Thanks to Drew’s recent induction into the world of the gluten-free, we have been scouring London for the best gluten-free and gluten-friendly dining spots. We have been pleasantly surprised with the variety of options we’ve found, but there are relatively few gluten-free ONLY establishments in the city.

One of the few happens to be a fifteen-minute walk from our flat. How’s that for luck?

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Niche is an independently-owned casual dining restaurant a few doors down from Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Their aim is to surprise and delight customers with a 100% gluten-free menu that is so delicious you won’t even realize that the bread basket is devoid of gluten and that the flour in the brownies is a substitute. It’s a perfect setting for our first local gluten-free restaurant review.

Self-described as modern British with a twist, the menu is full of large salads, quiche, sandwiches, pies, and all of the standard British favourites. It’s the kind of place where sausage & mash is featured prominently on the menu, but the meat comes from (our favourite) local butcher Turner & George, and freshly battered onion rings grace the plate along with sinfully creamy mashed potatoes.

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Food Breakdown

Burger – £12.50

It’s been a long time since Drew has had a proper hamburger (lettuce “buns” are just plain sad) but Niche delivered here, and offered the best gluten-free bun he’s had to date. The burger was well charred and still slightly pink in the middle, and the mixed greens on the side was a nice touch, but the thick cut fries were rather soggy and sad. The burger is a solid menu item overall though and one that is notoriously difficult to perfect as gluten free. In addition to a beef burger, Niche also offers a chicken breast and Portobello mushroom option. The fries just need some work.

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Niche Quiche – £12.50

Niche prides itself on its daily quiche offering, made from scratch each day. The in-house pastry is as light and flaky as you would expect, and the addition of double cream to the mix never hurt anyone.

Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad – £12.50

This generously portioned salad was the highlight of a recent visit to Niche. The smoked salmon wasn’t too smoky for my taste, and the proportion of protein to veg was great. Don’t you hate it when a main course salad is 85% lettuce? On a hot summer evening, this alternative to my usual choice of caloric bomb was a welcome offering.

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Conclusion:

As newcomers to gluten-free dining, we are still adjusting to being those customers that have to ask servers a barrage of menu questions: Does this menu item contains any hidden (gluten-filled) soy sauce? Are the chips fried in the same oil as a gluten-rich battered fish, indicating potential cross-contamination?

It is so nice to come into a restaurant and know that every single menu item is totally fine for consumption, and that no double checking is necessary. For those celiac sufferers who just need a break from it all, Niche is a great alternative located in one of my favourite corners of London. Plus after you wrap up a meal here, you can wander Exmouth Market or do what we did and head to our favourite ice cream spot (Udderlicious on Upper Street) for a gluten-free nightcap!

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Niche is a welcome addition to our gluten-free dining rotation, and we will definitely be back.

Status: Recommended

Niche
197-199 Rosebury Ave
London, EC1R 4TJ
Niche is open breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a Pre-Theatre menu for those visiting Sadler’s Wells for a show. Closed Mondays.

We need more gluten-free dining options in London, so please share your tips below!

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  • July 20, 2015

    Sorry to hear about Drew being diagnosed with Celiacs… great to hear that there are restaurants that cater to a gluten free diet though – especially ones that look and sound as delicious as Niche. Love your photos and that ice cream looks udderly delicious :). Great post! Here’s to you guys uncovering many more gluten free gems in the capital.

    Gabby
    Gabby @ theglobewanderers.com recently posted…36 Hours on the Mighty MekongMy Profile

    • July 21, 2015

      we happen to live in a great neighborhood for GF diet. We have a GF only bakery a few blocks away, the GF only restaurant is a ten minute walk away and a nearby food store where every item in the store is listed as GF or not. Makes life a little easier!

  • July 20, 2015

    Yumm! That burger looks amazing and I really love their logo! How fun!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Katie @ Katie Wanders
    Katie @ Katie Wanders recently posted…Antelope Island and Great Salt Lake Spring/Summer 2015My Profile

    • July 21, 2015

      great little spot. They do a pre-theatre dinner (since they are right next to Sadler Wells) for £16 for two courses too, so it’s not very expensive. Win, win.

  • July 21, 2015

    Hi, you might find my blog useful for eating gluten free around London and the UK. The 100% GF London post mentions Niche, plus a number of other cafes and market stalls. I’m soon to publish a guide to the rest of the 100% GF places I can find in the UK (in installments!)
    Caroline recently posted…Brasserie Blanc gluten freeMy Profile

    • July 21, 2015

      Thanks, I will check it out. Always good to find more resources around London. I’ve starting doing my own research and surprised by how many GF only places I’ve found, esp in the various markets around the city.

  • July 21, 2015

    This place looks great. I don’t need food to be gluten free, but I’d go anyway. The burger looks divine!
    Arianwen recently posted…Semuc Champey: the Best Tour in Central AmericaMy Profile

    • July 21, 2015
      Julie

      I know – they do a great job with the burger! There are lots of fantastic burgers for some reason in London so we’re always happy to add to the list of solid offerings!

  • July 23, 2015

    I’m sorry to hear about the diagnosis. This post actually reminded me of a few guests we had today at work. I had to get out the allergies binder to check what food and candy this little girl was allowed to have and what her mum could buy her. The girl also was allergic to gluten.’

    I’m glad to hear that there are special restaurants for these kind of things. Makes it much less of a hassle for you and others with the same diagnosis I would imagine 🙂
    Maaike – Travellous World recently posted…The Comprehensive Guide to GreenwichMy Profile

    • July 24, 2015

      It does make it easier when everything is gluten free. No notifying the server or asking for an allergy menu. Just order like normal. Feels nice. Gluten is snuck into a lot of things, so just assuming that an item is GF is almost impossible. I actually learned recently that most licorice has gluten in it! Who knew!?

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