Gluten Free Dublin – Part 3

Antoinette Gluten Free Dublin

Antoinette’s Bakery is that Holy Grail for coeliacs – a fully gluten-free bakery. And with tasty treats to purchase. It’s just off Camden Street, near St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Stephen’s Green. I always make a pilgrimmage when I’m in Dublin to stock up. They also seem to do very good coffee, but that’s not something I can comment on personally. Highlights from my visits include cinnamon cakes, cookies, lemon cake, and a ‘Yes’ cupcake from the gay marriage referendum. And world’s most awesome bag for life.

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My most recent trip to Dublin included dinner at Green 19, also on Camden Street. I’d been years ago before I was diagnosed with coeliac disease and enjoyed their food, so was delighted to see that they had gluten free listed right on their menu. There’s even gluten free beer (Bru Lager). It’s another great place for coeliacs who don’t want to feel like they’re dragging their friends to a random restaurant just because it serves gluten free food. Our Dublin friends go there even when I’m not around. And the food is amazingly tasty. I had some awesome pork belly with potatoes and vegetables, a description which does not do the meal justice. The chocolate brownie, while usually the stereotypical gluten free offering, was a hit with my ‘normal’ friends and definitely worth a try. Apologies for the bad photos, it’s a problem of hipster restaurants that there’s never enough light…

Looking for more Dublin reviews? Check out parts one and two of my Dublin posts.

Boston – Gluten Free Travel

In late September my boyfriend and I were in the USA for two weeks, primarily for my sister’s wedding but also for a holiday. During that time we spent just over 24 hours in Boston to visit one of my oldest friends from school. 24 hours didn’t give me huge amounts of time to explore Boston’s gluten free options but I was determined to give it my best shot. Luckily I’d been given great recommendations (which I’ve listed at the end) so I knew that  I should be eating well.

One of the repeat recommendations I got was for The Elephant Walk, a French/Cambodian restaurant. There are two of them in the Boston area, one in Cambridge and the other in the South End, was the one we went to. My non-coeliac friend had been before and recommended it too, which is always a great sign.

Gluten free food Boston

The gluten free options were listed right on the menu, which always makes me feel better (though I always mention the coeliac disease as well). The three of us shared two gluten free starters, the Nataing and the Salade Cambodgienne. The Nataing was a ground pork dish served with rice, and the salad included chicken and shredded vegetables. As you can see from the photos, either of them could have been a main in their own right.

Gluten free food Boston

For my main I had the Poulet a la Citronelle, which was a peanutty curry quite similar to a satay. All three of the dishes I tried were really fresh and tasty. All five of the dessert options were or could be modified to be gluten free, but I resisted because I was already pretty full and I knew there was a dessert treat waiting for me two doors down…

Before we went to The Elephant Walk, we’d gone into The Gallows bar for some pre-dinner drinks. My friend had been waxing lyrical about their dessert: the ‘Stoners Delight’, made up of banana, chocolate ganache, peanut butter mousse, and bruleed marshmallow fluff. Imagine my excitement when I looked at the menu and saw the ‘gf’ beside this delight! So after dinner we obviously had to go back and order it.

Gluten free cider Boston

I also enjoyed this Downeast cider that was everywhere in Boston. Recommended if you’re in a bar.

Although the bar had been quite empty during our pre-dinner excursion (probably because we showed up 2 minutes before they opened and left after one drink), it was packed when we got back an hour later. Luckily they had one table left, but it was in their darkened dining area. So my photos of the awesome dessert are not as good as I would have liked. But you can all imagine how tasty it was. My boyfriend, unaccountably, does not like peanut butter so my friend and I shared the dessert. It was delicious, although I think my sugar rushed lasted for about 3 days. Not helped by everything I ate the next day.

The next morning we started the day with breakfast at The Friendly Toast in Back Bay. This was a very cute diner doing an very large selection of tasty-sounding food. But there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity for gluten free pancakes. So I ordered two banana pancakes, which turned out to be the size of my head. Or probably larger. Though luckily the fresh banana was very present, so I at least felt slightly like I was eating fruit.

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We then walked the Freedom Trail, with a quick stop into Uniqlo at Faneuil Hall because the weather had dropped about 15 degrees celcius since we’d arrived in the USA, and neither of us had brought more than a cardigan. So some new fleece-lined hoodies were in order! We then decided that the only thing even more necessary to warm us up was donuts. Amazingly enough, I can’t resist a gluten free donut either. And Kane’s Donuts are famous for their regular donuts, so had to be worth a slight detour.

There were three types of gluten free donuts on the day we went: chocolate, vanilla and pumpkin spice. The donuts are made and fried separately, and were kept on their own stand. I could even see that the three trays of gluten free donuts waiting to be put out were kept on a separate tray rack from the regular ones. I tried the pumpkin spice and the chocolate donuts, though I did keep the chocolate one for breakfast the next day. And they were some of the best donuts I’ve ever had, and definitely the best since I’ve was diagnosed with coeliac disease. If you are in Boston, GO TRY THE DONUTS.

Gluten free donuts

The rack with three trays in the background is the specifcially gluten free one.

We were meant to eat lunch in the North End, further along the Freedom Trail and home to a number of Italian restaurants that were recommended to me (see below). However, as you can imagine, after all this sugar we decided that maybe we didn’t need a big pasta lunch. So we went to Boston Public Market instead, where we meant to go to pick up food for dinner on the train home anyway.

Boston Public Market has only been open since 2015, and has around 40 vendors providing produce and food from the New England area. This includes prepared food, farm stands, butchers and specialty products. And, luckily for us coeliacs, lots of it is gluten free.

The most obvious gluten free stall is Jennifer Lee’s Gourmet Bakery, which specialises in allergy-free food. Unfortunately we arrived a bit late for lunch, just after they’d stopped serving their paninis for the day. And I felt I’d had more than enough sugar for a few weeks, so resisted any of their baked goods. But it all looked interesting and worth a look if you’re in the area.

For lunch I instead went for some latkes from Inna’s Kitchen, a Jewish cafe and bakery with a large selection of gluten free options. They serve a more limited selection at the market cafe (they have another location in Newton Centre), but there were lots of tasty things. Even gluten free knishes to take away.

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Many of the speciality producers’ goods were gluten free. We bought some charcuterie and cheese for the train home, and I was sorely tempted by Q’s Nuts. Nuts can often be subject to cross contamination so it was great to see one proudly stating its gluten free-ness (though I somehow forgot to take a photo).

Obviously, 24 hours was not enough time to eat everything I wanted to in Boston. Lots of people gave me more recommendations for my trip, so thank you very much to  Gluten Free Jessica, gfreeguru, lovethingsgf and happywombelle . I’m including a list of those recommendations below in case they’re useful to anyone else!

Otto
Lucca
Terramia
Mamma Mia
Beneventos
Bostonia Public House
Crazy Doughs
Committe Boston
Legal Seafoods
Nebo

(The following recommendations are from lovethingsgf, who is gluten sensitive but not a celiac. She says that most of these are good about cross contamination but I didn’t try any of them and would recommend that celiacs contact the restaurants and take the usual precautions)

The Thinking Cup – gf sandwiches (try the Barcelona Bliss) ( there are several locations)
Sweet Green – salads and grain bowls (several locations)
Dig Inn – salads and grain bowls (Boylston Street)
Otto Pizza – gf pizza (try the mashed potatoes, scallions and bacon one!) (Cambridge)
Salvatore’s – gf pizza (Theatre District)
Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons -gf burger (in front of the Boston Common)
Met Back Bay – gf burgers and great brunch (Newbury St.)
Joes American Grill – gf burger (Newbury St)
Chinatown restaurants – ask for fried rice without soy sauce
Antico Forno – gf pasta and pizza (North End) There are other Italian restaurants there that also offer gf pasta.
Barcelona – their tapas are incredible! Great for dinner or brunch (South End)
Paramount –  love their huevos rancheros for brunch. You cannot rsvp just go and make the line its worth it. (Beacon Hill)
Amorino – love their gelato (Newbury St.)
Georgetown cupcakes – gf cupcakes available (Newbury St.)

Eat’n’Mess – Gluten Free Cafe

Followers of my Instagram will have realised that I am a big fan of planning long walks on weekends that JUST HAPPEN to include visits to gluten free hot spots. I’ve dragged my friends, my family and my boyfriend around a large number of places just so I can try a new or favourite place. A coeliac has to do what a coeliac has to do for gluten free food!

Last weekend, with the sun finally shining, we headed off to Sevenoaks. 30 minutes south of London in Kent, Sevenoaks is a pretty commuter town. For walking purposes it has two National Trust houses (Knole and Ightham Mote) within 5 miles. For gluten free purposes, it has Eat’n’Mess, a gluten-free cafe in the town centre. Eat’n’Mess opened in Sevenoaks in 2015, though their baked goods are also available at Broadway Market (Hackney) on Saturdays. I’ve been lucky enough to try some of their things in Hackney so was looking forward to visiting the cafe.

Gluten free baked goods

So many gluten free baked goods!

The cafe itself is very cute, and was doing a roaring take-away trade at 10.30 on Saturday morning. It is mostly baked goods, although gluten free bread loaves are now available. They also do non-gluten free, but dairy free, bread. Everything is labelled and the non-gluten free stuff is far away from the gluten free (which is all the baked goods), but just advanced warning! Breakfast is available to eat in the cafe, including eggs, bacon, beans on toast, etc. but we’d already eaten. Looked like a nice place for brunch though.

Gluten free bread

My favourite Eat’n’Mess treat is their cookie pie. Two peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, sandwiched around icing, with salted caramel sauce in the middle. YUM. The caramel makes the cookies slightly softer as you get to the middle. It is a very large amount of sugar, but if you’re out for a 10 mile walk that’s okay, right?! It is also so tasty that it would be worth it even without the 10 mile walk.

Gluten free cookie pie

In addition to their cookie pie, I also tried the gingerbread man, lemon and white chocolate cookie, and s’mores chocolate pie. (Not all in one day, I must add. Even I have a sugar limit). The cookies were both tasty, even though my poor gingerbread man fell apart in my bag before I got to him! The s’more pie wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping. My piece was an edge piece so only half covered with marshmallow, so the chocolate was a bit overwhelming. Would definitely go for the cookie pie every time.

Sevenoaks is a very quick trip out of London and made for a lovely day out. Would definitely recommend a pilgrimmage to Eat’n’Mess over the summer if you fancy some gluten free treats. Or just brave the hipsters of Hackney on a Saturday and you can get your gluten free fix without leaving London! Eat’n’Mess also do beautiful gluten free cupcakes and celebration cakes if you’re looking for something a bit special. You can see a three-tier cake in the window of the cafe in first photo on this post, and their website has photos of plenty more.

 

Salisbury – Gluten Free Travel

I’m back! And once again determined to actually publish the large number of half-finished blog posts in my queue… But starting fresh now with my gluten free trip to Salisbury (in south-west England) that I took over the Bank Holiday weekend. I did my usually thorough internet searching before we left and didn’t find huge amounts of information, so hopefully this will be helpful to other coeliacs visiting Salisbury.

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral, with a hint of the windiness of the weekend in the clouds.

My first recommendation is to stay in an Airbnb. Then you know that a fridge and kitchen is available, so you can always have snacks on hand and a place to eat breakfast safely. We stayed in a beautiful one-bedroom house that I would desperately love to live in permanently.

Marks & Spencer gluten free sandwich

Staying in an Airbnb means you can have a leftover M&S BLT sandwich for breakfast!

 

On our first day we took the Stonehenge Tour bus to Stonehenge, which is about 30 minutes from the rail station. We were planning on doing some walking but the weather was very changeable and we spent a while sitting in the cafe waiting for the rain to stop! The English Heritage website says that the cafe does gluten-free sandwiches, soups, salads, cakes, etc. Unfortunately that is overstating the case quite a bit. The cafe worker looked panicked when I asked about gluten free options, and there were no sandwiches available. She said the soup was okay but there was no gluten free bread, and pointed out two of the salads (ploughman and smoked salmon). However there were no ingredients listed on any of the packaged salads. I went for the ploughman but didn’t have the dressing, just in case. In reality the plougman consisted of two large slices of cheese with a lot of leaves. Not great! Especially since I’d been expecting many more options.

Stonehenge gluten free salad

You can see how the ploughman salad was literally just cheese and leaves!

Foods of Athenry gluten free snack box

Luckily the Foods of Athenry snack box saved me.

Luckily, I am also an experienced coeliac and had planned on the cafe not having the options they had listed on the website. So I’d also brought along this Foods of Athenry snack pack that I’d purchased at the Galway Food Festival in March.It included hummus, gluten-free crackers, a fruit and nut mix, and a brownie. Not cheap but everything was tasty and it was great to have on hand. They are also available on Aer Lingus flights as the gluten free option, which is great.

In Salisbury itself we tried three restaurants. The first was The Cosy Club, a small chain that has outposts in many of the provincial cities including Salisbury, Bath, Derby, Exeter and Leicester. They have a specific gluten free menu, with the style of food being modern British-esque (they have a tapas menu but also pork belly and fish and chips). We went for dinner one night and I had the tapas tortilla to start and the pork belly for main. The tortilla came with a gluten free roll in place of the normal bread, which is always a plus.

Gluten free tapas Cosy Club

Spanish tortilla with gluten free bread

Gluten free dinner Cosy Club

Pork belly with mash, peas, shallots and lots of greens.

We also went to The Cosy Club for brunch on Sunday, as it seems like Salisbury hasn’t quite caught onto the brunch phenomenon yet! I had a bacon and fried egg sandwich, again on the same gluten free bread (possibly Genius?). The food was good, if not out-of-this-world, both times and they had tasty cocktails when we were there for dinner. Always good to see another restaurant having a separate menu and I would definitely go again.

Gluten free bacon roll

Bacon and egg roll on gluten free bread

The other non-nationwide chain restaurant in Salisbury that I tried was Greengages Cafe. It is an old-fashioned-style cafe (ie no fancy decorations or random kitchen utensils in frames on the walls) that has a huge range of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. They do breakfast and lunch, but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday so I only got to go once. I had a bacon, brie and cranberry sandwich, which definitely seemed to be their most popular option from the number of people around me who ordered it! Would really have liked to try more of their food and would highly recommend it to any coeliacs going to Salisbury.

Gluten free sandwich

Brie, bacon and cranberry gluten free sandwich

Gluten free sandwich

So much tasty filling…

The third restaurant that we tried in Salisbury was Prezzo. Prezzos are curiously hard to find in London, and since my last visit (about 3 years ago) they have been accredited by Coeliac UK and now do gluten free pasta as well as pizza. It was freezing and pouring on the night we went for dinner, so luckily they do very large portions! They now have a separate gluten free menu, so be sure to ask for it when you arrive. The chain restaurants can often fail on providing gluten free starters so I was very excited to try the gf garlic bread with caramelised onions and cheese. It was tasty, though maybe heavier on the caramelised onions flavour than garlic.

Gluten free garlic bread

Definitely looks like ‘normal’ restaurant garlic bread!

For my main I wanted to try some of their gluten free baked pasta, which is not something you often see on menus. Unfortunately there may be a reason for this, as after I’d ordered the manager came over and said they’d had complaints from gluten free eaters that the pasta was too dry after it had gone in the over, so they recommended serving it non-baked! There was also some concern over whether the cheese they normally use on top was gluten free, so the manager said she’d made sure the cheese was safe. It was good to have people keep checking, though also a bit concerning that they weren’t sure about the cheese. But the only after-effect was feeling ill from eating too much food over the weekend and I can only blame myself for that.

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Not quite as baked as I might have hoped for from ‘baked pasta’

The last place I would recommend for gluten free treats in Salisbury is Cupcake Heaven. They have a small but lovely selection of gluten free cupcakes, which are kept in a separate part of the counter area away from the gluten-full treats. I may have tried a number of their gluten free flavours, all of which were tasty. Especially if, like me, you’re a big fan of icing.

Overall it was easy to eat as a coeliac in Salisbury. If we’d been there longer, all of the nationwide-chains that do gluten free options (Cote, Zizzi, etc) were available. I didn’t find any other independents that did gluten free food, but please leave a comment if you know of any other options in Salisbury!

 

Gluten Free Paris – Pastries

One would think that Paris, home of pastries and baguettes, would not be the best place for a coeliac. And up until a few years ago that assumption would have been correct. The French are still not known for their general knowledge of gluten free requirements or the problems of cross contamination, but luckily a number of fully gluten free places have opened up in Paris and it is possible to eat very well while you are there.

I just returned from four days in Paris and managed to try eight different bakeries and restaurants. It required a lot of walking and a very patient boyfriend but was definitely worth it. This post will focus on pastries, then one on sandwich shops, then cafes and restaurants to finish!

The first bakery I tried, and the one that needs to be at the top of the list for any coeliac or gluten free eater, was Helmut Newcake. It looks like a regular French patisserie, except EVERYTHING is gluten free! All the shining pastries in their little rows. It was a very happy moment. There are two Helmut Newcake locations and I visited both on my trip. We also had brunch at the cafe on the Canal St Martin but I will describe that in the other post. This one will focus on the 7 pastries I had… In addition to a baguette and a small brioche!

So many tasty pastries. Like a real bakery!

Bad panorama, but so many tasty pastries. Like a real bakery!

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So happy.

So happy.

On the first visit I picked up a rhubarb meringue tart, a raspberry tart, and a Madame de Fontenay (two choux buns with chocolate cream filling). The bakers on Great British Bake Off made religiuese last series, which were very similar to the Madame, so it was great to be able to try one. Apologies for the photos of the pastries I purchased. They were carried around for some time in the hot sun before I ate them and they didn’t look their best. But they were extremely tasty. I even shared.

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Slightly squished/melted but still made my day.

The bottom of the Madame de Fontenay in the Tuileries. The top disappeared too quickly for a photo...

The bottom of the Madame de Fontenay in the Tuileries. The top disappeared too quickly for a photo…

I also bought a baguette for dinner, with saussicon and cheese in the Jardin des Tuileries, and a mini brioche for breakfast the next morning. We were staying in an AirBnB so ate breakfast in our flat every morning. I believe the baguette was made with gram flour because it had the slight bean aftertaste which I’m not a huge fan of. But it was still a good gluten free loaf.

Baguette.

Baguette with tasty cheese.

There was a lot of cheese eaten too.

On my second visit, right before getting on the Eurostar home, I bought another Madame de Fontenay, a caramel éclair, a Symphonie (layered cake with raspberry, cream and other tasty things), and a meringue Chantilly, which looked like a meringue éclair with whipped cream. Again they didn’t quite make it as far as the photos, having had to survive a trip through the security x-ray to board the train. But the éclair made Monday morning back in the office much better.

More fallen-over yet tasty pastries.

More fallen-over yet awesome pastries.

Helmut Newcake accounted for almost all of the sweet pastries I ate during my trip, except for a quick waffle from Yummy & Guiltfree. This cute little stand is in a courtyard in the BHV Homme Marais department store, and the courtyard is a lovely place to sit away from the hustle for a few minutes. The waffles are all gluten free and come on sticks with tiny bows. I had the ‘Roland Garros’ in honour of the French Open (lemon curd and cream) and my boyfriend had the caramel. Slightly messy to eat but a good sugar hit mid-afternoon.

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I also purchased a mini croissant from Biosphere Cafe, a full review of which will appear in a later post. I ate the croissant with the brioche from Helmut Newcake for breakfast and both were extremely tasty.

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Mini croissants made a further appearance for breakfast when I purchased some from Bio C’ Bon, a French Whole Foods-type chain. I slightly burnt the croissant so there is no ‘after’ photo. The croissant was good for a bake-at-home one, but lacked the typical pastry layers of a croissant. Would probably buy them again if I was on a villa holiday in France or similar. I was also a big fan of the fact that the croissants came individually wrapped, which meant the others lasted longer!

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Overall it was a very good thing that I walked 70km over the four days, as lots of pastries provided lots of sugar-fueled energy! I would recommend coeliacs went to Paris just for the pastries from Helmut Newcake, but the abundance of other options made the trip even better.

Gluten Free Dublin – Part Two

As mentioned in the first half of this post on gluten free restaurants in Dublin, my boyfriend and I took a trip over for the recent May Bank Holiday. While I probably could have lived just on the lunches we ate (detailed in the first post), that wasn’t even half of the exciting gluten free food I found! We tried three different restaurants for dinner, all of which were great for coeliacs and ran the gamut of restaurant options in Dublin.

For the first night for dinner we went hipster and met up with some friends at Neon, on Camden Street. Neon does Vietnamese street food in a cafeteria-style restaurant (you order at the front but they bring the food to you). Their menu has a fair number of gluten free options. I had the chicken massaman curry, which was not too spicy but very tasty. All the food came in takeaway boxes to the table, on very cute trays. Neon’s other hook is that you get a free soft-serve ice cream cone at the end, but sadly this is not gluten free.

Takeaway boxes on a great tray.

           Takeaway boxes on a great tray.

For dinner on Saturday night we moved well away from the hipster restaurants and went to Beshoff Bros. Beshoffs is a small chain of fish and chip shops, some of which do gluten free! (They seem to change which ones do gluten free, so check before you go) We went to the one on Dame Street, near Dublin Castle. We happened to be there when people started leaving Dublin Castle after the results of the marriage referendum were announced so we got to see lots of happy rainbow-covered people, which was awesome. What was also awesome was the food. I’m not actually a huge fan of fish so was delighted to see chicken goujons on the gluten free menu. And, what my boyfriend insists is a Dublin tradition, battered sausages! The gluten free menu was very clear at the front and I could see a sign on one of the fryers that said ‘gluten free products only’. They also gave me separate sauces because the ketchup had gluten in it, and when my food arrived it had tiny gluten free flags!

The full meal, with proud gluten free flags!

The full meal, with proud gluten free flags!

The batter on the chicken and sausage was really light and crisp, proper fried batter. The chips were also proper chip shop chips (say that fast) and there was a ton of food. The sausages were tasty, if a heart attack waiting to happen, and I thoroughly enjoyed everything.

The glory of battered sausages.

The glory of battered sausages.

Even though we could barely eat by Sunday evening I was determined to go to Manifesto, slightly outside Dublin city centre in Rathmines (by Dublin standards, not London ones) because it had got great reviews from a number of coeliacs. We luckily had made a reservation because it was packed on Sunday evening, possibly because they had a three-course plus drink deal for 25 euros! I didn’t do the deal because I wanted to try a different starter but it was available gluten free.

For starter I had beetroot gnocchi in a cream sauce with chicken. Which, as you can see, was pretty much a main all in itself! The beetroot added a nice colour to the gnocchi, although I’m not sure it added flavour after it was topped with cream sauce, but it’s something I will be trying for a dinner party or to add vegetables to my meal. The starter overall was very tasty, if filling as a appetizer before pizza.

The gnocchi. The chicken breast was separate on a board.

The gnocchi. The chicken breast was separate on a board.

My pizza came from a separate kitchen so I wasn’t worried about contamination. It looked like it had been cooked on a proper pizza stone, with actual brown bits, but was a bit underdone in the middle. My boyfriend found the same with his regular pizza so maybe they were just in a rush that night. My pizza had Italian sausage and roast potatoes on it, which sounds weird but was tasty. And even tastier the next morning for breakfast because I was too full to eat it all at the time.

Actual cooking marks on a gluten free pizza!

Actual cooking marks on a gluten free pizza!

But not too full for some of the panna cotta which came with the set menu, which my boyfriend had tried. The waitress had asked if we wanted it gluten free when my boyfriend ordered, which was reassuring. As you can see it arrived on a very fancy plate. The panna cotta itself was a great texture, I don’t like them too gelatine-y.

Pannacotta with raspberry sauce, cocoa bites (confirmed gf) and lots of squiggles.

Panna cotta with raspberry sauce, cocoa bites (confirmed gf) and lots of squiggles.

Pretty much everything on the menu at Manifesto was gluten free or could be made gluten free and I didn’t feel ‘weird’ at all. I thought the food was good but the service was a bit rushed, probably because there seemed to only be two waitstaff for a full restaurant. I would go back on another trip to Dublin because of the choice of gluten free options, and would definitely recommend it to anyone living there.

For anyone who followed my instagram/twitter while I was away you will have seen multiple goodies from Antoinette’s Bakery, a completely gluten free bakery just off Camden Street. I went three times in four days so I could be sure to sample everything! I will write a full review with lots of photos soon, but here are a few to excite your taste buds for now.

Awesome and huge chocolate chip cookie.

Awesome and huge chocolate chip cookie.

The apple cinnamon cake I ate three times for breakfast...

The apple cinnamon cake I ate three times for breakfast…

I am a shameless planner and spent lots of time before this trip looking into the exciting gluten free options. The blogs, Twitter accounts and lists of restaurants that I used the most to plan my trip included:

Dublin Gluten Free (on twitter as @dubglutenfree)

Gluten Free Cailin (on twitter as @gfcailin)

Gluten Free Dublin, especially the restaurant list

Gluten Free Ireland (on twitter as @gfireland)

Lovin Dublin list of restaurants

Coeliac Ireland twitter account

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Dublin and was very happy with the gluten free choices. I have many more on my list to try, so will have to go back! Definitely a good option for any coeliac looking for a holiday.

Gluten Free Dublin – Part One

My boyfriend is Irish and lived in Dublin for almost ten years, so for the recent Bank Holiday we took a cheeky trip over to see his friends. I have been to Dublin multiple times but only once since diagnosis, about three years ago, so it was great to explore the new gluten free options. Ireland has a high percentage of diagnosed coeliacs and more restaurants seem to label gluten free on their menu. Often it’s even marked with a ‘c’ for ‘coeliac’ rather than just ‘gf’. Obviously contamination can still be a risk but it’s nice to see awareness of coeliacs and medical intolerances.

On my previous trip I as a coeliac ate at Lemon Jelly, Yamamori and Credo Pizza. Unfortunately photos do not exist! Credo has a separate gluten free kitchen so is definitely a good option for those worried about contamination. However it has been a long time since my last visits so I would confirm with the restaurants about gluten free options before going.

On this trip there was a mix of hipster restaurants and old-school Dublin institutions. It was really nice that a lot of the ‘cool’ restaurants offered gluten free because I didn’t have to feel like I was forcing the group to eat places they wouldn’t normally.

I was going to write this as one post but realised that it was stretching on, and nobody needed 21 photos at once! So I’m going to arbitrarily divide it into what I ate for lunches and dinners, although most of the places we went serve both. Lunches are below, and dinners will follow.

The 'menu' at Bunsen.

The ‘menu’ at Bunsen.

Our first lunch was at Bunsen on Camden Street, Dublin’s answer to Honest Burger in London. The menu only comes on as a business card and consists of nothing but burgers and fries. I went for a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. I love the Honest onion rings, but could be swayed by the Bunsen sweet potato fries as favourite burger accompaniment. The burger itself was tasty, and the bun held its structural integrity well. We did originally try to go at 1pm on a Friday and the queue was out the door. Going away and waiting until 2pm instead meant we got a seat immediately.

Almost acceptable without a plate since it is a burger restaurant.

Almost acceptable without a plate since it is a burger restaurant.

The burger itself. Bun is looking good!

The burger itself. Bun is looking good!

For lunch on Saturday we went to Itsa Bagel, a chain of bagel stores around Dublin that have gluten free bagels. They will make the gluten free bagels in a separate area if you ask, minimising the risk of contamination. I had the Californian bagel, with bacon, mozzarella, avocado, lettuce and basil mayo. A combination I will be trying on my own sandwiches soon! The bagel (they used to be Udi’s but not sure anymore, forgot to ask) was fine, but definitely more of a vehicle for the fillings rather than an amazing bagel. We actually ended up going to Itsa again on Monday before the airport because we were so full from eating out over the weekend!

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Slightly blurry bagel. Too excited to eat it!

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The very tasty fillings.

On our way to lunch we also popped into Brown Thomas, THE fancy department store in Dublin, so I could check out the cake & crumb, who have a stall there on Saturdays to sell their mixes. I bought one of the bread mixes and hope to try it soon, the sample bread was lovely.

The stall at Brown Thomas

the cake & crumb stall at Brown Thomas

Lunch on Sunday was actually a picnic by the seaside. I’d been to Dublin 5 or 6 times but never made it outside the city nor seen the sea, which is quite sad since it’s a coastal port! So we took the DART (commuter rail) out to Howth, a seaside suburb about 30 minutes from downtown. Howth is on a peninsula with a large hill at its centre and there is supposed to be a lovely walk around the hill. Unfortunately I was hobbling all weekend after damaging my foot on the Coeliac UK Awareness Week walk the week before so we cheated and took the bus to the top. We had stopped at a Tesco in town before getting on the train and brought hummus, salami and cheese to put on BFree Foods bread. The bread was a great size for large sandwiches, a good texture, and refreshingly hole-free! Dessert was a beautifully zingy lemon muffin from Pure Bred. With surprise lemon curd inside! Even my boyfriend, who hates lemon cake that isn’t lemony, thought there was a good amount here. And there was a beautiful view to go with it.

Very tasty BFree Foods sandwich

Very tasty BFree Foods sandwich

Bright muffin, bright view!

Bright muffin, bright view!

Those were the lunches I ate in Dublin, as you can see there was a good mix of options available. Reviews of the places we tried for dinner are available in Part Two, and a detailed look at the awesome and fully gluten free Antoinette’s Bakery will follow in the next few days.