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.

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.