Gluten free restaurant list – Bournemouth, Poole and day trips around

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See also the gluten free Southbourne map.

We have Andrew’s parents with us this week and his mum is a celiac too so have been seeking out places to have lunch or dinner that will readily do gluten free food and are geared up with smiles for our kind, plus have something for Andrew who is celiac and vegetarian. As ever it’s been hard work (2 days of web research and ringing places, especially in my quest to find an Italian close to as good as I ate in Florence so called everywhere well rated on Trip Advisor even if they had no mention of gluten free – sadly there are no great Italians to rival Florence down here) but can’t wait to try some new places found in the extensive Google trawl and will be doing some drives out too as nice to have a day out along the way in search of gluten free food places. Note many places require you to book in advance by at least a day and specifiy how many are gluten free. A lot of cafes do GF cake but we don’t bother listing those as interested only in places that will give you a proper meal. Reviews will be posted in short this blog post but also see my more in-depth Bournemouth restaurants gluten free post and Poole gluten free post. Please visit the websites for locations and up-to-date info.

Bournemouth restaurants with gluten free options

Coriander’s Mexican have plenty of GF options and is very central. Be ware though as they don’t really do mild apart from the boring sweet potato filling. The refried beans nearly killed some of us but Andrew loved them. Friendly staff and Mexican hats on bar upstairs for you to wear :-). Tried and recommended if you like it hot.

Coriander Mexican Restaurant in Bournemouth has many gluten free options

Coriander Mexican restaurant in Bournemouth has many gluten free options

Crepe Farm NOW CLOSED SADLY in Westbourne.

Valentino’s Italian at back of gardens behind hot air balloon, through car parks and you will see it – will do gluten free pizza from scratch with advance notice and also buy in GF pasta. Pizza very hard to cut so abandon knife and fork. in order to tear with hands. Tried and recommended for their GF effort.

Valentino’s freshly made gluten free pizza in Bournemouth. Nice to have something that did not come out of a packet.

Langtrys will do gluten free afternoon tea with prior notice. Not tried yet.

La Gondola will do GF pasta. Friendly old school place near Landsdowne. Nothing to write home about. Perfectly adequate. Still trying to find an Italian in Dorset that is as good as the ones in Tuscany for delicious food. Tried and recommended for their GF effort.

Little Pickle Deli Cafe in Boscombe has flashes of gluten free brilliance amongst consistent veggie glory. In fact you need to go there to give them a kick in the proverbial (by creating demand) to make every day a Gluten Free Tuesday with GF cake and GF bread. They do sometimes have GF sandwich options, on other days so may be worth calling first not to be disappointed. Cute decor and tea served in lovely vintage china. Loved the milk in a mini milk bottle. Really friendly staff. They are trying new GF options – exciting stuff! We’ll be back to try the food if we can get in as this place gets really busy. UPDATE: they now have ‘Baked To Taste’ gluten free cake every day :-).

Another cafe further along in the pedestrianised centre of Boscombe with more interesting food options is Boscanova – very groovy menu if you enjoy being a bit more adventurous i.e. are bored with sandwiches or pies for lunch etc.

Urban Reef on the sea front by Boscombe Pier offer fabulous views whatever the weather, gorgeous interior and gluten free cakes. The kitchen is happy to accommodate special diets although Andrew is not too inspired by their vegetarian choices. The rest of us like the food choices but we can eat meat and fish too so easier to please us. Bit hectic on weekends during day though I must warn you and service not as good then.

Tomlin’s Fish n Chips in centre of Southbourne (186 Seabourne Road, Bournemouth BH5 2JB‎, tel. 01202 426129) have a secret. Yes they can do gluten free fish and chips. And it is really good too – not greasy. Lovely fish and crunchy. Best to call so they can warm up the dedicated fryer.

Pinnochio always have GF pasta in. We’re yet to try here.

Gilbey’s Restaurant is highly recommended on Trip Advisor so looking forward to trying it and can walk from our house too. With notice they will prepare something to suit your needs.

Natural Bourne Grillers also near the Landsdowne is very coeliac friendly with GF options for everything including lovely puddings. Don’t be put off by the decor and lack of kerb appeal as the food is very good. Best for meat eating celiacs with its locally sourced excellent cuts. Vegetarians are now better served (than when they first opened) with lovely grilled vegetable burger options topped with Dorset’s Blue Vinny cheese. Tried and recommended.

The Whitehall Hotel backing onto the pleasure gardens by prior arrangement will do gluten free. Not tried yet.

Zoukinis in Westbourne is a vegetarian cafe / restaurant which offers GF options. The options are not always very inspiring when you read their menu but the food is good. Tried and recommended if looking for something simple during day. Not open every evening.

The Edge in Westbourne by Alum Chine beach end is a super and swanky and is perched up high so you can enjoy amazing coastal views. They will adapt to be GF. We’re poor so only go lunchtimes when much more affordable than dinner. Tried and recommended highly.

The Edge has wonderful views out to the coast

L’Assiette in Southbourne on way to Hengistbury Head is one of the top restaurants in Bournemouth. Swanky black and chrome interior. Food is amazing and exceptionally good value for the quality. Book with notice. Tried and highly recommended.

Lassiette-bournemouth-restaurant-gluten-free

L’Assiette in Bournemouth do the most wonderful gluten free food with prior notice. Duck or blue cheese starter. Sea bass or baked avocado or steak – just some of the options we enjoyed.

Larder House in Southbourne offer gluten free pizza and had gluten free cakes too if you want to stop by mid afternoon. Base is good but toppings in our opinion could be improved. One day we’ll find somewhere in Bournemouth we hope which marries a good base with good toppings.

Don’t bother with Enzee by Bournemouth gardens/cinemas as food is hit and miss. The service was not very friendly to special dietary requirements and you felt as if you were causing them problems whereas most places are lovely about it. Vegetarians will struggle to find something to eat – even their risotto of the day had seafood. We called ahead to ensure they had GF pasta and they said yes but when we ordered we were told wrongly they didn’t have any. Was bit of a farce. Some dishes were very nice and others worse than mediocre. It’s one we will not revisit.

Finally if you want a cheap eat on the go or non-fancy eat in, then in central Southbourne round the corner from Barclays in Grand Avenue, is Hungry Husky Cafe with a chap who does delightful gluten free sandwiches, rising to the demand from celiacs.

Poole restaurants with gluten free options

The Bear Cross in Bearwood outside Poole has a big GF menu. Also does small meal options which are excellent value. Tried and recommended as great pub grub.

The Guildhall Tavern in old part of Poole near quay and has lovely food. Tried and recommended highly.

Karma is a mediterranean restaurant with lovely food and plenty of GF options. My grilled lamb kebab was amazing. Chickpea veggie dish a little dull. Falafels were good. Prawns met the mark too. Tried and recommended heartily.

Karma-Poole-restaurant-gluten-free-vegetarian-options

Karma is a Poole restaurant with gluten free vegetarian and fish / meat options.

South Deep Cafe, right by the water at Parkstone Bay Marina, sounds so amazing according to Trip Advisor and is my friend’s favourite weekend lunch place so can’t wait to go try it myself. No GF menu as such but the chef is willing to adapt to be GF. Watch this space unless you beat me to it.

North and West of Poole

Red Lion in Sturminster Marshall outside Wimborne has a celiac menu. They do £5 ordinary lunches and food is very nice. Tried and recommended.

Gluten free menu at Red Lion near Wimborne which includes desserts too. The Veggie Frittata was on specials board and they were able to make that GF too with some coaxing. Mushroom stroganoff had too much cream but nice. Red snapper and roasted beetroots very nice.

True Lovers Knot between Wimborne and Blandford has GF options too. Not tried yet.

The Isle of Purbeck restaurants with gluten free options (Swanage, Lulworth, Corfe, Wareham, etc)

Corfe Castle Model Village Cafe is free to enter without going into the model village. Has a gluten free menu and in addition you can have jacket potatoes, veggie breakfast or soup. But check to make sure. Leek and potato soup was absolutely delicious and veggie breakfast with gluten free toast was just the brunch I was dreaming of on a Sunday. Lovely courtyard to sit and just off the main square. Good value and good option when you don’t want an expensive restaurant lunch. Tried and recommended for simple good value lunch.

We were very impressed with setting and gluten free menu at Corfe Model Village Cafe

The Blue Pool Teahouse near Wareham has GF sandwiches and cakes which a friend has tried and recommends. You may need to pay entrance fee though so bring a blanket, flask and make a few hours of it – better still find a 2-4-1 deal on the internet as it is not really worth the entrance fee.

The Greyhound pub in centre of Corfe square also has GF options. Not tried yet.

The Scott Arms in Kingston has fab views down to Corfe Castle. Not tried but can do GF. Not tried yet.

The Sandford in Sandford just before Wareham is a sister restaurant to the True Lovers Knot and also has GF options. Not tried yet.

La Trattoria in Swanage has a cafe during day and restaurant at night. Not yet tried. Need advance notice.

The Black Swan in Swanage High St away from main beach can do GF. Not tried yet.

Christchurch (Dorset) restaurants with gluten free options

Captains Club “also caters for GF diet and offers GF bread but again not an actual GF menu”. Not yet tried by us.

Just outside Christchurch in Hinton (near Hinton Admiral train station) on the way to Lyndhurst / New Forest is The Old Vicarage Hotel & Restaurant which is becoming famous for its gluten free afternoon teas 3-6pm. Book ahead (need 24hr notice to be gluten free) as they get booked out. A lady who avoids gluten when she can, reported the home made gluten free scones were to die for. The chef has training in dealing for special diets and can alter any lunch or dinner to suit generally. He also always has some gluten free pasta.

New Forest restaurants with gluten free options

La Vina in Lymington High Street has lovely decor and amazing food. Plenty of GF and veggie options. Tapas can work out expensive but if you are not GF the churros are to die for and worth the visit alone. Tried and recommended heartily although not super value.

La Vina has a great vibe to it plus of course lots of GF, fishy, small and vegetarian options to keep a family happy

The Pig Hotel in Brockenhurst is a rather special place. Gracey says “It doesn’t have an actual GF menu but if you call up in advance and let the chef know he will prepare you something GF. They will also serve you GF bread ahead of the meal. All the produce is grown in its garden and I have found the veggie options to be delicious (although I do usually have fish there).” Can’t wait to try this and looking forward to enjoying a hammock in their garden too.

The Good Food Cafe in Lyndhurst. Not tried yet.

High Corner Inn are a friendly helpful bunch who will with notice rustle up something, even on a busy Sunday lunchtime. They made a special of leek & wild mushroom gratin with salad for Andrew. I had a burger with no bap and they even checked the relish for me and decided I could not have it. Food was nice. The company and beautiful setting including walk to get there were the real highlights of this day.

Walking back to Furze Hill from the High Corner Inn near Linwood outside Ringwood

The Queens Head in Burley provide allergen info. Not tried yet as GF but on previous occasion staff were so helpful manager even got garlic from his own accommodation so I could have garlic butter on my steak as their kitchen had run out! Average pub grub.

Southampton restaurants with gluten free options

Don’t go to Indian Melody as you will be in for a Fawlty Towers type experience. Far too chaotic to have any idea what you are eating too. It is all vegetarian though with grumpy over bearing owners. Food is hit and miss.

Fuchi Chinese in Totton (Bournemouth side of Soton) has a GF menu with 70 dishes. Not tried yet.

La Equina Tapas in Southampton have gluten free menu and many veggie options.

11 thoughts on “Gluten free restaurant list – Bournemouth, Poole and day trips around

  1. Thank you so much for this. I am about to start being gluten and dairy free and one of the boys at work found your site and sent me the link. I have tried a couple of the places but now know where to look. Thank you again. C x

    • I’m so glad it is useful. Have found some more places and am excited to add them. Will try to do that this weekend and will write a post to herald it.

  2. Thank you so much for this. My 13 year old daughter has just had to go gluten free and was feeling she’d never be able to eat out again. We now have a huge list of places to try. There’s even cakes!!

    • Hi Tracy. I am bit of a health nut so want to share with you to try to avoid focussing too much on gluten free substitutes for your daughter’s diet – they are heavilly processed with much sugar added normally. Grains and flours are not ideal foods. Too much nut flour is not good because of the fat content. You only have to glance at the calorie, sugar and fat content on a Honey Buns bar to have a heart attack. It’s very easy to become obese on a gluten free easy options convenience diet. In fact Andrew’s dietician says she’s alarmed at how many coeliacs she sees that are obese. For long term health from my reading up I have learnt potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice and quinoa are much better carbs to centre around than gluten free pasta, bread, corn, etc. They are all okay occasionally but not as the mainstay of a diet. Plus lots of vegetables of course. Sugar is evil but palm sugar less so although expensive (agave syrup has a toll on your liver so maple syrup is a better option instead of sugar – ripe bananas even better but cannot use them in everything). I don’t want to be super healthy enough to stop having the occasional cake and GF cakes are very easy to make we find. If you both fancy making cakes then there are healthier ones such as from Harry Eastwood’s Heartache cookbook (you can generally reduce her modest sugar amounts by a third still) and this no sins cake recipe http://hungryglutenfreevegetarian.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/no-sins-birthday-cake/. Some like the last one if you don’t faff around with a mousse too, you just throw together in a bowl and then bake. ‘The Living Room’ cafe in Westbourne even makes me super healthy pancakes with bananas instead of sugar plus Dove’s flour but that is pretty exceptional. If you and anyone wants to know more or some pointers of stuff to read about how to be on a healthier gluten free diet feel free to give me a call on 01202 375 775. It can be overwhelming when you start but after the shock it gets better fast once you work out some meals. We eat like kings at home but when away from home can be such a nightmare it puts me right off any travel – even to the next town. You need to plan for getting caught hungry so we have pecan pie bars as back up snacks/breakfasts and take Baked To Taste Spring Vegetable pies onto planes for our meal. We shop at Ocado which has a great gluten free choice and that makes life feel that bit easier too. Now we know so much more about food, even if we could we would not go back to eating how we did before. Still wish it was easier to eat out though.

      • Thank you for this. We have lots to think about. At the moment life revolves around salad as she feels ‘safe’ to eat this. We’re gradually introducing other things. She loves to cook, so we’re looking forward to trying out some recipes. I was disappointed at first glance in the book shop- several books, but not really the kinds of things a 13 year old with tummy problems is interested in eating! I’ve had more luck online. I appreciate your advice, thank you.

  3. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease some 35 years ago so I’ve got quite used to menu-picking! It’s always a delight though when you go somewhere where they know what gluten-free means. The Jetty (Alex Aitken) in Christchurch, which although one of the pricier restaurants brought me warmed gluten-free bread and tailored pretty much everything I asked for to be gluten-free. It was exquisite and highly recommended. At the other end of the spectrum Good Food by Alex (6Lansdowne Road) is quirky, only open lunchtimes but has a separate gluten-free menu.

    • Thanks Philip. Must try Alex’s again some time. Was put off by a truly miserable and disappointingly bland vegan Portuguese stew there once (so bad that that was the end of me being a vegan as if that was what I had to eat, I could not face it) and have not returned since. The lemon polenta cake was nice though as I recall.

  4. ASK now do a Gluten free menu. I have had the pasta and it was lovely. Really fresh tasting and they also do gluten free pizza. I have had Ceoliac for 6 years and only in the last year more places are going GF food. Pizza Hut and Dominoes are on board with the pizza :-) Now I can go and eat out with my friends without having to miss out on Bdays etc. Happy eating everyone! Zoe

    • Hi
      Any chance of getting some more details on GF places inFlorence as traveling next month
      Thank you in advance
      Tom

  5. This is an awesome list!
    Zizzi also have a G-free menu, it’s pretty extensive. They will also doctor some of the meals on the menu so they are gluten-free, like their “pollo al prosciutto”. I asked if there was any flour involved and the waitress advised the cooks toss the chicken in flour. I asked if they could not do that, and they agreed. Great service!!

    • Oh that is great service. Thanks for letting us know Caroline. It’s wonderful when places have a can do attitude because it really is not that hard unless they are serving pre-made microwave meals. Sadly this is often the case like in Cafe Rouge.

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