Working or shopping near the tourist maelstrom that is Oxford Circus? Beginning to develop a thousand yard stare? Preserve your sanity by treating yo’self to lunch.
There are so many restaurants, cafes and pop ups near Oxford Circus that you could literally eat something different each day, but I thought I would share my tried and tested gluten free lunch options. I have been working just a few minutes away from the craziness for the last 6 months, and despite the fug of pollution and more tourist-induced-tutting than I care to count, I have actually really enjoyed getting to know the Soho and “Noho” areas in my lunch break.
These are my favourites.
1. BEYOND BREAD
This gluten free bakery/cafe is my top recommendation for any coeliac visiting London – you can read my glowing review here – their premises are 100% gluten free so there is no need to worry about cross-contamination, and their products are just fantastic. They serve things like gluten free quiche and gluten free danish pastries that you simply don’t find anywhere else. For lunch, I favour a slice of quiche with salad (their salads change each day, but are ALWAYS lovely) or one of their filled baguettes lightly toasted.
2 Charlotte Place, London W1T 1SB
A long time favourite of mine, which for some reason I have not yet written about on the blog (?!); suffice to say, it is a wonderfully easy place to eat as a coeliac, and they serve the best nutritious-yet-tasty food around. There is LOTS on the menu that is gluten free, and their allergen labelling is clear and easy to understand at a glance (for things like dairy and egg too, not just gluten). I favour the Meatball Lunchbox for a tasty, cheap and filling meal (and a Better Brownie or Triple Chocolate Cookie for pudding!) but honestly, you can’t go far wrong with anything on the menu. Their current Chicken and Olive Tagine special is very nice too.
275 Regent Street Saint James S, London W1B 2HB
35 Great Marlborough St, London W1F 7JE
3. HONEST BURGER.
I wrote about Honest Burger quite some time ago, and since then their gluten free offering and general coeliac awareness has gone from strength to strength. Their burgers are juicy and indulgent, and they serve them in gluten free buns, with a gluten free beer if you fancy it. Honest burgers may put you into a food coma for the afternoon, but #worthit.
4 Market Place London W1W 8AD
4. MARKS AND SPENCER, OXFORD STREET BRANCH
Good old M&S. Sometimes when you’ve been pounding the streets of Central London, you just want to pick up some lunch, snacks, or a Dine in 2 for £10 for the evening, and know that it’s going to taste good. This branch has a selection of gluten free food to go – sandwiches, cocktail sausages, fruit, crisps, dips etc., plus a freefrom section with their wider gluten free range – breads, pasta, cakes, muffins, gluten free beer, etc. You can take your food for a picnic or “lunch al desko”, or they have tables and a seating area in the food hall where you are free to stop for a rest and eat your purchases.
173 Oxford Street, London W1D 2JR
If you fancy a bit more of a sit down affair, Carluccio’s have an excellent gluten free menu (recently officially accredited by Coeliac UK) which includes gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, various meat and salad-based dishes, and some bloody delicious puddings. My ‘usual’ is the Pasta Luganica and Panna Cotta from the very reasonable set menu (£10.99 for 2 courses).
8 Market Place, London W1W 8AG
6. HERMAN ZE GERMAN.
You may have seen my review of Herman Ze German – they offer a variety of gluten free wurst, chips, and terrible (amazing) puns.You can get a filling, fast meal and a drink for under a tenner, and eat in or takeaway.
43 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1RS
For those days when you just need a cuzza. Sagar is a vegetarian Indian restaurant. I’ve only eaten here once so far, but was impressed by the fact that they actually had a fully written out gluten free / wheat free menu, as well as an onion/garlic free menu (handy for FODMAPpers). My cheese dosa was very nice, but the curries looked even more tempting.
17a Percy Street, London W1T 1DU
8. JOHN LEWIS FOOD HALL
If you are anything like me, you will be drawn to John Lewis like an especially reckless moth to a flame (the beauty hall! the homewares!), but even if you have no interest in the shop, the giant Waitrose food hall downstairs is a foodie treasure trove. They have several good deli counters (sadly, only the salad one really has coeliac-friendly items), gluten free sandwiches and snacks, and a reasonably comprehensive freefrom section where you can buy things like breads, cereals, muffins, energy bars, pastas, etc. You will also find lots of good quality naturally gluten free foods. The food hall is conveniently just next to the lovely Cavendish Square gardens, which seems to be something of a local’s secret, and perfect for picnicking.
300 Oxford St, London W1C 1DX
Be warned – all of these places can get pretty busy during weekday lunch hours, but that’s how you know that they are good!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations for a gluten free lunch near Oxford Circus, and please like and share if you find this post helpful.
P.S. Please bear with RE the messy layout / lack of posts recently – doing some groundwork on the blog, but not a lot of time to work on it at the moment!