.
For a tipple:
- Cocktails at The Zetter Townhouse never fail to delight, especially in the winter months when there is a roaring fire. You’ll need to book.
- Tiny hidden Belgian Bar The Dovetail serves gluten free Mongozo beer.
- Nearer Farringdon, The Jerusalem Tavern serve St. Peter’s gluten free ale.