Seeming as I have spent the last 3 years of my life living on the outskirts of Cardiff, I thought it was about time I compiled a gluten-free guide for the area. Throwing back to a few years ago, I never would have thought I’d live here. It was actually by chance that my PhD project ended up at Cardiff University. I wouldn’t change this for the world though – the area is filled with not only beautiful scenery, but some gorgeous eateries too.
I have a whole ‘bucket list’ of places to try whilst I am here. There are so many – we are spoiled for choice really. Cardiff itself is known for its awesome food scene. It has multiple arcades in the city centre with lots of hidden gems – and lots of small, independent businesses too. We do have multiple chains like any other area if that is your thing too. You’ll find the likes of Pizza Express and Zizzi for example. However, I’d highly recommend taking some notes from this guide and trying out the more locally-owned establishments.
I hope you find some places here which take your fancy. I’d love to hear if you visit any too. Feel free to let me know your thoughts either via my Instagram or email ([email protected]). Happy reading xx
Note: this guide only covers areas within Cardiff but I also review lots of other eateries dotted around Wales, particularly in the South on my social media pages.
- Barker’s Tea Rooms – Note: not coeliac-safe due to preparation but fine for those with gluten intolerance. They have options for breakfast/brunch in terms of avocado on toast, eggs and smoked salmon. The dishes are quite light. There isn’t a GF-designated toaster but they do offer GF bread.
- Crumbs Kitchen – This sweet little spot is tucked away in one of the Cardiff arcades. It is quite easy to miss – but I hope you don’t! I frequent here quite often as the service and food is always spectacular. It is cheap, but the quality is top notch. They can accommodate gluten-free and vegans with some adjustments to breakfasts.
- Stag Coffee – This cafe is a little out of the centre but a lovely spot. They are always happy to make adaptions on the menu to cater for intolerances and allergies. My breakfast/brunch dishes are usually completely unique. Don’t go here if you’re short on time though as I do often find service to be more relaxed than other places. Albeit very friendly.
- The Brook Bistro – Heavenly for a traditional brunch. So many of the options are gluten-free and easily dairy-free adaptable too. If you’re fancying something a little more boozy, they also offer a bottomless prosecco brunch package.
- The Lounges – There are the Juno, Ocho and Fino lounges in the Cardiff area. These are part of a restaurant chain known to be great for gluten-free and vegan options. They have big breakfasts as well as smaller baps. Make sure to check the online menu carefully though, as some of the dishes are ‘may contains’.
- Wild Thing (Cathays) – This place has it all really – you will also see it in the lunch and cake sections too. Very clued up for gluten-free. They change their menus regularly, but often have GF buckwheat and almond pancakes as well as breakfast bowls and brunch plates.
- Big Moose – The perfect spot for a light bite to eat. This not-for-profit cafe is just off Queen St. so perfect for a stop when shopping. They have plenty of alternative milks and GF food options. The kitchen is very small, but they are clued up on allergens and try to keep everything as separate as possible. They have everything from GF French toast to omelettes.
- Crumbs Kitchen – Crumbs is also brilliant for lunch. This is actually what I mostly go here for! They have all your staples such as jacket potatoes, soups salads, chilli non carne and even GF bread. It is a 100% vegetarian cafe with lots of vegan options too (including cake – although I’m yet to see them have GF cakes on display). I’ve not personally had the salad as the options are limited there due to cross-contamination. However, I highly recommend the soup or the pint of chilli.
- Healthy Hangout – The ideal place for those who are wanting something healthier but filling. The menu changes daily so make sure to watch their social media for updates. They often have salads, pastas, curries and mains to both eat in (walk-ins only) and take away – with vegan options. There are also sometimes GF goodies on display too (I’ve taken a note of the doughnuts). Make sure to grab one of their fresh juices whilst there to accompany your main. These guys also have a meal prep service so drop them a line if this is for you.
- Kemis at Pontcanna – This is slightly out of the main city hustle and bustle but worth paying a visit to! Kemi’s is a small, family-run coffee shop in Pontcanna area. All of their salads are gluten-free and vegan using local, fresh produce.
- La Pantera – Your go-to for Mexican style tacos and Mezcal. These guys do change their menu quite often, but I find the majority of their fillings are usually GF. This place is walk-ins only but worth it if you can get a space. If not, take your tacos away and head to the local parks to enjoy.
- Penylan Pantry – Think of big, fresh salad bowls and hearty lunches. They use fresh, local produce and sell this on-site too. It is a small cafe so you may struggle to get seating at peak times but worth taking something away too.
- The Atma Lounge – Pop into Atma to get lunch on a budget. The food is simple, good vegetarian/vegan cuisine. The offering is a daily curry which is a ‘pay what you can’/suggested price. They even have offers for students. This place is great for if you’re looking for something healthy but filling. All profits from Atma goes to charity.
- The Plan – One of my go-to spots in Cardiff! Most of the menu is naturally GF or can be easily adjusted. They have both bigger meals as well as lighter sandwiches and toasties. There is even a separate prep area and toaster for us! Make sure to check on your visits though in case this changes.
- Wild Thing (Cathays) – Amazing for lunch. I go here all the time as it is right by my University, in the heart of the student area. They have everything you could want from hearty soups and warm dishes to nourish bowls. There is gluten handled in the kitchen but they are great with allergies and understanding. Oh, and it is all local, fresh produce and 100% vegan!
- Ansh – This place is burger heaven! 99% of the menu is GF (when swapping out the bun for a gluten-free one) – with the only exception being the vegan burger which contains panko breadcrumbs. Sara, the owner, has a wheat allergy herself so completely understands the importance of cross-contamination and a gluten-free diet. You’ll feel more than safe here – and will also be full to the brim with all of the tasty options they have.
- Asador44 – Your Spanish paradise! This is a more effortless up-market establishment which boasts its comprehensive wine collection. You’ll be sure to have a treat here. Some of the best food I’ve had the pleasure of sampling. There are so many options we can have here – lots of which are also dairy-free. They have a full allergen matrix menu online.
- Bar 44 – This place needs no introduction really, it speaks for itself! Very popular with locals and visitors alike. Bar 44 serves Spanish-inspired dishes using authentic ingredients. They have a whole gluten-free menu as well as vegan. We are quite spoiled for choice with their tapas and bar snacks.
- Chapel 1887 – Right in the heart of Cardiff centre, you will find Chapel. This is more of a fine dining menu but with lots of GF options. Mains mostly cover steaks or meat and vegetables. They do offer a Sunday lunch too. However, there are some vegetarian dishes too – just more limited. They also have salads if you fancy something a little lighter.
- Cosy Club – Another classic here! Cosy club is right in the centre of Cardiff, a short walk from Cardiff Central train station. There is also a restaurant in the Bay. They boast many gluten-free options but do make sure to check that items are fried and prepared separately.
- Deli Feugo – This really has something for everyone. They have plenty of GF and DF options as well as many vegetarian dishes. You’re looking at Middle Eastern cuisine which gives a gorgeous taste sensation. They have everything from antipasti to grills, pastas and desserts.
- Pho – This just had to be on the list really. Whilst I love trying smaller, local businesses, you can’t beat Pho. The majority of the menu is GF and they are incredible for understanding allergies. They are also accredited by coeliac UK. Safe to say I visit the Cardiff branch on a regular occasion!
- Elango – An Italian restaurant which can adjust the menu to be GF. They don’t offer the pizzas, but can change the pasta. They also have some secondi options to choose from.
- Honest Burgers – A firm favourite amongst the GF community. They have vegan options too. Everything is coeliac-safe including the chips and even the onion rings. The latter are a must-try in my opinion.
- Hubbox – Here is where to get your burger fix in the beautiful Cardiff Bay. They are incredible for gluten-free and vegan options. They even have GF burger buns! The loaded fries, onion rings and chicken strippers are also gluten-free which you’d never know.
- I Giardini di Sorrento – Think of all things Italian. They have a range of GF pasta and secondi for mains and plenty of starters for us to choose from. You can often have their specials on request. When I visit, they mention the chef’s daughter is coeliac so are great for understanding. Unfortunately there aren’t any GF/DF combined desserts – but there are if you’re looking for GF only.
- Maria’s Greek Taverna – This Greek restaurant is perfect for when you’re fancying a more substantial meal. I have been for lunch, but would say the portions are quite large so popped it into dinner. They have a separate GF fryer for chips and plenty of options that we can have. Think the classic meat, rice and potatoes kind of dishes.
- Mina – A Lebanese cuisine which I highly recommend. I went here for a work night out and they catered so well. They were really careful and answered all my questions. I felt I had plenty to choose from and the dishes were superb!
- Tenkaichi – Hands down some of the best Japanese food I’ve ever had! You can find Tenkaichi on City Road, a short walk from Cardiff University. I frequent here and have never been disappointed. The service is second-to-none and they are brilliant with my intolerances (they even adjust dishes to suit needs). You can get anything from ramen to sushi here – make sure to try the latter by the way – it is phenomenal. They even have GF soy sauce!
- The Brook Bistro – This hidden gem is on the outskirts of the city centre in Witchurch. Whilst they don’t have a dedicated gluten-free/dairy-free menu, they are super understanding if you speak to the server. I’ve had many dishes modified to suit my needs and am easily able to have a full 3 course meal here. Everything is made fresh to order so it is very easy for them to adapt the menu. Not often can you get a GF/DF combined dessert which isn’t a fruit salad. It is a beautiful setting which is ideal for with friends or for a date night. They even do some exquisite cocktails, I must say.
- The Coconut Tree – Another chain which is incredible at catering for us. It is Sri Lankan cuisine which is naturally GF or easily adaptable. The dishes are small plates so ideal for trying a few with friends. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes too.
- The Lounges – There are the Juno, Ocho and Fino lounges in the Cardiff area. They have an array of mains and tapas which is ideal for a main meal.
- Tuk Tuk – This is your location for classic Thai cuisine. They have plenty of gluten-free options which includes all their curries, some sides and most of their desserts. This gem is tucked away in the student heart of Cathays but it is worth the short trek from the city centre.
- Vegetarian Food Studio – This is a 100% vegetarian Indian restaurant. They are open for lunch as well, but I have popped them into dinner as I always find Indian a heavy cuisine – better for night time. The menu is highly varied and has a vast range of options. I first went here as a work meal and they were able to accommodate my gluten intolerance without fuss. I’ve since been several times (now cutting dairy too) and they have plenty of vegan/GF dishes to suit. You are spoiled for choice and won’t be stuck for what to get here.
- Wahaca – Whilst you could go here for lunch, I’ve popped it in the dinner section as I find myself not only ordering the majority of the menu, but Mexican food is quite filling. Wahaca are incredible for understanding allergies and intolerances and take these very seriously. Most of the menu is suitable for a gluten-free diet but do try to avoid the fried foods if you’re sensitive/coeliac. They are really clear on this though. It is also a brilliant place to try if you’re vegetarian/vegan.
- Brass Beetle – Another one of my favouite pizzarias in Cardiff. They even have vegan cheese for us dairy-free folk too. Lots of pizza topping options and freshly made. This is a thin crust like other places that cater for GF, but definitely one of the better ones.
- Dough Thrower – Hands down the BEST gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had – even compare to some in Italy. They are made on-site by the chefs and you can tell they are fresh. No small, soggy bases here. They are how I remember pizza to be. Just a heads up they need at least 8 hours notice before you arrive to make the dough – so you can’t just ‘walk in’. Possibly not safe for coeliacs due to the flour in the air. I am very sensitive to gluten (including cross-contamination) and have never had problems here on my many visits. Just be careful and check for yourself though. They are very accommodating.
- Cardiff Pizza Company – I’ve not personally tried here but have heard a lot of good reviews from friends. They don’t have a dine-in service, but the pizza would be ideal for a take away night in. Just be aware that there are supplements for gluten-free bases and vegan cheese.
- Fire Away – This is another take away on my list to try at some point. They have stores dotted around with one in Cardiff on City Road. Just a note that there is an extra charge for GF pizzas and for vegan cheese so can end up a little on the pricier side.
- The Stable – This is a chain across the UK who also have a branch in Cardiff. Gluten-free pizza is made fresh and can also have vegan cheese if you need. There are lots of sides suitable for us too – including the wedges. They also do a £10 pizza deal on a Tuesday so make sure to check that out!
Cake & Sweet Treats
- Barkers Tea Rooms/Coffee Barker – Two similar cafes
which offer GF treats such as cakes and scones. They sometimes have some
GF/Ve combined cakes too. It is a very old-fashioned establishment
which have a gorgeous array of hot drink choices. If you can tolerate dairy – I highly recommended the tea rooms loaded shakes/hot chocolates.
- Big Bear Blondies – Not an eatery itself but I had to
add this one in. They are a small business located in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
They do postal treats over the UK, but also deliver free to Cardiff,
Bridgend, Caerphilly, Vale of Glamorgan and RCT. Note these are
currently GF-only and do contain milk products.
- Cadwaladers (Porthcrawl, Barry and Cardiff Bay) – Your go-to for ice cream! Perfect for a sunny trip down the bay. They have everything from gluten-free cones to vegan ice cream and sorbets. They are quite clued up with allergens and happy to help with any questions. Make sure to mention you if are coeliac just in case of cross-contamination with the ice cream scoops.
- Crepe Escape (Cardiff Bay) – I’ve popped this under sweet treats as they have a wide-range of sweet crepes (as well as savoury) which are gluten-free and dairy-free. This is perfect for a dessert or just to hit the spot for those sugar cravings. The guys here are super clued up about intolerances and allergens. They do clean down everything properly before making your crepes to reduce the risk of cross-contamination too.
- Fabulous Welshcakes – both the perfect gift and treat for you. You will find several gluten-free flavours in their stores as well as a GF/vegan version too. My personal favourite is the chocolate chip.
- Heavenly Desserts – This is a place I wish I had found sooner – it really is heaven (pun intended). They have an extensive GF/Ve menu which spans waffles, brownies/cakes, sundaes and mocktails. I highly recommend their loaded waffles – you’d never know they are GF. Plus, they use a separate prep area and waffle maker for gluten-free goods.
- La Crêperie De Claudie – Very confident about allergen understanding and minimising cross-contamination. Lots of gluten-free crepe and waffle options which you can’t tell are GF.
- Noglu (Cardiff Market) – One of my favourite places! I have been going here since the day they opened. The stall is 100% gluten-free with lots of cake and sweet options to take away. I struggle to find dairy-free cake here, but there are sometimes options. It is more of a chance with the combination of the two. I highly recommend if you’re looking for GF only. Their chocolate cake is a must and the portion is always huge!
- Penylan Pantry – this is a gorgeous pantry and deli which often have gluten and dairy-free cakes available. They can also cater for events.
- Pettigrew Tea Rooms (Bute Park) – These guys are amazing at accommodating allergens. If you’re fancying something a little less than afternoon tea, make sure to check out their range of cake options. They also have GF/DF scones. I highly recommend booking these guys – they are so particular with allergens and cross-contamination. You will feel so safe.
- The Naked Vegan (Cardiff Market) – this one can be quite hit and miss. The whole stall is 100% vegan and often has a gluten-free option. However, I do find it is only one or two each time so not much choice. Saying this, they are super clued up on cross-contamination. Online they do have a much bigger selection of GF goodies you can order, though.
- Waterloo Tea (various locations) – perfect for tea and cake. They always have at least one GF option which is also often dairy-free or vegan too. I often visit here for a light lunch spot or to work. The one nestled in the arcade is absolutely lovely.
- Wild Thing Cafe (Cathays) – not only is Wild Thing incredible for light bites, but they have incredible cakes. They are super allergen-aware and change their range constantly. This means you can try something new each time you visit! I’ve been grateful to sample many of their sweet goodies now.
However, maybe you fancy making yourself something sweet at home after popping out for lunch/dinner. You can find a whole list of ideas here.
- Barkers Tea Rooms – Barkers is somewhere I pop in a lot for a cuppa and they have such a wide selection to choose from! I’ve also sampled some of their gluten-free cakes and they are soft and like those which are gluten-full. They do have them in the same counter as ‘normal’ cakes so please be wary of this. I’ve heard great things about their gluten-free afternoon tea though. This is one for my bucket list.
- Jaspers Tea Rooms – This is slightly out of Cardiff in Llandaff but I just had to add it in. It is incredible for gluten-free options. They have separate utensils and grills and the food is incredible. A must-try if you have time to venture out of the city centre.
- Laguna Kitchen and Bar – This is situated in the Park Plaza hotel. They have a specific gluten-free afternoon tea on the website. I’ve not personally been here, but have heard many great reviews both verbally and read on trip advisor.
- Love, Peace and Cupcake – I adore these guys! They have plenty of GF/vegan cake options to choose from. I am gutted they have had to close their Cardiff Bay shop. Whilst their cafe has now shut down, they are still delivering afternoon tea around South Wales.
- Pettigrew Tea Rooms – If you’re looking for an allergen-accommodating afternoon tea then Pettigrew’s is your place! Definitely my top pick anyway (and I am sure lots would agree). The staff are very helpful and nothing is ever too much to ask. Make sure to book in advance for your tea if you want the whole shebang, but you can also pop in for a cuppa and cake on the go. They often have GF options.
- Voco – I haven’t been here personally but the website states that they can cater for vegans and have non-gluten containing options. I’d assume this is OK for intolerances but am not too assured about coeliac safe. The reviews also seem to be very mixed.
On the Go
- Ansh – Burgers are one of the best ‘grab and go’ take away options in my opinion. If you’re in more of the Canton area, specifically near Victoria Park, then make sure to check out Ansh. Grab one of their fabulous burgers, in a GF bun, to take for a park picnic. I’ve also popped them in my dinner section above if you’re fancying a sit down meal too – they’re not just a take out option.
- Bakestones – You’ll find these guys in the heart of Cardiff centre – tucked away in the market. At first glance you’d never know they would have anything safe for us, but rest assure they do! They sell packs of 5 GF Welshcakes on their stall (which are also vegan). These are made and packed in a separate factory away from the glutinous flour on their stall. Perfect for a take away sweet treat.
- Barburrito – For your Mexican fix, head to Barburrito in St. David’s shopping centre. You can get a naked burrito (no tortilla) and add all the toppings you’d like. Just make sure to tell your server about any intolerances when ordering. Just be aware that some items have a ‘may contain’ warning on them (all information is on their website).
- Brodies – Get your cake and coffee to go from Brodies. It is a small business establishment which have a hut next to Cardiff University and Bricks and Mortar nearby. They often have GF and/or vegan options on the cake section. I’ve also been a couple of times and they’ve kept some extra GF shortbread in paper bags away from the ‘gluten-containing’ cakes. Note that Brodies do use glutenous oat milk in their coffees so do mention your needs to the staff.
- Honest Burgers – If you’re fancying something a little more substantial, I am sure you’ve heard of Honest by now. It is a gem in the GF world. The Honest Burgers in Cardiff is situated a short walk from Cardiff Castle too – perfect for a mini picnic.
- Noglu (100% GF) – Not only do Noglu have an incredible selection of cakes and treats, they also often have hot meals to take away such as tapas. If they ever have the churros on – make sure to get these to go too! You won’t regret it.
- Posh Fish and Chip Company – There are a couple of these chippies dotted around the Cardiff area. They have been serving GF fish and chips for years on a Friday and Saturday (make sure to double-check before you visit). It is a great price for what you get. There are dedicated fryers and prep areas for the GF foods. I love the fish supper from here. I’ve included this place, as well as lots of others, in my South Wales gluten free fish and chip guide.
- The Bagel Place – Situated both in Cardiff University Student’s Union and St. David’s shopping centre (only the latter having GF options). The name says it all – bagels galore! The Bagel Place has GF bagels and with of filling options including vegetarian and vegan. Whilst these have non-gluten containing options, they have confirmed that the kitchen is small and cannot confirm there is no cross-contamination. Therefore, this is more suitable for those with gluten intolerance.
- The Greenery – This is a 100% vegan business in Cardiff Market. Swap up your normal ‘meal deal’ for a Greenery nourish bowl, drink and snack. They have suggested bowls as well as allowing you to mix and match your own. Lots of the items are gluten-free and they use different tongs for each of the items. Just be wary that it is a small kitchen and there may be a chance of cross-contamination.
- The Queen Pepiada – You can’t go wrong with 100% GF Venezuelan arepas – especially from Queen Pepiada. You’ll find these guys popping up at local food events around Cardiff. If you’re lucky enough to bump into them – make sure not to give it a miss. These are some of the nicest arepas I’ve had! The best thing is there is no chance of cross-contamination as everything is naturally gluten-free.
- Tortilla – Like Barburrito, there is also Tortilla in Cardiff City centre. I often pop here for a quick naked burrito fix. I’ve not personally had problems eating here, but always make sure to explain to your server about your requirements. I’ve always found them understanding and happy to change gloves etc.