Whether you’re coeliac, have irritable bowel syndrome or are gluten-sensitive – gluten-free eating out has never been easier. More and more restaurants and cafes on the Gold Coast embrace this dietary requirement. Keep reading to see where you should go to enjoy a gluten-free meal on the Gold Coast.
How to find gluten-free venues?
Whilst it’s becoming easier to find gluten-free venues, sometimes you’ll need to prepare ahead of time to make sure things go smoothly. If you know which restaurant you will be going to, do research online to find their menu. This will provide you with ideas and gluten-free options for you to discover. If there are no gluten free options marked on the menu, it may be worthwhile giving the restaurant a call to see if they have a separate gluten-free menu, or just to clarify if an option you’re interested in is gluten-free. Alternatively, you could also ask beforehand if the chef will be willing to modify the recipe to accommodate your requirements if needed.
Now, once you’re at the restaurant, a cross-contamination talk with the waiter or the chef is worthwhile. Most gluten-free-meals-gone-wrong in restaurants involve gluten cross-contamination, not actual gluten food mistakenly presented as gluten-free. Kindly explain that sharing cooking surfaces, utensils and pans can still affect you, even if the meal is completely made out of gluten-free ingredients — and that you need them to be extra careful. And always, always be the last person to order. This way, your request is more likely to be remembered.
Lastly, be realistic about your expectations. At any restaurant, even if they market themselves as being gluten-free establishments, it’s highly unlikely that everything on the menu will be gluten-free. Most often than not, gluten-free options will be quite limited, especially when it comes to pizzas, pasta or anything that needs bread — such as sandwiches or burgers.
Places to eat gluten-free on the Gold Coast
Here are the top five places you can dine and enjoy a delicious gluten-free meal on the Gold Coast:
Say ‘si’ to a modern Italian meal in Coolangatta, thanks to Delizioso restaurant. The second establishment from owner and multi-award winning head chef Brad Nascone, Delizioso offers a casual Italian dining style with tantalising food to go with the ambience. Think pizza, pasta and modern dishes from lamb shanks and pork belly to classic Italian — such as chicken scaloppini. Be sure to complement your meal with your choice of wine from their incredible selection. A great gluten-free option is the Risotto Ai Funghi.
2. Bin 72
This restaurant, from highly-acclaimed Gold Coast chef and owner of Bin 12 and Little Truffle, Daniel Ridgeway boosts a mysterious, dark interior and unbeatable beachfront views with Bin 72. Its tapas-style menu is perfect for sharing, and features small and large plates plus specials. Think sticky soy pork belly, jamon and mozzarella balls, braised beef cheek, a variety of delicious cocktails, and much more. We recommend the baked eggplant miso with sesame and parmesan.
3. The Coolangatta Hotel
Head to The Coolangatta Hotel — the perfect spot to get together, enjoy a meal, and wash it down with a couple of beers while watching the surf and the waves break in the background. Featuring live music from both local and international acts, the menu features full-meal options as well as snacks for quick meetings or get-togethers. The Hotel has two function areas — ideal to cater for any celebration. The best part? Cooly Hotels offers gluten-free pizza. You may like to enjoy fresh salt and pepper squid whilst you take in the sea breeze.
4. Black Sheep Espresso Baa
Perfect for brunch, Black Sheep Espresso Baa allows combines the two things that should always be enjoyed in life: coffee and food! Whether you’re after a generously-sized lamb burger, granola brekkie, açai bowl, or avocado on toast with egg, Black Sheep Espresso Baa surely has lots of options to accommodate every taste.
5. Cafe Scooterini
If you’re up for some really great coffee, then please head to Cafe Scooterini. You won’t be disappointed. With plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options, Cafe Scooterini is the perfect spot for a casual, mouth-watering meal. Think smashed avo, vegetarian brekkies and much more.
While dining out on a gluten-free diet is easier than ever, it can still be tricky to find the right spots which serve quality, delicious gluten-free meals. And while more and more restaurants are being inclusive, there are still some precautions you should take to make sure your dining out experience is both delicious and memorable, for all the right reasons.