Olympic Gluten Free Food Tips

Photo: by @beyondbamboo


We know that it can be hard to eat out gluten free especially if you’re in a strange city. So we’ve created a series of gluten free tips for where to eat gluten free in London and beyond during the Olympics.


We are in love with Cote. Their managers are clued up about gluten free food. It’s often hard to find anywhere for a true gluten free breakfast in London. Yet Cote offer a great selection for your non-coeliac friends and you can ask for a Full English breakfast and tuck into scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato and mushrooms served with Heinz tomato sauce safely gluten free!

See: http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/

Note: They also offer good options for lunch or dinner with a great weekday menu with two courses for £9.95 before 7pm. And it’s food that they cook in-house not some microwaved food like some other chains we won’t name.  We like to enjoy their minute steak with Béarnaise sauce, frites (chips) and green beans. Do check they cook the frites in separate oil. Most of their branches do but some with small kitchens cross contaminate them with gluten – in which case they’re often happy to create some sautéed potatoes for you instead.


Gluten free lunch in London and other UK cities is much easier than you may think. We have a good range of supermarkets from Marks and Spencers to Waitrose that all provide gluten free sandwiches in their large branches. Plus many chains on the high street are beginning to offer gluten free options like Zizzi (with an Allergen menu) or Leon (who are happy to talk you through their gluten free choices).

One of our favourite places to grab a lunch bite is Pod in London. They are a new chain that offers sustainable, seasonal and healthy food for city workers on the go. They’re perfect for a well priced lunch in a hurry. We love their Thai Green curry, ‘Sin’ gluten free cakes (chocolate brownie or lemon) and sugar and sweet popcorn. Their gluten free choices are well marked on their menu and their Managers are helpful at answering any questions you have. Pod is a growing chain – look out for their branches near Old Street and in Central London.

See: http://www.podfood.co.uk/find_a_pod.php


If you’ve not been seduced by Cote for breakfast yet then try them for dinner – see above. Get there before 7pm to bag a bargin two course meal!

Alternatively La Tasca are a chain that have really improved their food in the last few years. They now provide GF items marked on their menu and GF beer by Estrella Daura from Barcelona!  Worth a visit for a some nice tapas. Also log onto their website or twitter account for deals.

For an easy fuss free dinner that doesn’t cost the earth we recommend Nandos.  The great thing about Nandos is they are dotted around London so you never have to search far for one when you’re hungry. All their branches have an allergy guide at the till to help you choose the best gluten free options for you. Their company policy is that you must speak to the Manager at each branch to explain your ‘allergy’ and they’ll then oversee your food being produced to minimise the risk of cross contamination. We find that this works well in all branches and they’re always happy to help. Plus all their fries are cooked in a dedicated fryer to avoid cross contamination and that’s rare in London where restaurant kitchens can be tiny. We like their lemon and herb chicken with chips and macho peas, (with chilli and mint), plus the chocolate gelato for dessert. Another bonus to Nandos is that they are child friendly and provide high chairs and kids meals to keep your family happy when eating out.

We love the Soho and Covent Garden branches. Look out for the unique South African artwork on the walls.

See: http://www.nandos.co.uk/





2 Responses to “Olympic Gluten Free Food Tips”
  1. Matt M says:

    After reading this post, I went to Cote in Notting Hill, excited at the prospect of a GF meal. I can’t express how disappointed I was. For one, the menu mentioned nothing about gluten. I asked the server what was gluten-free and she was pretty clueless so got the manager, he suggested the scrambled eggs + salmon, minus toast! That was it! One single make-shit GF option. The meal itself was fine but I could have gone to any bistro for scrambled eggs. To top it all off, it took them 25 mins to complete our drinks order of 1 OJ and 2 coffees.

  2. That’s very disappointing Matt. We had two rashers of bacon, scrambled egg (no toast of course) and I believe mushrooms and tomatoes. Cote do not do a dedicate GF menu (apart from in Covent Garden where they’ve laminated the GF options for ease), probably as their special two course menus change so often. However, we’ve always found the managers very clued up at different branches about advising what is GF and what isn’t. We like the fact the food takes longer as it’s cooked from scratch not microwaved in a bag like some ‘Red Cafes’ we could mention. If you feel you had bad service and choice have you emailed Cote to complain?

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