Food diary: confessions of an Oxford food blogger

Naomi Bradshaw reveals Oxford’s finest gluten-free restaurants that will leave you hungry for more

Photo: Naomi Bradshaw

If you’re worried about where you can find gluten-free food in Oxford, don’t be. There are many delicious cafes and restaurants around that will keep you fuelled on wholesome, delicious food. I’ll take you through some of my favourite places.

Breakfast: The Handle Bar Cafe is a long-standing favourite of mine. While they don’t serve gluten-free bread to go with your Full English (or the Vegetarian English, in which you get served plantain chips), even more importantly they serve gluten-free coconut pancakes! These are absolutely divine, and if you haven’t tried them yet, I wholly recommend you go and do so straight away—even if you’re not gluten-free. If you eat meat, definitely opt to have bacon with them! Because everyone knows that maple syrup and bacon is the actual dream combination.

Lunch: When Gloucester Green Market is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, this would always be my top pick for lunch. Plenty of the stands are marked as gluten free, and often dairy-free or vegetarian or vegan too. Authentic Spanish paella, arepas, and cuisine from all around the world is just waiting for you—always fresh, delicious, and affordable. I also love Alpha Bar in the Covered Market, with its awesome selection of salads, vegetables, pulses, meat/fish and the all-important dips (hummus with everything, please).

Afternoon Tea: The Organic Deli always has its fridge chock full of appetising cakes, many of which are gluten-free and several of which are also vegan. I am obsessed with their chocolate cake with its rich, indulgent ganache icing and the fudgy brownies. They also have fancy drinks like matcha lattes, and it’s a lovely cosy spot for a catch up with a cuppa. If you dare to brave the trip to Summertown, I would also highly recommend Modern Baker, who bake fresh, delicious cakes and brownies—if you need tempting, have a look at their Instagram account. They always have several gluten-free options, and have a shop section packed with gluten-free and vegan snacks.

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Dinner: One of my favourite things about Turl Street Kitchen is how it changes its menu daily to reflect what food is in abundance, so that you can always be sure you’re eating the freshest produce. The meals are based around vegetables and high-quality meat and gluten doesn’t come into the equation—just check with your server to make sure. I’m also a sucker for ordering a bunless sweet potato burger at the Handle Bar. They also run monthly yoga dinners, where you’ll do a yoga session and then feast on an amazing gluten free and vegan dinner.

The gluten-free options in Oxford are really much more extensive than you might think, and I have found that restaurants are always happy to adapt to what you need, so long as you ask them politely.

Check out my blog at www.nomsbynaomi.com for healthy recipe ideas, all of which are gluten-free!