A Gluten Free guide to... Bristol, UK!
Next week is the Free From Festival in Bristol at Brunel’s Old Station (The Passenger Shed)! We went last year and had an amazing time meeting everyone in person and connecting with people who needed our beautiful diaries.
Sadly this year we won’t be there in person, but our leaflets will be in the goody bags and you have a chance to win one of our diaries in the incredible Festival Hamper giveaway!
And, with perfect timing for all you gluten-free folks heading into Bristol to attend, the lovely Lucy (@glutenfree_lucy) has put together her guide of five fave spots to eat out in Bristol (and burger fans, you’re going to especially love this!). So make sure, if you’re heading to town, that these gluten free-friendly eateries are on your list…
“I have always loved food, most of my friends and family joke about my ability to eat huge portions, fit in a pudding and not ever be stuffed! My Mum always tells me that when I was weaning, she couldn’t get the food in my mouth quick enough and all her friends were jealous as their children wouldn’t eat, they just wanted to play, I used to sit there quietly, eat mine and then finish the other kids food! I went to the doctors when I was 24 as I thought I had arthritis, I was suffering my horrendous joint pain, they completed lots of different tests and that’s when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Looking back, I very often felt nauseous after food, but I thought that was because I just ate so much! I was devastated to think of all those foods that I wouldn’t be able to eat, what a learning curve as well, so many foods contain gluten!! But mostly I felt grateful that it had been discovered early and I could do something relatively easy to make myself healthier.
Living on the outskirts of Bristol has been a real blessing, I’m surrounded my supermarkets, I have M&S, Asda and Tesco within walking distance. As well as Bristol being full of fabulous places to eat. We don’t eat out loads, and eating out does make me slightly anxious, so there are probably so many places I’m yet to discover, but here is a run down of the places I have tried and loved!
182 – 184 Cheltenham Road, Cotham, BS6 5RB.
If you are looking for a gluten free afternoon tea, Cox and Baloney is well worth a try. If you fancy prosecco, gin or tea with your food, these guys have got you covered! The tearooms are cosy, full of character and they have the cutest china. I had a fantastic selection of sandwiches on fresh crusty bread, a huuuuge homemade scone with jam and cream and then I managed to demolish three slices of homemade cake too. We had a discussion about cross contamination when I booked our table and like most places that handle gluten in their kitchen, they couldn’t guarantee definite safety, however they take every precaution they can to ensure minimal risk. I felt safe as the staff seemed so understanding and knowledgeable. The food was fantastic, the service was amazing and I felt fabulous after eating here!!
31 Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1HT.
There are quite a few Cosy Clubs around the UK, and their Gluten Free menu is amazing! Such a good selection of meals, including breakfast, brunch and puddings. The Bristol Cosy Club has amazing high ceilings and traditional stonework giving it such a chilled out atmosphere. What really makes the Cosy Club experience though is that the chips are safe for people with coeliac disease!! When I’m out and I can eat the chips, I really feel like I’m winning! I love the classic beef burger, served in a GF bun with all the trimmings, a side of fries and homemade coleslaw! No eye rolls or baffled looks from the waiting staff here when you mention you have coeliac disease, the food is delicious and really reasonable too.
Unit 1&2, Wapping Wharf, BS1 6WE.
If you are visiting Bristol, you must visit Wapping Wharf - the Cargo area is a selection of converted shipping containers full of independent retailers, including shops and eateries. It is just set back from the water and is lovely for a stroll in a sunny Autumnal day. Pigsty has a small indoor space and some outdoor seating too, their menu consists of lots and lots of tasty pork dishes!! But they do have a selection of veggie options too. The meat here is full of flavour and they are happy to cater to dietary requirements, I made my ‘Pig Mac’ GF by going ‘naked’! Imagine a huge pork patty, topped with cheese and pulled pork with a side of salad with gherkins and onion, homemade coleslaw and baconnaise...yes that’s bacon in mayo! Amazing! Literally mouth watering food whist sat in a shipping container.
21 Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1XA.
You probably haven’t heard of Honest Burger before!!! After seeing so many people post on Instagram about the amazing GF burger and fries at all the Honest Burger restaurants in and around London, I honestly thought I would have to travel to London just to try one, they look incredible! So you can imagine my excitement when they opened one in Bristol. Everything on the menu is GF, including the burger bun! They do have the option of adding a gluten filled bun for those who can eat gluten. On my first visit here before I even mentioned coeliac disease and cross contamination the waiter mentioned their awareness of cross contamination, I instantly felt safe! I think there is a real novelty with Honest Burger, the fact that you can eat a GF burger, with your hands whilst also eating their famous rosemary slated fries, it makes you feel normal, like you’re eating a takeaway, which is a real rarity when you have coeliac disease.
The Kebab House
6 St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, BS2 8DT
So this is one of my favourite places to eat, if you are missing that feeling you get when you are on holiday in Greece or Cyprus, and you want some fresh, homemade food, this is one for you! It’s retro in here, classic Cypriot decor that makes me feel all sorts of holiday vibes! The family that own it are lovely, and will happily list the ingredients in a meal as they make it all, they know exactly what goes in to it! Make sure you mention that you can’t have gluten, as they will talk it through with you and ensure you are safe, as allergens aren’t actually listed on the menu. I always go for the chicken kebab, soooo much meat! And the rice it’s served with is out of this world! You will leave here with a full tummy and a desperate need to go and book a holiday!
83 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NT
Well this place is fun!! My husband is convinced he thought of this idea first!! But you use a paper menu with tick boxes to choose all aspects of your meal! So you pick your bun (GF obviously!) , the type of burger you want, and there is loads of choice, including vegan, then you pick your toppings, sides and dips!
They provide you with an allergen list if you ask, it’s really detailed, including the items that may contain gluten and those fried with gluten, so it’s really easy to see what’s safe for you. Those of us with Coeliac Disease cannot have the chips here, but the side salad was perfect with the huuuuge burger! It’s a nice cosy atmosphere here, with decent food, without trying to explain what you want and don’t want in your burger, the wine was nice too!
Thank you so much Lucy for this brilliant guide! And I can’t wait to check these things out when we’re next in Bristol. If you’re heading to the Free From Festival don’t forget too look out for our flyers in the goody bags, and to enter the competition to win one of our diaries! Not going to be there this year? That’s okay - you can get your very own diary right here.