We find the more upmarket the restaurant the more likely they are to be knowledgeable and flexible about gluten free, vegetarian or the two combined. Cheaper chains seem to have ready meals with mystery ingredients that go into a microwave and staff who don’t even know that sausages are made with breadcrumbs or that don’t realise croutons are still bread. Fortunately in Bournemouth we have some wonderful places to eat that although upmarket are exceptionally good value – L’Assiette always and the Edge is brilliant value at lunchtime. There are more budget options too.
Number 1 gluten free and special diet friendly restaurant in Bournemouth is L’Assiette in East Southbourne, not far from the beach. Not only is the food wonderful but they really do make extreme efforts to accommodate you that we’ve not been lucky to experience elsewhere. Excellent service too. Book with notice and the amuse bouche and petits fours will also be made gluten free. They not only cater but come up with something extremely yummy in a generous portion. This is French cooking so don’t expect it to be heavy on the healthy side but heavy on a taste of heaven in every mouthful. A residential area so free easy local parking – otherwise there is a car park on the sea front.
141 Belle Vue Road (near the bed shop and local supermarket – if you are on the coast road parallel to it come out by the roundabout with the giant deckchair on it)
See website for details – L’Assiette
This restaurant is on the top floor of a new apartment hotel on the West Cliff just up from the bottom of Alum Chine where there is a car park or park in the road. Go into the large foyer and take the door to your right which takes you to the lift. A very swanky place with beautiful views of the coast. When you book tell them about your dietary requirements and ask for a table with a view. I think the food here is excellent and ties in brilliance with L’Assiette. They will adapt their extensive menu to suit you and are very helpful. Dinner is rather pricey but lunchtimes are more affordable with light bites for much less than £10 that are really rather splendid and not necessarily that small.
4th Floor, 2 Studland Road, Alum Chine, Bournemouth BH4 8JA
See website for more details – The Edge Restaurant
Natural Bourne Grillers
What a great name! Go here for amazing meats but if you are veggie don’t have the jacket potato or pasta (think they have done away with the pasta now wisely and they stick to their forte which is the grill). They now have veggie burgers which are good. If you are a gluten free meat eater this simple looking place will delight your taste buds with great quality locally sourced cuts. Don’t let the uninspiring menu descriptions or lack of kerb appeal fool you. They just don’t know how to sell themselves. Amazingly affordable prices and you can bring your own bottle with no corkage charge whatsoever. They can do everything gluten free so save room for pudding!
274 Old Christchurch Road, Lansdowne, Bournemouth BH1 1PH
See website for more details and special offers – Natural Bourne Grillers
More short reviews and places to go can be found on my long list of places to go eat if visiting Dorset
And see also the gluten free Southbourne map.