I lived in Melbourne for most of my life before moving to the UK and was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease whilst still in Australia. Awareness of gluten free in Australia is generally very high and you should not struggle to find places to eat.
I have created a listing of restaurants which is available on the Restaurant Lists page, which you can print and have with you as you wander around. You will also find useful information on The Gluten Free Eating Directory (which also has a smartphone app) and by searching for restaurants on the Coeliac Australia website (go to Vic/Tas).
Melbourne may not be able to match Sydney’s spectacular harbour, but it is still a beautiful city! It is also on a bay, with the Yarra river separating the city from Southgate and there are wonderful parks all around the city. You may have heard the weather described as ‘four seasons in one day’ and it can be true – hot, cold, rain etc. all on the one day.
I thought this display of umbrellas in the Australia on Collins shopping area was very “Melbourne”. I always have an umbrella in my bag from living in Melbourne all my life. As an English friend who married an Australian commented to me once: “Neighbours is so misleading, as it shows sunshine 365 days a year!”. By the way, if you are into Neighbours, you can get a bus from the city out to ‘Ramsay Street’ (it is a real street with real houses!).
The following restaurant reviews are from several visits back to Melbourne in 2013 and 2015/2016 and is centered around the city centre (the Aussies call this ‘the CBD’, ie the central business district), and a few suburban areas of special mention that I visited.
Hooked – fish and chips
Hooked fish & chips do the best fish and chips I have had ANYWHERE in the world! Please read more about them on a separate post here, but there is a summary of the store locations below.
172 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181 Phone 9417 7740
384 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065 Phone 9529 1075
669 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122 Ph: 9939 4412
100% gluten free cafes and bakeries
There are a number 100% gluten free cafés and bakeries in Melbourne – these deserved a post of their own and has been my most visited post! I think this shows the demand for safe eating establishments. Most of them aren’t in the city centre, but the majority are within a half hour train or tram journey (eg Camberwell, Brighton, Kew). My favourite bakery is Gluten Free 4 U, where you can buy sweet treats as well as savoury items. You will die and go to heaven with their vanilla slices and you can also enjoy an Australian delicacy, a neenish tart.
Foddies Cafe – Albert Park (inner Melbourne)
Foddies cafe is fructose friendly and everything on the menu can be made gluten free (if it is not already naturally gluten free). Lots of great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more details, see review here.
181 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park (inner Melbourne) Phone: 03 9696 9389
(at the end of the No.1 tram from the city)
Café Adiamo – Melbourne CBD
On our first morning back in Melbourne as visitors, we headed down to an old favourite area, Degraves Street, which runs between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane. Degraves Street is a short pedestrianised lane that is filled with cafés. Outside tables with umbrellas fill the road and give it a great vibe.
One of my favourite foods is crêpes, and lo’ and behold Cafe Adiamo provided gluten free crêpes for breakfast!
If you are more of a cooked breakfast type of person (my husband is English and always loves a ‘fry up’), they even had gluten free sausages and gluten free bread! They also had Brookfarm gluten free muesli if you prefer cereal – I don’t think I have ever seen gluten free cereal at a café before. All gluten free options are marked up on the menu. For lunch or dinner the risottos are gluten free, or there is a salad option.
This is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
36-38 Degraves Street, Melbourne 3000 Telephone: (03) 9650 8060
Tutto Bene – Southgate
Tutto Bene is one of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne for risotto as I think they make the best risottos! They have a full gluten free menu with lots of choice and a great view over the river to the CBD lights.
Mid level, Southgate complex, Melbourne, 3000 Phone: (03) 9696 3334
Open 7 days for lunch and dinner.
Mamasita – Melbourne CBD
Local coeliacs love Mamasita (Mexican tapas) as the majority of the menu is gluten free and it is also good for vegetarians. Be warned, there is often a queue (no bookings). For a more detailed review, click here.
11 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 Phone: 03 9650 3821
Bopha Devi – Docklands (city) & Yarraville
A Cambodian restaurant which has a largely gluten free menu. Delicious! I think the flavours are similar to Thai, so if you like Thai food, you will love Bopha Devi!
Take away also available.
27 Rakaia Way, Docklands VIC 3008 Phone:(03) 9600 1887
TOFWD – Melbourne CBD
TOFWD stands for The Organic Food and Wine Deli. It is a small organic deli which makes fresh gluten and wheat free items as well as vegetarian/vegan options. It is mainly a takeaway shop but there are a couple of outside tables. The gluten free options include things like dahl, rice balls, salads, vegan shepherd pie.
They take care to minimise cross contamination risk, but as wheat products are used in the deli, please make your own assessment.
28 Degraves Street, Melbourne 3000 Phone: 03 9654 5157
Cumulus Inc – Melbourne CBD
Cumulus Inc is one of many restaurants in the Flinders Lane area (Spring St end). It describes itself as an ‘eating house & bar’ and it is a great place to go for a drink and then move on to dinner. It has a modern décor and although the meat mains are on the pricier side of things, you can get less expensive options.
I had wanted to go there when I lived in Melbourne, but because of their no bookings policy (for tables under 7), I never bothered as I like to have a table booked when meeting friends.
As I was on holiday this time, we could get there early to get a table. I had a lovely meal there (although I can’t remember exactly what I had now, as I was too busy catching up with old friends). I did manage to take a picture of the gluten free bread which was a good size and texture. I was introduced to the concept of gin and grapefruit juice here, which was lovely and refreshing on a hot summer night.
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 Phone: (03) 9650 1445
TRUNK – Melbourne CBD
My brother alerted me to this restaurant on Exhibition Street. This place is always busy and has a large outside seating area as well as two buildings (restaurant or the diner). We were in the restaurant which is lovely inside with a very high ceiling and interesting décor. It does get very noisy when it is busy, so you do have to shout a bit!
You need to have a chat with your server about gluten free options. I had a newbie so there was a lot of going backwards and forwards to check. (Note to manager – it is a lot easier for everyone to have GF marked on the menu!!). We settled on the Vedure vegetarian gluten free pizza that was very enjoyable (mozarella, eggplant/aubergine, zucchine/courgette, peppers and olives).
275 Exhibition St, Melbourne 3000 Phone: 03 9663 7994
Open 7 days.
Lupino – Melbourne CBD
Lupino is an Italian bistro with a bit of a retro style. It is a white building with a red wolf face over the door (the name is not obvious until you get really close).
I had popped in to check they could cater for gluten free and straight away I was told there were plenty of options. Nothing is marked on the menu, but the waitress was very knowledgeable in pointing out what I could have (including GF pasta). It has a good atmosphere and everyone enjoyed the food.
If you want a drink first, try Bar Lourinha two doors up at number 37. http://www.barlourinha.com.au/
41 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 Phone: 9639 0333
Closed Sunday & Monday
Lord of The Fries – Melbourne CBD
Getting a gluten free bun, chips and sauces all in one place is a rarity, but unfortunately this is probably not a place for a Coeliac due to cross contamination* issues, but great for anyone on a low gluten diet. Lord of the Fries has several outlets in the CBD and also in some shopping centres, such as Chadstone.
I did not realise the risk of cross contamination as I was jet lagged and so excited to see the gluten free labels that I forgot to check. It just goes to show that you can never let your guard down! I ate a burger and chips and did not react (but am not super sensitive like some).
* The chips are fried with potato cakes and onion rings which are not gluten free. Not sure about toasting of buns either!
Hudsons Coffee – CBD, suburbs and airport
Hudsons Coffee is an Australian coffee shop chain that has some great gluten free options.
Depending on the store, you will find:
- freshly made sandwiches
- savoury pastries such as sausage rolls or quiche
- biscuits and cakes
Carlton Curry House
Missing naan bread to mop up your curry sauce? Carlton Curry House has gluten free naan bread! A nice spot on Lygon Street, also catering for vegans and vegetarians.
Yering Station – Yarra Valley (winery region)
The restaurant at Yering Station has fantastic views over the region and has superb food and wine. It is a fine dining restaurant and has prices to match, but they know what is in the food and are happy to adjust things to suit a gluten free diet.
38 Melba Highyway, Yarra Glen 3775 Phone: 9730 0100
Open 7 days (10am -5pm weekdays, 10am – 6pm weekends and public holidays)
Mr Bianco – Kew (eastern suburb)
A nice cosy, but modern, Italian restaurant with gluten free on the menu and great service. It is fairly expensive, but a nice option if you are not in the city (it is easy to get the 109 tram from the city).
285 High Street, Kew 3101 Phone: 9853 6929
Milan @ Kew – Kew (eastern suburb)
You can order you curry as mild or as hot as you like! Plenty of gluten free options.
44 Cotham Road, Kew 3101 Phone: 9853 5379
The Swiss Bakehouse – Mt Waverley (south eastern suburb)
If you are in Mt Waverley, The Swiss Bakehouse is one of the early bakeries that were catering for a gluten free diet. Above is a picture of a neenish tart, a favourite of mine.
There is also an IGA store near nearby which has a good range of gluten free products.
For groceries, you will find a gluten free section in the large supermarkets, such as Woolworths, Coles, IGA and Thomas Dux Grocer. I visited a large Woolworths in the QV building (corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Streets) and there was a reasonable selection of gluten free items.
If you are from the UK, you may recognise some brands that are now in Australia, such as Genius, Wellaby’s and BFree. Some imported items (eg bread) will be in the freezer to extend their life (or will have been “defrosted for your convenience”. The Wellaby’s items below are two of my favourite products in the UK (but packaged as Mrs Crimbles in the UK).
I stayed in a Quest serviced apartment and there was an option to get room service via an external company. Gluten free was marked on the menu in our room, and is also shown online.
Unfortunately three of the restaurants I ate in (including an old favourite) have closed down since my visit. These were Chi Kitchen, Lanna Thai and Pizza Piazza on Chapel Street if you had heard of them and were looking for information.
If you are leaving Melbourne through the main airport at Tullamarine, there are also some gluten free options at the airport.
Don’t forget to download my listing of restaurants from the Restaurant Lists page, and let me know how you enjoy your visit to Melbourne in the comments area below!
For more gluten free in Australia options and travel ideas, please check the following links:
- 100% gluten free Melbourne
- Sydney (domestic) airport
- Foddies, fructose friendly in Albert Park
- New Freedom Bakery, Bendigo
- 100% gluten free London
- London Heathrow & Gatwick airport gluten free options
- Paris gluten free
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