Less choice than in Greece but good

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Greek food can be brilliant for gluten free vegetarians. I recall one restaurant we lunched in on Kefalonia which had so very much for us, we could not decide so ended up ordering about 10 plates! Shame that eating at a Greek place in the UK there was only one main option :-(. Oh well – will just have to go back to the Greek islands.

To celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary we decided to try somewhere new to us and opted for Romanzo Greek Restaurant in Westbourne, Bournemouth. The reviews on tripadvisor said good food but dated decor. They were correct. The food was very good indeed. I’d rate the garlic mushroom starter as the best I have ever had. Andrew, the gluten free vegetarian, had only one option (out of the 4 veggie mains on the menu) but much consideration was shown and double checking with chef. His dinner was “Melintzana Aubergines Stuffed With A Selection Of Vegetables In A Tomato & Garlic Sauce Topped With Crumbled Feta Cheese” which came with a side of potatoes and salad. It’s so nice for Andrew not to leave hungry. Thank you so much Romanzo for that. He also thoroughly enjoyed it.

Greek gluten free vegetarian meal at Romanzo Greek Restaurant in Bournemouth, UK

Greek gluten free vegetarian meal at Romanzo Greek Restaurant in Bournemouth, UK

As I am not good with wheat I had the chicken kebabs with rice and salad. Very yummy. Who knew that rice could taste so good?!

So we do recommend this place but the menu is limited for a gluten free vegetarian. Not many starters really worked either for Andrew. Good thing is they are open on a Monday when many are not so a great option if holidaying in Bournemouth.

Romanzo-restaurant

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UK national eat-in chains that are a good gluten free bet

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  • Ask
  • Bella Italia
  • Brewers Fayre
  • Cafe Rouge
  • Carluccios
  • Giraffe
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen
  • Harvester (although we found the dressing that should have been gluten free was not, even after the issue was supposed to have been remedied)
  • La Tasca
  • Lloyd No 1 Pubs
  • Nandos
  • Pizza Hut
  • Prezzo
  • Starbucks
  • TGI Friday
  • Wagamama
  • Wetherspoon Pub
  • Zizzi

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.

Gluten free friendly restaurants we’ve eaten at in Poole who also have vegetarian GF options

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See also the Bournemouth and Poole list of places to eat gluten free most recently compiled with short reviews.

The Guildhall Tavern in the centre of the old town part of Poole near the quay is a well recommended restaurant serving French food and specialising in seafood/fish. However dishes that can be made gluten free, of which there are many, are clearly marked on the menu. They even have a vegetarian section on their menu which is most unFrench and if you are a meat eater don’t worry as they have more choices than fish and vegetarian. We had a lovely meal there with enormous starters, lots of salad too and they even did gluten free bread for us to go with their delicious home marinated olives. The service is charming and helpful. We plan to bring the parents here again when they have a French themed evening.

Give them notice and they can do more gluten free options by arrangement like pancakes and lobster thermidor.

Guildhall Tavern Restaurant, 15 Market Street (on corner with New Street), Poole, Dorset, BH15 1NB, United Kingdom.

Telephone 01202 671717

Website with more details is http://www.guildhalltavern.co.uk

 

More short reviews and places to go in Poole can be found on my long list of places to go eat if visiting Dorset

 

Gluten free friendly restaurants we’ve tried in Bournemouth who also have vegetarian GF options

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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.

L’Assiette

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)
Southbourne
Dorset
BH6 3EN

01202 420537

See website for details – L’Assiette

The Edge Restaurant in Bournemouth with gluten free friendly dining

The Edge Restaurant in Bournemouth with gluten free friendly dining

The Edge

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

01202 757007

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

01202 290306

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.