5 Gluten Free Friendly Choices

Hands up if you’re always on the look out for gluten free friendly restaurants? We’re in Asia and it can be a challenge if you have any kind of food allergy. Vegetarian? Sure we have chicken soup. Allergic to mushrooms? No problem, we’ll just pick them out of your curry. Whilst I’m not known for my tolerance towards food allergies, I do appreciate that in the world we live in, they are an increasing reality. I also read a lot of healthy food blogs, cookbooks and recipes and I cook gluten free and vegan recipes. And I would have to say I’ve noticed that the less gluten in my life, the better I tend to feel, particularly after lunch. So this post has been a while in coming and I hope you find it useful.

Mercado Spanish Food Market

The CBD is awash with good eating options. What was particularly refreshing about Mercado was the price tag and the lack of a queue. Some might see that as a bad thing but the experience I had indicates that Mercado has everything going for it, including being gluten free friendly. You can read more here.


Afterglow has long been a healthy favourite for me. It was probably the first restaurant I visited where I truly enjoyed the vegan food for its creativity and flavour. And I was also pretty happy that they serve a lovely rose wine with their healthy food. I don’t know about you but for me it’s important to have balance, to enjoy your healthy food but there’s nothing wrong with a couple of glasses of wine to go with it (my problem tends to be stopping at two glasses though!) Whilst the menu at Afterglow is primarily gluten free there are onions and garlic in many dishes so if your gluten intolerance extends to those ingredients then your choices will be limited. On the plus side the staff know are gluten free friendly and can tell you what you can eat from the menu. You can read more here.

Dolce Vita

At the higher end of the spectrum you may find it surprising to find an Italian restaurant on a list of gluten free friendly choices. A recent brunch at Dolce Vita is actually what inspired this post. A friend attending the brunch was gluten free and I was feeling somewhat sorry for her during the pasta course. She bemoaned the lack of choices available at restaurants in general but went on to say that Dolce Vita was bringing out her very own gluten free pasta dish. I thought this was fairly impressive.

It was reassuring also that our waiter was confident in answering questions about what was and wasn’t gluten free. After all, the worst thing about being gluten free is probably getting bad advice if you do genuinely have an allergy or indeed coeliac’s disease. I’d highly recommend Dolce Vita for a gluten free friendly menu with style. You can read more about Dolce Vita on this post.

The Living Cafe at Balanced Living

The menu at The Living Cafe is by far the most gluten free friendly on this list. That’s because every single item is marked as to its suitability for gluten free, vegan, raw food, nut free and vegetarian. They have a good choice of soups, salads, rice bowls, pasta and even sandwiches and burgers made with lettuce buns instead of bread! Open for lunch every day and dinner on Friday and Saturday. You can read more here.

Fill-a-Pita Middle Eastern Food

This simple cafe, now in Nankin Row off China Street, serves hearty lunch fare now in an air conditioned setting. Whilst falafel in various forms is probably my favourite, those pita breads make it very non gluten free friendly. Instead you can try the Koshari Brown Rice. This delicious Egyptian street food makes a hearty and healthy vegetarian lunch. For the gluten free version you need to ask for Koshari without the macaroni. There’s also a range of salads including one with lentils for the gluten free friendly version. You can read more here.

Do you have a favourite gluten free friendly restaurant? 

P.S. I’d like to note that this isn’t a post for anyone with coeliac disease where I know that gluten causes serious side effects. I can only communicate what I’ve eaten and seen from my own experience.

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