Gluten Intolerant

Living the Gluten Free Lifestyle

As a cambridge resident, I have to know all the tips and tricks to dining in the area.

For potential university students, living gluten free wan’t be a major problem:  the town centre Sainsburys (Which is where you will shop) has a decent enough free from range, and your college dining will be happy to manage catering for your special requirements:  in fact they seem to be really good at it!

For visiting tourists, your life will be harder – there are lots of tempting (but totally gluten stuffed) cakes and pastries around which will make you salivate.

The best options are:

The Rainbow Cafe a vegetarian restaurant which takes dietary requirements seriously

Common fast food options such as Nandos, Gourmet Burger Kitchen (bring your own buns), Starbucks (hope you like cheese and coleslaw sarnies) and even pizza express (if you bring your own base… though I always wonder about cross contamination it hasn’t seed to happen to me) are available.

A special shout out goes to the branch of Cafe Diem in Milton Country Park (just outside the city) which is just a bog standard coffee shop (in quite a nice location) but sells gluten free cookies which are as good as anthing you;ll ever find containing gluten elsewhere

On leaving Dublin, I wanted to carry out a quick survey of the airport.  I only had time (and ticket) to look around Terminal 1, My initial attempts to find gluten free food before security were disheartening:  I found more or less nothing – you could probably find some fries at McDonalds, or a packet of crisps, but it was a very poor show indeed.

Post security was entirely different.  Not only would it be possible to live on chocolates and whiskey from the gift shops, but lots of restaurants had offerings that would suit a gluten sensitive person down to te ground.  These included a seafood bar (I didn’t investigate it in depth – I’m not keen on sea food myself), The Garden Terrace (a good location for a sit down meal, with several potential options) and Starbucks (which had gluten free sandwiches – the Starbucks outside security didn’t:  perhaps they had simply sold out when I looked around).


My survey was imperfect – my flight was late, and lots of the eateries were close and cordoned off – but that means there are more opportunities for mout cealiac travellers.  Pretty decent marks to Dublin airport, once you’ve taken the leap past security.

When travelling, I like to plan ahead, so I know what gluten free options are available to me on arrival.  My trip to dublin has been something different.  Arranged at the last minute, at the bequest of my employers, I had to make some quick judgment calls to allow things to go as smoothly as possible.

I chose the hotel mainly for its proximity to a branch of Tesco. The theory being that the work laid on lunch would probably be impossible to eat (there was no time to get dietry requirement changes made), so I could at least be sure of picking up something to eat.  As such, I went for the Best Western Dublin Skylon.  Overall, I’m a little dissatisfied with the hotel – the internet access is poor (flakey, with no wifi in my room), and the rooms lack both air con and security safes.  Still, its clean, and upmarket with pleasant staff, and it looks like I can probably get something gluten free to eat at the bar.

The nearby Tesco (Dumcondra Road, about 5 minutes walk from the skylon) does indeed carry a (small) range of free-from and gluten free foods, enough to allow me to construct some supplies.  For a while I had trouble locating the gluten free bread – but eventually found it with the premium breads rather than the free-from foods.  They apparently stock Genius bread – but had run out by the time I went shopping.

In fact all the major dublin supermarket chains in dublin supply gluten free foods.  however, I approached a Centra near East Wall (around the corner from the east point business park), and was disappointed that they were not good at free-from foods.

For lunch I ate at the East Point business park’s Metro cafe bar.  It wasn’t a fantastic choice for a gluten sensitive like myself, but I was able to find food that was gluten free and tasted very good.

In my research I quickly found two places to eat which offered good gluten free options

Credo Pizza


Beyond that, it would probably have to be the old steak and salad option in many places.  Especially as local delicacies (irish stew, potato bread, irish sausages) all contain gluten.


When travelling in airports, its often useful to be able to stop for a snack – either before your flight, or before you continue onward to you destination.  Unfortunately, airports often don’t list what is available to the gluten intolerant traveller – and the concessions – even if they might elsewhere sell gluten free things – sometimes have limited or different ranges.  So with some trepidation I had a look around Luton Airport to see what gluten free foods suitable for celiacs were offered.

Before Security

Before security there are a range of places to dine, but I had almost no luck finding food that even looked gluten free.  The best I could manage was a place called ‘Just Eats’ which had a chicken and chips meal.  Ignoring the fact this could be cross contaminated, I would still advise against eating there – the chips and peas were cold, and the chicken overcooked and dry (of course, I had to avoid the gravy).  Probably your best bet, prior to security, is to go to the Marks and Spencers ‘Simply Food’ concession (which bridges arrivals are departures).  There you can find prepacked salds, cold meats and crisps – certainly better than the alternatives on offer

After Security

I’m always worried after security because you are absolutely limited to what is there, with no chance to go back and use a pre-security option.  In luton airport the situation behind security is slightly better.  The ‘Real Food’ concession (which appears to be much the same as the Just Eats before security) had a wider range – so there was at least more possibilities.  Still, if it has the same standards as the pre-security restaurant, I think I would avoid it.  The other possibility was Est, which along with having a number of menu items which looked like they might be gluten free, had text on the menu encouraging you to ask.


All in all, I’m not going to say Luton airport fared well – or even tried to accomodate – the gluten intolerant, but if you have to be there with little or no planning, it certainly seemed that getting a meal might be possible.  M&S clearly being the best option all round.