A couple of weekends away in York revealed some gluten free treats! For me the most impressive, although not advertised anywhere, was La Cremeria, a little cafe/ice creamery that has frozen gluten free goodies such as scones, crumpets, bagels etc, which are cooked in a separate toaster.
All the details of the restaurants mentioned here, as well as many others, are listed on the Restaurant List page under the UK, York. This post was last updated in May 2016.
I have been to York several times, but this time more as a tourist rather than just visiting friends. I hadn’t been inside the York Minster for about 20 years, and this time did the climb to the top of the tower – 256 spiral staircase steps! Before doing this, breakfast was essential, and we ate at Café Concerto which is very close to the Minster on High Petergate – if you get the table at the window, you can even see the Minster. Unsurprisingly it has a music theme, with sheet music on the walls and various musical decorations. It is not over the top, it just gives it a nice feel – it is a café by day and bistro by night.
For breakfast, gluten free bread is available and although they do not have a separate toaster, they are happy to clean the wire racks (I assume this is a commercial kind of toaster and not a traditional one), or are happy to grill it for you. I went for the French toast, as that avoids the toaster altogether and a clean pan is used each time. I love cinnamon sugar and you are provided with a pot of it so you can add as much or as little as you like. If you are visiting for lunch or dinner, there is a comprehensive separate gluten free menu.
Pottering around the shops on the way to walk the wall surrounding the city, I found several gluten free options due to great signage that I had not found on my pre-visit search – some examples shown here!
I did not eat at any of these places, but have added them to the restaurant list.
The most exciting find was gluten free fish and chips at Drakes on a Monday evening, so next time we will have to make it a long weekend stay! NB There has been concern on social media about frying with gluten items – I popped in and spoke to them and they do not have a separate fryer, but they are frying the gluten free fish in the chip fryer. Make sure you double check when ordering.
We also visited La Tasca but unfortunately the York restaurant has since closed down. If you are visiting other towns around the UK, there is a review on La Tasca here.
There are plenty of shops to potter about in York, for example in the Shambles, but wander all around the city. The hubby found several second hand record stores and came away very pleased with some rare finds.
Afternoon tea was a gluten free scone at La Cremeria and it was lovely! Scones are a rare treat, so it was fantastic to have this traditional afternoon tea. I also discovered that up North they say scone like the Australians do (rhyming with ‘con’), so I didn’t have to put on a posh accent to ask for one rhyming with ‘cone’! La Cremeria is almost opposite Cafe Concerto. The scone with jam and cream got my energy going again to visit the York Castle Museum. I love the re-creation of a Victorian street (complete with smells and sound effects) and the jail cells were also very well brought to life.
Dinner was at Filmore and Union, a suggestion by our friends who live locally. It is a fantastic place to go for breakfast, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea! For a full write up of Filmore & Union, please click here. The following are just pictures to whet your appetite!
The whole restaurant is even dog friendly!
Filmore & Union and La Tasca are also in the UK Chain Restaurants listing (one of around 50 chains in the UK that have a gluten free offering).
I had hoped to eat at the York Roast Co, as I noticed the gravy was gluten free on the sign outside and I popped in to check that the potatoes are also gluten free (even though not marked on the menu as GF). The roast is usually served either in a sandwich or yorkshire pudding, so I was hoping to just have the meat & veg on a plate, but the cross contamination issues were too risky as the girl doing the carving was putting the meat straight on to the bread and closing the sandwich and then back to carving the roast. So disappointing, but it would be OK for people just avoiding gluten and not a Coeliac. A few extra procedures could probably make it gluten free friendly.
I didn’t visit Betty’s Tea Rooms, which is a York institution. They do have a gluten intolerant menu (eg omelette, salad/macaroons, florentines), but be aware flour is used extensively in the kitchen.
It would be remiss not to mention chocolate in a posting about York. York is a great chocolate town, with historic links to Rowntree’s, Terry’s (remember the chocolate orange?) and Nestlé is still operating there. Famous names like Kit Kat and Smarties started their life there and it only twigged while we were there that the Yorkie bar also obviously started life in York! (It is gluten free by ingredient but has a ‘may contain’ gluten statement on it – what a shame….) For information on the chocolate trail and exhibition, click here.
For train travellers, there are also some really good gluten free options at York Train station.
And don’t forget to download the York Gluten Free Restaurant List before your visit!
For more ideas on eating out gluten free in London and the UK, please check the following links:
- 100% Gluten Free UK page (including London & Edinburgh)
- Visiting the UK
- Summary of chains offering gluten free options
- London restaurant reviews
- all UK restaurant reviews
- Restaurant Lists page
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