Cardiff may be fast earning itself a foodie reputation, from German delis to glamorous restaurants doubling as cocktail bars, but what about provision for those seeking gluten-free options?
Local writer Ellie Philpotts has compiled her personal list of five locations that are perfect for those searching for gluten-free food, from slices of cake to main meals.
Chapter Arts Centre
— Chapter Cafe-Bar (@chapter_eats) March 24, 2015
This one stands out, because it’s not primarily an eating place – it’s a ‘cultural centre’, showcasing independent films and teaching yoga. Located outside the city centre, it’s worth noting that their cafe is fabulous in its own right – it’s open-plan and airy, usually inhabited by trendy people you secretly want to emulate. Their wide array of gluten-free food includes pasta with roasted ve; homemade Napoli sauce and rocket salad, which is also dairy-free (added bonus!); French fries, made separately to ensure their gluten-free status; warm spiced mixed bean, roast beetroot and squash salads with pumpkin seeds; and roll-less Harrisa burgers. If you don’t want to delve to the savoury side quite yet, the kind people at Chapter HQ also create gluten-free brownies and millionaire shortcake. It’s a winner!
Market Road, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF5 1QE, chapter.org
The Pot Cafe
Although again a little out of the city centre, I fell in love with The Pot’s demeanour; it’s small, friendly and also independent (they seem to have so more spirit than chains), with their food similar to their decor – rustic with real authenticity. Amid this is their fantastic gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian range. Go for a classy lunch of smoked mackerel, horseradish potato salad and beetroot puree, or a divine dinner of spring greens risotto with watercress and truffle oil. Or for something lighter, how about French onion soup or the smoked salmon teamed with a grilled flat mushroom and free-range scrambled egg?
138 Crwys Road, Cardiff CF24 4NR, thepotcafe.co.uk
Ten Maryport is a gorgeous cafe nestled close to the idyllic Roath Park, with its Lake and Rose Gardens in all their glory. These guys have an impressive gluten-free range – because they’re proud owners of The Allergy Free Bakery, specifically created so intolerance sufferers don’t miss out. Their gluten-free menu includes bacon and mushroom Quiche Lorraine with salad and a roll and vegetable quiche and free-range eggs on a toasted muffin with spinach and Hollandaise sauce forming a respectable Eggs Florentine. Further tidbits, such as gluten, dairy and wheat-free spreads can be conjured up with no fuss.
10 Maryport Road, Penylan, Cardiff, CF23 5JX, tenmaryport.co.uk
— Kitsch Kitchen (@KitschKitchen_) May 19, 2015
I first encountered this family-run business at Roath Street Food on 2nd May, then at Made in Spring, another Roath festival, the following day. And now I’m a big fan, and you, as a gluten avoider, can be too! They’re more casual than my other eateries, but do a tremendous gluten-free chocolate cake and crumble, made with seasonal home-grown fruit, such as rhubarb and apple, and special cupcakes, 12 for £8 – gluten-free, tasty, pretty and cheap, what more could you want? If you’re not the owner of a sweet tooth, houmous is another of their specialities. And I can’t ignore their vegan flapjacks and fruit loaves. Keep your eyes peeled for Kitsch Kitchen’s friendly, vintage travelling tea-party van at various events!
Whitchurch Road, Cardiff, kitschkitchenvan.weebly.com
Last but not least, a more glamorous setting. Signor Valentino is living proof that gluten-free still finds its way to Cardiff’s sophisticated take on Italy. Valentino’s has a positive name in Cardiff, thanks to its sublime restaurants in the Bay and St David’s Shopping Centre. The chefs go the extra mile ensuring allergies are dealt with. Their gluten-free Risotto agli Spinachi contains arbori rice, a gluten free favourite, with spinach, chilli and tomato sauce – healthy and packing a zesty punch! Other finds appealing to this set of taste-buds are Minestrone di Verdure; Caprese and their gluten-free speciality – Rigatoni al Pesto – pasta, fresh pesto sauce and toasted pine nuts.
15 Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BZ
Upper Eastside, St Davids 2, Cardiff, CF10 2EF