“Gluten-Free in Cardiff”
Not content with just a notable focus on local Welsh produce (Seasons in Castle Arcade and the good grub found at Riverside Farmers’ Markets in Roath, Rwibina and Riverside are prime examples), Cardiff is also highly aware of the growing need for dietary requirements. So, if you steer clear of gluten, rest assured you won’t be going hungry in the Diff. Here’s where to head!
Having woken up the Cardiff scene as recently as 2015, Locke & Remedy inhabit the site of the old library, swapping books for burgers and doing a damn good job of it. Since their evening specialities are pizza and burgers (they’re also experts in the field of brunch and cocktails, but that’s another story), you might think this would inject envy into the heart of the gluten-free brigade. However, Locke & Remedy’s menu is custom-made, meaning they’re happy to help those with extra needs, and this includes availability of gluten-free and bunless burgers. Fries themselves are also gluten-free.
Although I am that person who can’t resist photographing their food, I think this has become almost mandatory with all visits to Penylan Pantry. It’s so pretty, everyone does it. Their décor! Their location! Their coffees! And, more to the point, their gluten-free range.
This charming deli in the Edwardian-style suburb of Penylan can helpfully adapt 80% of their menu to give gluten the chop. With everything from vegan cakes to breakfast bowls brimming with colour, flavour and health, Penylan Pantry will have gluten-free foodies (and everyone else!) singing with joy. (You know, if spontaneously bursting into song was as socially acceptable as photographing your food…)
3. Cosy Club
Cardiff is big on the independent but when chains are as good as Cosy Club, it’s only fair that they get a look-in too. And when have a generous gluten-free menu to boot, it’s a bonus worth talking about. Whatever the time of day, you’ll be satisfied – brunch offerings void of gluten include avocado, lime, chilli, coriander and egg topped on GF toast; the trademark Cosy Eggs with the option of maple bacon, chorizo or smoked salmon; and even lobster tail with creamy eggs and spinach to start your day living a life of luxury. Meanwhile, tapas, burgers, salads and puddings such as Blackberry and Raspberry Fool and Sorbet also pass the test.
Milgi may begin with M, but it’s certainly a meat-free zone. Having built a sturdy reputation as arguably Cardiff’s premier plant-based eatery, it’s fair to say they know what they’re doing when it comes to requirements and preferences. They’ve now expanded out of City Road alone, venturing into the city centre’s iconic market in stall form, giving gluten-free fans more chance to enjoy eats such as their Spiced Cauliflower and Butter-Bean Burger; Lentil, Tomato, Baked Egg and Garlic Mushrooms situation; and Polenta Toast Moroccan Hummus.
5. Juno Lounge
Back to the ‘burbs now, and Roath residents can rejoice – Juno Lounge, as well as sister branch Fino in the nearby community of Whitchurch – is big on gluten-free. This atmospheric café will conjure up delights including Chorizo Hash (fried spuds, mushrooms and chorizo bathing in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with an egg); the legendary Lounge Eggs (with hollandaise sauce and bacon, mushrooms, spinach or salmon on a GF roll); and Halloumi and Sweetcorn Fritters, which also satisfy those who double as veggies, thanks to its avocado, basil pesto, chilli, toasted pumpkin seeds and poached eggs.