“More than anything else, what we eat is what determines our health and well-being.” Josh Turknett
Gluten-free dining options in Abu Dhabi have never looked so good, this mini-guide showcases the capital’s best gluten-free establishments and those places that offer gluten-free menu options. As more and more people have specialised dietary requirement restaurateurs have realised the importance of offering gluten-free options. Education for chefs and staff about coeliac disease, gluten intolerance and offering food free from cross-contamination has become more commonplace.
Tawa Bakery located within the Al Muneera beachside community is a completely gluten-free modern independent cafe with its own in-house bakery. The welcome mat declares ‘No Gluten Beyond This Point’ reassuring diners that they can confidently tuck into to the 100% gluten free menu with no fear of contamination. There are so some many sweet and savoury dishes from delicious breakfast options to salads and smoothies along with freshly baked breads, pizzas, pasta, There are some rather delicious cupcakes that go particularly well with the artisan coffees. The chic and cool interior is very Instagram worthy, the staff are friendly but service can be a bit hit and miss at times. It’s the ideal place for anyone with or without dietary requirements to enjoy a nice meal and take home a loaf too.
Tawa Bakery, Al Muneera Beach Plaza, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 556 6900 Website: www.tawa.ae
Abu Dhabi’s first gluten-free cafe was Firin Bakery that originated in Kuwait, this little traditional homestyle cafe is cosy with recycled wood furniture and pretty checked tablecloths. The menu is totally gluten-free with some dairy-free, sugar-free and egg free dishes to cater for vegans too as well as those with specific food intolerances. There is a wide range of savoury dishes with an Arabic influence, homemade quiches, pasta and breads. Way too many cakes and cupcakes to choose from as well as muffins and cookies which are the perfect accompaniment to the range of organic tea and coffees.
Firin Bakery, Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Al Rawdht Area, Abu Dhabi.
Telephone: 02 447 1711 Website: www.firin.co
Popular Australian coffee chain Jones the Grocer offers only totally gluten-free cakes, pastries and desserts in their cafes. Limited options are also available in their Everyday Menu for wheat-free breakfast, salad and main course items (one in each category to be precise) along with some dairy-free and vegetarian dishes. The recognition of food intolerances and the introduction of specific dishes hopefully indicates that more extensive menu choices are in development. Well-presented fresh food with good coffee is the mainstay of Jones which has given them a loyal customer base across the five branches in the capital.
Jones the Grocer, various locations across Abu Dhabi. Website:www.jonesthegrocer.com
Fancy a steak? BOA Steakhouse has an extensive gluten free menu jammed packed with appetisers, surf and turf, pasta and every type of side you can imagine. Along with all the great food options, BOA located at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade, offers diners a meal with a superb mangroves and cityscape views.
BOA Steakhouse, Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Sheikh Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 641 1500 Website: www.boaabudhabi.ae
So whether you are a coeliac, have gluten sensitivity or just looking to follow a more health conscious wheat-free diet these cafes and restaurants will certainly fit the bill. Cooking at home? Visit Organic Foods & Cafe for a full range of products and gluten-free sections in all local supermarkets. For lots of really useful information about being gluten-free in the UAE check out GlutenFreeUae on Facebook.
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Featured image used with courtesy of Tawa Bakery, all others photos a combination of the particular venues and anexpatabroad.
The first edited version of this article appeared in Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi magazine – March 2017